Air news

IAV 2022: FN and Thales demonstrate RWS rocket capability

By Andrew Galer 27 January 2022
FN Herstal has been working with Thales Belgium to demonstrate a guided rocket capability that could be added to the FN deFNder Remote Weapon Station (RWS) system.  Speaking at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) conference being held in Lond...

Delivery of Bulgarian F-16s to be delayed

By Aleksandar Mladenov & Gareth Jennings 27 January 2022
Bulgaria is set to receive eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft, analogous to the US Air Force M7 standard pictured, with a request for a further eight. The country has been told to expect a delay in its deliveries due to supplier and Covid problems. (US Air Force)  Delivery of the eight Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft for the Bulgarian Air Force is to be delayed by ‘several months' due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Bulgarian Defence Minister Stefan Yanev announced the news during a hearing in front of the Defence Committee...

Spain approves Eurodrone participation

By Gareth Jennings 26 January 2022
A scale model of the Eurodrone in Luftwaffe markings was shown at the Berlin Security Conference in November 2021. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Spain has formally approved its participation in the Eurodrone project, joining partners France, Germany, and Italy, which have already signed off on their involvement in developing the European unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  The Spanish Council of Ministers gave its consent to the country's inclusion in the Eurodrone project, also known as the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Remotely Pilo...

US approves Egyptian C-130J purchase

By Gareth Jennings 26 January 2022
Egypt is to acquire the latest C-130J variant Hercules to augment its older model aircraft. (Lockheed Martin)  The United States has approved the sale to Egypt of 12 Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules airlifters for USD2.2 billion.  Announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 25 January, the approval covers the ‘long-bodied' C-130J-30-variant Hercules, as well as mission equipment, spares, training, and support.  “This airlift capability would assist with [Egypt's] border security, the interdiction of known terrorist elemen...

German NH90 helicopters to receive Rohde & Schwarz Soveron radios

By Olivia Savage 26 January 2022
Rhode & Schwarz Soveron AR Airborne Radio (Janes/Pritish Dhingra)  Rhode & Schwarz has been contracted to equip the German Navy's NHIndustries NH90 Multi-Role Frigate Helicopter (MRFH) with its software-defined Soveron AR (airborne radios), the company announced on 25 January.  The company stated that it will deliver its Soveron radios onto 31 German Navy MRFH helicopters, each aircraft will be fitted with three VHF/UHF transceivers. The systems will be embedded with communication security.  A Rhode & Schwarz spokesperson told Janes that the...

Qatar receives M-346 jet trainers

By Gareth Jennings 26 January 2022
One of three M-346 advanced jet trainer aircraft recently delivered to the Qatar Emiri Air Force under the scope of its International Flight Training School agreement with Italy was seen at a recent pilot graducation ceremony at Al Udeid Air Base. (Government of Qatar)  Qatar has received its first Leonardo M-346 Master advanced jet trainer aircraft from Italy, the manufacturer confirmed to Janes on 26 January.  The M-346s were ordered as part of an agreement for Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) training at Italy's International Flight Training...

Australia receives first upgraded C-130J-30 Block 8.1 aircraft

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 26 January 2022
On 19 January the RAAF received the first Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft to be upgraded to the Block 8.1 software and hardware standard. (Royal Australian Air Force)  The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received the first Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft upgraded to Block 8.1 standard, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 19 January.  The aircraft, which arrived at RAAF Richmond air base in New South Wales, was upgraded by Lockheed Martin in the United States with support fr...

Year-long continuing resolution could delay submarine Columbia, US Navy official says

By Michael Fabey 26 January 2022
The Columbia-class submarine programme could be delayed by a yearlong continuing resolution, the US Navy says. (US Navy )  A year-long continuing resolution (CR) to freeze funding could cause delays to the Columbia-class (SSNB 826) ballistic-missile submarine programme, according to Rear Admiral John Gumbleton, deputy assistant secretary of the US Navy (USN) for budget and director of the USN Fiscal Management Division.  Navy officials have been adamant for years that the service could not afford any additional delays to the Columbia programm...

Russian build-up on Ukrainian border enters new stage

25 January 2022
Russian troops and equipment arrived in Belarus this month. (Russian MoD)  Following a relative lull in activity after 1 January, Russia's armed forces appear to have entered their highest level of activity and movement since the autumn-winter build-up began in late October.    Evidence indicates activity from all of Russia's major regional commands, and Moscow has also signalled that it will move a large number of surface vessels, including six landing ship tanks (LSTs), a cruiser, and a destroyer, into the Mediterranean Sea, where they...

Saudi receives first Chinooks

By Gareth Jennings 25 January 2022
Saudi Arabia has received its first CH-47F Chinook helicopters, similar to this US Army model. (US Army)    Boeing has handed over the first CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters for Saudi Arabia, a company representative told   Janes  on 24 January.   Confirmation came after an image of at least the first four helicopters in Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) livery apparently at a port of debarkation was posted online, seeming to confirm that deliveries of up to 48 such helicopters approved by the US government in 2016 had b...

