Air news

Australian F-35A flying hours cut but not because of problems, RAAF chief says

By Julian Kerr 17 February 2022
Since 2018, the RAAF's F-35As have clocked more than 15,000 flight hours. (US Air Force)  The expected flight hours of the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) have been cut by 25% in the current financial year, according to budget estimates filed by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) on 12 February.  Rejecting media speculation that the planned reductions were because of maintenance issues, RAAF chief Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said that the revised figures were b...

PLANAF ASW helicopter enters Taiwan's ADIZ for the first time

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 17 February 2022
A People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter has entered Taiwan's southwestern air-defence identification zone (ADIZ) for the first time, according to data provided by the Ministry of National Defense (...

Update: Singapore Airshow 2022: Elbit unveils Skylark 3 hybrid STUAS

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 17 February 2022
Elbit Systems unveiled the Skylark 3 ISTAR STUAV at the Singapore Airshow 2022. (Elbit Systems)  Elbit Systems has unveiled a new variant of the Skylark 3 small tactical unmanned aerial system (STUAS) that is powered by a new hybrid propulsion system.  The Skylark 3 Hybrid small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (STUAV), first revealed at the Singapore Airshow 2022 that is taking place from 15 to 18 February at the Changi Exhibition Centre, combines a battery-powered electric engine and an internal combustion engine, increasing the mission eff...

EU initiates major space-based communication system initiative

By Olivia Savage 17 February 2022
The EU is putting forward a EUR6 billion (USD6.8 billion) initiative for an EU space-based secure communication system, the European Commission (EC) announced on 15 February.  The plan is to “ensure the long-term availability of worldwide uninterru...

US sailors, marines mix and match forces for better targeting

By Michael Fabey 17 February 2022
The US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) are finding more ways to combine units and personnel to provide better targeting, officials from the services said on 16 February during a roundtable discussion about dual amphibious ready group/marine e...

Singapore Airshow 2022: KAI confirms bid for Malaysia's light combat aircraft programme

By Ridzwan Rahmat 17 February 2022
A model of the FA-50 at Singapore Airshow 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has confirmed its participation in Malaysia's Light Combat Aircraft/Fighter Lead-In Trainer (LCA/FLIT) programme.  And the aircraft type that has been proposed for this requirement is the company’s FA-50 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which is in turn based on KAI’s T-50 advanced jet trainer platform.   Malaysia‘s Ministry of Defence issued a tender for the Royal Malaysian Air Force‘s (RMAF‘s) LCA/FLIT programme in June 2021 as part of the...

Update: Bell urges UK to wait for ‘next-generation' 525 for NMH

By Gareth Jennings 17 February 2022
A model of the 525 Relentless displayed at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference in London. Bell is to pitch the platform for the UK's New Medium Helicopter requirement. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)    The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) should wait for the Bell 525 Relentless so as to field “a next-generation rotorcraft capability” for its New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement, Joel Best, director of EUMECAA global military sales and strategy, told   Janes  on 16 February.   Speaking at the IQPC International Mi...

Bell launches 407M light attack helo

By Gareth Jennings 17 February 2022
Bell displayed a model of its 407M platform at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference that is being held in London from 15 to 17 February, (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Bell has revealed its latest version of the armed 407 helicopter, showcasing the 407M at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference in London.  Speaking to Janes on 16 February, Joel Best, director of EUMECAA global sales and strategy, said that the 407M builds on the 407GT that was first launched in 2013, with “a much more capable HMI [Human-Machine Inter...

Bell urges UK to wait for ‘next-generation' 525 for NMH

By Gareth Jennings 16 February 2022
A model of the 525 Relentless displayed at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference in London. Bell is to pitch the platform for the UK's New Medium Helicopter requirement. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) should wait for the Bell 525 Relentless so as to field “a next-generation rotorcraft capability” for its New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement, Joel Best, director of EUMECAA global military sales and strategy, told Janes on 16 February.  Speaking at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conferen...

Singapore Airshow 2022: Turkish Aerospace displays TF-X mock-up, seeks partners

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 16 February 2022
A mock-up of Turkish Aerospace TF-X multi-role combat aircraft on display at the Singapore Airshow 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has displayed for the first time in Asia a full-scale mock-up of its Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft (MMU), and has made clear its intent to look for potential partners in the region.  The TF-X multi-role combat aircraft, which is on static display at the Singapore Airshow 2022 that is taking place from 15 to 18 February at the Changi Exhibition Centre,...

Images emerge of J-10C fighters for Pakistan

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 16 February 2022
A CAIG J-10C fighter aircraft on display at the China Airshow 2021. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been identified as the first export customer of the J-10C, after images emerged on 15 February of at least two aircraft in PAF markings. (VCG via Getty Images)  Images have emerged of two Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) J-10C ‘Firebird' multi-role fighter aircraft in Pakistan Air Force's (PAF's) markings, suggesting that a contract is in place and deliveries will start soon.  The images, which emerged on social media on 15 February, sho...

