OCTOBER 2018 news

Air Forces - Aerospace and Defense Industry

Belgium to order 2 General Atomics MQ-9B SkyGuardian

The Belgian government has agreed to negotiate with the United States for the purchase of two MALE drone systems. MALE means Medium Altitude Long Endurance. These are reconnaissance drones that collect information from the sky.

Belgium officially opts for Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jet

By Nathan Gain

The long-awaited final decision finally happened: the Belgian Air Force will turn to the 5th generation in the coming years. In a public announcement, the Prime Minister Charles Michel officially confirmed that the Lockheed Martin F-35A will replace the BAF (Air Component) ageing fleet of F-16 fighter jets.

UK requests $3.5 bn FMS for additional Chinook helicopters

The US State Department on Friday 19 a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom of 16 CH-47 Chinook (Extended Range) helicopters for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

Russia donates airfield equipment to Mongolian Air Force

Russia has handed over airfield equipment to Mongolia worth 13 million U.S. dollars as part of an effort to render military-technical assistance to the Mongolian side. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has described the hand-over as a milestone event in the bilateral relations.

Saab receives initial order for USAF T-X trainer EMD phase

Saab has received an order from Boeing for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase for the Advanced Pilot Training Aircraft, T-X. The value of this order is approximately USD 117.6 million. The order will run until 2022.

Portuguese Air Force orders five AW119Kx helicopters

Leonardo announced today that the Portuguese Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected the AW119Kx as its new multirole single engine helicopter to meet its future operational requirements.

RAF Voyager tanker completes first air-to-air refueling of British F-35B

The RAF’s Voyager Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) tanker has completed the first UK refuel of the F-35B Lightning II jets, the RAF press service said today in a statement.

Unitech LASS weapons pylons for Afghanistan's UH-60A Black Hawks

Unitech Composites, a Unitech Aerospace company and leading supplier of complex composite laminates, components and assemblies for the commercial aerospace and defense markets, announced on October 16 that they will provide its Lightweight Armament Support Structure (LASS) weapons pylons for the UH-60A Black Hawks that the United States is supplying to the Afghan government.

USAF successfully launched 4th Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite

The fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) protected communication satellite, built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force, was successfully launched today at 12:15 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket. Lockheed Martin confirmed signal acquisition at 3:47 a.m. ET.

ACCaP program: American offer reportedly extended by two weeks

The American offer for the Belgian F-16s replacement program has been implicitly extended by two weeks, until the end of October, according to Flemish newspapers. 

USAF F-22 Raptor fighters deploy to Belgium for joint training with BAF

F-22 Raptor aircraft arrived at Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium today from RAF Lakenheath, England, to conduct local training with the Belgian air force, the US Air Force said in an official statement.

Elta to provide undisclosed Asian customer with ELM-2032 Fire Control Radars

ELTA Systems, a division and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has been awarded a $55-million contract for the provision of Multimode Airborne ELM-2032 Fire Control Radars to be installed on newly produced advanced combat aircraft, the Israeli company said on October 16, 2018.

Airbus Racer high-speed chopper achieves preliminary design review

Airbus Helicopters continues to progress with the development of its Racer (Rapid And Cost-Efficient Rotorcraft) technology demonstrator, funded by European Union’s H2020 framework through the Clean Sky 2 program, and aiming to provide the best trade-off between speed, cost-efficiency, sustainability and mission performance.

Aviastar hands over overhauled An-124-100 airlifter to Russian Air Force

The Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP, an affiliate of the United Shipbuilding Corporation transport aviation battalion, has handed over an An-124-100 Ruslan airlifter for operational service (vehicle identification number is 0605), the enterprise’s press service said.

UAVOS successfully test-flies ApusDuo HAPS prototype

UAVOS Inc. has successfully completed the first stage of the flight tests of the 10-meter prototype of the High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) ApusDuo, which was manufactured as part of the development program of ApusDuo solar aircraft with a wing span of 28m, the US company said on October 11, 2018.

AVIC Z-19E attack helicopter ready for production

The China-developed Z-19E armed light helicopter is expected to start batch production, according to its developer the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) on Saturday.

Aero Vodochody rolls out first L-39NG trainer jet

On Friday 12th October 2018, at 11:50, the first L-39NG pre-series aircraft rolled out from the hangar at AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE, the leading Czech aerospace company. This significant milestone has been achieved in line with the L-39NG project schedule and Aero is now going to prepare the aircraft for its maiden flight planned before the end of this year.

NATO pushing Norway to consider F-35 aerial refueling capability

NATO requires Norway buy two new purpose-built transport aircraft that will supply F-35 fighter jets with fuel while they are in the air, Norwegian media reported Friday.

RAF C-17 completes first rotation at Gao airfield

A Royal Air Force C17 transport aircraft has arrived at Gao airfield in Mali for the first time.  The flight was to deliver supplies to the RAF Chinook Detachment currently deployed supporting French operations there, the RAF said on October 11, 2018.

BAF F-16AM caught fire during routine ground maintenance

Yesterday 11 October, the whole Belgian press mediatized a heavy incident that took place at Florennes, home base for the 2nd Tactical Wing in southern Belgium. In a first press release, the Defense ministry simply stated what follows: "On October 11, 2018, at approximately 2:10 pm, a fire broke out during maintenance work on an F-16AM. The plane burned out. A second aircraft suffered collateral damage. In this context, one technician was injured (hearing disorders). He was treated on the spot. An investigation has been initiated by the ASD (Aviation Safety Directorate).

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