MARCH 2018 news

Air Forces - Aerospace and Defense Industry

U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV performs missions over Ukraine

The U.S. Air Force is reportedly flying an RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV) over eastern Ukraine. The UAV has flown another hours-long reconnaissance flight over the demarcation line in Donbas.

Russian Air Force receives first upgraded Ilyushin Il-76MD-M

The first upgraded Ilyushin Il-76MD-M airlifter has been handed over to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Vice-President for Transport Aircraft at Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Alexei Rogozin said. The first upgraded plane has arrived at one of the bases of the Russian Aerospace Force’s military transport aviation.

Kratos' UTAP-22 Mako UAS approved for European and Asian markets

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions announced today, March 13, that it has received U.S. State Department approval to market its Mako High Performance Jet Tactical Unmanned Aerial System to certain European and Asia Pacific region countries.

China to develop J-20 fighter jet into a large family

China will continue to improve and upgrade its cutting-edge J-20 stealth fighter jet, giving it more capabilities than merely penetrating an enemy's air defense networks, according to its chief designer, China Daily reports on March 13.

South Korea inks deal for 90 more KEPD 350 Taurus missiles

South Korea has inked a contract to purchase 90 more KEPD 350 Taurus long-range air-to-ground missiles in line with its weapon system introduction program despite eased tensions on the peninsula, an official said Tuesday.

Russia starts implementing Su-35 deal with Indonesia

Russia has started to implement a contract for the delivery of Su-35 fighter jets to Indonesia, Russian presidential aide for military and technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin told Rossiya-24 TV Channel.

Russian Western Military District forms new Ka-52 wings

The air regiment of the Russian Western Military District received some ten new Ka-52 helicopter gunships, district spokesman Igor Muginov said on March 10, 2018.

Russia conducts successful test launch of Kinzhal hypersonic missile

A Russian fighter jet carried out a training and combat launch of the hypersonic missile of Kinzhal, and the missile hit the target, the Russian Ministry of Defense said Sunday.

USAF MQ-1 Predator took flight for the last time

The US Air Force held the MQ-1 Predator’s official retirement ceremony with Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Remotely Piloted Aircraft enterprise leaders, and MQ-1 alumni March 9, 2018, at Creech AFB.

UK and Saudi Arabia sign MoI for 48 extra Typhoon fighter jets

The UK government has signed a long-awaited Memorandum of Intent with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to aim to finalize discussions for the purchase of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets. "This is a positive step towards agreeing a contract for our valued partner," confirmed Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems Chief Executive, in a statement.

South Korea confirms Meteor, Iris-T integration on KF-X fighter jet

As negociations with US are facing delay, South Korea is now turning to Europe for its key arms procurement offset programs. Among them, one is focusing on integration of MBDA's Meteor and Diehl Defence's IRIS-T air-to-air missiles on the KF-X next-generation fighter jet.

US Army orders 35 additional UH-72A helicopters

The US Army ordered 35 more UH-72A Lakota multirole choppers from Airbus Helicopters Inc. worth US$273 mn, the US DoD announced yesterday on its website.

Raytheon to upgrade Qatari Emiri Air Force’s Air Operation Center

The US State Department yesterday approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Qatar of equipment and support to upgrade the Qatari Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) Air Operation Center (AOC) for an estimated cost of $197 million, the country's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced today, March 8.

Spice 1000 guided bomb reaches IOC with IAF F-16C/D fighter jets

The Spice 1000 munition has been declared fit for operational use with Israel Air Force F-16C/D "Barak" aircraft after successfully completing an examination which included a series of aerial and ground tests.

US oks potential FMS from UAE for 300 AIM-9X Block II missiles

The US State Department yesterday approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles to the United Arab Emirates for an estimated cost of $270.4 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said today.

Skyguide & AirMap to Develop First National Drone Traffic Management System in Europe

A Swiss firm and a German-based company announced on Monday they would develop Europe's first national drone traffic management system in Switzerland.

Thales and partners now protecting airports against malicious drones

Drone traffic in the vicinity of airports is growing exponentially. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), identified in its latest report over 1,400 drone incidents in Europe in 2016, compared to 606 incidents between 2011 and 2015. Airports, like other sensitive sites, are locations for which safety and security must be of the utmost importance.

Leonardo wins $6.8Mn contract for work on UK future AH-64E helicopters

The Italian defense group Leonardo on February 14 landed a US$6.8 million order regarding the "Preparation for Installation of the Apache AH-64E Defensive Aid Systems" for the British Army Air Corps (AAC), the European tenders online daily TED releases today.

Italian F-35As formally integrated in National Air Defense System

Since March 1, 2018, the two F-35A fighter jets of the Italian Air Force 32nd Wing of Amendola (32nd Stormo) is formally taking part in the country's National Air Defense System, the IAF said on March 5. The F35As fighter jets are now fully operational within the Airspace Surveillance Service (SSSA), a "fundamental institutional task of the Italian Air Force".

Sikorsky's CH-53K completes Critical Flight Envelope Expansion Phase

The CH-53K lifted the external load of 36,000 lbs. into a hover followed by flight demonstrating satisfactory handling qualities and structural margins. The gross weight of the aircraft topped out at just over 91,000 lbs., making this the heaviest helicopter ever flown by Sikorsky, the chopper maker said on March 7, 2018.

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