Euronaval 2022: SonoFlash prepares for qualification trials
18 October 2022
by Kate Tringham
SonoFlash is on track to be fully qualified in 2024. (Thales)
The development of Thales' SonoFlash combined active/passive A-size sonobuoy is nearing completion as the system gears up for qualification trials in the coming months.
Speaking to media during a pre-Euronaval 2022 briefing on 11 October, Rozenn Thierry, head of Thales' SonoFlash programme, said the sonobuoy was on track to start qualification trials with France's Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) in 2023, with a view to delivering the first production units to the French Navy in 2024.
The qualification phase will follow the successful completion of developmental testing in 2022.
Following feasibility studies launched in 2016, Thales was awarded a contract by the DGA in December 2020 for the full development, qualification, and production of SonoFlash.
SonoFlash is a new-generation acoustic buoy that has been developed to meet the French Navy's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) requirements. In addition, as part of the country's wider efforts to re-establish its sovereign industrial capabilities, the programme intends to establish a new network of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to support local sonobuoy production.
Swiss Air Force receives first two Hermes 900 UAVs
31 January 2023
by Gareth Jennings
The Swiss Air Force is flying operational testing sorties on two of its planned six Elbit Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft. (Armasuisse)
The Swiss Air Force has received the first two of six Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Heavy Fuel Engine (HFE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that were ordered under the Reconnaissance Drone System 15 (ADS 15) requirement.
The Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (VBS) announced the milestone on 30 January, approximately nine months after Israel delivered the aircraft to the Swiss Federal Office for Armaments (Armasuisse) for in-country flight trials.
“The military aviation authority has issued the necessary certification. This means that the air force can now start building up the operational capabilities for the ADS 15 reconnaissance drone system,” the VBS said.
Aeralis, AirTanker sign MOU to explore future training opportunities
30 January 2023
by Gareth Jennings
The latest concept art of the Aeralis modular jet, released to mark the signing of an MOU with AirTanker. (Aeralis)
Aeralis and AirTanker have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore future flying training and air combat support opportunities.
Announced on 30 January, the MOU will see the two UK-based companies identify and assess upcoming contracts in military flying training, defence operational training, and combat air support roles for the modular jet aircraft being developed by Aeralis.
“The MOU covers a range of services that AirTanker can offer, such as collaboration with overseas partners and establishing local service provision. The MOU will involve the sharing of information and regular progress updates, as well as joint workshops to explore future collaboration opportunities. The agreement aims to use the Aeralis programme to achieve significantly lower financing, acquisition, and operating costs for aircraft compared to incumbents, paving the way for enabling a wide range of ‘on-demand' operational air support services as part of the future of air force fleets,” the announcement said.
Quantum-Systems Vector UAV, suited for a range of reconnaissance missions and capable of operating at speeds of up to 25 m/s in challenging environments, has been selected by the Ukrainian MoD. (Quantum-Systems)
Ukraine has ordered an additional tranche of reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
According to Germany-based Quantum-Systems, the company has received a contract from Ukraine's Ministry of Defence (MoD) for 105 Vector reconnaissance UAVs.
Ukraine's armed forces will receive the systems, which have been funded by the German government, the company detailed.
Quantum-Systems was unable to comment on delivery timeframes and contract value for contractual reasons.
In addition to providing the UAVs, the company will open a facility in Ukraine that will offer user training and maintenance support, Quantum-Systems said.
This is the second contract in less than a year placed by Kyiv for the company's Vector UAV. In August 2022, Ukraine ordered 33 Vector UAVs for its armed forces, financed by the German ‘security capacity building' fund.
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