Air news

Netherlands to deploy Reapers to Romania

By Gareth Jennings 15 January 2024
The Royal Netherlands Air Force is relocating an undisclosed number of Reaper UAVs from the Caribbean to Romania. (Royal Netherlands Air Force)  The Netherlands is to deploy General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Romania to help bolster NATO's eastern flank, it was announced on 12 January.  The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) said it is to redeploy the Reapers it has been trialling from the Dutch island of Curaçao in the Caribbean region, saying the work to dismantle and transport...

Albania receives two Black Hawk helicopters

By Igor Bozinovski 15 January 2024
A file photo of a UH-60A Black Hawk, of the type that Albania has received from surplus US Army stocks. (US Department of Defense)  A pair of US Army surplus Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters were delivered to Albania on 13 January, Albanian Minister of Defence Niko Peleshi disclosed on the same day.  Delivered aboard a US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifter, the helicopters were transferred to Rinas Air Base, near Tirana.  Albania plans to use its UH-60s in utility, tactical transport, fast-roping, and aerial fire...

Ukraine conflict: Russia has lost 90% of its equipment in Krynky due to shortage of EW, UK MoD says

By Olivia Savage 15 January 2024
A screengrab from the 501st Separate Marine Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (Grifon 501) destroying a Russian armoured vehicle with a UAV, possibly an MBT or TOS-1 MLRS, because of the large explosion. (501st Separate Marine Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine)  Russia is said to have lost approximately 90% of its military equipment in Krynky, Kherson, likely because of a shortage of Russian electronic warfare (EW) systems in the area, according to a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) intelligence update on 12 January.  The equipment...

Ukraine conflict: Russia loses ISR aircraft, Kyiv says

By Gareth Jennings 15 January 2024
A file photo of a Russian A-50 AEW&C aircraft of the type that Ukraine says it shot down along with an Il-22 on 14 January. (United Aircraft Corporation)  Russia lost two intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft on 14 January, the Ukrainian military has said.  Reports that a Russian Beriev A-50 ‘Mainstay' airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft and an Ilyushin Il-20 ‘Coot' surveillance aircraft were shot down were seemingly confirmed the following day by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, G...

Surface Navy 2024: US Navy highlights live-fire demonstration combining unmanned platforms

By Michael Fabey 12 January 2024
The US Navy combined a CUSV with a UAV for a recent live-fire targeting demonstration. (Textron Systems)    The US Navy (USN) recently combined different types of unmanned platforms for    a successful live-fire demonstration, Captain Matthew Lehmann, programme manager for Littoral Combat Ship Mission Modules (LCS MM), noted on 10 January during a briefing at the Surface Navy Association (SNA) National Symposium 2024.   According to the USN's Unmanned and Small Combatants (USC) programme office, during a C4F Fleet Experimen...

France orders additional Rafale combat aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2024
The French Air and Space Force is to receive a further 42 Rafale combat aircraft, the country's minister of armed forces has announced. (French Air and Space Force)  France has ordered additional Dassault Rafale combat aircraft, the country's Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu announced on 12 January.  Lecornu said that 42 new aircraft will be acquired for the French Air and Space Force.  “A new decisive step has been taken with the order for 42 Rafale for the air force. This is excellent news for our sovereignty, our security, an...

Update: Indian Navy to induct Hermes 900 Starliner

By Oishee Majumdar 12 January 2024
A Hermes 900 in maritime configuration. The Indian Navy will induct two Hermes 900 Starliner UAVs by the end of February. (Elbit Systems)  The Indian Navy will induct two Hermes 900 Starliner unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the end of February, a spokesperson for the Indian Navy told Janes on 10 January.  Elbit Systems' Hermes 900 Starliner is manufactured in India by Adani Defence and Aerospace under the name ‘Drishti 10' for Indian customers. Drishti 10 was unveiled on 10 January in the presence of India's Chief of the Naval Staff, Admir...

Jordan places new F-16s under contract

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2024
With older F-16s (pictured) already in service, Jordan is now to receive the latest Block 70 aircraft. (Janes/Patrick Allen)    Jordan has signed for new F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, with Lockheed Martin telling   Janes  that the previous letter of acceptance (LOA) has now been firmed up into a contract.   With Jordan signing its LOA for eight Block 70/72 aircraft in June 2022, Lockheed Martin said on 11 January that this had now become a contract for 12 Block 70 aircraft (the Block 70 is powered by the General El...

Update: Lockheed Martin hands over first F-16s to Slovakia

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2024
One of two F-16s handed over to Slovakia. (Lockheed Martin)  Lockheed Martin has formally handed over to Slovakia its first F-16 Block 70 Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft, the manufacturer announced on 10 January.  The first two of 14 jets were delivered to the Slovak Air Force at Lockheed Martin's Greenville production facility in South Carolina.  Lockheed Martin told Janes that, in this context, ‘delivery' “refers to the acceptance of the two Slovakia F-16 Block 70s by the [US] Defense Contract Management Agency. This acceptance w...

Indian Navy to induct Hermes 900 Starliner

By Oishee Majumdar 11 January 2024
A Hermes 900 in maritime configuration. The Indian Navy will induct two Hermes 900 Starliner UAVs by the end of February. (Elbit Systems)    The Indian Navy will induct two Hermes 900 Starliner unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the end of February, a spokesperson for the Indian Navy told  Janes  on 10 January.   Elbit Systems' Hermes 900 Starliner is manufactured in India by Adani Defence and Aerospace under the name ‘Drishti 10' for Indian customers. Drishti 10 was unveiled on 10 January in the presence of India's Chief...

