Air news

Nations sign Eurodrone contract

By Gareth Jennings 24 February 2022
A scale model of the Eurodrone in Luftwaffe markings was shown at the Berlin Security Conference in November 2021. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The partner nations have formally launched the Eurodrone project, with the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) signing the development contract on their behalf with industry, which was represented by Airbus as the programme lead.  The milestone on 24 February sees France, Germany, Italy, and Spain move ahead with development of the European unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is also kno...

Update: Philippines signs contract for 32 S-70i Black Hawks

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 24 February 2022
On 22 February the Philippines signed a contract for 32 additional S-70i Black Hawk helicopters. This follows an order for 16 units placed in 2019, the first batch of which was inducted into service in December 2020 (seen here). (Philippine Department of National Defense )  The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) signed a PHP32 billion (USD624 million) contract for the acquisition of 32 Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), the DND announced on 22 February.  The contract, which wa...

NATO loses ISR capability over Ukraine as Putin closes airspace

By Gareth Jennings 24 February 2022
NATO aircraft, such as the US Air Force's E-8 JSTARS, have been operating over Ukraine for a few weeks, providing invaluable intelligence on Russia's buildup of forces. With President Putin closing down the country's airspace on 24 February, these assets will now have to operate in alliance and international airspace instead. (US Air Force)  NATO has lost its ability to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) overflights of Ukraine, with the closure of the country's airspace by Russia.  Just prior to Russian Pres...

NATO shores up enhanced air policing mission

By Gareth Jennings 24 February 2022
A pair of USAF F-35As arrive in Romania on 24 February as part of a wider shoring up of the NATO eAP mission. (US Air Force)  NATO members are to immediately increase the number of aircraft committed to the alliance's enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission following Russia's further invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.  With the current already reinforced eAP mission comprising combat aircraft from Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Germany has a...

KAI prepares for KF-21 first-flight milestone

By Jon Grevatt 23 February 2022
Korea Aerospace Industries is preparing a First Flight Readiness Review for its KF-21 multirole fighter aircraft (seen here in a computer-generated image). (Korea Aerospace Industries)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is on track to conduct the first flight of its KF-21 Boramae multirole fighter aircraft, buoyed by the completed development of the platform's new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.    A spokesperson from KAI told   Janes  on 21 February that the company is preparing a First Flight Readiness Revie...

UAE to buy Chinese jet trainer aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 23 February 2022
Known as the JL-10 in China's People's Liberation Army Air Force and People's Liberation Army Navy, the L-15 is to be acquired by the UAE, which was announced on 23 February. (PLAAF)  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to acquire advanced jet trainer aircraft from China, under a deal announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 23 February.  The deal signed between the MoD and China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) will see the UAE Air Force and Air Defence (AFAD) receive 12 AVIC Jiangxi Hongdu Aviation Industry L-...

US deploying ground and air-attack assets to Baltic region

By Ashley Roque 23 February 2022
Washington announced it will deploy additional military troops and aircraft to several Baltic in response to Russian plans to send military personnel into eastern Ukraine to ‘maintain peace'.  “I will authorie the additional movements of US forces...

Update: UK confirms intent to acquire additional A400M airlifters

By Gareth Jennings 22 February 2022
With 22 A400Ms currently on order, deliveries of which are almost complete, the UK intends to buy additional airframes in future years to add mass to its fixed-wing air mobility force. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The United Kingdom has firmed up its intent to acquire additional Airbus A400M Atlas airlifters, with the procurement featuring in the latest Defence Equipment Plan 2021–2031.  In the plan published on 21 February, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) made several references to its decision to acquire further A400M aircraft to add to the 22 cu...

Airbus launches conceptual Remote Carrier ‘loyal wingman‘ from A400M mother ship

By Gareth Jennings 22 February 2022
A screenshot from an Airbus video showing a conceptual Remote Carrier ‘loyal wingman‘ separating from an A400M mother ship during testing. (Airbus)  Airbus has launched a conceptual Remote Carrier (RC) ‘loyal wingman' unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from a ‘mother ship' aircraft for the first time.  The company, which is heading the RC development pillar of the Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) element of the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) programme, made the announcement about the...

UK Defence Equipment Plan notes issues with major C4I programmes

By Olivia Savage 22 February 2022
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released its Defence Equipment Plan 2021, revealing key updates on Project ‘Morpheus' and the New Style of IT (Deployed) (NSoIT) programme.  The report notes the challenges surrounding ‘Morpheus', the British Ar...

Philippines signs contract for 32 S-70i Black Hawks

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 22 February 2022
On 22 February the Philippines signed a contract for 32 additional S-70i Black Hawk helicopters. This follows an order for 16 units placed in 2019, the first batch of which was inducted into service in December 2020 (seen here). (Philippine Department of National Defense )  The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) signed a PHP32 billion (USD624 million) contract for the acquisition of 32 Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), the DND announced on 22 February.  The contract, w...