Singapore Airshow 2022: Elbit unveils Skylark 3 hybrid STUAS

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 15 February 2022
Elbit Systems unveiled the Skylark 3 ISTAR STUAV at the Singapore Airshow 2022. (Elbit Systems)  Elbit Systems has unveiled a new variant of the Skylark 3 small tactical unmanned aerial system (STUAS) that is powered by a new hybrid propulsion system.  The Skylark 3 Hybrid small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (STUAV), first revealed at the Singapore Airshow 2022 that is taking place from 15 to 18 February at the Changi Exhibition Centre, combines a battery-powered electric engine and an internal combustion engine, increasing the mission eff...

Singapore Airshow 2022: Singapore air force reviews maritime security requirements

By Ridzwan Rahmat 15 February 2022
A Republic of Singapore Air Force Fokker-50 aircraft. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has upgraded its fleet of Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) and is working with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) to review the country's security requirements in the maritime domain.  The matter was revealed by RSAF chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, in a written reply to questions that have been sent to the service in the run-up to Singapore Airshow 2022.  The RSAF operates a fleet of five Fokker-50 airframes i...

Iraq's L-159s return to operational service

By Jeremy Binnie 15 February 2022
Iraq's first L-159s were delivered in November 2015. (Getty Images)  The Iraqi Air Force's L-159 jets are operational again, but can only conduct airstrikes with unguided bombs, according to a report by the US Department of Defense's Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  Released on 8 February, the quarterly report on Operation ‘Inherent Resolve' in Iraq and Syria said the return of the Aero L-159s was particularly notable as they have not been used for operations for five years.  Iraq received 10 second-hand L-159A light combat aircraft an...

UK and Japan to jointly develop JAGUAR sensor system

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 15 February 2022
A concept of the Leonardo Multi-Function Radio Frequency System (MRFS) for the UK-led Tempest future combat aircraft. On 15 February, the UK and Japan signed a Letter of Arrangement to jointly develop a universal radio frequency sensor technology, known as the JAGUAR sensor system. (Leonardo UK)  The United Kingdom and Japan will jointly develop a universal radio frequency sensor technology, known as the JAGUAR sensor system, for both the Tempest and F-X future combat aircraft programmes.  Announced by the UK government on 15 February, the Le...

USAF retires first E-8C JSTAR

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 15 February 2022
The USAF retired the first of 16 E-8C JSTAR aircraft on 10 February. (US Air Force)  The US Air Force (USAF) retired its first Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System on 10 February.  The Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base (AFB), in co-operation with the 461st Air Control Wing, announced that the aircraft (serial number 92-3289), which was the first to arrive at Robins AFB in 1996, left on that day for its final flight with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration G...

US, UK sign FVL co-operation agreement

By Gareth Jennings 15 February 2022
The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant X is one of two contenders for the US Army's FLRAA element to the wider FVL programme, alongside the Bell V-280 Valor. The US and UK had agreed that an FVL Co-operative Program Feasibility Assessment will see both countries work to ensure the future interoperability of their rotorcraft requirements and programmes, at the same time as exploring and analysing new concepts for the employment of such air power. (Janes/Pat Host)  The United States and United Kingdom have signed an agreement to share information on...

Allies reinforce NATO's flanks

By Nicholas Fiorenza 14 February 2022
Soldiers of the US XVIII Airborne Corps arriving in Wiesbaden, Germany, on 4 February. (US Army/SPC Joshua Cowden)    The Pentagon announced on its website on 11 February that another 3,000 troops from the US 82  nd  Airborne Division would be sent to Europe. The announcement came as US Army troops sent earlier were arriving in Poland and Romania to reassure NATO allies as European alliance members increased their commitment to the Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) in the Baltic states and Poland in the face of Russia's continue...

Philippine Navy receives four Cessna 172S trainers

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 14 February 2022
One of the four Cessna C-172S trainer aircraft formally handed over to the Philippine Navy on 10 February 2022. (US Embassy in the Philippines)  The Philippine Navy (PN) received four new Cessna 172S Skyhawk trainer aircraft.  The aircraft, which were procured under the US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme, were formally received on 10 February, the Philippine Department of National Defence announced.  “These air assets will significantly improve the navy's ability to prepare naval pilots for the crucial task of monitoring and safegu...

Singapore Airshow 2022: Singapore expands range of operations with new H225M helicopters

By Ridzwan Rahmat 14 February 2022
A Republic of Singapore Air Force H225M helicopter on the taxiway at Sembawang Air Base. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has expanded the range of rotary-wing operations it can undertake as the service begins to phase-in its new H225M medium-lift helicopters.  The aircraft type was ordered by Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) under a contract signed with Airbus Helicopters in 2016 to replace the RSAF's ageing fleet of AS332M Super Pumas, which have been in service since 1983.    Delivery of the...
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