Singapore Airshow 2024: Singapore to embark on Apache life extension programme

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Republic of Singapore Air Force Apache AH-64D helicopter seen here at the Singapore Airshow 2024. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Singapore's fleet of Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters will soon undergo a life extension programme (LEP).

The matter was confirmed by the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) outgoing chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, in a statement ahead of the Singapore Airshow 2024, held from 20 to 25 February.

“The AH-64D Apache helicopter continues to be a versatile multimission aircraft that is effective in both day and night, against threats from air, land, and sea, and under all weather conditions,” said Maj Gen Khong, who will step down as chief of the RSAF in March 2024.

“The RSAF has been operating the AH-64D since 1999 and it continues to play an important role for [the] SAF [Singapore Armed Forces]. The RSAF will embark on a life extension programme for our AH-64Ds to ensure it remains operationally ready beyond 2030,” he added.


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US Navy begins European Triton operations

by Gareth Jennings

A file photo of a Triton UAV. The US Navy HALE UAV has joined the US Air Force Global Hawk and NATO Phoenix UAVs now operating out of Sigonella in Italy. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) has commenced operations of its Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime System (BAMS) in the European theatre, with the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) departing Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella in Sicily for its first sortie on 17 April.

The milestone was logged by online flight tracking services about two weeks after the USN announced in late March that the first of an undisclosed number of UAVs had arrived in its Sixth Fleet area of operations.

Derived from the Block 30 RQ-4N naval variant of the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAV, the Triton has been developed to provide the USN with a persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability in support of a full range of military operations that includes signals intelligence, communications relay, and search and rescue.


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Navy League 2024: Australia's Hypersonix Launch Systems prepares to demonstrate DART scramjet-powered aircraft for DIU

by Jeremiah Cushman

A computer-generated image of the Hypersonix Launch Systems scramjet-powered DART hypersonic testbed. (Hypersonix Launch Systems)

Hypersonix Launch Systems, headquartered in Brisbane, is building a hypersonic test vehicle for the Defense Innovation Unit's (DIU's) hypersonic and high-cadence testing capabilities (HyCAT) programme. DIU issued a solicitation for the project in September 2022. Hypersonix Launch Systems was awarded a contract for scoping the work in March 2023, and a launch contract in September 2023, Matt Hill, Hypersonix Launch Systems CEO, told Janes on 9 April at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2024 global maritime exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.

The programme calls for an airborne test vehicle “that can maintain speeds above Mach 5 with a manoeuvrable/non-ballistic flight profile and at least a three-minute flight duration with near-constant flight conditions”, according to a DIU statement in April 2023.

Construction of the first DART air vehicle is under way, and Hypersonix Launch Systems recently completed the component-level preliminary design review, Hill said. Rocket Lab will provide the launch capabilities for the system for the initial test flight.


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Japan Coast Guard orders three more Airbus H225 helicopters

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Japan Coast Guard H225 helicopter. The service has ordered three more airframes of the type. (Airbus Helicopters)

Japan's coastguard service has ordered three more Airbus H225 twin-engine helicopters.

This latest order brings the Japan Coast Guard's (JCG's) total H225 fleet to 18, including airframes that were acquired more than a decade ago, an Airbus spokesperson confirmed to Janes on 16 April.

Most recently, the JCG took delivery of three H225s in December 2023 and one in February 2024.

“The new helicopters will support territorial coastal activities, maritime law enforcement, as well as disaster relief missions in the country,” reads a statement issued by Airbus on 11 April to announce the latest JCG order.

“The Japan Coast Guard has been an active operator of the Super Puma family helicopters for three decades,” said Jean-Luc Alfonsi, managing director of Airbus Helicopters in Japan, in the media statement.

“We believe the H225 is the perfect choice for JCG's critical missions for law enforcement, as well as coastal and island protection, given its versatility in all weather conditions,” Alfonsi added.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/singapore-airshow-2024-singapore-to-embark-on-apache-life-extension-programme

Singapore's fleet of Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters will soon undergo a life extens...

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