Air news

Russian Navy announces multiple exercises

By Tony Roper 24 January 2022
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) announced on 21 January that it had received direct notification from the Russian Navy that the service intends to carry out live artillery and missile firing to the southwest of Ireland at the beginning of Februa...

Rise of the robots: AI in the airborne battlespace

By Gareth Jennings 24 January 2022
The UK-led Tempest future combat aircraft will feature AI and autonomy at its core. These capabilities will extend to the platform's unmanned ‘loyal wingmen' and the wider Future Combat Air System. (BAE Systems)  The combat aircraft on today's drawing boards are being designed with artificial intelligence (AI) and/or autonomy at the core of their capabilities, and the UK-led Tempest programme is at the forefront of this global trend.  As defined by the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), AI encompasses the theories and tech...

US Army issues new Sources Sought for an LMAMS loitering weapon system

By Robin Hughes 24 January 2022
The US Army Contracting Command on 19 January issued another Sources Sought notification for an organic small unit-level Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) precision-guided loitering weapon system capability.  The army issued a very sim...

Uganda opens helicopter MRO facility

By Jeremy Binnie 24 January 2022
An Mi-24 attack helicopter is worked on at the Pro Heli International Services facility that was opened at Uganda's Nakasongola Air Base on 22 January. (President Yoweri Museveni)  Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni opened what was described as Sub-Saharan Africa's only helicopter maintenance, repair, and overall (MRO) facility at Nakasongola Air Base on 22 January.  The president commended the Ministry of Defence for the initiative and tweeted that the facility “will help Uganda save about USD3.5 million that could have been spent on transpo...

India tests new BrahMos variant

By Parth Shukla & Shaurav Gairola 21 January 2022
BrahMos Aerospace conducted additional test-firing of its universal long-range supersonic cruise missile system from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, on the east coast of India, at 1030 h local time on 20 January....

Update: Colombia eyes Danish F-16s as potential Kfir replacement

By Roberto Jose Garcia Hernandez 21 January 2022
The Colombian Air Force (FAC) is interested in acquiring an undisclosed number of Royal Danish Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16s to replace its ageing fleet of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Kfir C-10/C-12 fighters.    A FAC source told...

F-35 to make NATO Southern Air Policing debut

By Gareth Jennings 21 January 2022
Dutch F-35As are soon to patrol the skies over Bulgaria as the Netherlands announces the deployment of two jets to NATO's Southern Air Policing mission from April to May. (RNLAF)  The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is to be deployed on NATO's Southern Air Policing mission for the first time, with the Netherlands announcing on 21 January it is sending jets to Bulgaria.  The Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it is to send a pair of Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-35As to conduct quick reaction alert (QRA)...

British Army showcases new AH-64E Apache

By Gareth Jennings 21 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...

First Rafales arrive in Greece

By Gareth Jennings 19 January 2022
The first six of an initial batch of 18 Dassault Rafale combat aircraft ordered by the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) arrived in Greece on 19 January. The aircraft were flown to the HAF's 332 Squadron at Tanagra Air Base in the south of the country and f...

UK notes ‘considerable interest' in soon-to-be-surplus Hercules airlifters

By Gareth Jennings 19 January 2022
With the UK set to retire its remaining 14 Hercules airlifters on 31 March 2023, the MoD told   Janes  that considerable interest has been received in the fleet form a wide range of parties.  (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The United Kingdom has received “considerable interest” in its fleet of soon-to-be-retired Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules airlifters.  A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Janes on 19 January that the sales campaign being run for the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) one remaining short-bod...

NATO publishes ‘Overarching Space Policy' document

By Olivia Savage 19 January 2022
NATO headquarters. (NATO)  On 17 January NATO published its ‘Overarching Space Policy', setting out the fundamental aspects of the space domain and its importance in preserving the alliance's security and prosperity.  It is an acknowledgement of NATO's increasing reliance upon space-based capabilities and their importance in supporting the delivery of communications, navigation, intelligence, and situational awareness, among other operational necessities.  The policy document started with a framework agreement in June 2019, when the alliance...

