Air news

Gazelle helicopters seen in Rwanda

By Jeremy Binnie 04 March 2022
Qatar appears to have donated at least two Gazelle scout/light attack helicopters to Rwanda as part of the expanding defence ties between the two countries.  The Qatari Ministry of Defense released a video on 4 March showing Lieutenant General Sale...

Lockheed Martin UK looking to invest in new space-based manufacturing facility

By Olivia Savage 04 March 2022
Lockheed Martin UK eyes expansion in the northeast of England. (Lockheed Martin)  Lockheed Martin UK is exploring options for a potential new GBP50 million (USD67 million) space-based facility in the northeast of England, the company announced on 1 March.  Nik Smith, Lockheed Martin's UK and Europe regional director for space informed Janes that the company is “looking for an operations base that could eventually be home to a potential new satellite manufacturing facility among other capabilities as well as a research and development hub, [w...

Ukraine conflict: Russian warplanes enter Swedish airspace

By Gareth Jennings 03 March 2022
Four Russian warplanes entered Swedish airspace on 2 March. (Swedish Armed Forces)  Russian combat aircraft entered Swedish airspace on 2 March, close to the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.  Announced by the Swedish Armed Forces, the incursion saw a pair of Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) Sukhoi Su-27/30-series ‘Flanker' multirole combat aircraft and two Sukhoi Su-24 ‘Fencer' strike aircraft enter national airspace during bilateral Swedish and Finnish exercises in the area.  “The Russian violation of Swedish airspace is of course complete...

Singapore discloses procurements, reorganisation plans in pursuit of ‘SAF 2040' vision

By Ridzwan Rahmat 03 March 2022
A Republic of Singapore Navy Formidable-class frigate seen here in the Singapore Strait. The ships are set to undergo a mid-life upgrade programme to enhance their combat capabilities. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  Singapore has disclosed several procurement and upgrade programmes that the republic has undertaken or will be undertaking in the next few years in pursuit of its ‘SAF 2040' target. The country will also be establishing a fourth service branch for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to better defend the country against threats in the digita...

Ukraine conflict: Is the VKS underperforming?

03 March 2022
The VKS order of battle includes a wide range of aircraft, such as the Su-34 ‘Fullback', which has been observed operating over Ukraine (file photo). (Russian Ministry of Defence)  Military doctrine dictates that neutralising opposition air defences and air forces to enable freedom of movement for ground elements and facilitate air-to-ground operations should be a core aspect of any invasion plan. Although, at present, it is impossible to accurately quantify air losses on either side, there is no question that, after seven days of conflict, R...

Ukraine conflict: Analysis: Russian invasion of Ukraine to impact Pentagon budget

By Hamilton Cook 03 March 2022
Janes GPS  expects, at the time of writing, that there will be minimal-to-moderate impact on the US Department of Defense's (DoD) upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request and the omnibus FY 2022 appropriations, but there will likely be ad...

General Atomics reveals Gambit unmanned aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 03 March 2022
The Gambit will be General Atomics' offering for the US Air Force's Off-Boarding Sensing Station programme. (GA-ASI)  General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has revealed the Gambit unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that it is developing for the US Air Force (USAF) Off-Boarding Sensing Station (OBSS) programme.  Revealed on 3 March, Gambit is billed by the company as “an advanced concept aircraft”, utilising artificial intelligence (AI) to complete a variety of tasks without being prompted by an operator.  “GA-ASI's software and integra...

First RFCM fit completed for AC-130J Ghostrider

By Richard Scott 02 March 2022
SNC has completed the first AC-130J Ghostrider RFCM embodiment for USSOCOM. (SNC)  Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has completed the first AC-130J Ghostrider Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) upgrade for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).  The RFCM programme introduces the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-251 system to Special Operations Forces (SOF) AC/MC-130J aircraft to provide situational awareness and self-protection against electronic warfare systems and RF-guided threats.  SNC was in July 2020 awarded a USD700 million contract by...

Iraqi Army returning Russian helicopters to service

By Jeremy Binnie & Shady Alkhayer 02 March 2022
Iraqi Minister of Defence Juma Anad Sadoun inspects a Mi-28NE at Taji Air Base. (Iraqi Ministry of Defence)  Iraq's defence minister visited Taji Air Base on 1 March to inspect Russian helicopters that have been returned to service, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence.  The defence ministry released a video showing Minister of Defence Juma Anad Sadoun inspecting Mi-28NE and Mi-35M attack helicopters, as well as Mi-17 utility helicopters. At least 10 helicopters took off during the event.  “We just demonstrated the repair campaign for a...

