Air news

Turkey unveils domestic AESA radar for manned, unmanned combat aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 10 November 2022
Turkey is to fit a domestically developed AESA radar onto its current Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft and Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle, as well as the future Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft (MMU). (Turkish Air Force)  Turkey has showcased a new domestically developed active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system it intends to equip its fleet of manned and unmanned combat aircraft.  The president of Defence Industries, İsmail Demir, revealed the new Aselsan AESA radar on 10 November...

Global MilSatcom 2022: UK seeks up to three wideband satellites for Skynet

By Olivia Savage 10 November 2022
The winner of the UK's Skynet satcom SDW contract will assume responsibility for managing the Skynet 5 satellites and the ground communications networks. (Airbus Defence & Space)  Up to three wideband satellites will be acquired under the Skynet programme, and the Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) project will commence in 2023, according to UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials.  Under the umbrella of the Skynet Enduring Capability (SKEC) programme, the MoD intends to acquire up to three wideband satellites, which will be introduced in the...

Update – Airshow China 2022: AVIC displays Wing Loong-3

By Oishee Majumdar & Akshara Parakala 10 November 2022
AVIC's Wing Loong-3 (WL-3) reconnaissance and strike UAV. (Janes)  China's state-owned aerospace and defence prime Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is displaying the latest variant of the Wing Loong series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – Wing Loong-3 (WL-3) – at the Airshow China 2022 exhibition being held in Zhuhai from 8 to 13 November.  WL-3 is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV, which is larger in size and has enhanced performance characteristics as compared with Wing Loong II.    WL-3 has a length of 12.2...

Update – Airshow China 2022: New reusable hypersonic UAV displayed

By Akhil Kadidal & Akshara Parakala 10 November 2022
China is developing the MD-22 hypersonic, reusable, and multimission UAV as part of the country's overall response to emerging threats. (Janes)  China has unveiled a new, reusable, and near-space hypersonic technology demonstrator. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has potential multimission applications.  Designated as the MD-22, the UAV was on display during the Airshow China 2022 exhibition, which was held at Zhuhai from 8 to 13 November. Imagery indicates that the UAV is being developed under the aegis of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (...

Update – Airshow China 2022: AVIC displays Wing Loong-3

By Oishee Majumdar & Akshara Parakala 09 November 2022
AVIC's Wing Loong-3 (WL-3) reconnaissance and strike UAV. (Janes)  China's state-owned aerospace and defence prime Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is displaying the latest variant of the Wing Loong series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – Wing Loong-3 (WL-3) – at the Airshow China 2022 exhibition being held in Zhuhai from 8 to 13 November.  WL-3 is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV, which is larger in size and has enhanced performance characteristics as compared with Wing Loong II.  WL-3 has a length of 12.2 m, a he...

Belgium approved for extended-range AMRAAMs for F-16s, F-35s

By Gareth Jennings 09 November 2022
Belgium has been cleared to field the extended-range AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM missile for its F-16 (pictured) and F-35 aircraft fleets. (Belgian MoD)  Belgium has been cleared to buy the extended-range Raytheon AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) for its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft.  The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 8 November that the Department of State had approved the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of up to 120 missiles to Belgium, to be...

British Army and Royal Navy trial tactical datalink in Wildcat helicopter

By Olivia Savage 08 November 2022
Pictured is the AW159 Wildcat helicopter, which has been trialling the Link 16 and Bowman tactical data networks for the British Army and the Royal Navy. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The British Army and the Royal Navy are trialling a new datalink system in the Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter as part of the army's Future Soldier transformation programme.  Known as the tactical data link (TDL) project, the British Army and the Royal Navy are trialling “two separate but mutually reinforcing datalinks – Link 16 and Bowman data – [which] will share b...

Tunisia receives first Texan trainer aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 08 November 2022
Textron announced delivery of the first of eight Beechcraft T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft to Tunisia on 8 November. (Textron)  Tunisia has received the first of eight Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop trainer aircraft ordered in 2021.  Beechcraft's parent company Textron announced the delivery on 8 November, noting that the aircraft will be delivered to the Tunisian Air Force's 13 Squadron at Sfax Air Base. The second aircraft will be delivered in the coming weeks, with the remainder to follow until the end of 2023.  “The Foreign Military Sa...

Base point: US, Australia enhance airbase for rotational bomber deployments

By Akhil Kadidal 08 November 2022
The crew of a USAF B-52H Stratofortress from the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron work in the cockpit before an early morning sortie from RAAF Base Darwin in 2018. US bombers have been visiting Australia since the early 1980s and conducting training in Australia since 2005. However, Washington and Canberra are planning rotational deployments of bombers from Australia. (USAF/SSgt Alexander W Riedel)  The United States and Australia are planning infrastructural improvements at a remote airbase in Northern Australia to support the rotational dep...

DARPA, Sikorsky plan to expand autonomous capability to navy rotorcraft

By Carlo Munoz 07 November 2022
The optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) Blackhawk N600PV at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, on 14 October 2022, during PC22 Technology Gateway. (Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin)  Programme officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), along with their counterparts at Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky, are planning to expand a DARPA-led programme for autonomous US Army rotorcraft into US Navy-operated aircraft.  Igor Cherepinsky, director of Sikorsky Innovations, told reporters that company representatives were in talks with navy leader...

