Air news

US approves AIM-9X Block II/II+ sale to the Netherlands

By Gareth Jennings 27 May 2022
The Netherlands is to receive additional AIM-9X Block II/II+ air-to-air missiles to equip its fighter fleet, including the F-35A (pictured). (US Air Force)  The United States has approved the sale of 138 Raytheon AIM-9X Block II/ II+ Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles to the Netherlands, announcing a potential USD117 million sale on 26 May.  The US Department of State approval covers the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 95 Block II and 43 Block II+ missiles, as well as one Block II+ tactical guidance unit, training missiles, related equ...

US approves Chinook sale to Egypt

By Gareth Jennings 27 May 2022
Egypt has been cleared to buy the latest CH-47F Chinook helicopter, as fielded by the US Army and other international customers. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The United States has approved the sale of Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to Egypt, announcing a potential USD2.6 billion sale on 26 May.  The US Department of State approval covers the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 23 helicopters, as well as related equipment (including defence weapons and countermeasures), spares, training, and support  “This proposed sale will support the for...

Japan in talks with BAE on development of F-X fighter

By Akhil Kadidal 27 May 2022
Joint UK-Japan development of technologies for BAE's Tempest sixth-generation fighter programme, including engines, is expected to benefit Japan's F-X fighter. (Team Tempest)  Japan is in talks with BAE Systems to develop the country's sixth-generation F-X fighter aircraft project, with a consensus on co-operation expected by the end of 2022.  The UK and Japanese governments are to “continue discussions around potential future fighter subsystem collaboration throughout 2022”, under the conditions of a memorandum of collaboration (MOC) signed...

Ukraine conflict: Czech Republic donates attack helicopters to Kyiv

By Gareth Jennings 26 May 2022
The Czech Republic has a number of Mi-24/35 attack helicopters that it has now donated to Ukraine. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The Czech Republic has donated attack helicopters to Ukraine, the US government disclosed on 23 May.  In wider comments on international aid to Kyiv, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said that Prague had made a donation of attack helicopters as part of a larger military package.  “I'd also like to thank the Czech Republic for its substantial support, including a recent donation of attack helicopters, tanks, and...

Uruguay considers L-39NG for LIFT, light attack requirement

By Gareth Jennings 26 May 2022
Aero Vodochody is pitching its L-39NG to Uruguay as a potential replacement for its A-37 fleet. (Aero Vodochody)  Uruguay is considering the Aero Vodochody L-39NG (Next Generation) aircraft for its lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) and light attack requirements, with a delegation from the Czech Republic visiting the South American nation earlier in May.  Aero announced the visit on 24 May, saying that the Czech government is offering a package that includes six aircraft, pilot training, maintenance and support, and the building of a technical an...

China, Russia fly bombers to ‘counter' Quad summit

By Akhil Kadidal 26 May 2022
A Tu-95 bomber of the Russian Air Force flies over the Sea of Japan on 24 May 2022. (Japan Ministry of Defense)  Japan and South Korea scrambled its fighters to intercept a “provocative” joint exercise by four Chinese and two Russian strategic bombers in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea on 24 May.  The exercise appears to be a show of force by Beijing and Moscow pointed at the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), which was taking place in Tokyo on that same day. The meeting was attended by the leaders of Australia, India, Japan,...

Austria receives Rheinmetall C-UAS system for evaluation

By Nicholas Fiorenza 26 May 2022
Austria has received a Rheinmetall C-UAS platform for six months of evaluation and testing. (Rheinmetall)  Austria has received a Rheinmetall Air Defence counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) platform that defends against small unmanned aerial vehicles for six months of evaluation and testing, the German company announced in a press release on 23 May.  Rheinmetall said the system has two shelter units that can be rapidly deployed by standard trucks and trailers. The sensor unit elevates automatically and can be equipped with detection system...

First Dutch Apache enters AH-64E remanufacturing line

By Gareth Jennings 26 May 2022
The first of 28 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters of the Royal Netherlands Air Force enters the Boeing remanufacturing line to be converted to the latest AH-64E standard. (Defence Materiel Organisation)  The first AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has entered Boeing's AH-64E Apache Guardian remanufacturing line in the United States.  The Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) announced the milestone of the first of 28 AH-64Ds to be converted to the AH-64E Version 6 standard entering the line...

Ukraine conflict: Russia launches new offensive in southern Donbas

By Thomas Bullock 25 May 2022
Russia began a new offensive in southern Donbas on 19 May. (Janes)  Russia has begun a new offensive likely aimed at closing an encirclement around the city of Severodonetsk in western Luhansk. The city is currently Ukraine's most easterly position in the Donbas and is effectively surrounded on three sides by Russian forces. Its only supply lines to the rest of Ukraine are two roads: the T1302 in the south and the T0513 in the north. The unfolding Russian offensive is likely aimed at securing these roads – Russian forces captured a portion of...

US Navy deploys Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout to the Pacific

By Gillian Rich 25 May 2022
A Northrop Grumman MQ-8C lands aboard USS   Jackson  (LCS 6) as part of its deployment to INDOPACOM.   (Northrop Grumman)    The US Navy deployed Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial system (UAS) on USS   Jackson   (LCS 6), its first in the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), to provide maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISR&T) capability, the company announced on 23 May.      Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 (HSC-21) and HSC-23 will be the pr...

