India test-fires very short-range air-defence system

by Kapil Kajal

VSHORADS – pictured above from a DRDO test in March 2023 – is a tripod-launched missile system designed to strike moving aerial targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, and fighter aircraft. (DRDO)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test-fired two of its very short-range air-defence system (VSHORADS) missiles from a ground-based portable launcher, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a press release on 29 February.

The tests were conducted on 28 and 29 February from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha, the MoD said.

“These tests were carried out against high-speed unmanned aerial targets under different interception scenarios. During all the test flights, the targets were intercepted and destroyed by the missiles, meeting the mission objectives,” the MoD added.

A DRDO official told Janes on 1 March that the tests were a part of the developmental process of the missiles.


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South Korea announces new aircraft engine factory

by Akhil Kadidal

A new engine factory being developed by Hanwha Aerospace at Changwon will produce engines for the KAI KF-21 and the TA-50 multirole trainer aircraft. (Zhang Hui/VCG via Getty Images)

Hanwha Aerospace is building a new factory to produce engines for combat aircraft, including the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 Boramae 4.5-generation aircraft. The new factory is also expected to support the development of South Korea's new domestic fighter engine programme.

Ground was broken for the 16,530m 2 engine production facility at Changwon on 15 April 2024, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on 17 April. The factory is being developed at a cost of USD30 million and is scheduled to be operational by 2025. The MND added that the factory's priority is the licence production of the 92.1 kN (20,700 lb st) General Electric F414-GE-400 engine for the KF-21.

A Hanwha Aerospace spokesperson told Janes on 19 April that “100%” of the licence manufacture of the F414 engine will be achieved at this factory. “The facility is expected to produce approximately 300 engines annually [after becoming operational], the spokesperson added.


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RNLAF helps Luftwaffe prepare Chinook capability

by Gareth Jennings

A Dutch Chinook (foreground) arrived at Holzdorf Air Base in mid-April to help the Luftwaffe prepare for the arrival of its own Chinooks into the station from 2027. In the background is a Luftwaffe CH-53G currently based at the location. (Bundeswehr)

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) is helping the Luftwaffe prepare for its upcoming Chinook heavy-lift helicopter capability, dispatching one of its own helicopters to the type's future operating station in mid-April.

The Bundeswehr said on 18 April that an RNLAF CH-47F Block 1 Chinook landed for the first time at Holzdorf Air Base (also known as Schönewalde), south of Berlin, to help the Luftwaffe prepare for the arrival of the first of its CH-47F Block II Chinook Standard Range (SR) air-to-air refuelling (AAR)-capable heavy-lift helicopters from 2027 to 2032.

“With the future stationing of the CH-47, Holzdorf Air Base will become a hub for helicopter transport. The [Luftwaffe] is gaining initial experience with the Chinook transport helicopter with its Dutch allies – in flight operations, refuelling, and training,” the Bundeswehr said.


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UK contracts H145 helicopters for Brunei, Cyprus missions

by Gareth Jennings

With the UK already flying the H145 with the UKMFTS training programme, it has acquired additional rotorcraft to take on its Brunei and Cyprus support missions. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom has contracted Airbus to deliver six new Airbus Helicopters H145 rotorcraft to be used in Brunei and Cyprus.

Announced by the Defence, Equipment, and Support (DE&S) branch of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 18 April, the GBP122 million (USD152 million) award will see the helicopters acquired to replace the Airbus Puma HC2s (Helicopter Cargo 2) that are supporting the British Army's training mission in Brunei following the recent retirement of the Bell 212s, as well as the Pumas HC2s that performing search-and-rescue (SAR) and support duties at Royal Air Force (RAF) Akrotiri in Cyprus following the recent retirement of the Bell 412s.

Known as Jupiter HC2 in UK military service, the D3-standard five-bladed helicopters are to be delivered later in 2024. The MoD already operates the D2-standard four-bladed H145 in the trainer configuration, with seven Jupiter HT1 (Helicopter Training 1) aircraft in use with the UK Military Flying Training System.


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India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test-fired two of its very short-range ...

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