Philippines receives military equipment from China

By Parth Shukla 25 January 2022
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received military equipment worth RMB76 million (USD12 million) from China as a donation.  The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) said in a statement in mid-January that the donation compr...

MQ-8C Fire Scout on maiden USN deployment

By Richard Scott 25 January 2022
The US Navy has declared the MQ-8C unmanned helicopter to be operationally ready, commencing its first shipborne deployment in December 2021. (Northrop Grumman)  The US Navy (USN) has commenced a first shipborne deployment of the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial system (UAS), the service revealed on 24 January.  Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Detachment 5 (HSC-22 DET 5) was deployed operationally from the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) on 14 December 2021. Milwaukee is supporting operations in the US 4th Fleet...

Algeria receives C-130J transport aircraft

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 25 January 2022
Algeria received the first of four C-130J-30 transport aircraft (shown here in Royal Canadian Air Force markings) on 23 January. (Lockheed Martin)  The Algerian Air Force has received its first Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft.  The US Embassy in Algiers announced the delivery on 23 January in a post on its official Facebook account, noting that this is the first of four aircraft that Algeria ordered in 2018.  This is the first time that details on the sale of C-130Js to Algeria are made public, with the US...

Indonesia awaits ‘contract activation' for Rafale multirole fighters

By Ridzwan Rahmat 25 January 2022
A French Navy Rafale M, seen here on aircraft carrier FNS   Charles de Gaulle   while it was in Singapore. Indonesia has plans to procure 36 units of the aircraft type.   (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has moved ahead with a plan to procure Rafale multirole fighter aircraft from Dassault Aviation.  In his response to questions at the MoD's annual leaders' rally for 2022 on 20 January, Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto told reporters that negotiations for the programm...

Malaysian air force receives two AW139 helicopters on lease

By Ridzwan Rahmat 25 January 2022
The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has taken delivery of two Leonardo AW139 helicopters, which will be operated by the service on lease.  The airframes, which are being leased from the Malaysian company Westar Aviation Services, were received by...

UK Royal Air Force announces retirement destinations of its BAe146 fleet

24 January 2022
The BAe146 has been in service with the Royal Air Force since 1983. (BAE Systems)  The UK Royal Air Force announced on 21 January that of its remaining four BAe146 aircraft, the two BAe146 Mk2 will go to museums in the UK and the two BAe146 Mk3 aircraft have been acquired by a civilian operator. The aircraft will be flown to their respective retirement locations over the next few weeks. The RAF said of the two Mk2 aircraft, one would be delivered to the air museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, and the other, to the South Wales Aviation Museum a...

Hensoldt to equip German NH90 helicopters with protection systems

By Olivia Savage 24 January 2022
NH90 TTH (Janes/Paul Jackson)  Hensoldt will equip 82 NHIndustries NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopters (TTH) with its latest Airborne Missile Protection System (AMPS), the company announced on 21 January.  After the integration phase of the AMPS, the helicopters will be equipped within the framework of Germany's TTH Operational Revision (THOR) programme from 2025.  According to the company, AMPS is a protection system that can detect missile, laser, and radar threats, while automatically triggering targeted countermeasures. In its most basic...

Elbit Systems UK builds British team to compete for domestic UAS projects

By Olivia Savage 24 January 2022
Elbit Systems UK forms British industrial team to deliver UAS. (Elbit Systems UK)  Elbit Systems UK has formed and will lead a British industrial team of suppliers to compete for emerging unmanned aircraft system (UAS) programmes, the company announced on 20 January.  While Elbit Systems UK is experienced in UAS design and systems integration, the company hopes that utilising the skills of partner organisations and suppliers will enable the team to collectively deliver fully integrated and supported UAS capabilities. Co-operatively, Team Elbi...

Update - British Army showcases new AH-64E Apache

By Gareth Jennings 24 January 2022
The British Army has so far received 14 of 50 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters. Deliveries will continue till 2024. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The British Army showcased its latest Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter to the media during an event at the type's main operating base at Wattisham Airfield on 20 January.  At the event, which was attended by Minister of State for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin and top-level military officials, air and ground crew presented the AH-64E that is being introduced into service w...

Russian Aerospace Forces received two more Su-57 in late 2021

24 January 2022
An Su-57 with bort number 52; it is likely to be one of the pair of production aircraft delivered to the VKS in Q4 2021. (Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant)  The third and fourth production Su-57 aircraft were delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) in late 2021. They were among 77 aircraft delivered to the Russian Armed Forces during the year. A note on the delivery of these two aircraft was originally included in a wider press release on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defence, released on 20 January 2022, and although the co...
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