Parting shot: PAF inducts JF-17 Block III aircraft
01 December 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
The Block III version of the Pakistan-China-developed JF-17 fighter aircraft includes several improvements over earlier aircraft, according to the Pakistan Air Force. (Janes)
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has started to induct into service the latest version of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC)/Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) JF-17 ‘Thunder' fighter aircraft.
The PAF said in mid-November that the new Block III aircraft provides the PAF with several improved capabilities over the earlier Block II version. These include, it said, “superior manoeuvrability, extended range, and enhanced combat capabilities”.
Other enhancements include a reduction in the aircraft's radar cross-section, a result of greater use of composites, and improved avionics. State-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said in September the aircraft has also been equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
This radar system appears to be the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) KLJ-7A X-band airborne 3D fire-control radar (FCR). The Block II version is equipped with the KLJ-7 V2.
According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), the KLJ-7 V2 radar can detect an aircraft with a radar cross-section of 3 m
Singapore Airshow 2024: Aero set to complete VPAF L-39NG deliveries
23 February 2024
by Akhil Kadidal & Prasobh Narayanan
Aero Vodochody has completed deliveries of the first batch of L-39NGs to the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF). The company is also focusing on selling the aircraft to Thailand. (Aero Vodochody)
Aero Vodochody AS has delivered its first batch of L-39NG trainer and light-attack aircraft to the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF), with remaining deliveries expected to be completed in 2024.
Vietnam ordered 12 L-39NG aircraft in February 2021. Filip Gunnar Kulštrunk, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer of Aero, told Janes that deliveries began in the fourth quarter of 2023 and that “the first batch of aircraft is now in [Vietnam]. We're going to be following up through to the end of this year. Most of this year is filled up with these delivery schedules”.
Kulštrunk offered his comments during the 2024 Singapore Airshow, which is being held from 20 to 25 February.
US CBO projects growing debt, interest payments over next decade
21 February 2024
by Jeremiah Cushman
US Congressional Budget Office's 10-year projections for US defence spending, interest payments, and total deficit. (Congressional Budget Office/Janes)
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its regular 10-year budget and economic report on 7 February, projecting growing deficits, public debt, and costs attributable to an ageing population while revenue remains largely the same by 2034.
The CBO emphasised that its forecasts, based on legislation enacted through 3 January 2024 and economic data as of 5 December 2023, assume current laws on taxes and spending remain generally unchanged.
This budget deficit is anticipated to increase from USD1.6 trillion in fiscal year (FY) 2024 to USD2.6 trillion in FY 2034, or from 5.6% of GDP in FY 2024 to 6.1% of GDP in FY 2034, significantly larger than the 3.7% average over the past 50 years, the CBO said.
The deficit projections are smaller than in the CBO's May 2023 report due to a USD2.3 trillion reduction in discretionary spending over the 10-year period from the combination of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), which was signed into law on 3 June 2023, and the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act of 2024.
An Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank. (Indian MoD/Janes)
The deliveries of Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Arjun Mk 1A main battle tanks (MBTs) to the Indian Army will experience a delay because of an engine shortage, a DRDO official told Janes on 20 February.
The Indian Army ordered 118 Arjun Mk 1A MBTs worth INR75.23 billion (USD907 million) in September 2021, with deliveries of the initial batch scheduled for 2024 and the final batch in 2027.
However, because of a delay in the delivery of engines from German company MTU, the delivery of tanks to the Indian Army will be delayed as well, the DRDO official said.
The tanks were planned to be produced with German MTU MB 838 Ka-501 V10 liquid-cooled turbocharged diesel engines, but MTU requires at least four more years to initiate the production of the engines for Arjun tanks, the official added.
MTU had not responded to Janes request for comment regarding the reason for the delay in engine delivery at the time of publication.
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