Air news

Hawk engine problem will affect UK's fast-jet training output for three years

By Gareth Jennings 15 September 2022
RAF Hawk T2s at RAF Valley have been affected by an engine problem that the MoD says could impact fast-jet pilot training output for three years. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  UK military flight training will be affected by a problem found with the powerplant of the BAE Systems Hawk T2 jet, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) saying that the effects will last until the end of 2025.  Answering a question in the House of Commons on 14 September, Minister of State Alec Shelbrooke said that a fault had been identified with the jet engine of the Hawk T2...

Indonesia pulls plug on strike-capable military UAV programme

By Ridzwan Rahmat 15 September 2022
The Elang Hitam UAV seen here just before its first flight attempt. The programme has since been diverted for civil applications. (Source withheld)  Indonesia will no longer be developing its Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme as a military platform.  Chairman of the country's National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Laksana Tri Handoko confirmed with Janes on 15 September that resources from the project, which would have armed the country's air force with indigenously...

Australia's first MQ-4C Triton unveiled

By Akhil Kadidal 15 September 2022
The mid-2024 arrival of the first MQ-4C Triton autonomous maritime patrol ordered by Australia is expected to enhance the country's maritime surveillance and intelligence gathering operations. (Northrop Grumman/Alan Radecki)  The first Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) destined for Australian service was rolled-out on September 15 at the production site in California.  As the first of the three Tritons ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the aircraft is scheduled to complete production in 2023, accordin...

Top Aces to provide F-16 training for US DoD

By Gareth Jennings 14 September 2022
Top Aces' F-16s will begin providing ‘Red Air' contractor-based training for the US Air Force from October. (Top Aces)  The first privately owned Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft have been contracted to provide ‘Red Air' Aggressor training for the US Department of Defense (DoD).  Top Aces Corporation announced the deal on 12 September, saying that the 29 F-16A/B ‘Netz' jets it acquired from Israel and upgraded will provide the US Air Force (USAF) with adversary air training under the Combat Air Force Contracted Air Support...

Philippines releases initial funds for maritime patrol aircraft procurement

By Ridzwan Rahmat 14 September 2022
The ATR 72MP, seen here in Italian Air Force livery, is one of the airframes that the Philippines is considering for its Long Range Patrol Aircraft programme. (Leonardo)  The Philippine government has released the initial funding needed for the country to finance its long-awaited Long Range Patrol Aircraft (LRPA) programme.  The funds, which will likely be deployed as a down payment once a supplier is appointed, were released under a scheme known as the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) by the Philippine Department of Budget and Managem...

Remnants of Iranian UAV found in Ukraine

By Jeremy Binnie 14 September 2022
A photograph tweeted by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence on 13 September 2022 shows what it identified as the remnants of an Iranian Shahed-136 UAV that was shot down near Kupiansk. (Ukrainian Ministry of Defence)  The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence tweeted photographs on 13 September showing what it said was an Iranian Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that its forces shot down near Kupiansk in the eastern province of Kharkiv.  The photographs, which were posted on Twitter earlier that day by a Ukrainian explosives ordnance disposal...

Greece receives first upgraded F-16s

By Gareth Jennings 13 September 2022
Screenshot from a US Embassy in Athens video showing one of two upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16V Fighting Falcon combat aircraft delivered to the Hellenic Air Force on 12 September. (US Embassy in Athens)  The first Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F-16C/D Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to be upgraded to the latest F-16V standard were delivered to Greece on 12 September.  The US Embassy in Athens announced the delivery, releasing footage of the acceptance ceremony of the first two aircraft at Tanagra Air Base in central Greece.  The milestone came abo...

Taiwan signs procurement contract for MQ-9Bs

By Akhil Kadidal 13 September 2022
Taiwan's acquisition of four General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SeaGuardians will enhance the country's ability to conduct sustained reconnaissance and surveillance in the region. (General Atomics)  Taiwan has officially signed a procurement contract to purchase four General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SeaGuardian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  The deal, which is worth TWD16.88 billion (USD546.3 million), was disclosed by Taiwanese legislator Wang Ting-Yu of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)...

Puzzle pieces: Washington eyes path ahead for homeland cruise missile defence

By Ashley Roque 13 September 2022
A Patriot M903 launcher station assigned to 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, during Exercise ‘Arctic Edge 2022' at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. This defence capability could be included as part of a US homeland cruise missile defence architecture. (USAF)  Reports of Russian Tu-95 aircraft and submarines launching cruise missiles to strike targets in Kyiv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, and Odesa filled US news reports throughout 2022, offering momentary insights to a conflict on another continent.  Accompanying images of smouldering...

China demonstrates new UAV capabilities

By Oishee Majumdar 13 September 2022
CASC's FH-901 UAV has been described by   Global Times  as the “Chinese equivalent” of US' Switchblade UAV (pictured above).  (AeroVironment Inc)  China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), China's state-owned defence enterprise, highlighted the launch of two new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – the FH-901 loitering munition and the CH-10 tiltrotor UAV – in a video shown during a forum on unmanned equipment in Beijing.    The video displayed a tank being attacked from the top by an FH-901 le...

