Air news

Rheinmetall and UVision agree strategic partnership on loitering munition

By Nicholas Fiorenza 17 January 2022
The US Marine Corps is equipping vehicles with Hero-120 for its OPF-M requirement, and Rheinmetall and UVision foresee integrating Hero into Lynx and Fuchs armoured vehicles. (UVision)  Rheinmetall announced in a press release on 12 January that it had signed a strategic partnership agreement with UVision on the Israeli company's Hero loitering munition aimed in the medium term at establishing a joint venture for the development and production of the munition. Romano Ricca, chief business development and sales officer of Rheinmetall Weapons a...

China's XAC reveals possible new tanker variant

By Andreas Rupprecht & Alessandra Giovanzanti 17 January 2022
China's Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) is progressing rapidly with the development of both the Y-20B heavy transport aircraft fitted with Shenyang WS-20 high-bypass turbofan engines and its KJ-600 carrier-capable airborne early warning...

Leonardo contracted to help develop Eurofighter ‘Radar 1' for Germany, Spain

By Olivia Savage 14 January 2022
A Eurofighter Typhoon with a Captor-E radar displayed in the open nose. (Hensoldt)  On 14 January Leonardo announced that it had signed a EUR260 million (USD297 million) contract with Hensoldt to contribute towards the development of the Eurofighter Typhoon European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk1 E-scan radar ordered by Germany and Spain.  Leonardo has been contracted to conduct development work on new wideband capabilities and provide core antenna, processor, and antenna power supply and control (APSC) components. Hensoldt is the design auth...

Smart Shooter unveils multicopter gun system

By Yaakov Lappin & Jeremy Binnie 14 January 2022
A multicopter armed with the Smash Dragon system. (Smart Shooter)  Israeli company Smart Shooter unveiled on 10 January its Smash Dragon system, which enables small multicopter unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be armed with infantry weapons, saying it has completed live-fire tests and is in an advanced stage of development.  The Smash Dragon consists of a mount that it attached to the underside of the multicopter to carry the weapon, which can be various types of assault rifle, sniper rifle, or 40 mm grenade launcher. A version of the comp...

Malaysia receives MD 530G light attack helos

By Gareth Jennings 14 January 2022
All six MD 530G helicopters for Malaysia are lined up at MDHI's Texas training facility for their official handover to the Malaysian MoD. They are currently in transit to Malaysia, arriving before the end of Q1 2022. (MD Helicopters Inc.)  MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) has formally handed over six MD 530G armed reconnaissance and light attack rotorcraft to Malaysia, the company announced on 13 January.  The latest-generation ‘Little Bird' helicopters were delivered to the Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the company's Texas training centre...

Netherlands begins populating second F-35 squadron

By Gareth Jennings 14 January 2022
The last of 24 F-35As arriving at Leeuwarden Air Base on 12 January. At the same time, the first aircraft began arriving at Volkel Air Base as the Royal Netherlands Air Force began the process of populating its second F-35 location and unit. (Royal Netherlands Air Force)  The Netherlands has begun populating its second unit for operating the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), with the news that the first aircraft had arrived at Volkel Air Base.  The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) announced on 12 January that,...

Australian P-8A fleet damaged by hailstorm

By Gareth Jennings & Jon Grevatt 13 January 2022
Australia fields 12 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, of which a number sustained damage during a hailstorm at their home station of RAAF Base Edinburgh in October 2021. (Commonwealth of Australia)  The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) is assessing the damage done to its fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) following “a severe weather event” last year.    A DoD spokesperson told   Janes   on 13 January that a hailstorm in South Australia had affected an undisclosed number of Poseidons, and that the air...

Taiwan loses one F-16V in a crash

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 13 January 2022
A Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) F-16V single-seat fighter aircraft crashed into the sea during a routine training sortie on 11 January, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) in Taipei said.  The aircraft (serial number 6650), which departed...

Embraer to sell two Portuguese plants to Aernnova

By Marc Selinger 13 January 2022
Embraer plans to sell two aircraft parts factories in Evora, Portugal. (Embraer)  Brazilian aerospace and defence company Embraer has agreed to sell two airframe factories in Evora, Portugal, to Spain-based aerostructures manufacturer Aernnova for USD172 million, saying the divestiture will allow the facilities to diversify their customer base, attract more business, and boost their utilisation levels.  “This agreement is an important step towards [Embraer's] footprint optimisation strategic initiative, which aims to [make] better use of our...

Thailand prepares procurement of new fighter aircraft

By Jon Grevatt 13 January 2022
The Royal Thai Air Force is planning to procure new fighter aircraft from 2023. Platforms likely to be considered include Lockheed Martin's F-35. (US Air Force)  The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has received approval from the government to proceed with its plan to procure new fighter aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16A/B Fighting Falcons.    RTAF spokesperson Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Prapas Sonjaidee told   Janes   on 12 January that the Thai cabinet has sanctioned the procurement of an initial four aircr...

