Link 16 terminal qualified for French AWACS aircraft
26 September 2022
by Olivia Savage
French Boeing E-3F Sentry AWACS to get latest military tactical datalink. (Boeing)
The Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminal Block Upgrade 2 (MIDS-LVT BU2) has been qualified for use on all four of the French Air and Space Force Boeing E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
Announced by the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on 22 September, the new terminal will enable the operation of the latest-generation Link 16 military tactical data network on its aircraft in September−November 2022.
In 2020 Thales and Air France Industries were selected to integrate the new MIDS-LVT BU2 terminal on the French E-3F AWACS, the announcement said.
The DGA conducted two years of tests to qualify the terminal, in conjunction with the French Air and Space Force and the two industrial partners. Specifically, the DGA Information Control Centre of Expertise and Testing handled security with the information systems, while the DGA Project Engineering Centre examined the authorisation files for flight, temporary employment authorisation, and qualification of the integration of MIDS-LVT BU2 on the AWACS. Several flights were conducted by the DGA Flight Test Centre, which tested the integration and operation of the terminal, the DGA said.
The Royal Thai Air Force has sent a letter to the US government asking for the procurement of Lockheed Martin F-35A fifth-generation fighters. Acquisition of the aircraft could prompt the RTAF to retire old fighter types in service, such as Northrop F-5s and Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs. (US Air Force/Captain Kip Sumner)
Thailand has expressed an interest in having at least 12 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters in service by 2034.
A source in the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has told
that these numbers include an initial batch of two F-35As that the RTAF is hoping to acquire between 2026 and 2027. The source added that the RTAF has sent a letter to the US government asking for the procurement of this initial batch. “The letter was sent in September 2021,” the source said.
has learnt that the potential procurement has been divided into three phases. During Phase 2 of the acquisition, the RTAF said it seeks to acquire four F-35s. The RTAF hopes to acquire the final batch of six F-35s by 2032.
A Tu-22M bomber of the type damaged in a strike on Ryazan-Dyagilevo airbase. Two Tu-95s were also reported damaged after Engels-2 airbase was hit on the same day. (Tupolev)
Ukraine has conducted a series of airstrikes deep into Russian territory, targeting strategic bomber bases and a military airfield.
Strikes were recorded at three locations hundreds of kilometres inside Russia on 5 and 6 December, resulting in some casualties, as well as damaged aircraft and facilities.
Engels-2 and Ryazan-Dyagilevo airbases were struck within hours of each other on 5 December, with Kursk Airport coming under attack on 6 December. Engels-2 is about 600 km east of Ukrainian controlled territory, and home to Tupolev Tu-95 ‘Bear' and Tu-160 ‘Blackjack' bombers, while Ryazan-Dyagilevo is about 500 km east of Ukrainian controlled territory, and home to Tupolev Tu-22M ‘Backfire' bombers and Ilyushin Il-78 ‘Midas' aerial refuelling aircraft. Kursk Airport is about 250 km east of Ukrainian controlled territory, with no military aircraft permanently stationed there.
Update: Russia-China moving towards closer bomber co-operation
05 December 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
The joint Russia-China bomber flight conducted on 30 November is the fifth such event in the last three years. It prompted a major show of force from countries in the region. The US Air Force scrambled at least two Lockheed Martin F-22s to intercept the bomber force. (US Air Force)
In a boost to interoperability, long-range Chinese and Russian bombers landed in each other's airbases for the first time, as part of a joint air patrol.
According to the Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD), the drills began on the morning of 30 November. Two Chinese H-6K bombers were observed as they flew over the East China Sea.
“After passing through the Tsushima Strait, [the Chinese aircraft] advanced into the Sea of Japan [East Sea]. It was confirmed that it flew north towards the continent,” the MoD said in a statement.
In this episode we speak to Claire Chu, Senior Chinese Analyst at Janes Group to discuss economic statecraft as a valuable element of your OSINT toolbox and how open source intelligence on state sponsored commercial activity can support their na...