Azerbaijan government partners with DefTech to develop Owl mobile surveillance system

By Sonny Butterworth 13 September 2022
The Owl mobile surveillance system's UAV can be extended up to 100 m. (Janes/Huw Williams)  The National Aerocosmic Agency of the Ministry of Defence Industry for the Azerbaijan Republic (MODIAR) displayed the Owl mobile surveillance system for the first time at ADEX 2022 in Baku.  Developed in co-operation with DefTech, the Owl consists of a tethered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attached to a MODIAR Gyurza 4×4 patrol vehicle. The undisclosed UAV has a quadcopter design with a camera mounted to the side of the airframe.    The air vehic...

UK slips full operating capability for F-35B

By Gareth Jennings 13 September 2022
Earlier scheduled for 2023, full operating capability for the UK Lightning Force will not take place until 2025. (Crown Copyright)  The UK is to delay declaring full operating capability (FOC) for its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning fleet, with a government minister saying it will now happen in 2025 rather than the earlier stated 2023.  Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, made the disclosure while answering a question in the House of Commons on 12 September.  “Full operating capability for the Lightning Force is expected in 2025, at...

Lockheed Martin reveals work on new JAGM variants

By Andrew White 13 September 2022
Lockheed Martin's JAGM-MR uses a new missile bus to increase range. (Lockheed Martin)    Lockheed Martin is designing a series of next-generation Joint-Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGMs),   Janes   has learnt  .    JAGM-MR, a medium-range version of the missile, is in “proof of concept and evaluation” by the company, featuring increased range and sensor options compared with the legacy JAGM, and Lockheed Martin is considering additional variants such as maritime, extended-range, and short-range air defence (potentially f...

Beyond human endeavour: The application of artificial intelligence in command-and-control

By Giles Ebbutt 12 September 2022
Systematic's data-centric AI-based SitaWare Insight being viewed by UK staff. SitaWare Insight is intended to support staff across intelligence, planning, and operations at all levels of command. It enables data from all domains to be combined and...

Poland signs Gladius 2 contract with WB Group

By Nicholas Fiorenza 12 September 2022
Colonel Artur Kuptel, head of the Polish Armaments Agency (right), signed a contract with WB Group president Piotr Wojciechowski (centre) in the presence of Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak (left) on the Gladius 2 strike-reconnaissance UAS at MSPO 2022 on 6 September. (WB Group)  The Polish Armaments Agency (AA) signed a contract with WB Group on the Gladius 2 strike-reconnaissance unmanned aircraft system (UAS) on the first day of the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2022 being hel...

GE concludes Adaptive Engine Transition Program effort, awaits F-35 decision

By Gareth Jennings 12 September 2022
The GE XA100 adaptive engine undergoing trials in a ground test rig. (General Electric)  General Electric (GE) has completed its final major contract milestone of the US Air Force's (USAF's) Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), having completed testing on its second XA100 adaptive cycle engine.  Announced on 12 September, the milestone brings to end more than a decade of risk reduction and testing that GE has completed with the USAF across three different adaptive cycle engine programmes, David Tweedie, GE Edison Works' vice-president a...

US proposes sale to sustain Pakistan F-16s

By Akhil Kadidal 12 September 2022
If approved, the US Department of State's newly proposed sustainment sale will enable Pakistan's F-16 to maintain interoperability with the US for counter-terrorism operations. Pakistan and the US Air Force resumed bilateral training exercises in February 2022, for the first time since 2019. (US Air Force/MSgt Christopher Parr)  The US government has proposed a multimillion-dollar defence sale intended to sustain the Pakistan Air Force's (PAF's) fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters.  A US Department of State (DoS) spokesperson said on 8 Sep...

Saudi Arabia acquires solar-powered surveillance solution

By Olivia Savage 12 September 2022
MARSS Group RADiRguard solar-powered capability enables 24/7 autonomous monitoring, suitable for perimeter and border surveillance. (MARSS Group)  MARSS Group, a company that develops surveillance systems, will deliver its RADiRguard solar-powered artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance solution to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  According to a company announcement on 7 September, the KSA signed a multimillion Euro contract for 50 RADiRguard units.    The RADiRguard is a multisensor perimeter surveillance capability, which combines...

ADEX 2022: DefTech develops VTOL, rotary-wing UAVs

By Huw Williams 11 September 2022
Turaz features separate batteries for its pusher propeller and VTOL system (Janes/Huw Williams)  Azerbaijan's DefTech has developed two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the pre-production stage and unveiled the platforms at ADEX 2022 in Baku.    Speaking to   Janes  at the event, DefTech's co-founder and head of commercial, strategy, and development, Anar Iskandarov, said that work on the aircraft commenced around 18 months ago and in collaboration with Azerbaijan's National Aerocosmic Agency.   The Turaz is a fixed-wi...

ADEX 2022: DefTech eyes high-speed cargo delivery with tiltrotor UAV

By Huw Williams 11 September 2022
DefTech tiltrotor concept at 1:3 scale (Janes/Huw Williams)  Azerbaijan's DefTech is developing a tiltrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and presented a 1:3 scale aircraft at ADEX 2022 in Baku.  Jalal Rahimov, head of the company's technical department, said that the intention is for the platform to fill a logistics role with a key differentiator being its ability to deliver its cargo at speed. Rahimov said that the company expects the final version of the UAV to be capable of 450 km/h and have an endurance of one hour.  Work on the aircraft...
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