Air news

WDS 2024: Hoverwing showcases strike-capable HW150V UAV

By Akshara Parakala & Amit Kalra 09 February 2024
The HW150V UAV is equipped with a three-axis mechanically stabilised electro-optic/infrared pod. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)  Beijing-based Hoverwing Technology (also known as Hangyi Technology) showcased the HW150V hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the World Defense Show (WDS) 2024 held in Riyadh from 4 to 8 February.  Speaking to Janes, a Hoverwing official said the HW150V is an operationally proven platform, which can carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); target-tracking; ho...

WDS 2024: AVIC WL-10B to be delivered to Royal Saudi Air Force

By Akshara Parakala 09 February 2024
The AVIC Wing Loong-10B (WL-10B) displayed at WDS 2024 along with various missiles and bombs. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)  China Defence, on behalf of China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), has confirmed that the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Wing Loong-10B, an export variant of the CATIC Wing Loong-10 (also dubbed as WL-10), will soon enter service with the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).  With the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) displayed at the World Defense Show (WDS) 2024 held in Riyadh from 4 to 8 F...

Hungarian KC-390 makes maiden flight

By Gareth Jennings 09 February 2024
The first of two KC-390s for Hungary seen on its four-hour maiden flight over Brazil. (Embraer)  The first of two Embraer KC-390 Millennium tanker-transport aircraft for Hungary made its maiden flight on 8 February.  The Brazilian manufacturer announced the event the following day, saying the aircraft flew for approximately four hours, having departed from the company's Gavião Peixoto production facility where it was built. It will now enter a test and assessment phase, before delivery to the customer later in 2024.  Hungary signed for the tw...

India's National Aerospace Laboratories conducts HAPS flight tests

By Amit Kalra 08 February 2024
The CSIR-NAL HAPS subscale model can stay airborne for 24 hours. (CSIR-NAL)  India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) has carried out a series of flight tests on a subscale model of its high-altitude pseudo satellite (HAPS) platform.  The tests were conducted at the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Challakere, Karnataka, from 23 January to 2 February. During the tests, the subscale model, which has a wingspan of 12 m and a maximu...

Sweden seeking to replace ARTHUR weapon locating system

By Olivia Savage 08 February 2024
Sweden plans to replace its in-service ARTHUR WLS, with the procurement process beginning in 2026. Pictured is the rear view of the ARTHUR weapon locating radar integrated on an M113F4 series tracked armoured platform. (Christopher F Foss)  The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has issued a request for information (RFI) on 5 February for the replacement of its Saab ARTHUR (ARTtillery HUnting Radar) weapon locating system (WLS).    According to the RFI provided to  Janes  , the Swedish Armed Forces seeks a future WLS...

Boeing T-7A undergoing flutter, climatic testing

By Zach Rosenberg 07 February 2024
Boeing T-7A tail number 7002, the first to be delivered to the USAF, taking off from St Louis Lambert International Airport, Missouri, co-located with Boeing's factory. (Boeing/Eric Shindelbower)    The Boeing T-7A Red Hawk is undergoing flutter testing at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) and climatic ground testing at Eglin AFB, Evelyn Moore, Boeing's programme manager for the T-7, told   Janes  on 2 February.   Boeing delivered three engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF) in 202...

Nigerian Air Force inducts T129 attack helicopters

By Jeremy Binnie 07 February 2024
One of the NAF's two new T129 attack helicopters at Makurdi airbase. (Defence HQ Nigeria)  The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) held a ceremony to formally induct its new T129 attack helicopters and a King Air 360ER into service at NAF Base, Makurdi, on 6 February.  The order for six T129s was announced by Turkish Aerospace in July 2022 and satellite imagery shows two had been delivered to Makurdi by 16 November 2023.  One T129 was displayed during the induction ceremony alongside a 12-round pod for 70 mm air-to-surface rockets and a four-round pod u...

Hacked documents shed light on Iranian UAVs offered to Russia

By Jeremy Binnie 07 February 2024
A Shahed-238 is launched from the roof of a vehicle in a still from a documentary aired on Iranian television in 2023. (Islamic Republic News Agency)  A series of documents released by an Iranian hacking network have seemingly revealed new variants and specifications for Iranian one-way-attack (OWA) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  The Prana Network released the documents on 4 February, saying it obtained them from a company set up as a front for Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to sell UAVs to Russia and transfer the technology...

Lockheed Martin pushes C-130J for Sweden

By Gareth Jennings 07 February 2024
An artist's impression of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules in Swedish markings. (Lockheed Martin)  Lockheed Martin is pushing its C-130J Hercules airlifter for Sweden, announcing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with national industry on 6 February.  With the Swedish Air Force (SwAF) scoping out a replacement for its ageing C-130H Hercules fleet, Lockheed Martin has launched its C-130J-30 offering with an MOU signed with MilDef, a Stockholm-based provider of ‘tactical IT solutions'.  “Lockheed Martin and MilDef announced a memorandum of...

Analysis – Lightning strikes: F-35 continues to storm Europe

By Gareth Jennings 07 February 2024
An infographic showing the status of F-35 sales across Europe. (Janes)  Two recent announcements pertaining to the Czech Republic and Greece confirmed the seemingly relentless progress of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in securing sales across Europe.  The US State Department approved the sale of up to 40 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35As to Greece on 26 January, and the Czech government signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for 24 F-35As just days later on 29 January, setting the two on...

