Berlin Security Conference: Spain considers Eurofighter, F-35 for Hornet, Harrier replacement

by Gareth Jennings

Spain has a need to replace its Hornet (pictured) and Harrier aircraft, for which both the Eurofighter and F-35 are being considered. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain has requested information on both the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as potential replacements for its current Boeing EF-18 Hornet and McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II aircraft.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to Janes ahead of the Berlin Security Conference that it has issued requests for information (RFIs) for both the enhanced Long Term Evolution (LTE) version of the Eurofighter, as well as both the F-35A and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B to meet these needs.

“[The] Spanish MoD is studying possible candidates for Hornet and Harrier replacement, and has sent a request for information about F-35A and F-35B to the US government,” the ministry told Janes on 22 November, adding, “[The] MoD is working on the definition of a new version of Eurofighter called Long Term Evolution”.

Confirmation of the requests comes some weeks after Janes

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India to equip Arjun Mk 1A MBTs with advanced targeting system

by Kapil Kajal

India's MoD said that the Arjun Mk 1A integrates 72 new features over the Mk 1 model to ensure mobility in all terrains and day-and-night target engagement. (Indian PIB)

India's state-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is equipping the Indian Army's new Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank (MBT) with an electro-optical (EO) fire-control system. A source from Tonbo Imaging told Janes that the company is manufacturing the system in partnership with BEL's unit in Chennai, India.

“Tonbo Imaging is partnered with BEL, Chennai, to meet [BEL's] demand for fire-control systems. Hence, BEL awarded us a contract to manufacture and deliver the [electro-optical fire-control system] for Arjun Mk 1A MBTs,” the source added.

According to the source, the contract features the delivery of the Elpeos fire-control product.

The source also confirmed that Tonbo Imaging will deliver the Elpeos to BEL for integration onto the Arjun Mk 1A MBTs. Tonbo Imaging describes the Elpeos as an EO sight for remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWSs). The Elpeos system has an integrated multisensor and is designed for precision targeting.

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Czech crews commence H-1 helicopter training

by Gareth Jennings

Air and ground crews from the Czech Air Force have begun training on UH-1Y and AH-1Z (pictured) helicopters in the United States. (Army of the Czech Republic)

Czech personnel have begun training on Bell H-1 helicopters ahead of the commencement of deliveries in 2023.

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the milestone on 26 September, saying that air and ground crews from the Czech Air Force had begun training on the UH-1Y Venom utility and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter.

“Since July, a group of pilots and onboard technicians from the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base in Náměště nad Oslavou have been training … at [the] US Marine Corps Base Pendleton. In September, the initial theoretical training was replaced by the first practical flights.”

The Army of the Czech Republic (Armáda Ceské Republiky: ACR) is to receive an initial eight UH-1Y and four AH-1Z helicopters as part of a wider effort to phase out the country's Soviet-built equipment, with a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) signed in September 2020. Further to these 12 helicopters, an additional eight are being gifted by the US for a final fleet of 10 UH-1Y and 10 AH-1Z helicopters.

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Turkey touts Eurofighter plan, should F-16 talks stall

by Lale Sariibrahimoglu

Seen in Luftwaffe service, the Eurofighter could be an option for Turkey should continuing discussions with the United States over the F-16 fail to yield results. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Turkey has, for the first time, officially pronounced a possible purchase of Eurofighter Typhoons in case if the United States fails to sell Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons.

İbrahim Kalın, Turkey's presidential spokesperson, confirmed the previously reported plan, telling local NTV news channel on 23 September, “We have negotiations with Europe regarding […] Eurofighter […] Turkey will never be without alternatives.”

Turkey made a request to the United States for 40 F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernisation kits for its existing warplanes in October 2021.

The US administration warmed to the sale of the fighters to Turkey, Kalın said, as the Joe Biden administration in June threw its support behind the potential sale after Ankara lifted a veto of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden.

However, a condition set out by the US House of Representatives in July 2022 to ensure that F-16 jets sold to Ankara are not used to violate Greek airspace has been rejected by Turkey.

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Spain has requested information on both the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning I...

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