Boeing to consider T-7A for USAF Advanced Tactical Trainer requirement
20 October 2021
by Gareth Jennings
Already under contract to deliver 351 T-7A Red Hawk aircraft to the US Air Force for its T-X Advanced Pilot Training requirement, Boeing is considering the platform for the service's recently revealed Advanced Tactical Trainer requirement also. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)
Boeing will consider offering the T-7A Red Hawk aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF) for its recently revealed Advanced Tactical Trainer (ATT) requirement.
Speaking to Janes and other defence media on 20 October, Paul Niewald, Boeing's vice-president and programme manager, T-7 programmes, said the company would consider the USAF Request for Information (RFI) that was released on 12 October, and that the Red Hawk it is currently contracted to deliver to the service under its T-X Advanced Pilot Training requirement is well suited to this future growth mission.
“This aircraft was designed with growth in mind, and to be able to do other things besides the basic training mission. So, the T-7A is uniquely designed to be able to adapt to future growth missions, [and that is] what the recently released [ATT requirement] is,” Niewald said. “We will take a look at [the RFI] to see how the T-7A can support that need as well.”
The US Air Force said that the Bell Boeing CV-22B involved in the mishap was an aircraft from the 353rd Special Operations Wing. The unit operates its CV-22Bs from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo. (US Air Force)
The US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy (USN) grounded their respective V-22 fleets on 6 December, the services said in separate statements. The grounding follows the 29 November crash of a USAF CV-22 near Yakushima, Japan.
“Preliminary investigation information indicates a potential materiel failure caused the mishap, but the underlying cause of the failure is unknown at this time,” Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) said about the 29 November crash in a 6 December statement.
“Out of an abundance of caution, following the AFSOC operational stand down, NAVAIR [Naval Air Systems Command] is instituting a grounding bulletin for all V-22 Osprey variants Dec. 6,” wrote the USN branch that oversees naval aviation, including the USN's and US Marine Corps' CMV- and MV-22s. “While the mishap remains under investigation, we are implementing additional risk mitigation controls to ensure the safety of our service members.”
A file photo of an Italian Reaper unmanned aircraft. The country is upgrading its fleet to the latest Block 5 standard. (GA-ASI)
The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) has flown its first Block 5 version of the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
The manufacturer announced the milestone on 5 December, saying the first flight of the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) took place some weeks earlier on 9 November.
“The new RPA was delivered to the [AMI], along with a new mobile ground control station (MGCS), as part of a mid-life modernisation (MLM) update to the [Italian] fleet of RPAs from GA-ASI. The aircraft and MGCS are part of a Foreign Military Sales,” General Atomics said.
The Block 5 improves on earlier versions of the Reaper in that it provides a significant increase in electrical power generation, auto take-off and landing capability with improved landing gear and datalinks, and features the latest version of the GA-ASI Lynx multimode radar.
Wing Loong II UAV being developed for diverse roles
06 December 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
AVIC's unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) Wing Loong II (Gongji-2 or GJ-2). (Janes)
The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is improving the capabilities of its Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to handle multiple applications.
During a recent flight demonstration of the UAV for the state-owned newspaper,
, Li Yidong, chief designer at AVIC Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), said the applications of the Wing Loong series of UAVs “are still expanding”.
The demonstration showed the Wing Loong II's ability to climb, cruise, and operate at low altitude. Li said, “In the future, the [UAVs] will integrate with new technologies, including 5G+, industrial internet, artificial intelligence, and big data, and promote more highly efficient applications in more fields together with the whole industrial chain, such as scientific investigation, mapping, and logistics”.
The demonstration was conducted at AVIC's Zigong Aviation Industrial Park, according to state-owned media.
Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss how China's economic activity projects influence globally and what she learnt as part of the recent US Congressional staff delegation to China.