Air news

Platform Aerospace offers VTOL-capable Vanilla Unmanned aircraft for US Army programmes

By Pat Host 27 October 2021
The Platform Aerospace Vanilla Unmanned Group 3 aircraft on display at the 2021 AUSA trade show in Washington, DC. The aircraft is displayed with Logos Technologies' RedKite electro-optical wide-area motion imagery pod (foreground) and BlackKite infrared WAMI pod (background). Platform Aerospace is adding VTOL rotors to the Vanilla for an unspecified Pentagon customer and offering the capability for US Army programmes. (Janes/Pat Host)  Platform Aerospace is offering a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) variant of its Vanilla Unmanned ultra...

PTDI delivers second of nine NC212i aircraft to Indonesian Air Force

By Gabriel Dominguez 27 October 2021
PTDI announced on 26 October that it had delivered the second of nine NC212i aircraft on order for the Indonesian Air Force. (PTDI)  State-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) announced on 26 October that it has delivered the second of nine NC212i aircraft ordered for the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) in late 2017.  The troop transport aircraft – with tail number AX-2127 – was delivered that same day in a ferry flight from PTDI's delivery centre hangar in Bandung, West Java, to the Abdulrachman Saleh Air Force Base in Ma...

UK funds TRED-H demonstrator for organic fire support

By Richard Scott 27 October 2021
The UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has tasked aviation systems house Callen-Lenz Associates to develop, build, and flight test an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) concept demonstrator designed to deliver an organic fire support c...

Northrop Grumman to compete for RoKAF's ISTAR requirement

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 26 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...

Qatar frustrated by slow US response to MQ-9B request

By Jeremy Binnie 26 October 2021
The US State Department is delaying a request that Qatar submitted over a year ago to buy four MQ-9B Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Qatari officials have told the   Wall Street Journal  .   “The frustration from our...

France launches first Syracuse IV telecommunications satellite

By Jean-Marc Tanguy 26 October 2021
An Ariane 5 rocket launched from the Guiana Space Centre placed France's new Syracuse IV military telecommunications satellite (artist's impression) in low orbit on 22 October 2021. (Thales Alenia Space/Emma Briot)  An Ariane 5 rocket launched from the Guiana Space Centre placed France's new Syracuse 4A military telecommunications satellite in low orbit on 22 October.  The first of three Syracuse IV satellites designed by Airbus and Thales will become operational in nine months, seven months after it reaches geostationary orbit propelled by i...

UK aligns Airseeker support agreement with extended out of service date

By Gareth Jennings 26 October 2021
One of the three RAF Airseeker aircraft operating out of RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. (Crown Copyright)  The United Kingdom has extended its support agreement with the United States for the L3 Technologies RC-135V/W Airseeker (Rivet Joint) to align with the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) aircraft's extended out of service date.  The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 26 October that the support agreement with the US government for three Royal Air Force (RAF) electronic surveillance (ELINT) ai...

US Air Force expects new requirements for Advanced Tactical Trainer

By Pat Host 26 October 2021
The KAI T-50A is a top expected respondent to the US Air Force's Advanced Tactical Trainer request for information. KAI teamed with Lockheed Martin to offer the platform the USAF's Advanced Pilot Training procurement, which selected the Boeing-Saab T-7A. (Lockheed Martin)  General Mark Kelly, Air Combat Command (ACC) chief, and an important US Air Force (USAF) officer, anticipates requirements for a possible new Advanced Tactical Trainer (ATT) that were not requested for the service's Boeing-Saab T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer, which is i...

USAF begins F-15EX operational trials

By Gareth Jennings 26 October 2021
The US Air Force has launched operational trials of the F-15EX Eagle II out of Nellis AFB in Nevada. (US Air Force)  The US Air Force (USAF) has begun operational trials of the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II multirole combat aircraft, with flights launched out of Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada from 18 to 25 October.  The initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) sorties were flown by the two F-15EXs received so far, as well as two F-15C-variant Eagles.  “The main focus here is to provide the initial push for operational tests and evaluat...

Bell rolls out first AH-1Z for Bahrain

By Gareth Jennings 25 October 2021
With the roll-out of the first AH-1Z for Bahrain, it was revealed that the kingdom's fleet will feature a ‘unique' two-tone grey colour scheme. (Bell)  Bell has rolled out the first of 12 AH-1Z Viper for Bahrain, handing the attack helicopter over to the US Naval Air Systems Command ahead of delivery to the Gulf kingdom in 2022.  The manufacturer announced the milestone on 22 October, releasing an image of this first helicopter finished in the ‘unique' two-tone grey scheme and markings of the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF). News of the roll-...

