Air news

ILA 2022: Germany weighs attack helo options

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
The AH-64E Apache is an option being considered by Germany, as the country weighs its future attack helicopter requirements. (Boeing)  Germany continues to weigh its future attack helicopter requirements, with a decision expected on whether to proceed with the incumbent Airbus Tiger or to procure the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian instead.  As one of the two original partner countries in the Tiger effort, Germany had been expected to join partner France and export customer Spain in the Mk III upgrade (also known as Standard 3) designed to take...

Boeing joins fuselages for final EMD T-7A, completes bird strike redesigns

By Gillian Rich 21 June 2022
Boeing redesigned some elements of the T-7A to prevent damage because of bird strikes. (Boeing)  Boeing completed attaching the fuselages for the last engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) T-7A Red Hawk jet at its St Louis, Missouri, facility, the company announced on 16 June.  Boeing said that the aft fuselage from Sweden's Saab and the forward fuselage were joined in under 30 minutes, “a fraction of the time it takes for traditional aircraft builds”. Once the two sections are joined, the wings, fins, and tail are assembled onto t...

ILA 2022: German decision on current Tiger Mk III contract needed ‘by end of summer'

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
A German Army Tiger attack helicopter seen at ILA 2022 in Berlin. The country‘s Ministry of Defence has until ‘the end of the summer‘ to decide on its participation in the Mk III upgrade if it is to join the project under the current agreed terms. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Germany has until the end of the third quarter (Q3) of 2022 to join the Tiger Mk III attack helicopter upgrade programme under the current contract conditions, Airbus said ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show running from 22 to 26 June.    Speaking to   Janes  an...

ILA 2022: NHI moves to increase NH90 availability

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
The German military is a major operator of the NH90 (seen at ILA 2022), and having suffered poor availability rates in the past, it is looking to increase the type's flying hours through improved support from the manufacturer. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  NHIndustries (NHI) and its Airbus Helicopters primary stakeholder have introduced a series of measures designed to increase the availability of the NH90 rotorcraft, at the same time as speeding up the various retrofit programmes for its customers.    Speaking to   Janes   and othe...

ILA 2022: Industrial partners seek to break FCAS impasse

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
An artist's rendering of the New Generation Fighter and Remote Carrier elements of the Future Combat Air System. (MTU Aero)  The primary industrial partners heading up the trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) will look to use the ILA Berlin Air Show to break the impasse surrounding the programme.  With development work on the programme having been halted since March because of a dispute over work-share, Germany's Airbus, France's Dassault, and Spain's Indra will be looking to the biennial event bei...

ILA 2022: Luftwaffe retires final A310 tanker-transport aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
The Luftwaffe retired the last of its A310 MRTT aircraft the week prior to the ILA Berlin Air Show. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The Luftwaffe has retired its Airbus A310 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, with the final example being withdrawn from service ahead of ILA Berlin Air Show.  The Bundeswehr announced the milestone on 15 June, noting that aircraft 10+25 ‘Hermann Kohl' has ceased operations after nearly 35 years.  “The air force recently had five Airbus [A]310-304 aircraft at its disposal, four of which were designated as MRTT,...

ILA 2022: Germany continues impressive sales run for F-35

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
An Italian Air Force F-35A featured in the static line-up at ILA Berlin Air Show 2022, with Germany having selected the type to partially replace its ageing Tornados. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Germany's recent volte-face on procuring the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) was the latest step in what continues to be an impressive 100% sales record for the platform in international competitions.  Having previously discounted the US-made ‘stealth fighter' on political grounds, Berlin announced in March that it had select...

SpaceX rocket launches Germany's military radar satellite

By Olivia Savage 21 June 2022
An artistic impression of Airbus SARah-1 satellite. The platform weighs approximately 4,000 kg and was launched onboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 18 June. (Airbus)  Germany's SARah-1 military radar Earth observation satellite was launched onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 18 June, Space X announced the same day.  The SARah-1 satellite, designed and built by Airbus, was launched from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, Space X said.  According to the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), the SARah system...

ILA 2022: German Navy receives first ‘Step 2' Sea Lion helicopter

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
The German Navy is to receive 18 Sea Lions in all, with the first of the upgraded ‘Step 2'-standard helicopters having recently been delivered. (Rohde-Schwarz)  The German Navy has received into service the first Sea Lion variant of the NHIndustries NH90 helicopter to be upgraded to the latest Step 2 standard, the chief of the service's aviation wing announced ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show.  Kommandeur Marineflieger Sea Captain Thorsten Bobzin, said on 15 June that the 13th of 18 Sea Lion helicopters currently under contract was the first...

ILA 2022: Eurofighter presses Berlin for Tranche 5 buy

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
With the Luftwaffe showcasing its Eurofighter at ILA 2022, Airbus will be using the event to press the German government to commit to a Tranche 5 buy as part of its wider Tornado replacement plan. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Eurofighter has pressed the German government to commit to its previously announced plan to buy Eurofighter Tranche 5 combat aircraft.  With stakeholder Airbus having earlier raised the issue of an outstanding Eurofighter buy in the immediate aftermath of Berlin‘s Tornado replacement announcement in March, Eurofighter chief...

