Dubai Airshow 2021: Calidus showcases B-350 ‘light attack' aircraft

by Gareth Jennings & Akshara Parakala

Seen for the first time at the Dubai Airshow 2021, the Calidus B-350 is a ‘light attack' aircraft that is close to double the size of nearly any other platform in the same category. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Calidus has showcased a new ‘light attack' turboprop at the Dubai Airshow 2021, designated the B-350.

A full-scale mock-up of the single-engined twin-seat platform was shown publicly for the first time, complete with a prospective weapons fit that includes a range of largely domestically-developed air-to-surface bombs, rockets, and missiles for offensive operations, as well as air-to-air missiles for self defence.

With a reported wingspan and length in excess of 15 m, and with a maximum take-off weight of approximately nine tonnes, the B-350 is said to be powered by a 2,500–3,000 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127 engine. The aircraft has 12 underwing hardpoints (which can be increased through the use of dual-launchers), as well as an under-fuselage retractable electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret.

Calidus told Janes


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Iraq returns CH-4 UAV to service

by Jeremy Binnie

One of the IAAC's CH-4s displayed with AR-1 missiles and FT-9 bombs at Balad Air Base. (Iraqi Ministry of Defence)

The Iraqi Army Aviation Command (IAAC) has returned its first Chinese-made CH-4 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to service, it was announced on 8 August, when Minister of Defence Juma Enad Saadoun visited the IAAC area of Balad Air Base.

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video showing Saadoun being shown a ground control station and watching a CH-4 armed with AR-1 laser-guided missiles and FT-9 bombs take-off.

Saadoun said in the video that the UAVs played a large role in the war against the Islamic State extremist group, but were put in storage in 2017 because of their age. A contract was signed with the manufacturer in 2021 to return them to service and the work began about a month ago, he said.

The Iraqi MoD unveiled the CH-4s in October 2015 but did not reveal how many it had acquired.


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PLA's drills intended to show capabilities to invade Taiwan

by Akhil Kadidal

Taiwan air force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets prepare to take off from Hualien Air Force Base on 6 August 2022. The aircraft were scrambled to monitor PLA live-fire drills around the island. (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

A series of drills conducted by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently are intended to demonstrate its warfighting capabilities to invade Taiwan.

The drills, which began on 4 August, were officially started to illustrate Beijing's displeasure over a 2 August visit by the US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. However, the state-owned newspaper, Global Times, said on 6 August that the military drills not only promote reunification of Taiwan with the mainland but also “rehearsed a potential real operation”.

Between 4 and 7 August, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) disclosed 113 incursions by PLA aircraft into the country's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Out of these, at least 78 incursions involved PLA aircraft crossing the median line. This line is the de facto sea border separating China from Taiwan.


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UK awards contracts for UAS swarm project

by Olivia Savage

A UAS swarm comprising of Malloy Aeronautics TRV150 systems during a Royal Marines trial. (UK MOD Crown copyright 2021 - Barry Wheeler)

Malloy Aeronautics and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) group have been awarded a contract as part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Multi-Domain Integrated Swarm (MDIS) project, Brigadier Mark Totten, Deputy Director of Acquisition Commando Forces and MDIS told Janes on 27 July.

The project will involve a series of trials with SNC, integrating and teaming approximately 10–20 Malloy Aeronautics unmanned aerial systems (UAS), James Gavin, head of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Future Capability Group (FCG) told Janes.

As part of the project, the MDIS team are interested in understanding how the swarming systems exchange data and the bandwidth/information exchange rates that those behaviours require, Brig Totten said. He added that the project is expected to produce results within the current financial year.

Brig Totten was unable to provide further details surrounding the project, although he did note that the Malloy Aeronautics T400 UAS was used during the trials.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/dubai-airshow-2021-calidus-showcases-b-350-light-attack-aircraft

United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Calidus has showcased a new ‘light attack' turboprop at the Dubai A...

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