Air news

Update: KAI to develop new ISR aircraft system for RoKAF under Baekdu-II project

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 02 November 2021
KAI will lead the development of the Baekdu-II ISR aircraft system, which will be based on a Dassault Falcon 2000LXS (shown here), for the RoKAF. (KAI)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has been selected by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in Seoul as the preferred bidder for the second development project of a Baekdu intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft system for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF).  The company announced the milestone on 1 November, noting that the new ISR platform will be...

UK relaunches contractor-based aviation training effort

By Gareth Jennings 02 November 2021
With the UK having brought forward the retirement of its Hawk T1/T1A aircraft from 2030 to 2022, the MoD is now seeking a new contractor-based aviation training service from the third quarter of 2022. (BAE Systems)  The United Kingdom is again looking to procure a contractor-based aviation training capability, following the earlier collapse of the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme.  The Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued its Medium to fast speed Operational Readiness Training (ORT) aerial support service tender on 2...

GE secures continued F-15EX engine production

By Gareth Jennings 01 November 2021
Having previously been contracted to deliver Lot 1 powerplants for the F-15EX, General Electric will now continue as the engine provider for the programme with a new Lot 2 to 8 award. (General Electric)  The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted General Electric (GE) to continue engine production for the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II combat aircraft.  The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 29 October that it had awarded GE USD1.58 billion for Lots 2+ engine production, covering 29 F110-GE-129 engines (installs and spares), as well as seven opt...

Kratos clean sheet design wins USAF Off Board Sensing Station contract

By Pat Host 01 November 2021
Kratos offered a new design for its bid that won a contract for the US Air Force's (USAF's) Off Board Sensing Station (OBSS) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme. On 25 October the company received a USD17.7 million cost plus fixed-fee award wit...

KAI to develop new ISR aircraft system for RoKAF under Baekdu-II project

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 01 November 2021
KAI will lead the development of the Baekdu-II ISR aircraft system, which will be based on a Dassault Falcon 2000LXS (shown here), for the RoKAF. (KAI)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has secured a KRW877.5 billion (USD744.9 million) contract from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in Seoul as the prime contractor in the second development project of a Baekdu intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft system for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF).  The company announced the signing of the contract...

China progressing development of KJ-600 and Y-20B aircraft

By Andreas Rupprecht & Gabriel Dominguez 01 November 2021
Analysis of commercial satellite imagery captured on 2 October indicates that China is advancing the development of both the KJ-600 carrier-capable airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft and a new variant of the Y-20 heavy transport aircraft – known...

KAI and KAL eye RoKA's future division-level reconnaissance UAV programme

By Dae Young Kim 29 October 2021
KAI NI-500VT concept model displayed at ADEX 2021. (Dae Young Kim)  South Korean aerospace companies are positioning to meet a potential Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) requirement for a next-generation, division-level reconnaissance and target acquisition unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  Officials from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Korean Air (KAL) told Janes at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021), held from 19 to 23 October, that RoKA desires a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability along wit...

UK Watchkeeper TUAV mid-life extension to come on line in 2026

By Tim Ripley 29 October 2021
The Watchkeeper MLE initial operating capability is planned for 2026 and full operating capability for 2027. (Thales)  The British Army aims to have the first enhancements to its Watchkeeper tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV) system ready by 2026. The project to rejuvenate the service's sole TUAV was revealed in the March Defence Command Paper.    A senior British Army source told   Janes  on 26 October that the Watchkeeper mid-life extension (MLE) project passed initial approvals in August. “The full business case is due...

First F-15QAs head for Qatar

By Gareth Jennings 29 October 2021
Seen during pre-delivery trials in the United States, the first of an official 36 F-15QA combat aircraft for the QEAF are now en route to Qatar. (Boeing)  The first F-15QA Ababil combat aircraft for Qatar have departed Boeing's Missouri production facility for the Gulf emirate.  Five Qatari-variant Advanced Eagles left St Louis Lambert International Airport on 27 October on the first leg of their nearly 12,000 km journey to their future home operation station of Al Udeid Air Base.  The departure was noted by flight tracking providers, and ima...

Japan takes delivery of first KC-46A tanker aircraft

By Kosuke Takahashi 29 October 2021
Boeing has delivered the first of four KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tanker aircraft on order for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).    The aircraft arrived on 29 October at Miho Air Base in Tottori Prefecture, western Japan, a spoke...

Images emerge of China's new carrier-capable fighter aircraft in flight

By Alessandra Giovanzanti & Andreas Rupprecht & Gabriel Dominguez 29 October 2021
Images have emerged on Chinese social media platforms showing what appears to be a prototype of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation's (SAC's) next-generation, carrier-capable multirole fighter aircraft performing its maiden flight.  Released on 29 Oc...

