March 2019 news

Air Forces - Aerospace and Aviation Defense Industry

Norway: Future acquisitions planned for the Air Sector 2019–2026

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence unveiled its Future acquisitions for the Norwegian Defence Sector 2019–2026. The long term planning process outlines the continuous development of the Norwegian Defence Sector with respect to organisation, infrastructure (garrisons and bases), personnel (numbers, composition and qualifications) and materiel (existing equipment and new acquisitions). This process is carried out under the direction of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD). The Long Term Plan – Materiel forms the basis for all materiel procurements in the short term (4 years), the medium term (8 years) and the long-term perspectives (20 years).The plan is updated annually to reflect updates based on changing requirements, available resources and progress in on-going acquisitions.

Kongsberg awarded JSM Joint Strike Missile contract with Japan

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (KONGSBERG) has entered into contract with Japan to supply the initial deliveries of JSM (Joint Strike Missile) for their fleet of F-35 fighter aircraft. The JSM development started in 2008 and was completed in mid-2018 after a series of successful validation test firings.

Russia to upgrade Mi-35M helicopters to Mi-35MV level

The Russian armed forces are launching a large-scale program to upgrade Mi-35M helicopters to Mi-35MV level. They will get new armor, engines and optics to identify and destroy targets at a distance of several kilometers day and night and in any weather. The craft will also get electronic warfare and protection from portable air defense missiles. The upgrade was launched after an analysis of Mi-35M experience in Syria, the Izvestia daily writes.

Valkyrie drone to support US fighter jets

The US Air Force has carried out a successful test of an advanced, jet-powered drone called the XQ-58A Valkyrie that may someday fly alongside a piloted plane on missions or even absorb enemy fire instead of the piloted plane.

Heli-Expo 2019: Airbus Helicopters announces 43 orders

Airbus Helicopters wraps up the 2019 edition of Heli-Expo with 43 orders from worldwide customers announced for the whole Airbus civil product range - H125, H130, H135, H145, H160, H175 and H225. Twenty-one helicopters of the 43 orders announced at the show were from longstanding Airbus Helicopters customer Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH), which unveiled a contract for a mix of single-engine H125s and twin-engine H135s.

Taiwan to purchase new American fighter jets

Taiwan has submitted an official request to the United States to purchase a fleet of new fighter jets to beef up its air defense capability.

USA: Raytheon to Support ALQ-249 Next Gen Jammer for Navy’s EA-18G Aircraft

The US company Raytheon has won a $12 million contract for engineering and test support services for the ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) currently in development for the Navy EA-18G aircraft.

Australia: Hawk Lead-In Fighter modification program complete

Australian Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne MP, announced the completion of the final aircraft in a significant modification program for the Royal Australian Air Force fleet of Hawk Lead-In Fighter aircraft.

Observation flight over Hungary by Russian AN-30B

According to Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, within the framework of the implementation of an international treaty on the Open Skies, the Russian Federation is conducting an observation flight on a Russian observation aircraft AN-30B over the territory of the Hungary.

Japan Coast Guard enforces Super Puma fleet with a new H225 helicopter

Japan’s largest Super Puma operator, Japan Coast Guard (JCG), has acquired an additional H225. With the new helicopter, JCG’s Super Puma fleet will include two AS332s and eleven H225s, for security enforcement, territorial coastal activities, and disaster relief missions in Japan.

Russia to acquire Mil Mi-26T2V heavylift helicopters

Russia`s Ministry of Defense has agreed the number of Mil Mi-26T2V (NATO code: Halo) super-heavy transport helicopters to be acquired, a military source told TASS. "The MoD has shaped the acquisition of the Mi-26T2V rotorcraft. The contract is planned to be signed this year," said the source.

New T-X trainer jet of US Air Force could become its next light-attack or aggressor aircraft

Although the purchase of new T-X trainers to replace the fleet of T-38 vehicles, more than 50 years old, remains a top priority, the US Air Force is beginning to explore whether the T-X could be procured for other uses, Gen. Mike Holmes said at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium.

First flight in 2019 for the Turkish Aerospace Industries Anka-2 UAV

The leading aviation manufacturer of the domestic defense industry, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) continues its efforts to meet the country’s demand for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems. As reported on, the engine of Turkey’s new UAV Anka-2, which will have a higher payload capacity than the current UAVs, delivered a successful performance during testing. The brand new Anka-2 is expected to make its first flight this year.

USA: Pentagon reducing F-35 buy in 2020 budget request

The US Department of Defense is planning to cut the number of Lockheed Martin F-35s in its next budget request from 84 to 78, six fewer than previously planned. The Pentagon was originally planning to request funding for 84 F-35s in FY20, comprising 48 F-35As, 20 F-35Bs, and 16 F-35Cs. It was not specified which services would be impacted by the loss of six aircraft in the upcoming budget request.

Canada and Russia to deploy surveillance drones in the Arctic

The two Arctic countries aim to increase their surveillance capabilities in the region and are actively developing and acquiring drone technology, but operating UAVs in the region’s harsh environment will be a real challenge.

StandardAero and Thales move forward with helicopter autopilot system

StandardAero and Thales have announced continued progress in their partnership focused on a new light helicopter autopilot system, with an in-depth market study and design definition now complete, and planning underway for the next phase of development. This advanced autopilot system is one element of StandardAero’s Safecraft portfolio, comprised of various safety upgrade equipment specifically dedicated for the light helicopter market, initially targeting the Airbus Helicopters AS350 helicopter platform.

India to acquire 36 French-made Rafale fighter jets

India will induct French-made Rafale combat jet in September, the chief of the Indian air force B.S. Dhanoa said on March 4th.

Sikorsky HH-60W combat rescue helicopters prepare for flight test

Two fully assembled HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters (CRH), built by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, are preparing for their maiden flights, which will occur before mid-year at the Sikorsky West Palm Beach site in Florida.

Singapore to buy 4 F-35 fighter jets with option for 8 more

Singapore will place an initial order for four F-35 fighter jets for complete testing with the option of a subsequent eight, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced in his Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) Committee of Supply debate speech on March 1st.

Poland making steps towards procuring 32 F-35 fifth generation jets

During a press conference, the head of the Polish MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak, placed a major emphasis on acquisition of the new fighter aircraft for the Polish Air Force. Błaszczak announced he signed a military modernization plan document under which the country will spend 185 billion zloty (U.S. $49 billion) on new weapons and military equipment by 2026. The acquisition of 32 fifth-generation fighter jets is one of the priority procurements that are to be carried out under the program, the minister said.

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