• General Atomics begins flight trials of first production-standard SkyGuardian UAS

    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has begun flight trials of the first production-standard MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the company announced on 31 March. The first flight of aircraft BC03 took place out of GA-ASI’s Flight Operations Facility in El Mirage,

  • Czech Republic to begin work on 23 Pandur II IFVs for Indonesian Army

    Czech companies Excalibur Army and Tatra Defence Vehicles, both of which are members of the Czechoslovak Group (CSG), are set to begin work on 23 8×8 Pandur II amphibious infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) for the Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD). The

  • UK stands-up ‘swarming drones’ development unit

    The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has stood-up an experimental unit dedicated to developing an operational ‘swarming drones’ capability, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane’s . 216 Squadron was reactivated at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire on 1 April, the MoD said. Previously, the

  • Saab markets new ARTHUR Mod D radar, showcases Boxer-mounted concept

    Saab has completed the development and is now awaiting contracts for its latest generation ARTHUR (ARTillery HUnting Radar) Mod D weapon locating radar (WLR), which the company established using internal funding. In a statement, Saab said ARTHUR Mod D was its “answer to the requirements for a

  • Covid-19: Europe warns on FDI, capital movement risks

    Key Points European authorities issue communications calling for vigilance regarding potential predatory acquisitions. The request comes as the EU is preparing to implement regulations to include the screening of acquisitions and investment on security and public order grounds. The EU has warned

  • Covid-19: NATO C-17s deliver medical kit to Romania

    C-17 air transports of NATO's Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) have been airlifting medical supplies from South Korea to Romania. NATO reported on its website that the aircraft landed at Bucharest airport on 26 and 28 March, each carrying 45 tonnes of medical equipment consisting of over 100,000

  • Covid-19: Serbia's biggest ammunition producer suspends production

    Serbia's Prvi Partizan ammunition factory in Užice will temporarily suspend operations between 1 April and 22 April due to difficulties associated with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Confirmation of the closure came from director general Dobrosav Andricthrough Serbian news agency

  • Covid-19: Bulgaria’s Arsenal reduces workforce

    Bulgarian armaments company Arsenal has taken steps to reduce its workforce and temporarily closed its operations due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Arsenal’s director general, Nikolay Ibushev, announced that 2,000 workers will be laid off due to a significantly reduced workload.

  • Polish Army seeks disposable anti-tank weapons

    The Polish Armament Inspectorate (AI) on 26 March announced that it is to begin a technical dialogue with industry on 2-3 April for the provision of a lightweight disposable anti-tank weapon to replace the Polish Army’s RPG-7. The AI will assess the initial technical requirements, the

  • Ukrainians wrap up Ugandan aircraft upgrade

    A team of 14 Ukrainian pilots, engineers, and designers from the Odessa Aviation Plant (OAP) have returned home from Uganda after repairing and upgraded six training and combat aircraft, Ukraine’s state-owned defence conglomerate UkrOboronProm announced on 28 March. It said the team was put

  • Covid-19: Airbus pauses Spanish production in line with royal decree

    Airbus has temporarily closed its operations in Spain in line with a royal decree limiting movement and industrial activity in the country. The move, announced by the company on 30 March, will see all non-essential work at its Spanish facilities cease until 9 April as the country’s government

  • Covid-19: Airbus establishes coronavirus airbridge from China to Europe

    Airbus has used one of its A300-200 aircraft to fly personal protection equipment from China to Europe, the company announced. The airlift, which took place over three days between 26 and 28 March, saw an A330 that is currently being converted into a multirole tanker transport (MRTT) platform for

  • Covid-19: UK establishes helicopter-hubs to support virus fight

    The United Kingdom has established two hubs from which military helicopters will be able to provide assistance to civil authorities the length of the country during the coronavirus pandemic. The hubs at Kinloss Barracks in Scotland and Royal Air Force (RAF) Benson in England will see Boeing Chinook

  • North Macedonia becomes NATO's 30th member

    North Macedonia was formally accepted as NATO's 30th member state on 27 March, when it deposited its instrument of accession with the US State Department in Washington, DC. This was marked by the firing of six artillery pieces from Ilinden barracks in Skopje. This was followed by a flag raising

  • Royal Navy shadows Russian warships in English Channel

    The Royal Navy (RN) reported on its website on 26 March that nine of its vessels had completed a “concentrated operation” shadowing seven Russian warships in the English Channel and North Sea. The development came as RN specialists and planners and other UK armed services were preparing

  • Australia begins construction of third Arafura-class OPV

    The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 27 March that construction work had begun on the third of 12 Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) on order for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Unlike the first two ships of the class, which are being built at the Osborne Naval

  • French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deploys to North Sea region for first time in 10 years

    Key Points The French Navy aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle is conducting its first deployment to the eastern North Sea region in a decade As part of the deployment, the carrier strike group exercised with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 The French Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier FS

  • IrvinGQ develops airdrop cage for THeMIS UGV

    UK-based aerial delivery equipment and parachute developer IrvinGQ has developed ATAX, an airdrop system that can deliver Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), Estonia’s Milrem Robotics announced on 26 March. The ATAX is a modular, rapid-rig/de-rig,

  • BAE touts Sceptre fast jet mission management tool for multidomain applications

    BAE Systems is pitching its Sceptre mission management tool for fast jets as a core campaign planning tool for multidomain operations. Speaking to Jane’s on 26 March, Louise Aiken, head of Mission Planning Programmes, and John Loader, Operational Requirements Specialist, said that the Sceptre

  • Covid-19: Czech IFV contract threatened by budget cuts

    The Czech Republic is preparing big cuts in defence spending and strategic contracts in its state budget as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I do not think we need the new tracked infantry fighting vehicles [IFVs] immediately but we need other items for this war [against Covid-19],”