Air news

UK launches Defence Drone Strategy

By Olivia Savage 23 February 2024
The Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, unveiling the UK's Defence Drone Strategy at Malloy Aeronautics factory in Maidenhead in February 2024. (Crown Copyright)  The UK unveiled its Defence Drone Strategy on 22 February to accelerate the adoption and development of unmanned systems across air, sea, and land for the armed forces.  Backed by GBP4.5 billion (USD5.6 billion) worth of investment over the next decade, the strategy aims to enable rapid experimentation and development of unmanned systems, unify the front-line commands...

Singapore Airshow 2024: Steadicopter positioning RUAVs for APAC region

By Akhil Kadidal 23 February 2024
Steadicopter's Black Eagle 50E electric-powered unmanned aerial vehicle is designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations from land and naval locations. (Steadicopter)  Israeli-based Steadicopter Ltd is improving its Black Eagle and Golden Eagle series of rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (RUAVs) and positioning them for the larger Asia-Pacific (APAC) market.  Itai Toren, CEO of Steadicopter, told Janes during Singapore Airshow 2024 that the company is improving its Black Eagle 50 and 25 series of RUAVs and increasi...

Hungary increases Gripen fleet

By Gareth Jennings 23 February 2024
Hungary is to bring its Gripen fleet up to 18, with the addition of a further four aircraft announced on 23 February. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Hungary is to increase the size of its fleet of Saab Gripen combat aircraft, with a deal announced on 23 February for an additional four airframes.  With 14 Gripen C/D aircraft having been leased from Sweden in 2001 and entering service in 2006, Saab has said that it has signed an agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for four additional Gripen Cs for the Hungarian Air Force (H...

Croatia takes over formal ownership of first Rafale fighters from France

By Gareth Jennings 23 February 2024
Croatia took over official ownership of six Rafale combat aircraft from France on 23 February. (Croatian MoD)  Croatia has taken over formal ownership of the Dassault Rafale combat aircraft to be received from France.  The Croatian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the development on 23 February, saying it now owns the first six of 12 Rafales it has ordered.  This milestone came about five months after the first Rafale was handed over to the Croatian MoD during a ceremony at the French Air and Space Force (Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace: AAE...

Singapore Airshow 2024: Aero set to complete VPAF L-39NG deliveries

By Akhil Kadidal & Prasobh Narayanan 23 February 2024
Aero Vodochody has completed deliveries of the first batch of L-39NGs to the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF). The company is also focusing on selling the aircraft to Thailand. (Aero Vodochody)  Aero Vodochody AS has delivered its first batch of L-39NG trainer and light-attack aircraft to the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF), with remaining deliveries expected to be completed in 2024.  Vietnam ordered 12 L-39NG aircraft in February 2021. Filip Gunnar Kulštrunk, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer of Aero, told Janes that d...

French, Finnish, and Swedish forces to embark on US amphibious ships for NATO exercise in Norway

By Michael Fabey 23 February 2024
NATO forces conducted amphibious landings during ‘Cold Response 2022'. The alliance's ‘Nordic Response' will build on these operations. (Janes/Michael Fabey)    Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS   Gunston Hall  (LSD 44) arrived in Harstad, Norway, on 21 February to embark Finnish and Swedish forces, which will combine with the French forces that joined the ship in Portsmouth, UK, to conduct amphibious training exercises in Norway, the US Navy (USN) said in a release.   Gunston Hall  will be joined by Italia...

Singapore Airshow 2024: Indonesia signs for three more CN235-220 transport aircraft

By Ridzwan Rahmat 23 February 2024
A Nepalese Army CN235-220, seen here while it was about to depart Bandung for Nepal in 2019. The Indonesian Army is scheduled to receive three examples of the CN235-220 in a similar configuration. (PT Dirgantara Indonesia)  State-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has received a contract for three more CN235-220 aircraft from the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD).    The USD85 million contract was inked on 30 November 2023 and the aircraft will be delivered to the Indonesian Army's Aviation Centre in the troop tran...

Royal Marines, Japan acquires T-150 UAVs from Malloy Aeronautics

By Olivia Savage 23 February 2024
Malloy Aeronautics T-150, flown during a live demonstration at the company's factory in Maidenhead in February 2024, is being acquired by the Royal Marines and Japan for experimentation and trials. (Crown Copyright)    The T-150 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufactured by UK-based company Malloy Aeronautics has been acquired by the Royal Marines and Japan, UK's Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge announced to   Janes   and other media representatives on 22 February.   Speaking at the Defence Drone Strategy la...

Singapore Airshow 2024: ST Engineering sees route for AirFish 8 military sales

By Akhil Kadidal 22 February 2024
ST Engineering AirX has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Eurasia Mobility Solutions for an order of up to 10 AirFish wing-in-ground (WIG) craft. (ST Engineering)  ST Engineering is considering military sales for its AirFish 8 wing-in-ground (WiG) effect craft even as it announced on 21 February that it had received a letter of intent (LOI) for its first commercial order.    Designed to take off and land on water, the AirFish 8 has been developed as a commercial WiG craft capable of carrying up to 10 passengers, including crew members...

Norway upgrades first C-130J to latest newbuild standard

By Gareth Jennings 22 February 2024
A file photo of an RNoAF C-130J-30. Norway has four such aircraft, which it is now retrofitting to the latest Block 8.1 standard for greater global reach, enhanced navigation, and additional defensive capabilities. (Lockheed Martin)  Norway has upgraded the first of its Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft to the latest standard now rolling off the production line.  The manufacturer announced on 21 February that the first of four ‘stretched' C-130J-30 aircraft operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has been retrofitte...

