F/A-18s to demonstrate ability to operate from Indian aircraft carriers

by Akhil Kadidal

A US Navy F/A-18E takes off from a mock-up of a UK aircraft carrier ramp at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland in August 2020. Two F/A-18Es are set to conduct ski jumps from India's Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), which has a slightly steeper ramp, from May to June 2022. (US Navy/Erik Hildebrandt)

Boeing, which will demonstrate the ability of the F/A-18E Super Hornet to operate from Indian aircraft carriers, expressed confidence that the aircraft will exceed the requirements for India's multi-role carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF) procurement.

Two F/A-18E fighters will demonstrate the aircraft's capabilities at the Indian Navy's Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa, India, in the latter part of May. The tests are expected to last for a few weeks, going into June.

The MRCBF programme intends to acquire 57 naval fighters to partly equip India's first indigenious aircraft carrier (IAC), the 40,000-tonne INS Vikrant. The carrier is scheduled to be commissioned in August.

Alain Garcia, vice-president of India Business Development, Boeing Defense, Space and Securityand Global Services told Janes that the aircraft will conduct jobs requested by the Indian Navy, and in different configurations.

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South Korea backs proposal to acquire additional F-35s

by Akhil Kadidal

South Korea hopes to acquire an additional 20 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs as part of its efforts to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. (South Korea Ministry of National Defense)

A defence subcommittee of the South Korean government has backed a proposal to purchase additional Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter jets.

Speaking to Janes, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) confirmed the proposal. DAPA said that the proposal is under way and did not provide additional details at the time of publication.

South Korean media reported on 29 June that the project was approved on 9 June by a subcommittee of the Defense Project Promotion Committee. This second F-35A project is expected to cost KRW3.9 trillion (USD3 billion), according to media reports.

The potential acquisition of these aircraft is in line with previous announcements by Seoul about its interest in acquiring 20 additional aircraft.

However, in May, a supplementary budget law approved by the South Korean National Assembly reduced the country's defence funding for 2022 by more than KRW1.5 trillion (USD1.2 billion).

The largest cut was to the aircraft acquisition budget, which sees KRW228.6 billion in reductions. Janes

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Ukraine conflict: Baykar to donate further TB2 UCAVs to Kyiv

by Gareth Jennings

Baykar is to donate three further Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs to Ukraine, to add to the one aircraft it gifted earlier in June. (Baykar)

Baykar, the Turkish manufacturer of the Bayraktar TB2, is to donate additional unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Ukraine, refusing to accept crowd-funded payment for the aircraft.

Baykar announced the gifting of three UCAVs on 27 June, saying that “The People's Bayraktar” campaign to raise funding for the procurement should instead redirect the monies raised to “the struggling people of Ukraine”.

“Baykar will not accept payment for the TB2, and we will send three UAVs free of charge to the Ukrainian war front,” the company said.

This latest donation comes about three weeks after Baykar said it would donate a Lithuanian-funded Bayraktar to Ukraine, also saying that the funds collected by the Lithuanian public for the purchase should instead be given to Kyiv for humanitarian aid.

While Baykar did not disclose the level of funding raised, Lithuania's Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas said that EUR6 million (USD6.4 million) had been collected for the single Bayraktar.

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Djibouti parades Bayraktar UCAVs

by Gareth Jennings

A file image of the Baykar Bayraktar TB2 UCAV, which Djibouti received from Turkey. (Baykar)

Djibouti has revealed itself to be an operator of the Baykar Bayraktar TB2, parading the Turkish-built unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at its independence day celebrations on 27 June.

Two Bayraktar UCAVs were showcased in a military parade to mark the 45th anniversary of independence for the east African country, with each being transported on the back of a flatbed truck.

With both UCAVs featuring the national flag of Djibouti and the markings of the Djibouti Air Force (Force Aerienne du Djibouti: FAD), one aircraft carried two underwing Roketsan MAM-L smart micro munitions, while the second was unarmed.

Although the procurement/sale and delivery of the Bayraktar TB2 have not been announced by either the Djibouti or Turkish governments, and they do not appear in any satellite imagery of the Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport (the sole operating base for the FAD), online flight tracking services recorded an Ilyushin Il-76 heavy-lift cargo aircraft operating between the two countries in early June.

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Boeing, which will demonstrate the ability of the F/A-18E Super Hornet to operate from Indian aircra...

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