Air news

Allies continue to reinforce NATO's flanks

By Nicholas Fiorenza 18 February 2022
The UK is doubling the number of personnel in the EFP battlegroup it leads in Estonia and sending additional equipment, including Challenger 2 tanks (pictured) and AFVs. (Estonian MoD)  NATO allies announced the further reinforcement of NATO's flanks during a meeting of the alliance's defence ministers in Brussels on 16–17 February as Russia appeared to be continuing rather than drawing down its military build-up against Ukraine.  During a press conference after the meeting on 17 February, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that B...

Swiss F/A-18 fighters complete phase 1 SLEP

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 17 February 2022
The F/A-18C/D fighter aircraft of the Swiss Air Force completed the first phase of a service life extension programme in late 2021, Armasuisse announced on 14 February. (US Air Force)  The Swiss Air Force's Boeing F/A-18C/D fighter aircraft fleet has completed the first phase of the service life extension programme (SLEP) that will keep it in service through 2030.  On 14 February the Swiss Federal Office for Defence Procurement (Armasuisse) announced that by the end of 2021, the 30 F/A-18C/Ds in service with the Swiss Air Force had received u...

Singapore Airshow 2022: Singapore receives initial batch of upgraded F-16s

By Ridzwan Rahmat 17 February 2022
A Republic of Singapore F-16 on display at Singapore Airshow 2022. Based on information received by   Janes  at the event, this example has yet to receive the upgrades that were disclosed by MINDEF in 2015.   (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has taken delivery of an initial batch of upgraded F-16s.  The milestone was confirmed by RSAF chief Major General Kelvin Khong, in a written reply to questions that had been sent to the service in the run-up to Singapore Airshow 2022.  “Our...

Work starts on second phase of Nigerian Super Tucano base

By Jeremy Binnie 17 February 2022
US Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard stands in front of three A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft in the hangar at Kainji Air Base during the ground-breaking ceremony on 15 February. (US Mission Nigeria)  The ground-breaking ceremony for the second phase of the infrastructure project for Nigeria's new A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft at Kainji Air Base was held on 15 February, the US embassy in Abuja announced on the following day.  It said the USD38 million project will build sunshades for the aircraft, munitions storage and...

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

By Gareth Jennings 17 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.)                         

Armscor reveals majority of SAAF fleet grounded

By Helmoed-Römer Heitman 17 February 2022
A briefing by South Africa's Armscor defence procurement agency to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence on 16 February has revealed that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is facing even more problems due to underfunding t...

Germany considering joint Dutch-German training helicopter fleet

By Nigel Torp Petersen 17 February 2022
The H145M is a strong contender should the Bundeswehr opt to acquire additional light utility helicopters for the International Helicopter Training Centre. (Airbus Helicopters)  The German Army has expressed interest in a new light helicopter to provide a common platform for the initial flight training of Dutch and German student helicopter pilots. Speaking at the International Military Helicopter conference in London on 16 February, Brigadier General Andreas Pfeifer, deputy commander of the Rapid Forces Division said that the army would be i...

US Army waiting on Chinook Block 2 qualification before committing to production

By Gareth Jennings 17 February 2022
With more than 500 CH-47F and MH-47G Chinooks in its inventory, the US Army is yet to commit to the Block 2 upgrade that is geared at restoring lost lift capacity. (US Army)    The US Army is waiting on the Block 2 standard qualification completion of the Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter before committing itself to a production decision, a senior service official told   Janes  on 15 February.   Speaking at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference in London on 15–17 February, Brigadier General Robert...

USAF seeks 'operational return‘ on ABMS, JADC2 investments

By Carlo Munoz 17 February 2022
A prototype fire-control radar is being used to track threats and pass information to weapons during ABMS tests at White Sands Missile Range in 2020. (US Air Force)  Top US Air Force (USAF) leaders are planning to lock an “operational return” on the service's investments on its Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) and its portion of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capability within the next three to five years, said USAF Secretary Frank Kendall.  “There are a lot of good things happening. I have been trying to get [progra...

Update – Singapore Airshow 2022: DSTA signs data analytics accords with Boeing and Airbus

By Jon Grevatt 17 February 2022
Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) has signed separate agreements with Boeing and Airbus to expand collaboration on leveraging data to support the sustainment of military aircraft.  The DSTA said on 15 February that the agreem...

Singapore Airshow 2022: India positions Tejas as most competitively priced light combat aircraft in market

By Ridzwan Rahmat 17 February 2022
The Tejas Mk1 at the Singapore Airshow 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  The Indian Air Force (IAF) is showcasing its Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in Singapore for the first time as part of efforts to position the platform for requirements in the region.  The service has deployed three airframes to the country as part of the aircraft's debut at Singapore Airshow 2022, which runs from 15 to 18 February. One of the airframes took part in a static display alongside a delegation of Indian government officials who were there to explain the vario...

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 (...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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