Kaman to buy Parker Hannifin's Aircraft Wheel & Brake division

By Marc Selinger 25 May 2022
Parker Hannifin provides wheels and brakes for military aircraft, including the CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter that Sikorsky is building for the US Marine Corps. (US Marine Corps/Cpl Yuritzy Gomez)  US-based Parker Hannifin Corporation has agreed to sell its Aircraft Wheel & Brake business to US aircraft parts maker Kaman Corporation for USD440 million to address regulatory concerns about its proposed acquisition of the United Kingdom's Meggitt.  The 23 May announcement came about a month and a half after Parker disclosed it was i...

Chinese strategic bombers co-ordinate with Liaoning carrier group

By Akhil Kadidal 24 May 2022
A Xian H-6J bomber of the People‘s Liberation Army (PLA) flies through the Miyako Strait on 18 May 2022. (Japan Ministry of Defense)  Chinese long-range strategic bombers have co-ordinated with the People‘s Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN‘s) Liaoning carrier group to conduct a series of drills in the Western Pacific.  The exercises are likely a response from Beijing to potential affirmations of support for Taiwan from the United States and Japan during a bilateral meeting in Tokyo on 23 May and during the meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Di...

Interview: Ankit Mehta, CEO and co-founder of ideaForge

By Oishee Majumdar 24 May 2022
Ankit Mehta, co-founder and CEO of ideaForge. (ideaForge)  The Indian Army's selection of ideaForge's Switch UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to enhance its surveillance capabilities has given the company a lot of international visibility, Ankit Mehta...

Indonesia omits major procurement programmes from 2022 ‘Green Book'

By Ridzwan Rahmat 24 May 2022
A French Navy Rafale M, seen here on aircraft carrier   Charles de Gaulle  . Indonesia has plans to procure up to 36 Rafale fighters, but it is unclear how the country will fund this ambition.  (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  The Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning has omitted major defence procurement programmes from the register of priority projects approved for foreign funding in 2022.  This register is commonly referred to in-country as the ‘Green Book'. Programmes included in this register will be es...

Brazilian XMobots teams up with MBDA to build armed UAV

By Victor Barreira 23 May 2022
XMobots and MBDA are working together to add missile capability to the Nauru 1000C VTOL UAV. (XMobots)  Brazilian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specialist XMobots Aeroespacial e Defesa and Europe's MBDA announced on 17 May that they are teaming up to develop a Brazilian-made weaponised UAV.  According to XMobots, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in March to integrate the MBDA Enforcer Air, a precision-guided missile capability, with the XMobots Nauru 1000C UAV.  The Nauru 1000C is a fixed-wing vertical take-off and...

TransDigm subsidiary buys flight instrument product line from Astronautics

By Marc Selinger 23 May 2022
Extant Aerospace has acquired the Electromagnetic Indicator product line from Astronautics Corporation of America. The unit on the left is a horizontal situation indicator. The others are attitude director indicators. (Astronautics)  Extant Aerospace, a subsidiary of US aircraft parts maker TransDigm Group, has expanded its defence aviation portfolio by acquiring the Electromagnetic Indicator product line from Astronautics Corporation of America for about USD27 million in cash, the buyer announced on 19 May.  The line of flight instruments co...

Australia to acquire 10 MQ-28A Ghost Bats

By Akhil Kadidal 23 May 2022
Australia said it will acquire 10 MQ-28A Ghost Bats autonomous aerial unmanned vehicles. These “loyal wingmen” are currently undergoing rigorous testing intended to improve flight performance. (Boeing)  The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will acquire 10 MQ-28A Ghost Bat autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles, following additional funding by the government.  The programme is set to receive an additional investment of AUD454 million (USD319.6 million), as announced by Australia's Liberal Party on 15 May. The funding will also fast-track the ind...

Subaru conducts first flight of UH-2 helicopter

By Kosuke Takahashi 23 May 2022
Subaru conducted the first flight of its new UH-2 twin-engined multirole helicopter on 19 May. (Subaru)    Japan's Subaru Corporation has conducted the first flight of its new UH-2 twin-engined multirole helicopter that is entering service with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), a company spokesperson told  Janes  on 23 May.   The helicopter, flown by a company test pilot, conducted a 30-minute hovering flight on 19 May from Subaru's facility in Utsunomiya City, north of Tokyo, the spokesperson said.  Development...

USAF team to assess Thailand's ability to operate F-35s

By Akhil Kadidal 20 May 2022
The USAF is preparing to send a team to assess Thailand's ability to operate F-35s. (US Air Force)  The United States will assess Thailand's capability to operate fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The planned visitation suggests that the country has moved closer to potentially acquiring the stealth fighters.  Speaking to Janes, a Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) spokesperson said, “We have been informed that the US Air Force (USAF) is now under the process of setting up a team to travel to Thailand for [asses...

FlashHawk COMINT/CESM suite enters production

By Richard Scott 20 May 2022
FlashHawk is designed to enable small airborne platforms to perform 3D geolocation of communications emitters. (Avantix)  French electronic warfare (EW) house Avantix has begun initial production of its FlashHawk airborne communications intelligence/communications electronic support measures (COMINT/CESM) system in anticipation of launch orders.  Intended for integration on a range of air platforms – including fixed-wing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft; helicopters; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and balloons...
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