India flight-testing new Tejas Mk 1A variant

by Akhil Kadidal & Akshara Parakala

The flight trials of the Mk 1A are largely being conducted in secret as HAL said that the trials are part of the production project. The company said it is keen to adhere to delivery schedules for the Indian Air Force. (Akshara Parakala/Janes)

India has been conducting flight trials of the Mk 1A variant of its domestically developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

Speaking to Janes , the manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), confirmed that the first Mk 1A entered flight-testing in April. According to a second HAL source, the aircraft under flight-testing is SP25, a Final Operational Clearance (FOC) block aircraft that was manufactured by HAL in 2020.

“This aircraft has been modified to the Mk 1A standard and will serve as the test platform for the production line of Mk 1As,” the HAL source said.

The flight trials have not been made public because HAL said the flights are part of production activities. “We are geared towards ensuring that the aircraft are delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) on time and on schedule by 2024,” the HAL source said.


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US approves possible sale of air-launched munitions for RoKAF F-35s

by Akhil Kadidal

A Republic of Korea Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35A drops a GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb during a training exercise in November 2022. (South Korea MND)

The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of munitions for South Korea's Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs.

In an announcement on 1 December the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said that the South Korean government had requested the purchase of a range of air-launched munitions for the Republic of Korea Air Force's (RoKAF's) F-35. The proposed sale has a value of USD271 million, according to the DSCA.

The munitions include 39 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) and 86 Mk 84 General Purpose (GP) 2,000 lb bombs for the GBU-31V(1) Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), 70 BLU-109C/B 2,000 lb bombs for the GBU-31V(3) JDAM, and 342 Mk 82 500 lb GP bombs for the GBU-12 Paveway II or GBU-54 Laser JDAM (LJDAM).


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Taiwan conducts drills to counter Chinese amphibious landings

by Kapil Kajal

The Republic of China Navy and Marine Corps deployed AAV7 amphibious vehicles (an example pictured above) in the drills to boost operational preparedness to counter Chinese amphibious landings on Taiwan beaches in the event of a conflict. (BAE Systems)

The Republic of China (RoC) Armed Forces have initiated conducting drills to boost operational preparedness to counter Chinese amphibious landings on Taiwan beaches in the event of a conflict.

According to Taiwan's state-owned Central News Agency (CNA), the RoC Navy's 151st Fleet and the RoC Marine Corps performed an amphibious landing drill near Kaohsiung's Sizihwan beach, which Taiwan identified as a potential landing point for Chinese forces in the event of a conflict.

The exercise – which was a simulation of a Chinese military beach landing – started with the deployment of three AAV7 amphibious landing vehicles from a Chung Ho-class tank landing vessel off the coast of Kaohsiung and protected by special forces-operated attack boats, the CNA said.


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Canada selects Poseidon MMA

by Gareth Jennings

The Royal Canadian Air Force will operate 14 P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft, with the option to acquire a further two at a later date. (Boeing)

Canada has selected the Boeing P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA) to fulfil its Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) requirement.

The decision was announced on 30 November, with the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) saying that up to 16 Poseidons (14, plus an option for an additional two) will be acquired. These will replace the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF's) fleet of 14 ageing Lockheed CP-140 Auroras that are to be retired in 2030.

“The P-8A will replace Canada's current maritime patrol aircraft, the CP-140 Aurora, which has been in service for more than 40 years. As it ages, the CP-140 aircraft is becoming increasingly difficult to support, expensive to sustain, and less operationally relevant in comparison to the threats against which it must defend. This procurement will allow Canada to seamlessly transition to a replacement capability, thereby ensuring that Canada can continue to meet its domestic needs and international obligations,” the DND said.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/india-flight-testing-new-tejas-mk-1a-variant

India has been conducting flight trials of the Mk 1A variant of its domestically developed light com...

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