April 2022 news

Defense Aviation and Aerospace Industry


Netherlands Air Force deploys F-35As in Bulgaria for Air Policing

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) have arrived in Bulgaria. Together with the Bulgarian Air Force, they will safeguard the NATO airspace over Bulgaria out of Graf Ignatievo Airforce Base from April until May 31.

US Marines' CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter reaches operational test

According to a PR published by Lockheed Martin on April 5, 2022, demonstrating its advanced capabilities in the fleet environment, the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter completed Initial Operational Test & Evaluation test vignettes (IOT&E) paving the way for the expected declaration by the U.S. Marine Corps of Initial Operational Capability (IOC) later this year and a Full Rate Production decision in 2023.

NATO RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk UAV achieves major milestone with full system handover

Northrop Grumman, NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) RQ-4D Phoenix Global Hawk has reached a major milestone with the NATO AGS Management Agency (NAGSMA)’s Full System Handover to the NATO AGS Force (NAGSF) at the Main Operating Base, Sigonella, Sicily. The specially-designed AGS system is uniquely suited to NATO requirements and is providing critical Joint ISR situational awareness to the 30 NATO member countries.

Sukhoi Su-57 cockpit glass can survive major hit

MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS-DEFENSE/. The cockpit glass of a Su-57 fighter jet can sustain a collision with a 1.8-kg object at a speed of 600 km/h, Rostec said: “The stealth glass survives a hit by a wrench and a collision with a 1.8-kg object at a speed of over 600 km/h. The characteristics were confirmed by trials with a pneumatic gun”.

Germany to invest EUR 152 Mn to arm its MALE Heron TP drones

In July 2016, the German Ministry of Defense announced its intention to lease 5 MALE [Medium Altitude Long Endurance] Heron TP [or Eitan] drone systems from the Israeli group IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) for 580 million euros. In June 2018, Germany signed the leasing agreement. Under this contract, the German army would use these UAVs only to conduct unarmed reconnaissance missions. They would be modified according to this restriction. However, these drones will, at last, be armed, a decision taken on April 6.

Qatar receives first two NH90 NFH naval helicopters

Another major programme achievement in the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s NH90 programme was made on 31 March with the delivery of the first two NFH naval variant helicopters. The aircraft handover, achieved in accordance with contractual commitments, was performed during an official ceremony held at Leonardo’s Venice Tessera NH90 final assembly line (Italy) in the presence of Qatar Emiri Air Force, Leonardo and NHI representatives.

USSOCOM Armed Overwatch program included in FY2023 Defense Budget Request

U.S. special operators need an eye-in-the-sky to look out for them as they operate in dangerous environments across the globe. And it's not always practical for that overwatch to come from high-end combat fighter jets, which are better suited for countering threats from nation-states. C. Todd Lopez, US DoD News, reports.

Turkey receives Airbus A400M Atlas military transport aircraft

According to information published by OCCAR on April 4, 2022, Turkey received MSN118, its 10th Aircraft. Delivery of this Aircraft completes the fleet of A400M for Turkey, which was ordered through the initial 6-Nation Development and Production Contract.

PLA Chinese army new helicopter with innovative design makes 1st flight

According to Liu Xuanzun in Global Times, China's top helicopter makers recently announced that a new type of helicopter with an innovative design has successfully completed its maiden flight, and this prototype chopper will lead to the development of the next-generation, high-performance helicopter for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). No detail is available concerning its design, except that it is different from the conventional one, or about its intended missions: will it be an attack helicopter, a reconnaissance helicopter or a transport helicopter?

Brazilian Air Force receives more Saab Gripen fighter bombers

According to MercoPress, the Brazilian Air Force has reported that it has started to incorporate the first Saab Gripen E/F fighter bombers, which were unloaded last Friday, April 1, at the Porto de Navegantes terminal in the state of Santa Catarina. According to pictures released by the FAB and Saab, these Gripens are identified as FAB 4101 and FAB 4102. 

Production of the Sikorsky Raider X prototype progresses

According to a PR published by Lockheed Martin on April 4, 2022, the Sikorsky RAIDER X® competitive prototype (CP) for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) is more than 85 percent complete, progressing 50 percent faster through production and assembly compared to legacy programs and resulting in a cost-effective, transformational aircraft.

Bulgarian Air Force to get F-16 C/D Block 70 Fighting Falcons with armament and ammunition

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on April announced that The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bulgaria of F-16 C/D Block 70 Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.673 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

Ukraine air defense shoots down first Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-35S fighter

On April 3, several social network users (namely MilitaryAviationInUa) published on Twitter the picture of the first Sukhoi Su-35S downed by the Ukrainian air defense (with a MANPADS or an S-300 missile) since the Russian invasion started, on February 24. The fighter was shot down near Izyum (Kharkiv region). The pilot ejected and was captured by Ukrainian forces.

Two Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters attack oil base in Russia

According to information published by Tass on April 1, 2022, two Ukrainian helicopters attacked a fuel depot in Russia’s bordering Belgorod region causing a major fire but injuring no one. Eight fuel tanks are on fire at the oil depot in Belgorod.

Two Turkish Air Force A400M Atlas blocked in Kyiv after possibly delivering Bayraktar TB2 drones

According to information published by Flugrevue on March 31, 2022, Turkey sent two Airbus A400M Atlas military transport aircraft to Ukraine. They are believed to have delivered Baykar Bayraktar TB2 UAVs. Both aircraft are said to be blocked at Kyiv airport, without the possibility to check this information.

Leonardo and Italian Secretariat General of Defence-National Armaments Directorate sign C-27J Acquisition Contract for Slovenia

On March 30, Leonardo and the Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness of the Italian Secretariat General of Defence/National Armaments Directorate the Acquisition Contract for the supply of one C-27J Spartan to the Slovenian Ministry of Defence, additional equipment for aero-medical operations, training services and integrated logistic support for two years.

Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing adds to Team Defiant for US Army FLRAA Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft competition

This week, the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant X helicopter arrived in Nashville to give U.S. Army Aviators a first-hand look at this impressive aircraft at the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit.

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