Defence news

China's XAC reveals possible new tanker variant

By Andreas Rupprecht & Alessandra Giovanzanti 17 January 2022
China's Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) is progressing rapidly with the development of both the Y-20B heavy transport aircraft fitted with Shenyang WS-20 high-bypass turbofan engines and its KJ-600 carrier-capable airborne early warning...

Pyongyang launches ‘railway missiles' in response to US sanctions

By Jon Grevatt & Rahul Udoshi 17 January 2022
A woman walks past a television screen in Seoul showing a news broadcast with footage of North Korea's most recent missile test, which featured what appeared to be KN-23 short-range ballistic missiles. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images)  Two missiles that North Korea launched on 14 January were fired from the Korean People's Army's (KPA's) newly established railway-borne regiment, Pyongyang has said.  The government's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on 15 January that the firing drill “checked the proficiency” of the missile regiment...

Philippines to order more Black Hawk helos

By Gareth Jennings 17 January 2022
The Philippines is to acquire a further 32 Black Hawk helicopters to add to the 16 received. (Lockheed Martin)  The Philippines is to order 32 additional Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopters to add to the 16 already acquired (of which one was recently lost in an accident).  Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said on 16 January that the country's recent disaster relief experiences have underscored the need to replace the armed forces' ageing Bell UH-1 ‘Huey' helicopters with more Black Hawks.  “The lack of transpor...

Surface Navy 2022: New US Navy surface naval plan includes focus on maintenance changes

By Michael Fabey 14 January 2022
The new US Navy surface naval plan, “Surface Warfare: The Competitive Edge,” released during the Surface Navy Association National Symposium, which started 11 January in Arlington, Virginia, calls on sailors and offices to review the way they maint...

Tanzanian commandos display double-barrel rifles

By Jeremy Binnie 14 January 2022
A Tanzanian special forces soldier (left) carries a Gilboa DBR Snake assault rifle during the 12 January parade. (Tanzanian Office of the President)  The Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF) became the first military known to have taken a double-barrel assault rifle into service, when one of its special forces units carried the Gilboa DBR Snake during a parade on 12 January to mark the anniversary of the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution.  Television coverage of the parade appeared to show that every member of the approximately 50-strong unit was ca...

North Korea launches missiles in response to US sanctions

By Jon Grevatt 14 January 2022
North Korea launched additional missiles on 14 January in an apparent response to additional US sanctions on the Northeast Asian nation.  The tests constitute the latest in a series of weapons trials that North Korea has undertaken in a little over...

Netherlands begins populating second F-35 squadron

By Gareth Jennings 14 January 2022
The last of 24 F-35As arriving at Leeuwarden Air Base on 12 January. At the same time, the first aircraft began arriving at Volkel Air Base as the Royal Netherlands Air Force began the process of populating its second F-35 location and unit. (Royal Netherlands Air Force)  The Netherlands has begun populating its second unit for operating the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), with the news that the first aircraft had arrived at Volkel Air Base.  The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) announced on 12 January that,...

Malaysia receives MD 530G light attack helos

By Gareth Jennings 14 January 2022
All six MD 530G helicopters for Malaysia are lined up at MDHI's Texas training facility for their official handover to the Malaysian MoD. They are currently in transit to Malaysia, arriving before the end of Q1 2022. (MD Helicopters Inc.)  MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) has formally handed over six MD 530G armed reconnaissance and light attack rotorcraft to Malaysia, the company announced on 13 January.  The latest-generation ‘Little Bird' helicopters were delivered to the Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the company's Texas training centre...

Surface Navy 2022: US Navy looks to move away from on-ship contractor reliance

By Michael Fabey 13 January 2022
The US Navy (USN) needs to stop relying so much on shipboard contractors for naval operations, according to Admiral Daryl Caudle, commander, US Fleet Forces Command.  “Over the last few decades, our weapons systems and sensors have become more tech...

Australian P-8A fleet damaged by hailstorm

By Gareth Jennings & Jon Grevatt 13 January 2022
Australia fields 12 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, of which a number sustained damage during a hailstorm at their home station of RAAF Base Edinburgh in October 2021. (Commonwealth of Australia)  The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) is assessing the damage done to its fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) following “a severe weather event” last year.    A DoD spokesperson told   Janes   on 13 January that a hailstorm in South Australia had affected an undisclosed number of Poseidons, and that the air...

