Spain approves Eurofighter buy, upgrades

by Gareth Jennings

Spain is to increase the size and capabilities of its Eurofighter fleet, with the Project Halcon procurement and Tranche 3 MLU both approved by Madrid. (Eurofighter)

The Spanish government has approved the procurement of 20 new Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft under Project Halcon (Falcon), as well as a mid-life upgrade (MLU) for a portion of the country's existing fleet.

Announced as part of a wider raft of governmental approvals on 14 December, the move paves the way for a Project Halcon contract to be signed with Airbus for the Tranche 4 Eurofighters that will replace the Spanish Air Force's (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) Boeing EF-18 Hornets based on the Canary Islands. It also sets in motion a planned MLU for the service's existing Eurofighter Tranche 3 airframes.

“Great news from Madrid! We are grateful for the strong endorsement by Spain of the Eurofighter programme, and are looking forward to signing the Halcon contract soon, taking Spain's Air Force to the next technological level,” the CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, Michael Schoellhorn, said at the announcement.

As previously described to Janes

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Taiwan preparing to replace F-5 with Brave Eagles

by Akhil Kadidal

Taiwan is preparing to retire its Northrop F-5E/F fleet from operational service before the end of 2023. (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

Taiwan's Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) is preparing to withdraw its ageing Northrop F-5 E/F Tiger II fleet from operational service by the end of 2023 and replace them with Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) T-5 Brave Eagle trainers.

In a statement on its Youth DailyNews newspaper on 28 November, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defence (MND) said , “[The] F-5E/F fighter aircraft will soon be relieved of its training tasks. Only the RF-5E reconnaissance aircraft modified from the F-5E fighter aircraft will continue to be used.”

The newspaper added that the Brave Eagle will be used for “air-defence readiness and pilot training”.

In a press statement, the MND said the RoCAF's force of five RF-5E surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft will remain in service until Taiwan acquires six Collins Aerospace MS-110 multispectral airborne reconnaissance system pods and four General Atomics MQ-9B unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) currently on order.

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Rohde & Schwarz unveils new C-UAS solution

by Olivia Savage

Rohde & Schwarz unveiled a compact version of its Ardronis family of C-UASs. The system was seen operating at NATO's Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System Technical Interoperability Exercise (C-UAS TIE23). (Janes/Olivia Savage)

Germany-based Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) has unveiled a new counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) called Ardronis Locate Compact.

Ardronis Locate Compact is a small, ruggedised system designed for the detection and localisation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), especially over large areas such as military bases, a company spokesperson told Janes on 24 November.

The solution, which can be deployed in standalone mode or integrated into a wider system of systems, locates UAVs operating on commercially available digital and analog video downlinks via a single-channel direction-finder. UAVs include DJI Lightbridge, DJI OcuSync, Autel Skylink, and the TBS Unify Pro, the spokesperson said.

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US Army to reprioritise UH-60M procurement to assist Australia

by Akhil Kadidal

The Australian government is seeking the expedited delivery of its ordered Sikorsky UH-60Ms to “minimise capability gaps”, according to Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The United States will accelerate the delivery of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks to Australia by reprioritising the contracting timelines for the US Army's Black Hawk procurement.

Australia signed a AUD2.79 billion (USD1.83 billion) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract in January to acquire 40 Black Hawks to replace its NHIndustries MRH90 ‘Taipan' fleet.

Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners of the US Department of Defense (DoD) told Janes that the “US Army determined it could accelerate three aircraft in 2024 by reprioritising the contracting timelines for US Army Black Hawk procurement, and the acceleration will not have an impact on US Army readiness”.

“Australia received three aircraft in July. Australia was originally scheduled to receive six aircraft in 2024 and will now receive nine aircraft under the accelerated timeline for a total of 12 delivered by the end of 2024,” Lt Col Meiners added. “The delivery of the remaining 28 aircraft will be determined by upcoming bilateral program[me] management reviews.”

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The Spanish government has approved the procurement of 20 new Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft un...

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