Luftwaffe deploys Eurofighters in Indo-Pacific for first time

by Akhil Kadidal

Germany has demonstrated its ability to deploy a detachment of combat and support aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region. The detachment, which includes six Eurofighter Typhoons, four A400Ms, and three A330 MRTTs, will operate in the region until 4 October 2022. (Janes)

The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has flown a detachment of Eurofighters with supporting aircraft and personnel into the Indo-Pacific region. The aircraft covered a distance of 12,700 km within 24 hours.

According to the German Bundeswehr (armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany), this is the first deployment of Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoons to Asia.

The Bundeswehr said that the exercise is an attempt to show the German Air Force's operational readiness. The operation, known as Rapid Pacific 2022, is also a demonstration of Berlin's ability to project combat air power to the region.

The flight comes at a time of increased tensions between China, the US, and Washington's allies. Germany's Minister of Defence, Christine Lambrecht, issued a statement that this first deployment of Eurofighters and supporting aircraft shows that “we also think about safety beyond Europe”.

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New datalink terminal qualifies for integration on 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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DX Korea 2022: SNT Dynamics unveils light-vehicle mortar system

by Jon Grevatt

SNT Dynamics has integrated its KM120 mortar system with a 4×4 vehicle made by Kia Motors for the Republic of Korea Army. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

South Korea's SNT Dynamics has integrated its KM120 120 mm mortar system with a 4×4 light tactical vehicle (LTV) built by Kia Motors for a requirement in the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

The company showcased the new LTV mortar capability for the first time at the DX Korea 2022 event being held in Goyang from 21 to 25 September. SNT Dynamics has not yet officially named the product.

“This capability has a crew of just three – a driver, a mortar loader, and a fire-control operator. The RoK Army wants a light and mobile mortar system that can be deployed by helicopter quickly and easily,” said an official from SNT Dynamics.

He said the RoKA has a potential requirement for about 200 mortar vehicles, although the programme has not yet been framed by a tender.

In addition to sales to the RoKA, the company said customers in the Middle East have expressed interest in procuring the system.

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French Navy becomes first military H160 operator

by Jean-Marc Tanguy

The first of six H160 helicopters for the French Navy was handed over by service provider Babcock on 22 September. (Jean-Marc Tanguy)

Babcock delivered its first Airbus Helicopters H160 rotorcraft to the French Navy on 22 September during a ceremony at Hyères Naval Air Station (NAS) in southeastern France.

The helicopter was the first of six that have been leased by Babcock as a service provider for 10 years. With the remainder to follow by the end of 2023, they are to be used for maritime search and rescue (SAR) and interdiction missions by French Navy commandos.

The first aircraft will be operational from May 2023 at the Cherbourg NAS, then at Lanvéoc-Poulmic NAS and Hyères NAS. Meanwhile, the navy will conduct operational trials of the new type – the first H160 used by any military in the world.

Babcock has extensively modified the aircraft supplied by Airbus Helicopters in May with a winch, as well as a Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret and control station. From January 2023 this H160 will also be able to conduct fast rope operations with the commandos.

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The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has flown a detachment of Eurofighters with supporting aircraft and...

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