AAD 2022: Paramount secures Mwari launch customers

by Gareth Jennings

Paramount has secured sales for nine of its Mwari aircraft to multiple air forces. (Paramount Group)

South Africa's Paramount Aerospace Industries has secured launch customers for its Mwari light attack and surveillance aircraft, announcing on 21 September that nine of the twin-seat single-engined turboprops had been sold “to multiple air forces”.

Announcing the sales at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 defence exhibition near Pretoria, the subsidiary of Paramount Group said that deliveries to one of the undisclosed customers are under way.

Known as the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Attack Aircraft (AHRLAC) during its development phase and as the Bronco II for its pitch into the US market, the Mwari is fitted with a nose-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret, as well as a modular Interchangeable Mission Systems Bay (IMSB) that can accommodate various ‘plug-and-play' payloads, while its stepped tandem cockpits are fitted with ‘glass' multifunctional display units as well as hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls. The aircraft's weapons fit comprises a variety of ‘dumb' and precision-guided munitions carried on six underwing hardpoints.


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Link 16 terminal qualified for French AWACS aircraft

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.


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Turkey touts Eurofighter plan, should F-16 talks stall

by Lale Sariibrahimoglu

Seen in Luftwaffe service, the Eurofighter could be an option for Turkey should continuing discussions with the United States over the F-16 fail to yield results. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Turkey has, for the first time, officially pronounced a possible purchase of Eurofighter Typhoons in case if the United States fails to sell Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons.

İbrahim Kalın, Turkey's presidential spokesperson, confirmed the previously reported plan, telling local NTV news channel on 23 September, “We have negotiations with Europe regarding […] Eurofighter […] Turkey will never be without alternatives.”

Turkey made a request to the United States for 40 F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernisation kits for its existing warplanes in October 2021.

The US administration warmed to the sale of the fighters to Turkey, Kalın said, as the Joe Biden administration in June threw its support behind the potential sale after Ankara lifted a veto of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden.

However, a condition set out by the US House of Representatives in July 2022 to ensure that F-16 jets sold to Ankara are not used to violate Greek airspace has been rejected by Turkey.


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Philippine Army deploys ATMOS 2000 howitzers for operational tasking

by Kapil Kajal

The Philippine Army said that the ATMOS will boost the army's mobility and range, and enhance its indirect fire-support capability. (Soltam Systems)

The Philippine Army has deployed its Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System (ATMOS) 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled artillery units to the service's 10th Field Artillery ‘Rolling Thunder' Battalion, marking the weapon system's entry into operational status.

The deployment was held on 21 September at Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation area in Nueva Ecija, which lies about 120 km north of Manila.

Videos of the deployment were released by the Philippine Army's official social media channels on the same day.

Philippine Army spokesperson Colonel Xerxes Trinidad told Janes on 27 June that the 10th Field Artillery Battalion operates under the service's artillery regiment. He further described the 12 artillery pieces as equipment that will boost the army's mobility and range and enhance its indirect fire-support capabilities.

The Philippine Army took delivery of the ATMOS units in December 2021 and conducted a three-day live firing exercise from 6 to 8 April 2022. This event marked the first in-country training programme for the weapons.


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South Africa's Paramount Aerospace Industries has secured launch customers for its Mwari light attac...

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