Air news

Carrier Ford ready to make its first official deployment in Atlantic

By Michael Fabey 30 September 2022
US Navy aircraft carrier USS   Gerald R Ford   is scheduled to leave for its first deployment during the first week of October.  (Janes/Michael Fabey)    US Navy aircraft carrier USS   Gerald R Ford  (CVN 78) is scheduled to leave Norfolk, Virginia, for its first official deployment on 3 October, the US Navy (USN) confirmed on 9 September.     However,   Ford   will not be deployed as part of the USN's Global Force Management deployment like most of the other service ships...

Unfazed: PLAAF continued modernisation during the Covid-19 pandemic

By Akhil Kadidal 30 September 2022
A J-20 fighter jet performs during Changchun Air Show on 27 August 2022. China is said to be integrating some J-20s with the domestically developed WS-10 engine. However, the length of the engine exhaust of this aircraft shows that it is powered by the Russian AL-31F engine. (Getty Images)  In 2016 when Xi Jinping instructed the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to modernise, the order galvanised the Chinese military onto a trajectory of strident modernisation. It is a course that appears to have been unwavering despite unanticipated obstacles s...

JASDF to upgrade F-15s, procure F-35Bs

By Akhil Kadidal 30 September 2022
Twelve Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters of the JASDF's 302nd Squadron participate in an elephant walk with various US fighter and support aircraft at Misawa Air Base in Japan on 13 May 2022. Japan is moving to procure additional F-35s to improve its combat capabilities. (US Air Force/Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)  Japan is moving ahead with plans to upgrade or retire older combat aircraft and procure additional Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. This is said to be a response to what Tokyo perceives as a w...

Spain launches national FCAS concept of use study

By Gareth Jennings 29 September 2022
As one of the three national partners in the FCAS/SCAF programme, Spain has tasked its industrial participants with a concept of use study. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Spain has launched a concept of use study for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) in national service, with contracts awarded to each of the country's major industrial participants.  The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the milestone on 28 September, saying that the study relates specifically to the Next-Generation Weapon System (NG...

DTDT 2022: Preferred bidders announced for systems and data roles for UK machine teaming project

By Olivia Savage 29 September 2022
Two companies – Rowden Technologies and IBM – have been announced as the preferred bidders for two separate contracts under the broader British Army Human Machine Teaming (HMT) programme.  Speaking at the 2022 Disruptive Technology for Defence Tran...

Ukraine conflict: Details of Iranian attack UAV released

By Jeremy Binnie 29 September 2022
A composite of photographs from the report shows the locations of the Shahed-131's components. (Janes)  The Armed Forces of Ukraine's Strategic Communications service has released a technical report on an Iranian Shahed-131 one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that explains how it was upgraded to resist jamming.  While mostly written in Cyrillic, the report appeared to be a translation of a US document as it makes extensive use of English abbreviations, including ‘MEPED', a probable reference to the US Military Equipment and Parametri...

Routine USCG patrol notes presence of Russian and Chinese naval vessels in US Alaskan EEZ

By Michael Fabey 28 September 2022
HC-130J aircraft based in Kodiak, Alaska, provide support for surface-ship patrols in the waters off the western part of the state, where Chinese and Russian vessels have been sighted. (Michael Fabey)  US Coast Guard (USCG) Legend-class National Security Cutter (NSC) USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756) sighted Chinese and Russian naval vessels on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea about 75 n miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska, on 19 September, USCG officials confirmed on 26 September.  The Kimball crew identified three Chinese naval vessels, including...

Czech crews commence H-1 helicopter training

By Gareth Jennings 27 September 2022
Air and ground crews from the Czech Air Force have begun training on UH-1Y and AH-1Z (pictured) helicopters in the United States. (Army of the Czech Republic)  Czech personnel have begun training on Bell H-1 helicopters ahead of the commencement of deliveries in 2023.  The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the milestone on 26 September, saying that air and ground crews from the Czech Air Force had begun training on the UH-1Y Venom utility and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter.  “Since July, a group of pilots and onboard technicians from t...

DVD 2022: MSI unveils Terrahawk VSHORAD system

By Christopher Petrov 26 September 2022
MSI unveiled the Terrahawk VSHORAD counter-UAS concept at DVD 2022. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)  MSI Defence Systems unveiled the Terrahawk flatbed-based very short-range air-defence (VSHORAD) system at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2022 event held at the Millbrook Proving Ground on 21 and 22 September. The system is designed to counter small aerial targets, including unmanned aerial systems (UASs), while also retaining capabilities to engage low-flying fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.  The main armament of the Terrahawk is the 30 mm Mk 4...

AAD 2022: Norinco Sky Saker FX400A in service with PLAAF

By Akshara Parakala 26 September 2022
Having completed trials in 2021, the Sky Saker FX400A UCAV is now in PLAAF service. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)  China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) has confirmed the Sky Saker FX400A tactical unmanned combat aerial vehicle's (UCAV's) entry into the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) service.  A scale model was displayed at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 exhibition in Pretoria, which was held from 21 to 25 September. Speaking to Janes at the expo, an official who declined to be identified said that the UCAV had comp...

