The Orbiter 2 mini UAS in operation with the FDF will receive a mid-life upgrade, bolstering its performance. (Janes/Patrick Allen)
The Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) Orbiter 2 mini unmanned aircraft system (UAS) will receive a mid-life upgrade following a contract signed between the authority and manufacturer Aeronautics.
According to an Aeronautics announcement on 3 April, the company will provide the FDF Orbiter 2 UAS with a comprehensive mid-life upgrade package that includes a full suite of sensors, avionics, and data-processing systems to enhance performance.
Under the terms of the contract, the company will also offer a “transfer of know-how” to increase the FDF level of self-sufficiency and assure maintenance and support capabilities for the Orbiter 2 array over the next decade, the announcement said.
Aeronautics was unable to comment on the contract due to contractual reasons.
Orbiter 2 is a compact lightweight fixed-wing mini UAS intended for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance purposes. It is considered to be a larger and more refined version of Orbiter 1.
Update: US CV-22B Osprey crashes in Japanese waters
05 December 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
The US Air Force said the Bell Boeing CV-22B involved in the mishap was an aircraft from the 353rd Special Operations Wing. The unit operates its CV-22Bs from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo. (US Air Force)
A Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey of the US Air Force (USAF) has crashed in Japanese waters.
In a statement later on 29 November US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) said the CV-22B Osprey from the 353rd Special Operations Wing was involved in the “mishap”.
The aircraft was “performing a routine training mission off the shore of Yakushima Island, Japan, with eight airmen on board,” the AFSOC statement said, adding that the aircraft had taken off from Yokota Air Base.
In a press conference in Tokyo later on 29 November Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense Hiroyuki Miyazawa said the CV-22 “made an emergency water landing off the coast of Yakushima” at 1440 h local time. Clarifying his use of the term “emergency landing”, Miyazawa said the Ministry of Defense (MoD) had “received an explanation from the US side … that the pilots did their best [to control the aircraft] until the very end”.
An Embraer rendering of the KC-390 shows the aircraft with the emblem of the Republic of Korea Air Force's 251st Tactical Air Support Squadron (of the 5th Tactical Transport Wing), which is based at Gimhae, near the southern city of Busan. (Embraer)
The South Korean government has announced that it has selected the Embraer KC-390 Millenium transport aircraft for its Large Transport Aircraft-II (LTA-II) acquisition programme.
The decision was made during the 157th Defense Acquisition Program Committee meeting on 4 December, according to the Defense Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA). The procurement has a contract value of KRW710 billion (USD543.3 million). The purchase plan for the programme was originally approved during the 142nd Defense Acquisition Program Committee meeting in March 2022.
According to DAPA, the KC-390 was selected following the Defense Security Committee's deliberations. “The ‘Large Transport Aircraft II' is a project to secure additional large transport aircraft operated by the air force [Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF)] through overseas purchases to meet the peacetime shortage,” DAPA said.
It is unclear how many aircraft will be procured. A DAPA spokesperson told
A mock-up of the Eurodrone displayed at the Paris Air Show 2023. Japan has now joined the programme as an observer. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)
Japan has attained official observer status on the Eurodrone project, the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) announced on 30 November.
The letter of approval was presented in Berlin by OCCAR Executive Administration Director Joachim Sucker to the Japanese Ambassador to Germany, Hidenao Yanagi.
Also known as the European medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) remotely piloted air system (RPAS), the Eurodrone was officially launched in February 2022 by Germany, along with France, Italy, and Spain.
Mock-ups presented at several European air shows show the twin-engined Eurodrone to be slightly larger than the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper. Although intended primarily as an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) vehicle (including signals intelligence), there will be an option for it to be armed (the MBDA Akeron LP air-to-surface missile was recently selected as one weapon type for the platform).
Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss how China's economic activity projects influence globally and what she learnt as part of the recent US Congressional staff delegation to China.