JANUARY 2021 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


New contract awarded to BAE Systems to enhance F-35 support services at RAF Marham

BAE Systems will lead a two-year agreement to bring enhanced maintenance and training services for the UK F-35 fleet.

Russian Air Force aerial tanker fleet to be reinforced

The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) will have its aerial tanker fleet reinforced in the coming years, according to the Russian aerospace industry.

Chinese CASIC WJ-700 UAV makes maiden flight

The maiden flight of WJ-700, a high-altitude, high-speed, long-endurance integrated unmanned air vehicle (UAV) capable of surveillance and strike, was successfully conducted on January 11, according to its developer, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). Guo Chaokai reports on China Military Online.

Indian Air Force to receive 83 LCA Mk1A Tejas fighter jets

In May 2018, the Indian Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal (ACM) R.K.S. Bhadauria said that the acquisition of 83 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Mk.1 « Tejas » was a high priority for the Indian Air Force. The Indian governement has now cleared the deal, Indian media announced on January 13, which represents a big boost to the domestic aviation industry.

Boeing awarded USD 1.7 Bn contract to supply 12 KC-46 air tankers to US Air Force

The U.S. Departement of Defense announced on January 12 that Boeing has been awarded a $1,687,359,008 modification (P00166) to contract FA8625-11-C-6600 for Lot Six production of KC-46 aircraft, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file. The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 12 KC-46 aircraft, data, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file being produced under the basic contract.

Russian Caspian flotilla to form naval aviation squadron

The Caspian flotilla will for the first time get its own air unit in post-Soviet time. It will receive Mi-8 and Ka-27 helicopters by the end of 2021. It is done to reinforce the fleet in the Caspian Sea and create a new main base. The helicopters will make the formation exert strategic influence in the whole region, the Izvestia daily writes.

Northrop Grumman to enable new F-35 warfighting capability

Northrop Grumman has received a contract award from Lockheed Martin to enable new functionality to protect the 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II multi-role fighter. As part of a collaborative arrangement between Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin, the three companies will integrate Northrop Grumman’s AN/ASQ-242 Integrated Communications, Navigation and Identification (ICNI) and BAE Systems’ AN/ASQ-239 Electronic Warfare/Countermeasures (EW/CM) system for optimal operational utility.

BAE Systems to support US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier fleet to 2029

BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace have signed a nine-year agreement to enhance availability of the U.S. Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II fleet.

Northrop Grumman downselected as sole contractor for US Air Force F-16 electronic warfare suite

The U.S. Air Force has downselected Northrop Grumman to complete the final project efforts to provide the electronic warfare suite for its F-16 fighter aircraft fleet. This critical capability will protect pilots from the growing danger of radio frequency-guided weapons by detecting, identifying and defeating advanced threat systems.

Leonardo AW139 will be Colombian new presidential helicopter

The Leonardo AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter will be the new Presidential Transport helicopter in the Republic of Colombia. The aircraft, in a special VVIP configuration, is expected to be delivered in spring this year and will be operated by the Colombian Air Force.

Russian Eastern district receives Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare helicopters

Mi-8MTPR-1 helicopters were supplied to the air force and defense formation of the Eastern Military District in late 2020, the Defense Ministry said: “The helicopters were delivered to the district by An-124 heavy airlifter from Ulyanovsk. They were then relocated to air units of the formation”. The delivery completed the supplies to the district scheduled in 2020.

Chinese J-20 twin-seat variant and indigenously engined stealth fighters spotted

A twin-seat variation of China's J-20 stealth fighter jet and a J-20 version equipped with a domestically made engine have been spotted for the first time in official videos recently released by its developer and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, only days before the 10th anniversary on Monday of the aircraft's maiden flight. Liu Xuanzun reports on Global Times.

Philippine Army receives German BO-105 helicopter donated by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm

According to news published by the Philippine news agency on January 8, 2021, Philippine Army has received a BO-105 helicopter donated by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm a German aerospace manufacturer.

India to sign contract with Airbus Defence for the purchase of 56 C-295 military transport aircraft

According to news published by the "Hindustan Times" on January 5, 2021, India will sign a contract with Airbus Defence for the purchase of 56 C-295 military transport aircraft to replace the aging fleet of Avro-748 planes in service with the Indian Air Force.

Japan plans to deploy first unmanned fighter aircraft in early 2025

According to information published by a Japanese newspaper, Japan has started the development of unmanned fighter aircraft and the first production model could be deployed in early 2025.

99 Squadron develops RAF C-17 Semi Prepared Runway Operations capability

RAF 99 Squadron took the next step in developing the aircraft’s Semi Prepared Runway Operations (SPRO) capability during training based in Louisiana, USA. The Royal Air Force reports on its website.

French Air and Space Force receives its first renovated Mirage 2000D

The French Ministry of Defense reports that on Thursday January 7, 2021, the first renovated Mirage 2000D (number 639) landed on Air Base 118 in Mont-de-Marsan, after renovation work carried out by Dassault Aviation and coupled with a maintenance visit by the industrial aeronautics workshop (AIA) located in Clermont-Ferrand.

Pakistan conducts test flight of Fatah-1 MLRS

Pakistan on January 7 conducted a successful test flight of indigenously-developed Fatah-1 guided multiple-launch rocket system), capable of delivering a conventional warhead up to a range of 140 kilometers, The Pakistani International News website reports.

US Air Force donates C-130E Hercules to Colombia

This aircraft is the fifth C-130 the U.S. has donated to Colombia and reflects the longstanding partnership between the two countries and their commitment to security and stability in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Pentagon and Lockheed Martin agree to USD1.28Bn F-35 sustainment contract

The F-35 Joint Program Office awarded the Lockheed Martin industry team a $1.28 billion Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA) to support operations and sustainment of the global F-35 fleet through June 30, 2021.

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