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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Details emerge on mesh hybrid networking system for EU's UGV programme

by Alexander Stronell

Three THeMIS UGVs pictured during iMUGS testing in Belgium in June 2022. (Janes/Alexander Stronell)

Details on the mesh communications system in development as part of the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) programme, the European Defence Fund's (EDF) project for a common unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), have been revealed to Janes.

Speaking to Janes, an industry source familiar with the iMUGS communications effort provided details on the objectives and testing of the hybrid networking system.

The iMUGS sub-project for a mesh communications system is being undertaken by Finnish telecommunications company Bittium, part of the consortium of companies led by Estonia's Milrem Robotics.

“We are developing communications, which is based on mesh technology and which allows all the vehicles, the troops … [to be] part of one big network, and all the traffic is based on IP [internet protocol traffic],” the source told Janes. “There's no predefined structure, so you can add vehicles or nodes, and you can remove [them],” he added.


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China test-flies ‘improved' carrierborne UAV

by Akhil Kadidal

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.


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RAF continues roll-out of A400M capabilities with first operational aerial refuelling

by Gareth Jennings

The view of the A400M receiver aircraft from the Voyager mission controller console. (Crown Copyright)

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is continuing the process of rolling out the capabilities of the Airbus A400M C1 Atlas, announcing on 11 August the first operational aerial refuelling of the airlifter.

For the milestone, an A400M received fuel from an Airbus Voyager KC3 tanker via the centreline hose reserved for large aircraft receivers. The airlifter was refuelled 900 n miles southwest of Ascension Island, extending its 4,100 n miles range to accommodate the remaining 2,600 n miles to Mount Pleasant Airfield on the Falkland Islands.

“The execution of long-range air-to-air refuelling by front-line crews is a major milestone for Atlas. The ability of this aircraft to operate at significant range from the UK, demonstrates our enhanced and resilient force sustainment capabilities,” said Wing Commander Stuart Patton, Officer Commanding 30 Squadron.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/ila-2022-german-navy-recommits-to-maws-for-long-term-airborne-maritime-patrol-requirement-interim-p-8a-programme-on-track

The chief of the German Navy's aviation component has reiterated his commitment to the Maritime Airb...

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