Airshow China 2022: China reveals new ALBM for H-6K bombers

By Akhil Kadidal & Rahul Udoshi 07 November 2022
An XAC H-6K bomber of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force carries a pair of the new air-launched ballistic missile at Zhuhai on 3 November. The missile has design similarities with Russia's Kinzhal hypersonic, anti-access/area-denial missile. (Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images)  China has unveiled a new air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) for use by the People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) H-6K bomber fleet.  Two of the new missiles were carried by a Xi'an Aircraft Company (XAC) H-6K bomber, which arrived in Zhuhai, in...

Norway finalises F-16 sale to Romania

By Gareth Jennings 07 November 2022
Norway has finalised the transfer of 32 F-16s to Romania, with deliveries to commence in 2023. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Norway has finalised the sale of surplus Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to Romania, the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) announced on 4 November.  The agreement to transfer 32 F-16AM/BM aircraft, as well as spares and support equipment, follows the retirement of the type in the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF) earlier in 2022.  “Under the contract, all aircraft will undergo necessary maintenance...

UK Wedgetail progresses with first mating of MESA to airframe

By Gareth Jennings 04 November 2022
The MESA radar being lowered into position on the spine of the 737 NG airframe that will become the first of three E-7A Wedgetail AEW1 aircraft for the UK Royal Air Force. (Boeing)  Construction of the first Boeing E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for the UK has progressed with the mating of the Northrop Grumman Multirole Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar with the 737 Next-Generation (NG) airframe of the first aircraft.  Boeing announced the event on 4 November, saying it represented a major milestone...

SOFEX 2022: Jordan launches UAV test centre

By Jeremy Binnie 04 November 2022
Major General Yousef Ahmed al-Hunaiti inspects the UAV that was used to carry supplies. (Jordanian Armed Forces)  A new facility for testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and associated technology was formally opened in Jordan in the run-up to the SOFEX 2022 show held in Aqaba from 1 to 3 November.  The Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) announced on 27 October that its chief, Major General Yousef Ahmed al-Hunaiti, had opened the first site of its kind in the Middle East to test UAV, counter-UAV, and electronic warfare systems. The facility, whic...

Norwegian NH90 cancellation and refund demand ‘legally groundless', says manufacturer

By Gareth Jennings 04 November 2022
NHI has reiterated its earlier position that it would not accept Norwayʼs decision to axe its NH90 programme and demand a refund, with the consortium saying the countryʼs position on the matter is “legally groundless”. (Royal Norwegian Air Force)  Norway's decision to cancel its NH90 helicopter contract earlier in 2022 and to demand a refund has been described by NHIndustries (NHI) as “legally groundless”.    The assertion came in a 3 November earnings statement released by NHI stakeholder Leonardo about    five months after No...

Indonesia restarts KF-21 repayments to South Korea

By Jon Grevatt 03 November 2022
The KF-21 fighter aircraft (pictured above), which is being developed by South Korea and Indonesia, made its first flight in July 2022. Indonesia has restarted payments on the programme following a pause in 2019. (Korea Aerospace Industries)  Indonesia has restarted payments to South Korea for its involvement in the programme to develop the KF-21 Boramae multirole fighter aircraft, earlier known as the KF-X.    A source with knowledge of the matter told   Janes  on 3 November, “On 1 November, Indonesia paid part of the KF-X de...

US proposes USD6 billion Hercules sale to Australia

By Akhil Kadidal 03 November 2022
Australia's existing C-130J fleet is ageing. The Australian DoD said in February 2022 that the fleet had surpassed more than 850,000 flying hours. The first aircraft were inducted in 1999. (CPL Veronica McKenna/Commonwealth of Australia)  The US Department of State has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 aircraft to Australia.  The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on 2 November that the Australian Government had “requested to buy twenty four C-130J-30 aircraft with...

Indo Defence 2022: Indonesia's maritime security agency fields Spanish-built UAVs on its largest ships

By Ridzwan Rahmat 03 November 2022
BAKAMLAʼs Alpha 900 UAV on display at the Indo Defence 2022 exhibition. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA) has fielded rotor-winged unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on two of its largest ships.  Speaking to Janes at the Indo Defence 2022 exhibition in Jakarta, a representative from the service disclosed that the UAVs have been deployed on the 110 m patrol vessel KN Tanjung Datu, and the 80 m Pulau Nipah-class patrol boat KN Pulau Marore (322).  The UAVs are based on the Alpha 900 UAV from Spanish firm Alp...

USMC receives final Viper attack helicopter

By Gareth Jennings 03 November 2022
The USMC has received the last of its 189 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The US Marine Corps (USMC) has received into service the final AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter to be delivered from the manufacturer, Bell.  Announced on 2 November, the milestone took place during a ceremony at the Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas, concluding the corps' Programme of Record (PoR) of 189 AH-1Z helicopters. It also brings to an end the wider H-1 PoR, which includes 160 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters, the last of which was delivere...

Ukraine conflict: General Atomics ‘committed' to providing MQ-9 UAVs to Ukraine

By Gareth Jennings 03 November 2022
Seen in UK service, the MQ-9A Reaper could soon be flying over the battlefields of Ukraine as General Atomics commits to offering its MQ-9 family of UAVs to Kyiv. (Crown Copyright/POA(Phot) Tam McDonald)    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) is committed to providing its MQ-9 family of medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Ukraine, a company spokesperson told   Janes  on 2 November.   With the US government having declared its intent to supply Ukraine with “heavy attack dro...
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