Air news

Italy confirms P.180 EVO Plus acquisition, P.1HH cancelled

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 21 October 2021
The Italian armed forces are procuring six new Piaggio Aerospace P.180 EVO Plus light utility aircraft, the Italian Air Force has confirmed to   Janes  on 20 October.   (Piaggio)    The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana – AMI) has confirmed to   Janes  that the country's armed forces are procuring six Piaggio Aerospace P.180 light utility aircraft to replace legacy units. Meanwhile, the P.1HH HammerHead programme has been officially cancelled.     Speaking to   Janes...

Switchblade 300 fired from USV as part of US/UK sensor-to-shooter demo

By Richard Scott 21 October 2021
An AeroVironment Switchblade 300 tactical precision-guided missile is fired from the UK's MADFOX USV during the NATO ‘REP(MUS) 21' exercise. (AeroVironment)  The US Navy (USN) and UK Royal Navy (RN) have successfully executed a maritime sensor-to-shooter (S2S) demonstration culminating in the firing of an AeroVironment Switchblade 300 tactical precision-guided missile from an experimental unmanned surface vessel (USV).  Part of a US/UK Interoperability to Interchangeability (I2I) initiative using unmanned/uncrewed systems, the S2S capability...

USMC takes official delivery of Reaper UASs

By Gareth Jennings 21 October 2021
US Marine Corps personnel control a government-owned and government-operated Reaper unmanned aircraft for the first time in late August. GA-ASO announced the official handover of ownership to the corps on 20 October. (USMC)  The US Marine Corps (USMC) has taken official ownership of two General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the manufacturer announced on 20 October.  The transfer of the Block 5 Reapers and their associated equipment was completed f...

Z-20 prototype seen carrying possible anti-tank guided missiles

By Andreas Rupprecht 21 October 2021
Images have emerged on Chinese social media platforms showing what appear to be a new prototype or variant of the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) Z-20 multirole helicopter carrying anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and other stores.  The imag...

US Army insists on human-piloted rotorcraft for armed reconnaissance mission instead of UAV

By Pat Host 21 October 2021
A US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper UAV pictured on 5 August at March Air Reserve Base in California. The US Army insists on having a piloted rotorcraft perform the armed reconnaissance mission, though an expert said the service could do it, and do it cheaper, with an MQ-9. (US Air National Guard)  The US Army insists it needs a human-piloted Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) helicopter to perform the armed reconnaissance mission despite experts telling Janes the service could perform the mission with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  Briga...

DARPA hosting final drone swarm demo in November, companies look for service buy in

By Ashley Roque 21 October 2021
Shown here is an image of Northrop Grumman participating in DARPA's OFFSET programme. Both Northrop Grumman and Raytheon BBN will attempt to have a single operator control 200-plus ground and aerial drones during a November demo. (Northrop Grumman)  The US Department of Defense (DoD) may be focused on finding technologies to down aerial drones, however, its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is also working with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon BBN on ways a single operator can control hundreds of ground and aerial drones at once....

British Army armoured reconnaissance battlegroup manoeuvres across Germany

By Tim Ripley 20 October 2021
Vehicles of the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed from the UK to Germany for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer', which took place in the first half of October. (Crown copyright)  Approximately 180 vehicles and 650 soldiers from the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed over 1,100 km by road to Germany in the last week of September from their home garrison in Catterick, North Yorkshire, for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer'.  The regiment reported on social media that it then carried out a 7...

Update: AUSA 2021: US Army test pilots fly Defiant tech demonstrator during FLRAA source selection

By Pat Host 20 October 2021
The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator as seen on 20 February 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. US Army test pilots have flown the platform during FLRAA source selection to help the team better refine its end product for the service if Sikorsky-Boeing wins the FLRAA procurement. (Janes/Pat Host)  US Army test pilots recently flew the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator during source selection for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition to help the team have a better end product for the ser...

RAF receives seventh Poseidon MMA

By Gareth Jennings 20 October 2021
The seventh of nine P-8A Poseidons to be received by the UK bears the name William Barker VC, after a First World War pilot who flew with the same 201 Squadron that operates the maritime multimission aircraft. (Crown Copyright)  The seventh of nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) arrived in the United Kingdom on 19 October.  Aircraft ZP807, named William Barker VC after a Canadian pilot who served with the RAF's 201 Squadron during the First World War, flew into RAF Lossiemouth in S...

Arnold Defense unveils ‘Trident' 2.75-inch rocket air launcher concept

By Robin Hughes 20 October 2021
The Arnold Defense ‘Trident' three-round launcher prototype concept demonstrator mounted on Moog Space and Defense Group's Lightweight Dual Rail Launcher. (Arnold Defense)  Arnold Defense has unveiled a three-round air launcher concept protoytpe for 2.75 inch/70 mm laser-guided rockets. Developed in partnership with Moog Space and Defense Group, the concept demonstrator – designated ‘Trident' – was unveiled at the AUSA 2021 exhibition in Washington, mounted on a Moog Lightweight Dual Rail Launcher.  Weighing approximately 14.5–16.3 kg (unload...

