AUSA 2021: Kaman Air Vehicles launches Kargo heavy-lift autonomous UAV

by Pat Host

A full-scale model of Kaman Air Vehicles' Kargo heavy-lift autonomous quadcopter UAV on display on 13 October 2021 at the AUSA annual convention in Washington, DC. The company unveiled the aircraft at the event. (Janes/Pat Host)

Kaman Air Vehicles unveiled its Kargo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), an autonomous heavy-lift quadcopter capable of carrying approximately 363 kg payload, with a full-scale model at the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA's) annual convention.

Romin Dasmalchi, Kaman Aerospace senior director of business development and government relations, told Janes on 13 October at AUSA that the aircraft is designed to support future US Army and US Marine Corps (USMC) operating concepts such as Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations that imply austere conditions and forward deployment. Kaman Air Vehicles wants the Kargo to provide the US armed services logistics options so that they are not using expensive aircraft such as the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors to fly cheap cargo for short distances.

Dasmalchi said the Kargo will have a cost-per-flight-hour on par with a commercial helicopter that runs a 300 hp engine such as a Robinson R66.

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Japan to send pilots to Italian flight training school

by Gareth Jennings

JASDF pilots will join other international students in training with Leonardo and the Italian Air Force on the T-346A aircraft. (Leonardo)

Japan is to send its military pilots to train at the AMI's International Flight Training School (IFTS). It was announced on 26 October.

Following recent similar agreements with Germany and Qatar, the AMI and Leonardo have secured a deal for the JASDF to undertake advanced pilot training (Phase IV) at the IFTS, located at the 61st Wing's Lecce Galatina Airbase in southern Italy.

“The Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, General Alberto Rosso, and the Chief of Staff of the JASDF, General Shunji Izutsu, have signed today an important technical arrangement on the training of Japanese military pilots,” as well as training student pilots, Leonardo said, adding that the agreement could also see Japanese instructors working at the IFTS. Leonardo did not say when the first JASDF personnel are scheduled to arrive at the IFTS.

As noted in an announcement, the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana – AMI) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) enjoy a close relationship, with both air forces operating the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing KC-767 tanker.

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

by Pat Host

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-long endurance Group 3 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for US Army programmes, according to a company executive.

Greg Pappianou, company chief growth officer, told Janes on 22 October that these programmes do not include the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, which had VTOL UAVs such as the L3Harris FVR-90 hybrid quadcopter participate in a capstone rodeo in early 2021. Platform Aerospace wants to deliver this VTOL capability for a Pentagon customer, which Pappianou declined to specify, and then offer the Vanilla VTOL variant as an additional product offering.

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PTDI delivers second of nine NC212i aircraft to Indonesian Air Force

by Gabriel Dominguez

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 Malang, East Java, the company said in a statement, adding that this platform will also be assigned to “Air Squadron 4, Air Wing 2”, which is headquartered at the base.

These aircraft are part of an order placed by the Ministry of Defence in Jakarta on 29 December 2017 for nine NC212is in different configurations. Of the nine aircraft, four will be available in the troop transport configuration, another four in aerial photography and artificial rainmaking configuration, and one in the navigation training configuration, according to the company.

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Kaman Air Vehicles unveiled its Kargo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), an autonomous heavy-lift quadco...

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