Portuguese Navy establishes multidomain drone unit

By Victor Barreira 22 February 2024
The Portuguese Navy is progressively introducing unmanned systems. Shown here are the OGS42VN VTOL UAV for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, and a UAV mobile ground control station. (Victor Barreira)  As part of its ambitious effort to widen the use of unmanned systems, the Portuguese Navy has established a squadron-sized unit for the operation of military-grade unmanned systems.    The new unit, called ‘X31', was officially stood up on 9 February. It is subordinated to naval command and will be responsible for ope...

USN pauses C-2A retirement to cover COD gap

By Richard Scott 22 February 2024
A C-2A Greyhound launches from the USS   Theodore Roosevelt  in 2017. C-2As are back on west coast carrier decks after the grounding of their replacement, the CMV-22B.   (US Navy)  The US Navy (USN) has paused the retirement of the C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft as it works to bridge the immediate gap left by the grounding of its successor CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor.    C-2As from Naval Air Station Norfolk's Virginia-based Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC 40) are now deployed to...

Singapore Airshow 2024: United Aircraft reveals UR6000 AAV concept

By Prasobh Narayanan & Amit Kalra 22 February 2024
United Aircraft's UR6000 tiltrotor AAV concept. (Janes)  United Aircraft, a China-based manufacturer of logistics and surveillance rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), revealed a concept of its UR6000 tiltrotor autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) during the Singapore Airshow 2024 held from 20 to 25 February.    Speaking to   Janes  , an official from United Aircraft said the UR6000 AAV is a fully autonomous platform being designed for cargo and passenger transport applications. The AAV is being developed independently and...

Ukraine conflict: Ukraine to field first F-16s ‘this summer'

By Gareth Jennings 22 February 2024
Denmark will send the first of its F-16s to Ukraine in the third quarter of 2024. (Royal Danish Air Force)  Ukraine is to field the first of its promised Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft “this summer”, the Danish Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 22 February.  In a release updating the progress of the ‘F-16 coalition' of which it is a member, Denmark said that work to prepare the first former Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) aircraft is now under way, with their transfer to Ukraine expected in the third quarter (Q3) of 2024....

Singapore Airshow 2024: PT Dirgantara secures first military order for N219

By Ridzwan Rahmat 22 February 2024
A model of the N219 at Singapore Airshow 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  State-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has secured its first-ever contract for the N219 twin-turboprop aircraft with a military customer.    A company representative who spoke to   Janes  at Singapore Airshow 2024 has confirmed that a USD68 million contract for six airframes was signed with the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in November 2023. All six units will be delivered to the Indonesian Army.   PTDI's N219 aircraft deri...

Singapore Airshow 2024: Indonesia downsizes Black Hawk helicopter programme

By Ridzwan Rahmat 22 February 2024
The Black Hawk helicopter, seen here in armed configuration. Indonesia is acquiring 22 units of the helicopter type. (Lockheed Martin)  Indonesia's Ministry of Defense (MoD) appears to have downsized a programme to equip the country's armed forces with Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk helicopters.    A copy of the contract-related documents provided to   Janes  by an industry source at Singapore Airshow 2024 indicates that the Indonesian Army will now receive a total of 22 airframes instead of the 24 that was initially announced by t...

Singapore Airshow 2024: China debuts Z-10ME attack helicopter for export market

By Ridzwan Rahmat 22 February 2024
The Z-10ME, seen here at Singapore Airshow 2024. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  Beijing's state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is marketing an export variant of its Changhe Aircraft Industries (Group) Company Z-10 attack helicopter at Singapore Airshow 2024.    Dubbed as the Z-10 ME, the helicopter is being shown overseas for the first time, an AVIC representative who spoke to   Janes  at the airshow has confirmed.   The airframe is being positioned for customers in the Southeast Asian and Middle East regions...

Update: MD Helicopters relaunches MD 530F as TH/AH530

By Gareth Jennings 22 February 2024
MD Helicopters has changed the designation of its MD 530F to the TH530 or AH530 depending on whether it is a trainer or a light combat platform. (MD Helicopters)    MD Helicopters (MDH) has relaunched its MD 530F rotorcraft as the TH530 and AH530 for the military trainer and light attack markets respectively, a company spokesperson confirmed to  Janes  .     The move to rebadge MDH's version of the ‘Little Bird' came some 11 months after the company told  Janes  in March 2023 that it was consolidating the dif...

US Army seeks more effective UAV in the Arctic

By Meredith Roaten 21 February 2024
The RQ-7B Shadow was deployed during JPMRC 24-02 at a brigade level. (US Army)  After the US Army announced it would not buy any more RQ-7 Shadows, an11th Airborne Division official told Janes that the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could not be used in cold temperatures.  The Shadow is not approved to operate at temperatures below -20ºF, Lieutenant Colonel James Jones, assistant G3, the assistant officer in charge of operations for the 11th Airborne Division, said in an interview. The UAV was deployed during the the Joint Pacific Multinationa...

Singapore Airshow 2024: Singapore to replace fleet of Heron 1, Hermes 450 UAVs

By Ridzwan Rahmat 21 February 2024
A Republic of Singapore Air Force Heron 1 UAV, seen at Paya Lebar Air Base in September 2023. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be replacing its fleet of Heron 1 and Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of the service's renewal plans.  In a statement made ahead of the Singapore Airshow 2024, which is held from 20 to 25 February, the RSAF's outgoing chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, noted that UAVs will continue to play a key role in providing airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconna...
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