France, Spain launch Tiger Mk III upgrade as Germany weighs options

By Gareth Jennings 02 March 2022
France and Spain are moving forward with the Tiger Mk III upgrade, leaving the option for Germany to join at a later date if it so chooses. (Airbus)  France and Spain have launched the Tiger Mk III upgrade, although Germany remains uncommitted as to its inclusion in the project.  Airbus Helicopters announced the milestone on 2 March, saying that the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) signed the agreement with industry on behalf of the two participating nations  “The contract includes the upgrade of 42 aircraft for France (wit...

USAF launches ‘largest modification in history' for F-16 fleet

By Gareth Jennings 02 March 2022
An Operational Flight Program M7.2+ standard F-16 undergoing pre-release flight trials. The USAF is to implement the upgrade to more than 600 of its F-16 aircraft, under the Post Block Integration Team programme. (US Air Force)  The US Air Force (USAF) has formally launched an upgrade programme for the majority of its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft that it is describing as the “largest modification work in history”.  Announced by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) on 28 February, the Post Block...

PLAN Z-9C ASW helicopter enters Taiwan's ADIZ twice in a day

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 02 March 2022
The flight path of People's Liberation Army military aircraft entering Taiwan's ADIZ on 1 March 2022. A Z-9C ASW helicopter was spotted for the first time during morning and night-time sorties. (Taiwanese MND)  A People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force's (PLANAF's) Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) Z-9C anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters have entered Taiwan's southwestern air-defense identification zone (ADIZ) for the first time , according to data provided by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Taipei.  The MND announced on 1...

Ukraine conflict: Turkey airlifts additional TB2 UCAVs to Ukraine

By Gareth Jennings 02 March 2022
The Turkish-supplied TB2 UCAV is the only armed UAV in the Ukrainian inventory and as such is highly important to the country's continued war effort against Russia. (Baykar)  Turkey has airlifted additional Baykar Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Ukraine.  The Ukrainian defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on 2 March that new combat ready TB2s had arrived in the country as part of a wider package of international military assistance.  “The amount of help we are receiving is increasing […]. Ukraine has already [receiv...

Update: Indonesian Army receives last Bell 412 EPI helicopter

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 02 March 2022
On 24 February 2022 the ninth and last Bell 412 EPI helicopter was delivered to the Indonesian Army. (PTDI)  State-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has delivered the last Bell 412EPI multirole medium helicopters on order for the Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat (TNI-AD)).  The company announced on 24 February that the ninth and last Bell 412EPI conducted its ferry flight on the same day as US Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Y Kim visited PTDI's facilities in Bandung, West Java, where the helico...

Analysis: Russian invasion of Ukraine to impact Pentagon budget

By Hamilton Cook 02 March 2022
Janes GPS  expects, at the time of writing, that there will be minimal-to-moderate impact on the US Department of Defense's (DoD) upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request and the omnibus FY 2022 appropriations, but there will likely be a...

Russian helicopter enters Japanese airspace

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 02 March 2022
The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 2 March that a Russian helicopter entered the country's northern airspace, off the eastern coast of Hokkaido island.  The unidentified helicopter, which was scrambled by an unspecified number of J...

PLA Airborne Corps receive new Y-12 transport aircraft

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 01 March 2022
The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) 15th Airborne Corps is receiving new Harbin Aviation Industries Group (HAIG) Y-12 twin-turboprop light transport aircraft.  State-owned China Central Television (CCTV) reported on 27 February that PLAA...

Ukraine conflict: Russia introduces Su-34 into fray

By Gareth Jennings 01 March 2022
A file photo of the Su-34 ‘Fullback' long range strike aircraft of the VKS. Video footage was posted on 28 February showing the type operating over Ukraine for the first time. (Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)  Russian Sukhoi Su-34 ‘Fullback' strike aircraft were seen operating over Ukraine for the first time on 28 February.  Footage of at least one of the jets overflying the Kharkiv region was posted online, with the person taking the footage noting that at least seven such aircraft had already flown overhead by the time he beg...

Nexteam eyes more M&A after merger with Ventana

By Marc Selinger 01 March 2022
Nexteam Group, which recently merged with fellow French aircraft parts manufacturer Ventana Group, plans to pursue additional merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities, according to the combined company.  Nexteam will consider a potential deal if...

Update: Mid-Life Refurbishment of UK Storm Shadow stockpile nears completion

By Robin Hughes 28 February 2022
An upgraded Storm Shadow SPEAR Cap 4 long-range deep-strike weapon engages a target during operational evaluation trials at the US Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, in mid-2021. (UK Ministry of Defence)  MBDA is expected to finalise the Selective Precision Effects At Range Capability 4 (SPEAR Cap 4) regeneration of the UK's Storm Shadow air-launched, conventionally armed, deep-strike weapon inventory later in 2022.  SPEAR Cap 4 is the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MoD)-sanctioned Mid-Life Refurbishment (MLR) project for the MBDA-...
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