Air news

India seeks SWIFT aerial target for navy, army

By Robin Hughes 07 February 2022
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for information for the prospective procurement of an indigenously developed, remotely piloted aerial target system capable of simulating supersonic sea-skimming anti-ship/cruise missile thr...

Jordan approved for further F-16 purchase

By Gareth Jennings 07 February 2022
Jordan is set to receive 16 of the latest variant F-16s to add to the 61 older models (pictured) it already fields. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The United States has approved the sale of further 16 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to Jordan, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 3 February.  The State Department approval covers 12 single-seat F-16C Block 70 and four twin-seat F-16D Block 70 aircraft, as well as related equipment, weapons, services, and training for an estimated USD4.21 billion.  “This p...

Greece progresses F-35 procurement plans

By Gareth Jennings 07 February 2022
The Hellenic Air Force is set to join the international F-35 operator community, with a team from the US Air Force programme office scheduled to visit Athens in February to provide the Greek government with informational briefings on the requirements for moving forward with the programme. (Commonwealth of Australia)  Greece's plans to acquire the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) are set to take a step forward, with a team from the programme office scheduled to visit the country in February.  The US Ambassador to Gr...

Boeing rolls out first Poseidon MMA for South Korea

By Gareth Jennings 07 February 2022
The first of six Poseidon MMAs for the Republic of Korea Navy was rolled out from the Boeing paint shop on 3 February. (Boeing)    Boeing presented the first of six    P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA) for South Korea on 3 February.   Aircraft 921 (tail number 230921, construction number 170023) was rolled out of the Boeing paint shop near Seattle in the livery of the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).  With South Korea's Foreign Military Sales procurement having been approved in September 2018, which the count...

UK orders H135 helos for undisclosed role

By Gareth Jennings 04 February 2022
The UK has ordered five H135 helicopters. While the type is already used by the Defence Helicopter Flying School (pictured), these new helicopters will not be used for training but for an undisclosed role. (Crown Copyright)  The United Kingdom has ordered five Airbus H135 helicopters for an undisclosed role.  Airbus Helicopters announced the sale on 2 February, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) telling Janes it was unable to provide further details as to their intended purpose.  “We cannot comment on programme specifics for the H135s,” a min...

AIM-120D AMRAAM launched from F-15EX Eagle II

By Robin Hughes 03 February 2022
An F-15EX Eagle II, assigned to the USAF 40th Flight Test Squadron out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, prepares to fire an AIM-120D AMRAAM during a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) mission near Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, on 25 January 2022. (US Air Force)  The US Air Force (USAF) conducted the first release of an air-launched missile from a Boeing F-15EX Eagle II next-generation multirole combat aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico on 25 January.  Pursuing a Kratos Defense & Security Solutions BQM-167A Skeeter subscale aerial tar...

Croatia receives first Black Hawks

By Gareth Jennings 03 February 2022
One of two new UH-60M Black Hawks delivered to Zagreb on 3 February. As the latest variant Black Hawk, the UH-60M will significantly enhance Croatia's helicopter capabilities. (Croatian Ministry of Defence)  Croatia has received two new Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters from the United States, the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 3 February.  The delivery of helicopters, which was also reported by the US Embassy in Zagreb, was flown into the capital aboard a US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III airlifter.  “I...

First-production Triton at IFC-4 standard delivered to USN

By Richard Scott 03 February 2022
The first IFC-4 standard Triton for the US Navy. (Northrop Grumman)  The US Navy (USN) has taken delivery of the first Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) configured to Integrated Functional Capability 4 (IFC-4) standard.  Aircraft B8 was delivered to Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, on 1 February. IFC-4 supports a so-called Multi-Intelligence (Multi-INT) configuration that endows the MQ-4C with a signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability.  An integral element of the USN's plan to recapitalise its mari...

Lockheed Martin holds Hercules handover ceremony for Germany

By Gareth Jennings 03 February 2022
A ceremony to mark the earlier official handover of the first Hercules to the Luftwaffe was held at the Marietta production facility in the US on 1 February. (Bundeswehr)  A ceremony to mark the handover of the first Lockheed Martin KC/C-130J Hercules aircraft for Germany was held at the Marietta production plant in the United States on 1 February.  Announced by the Bundeswehr, the event was held few weeks after the formal handover of the first of six KC/C-130Js to the Luftwaffe took place at the same location on 23 December 2021.  News of th...

Russia continues military build-up on Ukrainian border

By Thomas Bullock 03 February 2022
Russian military positions near the Ukrainian border as of 1 February. (Janes)  Russia's military build-up in Belarus and along the Ukrainian border has continued unabated over the past 14 days. Social media indicates the frequency of deployments has increased, with daily sightings of equipment on the move at their highest since the build-up began in October 2021.    Eastern Military District (EMD) ground forces have begun deploying to several sites in Belarus, mainly along the country's southern border with Ukraine. S-400-air defence sy...