Japan approves JNAAM co-development

By Kosuke Takahashi 22 February 2022
The Japanese government has approved plans to proceed with the co-development of a Joint New Air-to-Air Missile with the United Kingdom in fiscal year 2022. (Japanese Ministry of Defence)  As part of its fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget, the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has approved plans to proceed with the co-development of a Joint New Air-to-Air Missile (JNAAM) with the United Kingdom.  Specifically, Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has secured JPY350 million (USD3 million) to fund preparation costs related to air-launch t...

China to promote FC-31 for export

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 22 February 2022
Rear aspect of the SAC FC-31 prototype. AVIC has established an office to promote FC-31 for export, the company announced in mid-February 2022. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)  State-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has established an office to actively promote foreign sales of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) FC-31 fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft, the company said.  AVIC said in a report published in mid-February that, with resources from SAC, Chinese research institute, and China National Aero-Technology Import & E...

Update: CMV-22B passes IOC milestone as first CVN deployment completes

By Richard Scott 22 February 2022
The US Navy's CMV-22B Osprey carrier onboard delivery aircraft achieved initial operating capability. (US Navy)    The US Navy's (USN's) Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft achieved initial operating capability (IOC) following completion of the type's first operational deployment as part of the  Carl Vinson  Carrier Strike Group (CSG), the USN confirmed on18 February.   With the IOC confirmation, the USN is acknowledging the platform's operational readiness. An initial USN declaration of IOC h...

UK confirms intent to acquire additional A400M airlifters

By Gareth Jennings 21 February 2022
With 22 A400Ms currently on order, deliveries of which are almost complete, the UK intends to buy an undisclosed number of additional airframes in future years to add mass to its fixed-wing air mobility force. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The United Kingdom has firmed up its intent to acquire additional Airbus A400M Atlas airlifters, with the procurement featuring in the latest Defence Equipment Plan 2021–2031.  In the plan published on 21 February, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) made several references to its decision to acquire further A400M air...

BAE Systems wins Australian Hawk upgrade deal

By Jon Grevatt 21 February 2022
BAE Systems has won a contract to continue support for 33 Royal Australian Air Force Hawk Mk 127 lead-in fighter aircraft (pictured). (BAE Systems)  BAE Systems Australia has secured a AUD1.5 billion (USD1 billion) contract to extend in-service support for the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) fleet of Hawk Mk 127 lead-in fighter aircraft.  The contract will run for 10 years, continuing BAE Systems' support for the platform it built for the RAAF and delivered from the early 2000s.  “The contract will … progressively update the performance...

UK Storm Shadow SPEAR Cap 4 MLR nears completion

By Robin Hughes 21 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)  European missile house MBDA is expected to complete the final elements of the Storm Shadow SPEAR Capability 4 (Selective Precision Effects At Range Capability 4) missile regeneration later this year.  SPEAR Capability 4 is the Mid-Life Refurbishment (MLR) project for the UK's MBDA-developed Storm Shadow air-launched low-obser...

KAI LAH successfully tested for Arctic operations

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 21 February 2022
A KAI Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) conducting cold weather flight tests at Yellowknife, northern Canada, between December 2021 and February 2022. (DAPA)  South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 18 February that the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) has completed flight tests in cold weather conditions in Canada.  The agency said that the trials were conducted at Yellowknife, Canada – where temperatures reach an average of -32ºC during winter – by personnel from DAPA, KAI, and So...

CMV-22B passes IOC milestone as first CVN deployment completes

By Richard Scott 21 February 2022
The US Navy's CMV-22B Osprey carrier onboard delivery aircraft achieved initial operational capability. (Michael Fabey)    The US Navy's (USN's) CMV-22B Osprey carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft achieved initial operational capability (IOC) following completion of the type's first operational deployment as part of the   Carl Vinson  Carrier Strike Group (CSG), the USN confirmed on18 February.   With the IOC confirmation, the USN is acknowledging the platform's operational readiness. An initial USN declaration of IOC h...

Thailand to receive AH-6 helos

By Gareth Jennings 21 February 2022
Thailand is set to receive eight AH-6i helicopters (pictured) to replace its seven ageing Bell AH-1F Cobras. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Thailand is to receive a number of Boeing AH-6 light attack and reconnaissance rotorcraft, with a USD103.8 million contract announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 18 February.  The deal, which will see the ‘Little Bird' helicopters built at Boeing's Mesa facility in Arizona, will run till 30 May 2025.  While the contract notification did not disclose aircraft numbers, the US Department of State appr...
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