Indra to equip latest electronic warfare systems onto Spanish Army's Chinooks

By Olivia Savage 19 January 2022
Indra is to update the Spanish Army's Boeing Chinook CH-47F electronic warfare systems. (Indra)  Indra has signed a EUR35 million (USD39.8 million) contract with the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) to integrate its latest electronic warfare (EW) systems onto the Spanish Army's Boeing CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters, the company announced on 18 January.  According to Indra, the helicopters will be integrated with the company's ALR-400FD radar alerter, InWarner sensor, and InShield directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system.  T...

Chile buys three Boeing E-3D Sentry aircraft from UK

By Santiago Rivas 19 January 2022
Chile has acquired three former RAF Sentry AEW1 aircraft, one of which will be used for spares. (Crown Copyright)    The Chilean Air Force (FACh) has purchased three Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning Mk 1 (AEW1) aircraft from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) for an undisclosed amount, FACh sources told   Janes  .   The aircraft, one of which will be used for spare parts, will replace the FACh's single Boeing 707-385C that was modified in Israel for AEW missions, called IAI Phalcon in Israel and Cóndor in Chile....

Piaggio Aerospace relaunches sale process

By Charles Forrester 19 January 2022
Piaggio Aerospace announced on 19 January that it was re-opening the sale process to acquire the company. (Piaggio Aerospace/Paul Cordwell)  Piaggio Aerospace announced on 19 January that it has formally restarted the process for finding a new owner following the collapse of a potential bid last year.  The company's Extraordinary Commissioner, Vincenzo Nicastro, announced the relaunching of the sale, with formal advertisements being placed in a number of financial news outlets.  “Discussions with a number of counterparties are still ongoing,...

RN sets sights on low-cost, fixed-wing UAV under Project Vampire

By Richard Scott 18 January 2022
A QinetiQ Banshee Jet 80+ target vehicle pictured on its launcher on HMS   Prince ofWales  's flight deck during trials in September 2021.  (Crown Copyright)  The UK Royal Navy (RN) is moving forward with plans to procure a low-cost fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as an initial increment of its Future Maritime Aviation Force (FMAF).    Dubbed Project Vampire, the acquisition aims to assess uncrewed or autonomous air systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electromagnetic operations...

El Salvador begins air force modernisation effort

By Santiago Rivas 18 January 2022
The Salvadoran Air Force (FAS), as part of a wider modernisation plan started this month, has received four MD530F helicopters donated by the United States, which are being assembled at Ilopango Air Base, an FAS source told   Janes...

Philippines progresses plan to procure 32 new S-70i Black Hawk helicopters

By Ridzwan Rahmat 18 January 2022
Manila has made further progress with its plan to procure 32 additional new Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).  Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana disclosed on 16 January...

Spain flies Eurofighter with Meteor

By Gareth Jennings 18 January 2022
A Spanish Eurofighter combat aircraft carrying a pair of Meteor missiles on its underfuselage weapon stations. (Spanish Air Force)  The Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Espanol: EdAE) has begun flight operations of the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft armed with the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), the service announced on 15 January.  According to the service's official Twitter account, a Eurofighter (designated C.16 in national service) flew operationally for the first time with the Meteor missile on 14 Ja...

Australian, New Zealand defence forces launch Tonga relief operations

By Jon Grevatt & Ridzwan Rahmat 18 January 2022
The Royal Australian Navy's landing helicopter dock ship HMAS   Adelaide   pictured departing Sydney in support of disaster relief efforts in Tonga.   (Commonwealth of Australia)  Australia and New Zealand have dispatched vessels and surveillance aircraft to assist with recovery and relief efforts in Tonga, which was hit by a tsunami caused by an underwater volcano eruption in the South Pacific on 15 January.  The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) told Janes on 18 January that Australian Defence Force (ADF) a...

Philippines to order more Black Hawk helos

By Gareth Jennings 17 January 2022
The Philippines is to acquire a further 32 Black Hawk helicopters to add to the 16 received. (Lockheed Martin)  The Philippines is to order 32 additional Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopters to add to the 16 already acquired (of which one was recently lost in an accident).  Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said on 16 January that the country's recent disaster relief experiences have underscored the need to replace the armed forces' ageing Bell UH-1 ‘Huey' helicopters with more Black Hawks.  “The lack of transpor...
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