Air news

NATO partners remain on track to reach defence spending goals

By Michael Fabey 01 February 2024
NATO countries are buying F-35 aircraft. (Swedish Armed Forces)  NATO countries are on course to reach the goal of spending at least 2% of their GDP to defence spending to continue to ensure the alliance's military readiness, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on 31 January during an event at the Heritage Foundation.  NATO defence ministers agreed to commit to the 2% minimum in 2006, but Stoltenberg acknowledged that even as of a few years ago only three countries had met that bar. Complaints from US officials prompted more countrie...

Germany confirms earlier 2032 retirement date for Tiger attack helicopters

By Gareth Jennings 31 January 2024
Having previously reported that its Tiger attack helicopters would be retired in 2038, the Bundeswehr has now said this will happen in 2032. (German Army)  Germany is to retire its Airbus Helicopters Tiger attack fleet in 2032, six years earlier than the 2038 date previously reported.  The Bundeswehr confirmed the retirement date for the Tiger combat helicopter (Kampfhubschrauber: KH) in its Annual Armaments Report published on 31 January. In May 2023 Reuters cited a Bundeswehr spokesperson as saying this would happen in 2038.  “The Tiger KH...

AIDC completes 27 T-5A deliveries to RoCAF

By Akhil Kadidal 31 January 2024
AIDC's T-5 Brave Eagle Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) and light combat aircraft is being produced and delivered with enhanced digital avionics and materials technologies. (AIDC)  Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) has delivered 27 out of 66 T-5A Brave Eagle Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) ordered by the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF).  An AIDC spokesperson told Janes on 30 January that these delivery numbers are current as of December 2023. Janes understands that AIDC had achieved its annual delivery target of 17 T-5As...

Airbus negotiates with Australia for MRH90 parts

By Akhil Kadidal 30 January 2024
The NHIndustries (NHI) MRH90 Taipan has several key components, including some systems tailored to Australian requirements. (Janes/Commonwealth of Australia)  Airbus and NHIndustries (NHI) are negotiating with the Australian government to harvest high-value parts and critical components from the Australian Defence Force's (ADF's) decommissioned fleet of NHI MRH90 Taipan helicopters.    Airbus told   Janes   that these parts are being sought for other NH90 customers “in order to support their flight operations”.   “Altogethe...

Romanian Navy to receive ASuW-capable H215M helicopters

By Gareth Jennings 30 January 2024
Seen in Spanish service, the H215 will soon be fielded by Romania also with the anticipated procurement of two helicopters by the country's navy. (Airbus Helicopters)  The Romanian Navy is to receive a pair of Airbus H215M helicopters equipped for anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW), the manufacturer confirmed to Janes on 30 January.  The anticipated procurement was revealed in a European Union (EU) notification posted on 19 January, which said that the two helicopters would be acquired by Industria Aeronautică Romană (IAR) as the prime contra...

Czech Republic signs LOA for F-35

By Gareth Jennings 30 January 2024
A model of Lockheed Martin F-35A in Czech colours at the IQPC International Fighter Conference on 6 November 2023. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The Czech Republic has signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for the procurement of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 29 January.  The LOA for 24 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A aircraft was signed four months after the Czech government approved the acquisition in September 2023, clearing the Czech Air Force...

First production Boeing MH-139 takes flight

By Zach Rosenberg 30 January 2024
The MH-139A, a developmental version of which is seen here on 19 December 2019 at Duke Field in Florida. (US Air Force)    Boeing conducted the first flight of a production MH-139 Grey Wolf on 23 December at Leonardo Helicopters' facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the company told   Janes  on 26 January.   The helicopter is the first of 13 ordered by the US Air Force (USAF) under a March 2023 low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract. The LRIP helicopter is scheduled for delivery to the USAF between June and August,...

Saab inducts first Global 6000 for Swedish GlobalEye programme

By Gareth Jennings 29 January 2024
Saab is now fitting the first of two Global 6000 airframes with its GlobalEye mission equipment for the Swedish Air Force. (Saab)  Saab has inducted the first of two Global 6000 airframes for conversion to the GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) configuration for the Swedish Air Force (SwAF).  The prime contractor for the programme announced the milestone on 26 January, about six months after it officially received the aircraft from Bombardier in Canada in July 2023. With the earlier handover seeing the aircraft receive its i...

US approves combat aircraft for Greece, Turkey

By Gareth Jennings 29 January 2024
Greece is set to join the growing group of European and international allies operating the F-35, with the US State Department approving the sale of up to 40 aircraft. (Royal Norwegian Air Force)  The United States has approved combat aircraft sales to Greece and Turkey worth a combined USD31.6 billion.  In two separate notifications posted at the same time on 26 January, the US State Department approved the sale of new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft to Greece, and new and modernised Lockheed Martin F-16...

Croatia cleared to buy more Black Hawks

By Gareth Jennings 29 January 2024
The first of an initial four UH-60M Black Hawks for Croatia (pictured) was delivered in February 2022. The former Yugloslav country has been approved to buy eight more such helicopters for a final fleet of 12. (Croatian Ministry of Defence)  Croatia has been cleared to buy additional Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, with the US State Department granting approval for the proposed procurement on 26 January.  With four Black Hawks already received, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the approval of a furth...

