• First USMC operational unit receives F-35C

    The US Marine Corps (USMC) has received into service its first operational carrier variant (CV) Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The aircraft, tail number 301, arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, California, on 21 January. The milestone came about five

  • Kenya commissions MD 530F helicopters

    The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) announced on 23 January that its chief, General Samson Mwathethe, had commissioned its “next-generation” MD 530F light attack helicopters at the Embakasi base in Nairobi. The United States approved the sale of 12 MD 530Fs along with FN Herstal .50 cal

  • Saab begins T-X assembly

    Saab has started assembly of the first aft-fuselage section of the T-7A Red Hawk for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) T-X trainer aircraft replacement programme. The Swedish manufacturer said on 21 January that it had begun

  • Bell-Boeing flies first Osprey for US Navy

    The first Bell-Boeing CMV-22B Osprey carrier on-board delivery (COD) tiltrotor aircraft for the US Navy (USN) made its maiden flight on 21 January. The aircraft, serial number 9435, flew out of Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas ahead of delivery to the USN’s Air Test and

  • DARPA, Dynetics move Gremlins focus to aerial recovery

    The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Dynetics are shifting their focus in the Gremlins programme to aerial recovery of the X-61A demonstrator after completing the device’s first flight test in November 2019. The goal of this third phase of Gremlins will be the

  • UK orders more Jupiter training helos

    The United Kingdom has ordered a further four Airbus Helicopters H145 Jupiter training helicopters to add to the three already received, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 21 January. The new helicopters, along with 29 smaller H135 Junos, are used to instruct pilots on the rotary-wing (RW)

  • Hermes 900 MALE UAV enters service with Philippine Air Force

    The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has begun operating the Elbit Systems Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Images of two of the nine Hermes 900 platforms ordered from Israel have been circulating on social media since November 2019, with a video emerging a

  • Three-engined variant of China’s Tengden TB001 UAV makes maiden flight

    Images have emerged of a three-engined variant of the Sichuan Tengden Technology Company (also spelled Tengoen) TW328/TB001 strike-capable, reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) conducting what Chinese media have said was the platform’s first flight. The new variant took to the skies

  • Nigerian Air Force receives two AW109 helicopters

    The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) announced on 18 January that it has received two new Leonardo AW109 helicopters. The helicopters are part of an order for six that was announced in 2018, with a first batch of two arriving in April 2019. The NAF said the helicopters were airfreighted to Abuja from

  • Indian Air Force commissions first squadron of Su-30MKI fighters armed with the BrahMos-A missile

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) commissioned on 20 January its first squadron of Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighter aircraft armed with the BrahMos-A (Air) supersonic cruise missile. IAF officials told Jane’s that the recently re-activated No. 222 ‘Tiger Sharks’ Squadron at Thanjavur

  • Falco Xplorer UAV makes maiden flight

    Leonardo flew its Falco Xplorer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the first time on 15 January, the company announced. The approximately one-hour flight saw the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV depart Trapani Air Force Base on Sicily before returning to the same location. As noted by

  • Gremlins demonstrator makes maiden flight

    Dynetics, Inc flew its X-61A Gremlins demonstrator for the first time in late 2019, it was announced on 17 January. A video of the maiden flight released by the company showed the Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) separate from a Lockheed Martin C-130A Hercules ‘mother-ship’ over Dugway

  • New helo sees Honduras become first Central American nation to field naval aviation

    Honduras has become the first Central American nation to field naval aviation, with the arrival of a surplus Eurocopter BO 105 helicopter. The helicopter, received on 15 January, will operate from the recently acquired General Cabañas off-shore patrol vessel (OPV). The first landing of the

  • Spain takes delivery of last Tiger helicopter

    Spain has taken delivery of the last of 24 Tiger helicopters, an HAD-E (Helicóptero de Apoyo y Destrucción) attack version. Known as the Tigre in Spain, it was handed over at Airbus Helicopters’ Albacete plant on 14 January at a ceremony attended by Secretary of State for Defence

  • Boeing flies Advanced Chinook Rotor Blade for first time

    Boeing has flown a Block 2-standard CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter for the first time with the Advanced Chinook Rotor Blade (ACRB), the company announced on 16 January. The flight came some 10 months after the first Block 2 helicopter made its maiden flight with standard rotor blades. No

  • Deliveries to Eurofighter partner nations near conclusion

    The programme-of-record (PoR) for the four Eurofighter partner nations will shortly be concluded, with the final two air forces set to receive their last aircraft imminently, a company spokesperson told Jane’s on 17 January. With the United Kingdom and Germany having received their final

  • Israel stands-up second F-35 unit

    The Israeli Air Force (IAF) formally stood up a second unit to field the Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir combat aircraft, the service announced on 16 January. 116 Squadron ‘Defenders of the South’ will join the already established 140 Squadron ‘Golden Eagle’ at Nevatim Air Base

  • Apache and Chinook helicopters to participate in India’s annual Republic Day parade

    The Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) newly inducted ‘AH-64E(I)’ Apache Guardian attack helicopters and Chinook CH-47F heavy-lift helicopters will participate in a fly-past at India’s annual Republic Day parade in New Delhi on 26 January. Officials said the two twin-engined

  • RAAF transfers F-35 training to Australia

    Australia has transferred pilot and maintainer training for Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft from the United States to home territory. The move, which took place in December 2019 and was announced by the US Air Force (USAF) on 15 January, saw the Royal

  • Uzbekistan receives Mi-35M helo

    Uzbekistan has received into service at least one of a batch of Mil Mi-35M ‘Hind-E’ assault helicopters that were ordered from Russia in early 2018. Footage aired on the national O’Zbekiston24 news channel on 14 January showed the two helicopters at Karshi Khanabad airbase in the south of the

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