Daher to buy Triumph aerostructures plant

By Marc Selinger 03 February 2022
Triumph Group's factory in Stuart, Florida, makes aircraft structures. (Courtesy of Daher)  French aviation company Daher plans to expand its presence in the United States by acquiring Triumph Group's aircraft structures factory in Stuart, Florida, the buyer and the seller both announced on 2 February.  The Stuart site assembles wing and fuselage structures and serves several kinds of aircraft, including the Boeing KC-46 military tanker. It employs about 400 people.  When the transaction closes, Triumph will have completed a long-planned exi...

Philippines to receive new Cessna C-208 ISR aircraft

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 02 February 2022
The Philippines will receive at least one new Cessna C-208 aircraft equipped for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.  On 24 January the US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded US-based MAG Aerospace a USD19.8 million contr...

UK MoD publishes Defence Space Strategy

By Olivia Savage 02 February 2022
A CGI representation of Titania, a laser communications device (Crown Copyright 2022)  The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its long-awaited Defence Space Strategy (DSS) on 1 February. The strategy, due to be released in late 2021, details several key programmes that will help to protect and defend the UK's national interests.  The document reveals that GBP1.4 billion (USD1.8 billion) will be allocated to help defend the United Kingdom's space interests over the next 10 years, on top of the GBP5 billion committed to Skynet. As part of t...

Update: British Army opens helicopter flying to all ranks

By Gareth Jennings 02 February 2022
While the role of a pilot in the British Army had earlier been restricted to non-commissioned officers of lance-corporal and above, and commissioned officers, the service has now allowed all ranks from private to apply. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The British Army has opened up helicopter flying to all ranks, announcing on 1 February that privates can now become pilots.  While Army Air Corps (AAC) pilots had earlier been drawn from either the officer ranks or from the non-commissioned ranks of lance-corporal or above, all soldier rank personnel ar...

US and its allies to reinforce NATO's eastern flank

By Nicholas Fiorenza 02 February 2022
The Pentagon told reporters on 2 February that the US Army is reinforcing Poland and Romania amid Russia's massing of troops around Ukraine.  The US 82nd Airborne Division is sending elements of an infantry brigade combat team numbering 1,700 troop...

British Army opens helicopter flying to all ranks

By Gareth Jennings 01 February 2022
While the role of pilot in the British Army had earlier been restricted to warrant officers and commissioned officers, the service has now allowed all ranks from private to apply. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The British Army has opened up helicopter flying to all ranks, announcing on 1 February that privates can now become pilots.  While Army Air Corps (AAC) pilots had earlier been drawn from either the officer ranks or from the most senior non-commissioned rank of warrant officer, all soldier rank personnel are now eligible to fly helicopters (th...

Japan loses one F-15DJ in a crash

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 01 February 2022
A JASDF F-15 Eagle multirole fighter. A JASDF F-15DJ twin-seat conversion trainer aircraft crashed at sea on 31 Janaury 2022. (US Air Force)  A Japan Air Self-Defense Force's (JASDF's) Boeing-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) F-15DJ twin-seat operational trainer aircraft crashed at sea on 31 January.  The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) stated on 1 February that the aircraft (c/n 32-8083), which belonged to the JASDF Air Tactical Fighter Training Group, took off from Komatsu Air Base at 1730 local time on 31 January for regular combat trai...

Indian Army buys more locally developed UAVs to meet expanding ISR demands

By Oishee Majumdar 01 February 2022
Indian company ideaForge, a developer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has secured a USD20 million contract from the Indian Army (IA) to deliver an unspecified number of its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs called Switch.    A spok...

Lockheed Martin picks two US states to build USAF tanker

By Marc Selinger 01 February 2022
Lockheed Martin plans to offer the LMXT for the US Air Force's KC-Y tanker programme. The LMXT is based on the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport. (Lockheed Martin photo by Brandon Stoker)  A Lockheed Martin-led team will build its proposed LMXT aerial refuelling aircraft in Alabama and Georgia if it wins the US Air Force (USAF) KC-Y tanker competition, the US defence contractor announced on 31 January.  The LMXT, which Lockheed Martin first unveiled in September 2021, would be a USAF version of the existing Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker...

USAF launches F-35 advanced engine effort

By Gareth Jennings 31 January 2022
The USAF is looking to replace the F-35's incumbent F135 powerplant with a new advanced engine from FY 2028 to provide increased thrust and more efficient thermal management, while at the same time affording more electrical power and cooling to accommodate future high-energy lasers and other advanced weapon systems. (Pratt and Whitney)  The US Air Force (USAF) has launched an effort to fit the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) with an all-new advanced engine, with a request for information (RFI) issued to industry o...
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