IAV 2024: Spain outlines progress on Army 35 armoured vehicle modernisation programmes

By Sonny Butterworth 29 January 2024
The Spanish Army is planning to upgrade the firepower, mobility, protection, command, control, and communications of its Leopard 2E fleet by 2032 under a three-phase modernisation programme. (Janes/Patrick Allen)    Spain is making progress on several armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) modernisation programmes and intends to start a three-phase programme to modernise its Leopard 2E main battle tank (MBT) fleet,  Janes  learnt at Defence iQ's International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2024 conference held in London from 22 to 25 January...

UMEX 2024: Edge Group to supply 200 rotary-wing UAVs to UAE MoD

By Amit Kalra 26 January 2024
Edge Group's HT-100 was revealed at Dubai Airshow 2023. (Edge Group)  The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Edge Group signed a contract to supply 200 HT-100 and HT-750 unmanned helicopters to the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) during the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX) 2024 show held in Abu Dhabi from 23 to 25 January.  In a statement issued on 25 January, Edge Group said the deal is the largest order for unmanned helicopter systems from the UAE MoD. The rotary-wing unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) will be manufactured by...

F-35 takes on BENELUX air defence for first time

By Gareth Jennings 26 January 2024
A file photo of an RNLAF F-35A Lightning II of the type now assigned to the BENELUX air-defence mission. (Royal Netherlands Air Force)  Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft have taken on air-defence duties for the BENELUX countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg for the first time.  NATO Allied Air Command announced the milestone on 25 January, saying that a pair of Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-35As at Leeuwarden Air Base had been assigned to the mission, marking a first for the fifth-gen...

Royal Navy to upgrade Merlin HM2 radar

By Gareth Jennings 26 January 2024
The UK Royal Navy is looking to upgrade the search radars of its 30 Merlin HM2 helicopters as it seeks to extend the type's service life out to 2040. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The UK Royal Navy (RN) is to upgrade the radar of its Lockheed Martin AW101 Merlin HM2 maritime helicopters to see them out to their planned 2040 retirement date.  The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a supply chain notice on 25 January, in which it said it is looking for “expressions of interest” from organisations wishing to be considered for qualification for the c...

South Korea starts production of MUAV

By Akhil Kadidal 26 January 2024
Production of the MUAV will allow South Korea to significantly enhance its unmanned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations. (Janes/DAPA/South Korea MND/Photo by Amit Kalra)  South Korea has started production of its domestically developed Medium-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MUAV).  The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said on 25 January that the induction of the MUAV will enhance the Republic of Korea (RoK) military's critical reconnaissance capabilities. The MUAV “will improve the surveillance and rec...

UMEX 2024: Cobtec Sunflower 200 UAV to enter into service with UAE

By Akshara Parakala & Amit Kalra 25 January 2024
The Sunflower 200 UAV can be customised as per user requirements. (Janes/Amit Kalra)    China-based Cobtec Ltd has confirmed the acquisition of the Sunflower 200 long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by an undisclosed Dubai-based entity, a company official told   Janes   at the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX) 2024 held in Abu Dhabi from 23 to 25 January.     Speaking to   Janes   on 23 January a Cobtec official said the UAV is in production and can be deployed in two configurations....

UMEX 2024: Flightwin displays multi-purpose rotary-wing UAVs

By Amit Kalra 25 January 2024
The FWH-3000 cargo UAV can carry a maximum payload of 1,000 kg. (Janes/Amit Kalra)  China-based cargo unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) developer Flightwin Innovation Technology Company exhibited a range of rotary-wing UAVs during the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX) 2024 held in Abu Dhabi from 23 to 25 January.  Speaking to Janes on 23 January Chong Chen, the vice-president of Flightwin, said the FWH-3000 has been developed to address the requirements of cargo and general transportation for both civil and defence domains. The...

F-35 value to UK ‘significantly higher' than before, Lockheed Martin

By Gareth Jennings 25 January 2024
Seen at its home station of RAF Marham, the F-35B now comprises more than the previously stated 15% of value per aircraft to the UK economy, according to Lockheed Martin. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  The value of the F-35 programme to the economy of the United Kingdom is now “significantly higher” than it was just a few years ago, Lockheed Martin has said.  Speaking to journalists on 24 January, the chief executive of Lockheed Martin UK, Paul Livingston, said that a new economic impact analysis of the international F-35 programme will show that i...

Royal Brunei Air Force receives first two C295MWs

By Akhil Kadidal 25 January 2024
The RBAirF's Airbus 295MW fleet will be used in a strategic and tactical transport capability within the region and beyond. (Airbus)  The Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) has received its first two out of four ordered Airbus C295MW transport aircraft.  The aircraft arrived at the RBAirF's Air Movement Centre at Rimba Air Base on 24 January, according to a statement from the Brunei Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). Brunei's contract with Airbus Defence and Space SAU, Spain, for acquisition of the aircraft was signed on 2 December 2022.  Janes...

UMEX 2024: Edge Group unveils new autonomous platforms

By Amit Kalra 25 January 2024
The GY300 can transport payloads weighing up to 300 kg. (Edge Group)  Edge Group unveiled three new autonomous platforms on the opening day of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX) 2024 show held in Abu Dhabi from 23 to 25 January.  In a statement issued on 23 January Edge Group said that the latest platforms are purpose-built to operate in demanding environments, covering tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), as well as logistics support. The three new platforms include an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV...
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