Partners break FCAS/SCAF demonstrator deadlock

by Gareth Jennings

An artist's impression of the New Generation Fighter and Remote Carrier loyal wingmen that sit at the heart of the Next-Generation Weapon System element of the Future Combat Air System. (Airbus)

The national partners heading up the trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (SCAF) have broken the deadlock surrounding the demonstrator phase of the project.

The governments of France, Germany, and Spain issued statements on 18 November heralding the breakthrough in industrial workshare negotiations that had stalled Phase 1B of the project since the beginning of the year, and noting the imminent conclusion of a contract.

In separate statements, the governments noted the imminent conclusion of Phase 1B negotiations related to development of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) element that, along with Remote Carrier (RC) loyal wingmen and Air Combat Cloud (ACC) network, make up the Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) element of FCAS/SCAF. The upcoming signing of the industrial agreement will clear the path ahead for the continuation of the project that had been threatened by a workshare dispute between France's Dassault and Germany's Airbus in particular, with Spain's Indra caught in the middle.

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Airbus ‘convinced proper structures in place' to improve NH90 user experience, concedes results not yet showing

by Gareth Jennings

NHI has sold 597 NH90s to 14 different customers, including most lately Qatar (pictured). While the programme has been a success in terms of sales, some customers have complained of poor availability in particular. (NHIndustries)

Airbus is convinced it has the proper structures in place to enhance the user experience of the NHIndustries (NHI) NH90 helicopter, although the results have not yet manifested themselves, a senior official said on 17 March.

Speaking at the handover of the 500th NH90 to the international programme, Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even told Janes and other defence media that measures that have been drafted should see the desired improvement in availability levels in particular, but that these are not yet coming through.

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Turkish Aerospace marks programme milestones on national ‘Victory Day'

by Gareth Jennings

The TF-X/MMU made its first engine runs on 17 March. (Turkish Aerospace)

Turkish Aerospace (TA) marked and announced upcoming major milestones for its four primary combat aviation programmes during Turkey's Gallipoli ‘Victory Day' on 18 March.

TA president and CEO Temel Kotil announced developments pertaining to the Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft (MMU), and the Hürjet advanced jet trainer aircraft, as well as noting upcoming milestones for the ATAK 2 attack helicopter, and the ANKA 3 low-observable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

“We have kept our promise to our nation in the Century of Turkey. MMU and Hürjet taxied, ATAK 2 will start the engine soon, and ANKA 3 will make its first flight,” Kotil announced from his official Twitter account.

Images released by the Defence Industry Agency (SSB) showed the TF-X/MMU advanced ‘fifth-generation' combat aircraft undergoing initial engine runs at TA's Ankara facility on 17 March, and the Hürjet doing the same the following day.

As Kotil recently briefed Janes

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Mali receives more TB2, L-39 aircraft

by Jeremy Binnie

Bayraktar TB2 UAVs and L-39 jets lined up for a handover ceremony at Bamako's international airport on 16 March. (Presidence Mali)

The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) held another reception ceremony for new aircraft on 16 March, lining up four L-39 trainer/light attack jets and three Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the event at Bamako's international airport.

The FAMa was already operating Turkish-made TB2s, having displayed two at Air Base 200 (previously Air Base 102) at Mopti-Sévaré airport in December 2022. At least two of these were then transferred to Air Base 300 (previously 103) in Gao in February, one of which was numbered TZ-03D, indicating the FAMa had received three.

The TB2s lined up for the latest handover had the serials TZ-04D, TZ-05D, and TZ-06D, confirming the FAMa now has six. The FAMa also revealed that it has a fixed ground control station for the TB2s at Air Base 101, which is on the south side of the runway at Bamako's Modibo Keita International Airport.

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The national partners heading up the trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat A...

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