Ukraine uses Bayraktar TB2 in anger

By Samuel Cranny-Evans & Thomas Bullock 28 October 2021
Screengrab of footage posted by the Ukrainian general staff showing the moment a Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 armed UAV struck a separatist D-30 122 mm howitzer in Donbass on 26 October. (Ukrainian general staff)  The Ukrainian armed forces general staff confirmed on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) website on 26 October that Ukraine had used a Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in anger for the first time during a counter-battery mission in Donbass earlier the same day.  The general staff posted a video that had appeared earlier on so...

KAI to develop MUM-T system for locally developed RoK military helicopters

By Alessandra Giovanzanti & Dae Young Kim 28 October 2021
At ADEX 2021 KAI displayed a Surion MAH model fitted with an enlarged stub wing-type structure mounting four canisters, each of which is designed to launch either a small UAV or a loitering munition. On 27 October the company announced it had secured a contract to develop an MUM-T capability for locally developed helicopters in service with the RoK military. (KAI)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has secured a KRW4 billion (USD3.4 million) contract from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in Seoul to fast-track the developm...

US awards Off-Boarding Sensing Station development contracts

By Gareth Jennings 28 October 2021
The Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator is one of a number of unmanned ‘loyal wingmen' projects that the US Air Force is working on. The Department of Defense has contracted Kratos and General Atomics to develop the Off-Boarding Sensing Station that is geared at reducing the cost of such attritable UAVs. (US Air Force )  The US Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc to develop the Off-Boarding Sensing Station (OBSS) for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  The aw...

Russia's Ataka-Shorokh acoustic UAV detector completes factory trials

By Dmitry Fediushko 28 October 2021
The Ataka-Shorokh (right) and Ataka-DBS (left) C-UAV systems. (Dmitry Fediushko)  Russia's Ataka-Shorokh acoustic detector of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has completed factory trials, state corporation Rostec announced in October.  “The system has fully completed its factory acceptance trials, which confirmed its functioning, including under harsh weather conditions,” said Rostec.  The Ataka-Shorokh station is equipped with microphones and features software to analyse the environment and detect approaching UAVs. According to Rostec, the...

Images emerge of two-seat J-20 prototype in yellow primer

By Andreas Rupprecht & Gabriel Dominguez 28 October 2021
Images and video footage have emerged on Chinese social media platforms showing what appears to be a two-seat prototype of the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) J-20A fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft.  Released on 26 October, the im...

Update: Northrop Grumman to compete for RoKAF's ISTAR requirement

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 28 October 2021
In partnership with LIG Nex1 and Huneed, Northrop Grumman announced on 19 October that it is working on a JSTAR-K solution (a concept of which is shown in the image) to meet the RoKAF's ISTAR requirement. ( Northrop Grumman)  Northrop Grumman announced on 19 October that it has signed a series of memoranda of understanding with South Korean companies LIG Nex1 and Huneed to develop a ‘Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System – Korea (JSTARS-K)' solution to meet a Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) requirement for an intelligence, surveil...

PLA helicopters enter Taiwan's ADIZ for the first time

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 28 October 2021
A Z-10 attack helicopter (seen here) was one of seven PLA aircraft, including an Mi-17 transport helicopter, spotted entering Taiwan's southwestern ADIZ on 26 October. (Taiwanese MND)  Chinese military helicopters have for the first time entered Taiwan's southwestern air-defence identification zone (ADIZ), according to data provided by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Taipei.  The MND announced on 26 October that a Mil Mi-17 transport helicopter and a Z-10 (WZ-10) attack helicopter were among seven People's Liberation Army (PLA) airc...

JSM enters series production

By Robin Hughes 27 October 2021
A Joint Strike Missile (JSM) being released from the F-35A AF-01 instrumented test platform over Edwards Air Force Base, California. Series production of JSM for the Royal Norwegian Air Force commenced on 21 October, with the signing of an approximately USD473.3 million contract between the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. (Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency )  The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) on 21 October awarded Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) a NOK3.95 billion (USD473.3 million) contract...

Japan to send pilots to Italian flight training school

By Gareth Jennings 27 October 2021
JASDF pilots will join other international students in training with Leonardo and the Italian Air Force on the T-346A aircraft. (Leonardo)  Japan is to send its military pilots to train at the AMI's International Flight Training School (IFTS). It was announced on 26 October.    Following recent similar agreements with Germany and Qatar, the AMI and Leonardo have secured a deal for the JASDF to undertake advanced pilot training (Phase IV) at the IFTS, located at the 61st Wing's Lecce Galatina Airbase in southern Italy.  “The Chief of Staff of...
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