RN Wildcat completes first Martlet in-service firing

By Richard Scott 25 October 2021
A first Martlet in-service firing was completed in the Bay of Bengal on 16 October. (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)  A UK Royal Navy (RN) Wildcat HMA2 helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) has completed the first in-service firing of the Thales Martlet laser-guided anti-surface guided weapon.    Undertaken in the Bay of Bengal, the firing was performed by the Wildcat of 219 Flight, embarked in the Type 45 destroyer HMS   Defender  as part of the RN's Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) deployment.   Developed by Thales to...

Russian airborne forces retool for expanded role

By Mark Galeotti 25 October 2021
Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) order of battle, 2025 (Janes/Mark Galeotti)    The ‘winged infantry' of Russia's Air Assault Troops (Vozdushno Desantniye Voyska: VDV) is an arm of service in its own right, with a strength of 45,000 paratroopers and rising, as well as a distinctive culture and  esprit de corps  . With its blue berets and blue striped telnyashka vests, the VDV is a fixture of parades and military open days, but it has long suffered from a tension in its roles.   Historically, parachute divisions were envisaged...

UK completes Chinook HC4 to HC6A upgrade

By Gareth Jennings 25 October 2021
The RAF has upgraded its 38 HC4 Chinooks to the new HC6A standard, with the fitting of Boeing's Digital Automatic Flight Control System. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The United Kingdom has completed the upgrade of its earliest Boeing Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, the manufacturer announced on 22 October.  The Royal Air Force's (RAF's) fleet of Chinook HC4 helicopters, the earliest of which were introduced in 1981 as the HC1, has been converted to the HC6A standard with the fitting of Boeing's Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS). DAFCS...

Turkish Naval Forces receives first Aksungur UAV

By Cem Devrim Yaylali 25 October 2021
Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) has delivered the first Aksungur armed reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to launch customer Turkish Naval Forces, the Ministry of National Defense announced on its social media account on 21 October.  The...

Kyrgyzstan to acquire Bayraktar TB2 UAVs from Turkey

By Samuel Cranny-Evans 25 October 2021
Kamchybek Tashiev, the chairman of Kyrgyztan's State Committee for National Security, revealed on 21 October that his country is procuring an undisclosed number of Bayraktar TB2 UAVs. (Baykar Defense)  Kyrgyzstan is procuring the Bayraktar TB2 tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Turkey's Baykar Defence, according to an announcement made by Kamchybek Tashiev, the chairman of the State Committee for National Security, on 21 October.  “Bayraktar military drones are being made for us in Turkey now ... In Turkey today, we are training peop...

Indonesia seeks more autonomy on CN235 production in offset talks for A400M

By Ridzwan Rahmat 25 October 2021
An Indonesian maritime patrol aircraft variant of the CN235 at the Singapore Airshow in 2016. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)  Indonesia is seeking greater autonomy from Airbus in the manufacturing process for the CN235 twin-turboprop aircraft.    Meeting documents provided to   Janes  indicate that Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials have included this objective as an offset condition should Jakarta decide to procure A400M multirole aircraft for the Indonesian Air Force.   The CN235 is a medium-range utility aircraft t...

Elbit Systems divests Ashot Ashkelon holding

By Charles Forrester 22 October 2021
Israel's Elbit Systems announced on 21 October that it had signed an agreement to sell its 84.98% stake in component manufacturer Ashot Ashkelon to private equity fund FIMI Opportunity Funds.  The deal is valued at USD88 million and will involve El...

ADEX 2021: Korean Air signs MOU with Insitu to develop VTOL UAV

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 22 October 2021
A computer-generated image of the KUS-VS ‘lift & cruise' VTOL UAV that Korean Air is currently developing for tactical operations. At ADEX 2021 the company signed an MOU with Insitu to develop a new lightweight, modular VTOL UAV. (Korean Air)  Korean Air and Boeing subsidiary Insitu have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a new lightweight, modular, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  Signed on 22 October during the 19-23 October Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX...

US Army's unfunded requirement request for FTUAS would accelerate fielding

By Pat Host 22 October 2021
A scaled-up version of Textron Systems' Aerosonde HQ UAV on display at the 2021 Association of the United States Army's annual trade show in Washington, DC. Textron Systems is offering this scaled-up Aerosonde HQ for FTUAS Increment 2. (Janes/Pat Host)  The US Army's USD79 million unfunded requirement request for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) in fiscal year (FY) 2022 would accelerate system fielding by two years.  US Army spokesman Jim Thomson said on 18 October that this money would field Increment 1, a capability of m...

US Navy seeks new ‘Aggressor' training aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 22 October 2021
Seen in USN colours as part of Boeing's pitch for the service's Undergraduate Jet Training System requirement, the T-7A Red Hawk is likely to be one of the candidate platforms put forward for the USN's recently released Tactical Surrogate Aircraft requirement. (Boeing)  The US Navy (USN) has issued a request for information (RFI) for a new Aggressor aircraft for ‘red air' combat training.  The Tactical Surrogate Aircraft (TSA) requirement released on 21 October would see a new aircraft type perform three primary pilot training missions, namel...
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