Israel identifies Iran's ‘deniable' UAV

by Jeremy Binnie

A Samad-3 long-range UAV displayed in Yemen in July 2019. Israel has now linked the type to the Iranian company KIPAS. (Ansar Allah)

Israel has named a type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has been used by Iranian-backed groups in Yemen and Iraq to carry out attacks as the KAS-04 made by Iran's Kimia Part Sivan Company (KIPAS).

In a letter to the UN Security Council that was released on 17 November, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan identified a KAS-04 as the UAV that intruded into Israeli airspace on 18 May.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported the attack at the time, saying it approached from Jordan before being shot down in northern Israel.

Erdan said the KAS-04 was launched from either Iraq or Syria and that the model has a range of 1,700 km, meaning it could reach Israel from launch locations deep inside Iran. He also noted that its manufacturer KIPAS has been sanctioned by the United States due to its links with the Qods Force, the external operations arm of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

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Philippines receives military equipment from China

by Parth Shukla

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received military equipment worth RMB76 million (USD12 million) from China as a donation.

The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) said in a statement in mid-January that the donation comprised military equipment including rescue and relief equipment, detectors, water purification vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, x-ray machines, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robots, bomb-disposal suits, and transport vehicles.

The DND said that the donation also included unspecified unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and engineering equipment such as backhoes, dump trucks, forklifts, and earthmovers.

According to the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA), the donation was the first batch promised by China under its 2019 commitment to support the Philippines' counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism campaigns.

The DND said the equipment will be formally handed over to the AFP next month.

In 2020 China's Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe pledged to the Philippines a donation of military equipment worth RMB130 million (USD20.5 million).

The DND said that the second batch of military equipment worth RMB54 million will be delivered at a later date.


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MQ-8C Fire Scout on maiden USN deployment

by Richard Scott

The US Navy has declared the MQ-8C unmanned helicopter to be operationally ready, commencing its first shipborne deployment in December 2021. (Northrop Grumman)

The US Navy (USN) has commenced a first shipborne deployment of the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned aerial system (UAS), the service revealed on 24 January.

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Detachment 5 (HSC-22 DET 5) was deployed operationally from the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) on 14 December 2021. Milwaukee is supporting operations in the US 4th Fleet area of responsibility.

Developed by Northrop Grumman, the MQ-8 Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing UAS is designed to provide situational awareness and real-time intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and targeting capabilities. The MQ-8C variant marries the existing Fire Scout UAS architecture (developed for the legacy MQ-8B air vehicle) with the Bell 407 rotorcraft to create an autonomous four-bladed, single-engine, unmanned helicopter. The larger air vehicle provides extended endurance (over 10 hours on station with a 300 lb payload), range (150 n miles), and greater payload capability (over 700 lb).

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Indonesia awaits ‘contract activation' for Rafale multirole fighters

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A French Navy Rafale M, seen here on aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle while it was in Singapore. Indonesia has plans to procure 36 units of the aircraft type. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The Indonesian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has moved ahead with a plan to procure Rafale multirole fighter aircraft from Dassault Aviation.

In his response to questions at the MoD's annual leaders' rally for 2022 on 20 January, Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto told reporters that negotiations for the programme have been completed, and that the “contract” is now “awaiting activation”. He did not provide further details.

However, in response to queries, Janes was informed on 25 January by a source close to the Indonesian MoD that a preamble contract worth EUR5.8 billion (USD6.56 billion) was signed with Dassault Aviation on 7 June 2021.

The contract, which stipulates a delivery of 36 airframes to the Indonesian Air Force, is not yet active given the lack of clarity over funding. Janes also understands that Indonesia is in the process of seeking a foreign lender to fund this programme.

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Israel has named a type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has been used by Iranian-backed groups...

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