ADEX 2021: KF-21 Boramae to take centre-stage

by Gareth Jennings

A full-scale mock-up of the KF-X, since renamed KF-21 Boramae, was revealed by Korea Aerospace Industries at the ADEX event in Seoul in late 2019, and the domestically developed fifth-generation fighter is expected to feature strongly at this year's event also. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Having recently named its KF-X project KF-21 Boramae (Young Hawk), South Korea's developmental ‘fifth-generation' fighter will likely take centre-stage once again at the International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX), taking place in Seoul.

With the main event at ADEX 2019 being the unveiling of a full-scale mock-up of the aircraft, this year's event running from 19 to 24 October will provide Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with an opportunity to update political, military, and media members on the progress that has been charted over the last two years.

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US awards Off-Boarding Sensing Station development contracts

by Gareth Jennings

The Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator is one of a number of unmanned ‘loyal wingmen' projects that the US Air Force is working on. The Department of Defense has contracted Kratos and General Atomics to develop the Off-Boarding Sensing Station that is geared at reducing the cost of such attritable UAVs. (US Air Force )

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc to develop the Off-Boarding Sensing Station (OBSS) for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The awards, made on 25 October for Kratos and 26 October for General Atomics, are valued at USD17.6 million and USD17.7 million, respectively, and will both run through to 31 October 2022. If all options are exercised, the two contracts are valued at USD49 million each, and will run through to 31 January 2024.

“This contract provides for a design, development, and flight demonstration in an open architecture aircraft concept to achieve the goals of rapid time-to-market and low acquisition cost,” the DoD said of both awards.

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Ukraine uses Bayraktar TB2 in anger

by Samuel Cranny-Evans & Thomas Bullock

Screengrab of footage posted by the Ukrainian general staff showing the moment a Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 armed UAV struck a separatist D-30 122 mm howitzer in Donbass on 26 October. (Ukrainian general staff)

The Ukrainian armed forces general staff confirmed on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) website on 26 October that Ukraine had used a Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in anger for the first time during a counter-battery mission in Donbass earlier the same day.

The general staff posted a video that had appeared earlier on social media showing the control screen of a Bayraktar TB2 – familiar from the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – as it observes and engages what appears to be a D-30 122 mm towed howitzer. Three people can be seen operating the D-30 before some form of ordnance is detonated on or near the howitzer.

The three gunners can be seen diving for cover behind the gun and running away after the explosion. The camera then zooms out revealing the gun to have been one of three towed artillery pieces.

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Japan to send pilots to Italian flight training school

by Gareth Jennings

JASDF pilots will join other international students in training with Leonardo and the Italian Air Force on the T-346A aircraft. (Leonardo)

Japan is to send its military pilots to train at the AMI's International Flight Training School (IFTS). It was announced on 26 October.

Following recent similar agreements with Germany and Qatar, the AMI and Leonardo have secured a deal for the JASDF to undertake advanced pilot training (Phase IV) at the IFTS, located at the 61st Wing's Lecce Galatina Airbase in southern Italy.

“The Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, General Alberto Rosso, and the Chief of Staff of the JASDF, General Shunji Izutsu, have signed today an important technical arrangement on the training of Japanese military pilots,” as well as training student pilots, Leonardo said, adding that the agreement could also see Japanese instructors working at the IFTS. Leonardo did not say when the first JASDF personnel are scheduled to arrive at the IFTS.

As noted in an announcement, the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana – AMI) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) enjoy a close relationship, with both air forces operating the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing KC-767 tanker.

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Having recently named its KF-X project KF-21 Boramae (Young Hawk), South Korea's developmental ‘fift...

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