PLA says J-20 tracking foreign military aircraft in East China Sea ADIZ
17 August 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
Beijing has acknowledged at least one sortie by a Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter into China's ADIZ to identify and track foreign military aircraft. China's ADIZ is controversial as it overlaps the ADIZs of other neighbouring countries, especially Japan. (Janes)
China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has announced that it has dispatched a Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter into China's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) to ‘track' foreign military aircraft. This includes potential stealth aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
The PLA Daily announced on 15 August that a PLA Air Force pilot, Yang Chunlei, had flown a J-20 into the ADIZ in July. This is the first tacit acknowledgement by Beijing that it is conducting J-20s sorties into the ADIZ with the purpose of monitoring military aircraft from other countries. The Chinese state-owned website, China Daily, suggested that the J-20 is being used to detectLockheed Martin F-35s operated by the United States, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), and the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) in the region.
US Navy begins converting former RAF E-3D into E-6B trainer
05 October 2022
by Gareth Jennings
A former RAF E-3D being converted into a surrogate E-6B trainer for the US Navy at Lake Charles Airport in Louisiana. (NAVAIR)
The US Navy (USN) has begun conversion of a Boeing E-3D Sentry Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) aircraft into a surrogate trainer for the service's E-6B Mercury long-endurance command, control, and communications (C3) fleet.
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced the commencement of conversion work on 4 October, noting that the former UK Royal Air Force (RAF) E-3D will have a number of external features removed to better resemble the outer mould line of the E-6B.
“The process has begun to turn this E-3D into an E-6B in-flight trainer. The outer mould line will be modified to resemble an E-6, and the aerial refuelling probe and radar dome will be removed,” the command said.
Work is being performed at Lake Charles Airport in Louisiana (site of Northrop Grumman's Lake Charles Maintenance and Modification Center), where the aircraft has been stored since 2021. According to NAVAIR, once the maintenance and modification are complete, flight-testing is scheduled to start in early 2024.
Aircraft carrier USS
Gerald R Ford
departed Norfolk, Virginia, on 4 October for its first official deployment.
The US aircraft carrier USS
Gerald R Ford
(CVN 78) departed Norfolk, Virginia, a bit after 1300 h local time on 4 October for its first official deployment.
The deployment was scheduled for 3 October, but had to be delayed because foul weather forced the halting and curtailment of port operations in Hampton Roads, US Navy (USN) officials said.
will not be deployed as part of the USN's Global Force Management deployment like most of the other service ships in service. Instead, the carrier will be sent on a Retained Service deployment, Vice Admiral Daniel Dwyer, commander of United States 2nd Fleet and Joint Force Command, said on 26 September during a media briefing about USN plans for the carrier.
The ship's first Global Force Management deployment is slated to take place in 2023, Vice Adm Dwyer said.
India's Light Combat Helicopter inducted into service
04 October 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
Senior defence officials and officers inducted the HAL Light Combat Helicopter Prachanda into service on 3 October 2022. From left: Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari (chief of Air Staff), Air Marshal Vikram Singh (air officer commanding-in-chief of South Western Air Command), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted the first production units of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the air force.
The attack helicopter was inducted into service with the official name of ‘Prachanda' by India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Jodhpur Air Force Station on 3 October. The IAF said it has raised a new unit to operate the helicopters. This unit, known as No 143 Helicopter Unit (HU), was raised on 1 June 2022, according to the IAF.
The IAF added that the first LCH was handed over to the unit on 18 July 2022. The first LCH subsequently arrived at Jodhpur Air Force Station on 3 September.