Air news

Indian Navy reports crash of fifth MiG-29K in four years

By Akhil Kadidal 13 October 2022
A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29K aboard India's second aircraft carrier,   INS   Vikrant  ,  in September 2022. The Indian Navy has been considering an alternative carrier-borne fighter for the   Vikrant  .  (Janes/Prathamesh Karle)  An Indian Navy Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29K crashed in the Arabian Sea on 12 October.    The crash is the fifth such incident involving the type in the last four years.   Janes   assesses that collectively, the crashes could have a potential impact on...

USAF declares IOC for HH-60W CSAR helo

By Gareth Jennings 13 October 2022
With 24 of 113 HH-60W helicopters delivered, the USAF has declared IOC for the type. (Lockheed Martin)  The US Air Force (USAF) has declared initial operating capability (IOC) for its HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopter, the service announced on 12 October.  The declaration means that the Black Hawk-variant helicopter is able to forward deploy USAF rescue crews globally.  The USAF programme of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace the Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk.  The new helicopter improves on its predecessor...

Update: North Korean warplanes conduct rare mass drill

By Akhil Kadidal 13 October 2022
South Korean F-15Ks and USAF F-16 jets fly in response to North Korea's IRBM launch on 4 October 2022. The F-15s subsequently bombed an uninhabited South Korean island 50 km west of the mainland. This appears to have partly prompted a larger bombing exercise by North Korea on an undisclosed islet on 8 October. (South Korean Ministry of National Defense)  North Korea has conducted an unprecedented series of live-fire drills using warplanes. This includes what Pyongyang describes as one of its largest air combat exercises.  In a statement on 10...

AUSA 2022: XTEND to supply autonomous UAS kits to Pentagon Irregular Warfare Directorate

12 October 2022
A rendering of XTEND's multipayload indoor-outdoor tactical UAS system. (XTEND)  The Pentagon's Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) awarded XTEND, via its US defence entity XTEND Reality Inc, an USD8.9 million contract to develop an indoor-outdoor, multipayload tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS).  The contract, announced on 10 October during the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, DC, held from 10 to 12 October, covers “hundreds” of UAS that are to be delivered by 2023, company officials to...

UK MoD satellites scheduled for UK launch in November

By Olivia Savage 12 October 2022
Pictured is Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket, launched by carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl, it will carry Prometheus-2 and CIRCE to space. (Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson)  Two UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) CubeSats – Prometheus-2 and Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction CubeSat Experiment (CIRCE) – will be launched in November, Virgin Orbit said on 11 October.  The satellites will be launched onboard Virgin Orbit's Cosmic Girl aircraft as part of the company's 'Start Me Up' space mission.  The confirmed launch date has not been specified.  Start...

Royal Navy completes Wildcat weapon wing trials

By Gareth Jennings 12 October 2022
A Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter seen carrying a maximum loadout of 20 Martlet missiles during recent trials of the new weapons wing. (Crown copyright)  The Royal Navy (RN) has completed trials of a new weapons-carriage wing for the Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat HMA2 helicopter.  Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) announced the milestone on 12 October, saying that the naval variant of the Wildcat helicopter had successfully proven the concept of the weapons wing during recent sea trials.    “Successful Ship Helicopter Operating Limitations...

Argentina develops new machine gun pod for aircraft

By Santiago Rivas 12 October 2022
Seen being carried by an EMB-312 Tucano during trials, the Tordo is a domestically developed machine gun pod for the Argentine Air Force and an international market. (Argentine Air Force)  The Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina: FAA) has received the first batch of nine Tordo machine gun pods developed domestically by the General Directorate of Research and Development (Dirección General de Investigación y Desarrollo: DGID).  Fitted with Browning M1919 7.62 mm machine guns, the pods will be used for training across a range of FAA air...

AUSA 2022: US Army developing medical resupply kits for UAS

By Daniel Wasserbly 11 October 2022
US Army Medical Research and Development Command's CLVIII Cargo Pods have an integrated parachute drop option. (Janes/Dan Wasserbly)  US Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) is developing a device to deliver whole blood and other medical supplies via an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).  Known as ‘Project Crimson', the effort seeks to deliver pods that mount on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UASs and can carry Class VIII (CLVIII: meaning medical material and equipment) out to troops in the field, a USAMRDC spokesperson...

AUSA 2022: Boeing unveils Modernized Apache concept

By Marc Selinger & Gareth Jennings 11 October 2022
Boeing unveiled its ‘Modernized Apache Concept’ at the 2022 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, DC. (Janes/Marc Selinger)  Boeing has developed a concept for a modernised version of its Apache AH-64E Version 6 (v6) attack helicopter, the aerospace manufacturer revealed on 10 October at the 2022 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, DC.  The Modernized Apache concept includes drivetrain, interoperability, and sensor upgrades, reduced pilot workload, and lower-cost airframe s...

North Korean warplanes conduct rare mass drill

By Akhil Kadidal 11 October 2022
South Korean F-15Ks and USAF F-16 jets fly in response to North Korea's IRBM launch on 4 October 2022. The F-15s subsequently bombed an uninhabited South Korean island 50 km west of the mainland. This appears to have partly prompted a larger bombing exercise by North Korea on an undisclosed islet on 8 October. (South Korean Ministry of National Defense)  North Korea has conducted an unprecedented series of live-fire drills using warplanes. This includes what Pyongyang describes as one of its largest air combat exercises.  In a statement on 10...

