Air news

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Luftwaffe receives first Hercules

By Gareth Jennings 21 February 2022
The Luftwaffe received the first of six Lockheed Martin KC/C-130J Hercules aircraft, with the arrival of aircraft 55 + 01 (tail number 5930) at the Évreux-Fauville Air Base in northern France on 19 February.  The arrival of the first Luftwaffe Herc...

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...

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...

IAI seeks to lean on technology gains to boost profile in Asia-Pacific

By Oishee Majumdar 21 February 2022
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) seeks to build on its investments in technologies to expand in the Asia-Pacific, a spokesperson for the company has told Janes.  Speaking from the Singapore Airshow, which concluded on 18 February, the spokesperson...

Singapore Airshow 2022: PT Dirgantara to sweeten deal for Philippine patrol aircraft requirement

By Ridzwan Rahmat 18 February 2022
A cut-out model of the CN235 MPA at Singapore Airshow 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  Indonesian state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara (PTDI) is sweetening its offer for the Philippine Air Force's (PAF's) requirement for two maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) platforms by offering to work with local industry players on the project.  A PTDI representative told Janes at Singapore Airshow 2022 that the company has been unsuccessful in making a bid in the programme multiple times since 2014, but will now change its strategy to a more direct...

Singapore Airshow 2022: Leonardo optimistic on prospects for Malaysian maritime patrol aircraft contest

By Ridzwan Rahmat 18 February 2022
The ATR 72MP aircraft, which has been offered to Malaysia in a contest for maritime patrol aircraft. (Leonardo)  Leonardo has confirmed its participation in Malaysia's maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) contest and is confident that the company has submitted the best proposal for this requirement.  The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) issued a tender notice seeking two MPAs for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in August 2020. The notice was published in the country's daily newspapers and was also dispatched to the embassies of selected...

Singapore Airshow 2022: Indonesia's CN-235 gunship plans delayed by push for aviation biofuel

By Ridzwan Rahmat 18 February 2022
A model of the gunship variant of the CN-235 that was on display at Singapore Airshow 2020. The model was not displayed at Airshow 2022 given prevailing uncertainties over the programme. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  Indonesia's plan to develop a gunship variant of the CN-235 twin-engine multi-purpose aircraft has been delayed indefinitely amid a push for the country to commercialise a home-grown aviation biofuel type.    The matter was revealed to  Janes  by an official from state-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTD...

India closes tender for loitering munitions

By Parth Shukla & Sunil Nair 18 February 2022
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 14 February closed the expression of interest (EOI) for the procurement of loitering munitions for the Indian Army.  The MoD issued the EOI for medium-range precision kill systems (MRPKS) in December 2021. Th...

Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard plans to modernise fleet, expand surveillance, and boost SAR capabilities

By Alejandro Sanchez 18 February 2022
The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) will focus on modernising its fleet while expanding surveillance and search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities this year, according to its 2022 Annual Plan, which was reviewed by Janes.  The main objectives, accord...

Update: US Army notes new and renewed interest in MD 530 helos for allied nations

By Gareth Jennings 18 February 2022
The US Army told   Janes  that it has received new and renewed interest from allied partner nations in the MD Helicopters, Inc. MD 530 light attack rotorcraft.  (MD Helicopters Inc.)    The US Army has received new and renewed interest from allied partner nations in the MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) MD 530 light attack rotorcraft, a service spokesperson told  Janes  on 17 February.   With the US Army Multi-National Aviation Special Project Office (MASPO) currently providing MD 530s to allied na...

US Navy taps additive manufacturing to help keep E-6B Mercury aircraft flying

By Michael Fabey 18 February 2022
The US Navy is using additive manufacturing to replace parts on its E-6B Mercury aircaft. (US Navy)  The US Navy (USN) started installing water separators about its E-6B Mercury communications relay and strategic airborne command post aircraft in January that had been made through additive manufacturing, according to Captain Adam Scott, the programme manager for the Airborne Strategic Command, Control and Communications Program Office.  Using additive manufacturing to secure parts for the E-6Bs is an example of the lengths the programme offic...
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