DX Korea 2022: KAI unveils MC-X transport aircraft proposal
21 September 2022
by Jon Grevatt
KAI has outlined plans to develop a new military transport aircraft for South Korean and export markets. The MC-X development programme is expected to continue through the 2020s. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has unveiled a model of its proposed new military multirole cargo aircraft, which it is calling the MC-X.
A company official told
at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition – being held in Goyang from 21 to 25 September – that the new transport aircraft could be operational in the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) within 10 years.
“We envisage that the development of the MC-X could take about seven or eight years. We could start production of the aircraft in 2031 or 2032,” the KAI official said.
He added that while KAI plans to develop and produce the aircraft on its own, it is possible that a foreign industry partner could join the programme.
“We plan to do this ourselves. But we also plan to undertake a technology readiness assessment (TRA) and if this TRA identifies certain requirements it is possible that we would look for a foreign partner,” the official added.
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.