Air news

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Italy moves towards F-35B joint force

By Gareth Jennings 31 January 2022
An air force and a navy aircraft flying together during a combined exercise that was geared at integrating Italy's F-35B assets into a joint force. (Italian Ministry of Defence)  Italy is progressing towards a joint force concept for the operation of its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), with the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) and the Italian Navy (Marina Militare: MM) holding a combined exercise on 27 January.  According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the air force and navy co...

DroneShield secures TAK compliance

By Gerrard Cowan 31 January 2022
An operator using a DroneSentry-X tablet with TAK enabled. DroneGun MkIII is pictured to the right. (DroneShield)    DroneShield's command-and-control (C2) and sensor systems are now compliant with the US military's Team Awareness Kit (TAK) situational awareness solution, meaning the company's products can contribute to TAK's common operating picture,   Janes  has learned.   DroneShield is an Australian-US developer of artificial intelligence (AI)-based platforms designed to protect against threats such as unmanned aerial...

IAV 2022: British Army to launch RAS competitions this year

By Olivia Savage 28 January 2022
The British Army intends to hold a competition in April to determine the integrator for its Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) programme, according to a service spokesperson.  Speaking at the International Armoured Vehicle 2022 conference in Lond...

Novaria Group acquires Advanced Coating

By Marc Selinger 28 January 2022
US aerospace and defence parts manufacturer Novaria Group has completed its fourth acquisition in less than a year by buying Advanced Coating, which provides protective coatings for military equipment and other applications.  The addition of the co...

Italian Air Force to deploy MC-27J Praetorian by 2030

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 28 January 2022
The Italian Air Force will operate the MC-27J Praetorian configuration by 2030. The photo shows an MC-27J Praetorian with winglets. (Leonardo SpA)    The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) has confirmed to   Janes  that it will deploy the Leonardo MC-27J Praetorian special operations aircraft by 2030.     Speaking to   Janes  on 27 January, a spokesperson of the press office of the AMI said that the development and serialisation of the Praetorian roll-on/roll-off palletised mission syste...

Terma to supply C-Flex CMS for Indonesia's KCR-60 vessels

By Oishee Majumdar 28 January 2022
The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) has approved the procurement of Danish company Terma's C-Flex combat management system (CMS) for its KCR-60 guided-missile fast attack craft.  Terma said the approval comes af...

NATO bolsters enhanced air policing mission

By Gareth Jennings 27 January 2022
Two of the F-16s that Denmark is contributing to NATO's enhanced air policing mission. (NATO Allied Air Command)  NATO has bolstered its enhanced air policing (eAP) mission, with nations providing additional aircraft as concerns over Russian military action in Ukraine grow.  The alliance announced on 26 January that US Air Force (USAF) Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles and Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons were being dispatched to Estonia and Lithuania respectively to supplement the current Baltic Air Policing miss...

Stratolaunch LLC to support the US Air Force with its hypersonic testing programme

By Nigel Torp Petersen 27 January 2022
The Model 351 Stratolaunch underwent modifications between December 2019 and April 2021 to allow its carriage of Talon-series hypersonic test vehicles. The aircraft successfully flew its third test flight in January 2022. (Stratolaunch LLC)  US-based hypersonic flight-test services provider Stratolaunch LLC announced on 25 January that it had signed a contract to assist the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) with its hypersonic flight research programme.  In partnership with US information technology consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, Str...

USMC stands up first operational CH-53K unit

By Gareth Jennings 27 January 2022
A CH-53K King Stallion (foreground) and a CH-53E Super Stallion (background) are staged during a redesignation ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, on 24 January. The squadron received its first CH-53K King Stallion, and the ceremony signified the beginning of the US Marine Corps' modernisation from the legacy CH-53E to the CH-53K in support of the expeditionary warfare vision for future-force employment. (US Marines)  The US Marine Corps (USMC) has stood up its first operational unit for the Sikorsky CH-53K King St...
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