OCTOBER 2020 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex selects Airbus and IAI for Maritime Aerial Surveillance with RPAS

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) awarded a contract to Airbus Defence and Space Airborne Solutions (ADAS), a 100% subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space and the global market leader in RPAS services, and its long-term partner Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to operate a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RPAS for Maritime Aerial Surveillance services.

Electronic warfare course held at new European training centre in Portugal

European Defense Agency’s 4th Electronic Warfare course (5-16 October) involving more than a dozen participants from Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Ukraine has been completed at Sintra Air Base, Portugal. It was the first helicopter course held in the Agency’s new training facility set up over the past four months at Sintra Air Base which will also host the future Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC) by mid-2023.

Boeing and U.S. Navy to demonstrate future ramjet missile technology

Boeing and the U.S. Navy will demonstrate advanced missile technologies that will make carrier air wing strike fighters more lethal against threats into the next decade. The demonstrator will help the Navy determine technical requirements for future carrier-based weapons systems.

Lockheed Martin awarded contract to continue F-35 Block 4 capability development

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $138,769,282 modification to previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee, cost-plus-incentive-fee contract N00019-19-C-0010. This modification adds scope to continue the development of pilot training device software to align the F-35 air system with continued capability development.

Largest RAF exercise in the UK for many years begins

The largest military exercise to be run by the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom for over a decade has begun. Exercise Crimson Warrior is seeing RAF, Royal Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force fighter jets, multi-engine aircraft and helicopters operating from a number of RAF stations across the country.

U.S. Marines retire Bell AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter after 34 years of service

The U.S. Marine Corps has officially retired the Bell AH-1W “Super Cobra” from its ranks after more than 30 years of dependable service. The iconic dual-blade aircraft served as the dedicated attack helicopter for the Marines through multiple campaigns, including Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom.

Leonardo demonstrates helicopter-UAV teaming in UK with AW159 Wildcat

On 17th September, Leonardo successfully demonstrated unique integrated capabilities between a manned aircraft and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This took place in the UK during Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) trials between a Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter and a semi-autonomous UAV from Callen-Lenz Associates.

Northrop Grumman giving aircrews an edge in electronic warfare

Over the past decade, aircrews have relied on infrared countermeasure and electronic warfare systems, such as Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures and the AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Receiver, to keep them safe during combat operations. These systems have been highly effective against current anti-aircraft weapons. Now, a more lethal generation of threats is beginning to appear on the horizon.

Russia to develop Ilyushin Il-96-400M into air command post

Air command posts of the Russian armed forces are to be carried by Ilyushin Il-96-400M aircraft rather than Il-80. It will considerably increase the on-duty time in the air and expand the coverage of army control, Gazeta.ru writes.

Enduring Lightning III exercise brings together U.S. and Israeli air forces

U.S. Air Forces Central and the Israeli Air Force conducted the exercise "Enduring Lightning III" on Oct. 12, 2020, in the skies over Israel. It is the third joint exercise between the two countries involving the F-35 aircraft.

Russia designs new seaborne helicopters

The development of seaborne aviation enjoys a growing attention in the renewal of the Russian Navy. The first prototype of Minoga helicopter will be ready in 2025-2026. The producer in Arsenyev in Primorye region has also mastered a new technology to make Ka-52K helicopters. The rotorcraft has passed all trials and is ready for batch production. The Army Standard writes which seaborne helicopters are to replace the operational ones.

FN Herstal to complement airborne digital suite with newly developed FN D-pod test unit

Belgium-based designer and manufacturer of small caliber weapons and associated weapon systems FN Herstal introduces a newly-developed Ground Support Equipment (GSE) test unit, called FN D-Pod TU, and offers optimized level of integration, operational capability and maintenance on rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

First NH90 delivered to the Spanish Air Force for search and rescue missions

NHIndustries and its partner companies (Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo and Fokker) have delivered the first NH90 to the Spanish Air Force that will boost their search and rescue (SAR) and combat search and rescue (CSAR) mission capabilities.

Northrop Grumman AESA radar declared operational for U.S. Air National Guard F-16s

The U.S. Air Force has met Full Operational Capability (FOC) readiness for Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-83 SABR active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar on Air National Guard F-16s to meet a U.S. Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for homeland defense.

France proposes 12 second-hand Rafale fighters to Croatia

Croatia wants to replace its MiG-21Bis/UM. On October 14, the Chief of Staff of the French Armies, General François Lecointre, confirmed that an offer to sell 12 Rafales currently in service with the Air and Space Force had been submitted to Croatia last September. However, in the meantime, Greece has known its intention to procure 18 Rafale, including 12 second hand ones, Laurent Lagneau reports on Zone Militaire / Opex 360.

Embraer delivers six A-29B Super Tucano multi-mission aircraft to Philippine Air Force

On 14 October, 2020, Embraer formally delivers six A-29B Super Tucano multi-mission aircraft to Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Vietnamese Navy interested in former Japanese P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to sign a defense-export deal with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc during his visit to Vietnam next week, VietDefense announces on its Facebook page, according to an Asia.Nikkei post.

Malaysia starts international tender for new maritime patrol aircraft

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is pushing forward with their acquisition of new Maritime Patrol Aircraft, with a first batch of two aircraft up for tender, Asia Pacific Defense Journal reports.

Raytheon StormBreaker smart weapon approved for fielding on F-15 Eagle

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, on 13 October announced the StormBreaker smart weapon has been approved for use on the F-15E by the U.S. Air Force's Air Combat Command. The fielding decision means that F-15E squadrons can now be equipped with StormBreaker and deployed for missions.

Airbus to upgrade communications and mission system on Australian KC-30A MRTT fleet

Airbus announces it has been selected to develop a Communications and Mission System modernization upgrade for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A MRTT fleet. KC-30A MRTT is the Australian designation for Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

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