Chile buys three Boeing E-3D Sentry aircraft from UK

by Santiago Rivas

Chile has acquired three former RAF Sentry AEW1 aircraft, one of which will be used for spares. (Crown Copyright)

The Chilean Air Force (FACh) has purchased three Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning Mk 1 (AEW1) aircraft from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) for an undisclosed amount, FACh sources told Janes .

The aircraft, one of which will be used for spare parts, will replace the FACh's single Boeing 707-385C that was modified in Israel for AEW missions, called IAI Phalcon in Israel and Cóndor in Chile.

The RAF retired the last of its E-3D in 2021, when the FACh started negotiations to buy three. A source told Janes that crews and technicians were sent to the UK in late 2021 to inspect the aircraft and create training courses on their operation. The E-3Ds could fly to Chile this year, the source added.

The 707 Cóndor is near the end of its operational life. Built in 1965 it served as Boeing's demonstrator and testbed before being sold in 1969 to LAN Chile airline and then to the FACh in 1990.

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Belgium formalises second MRTT tanker buy to bring NATO MMU fleet to 10

by Gareth Jennings

With this new Belgian MOU, the NATO Multinational MRTT Unit will field 10 KC-30M tanker-transport aircraft by the time deliveries are complete in 2027. (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

Belgium has formalised the procurement of a second Airbus A330-200 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) as its contribution to the NATO Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU).

Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the additional aircraft on 24 March, bringing the Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) to 10 aircraft once deliveries are complete in 2027.

“On this occasion, Minister Dedonder confirmed Belgium's investment of EUR265 million [USD285 million] in the project,” the Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced.

Located at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands, the 10 KC-30M (the NATO designation for the A330 MRTT) will be tasked to deliver 10,000 flight hours per year to the participating countries of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, and Norway. With seven aircraftr delivered so far, the MMU declared initial operating capability the day prior to the Belgian announcement on 23 March. Full operating capability (FOC) is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of the ninth aircraft in 2024.

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US, South Korea conduct THAAD remote launcher deployment training

by Kapil Kajal

THAAD is a long-range, land-based theatre defence system. The easily transportable battery of weapons is designed to engage incoming tactical and theatre ballistic missiles out to 200 km and to intercept them as high as 150 km. The picture shows a THAAD interceptor launched from the Marshall Islands during a flight test in August 2019. (US Missile Defense Agency)

The US Forces Korea (USFK) and the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA)have conducted deployment training for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) remote launcher.

According to a joint press release by the USFK and the RoKA, the THAAD remote launcher deployment training was conducted “for the first time”, as part of the bilateral South Korea-hosted Exercise ‘Freedom Shield', which concluded on 23 March.

The normalisation of the THAAD operations and capabilities provided the USFK readiness to ensure continued resourcing of the unit, as well as an opportunity to modify the defence design by exercising remote launch options, the RoKA said.

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Nordic countries combine combat air power

by Gareth Jennings

A Swedish Gripen and Finnish Hornet combat aircraft conducting joint manoeuvres. Together with Denmark and Norway, the two countries will combine their combat aviation assets with a joint Nordic operational concept agreed upon in a letter of intent. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden have agreed on “seamless co-operation” between their respective air forces, with a letter of intent (LOI) announced on 23 March.

Signed on 16 March by the commanders of the four air forces, and in the presence of the Commander of US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), General James B Hecker, at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the LOI is billed as being the first declaration of its kind.

“The declaration of intent strengthens co-operation between the two countries and creates the conditions for strengthening the air defence of the Nordic countries,” a joint communique said. “The aim is seamless co-operation between the air forces of the two countries and the ability to operate together in all situations.”

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The Chilean Air Force (FACh) has purchased three Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning Mk 1 (AEW...

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