Azerbaijan unveils first Akinci UAV

by Jeremy Binnie

The Baykar Bayraktar Akıncı UAV that was unveiled on 9 February. (President of the Republic of Azerbaijan)

Azerbaijan unveiled its Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on 9 February when President Ilham Aliyev visited what was described as the Azerbaijani Air Forces' (HHQ's) UAV academy.

The Ministry of Defence reported that Aliyev was briefed on the facilities that have been created at the academy for training personnel and viewed an Akıncı taking off and landing.

Photographs released by the president's office showed an Akıncı with Azerbaijani markings and the manufacturer serial S46, indicating it was produced after the one displayed by Ethiopia in January, which had the serial S40. The Pakistan Air Force was the first Akıncı export customer to confirm it had received its first UAVs.

Aliyev also inspected a range of air-launched weapons that included a Roketsan SOM cruise missile, a MAM-T laser-guided bomb, and a general-purpose bomb fitted with a glide kit. Azerbaijani TV coverage of the visit showed at least 10 other weapons were displayed, most of which could not be seen clearly but included Roketsan's Çakır cruise missile.


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US Army seeks more effective UAV in the Arctic

by Meredith Roaten

The RQ-7B Shadow was deployed during JPMRC 24-02 at a brigade level. (US Army)

After the US Army announced it would not buy any more RQ-7 Shadows, an11th Airborne Division official told Janes that the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could not be used in cold temperatures.

The Shadow is not approved to operate at temperatures below -20ºF, Lieutenant Colonel James Jones, assistant G3, the assistant officer in charge of operations for the 11th Airborne Division, said in an interview. The UAV was deployed during the the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation because of unseasonably warm temperatures, but the army needs a new intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) asset for its brigade commanders, he said.

“Everything up here needs to be rated at least a -40[ºF] for it to really be useful,” Lt Col Jones said. The 11th Airborne Division attempted to get approval for the Shadow to fly under the lower limits of its approved temperatures.


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Singapore Airshow 2024: Singapore to replace fleet of Heron 1, Hermes 450 UAVs

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Republic of Singapore Air Force Heron 1 UAV, seen at Paya Lebar Air Base in September 2023. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be replacing its fleet of Heron 1 and Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of the service's renewal plans.

In a statement made ahead of the Singapore Airshow 2024, which is held from 20 to 25 February, the RSAF's outgoing chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, noted that UAVs will continue to play a key role in providing airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

“Our existing Hermes 450 and Heron 1 UAVs have been in service since 2007 and 2012 respectively, and the RSAF plans to replace them,” said General Khong, who will step down from the service's helm in March 2024.

“The RSAF has been keeping pace with UAV developments around the world, and our renewal plans will carefully select and assess UAV platforms that will best suit our operational requirements,” he said, adding that details on these are being worked out.


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Singapore Airshow 2024: Singapore to embark on Apache life extension programme

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Republic of Singapore Air Force Apache AH-64D helicopter seen here at the Singapore Airshow 2024. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Singapore's fleet of Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters will soon undergo a life extension programme (LEP).

The matter was confirmed by the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) outgoing chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, in a statement ahead of the Singapore Airshow 2024, held from 20 to 25 February.

“The AH-64D Apache helicopter continues to be a versatile multimission aircraft that is effective in both day and night, against threats from air, land, and sea, and under all weather conditions,” said Maj Gen Khong, who will step down as chief of the RSAF in March 2024.

“The RSAF has been operating the AH-64D since 1999 and it continues to play an important role for [the] SAF [Singapore Armed Forces]. The RSAF will embark on a life extension programme for our AH-64Ds to ensure it remains operationally ready beyond 2030,” he added.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/azerbaijan-unveils-first-akinci-uav

Azerbaijan unveiled its Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on 9 February when President ...

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