Update: United Launch Alliance launches Vulcan rocket on maiden flight

By Zach Rosenberg 11 January 2024
ULA's Vulcan rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral on 8 January, launching the Peregrine lunar lander into a trans-lunar injection orbit. (ULA)  United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched its first Vulcan launch vehicle the morning of 8 January, paving the way for a slate of national security, scientific, and private launches.  The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41 at 0218 h local time. Vulcan launched in the VC2S configuration, with two GEM 63XL solid rocket boosters and a standard 5.4 m (17.7 ft)...

Tanzania orders C-27J airlifters from Italy

By Gareth Jennings 11 January 2024
Tanzania has ordered two Leonardo C-27J Spartan transport aircraft that it will use primarily for civil support duties. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Tanzania has ordered two Leonardo C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, the Italian government announced on 9 January.  Signed by the Tanzanian Minister of Defence and National Service, Stergomena Tax, and the Italian Ambassador to Tanzania, Marco Lombardi, the deal will see the Tanzanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) use the aircraft primarily for civil support duties.  “Equipped with kits for humanitarian, s...

Spain stands up new Space Command

By Gareth Jennings 10 January 2024
Minister of Defence Margarita Robles was joined by the Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Force, Air General Javier Salto Martínez-Avial; the Chief of Staff of the Space Command, Brigadier General Isaac Manuel Crespo Zaragoza; and others at the standing up of the new MESPA Space Command at Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base. (Spanish Air and Space Force)  Spain stood up its Space Command (Mando del Espacio: MESPA) on 9 January, formalising the new Spanish Air and Space Force structure.  Spanish Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, visited MEPSA at...

Taiwan's AIDC develops new trainer aircraft

By Akhil Kadidal 10 January 2024
Taiwan's AIDC's new basic trainer aircraft programme – the design for which is pictured above – aims to compete to replace the RoCAF's Beechcraft T-34C aircraft by the early 2030s. (AIDC)  Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) has completed the first stage-design of a new basic trainer aircraft, the company announced on 10 January.  The basic trainer – which AIDC plans to introduce into the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) by 2033 – aims to replace the service's 36 Beechcraft T-34C Turbo-Mentor trainer aircraft, whic...

South Korea to mass-produce TAipers anti-tank missiles

By Akhil Kadidal 10 January 2024
South Korea's domestically developed TAipers anti-tank missile is scheduled to start replace the Republic of Korea's (RoK's) military stocks of ageing TOW missiles from 2024. (Janes)  South Korea is preparing to mass-produce its domestically developed TAipers (‘Tank Snipers' or Cheongeom) air-launched anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).    The TAipers will go into mass production from 2024 to 2031, a spokesperson from South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) told  Janes  . According to the agency, the prog...

US to upgrade Lajes to support Poseidon MMA

By Gareth Jennings 10 January 2024
A US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft takes off from Lajes Field in the Azores. The base provides a stopping point for aircraft to commute back and forth between the US and Europe and is to be upgraded to support P-8A operations, though it is not clear if this describes the current transient flights or represents a plan to launch anti-submarine warfare missions from the islands. (DVIDS)  The US Department of Defense (DoD) is to upgrade Lajes Field in the Azores to support the Boeing P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA).  Disclosed in...

United Launch Alliance launches Vulcan rocket on maiden flight

By Zach Rosenberg 09 January 2024
ULA's Vulcan rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral on 8 January, launching the Peregrine lunar lander into a trans-lunar injection orbit. (ULA)  United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched its first Vulcan launch vehicle the morning of 8 January, paving the way for a slate of national security, scientific, and private launches.  The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41 at 0218 h local time, putting the privately operated Peregrine lander on a path towards the moon. Vulcan launched in the VC2S configurat...

Aurora Flight Sciences begins construction of X-65 CRANE experimental aircraft

By Zach Rosenberg 09 January 2024
An artist's rendering of Aurora Flight Sciences' CRANE design. The first flight is scheduled in 2025. (DARPA)  The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Aurora Flight Sciences to build the X-65 Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) experimental aircraft, intended to test the viability of manoeuvring without external flight surfaces, according to a 3 January statement from the organisation.  Component tooling and part fabrication have begun at Aurora Flight Sciences' facilities in West Virginia...

Australia disassembling MRH90 fleet

By Akhil Kadidal 08 January 2024
The potential market for parts and systems harvested from the MRH90 Taipan is large as 13 operators continue to operate more than 450 NH90 variants worldwide. (Commonwealth of Australia)  The Australian government has started the process of disassembling its fleet of NHIndustries MRH90 ‘Taipan' helicopters.  Janes understands that the decision to dismantle and scrap the 45-strong fleet was made after no other countries or parties expressed interest in acquiring the helicopters as a whole.  Speaking to Janes, an Australian Department of Defenc...

Germany drops opposition to Saudi Eurofighter sale

By Gareth Jennings 08 January 2024
With a German minister saying Saudi Arabian Eurofighter combat aircraft have been intercepting Houthi missiles bound for Israel, Berlin has dropped its previous opposition to a follow-on sale to the Kingdom. (BAE Systems)  Germany has dropped its long-standing opposition to a follow-on sale of Eurofighter combat aircraft to Saudi Arabia, it was reported on 8 January.  German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock announced the shift in policy in comments made to journalists during a visit to Israel, Agence France-Presse (AFP),...
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