With several design changes and potentially a new engine, the AR-500CJ (depicted at the top) appears to be larger than the AR-500C variant, which first flew in 2020. However, AVIC has not disclosed the dimensions of the AR-500CJ. (Janes)
China has claimed the successful test-flying of a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) intended for service aboard the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's larger surface vessels. This includes aircraft carriers.
In an announcement on its official blog on 10 August, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said that its AR-500CJ unmanned helicopter had made its first flight at Poyang in Jiangxi province.
The aircraft was developed by the company's China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI). According to AVIC, the AR-500CJ is a “comprehensive improvement” over the earlier lightweight AR-500B shipborne UAV developed by the company.
Ukraine conflict: German Patriots in Poland reach IOC
06 February 2023
by Nicholas Fiorenza
Luftwaffe Patriot air-defence systems deployed close to Zamość on the Polish-Ukrainian border have reached IOC. (Bundeswehr/Lars Koch)
Luftwaffe Patriot air-defence systems deployed to Poland have reached an initial operational capability (IOC), a German Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told
on 4 February. Three Patriot firing units with around 350 military personnel had been deployed close to Zamość near the Polish-Ukrainian border, the spokesperson added.
The Luftwaffe announced the deployment to Poland of two of the three assigned Patriot squadrons of Flugabwehrraketengeschwader (Surface-to-Air Missile Wing) 1 based in Bad Sülze, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, on 23 January. Each squadron consists of a fire-control station, multifunctional radar, power supply vehicle, radio relay station, radio mask station, resupply vehicle, and launch vehicles.
The MoD spokesperson told
“The Patriots will defend Polish airspace and reinforce the integrated NATO air defence
on the eastern flank as a contribution to NATO enhanced Vigilance Activities (eVA).”
Upgrade and retention of Tranche 1 Eurofighters ‘technically feasible', BAE Systems tells UK Parliament
03 February 2023
by Gareth Jennings
Currently destined for retirement in 2025, the UK's Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoon force could be extended according to BAE Systems. (Janes/Patrick Allen)
There is no technical reason why the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) could not upgrade and retain its fleet of Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft, BAE Systems told the country's parliamentary Defence Select Committee in January.
In a written response to the committee submitted on 23 January, the lead UK contractor in the Eurofighter consortium said that it would be “technically feasible” to bring the RAF's remaining 30 Tranche 1 jets up to a standard where they could be retained in service rather than retired in 2025, as currently planned.
“It is technically feasible to bring a Tranche 1 aircraft to the standard of a Tranche 2 or Tranche 3 aircraft. BAE Systems has previously provided data to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that outlines the scope of structural and avionic modifications that would be required,” BAE Systems said, noting that it has not been asked to provide an assessment of the non-recurring design effort, or associated costs, to implement such an upgrade.
Indo-Russian venture completes production of AK-203 first batch
03 February 2023
by Kapil Kajal
The AK-203 assault rifle is chambered for 7.62×39 rounds and can use ammunition and magazines that exist within the Indian Army supply chain. The weight of the rifle is 3.8 kg, the length is 690 mm with a folded butt and 930 mm with an extended butt, and the rate of fire is 700 rds/min. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)
Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) – a joint venture between Russia and India to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Armed Forces – has completed the production of the first batch of rifles in Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.
Alexander Mikheev, director general of Russian defence export agency Rosoboronexport, which is one of the stakeholders in IRRPL, said that the joint venture has produced the first batch of 7.62 mm Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles and the beginning of deliveries to the Indian Army is expected soon.
India's Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande recently said that the joint venture will produce 5,000 AK-203 rifles by March 2023.