Bulgaria receives first interim fighter offers

By Gareth Jennings 11 October 2022
With its MiG-29s (pictured) nearing the end of their service lives and the newly acquired F-16 Block 70s not set to arrive for a few years, Bulgaria is planning to field interim fighter aircraft from 2023 to the end of the decade to bridge the capability gap. (Bulgarian Air Force)  Bulgaria has begun to receive offers for the supply of interim combat aircraft as it struggles to maintain the airworthiness of its MiG-29s at the same time as managing a delay to the arrival of its Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 70s.  Bulgarian Defence Minister Dim...

AUSA 2022: General Atomics unveils new Gray Eagle variant

By Carlo Munoz 11 October 2022
MQ-1C Gray Eagle. (General Atomics Aeronautical Systems)  General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) unveiled a new variant of its venerable Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system (UAS) at the annual Association of the US Army (AUSA) 2022 conference held in Washington, DC, from 10 to 12 October.  The new variant, dubbed the Gray Eagle 25M (GE-25M), was specifically designed to be highly upgradable and adaptable to meet the growing slate of current and future threats, company officials said in a 10 October statement. The unmanned aircraft's...

Delayed development: India's LCH inducted after two decades of work

By Akhil Kadidal 11 October 2022
The Indian Air Force inducted its first Light Combat Helicopter on 3 October 2022. The helicopter's EO-IR pod in the nose, which was previously concealed, is in operational mode. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal )  India's induction of the Light Combat Helicop...

Austria eyes F-35 for future Eurofighter replacement

By Georg Mader 11 October 2022
Austria has become the latest country to log its interest in the F-35, eyeing a possible sale to replace its Eurofighter Typhoons in the post-2030 timeframe. (US Air Force)  Austria is considering the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as a potential replacement for its fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons in the post-2030 timeframe.    Following publication on 7 October of the EUR16 billion (USD15.5 billion) defence budget through to 2027,   Janes  was told that the armament-directorate of the Austrian Mini...

Israeli MoD looking at petrol-engine quadcopter UAVs to lift heavier loads

By Yaakov Lappin 11 October 2022
The Israeli company Aerotor is developing the Apus 50 unmanned quadcopter to carry a 30 kg payload. (Aerotor)  The Israel Ministry of Defense's Directorate of Defense Research & Development (DDR&D) and the Aerotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) company are jointly developing a platform that appears to be a front runner for the future main air logistical system for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).  Raz Geva, CEO and co-founder of Aerotor, told Janes that the two UAVs his company is developing, the Apus 15, which is already a functioning prototy...

AUSA 2022: US Army to begin testing first FTUAS

By Marc Selinger 10 October 2022
AeroVironment displayed its Jump 20 unmanned aerial vehicle at the 2021 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual conference in Washington, DC. (Janes/Pat Host)  The US Army, which recently received its first Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) from manufacturer AeroVironment, plans to begin trying out the equipment “very shortly”, according to an official at the US-based company.  The system, which includes six Jump 20 air vehicles and four ground control stations, will undergo “a few months” of testing and evaluation...

France to order large number of Satcom stations in 2023 for Syracuse IV

By Olivia Savage 10 October 2022
The French 2023 defence budget details a requirement for 55 Satcom stations for Syracuse IV. Pictured is the Syracuse 4A satellite. (Thales Alenia Space)  The French military will procure a large number of satellite communication (Satcom) ground stations for the Syracuse IV constellation in 2023.  According to the French Armed Forces 2023 defence bill (Projet de loi de finances des Armées 2023 - LPM année 5), announced on 5 October, the French military will acquire 55 Satcom ground stations for the Syracuse IV constellation.  The French Army...

AUSA 2022: Team displaying Stryker with high-power microwave for C-UAS mission

By Ashley Roque 10 October 2022
The Stryker Leonidas technology demonstrator. Epirus and GDLS tested this high-power microwave capability against swarms of aerial drones. (GDLS)  Epirus and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) are unveiling a Stryker combat vehicle outfitted with the Leonidas high-power microwave (HPM) system at this year's Association of the US Army (AUSA) conference.    Scott Taylor, GDLS's director of US business development, spoke with  Janes  about the Stryker Leonidas technology demonstrator on 29 September ahead of the annual confere...

AUSA 2022: Hellfires find life-support as US Navy surface-ship weapon

By Michael Fabey 10 October 2022
The US Navy is putting Hellfire missiles on its Littoral Combat Ships for surface warfare operations. (US Navy)  As the US Army moves away from its stalwart AGM-114 Longbow Hellfire missile to make way for the Lockheed Martin AGM-179 Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), the Hellfire is finding continued life in the US Navy (USN) Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) programme.    While the army approved the JAGM for full-rate production on 30 August, Northrop Grumman has remained on track to deliver weapons package sets to the USN LCS programme that...

New IAF branch for weapon systems operators

By Akhil Kadidal 10 October 2022
WS operators, UAV operators, and missile operations personnel will be unified in a new branch in the Indian Air Force. The air force said that this will cut training costs and increase core competencies across these specialist roles. (United States Air Force)    The Indian government has approved the creation of a new branch for weapon systems (WS) personnel    in the Indian Air Force (IAF).   In a statement on 8 October, India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that the “creation of the WS branch would entail unification of...
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