LIMA 2023: Malaysia orders three TAI Ankas

by Akhil Kadidal

Acquisition of the TAI Anka unmanned aircraft system will enhance Malaysia's surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities over the country's maritime zones. When armed, the UAS will also provide the military with a credible attack or point-defence capability. (Janes/TAI)

The Malaysian government has announced a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for three Anka multirole unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). The Anka (Phoenix) is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS that is capable of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), electronic warfare (EW), and combat operations.

The Malaysian Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) announced the contract on 25 May during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 held from 23 to 27 May.

The MINDEF said in its announcement that the value of the contract is MYR423.8 million (USD91.6 million) and that the aircraft would support the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) operations. The MINDEF added that these aircraft comprise Phase 1 of the acquisition.

A spokesperson from TAI added that the contract value includes the three aircraft and the control station. The RMAF will operate the aircraft.

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MADEX 2023: LIG Nex1 unveils Multi-Purpose Unmanned Helicopter

by Chinmay Kohad

A model of the LiG Nex1 MPUH displayed at the MADEX 2023 exhibition in Busan. (Janes/Chinmay Kohad)

LIG Nex1 has displayed a model of its new Multi-Purpose Unmanned Helicopter (MPUH) at the MADEX 2023 exhibition in Busan.

The South Korean firm said the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has a length of 3.5 m and an operating range of more than 50 km. It has a maximum take-off weight of 200 kg with a payload of 60 kg.

The MPUH is fitted with an electro-optic/infrared pod and a front-facing camera for reconnaissance. It has a service ceiling of 2,500 m and a maximum speed of 140 km/h. The aircraft has an endurance of six hours.

LIG Nex1 said the small and compact design of the MPUH enables the aircraft to be launched from small landing pads. The aircraft is powered by a 60 hp engine built by Austrian firm Austro, although the specific type has not been disclosed.

The company said the MPUH is designed for missions including transport, reconnaissance, and surveillance. Janes understands that it can also be fitted with additional payloads for anti-submarine warfare missions.

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Chinese hypersonic wind tunnel passes acceptance check

by Akhil Kadidal

The JF-22 hypersonic wind tunnel could potentially benefit the further development of China's WZ-8 unmanned aerial vehicle. Western intelligence classifies the WZ-8 as a supersonic aircraft. However, Chinese media claims that the WZ-8 is a hypersonic vehicle. (Long Wei/VCG via Getty Images)

A new hypervelocity wind tunnel in China has passed its acceptance check.

Known as the JF-22 hypervelocity wind tunnel, the new facility is expected to contribute to China's “development of aerospace transport systems and hypersonic aircraft”, according to Chinese state-owned media. The wind tunnel is located at the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Science, Huairou, north of Beijing. The National Natural Science Foundation of China said in a press release that the acceptance was granted on 3 June.

The state-owned broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), reported in 2021 that the wind tunnel will support the testing of several future air and space projects such as China's reusable space shuttle and its Mach 0–12 hypersonic vehicle. According to CCTV, the space shuttle is intended to have a maximum speed of Mach 25.

The state-owned newspaper, Global Times

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MADEX 2023: KAI introduces maritime patrol variant of MC-X transport aircraft

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A model of KAI's MC-X cargo aircraft for which a maritime patrol aircraft variant will be derived. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has introduced a maritime patrol variant of its MC-X transport aircraft concept.

Details of the variant were unveiled for the first time at the MADEX 2023 exhibition in Busan by the senior manager of KAI's Fixed-Wing Business Team II, Yoon Jong Sik, who spoke to Janes at the event.

The MC-X is a multirole concept that was first unveiled at the DX Korea exhibition in September 2022. The airframe has a length of 40.3 m and a wingspan of 41.1 m. It has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 92,000 kg and can take payloads of up to 30,000 kg.

Powered by two turbofan engines, the aircraft can attain a top speed of 918 km/h with a service ceiling of 7,000 km.

“The main goal of the maritime patrol variant of the MC-X is to prepare ourselves for an upcoming requirement of the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF), which is expected to retire its fleet of CN-235s in a few years,” Yoon said in response to questions from Janes.

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