Chinese helicopters with high-altitude capability achieve milestones
18 May 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
China's AC313A helicopter conducted its maiden flight on 17 May. With improved engines and high-altitude performance, this helicopter, which is an upgraded version of the Z-8 helicopters in PLA service, is likely to also be used by the Chinese military. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
Two of China's domestically manufactured helicopters with high-altitude capabilities have achieved significant developmental milestones, according to state-owned media.
The Chinese national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported on 15 May that a Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) Z-20 helicopter airlifted an 8×8 Lynx all-terrain vehicle during exercises. The helicopter was attached to an aerial assault brigade of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) 83rd Group Army.
According to the state-owned
newspaper, this demonstration shows the helicopter's ability to “transport a wide variety of vehicles” on a sling load. This could include artillery pieces, air-defense missile platforms, munitions carriers, and unmanned vehicles.
The newspaper added that the exercise demonstrates the capabilities of the Z-20's domestically built turboshaft engines as well as its fly-by-wire flight control system to handle complicated loads.
Two of the T-62s with Berezhok turrets in the military parade in Algiers on 5 July. (AFP via Getty Images)
The Algerian People's National Army (ANP) unveiled the T-62 tanks that it has converted into fire-support vehicles during the parade marking the 60th anniversary of the country's independence on 5 July.
The parade included 10 of the conversions, which involved replacing the tank's original turrets with the Russian-made Berezhok turret that has been used to upgrade many of the ANP's BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles. This involved fitting an additional armoured collar around the T-62's turret ring to accommodate the smaller diameter of the Berezhok.
A T-62 hull fitted with this collar, but not the new turret, was seen in Algerian media coverage when ANP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Saïd Chengriha visited the Central Logistics Base in Blida on 1 December 2020.
The facility was previously shown fitting Berezhoks to BMP-1s. The Russian media reported in 2015 that Algeria had placed a second order with KBP, Tula, for 360 Berezhoks for BMP-1s and quoted the company's general director as saying that more than 400 had been delivered under the first contract.
Decreasing margins: The Indian Air Force's dwindling air superiority
06 July 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
For decades, the Indian Air Force concentrated its military air infrastructure and units against Pakistan. However, since 2015 China has been accelerating the building of new airports and airbases near India's border. (Janes)
For decades, the Indian Air Force (IAF) commanded an advantage in air superiority against regional adversaries such as Pakistan and China. However, a mix of domestic policies and technological advances by Beijing is eroding India's tactical advantages.
As the world's fourth largest air force, according to
data, the IAF comprises 1,713 manned aircraft plus more than 232 surveillance and attack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, its combat strength is more modest than these numbers suggest.
About 29% of its aircraft (511) are ageing or obsolete,
data shows. Most of these dated platforms are combat aircraft, including the Cold War-era Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 air-defence fighters and Sepecat Jaguar deep-strike aircraft.
Sikorsky Raider X prototype 90% complete, engine delivery expected in November
06 July 2022
by Gillian Rich
The Sikorsky Raider X was 90% complete in June 2022 at the company's West Palm Beach facility. The aircraft is shown here with the turreted cannon under the nose and with the weapons bay door open, with the modular effects launcher attached. (Sikorsky)
Sikorsky said that the prototype Raider X, its submission for the US Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programme, is 90% complete and the company has 98% of parts on hand for the build.
The company is waiting for the T901-GE-900 Improved Turbine Engine (ITE) from General Electric to arrive in November 2022.
The ITE is “the last significant piece of our helicopter that hasn't been installed”, Pete Germanowski, FARA chief engineer at Sikorsky, told reporters on 28 June.
The army announced on 23 March that it conducted the first ‘light-off' off General Electric's T901 First Engine to Test (FETT), meaning power was produced by igniting fuel in the engine.
Podcast recording date: 26 April 2022.
Huw Williams of our EMEA news team chairs a discussion focussed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine featuring Amael Kotlarski, Senior Analyst at Janes, Thomas Bullock, Senior Russia and CIS OSINT Analyst a...