France tests NGF engine prototype

by Gareth Jennings

A model of the Next European Fighter Engine/New European Engine being developed by Safran, MTU, and ITP for the FCAS/SCAF New Generation Fighter displayed at the Paris Air Show 2019. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

France has undertaken trials of a prototype engine for the New Generation Fighter (NGF) it is developing with Germany and Spain as part of the wider Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF).

The French defence procurement agency announced on 10 January that it had successfully completed a ground test of a prototype engine under the Turenne programme, using a powerplant derived from the Snecma M88 as currently fitted to the Dassault Rafale combat aircraft.

“At the end of 2021, the Directorate General of Armaments [DGA] completed a major test for the development of the next engine of the [NGF] combat aircraft of the [FCAS/]SCAF. As part of the Turenne defence technology project led by the DGA, a prototype derived from the engine of the Rafale fighter jet was tested on the test bench”, the DGA said.

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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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France has undertaken trials of a prototype engine for the New Generation Fighter (NGF) it is develo...

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