UK leases unrequired H135 helicopters to Australia for training

By Gareth Jennings 07 February 2024
The UK has leased to Australia five H135 helicopters that will be used for training. (Crown Copyright)  The United Kingdom has leased to Australia five Airbus H135 Juno helicopters to be used for pilot training.  The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced the arrangement on 7 February, saying the helicopters will arrive in-country later in 2024 alongside ongoing deliveries of 40 newly ordered Lockheed Martin UH-60M Black Hawks.  “To support essential training requirements for army aircrew, Australia will procure five H135 Juno train...

Bahrain inducts AH-1Z attack helicopters

By Jeremy Binnie 06 February 2024
Bahrain's new Bell AH-1Zs and 505 helicopters lined up for their induction on 5 February. (Bahrain News Agency)  Bahrain's new AH-1Z attack helicopters were formally inducted into service during a ceremony attended by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on 5 February, the 56th anniversary of the Bahrain Defence Force.  Bahraini television showed nine AH-1Zs lined up for the event at a location that could be identified as Sakhir Air Base, along with the Royal Bahraini Air Force's (RBAF's) three new Bell 505 training helicopters, as well as several A...

Turkey selects Northrop Grumman for F-16 EW upgrades

By Carlo Munoz 06 February 2024
An F-16 is flown by Alec ‘Bulldog' Spencer during a mission at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in February 2019. (US Air Force/Tech Sgt John Raven)  Turkey will upgrade its fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft with Northrop Grumman's latest electronic warfare (EW) suite, with plans to integrate the system into future blocks of the venerable jet fighter, Janes has learnt.  Ankara's decision marks the first major Foreign Military Sales of the AN/ALQ-257 Integrated Viper Electronic Warfare Suite (IVEWS) for the company, said James Conroy, vice-presid...

China completing development of CH-7 stealth UCAV

By Akhil Kadidal 06 February 2024
CASC's CH-7 ‘Rainbow 7' stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has been designed to operate in hostile adversarial airspace and conduct strikes on strategic targets. (Janes/Chinese state-owned media)  China's Cai Hong 7 (Rainbow 7, or CH-7) stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has completed testing and is on schedule to conclude development in 2024, according to Chinese state-owned media.    Developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and powered by an undetermined turbofan engine, the CH-7 is a...

UK restates commitment to full F-35 programme of record

By Gareth Jennings 06 February 2024
With 48 F-35Bs contracted and a further 27 being negotiated, the UK government has restated its commitment to buying 138 aircraft over the 30-plus-year life of the programme. (Crown Copyright)  The United Kingdom has reasserted its commitment to procuring 138 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning combat aircraft, having recently shied away from the full programme of record (PoR) number.  Answering questions in the House of Commons, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) James Cartlidge said on 5 February that “the UK remains committed to...

Ukraine conflict: Netherlands cancels F-16 sale to Draken International, freeing up airframes for Kyiv

By Gareth Jennings 06 February 2024
The Netherlands is to provide Ukraine with 24 surplus F-16s. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The Netherlands has cancelled a previously announced sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to private training contractor Draken International, freeing up additional airframes for Ukraine.  The Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the cancellation on 5 February, saying that negotiations had been suspended and that both parties had agreed to the move.  “The Netherlands had made agreements with [Draken International] in 2021 about the...

Finland to deploy fighters for first time to NATO's air policing missions

By Gareth Jennings 05 February 2024
Finland is to send eight Hornet combat aircraft to NATO's Southern Air Policing mission from 3 June to 31 July. (Finnish Air Force)  Finland is to send combat aircraft to NATO's Southern Air Policing mission, marking the first out-of-area operational deployment for the Nordic country since joining the alliance.  The Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) made the announcement on 2 February, saying the deployment of eight Finnish Air Force (FinAF) Boeing F/A-18 Hornet combat aircraft to Romania is part of a wider raft of NATO tasking outlined for t...

US awards AGM-154C contract for Taiwan

By Akhil Kadidal 05 February 2024
Acquisition of the AGM-154C Block III missiles will allow Taiwan to augment its asymmetrical warfare capabilities. (Commonwealth of Australia)  The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a USD68.4 million contract to produce AGM-154C Block III Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) air-to-ground missiles for Taiwan.  Under the contract, Raytheon Missile Systems will produce and deliver 50 AGM-154C Block III missiles for Taiwan over the next four years. The work on this batch of missiles is expected to be concluded before Ma...

BAE Systems acquires UK quadcopter manufacturer Malloy Aeronautics

By Olivia Savage 05 February 2024
BAE Systems is acquiring Malloy Aeronautics, a UK-based company that develops a range of heavy-lift quadcopters including the T-600, which can carry 200 kg payloads at ranges up to 80 km. (Crown Copyright)  BAE Systems has acquired UK quadcopter manufacturer Malloy Aeronautics in a bid to expand its product portfolio.  The acquisition, announced by BAE Systems on 2 February, will integrate Malloy Aeronautics into its FalconWorks – a research and development arm that specialises in the air domain.  The companies have been collaborating on unma...

Lockheed Martin awarded NGRC study contract

By Gareth Jennings 02 February 2024
In developing an open system architecture for the NGRC programme, Lockheed Martin through its Sikorsky subsidiary will leverage work already done for its X2 (pictured) high-speed technology demonstrator programme. (Lockheed Martin)  The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has awarded Lockheed Martin its third study contract related to the Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) programme.  Announced on 31 January but awarded on 13 December 2023, the study contract will see Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky subsidiary identify, analyse, a...
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