To mark the onset of serial production deliveries, Saab flew an eight-ship formation of test and serial Gripen Es for both Sweden and Brazil. (Saab)
Saab commenced serial production deliveries of the Gripen E combat aircraft to the Swedish Air Force (SwAF) on 24 November.
The milestone, which coincided with the beginning of serial production deliveries to Brazil, saw the SwAF receive the first two of a planned 60 Gripen Es.
These first aircraft are to be assigned to Skaraborg Wing (F7), located at Satenas in the southwest of Sweden. As well as equipping this wing, remaining deliveries will see aircraft go to Blekinge Wing (F17) at Ronneby, in the far south of Sweden, and Norrbotten Wing (F21), also in the south of the country. A fourth wing, Uppsala Wing (F16), also located in southern Sweden, will be stood up from 2022. Each wing is to be equipped with two squadrons.
As previously highlighted by Saab, the Gripen E's enhancements over the earlier C/D models can be categorised in terms of survivability, sensors, general systems, payload, communications, performance, range, avionics, and human-machine interface/sensor fusion.
Hypersonix, Kratos, team to develop and fly DART AE hypersonic vehicle
27 January 2022
by Richard Scott
The blueprint of the DART AE multimission hypersonic drone technology demonstrator. (Hypersonix Launch Systems)
US contractor Kratos Defense & Security Solutions is to provide the rocket booster motor for the DART AE multimission hypersonic drone technology demonstrator being developed by Australian company Hypersonix Launch Systems.
Announcing the agreement on 25 January, the two companies said they were aiming for a first flight of DART AE in 2023.
DART AE is being developed by Hypersonix as a multimission, hypersonic vehicle fully 3D-printed from high-temperature alloys and powered by a hydrogen-fuelled SPARTAN scramjet engine. Designed to operate at speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 12, SPARTAN is described by Hypersonix as a “fifth-generation, zero-emission, clean hydrogen scramjet engine with a publicly disclosable range of 500 km”.
Amiga Engineering has previously been contracted by Hypersonix for the additive engineering build of the SPARTAN scramjet. Manufacture is being undertaken under an Australian government grant, awarded in August 2020, covering the build of a flight-ready scramjet engine and fuel system.
A CH-53K King Stallion (foreground) and a CH-53E Super Stallion (background) are staged during a redesignation ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, on 24 January. The squadron received its first CH-53K King Stallion, and the ceremony signified the beginning of the US Marine Corps' modernisation from the legacy CH-53E to the CH-53K in support of the expeditionary warfare vision for future-force employment. (US Marines)
The US Marine Corps (USMC) has stood up its first operational unit for the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter, the service announced on 15 January.
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 461 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, North Carolina, has been formally redesignated as the first fleet CH-53K unit, trading in its CH-53E Super Stallions.
“The CH-53K will allow the quick massing of combat power, agile manoeuvre, resilient logistics, and predictive maintenance, and be used in the Marine Corps' execution of expeditionary advanced base operations, a key component of the commandant of the [US] Marine Corps' force design,” the USMC said.
Bulgaria is set to receive eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft, analogous to the US Air Force M7 standard pictured, with a request for a further eight. The country has been told to expect a delay in its deliveries due to supplier and Covid problems. (US Air Force)
Delivery of the eight Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft for the Bulgarian Air Force is to be delayed by ‘several months' due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bulgarian Defence Minister Stefan Yanev announced the news during a hearing in front of the Defence Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament on 25 January.
Yanev said he had received information from the manufacturer citing delays in the supply chain that would affect all customers of the newly-produced F-16s. He said he expected the delay to be measured in months, but then added that the exact length would be known in the second half of February, when a US delegation is set to arrive in Sofia to discuss the Bulgarian programme.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we talk about some of the current real-world challenges we face and how commercial open-source providers like Janes and like our guests, Fivecast, have started to solve some of those challenges and ho...