France tests NGF engine prototype

by Gareth Jennings

A model of the Next European Fighter Engine/New European Engine being developed by Safran, MTU, and ITP for the FCAS/SCAF New Generation Fighter displayed at the Paris Air Show 2019. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

France has undertaken trials of a prototype engine for the New Generation Fighter (NGF) it is developing with Germany and Spain as part of the wider Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF).

The French defence procurement agency announced on 10 January that it had successfully completed a ground test of a prototype engine under the Turenne programme, using a powerplant derived from the Snecma M88 as currently fitted to the Dassault Rafale combat aircraft.

“At the end of 2021, the Directorate General of Armaments [DGA] completed a major test for the development of the next engine of the [NGF] combat aircraft of the [FCAS/]SCAF. As part of the Turenne defence technology project led by the DGA, a prototype derived from the engine of the Rafale fighter jet was tested on the test bench”, the DGA said.

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India test-flies Agni Prime ballistic missile

by Kapil Kajal & Rahul Udoshi

The DRDO and SFC have conducted the flight test of the nuclear-capable Agni Prime missile from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha, India. The above picture shows the first test launch of the missile in June 2021. (DRDO via Press Information Bureau)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Strategic Forces Command (SFC) have conducted the flight test of a new-generation ballistic missile known as Agni Prime on 7 June, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

According to a press release by the MoD on 8 June, the test was conducted from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the northeastern coast of Odisha. The flight test was conducted as part of user trials, the MoD said.

The MoD said the test was the first pre-induction night launch conducted by the users “after three successful developmental trials of the missile, validating the accuracy and reliability of the system”.

The test “has paved the way for induction of the system into the armed forces”, the MoD added.

Vipin Kumar Kaushik, director of the DRDO's Directorate of Public Interface, told Janes

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Azerbaijan signs for Spartan airlifter

by Gareth Jennings

Seen in Romanian service, the C-27J will now be operated by Azerbaijan. (Leonardo)

Azerbaijan has agreed a deal with Leonardo for the procurement of the C-27J Spartan airlifter, the manufacturer announced on 8 June.

The procurement is part of a wider modernisation plan for the Azerbaijan Air Force (AzAF) and Air Defence Force, and was agreed during a visit to the Caucasian country by an Italian delegation.

“The agreement is part of the extensive modernisation programme of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, which are increasingly looking to the products of Italian industry,” Leoanrdo said.

Leonardo told Janes that it was unable to divulge details as to the number of aircraft involved in the deal nor the delivery timeline. It did note that the aircraft will be the Next Generation (NG) standard, which was launched in March and is now the new baseline configuration for all new customers.

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Chinese-Russian air forces conduct major joint patrol with fighters, bombers

by Akhil Kadidal

Chinese and Russian bombers conducted a joint air patrol on 6 June. The Russian bombers subsequently landed at an unidentified airbase in China. (Japan MoD/Janes)

Russian and Chinese strategic bombers concluded a major joint patrol with fighter aircraft over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea.

According to information published by the Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD), several Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fighter aircraft participated in the joint air patrol at various legs of the operation.

The joint patrol was split into two phases, according to the Japan MoD. Phase one of the patrol was conducted on 6 June. During this phase, two Xi'an Aircraft Company (XAC) H-6K bombers of the PLA rendezvoused with two Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the Japan MoD said.

However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) placed the number of aircraft in the joint patrol as four Chinese and four Russian aircraft.

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France has undertaken trials of a prototype engine for the New Generation Fighter (NGF) it is develo...

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