ILA 2022: Germany seeks increased helicopter interoperability with Netherlands

By Gareth Jennings 21 June 2022
A German Army H145 on static display at ILA 2022. With both Germany and the Netherlands looking for a new training helicopter, the H145 is a likely candidate. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The recent integration of the Netherlands into the German Division Schnelle Kräfte (DSK) Rapid Forces Division is driving a desire to maximise the commonality and interoperability of equipment, especially helicopters.  Speaking ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show under the Chatham House Rule, a senior official noted this bilateral ambition, saying that the ideal en...

Eurosatory 2022: Tactical Heron eyes manoeuvring forces, awaits launch customer

By Huw Williams 20 June 2022
The T-Heron is the smallest member of the Heron family. Little imagery of the aircraft is available. (Israel Aerospace Industries)  Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is targeting its Tactical Heron (also known as T-Heron) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for use with manoeuvring forces who face constraints not experienced by operators of larger platforms.  Speaking to Janes at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris, Orna Shemesh, director of marketing and sales for IAI's military aircraft group, described T-Heron as offering operators “around two-thirds of t...

Philippines multirole fighter project seeks funding

By Akhil Kadidal 20 June 2022
SAAB's JAS 39D Gripen is a leading contender for the Philippine Air Force multirole fighter project owing to its capabilities and affordability. (Gripen International)  The outgoing Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's office has approved the purchase of the air force's long-standing multirole fighter (MRF) project. However, funding for the project is expected from the new government.    Speaking to  Janes  , the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) confirmed that the MRF project has been approved. “Unfortunately...

Eurosatory 2022: R&S unveils new radio monitoring software

By Olivia Savage 20 June 2022
Rohde & Schwarz demonstrates a new prototype task-orientated software for radio monitoring at Eurosatory 2022. (Olivia Savage)  Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) has unveiled a new radio monitoring software at Eurosatory 2022 defence exhibition in Paris.    The software ‘Ceptor' controls radio monitoring systems, and has an intuitive structured user-interface that guides the user through typical work procedures, Luc Dondainas, domain expert in communications Intelligence (COMINT) and manportable communications electronic support measures (C-ESM) at...

Eurosatory 2022: Marduk to focus on Shark C-UAV gimbal, secures customer

By Huw Williams 20 June 2022
Marduk's Shark gimbal fitted with a range of cameras for surveillance and tracking. (Janes/Huw Williams)    Marduk will focus development efforts on the gimbal and target detection and tracking capabilities of its Shark counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) system, company representatives told   Janes  .   Speaking at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris, Leet Rauno Lember, Marduk's chief operating officer, said that the company has recognised that the Shark system's gimbal provides a precise and fast target tracking capability, and...

Boeing eyes NATO's next-generation helicopter project

By Gillian Rich 17 June 2022
Interest is growing for Boeing Chinook helicopters amid European customers. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Boeing officials said that the company is tracking the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) initiative.  On the sidelines of the NATO Ministers of Defence meeting on 16 June, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom announced a EUR26.7 million (USD27.9 million) agreement to work on developing the NGRC. The group will look at hybrid electric propulsion and open sy...

Boeing plans to finish KC-46A boom design in 2023

By Gillian Rich 17 June 2022
Boeing expects its boom fix for the KC-46A tanker to gain FAA approval in 2023. (Nellis AFB Public Affairs)  Boeing said it is still planning to finish the redesign of the KC-46A boom actuator in 2023, following a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the KC-46A Pegasus tanker in June.  The GAO's weapon systems annual assessment reiterated findings from a prior report that the “excessive thrust needed to make contact could cause the receiver aircraft to strike the boom and damage the aircraft”. Auditors expect Boeing to finish the...

Jordan signs LOA for F-16 Block 70s

By Gareth Jennings 17 June 2022
Having been approved for 16 F-16 Block 70s earlier in 2022, Jordan has now signed an LOA for eight. It is likely that these are a first batch, with another eight to follow. (Lockheed Martin)  Jordan is to join the international F-16 Block 70/72 programme, with manufacturer Lockheed Martin announcing on 16 June that the country has signed a letter of acceptance (LOA) for the aircraft.  According to the announcement, the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) is to receive eight Block 70 aircraft (powered by the General Electric F100-GE-129D engine r...

German deal for more P-8s not yet finalised, interest growing because of Ukraine conflict

By Gillian Rich 17 June 2022
The war in Ukraine has increased interest in P-8 aircraft. (US Navy)  Boeing has said that some details need to be worked through before a deal with Germany for more P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft is finalised.  “You've all seen the recent reporting about Germany's going to buy seven more [P-8s],” Perry Yaw, senior manager of business development for mobility and surveillance at Boeing, told reporters on 15 June. “I'm waiting to fulfill that request. I think there's still some things that need to be worked through in Germany before we...

Netherlands selects Millennium to replace ageing Hercules

By Gareth Jennings 17 June 2022
The Netherlands is to acquire five C-390 Millennium airlifters from Brazil (pictured) to replace four C-130 Hercules that have reached the end of their service lives. (Embraer)  The Netherlands has selected the Embraer C-390 Millennium to replace its ageing fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules airlifters.  The country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the decision on 16 June, saying that it is to order five of the Brazilian-made C-390 jet transport aircraft to replace the four US-built C-130s that have reached the end of their service...
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