WDS 2024: AVIC WL-10B to be delivered to Royal Saudi Air Force

by Akshara Parakala

The AVIC Wing Loong-10B (WL-10B) displayed at WDS 2024 along with various missiles and bombs. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

China Defence, on behalf of China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), has confirmed that the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Wing Loong-10B, an export variant of the CATIC Wing Loong-10 (also dubbed as WL-10), will soon enter service with the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).

With the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) displayed at the World Defense Show (WDS) 2024 held in Riyadh from 4 to 8 February, the company official told Janes that the payloads will be different for the export variant compared with the baseline variant. The company official also revealed that the base variant WL-10 UAV and the lower endurance variant WL-10A are in service with China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

Alongside the WL-10B, CATIC displayed a range of weapons that can be fitted onto the UAV. These include the TY-90 air-to-air missile, AG-300/M air-to-ground missile, FT-7A/W laser-guided bomb, YJ-9E anti-ship missile, TL-20 guided bomb, and LS-6/100NLS miniature-guided bomb.


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US Army seeks more effective UAV in the Arctic

by Meredith Roaten

The RQ-7B Shadow was deployed during JPMRC 24-02 at a brigade level. (US Army)

After the US Army announced it would not buy any more RQ-7 Shadows, an11th Airborne Division official told Janes that the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could not be used in cold temperatures.

The Shadow is not approved to operate at temperatures below -20ºF, Lieutenant Colonel James Jones, assistant G3, the assistant officer in charge of operations for the 11th Airborne Division, said in an interview. The UAV was deployed during the the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation because of unseasonably warm temperatures, but the army needs a new intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) asset for its brigade commanders, he said.

“Everything up here needs to be rated at least a -40[ºF] for it to really be useful,” Lt Col Jones said. The 11th Airborne Division attempted to get approval for the Shadow to fly under the lower limits of its approved temperatures.


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Singapore Airshow 2024: Singapore to replace fleet of Heron 1, Hermes 450 UAVs

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Republic of Singapore Air Force Heron 1 UAV, seen at Paya Lebar Air Base in September 2023. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be replacing its fleet of Heron 1 and Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of the service's renewal plans.

In a statement made ahead of the Singapore Airshow 2024, which is held from 20 to 25 February, the RSAF's outgoing chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, noted that UAVs will continue to play a key role in providing airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

“Our existing Hermes 450 and Heron 1 UAVs have been in service since 2007 and 2012 respectively, and the RSAF plans to replace them,” said General Khong, who will step down from the service's helm in March 2024.

“The RSAF has been keeping pace with UAV developments around the world, and our renewal plans will carefully select and assess UAV platforms that will best suit our operational requirements,” he said, adding that details on these are being worked out.


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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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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/wds-2024-avic-wl-10b-to-be-delivered-to-royal-saudi-air-force

China Defence, on behalf of China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), has ...

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