Russia flies newbuild Tu-160M bomber

By Gareth Jennings 13 January 2022
The first newbuild Tu-160M made its maiden flight on 12 January. (United Aircraft Corporation)  Russia has flown the first Tupolev Tu-160M ‘Blackjack' strategic bomber to roll of its newly reconstituted production line.  The flight took place at Kazan Aviation Plant on 12 January.  “The flight took place at an altitude of 600 meters [1,969 ft] and lasted about 30 minutes. The crew of test pilots of Tupolev performed manoeuvres to test the stability and controllability of the aircraft in the air,” Rostec said.  The Tu-160 first entered into So...

Surface Navy 2022: Next-generation navigation system on track for low-rate initial production deliveries

By Michael Fabey 13 January 2022
Deliveries of low-rate initial production AN/WSN-12 systems are expected to begin in June 2022. (Northrop Grumman)    Northrop Grumman is on course to start delivering the first low-rate initial production (LRIP) models of its AN/WSN-12 Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) sensor packages in June 2022, Michael Corrigan, company director of Maritime Systems & Integration and Charlottesville site director, told   Janes  .   “We're in the process of building the LRIP units,” Corrigan said during an interview on 17 December 2021,...

Thailand prepares procurement of new fighter aircraft

By Jon Grevatt 13 January 2022
The Royal Thai Air Force is planning to procure new fighter aircraft from 2023. Platforms likely to be considered include Lockheed Martin's F-35. (US Air Force)  The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has received approval from the government to proceed with its plan to procure new fighter aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16A/B Fighting Falcons.    RTAF spokesperson Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Prapas Sonjaidee told   Janes   on 12 January that the Thai cabinet has sanctioned the procurement of an initial four aircr...

South Korea develops DIRCM system

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 13 January 2022
Concept of operation of DIRCM system locally developed in South Korea by ADD and Hanwha Systems. The agency announced the successful completion of flight tests of the DIRCM system on 12 January. (ADD)  South Korea's Agency for Defense Development (ADD) announced on 12 January that it had successfully tested a locally developed directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for military aircraft self-protection.  The agency said that the DIRCM system, which is meant to protect aircraft from incoming portable infrared guided missiles (also kn...

Surface Navy 2022: US Navy shows greater interest in integrating autonomous systems on manned platforms

By Michael Fabey 12 January 2022
The US Navy (USN) appears to be keen about integrating autonomous hull, mechanical, and electric (HME) systems on manned platforms, according to Tom Reynolds, senior director of Business Development, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), Technical S...

Surface Navy 2022: Tactical focus driving AI development

By Carlo Munoz 12 January 2022
SCO's Ghost Fleet Overlord unmanned surface vehicles, NOMAD & RANGER, conduct underway operations off the coast of California in 2021. After transiting to the West Coast, almost entirely in autonomous mode, the vessels will continue fleet experimentation before transitioning to the navy in early 2022. (US Navy)  US Navy (USN) leaders are looking to leverage advanced technological capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in the tactical and operational realm, with combat requirements in those areas driving much o...

Surface Navy 2022: CR could delay hypersonics development, CNO says

By Michael Fabey 12 January 2022
A congressional continuing resolution (CR) to freeze federal funding could delay the development of hypersonic weapons that are part of the Pentagon's conventional prompt strike concept, according to Admiral Michael Gilday, the US Navy (USN) chief...

Hungary to upgrade Gripens

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2022
Hungary is to bring its Gripen C/Ds up to the latest MS 20 Block 2 standard, under a deal announced on 12 January. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Hungary is to upgrade its Saab Gripen C/D combat aircraft to the latest MS20 Block 2 standard, the original equipment manufacturer announced on 12 January.  The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration has concluded negotiations with the Hungarian Government Commissioner Office for the upgrade, which will include a raft of enhancements to the Hungarian Air Force's fleet of 12 Gripen C and one Gripen D aircr...

Northrop Grumman advances PrSM rocket motor testing

By Robin Hughes 12 January 2022
Northrop Grumman conducted a sixth static test of its rocket motor for the Precision Strike Missile weapon system at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, West Virginia, in late September 2021. (Northrop Grumman)  Northrop Grumman has completed a further static qualification test of its advanced rocket motor design for the US Army's prospective Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) weapon system.  Conducted in late September 2021 at the company's Allegany Ballistics Laboratory located in Rocket Center, West Virginia, the test was th...

France tests NGF engine prototype

By Gareth Jennings 12 January 2022
A model of the Next European Fighter Engine/New European Engine being developed by Safran, MTU, and ITP for the FCAS/SCAF New Generation Fighter displayed at the Paris Air Show 2019. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  France has undertaken trials of a prototype engine for the New Generation Fighter (NGF) it is developing with Germany and Spain as part of the wider Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF).  The French defence procurement agency announced on 10 January that it had successfully completed a ground test of a pro...
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