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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USAF migrates air tasking software into cloud

by Carlo Munoz

A US Air Force KC-46A Pegasus tanker conducts air-to-air refuelling with a US Air Force F-16 over the Canadian Arctic in March 2021. Service leaders migrated the MAFPS system for air mobility operations into the cloud. (North American Aerospace Defense)

The US Air Force (USAF) and BAE Systems have successfully migrated the air service's premier planning and tasking software for mobility operations into a cloud computing environment, marking one of the first mission-critical air force programmes to be transitioned into the cloud.

The Mobility Air Forces Automated Flight Planning Service (MAFPS) is the primary air planning tool used by Air Mobility Command (AMC) to support air tasking orders (ATO) for air refuelling and material transport operations across the globe. The primary users of the MAFPS programme are airmen assigned to the AMC's 618th Air Operation Center (AOC) at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, as well as the 603rd AOC at US Air Forces in Europe and the 608th AOC headquartered at US Pacific Air Forces.


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ILA 2022: German Navy recommits to MAWS for long-term airborne maritime patrol requirement, interim P-8A programme on track

by Gareth Jennings

A model of the P-8A Poseidon in German markings displayed at ILA 2022. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The chief of the German Navy's aviation component has reiterated his commitment to the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) that is earmarked to be the long-term airborne maritime patrol solution following confirmation that the service is on course to receive the first of five interim Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft in 2024.

Speaking at the ILA Airshow on 23 June, Kommandeur Marineflieger, Sea Captain Thorsten Bobzin, said he is pleased that the P-8A programme is within the timeframe first set out by Boeing but that it remains an interim solution with the Franco-German MAWS set to come online from 2035.

“P-8A deliveries are due to begin in October 2024 and run through to mid-2025. That is within the indicated timeline, and I am very happy with that,” he said. “This is an interim solution between [the current Lockheed] P-3C and the MAWS. We will have the interim solution for a gap of about 10 years, from 2025 to 2035,” he added.


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ILA 2022: Spain signs for Halcon Eurofighters

by Gareth Jennings

A Spanish Air Force Eurofighter was displayed at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, where it was announced that the country has signed for 20 new aircraft under Project Halcon. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain has signed for 20 new Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft under Project Halcon (Falcon), the manufacturer said on 23 June.

Announced at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, the EUR2.04 billion (USD2.15 billion) deal signed between Airbus and the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) will cover 16 single-seat and four twin-seat jets, with deliveries to commence in 2026.

“These new aircraft will enhance and position the Spanish Air Force fighter fleet among its NATO allies with the most modern fighter jet developed in Europe, as well as securing industrial activity through to 2030,” Airbus said.

The contract signature for Project Halcon follows the Spanish government approval for the deal that was granted in December 2021. The Project Halcon contract will see Airbus build Tranche 4 (company officials have previously called them Tranche 3+) Eurofighters that will replace the Spanish Air Force's (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) Boeing EF-18 Hornets based at the Canary Islands.


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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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