Australian P-8A fleet damaged by hailstorm

by Gareth Jennings & Jon Grevatt

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 aircraft are being inspected to determine the extent of the damage.

“As a result of a severe weather event on 28 October 2021, a number of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon aircraft based at RAAF Base Edinburgh incurred impact damage from hailstones. A detailed and comprehensive inspection programme has been undertaken to assess the damage and implement repairs. [The] RAAF continues to be able to complete operational tasking and has sufficient aircraft to meet readiness requirements,” the DoD said.

While the department did not say how many Poseidons were involved in the incident, Janes


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RAF continues roll-out of A400M capabilities with first operational aerial refuelling

by Gareth Jennings

The view of the A400M receiver aircraft from the Voyager mission controller console. (Crown Copyright)

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is continuing the process of rolling out the capabilities of the Airbus A400M C1 Atlas, announcing on 11 August the first operational aerial refuelling of the airlifter.

For the milestone, an A400M received fuel from an Airbus Voyager KC3 tanker via the centreline hose reserved for large aircraft receivers. The airlifter was refuelled 900 n miles southwest of Ascension Island, extending its 4,100 n miles range to accommodate the remaining 2,600 n miles to Mount Pleasant Airfield on the Falkland Islands.

“The execution of long-range air-to-air refuelling by front-line crews is a major milestone for Atlas. The ability of this aircraft to operate at significant range from the UK, demonstrates our enhanced and resilient force sustainment capabilities,” said Wing Commander Stuart Patton, Officer Commanding 30 Squadron.


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Update: Taiwan reports underplay ‘hundreds' of PLA aircraft in live-fire drills

by Akhil Kadidal

Taiwan said that the PLA flew 49aircraft into the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on 5 August whereas China has said that it is flying ‘hundreds' of aircraft into the ADIZ. (VCG via Getty Images)

China says it is dispatching hundreds of combat aircraft to the six live-fire zones around Taiwan. However, Taipei's daily air incursion reports show smaller figures. Janes assesses that this could partly be because of strains on the country's radar network.

China launched a four-day live-fire exercise around Taiwan from 4 August, in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on 2 August.

On the first day of the drills, the People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) Eastern Theatre Command said that it had “dispatched hundreds of fighters, bombers, and other multitype [aircraft] to the airspace in the north, southwest, and southeast of Taiwan Island”.

The PLA added that the aircraft are conducting “day and night” joint reconnaissance flights, air assault training, and support flights. All six live-fire zones are within Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).


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Chinese UAVs continue Taiwan incursions, says Taipei

by Oishee Majumdar & Akshara Parakala

Norinco's Loitering Dragon FL5A (pictured above) is one of the UAVs identified by Janes in a propaganda video released by the PLA against the backdrop of its military exercises around Taiwan since 4 August. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the country continues to face incursions by Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) even after a series of live-fire drills conducted by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) came to an end on 7 August.

The Kinmen Defense Command of the Republic of China Army (RoCA) announced on 10 August that one batch and one sortie of unidentified UAVs had entered over “the restricted waters” of the Beiding Island in Taiwan's Kinmen County on the evening of 9 August.

The RoCA troops stationed in the area fired flares to warn off the UAVs in accordance with standard operating procedures, the command said.

The MND has assured that the RoCA is capable of swiftly responding to such threats.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/australian-p-8a-fleet-damaged-by-hailstorm

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) is assessing the damage done to its fleet of Boeing P-8A ...

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