ADEX 2021: LIG Nex1 unveils heavy-lift UAV development

By Dae Young Kim 20 October 2021
LIG Nex1 unveiled its KCD-200 unmanned aerial vehicle development at ADEX 2021. (Dae Young Kim)  South Korean defence prime LIG Nex1 is showcasing its new heavy-lift unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept at the 2021 edition of Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX), being held from 19 to 24 October.  LIG Nex1 unveiled a model of the KCD-200 heavy-lift UAV, which is being developed to meet defence and commercial logistics requirements. The effort leverages on the company's experience in UAV development and systems integratio...

USAF launches E-3 replacement effort, notes E-7 intent

By Gareth Jennings 20 October 2021
Seen here in Australian service, the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail is being lined up by the US Air Force as a replacement for its ageing E-3 Sentry AWACS fleet. (DVIDS)  The US Air Force (USAF) has launched an effort to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, with the intent of fielding the same company's E-7 Wedgetail.  The USAF issued a notice of contract action, titled ‘E-3 Replacement Aircraft Studies & Analyses', on 19 October, in which it announced it is to sole-source Boeing to perfor...

Boeing to consider T-7A for USAF Advanced Tactical Trainer requirement

By Gareth Jennings 20 October 2021
Already under contract to deliver 351 T-7A Red Hawk aircraft to the US Air Force for its T-X Advanced Pilot Training requirement, Boeing is considering the platform for the service's recently revealed Advanced Tactical Trainer requirement also. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Boeing will consider offering the T-7A Red Hawk aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF) for its recently revealed Advanced Tactical Trainer (ATT) requirement.  Speaking to Janes and other defence media on 20 October, Paul Niewald, Boeing's vice-president and programme manager, T-7...

ADEX 2021: KAI reveals more details about FA-50 upgrade plans

By Dae Young Kim & Gabriel Dominguez 19 October 2021
KAI has revealed more details about its plans to improve the range and combat capabilities of the FA-50 light attack aircraft. (KAI)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has revealed more details about the planned upgrade of its FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft, 60 examples of which are currently in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF).  Speaking to Janes at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021) held from 19–23 October, company officials said the upgrade, which is aimed at enhancing bo...

ADEX 2021: KAI and Hyundai Heavy Industries sign MOU on CVX co-operation

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 19 October 2021
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-operate in the development of a light aircraft carrier for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).  Announced on 19 October during...

ADEX 2021: KAI unveils concept model for electrically powered basic trainer

By Dae Young Kim & Alessandra Giovanzanti & Gabriel Dominguez 19 October 2021
At the ADEX 2021 defence exhibition at Seoul Airport KAI displayed a concept model of a next-generation, electrically powered basic training aircraft (front), as well as a model of what appears to be a further development of the company's KT-1 basic trainer (background). (Dae Young Kim)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) displayed a concept model of a new electrically powered basic training aircraft that the company aims to develop to meet a future requirement by the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF).  Showcased at the Seoul International Ae...

USAF seeks new missile protection for HH-60W helo as part of wider upgrades

By Gareth Jennings 19 October 2021
With the Combat Rescue Helicopter programme having been baselined in 2012, some HH-60W systems, including the DIRCM missile protection, need to be updated ahead of the type's entry into service. (US Air Force)  The US Air Force (USAF) is seeking a new missile protection system for its HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopter as part of a wider effort to improve on the 2012 requirements baseline.  The service disclosed on 15 October that it is looking to acquire a lightweight directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM)...

ADEX 2021: KAI pitches unmanned Light Armed Helicopter

By Gareth Jennings 19 October 2021
A screenshot from a KAI video showing the LAH MUMT concept, released at the ADEX 2021 event in Seoul. (KAI)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has revealed its concept for an unmanned version of the Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) it is developed for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).  The manufacturer featured the unmanned version of the LAH as part of its wider portfolio of future unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) showcased in a new concept video released to coincide with the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX), which is ta...

Update: AUSA 2021: Bell selects Rolls-Royce engine for V-280

By Pat Host 19 October 2021
Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine on display on 13 October at the AUSA annual convention in Washington, DC. Bell will use the engine in its V-280 tiltrotor if it wins the US Army's FLRAA competition. (Janes/Pat Host)  Bell has selected Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine to serve as the propulsion system on the V-280 Valor tiltrotor if the programme wins the US Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.  John Shade, Rolls-Royce executive vice-president of business development and future programmes, told Janes on 11 October at the As...

UK to probe Parker's bid for Meggitt

By Marc Selinger 19 October 2021
UK Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Kwasi Kwarteng has directed the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to assess whether Parker Hannifin Corporation's proposed acquisition of Meggitt raises national  security concerns, the department announced on 18 October.  The CMA will have until 18 March 2022 to finish its work and report its findings to Kwarteng, the BEIS said. While Kwarteng did not say what national security concerns might exist, Parker is headquartered in the United States...
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