The fully loaded Milkor 380 UCAV was showcased for the first time at AAD 2022. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)
South African-based Milkor showcased a fully loaded prototype of its 380 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 expo held in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September.
Ghaazim Rylands, CEO of Milkor Integrated Systems, a division of Milkor for manufacture and integration of the Milkor 380 UCAV, told Janes on 22 September that “the first prototype is undergoing ground testing and integration with various ammunition using five hardpoints, and the second prototype is currently being manufactured”.
DARPA selects General Atomics and Aurora Flight Sciences to design wing-in-ground effect lifters
03 February 2023
by Zach Rosenberg
Aurora Flight Sciences' Liberty Lifter concept. (Aurora Flight Sciences)
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on 1 February selected two companies to design wing-in-ground effect (WIG) concepts for Phase 1 of the Liberty Lifter programme.
The 18-month contract is intended to advance designs from both General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Aurora Flight Sciences through preliminary design review (PDR), plus an additional three months for presentation and manufacturing planning.
The Liberty Lifter is intended to result in designs capable of flying 6,500 n mile with six standard cargo containers or two US Marine Corps (USMC) Amphibious Assault Vehicles, handling waves up to 13 ft high (Sea State 5) and flying up to a 10,000 ft altitude.
“The two teams have taken distinctly different design approaches that will enable us to explore a relatively large design space during Phase 1,” said Christopher Kent, DARPA programme manager.
Swiss Air Force receives first two Hermes 900 UAVs
31 January 2023
by Gareth Jennings
The Swiss Air Force is flying operational testing sorties on two of its planned six Elbit Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft. (Armasuisse)
The Swiss Air Force has received the first two of six Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Heavy Fuel Engine (HFE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that were ordered under the Reconnaissance Drone System 15 (ADS 15) requirement.
The Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (VBS) announced the milestone on 30 January, approximately nine months after Israel delivered the aircraft to the Swiss Federal Office for Armaments (Armasuisse) for in-country flight trials.
“The military aviation authority has issued the necessary certification. This means that the air force can now start building up the operational capabilities for the ADS 15 reconnaissance drone system,” the VBS said.
Aeralis, AirTanker sign MOU to explore future training opportunities
30 January 2023
by Gareth Jennings
The latest concept art of the Aeralis modular jet, released to mark the signing of an MOU with AirTanker. (Aeralis)
Aeralis and AirTanker have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore future flying training and air combat support opportunities.
Announced on 30 January, the MOU will see the two UK-based companies identify and assess upcoming contracts in military flying training, defence operational training, and combat air support roles for the modular jet aircraft being developed by Aeralis.
“The MOU covers a range of services that AirTanker can offer, such as collaboration with overseas partners and establishing local service provision. The MOU will involve the sharing of information and regular progress updates, as well as joint workshops to explore future collaboration opportunities. The agreement aims to use the Aeralis programme to achieve significantly lower financing, acquisition, and operating costs for aircraft compared to incumbents, paving the way for enabling a wide range of ‘on-demand' operational air support services as part of the future of air force fleets,” the announcement said.