Thales Alenia Space to build two SDS satellites for Intelsat

By Olivia Savage 13 January 2022
Thales Alenia Space has been contracted to deliver two Space Inspire software-defined satellites. (Thales Alenia Space )  Intelsat has contracted Thales Alenia Space – a joint venture between Thales and Leonardo – for the production of two software-defined satellites (SDSs).  The satellites, IS-41 and IS-44, will be based on the Space Inspire product line and are scheduled to be in service by 2025.  SDSs are more flexible than traditional types of satellites as they enable the user to reconfigure and reprogram on demand and in orbit. More tra...

Russia flies newbuild Tu-160M bomber

By Gareth Jennings 13 January 2022
The first newbuild Tu-160M made its maiden flight on 12 January. (United Aircraft Corporation)  Russia has flown the first Tupolev Tu-160M ‘Blackjack' strategic bomber to roll of its newly reconstituted production line.  The flight took place at Kazan Aviation Plant on 12 January.  “The flight took place at an altitude of 600 meters [1,969 ft] and lasted about 30 minutes. The crew of test pilots of Tupolev performed manoeuvres to test the stability and controllability of the aircraft in the air,” Rostec said.  The Tu-160 first entered into So...

Airbus keeps eye on Kazakh situation

By Charles Forrester 12 January 2022
The Kazakhstan Air Defence Force operates the Airbus Military C295, and recently ordered two A400M aircraft. (Airbus Military)  Airbus officials are maintaining a watchful eye on the situation in Kazakhstan as the country experiences civil unrest and the deployment of a Russian-led rapid reaction force (RRF).  “We are monitoring the difficult situation in Kazakhstan, a long-term customer of Airbus. We are maintaining our commitments to the customer, [and] we will keep ensuring full compliance with all applicable export rules and regulations,”...

Boeing to expand Super Hornet, Growler industrial team for Germany

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2022
Boeing has issued an RFI for more than 10 German companies to help support a Super Hornet and Growler (pictured) sale to the Luftwaffe. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Boeing is to expand its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler industrial team for Germany, with a request for information (RFI) issued to potential partners on 12 January.  With the US manufacturer anticipating a letter of request (LOR) to be issued from Berlin for both the Super Hornet and Growler in the coming days, it has opened up bids for development, manufacturing, and suppo...

Hungary to upgrade Gripens

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2022
Hungary is to bring its Gripen C/Ds up to the latest MS 20 Block 2 standard, under a deal announced on 12 January. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Hungary is to upgrade its Saab Gripen C/D combat aircraft to the latest MS20 Block 2 standard, the original equipment manufacturer announced on 12 January.  The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration has concluded negotiations with the Hungarian Government Commissioner Office for the upgrade, which will include a raft of enhancements to the Hungarian Air Force's fleet of 12 Gripen C and one Gripen D aircr...

Dassault aircraft deliveries rise

By Marc Selinger 12 January 2022
A Dassault Rafale armed with MBDA missiles. (Dassault Aviation)  Dassault Aviation delivered 55 airplanes in 2021, up from 47 the year before, the French aerospace manufacturer announced on 6 January.  Dassault provided 25 Rafale multirole fighters to export customers in 2021, which met expectations and was up from 13 the previous year. The company also delivered 30 Falcon business jets, up five from an earlier forecast but down four from the previous year.  Dassault received orders for 49 Rafales and 51 Falcons in 2021, up from zero and 15,...

France tests NGF engine prototype

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2022
A model of the Next European Fighter Engine/New European Engine being developed by Safran, MTU, and ITP for the FCAS/SCAF New Generation Fighter displayed at the Paris Air Show 2019. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  France has undertaken trials of a prototype engine for the New Generation Fighter (NGF) it is developing with Germany and Spain as part of the wider Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF).  The French defence procurement agency announced on 10 January that it had successfully completed a ground test of a pro...

UK receives final Poseidon MMA

By Gareth Jennings 11 January 2022
ZP809 arrives at RAF Lossiemouth on 11 January. As with ZP808, the aircraft has yet to be given a formal name. (Crown Copyright)  The United Kingdom has received its ninth and final Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA), with ZP809 arriving at Royal Air Force (RAF) Lossiemouth in Scotland on 11 January.  The milestone brings to an end a two-year delivery run that began with the arrival of ZP801 Pride of Moray in February 2020. Since then, ZP802 City of Elgin, ZP803 Terence Bulloch DSO DFC, ZP804 Spirit of Reykjavik, Z...

RoKAF F-5E fighter crashes, killing pilot

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 11 January 2022
A Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) Northrop Grumman F-5E Tiger II single-seat fighter aircraft crashed on 11 January, killing the pilot.    An official spokesperson of South Korea‘s Ministry of National Defense (MND) told   Janes...

Kazakhstan deployment demonstrates Russia's rapid reaction capabilities

By Thomas Bullock & Nicholas Fiorenza 11 January 2022
A Russian-led rapid reaction force began deploying to Kazakhstan in the early hours of 6 January. (Russian MoD)  A Russian-led rapid reaction force (RRF) began deploying to Kazakhstan in the early hours of 6 January following a request by the Central Asian country's president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the day before for support from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in the face of civil unrest.  Russian Aerospace Forces transport aircraft began deploying Russian forces to Almaty and Zhetigen air bases in Kazakhstan, arriving at...
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