Turkey touts Eurofighter plan, should F-16 talks stall

By Lale Sariibrahimoglu 26 September 2022
Seen in Luftwaffe service, the Eurofighter could be an option for Turkey should continuing discussions with the United States over the F-16 fail to yield results. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Turkey has, for the first time, officially pronounced a possible purchase of Eurofighter Typhoons in case if the United States fails to sell Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons.  İbrahim Kalın, Turkey's presidential spokesperson, confirmed the previously reported plan, telling local NTV news channel on 23 September, “We have negotiations with Europe regard...

Link 16 terminal qualified for French AWACS aircraft

By Olivia Savage 26 September 2022
French Boeing E-3F Sentry AWACS to get latest military tactical datalink. (Boeing)  The Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminal Block Upgrade 2 (MIDS-LVT BU2) has been qualified for use on all four of the French Air and Space Force Boeing E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.  Announced by the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on 22 September, the new terminal will enable the operation of the latest-generation Link 16 military tactical data network on its aircraft in September−Novem...

Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team selected for HACM hypersonic weapon

By Richard Scott & Daniel Wasserbly 26 September 2022
Raytheon released this computer rendering to illustrate its HACM concept. (Raytheon)  A team of Raytheon and Northrop Grumman has been selected by the US Air Force (USAF) to develop and prototype the service's scramjet-powered Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM).  Raytheon Missiles & Defense was awarded a USD985 million contract by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Armament Directorate on 22 September 2022, beating competition from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company's 54-month contract, which builds on work previously compl...

French Navy becomes first military H160 operator

By Jean-Marc Tanguy 23 September 2022
The first of six H160 helicopters for the French Navy was handed over by service provider Babcock on 22 September. (Jean-Marc Tanguy)  Babcock delivered its first Airbus Helicopters H160 rotorcraft to the French Navy on 22 September during a ceremony at Hyères Naval Air Station (NAS) in southeastern France.  The helicopter was the first of six that have been leased by Babcock as a service provider for 10 years. With the remainder to follow by the end of 2023, they are to be used for maritime search and rescue (SAR) and interdiction missions b...

DX Korea 2022: KAI launches UAM concept for Korean army

By Jon Grevatt 23 September 2022
KAI's UAM for military applications (pictured above) at the DX Korea 2022 show in Goyang. (Jon Grevatt/Janes)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has showcased a scale model of a new unmanned urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft for military applications, at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition held in Goyang.    The company told   Janes  that it plans to develop the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) platform during the 2020s and by 2029 present a prototype to the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA). A KAI official said the RoKA has...

AAD 2022: Hensoldt launches production-ready ASTUS UAS

By Akshara Parakala 23 September 2022
Hensoldt South Africa officially launched a production-ready model of its ASTUS TUAS at the Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2022 expo in Pretoria. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)  Hensoldt South Africa (SA), part of German sensor maker Hensoldt, officially launched a production-ready model of its ASTUS tactical unmanned aerial systems (TUASs) at the Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2022 expo in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September.  ASTUS unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), developed from 2017 by Tellumat South Africa (acquired by Hensoldt in 2021), has...

Link 16 terminal qualified for French AWACS aircraft

By Olivia Savage 23 September 2022
French Boeing E-3F Sentry AWACS to get latest military tactical datalink. (Boeing)  The Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminal Block Upgrade 2 (MIDS-LVT BU2) has been qualified for use on all four of the French Air and Space Force Boeing E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.  Announced by the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on 22 September, the new terminal will enable the operation of the latest-generation Link 16 military tactical data network on its aircraft in September−Novem...

DX Korea 2022: LIG Nex1 unveils ‘Drone Launched Missile'

By Andrew White 23 September 2022
LIG Nex1 has unveiled its 'Drone Launched Missile' concept (pictured above) at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition in Goyang. (Janes/Andrew White)  LIG Nex1 has unveiled a tactical precision-strike concept at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition being held in Goyang from 21 to 25 September.  The ‘Drone Launched Missile' concept, designed for small unit teams in the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA), features a small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), equipped with a reduced form factor targeting pod and armed with four...

AAD 2022: Havelsan exhibits indigenously designed autonomous Baha UAV

By Akshara Parakala 23 September 2022
The Baha UAV developed by Turkey's Havelsan on show at AAD 2022. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)  Turkey's Havelsan exhibited its latest iteration of indigenously developed fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) swarm-capable autonomous Baha unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 expo, held from 21 to 25 September, in South Africa.  The Baha is a small UAV developed to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions with the ability to perform as an independent platform and in alli...

AAD 2022: Denel debuts Loki aerial target

By Akshara Parakala 23 September 2022
The Loki is to be developed as a technology demonstrator. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)  Making its debut at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 expo in South Africa was a mock-up of Denel Aerospace Systems' high-speed recoverable aerial target, Loki.  Under development driven by the requirements of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR), the procurement agency of the South African Department of Defence (DoD), and the South African Air Force (SAAF), Loki is to be developed as a technology demonstrator.  The target is envisaged...
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