DECEMBER 2018 news

Air Forces - Aerospace and Defense Industry

Polish National Police receives two S-70i Black Hawk helicopters

Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp. z o.o. in the presence of the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister of Interior and Administration Joachim Brudzinski, officially handed over to the Polish National Police two S-70i Black Hawk helicopters produced in Poland.

US Air Force's B61-12 nuclear bomb new guided tail-kit assembly enters production phase

The US Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center received formal approval in late October to enter the production phase for the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb’s new guided tail-kit assembly, or TKA. “This marks the completion of a highly successful development effort for the tail kit,” said Col. Dustin Ziegler, AFNWC director for air-delivered capabilities.

Boeing lands $158M order for Japan's second KC-46A tanker

Boeing has been awarded a $158 million contract to produce a second KC-46A aircraft for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), the US Department of Defense said on December 6, 2018.

RAAF's first two F-35A fighter jets landed in Australia

In an historic day in Australian aviation, the first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters to be permanently based in Australia arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown. The country's Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, were there to welcome the aircraft and RAAF fighter pilots who flew the final leg in the journey from Luke Air Force Base Arizona.

New USAF squadron to house Dutch and Danish F-35A fighter jets

The 308th Fighter Squadron was reactivated by the US Air Force in a ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Nov. 30. The squadron will house the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s and the Royal Danish Air Force’s F-35A Lightning IIs, in a training partnership. With Lt. Col. Robert Miller assuming command, the fighter squadron is scheduled to begin operations in December 2018.

Russian Helicopters to open new MRO center in Egypt next year

Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of Rostec State Corporation) is completing the creation of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) center for Mi-8/17 helicopters based at the facilities of Helwan Factory for Developed Industries (HFDI) in Helwan (Egypt). The Holding Company plans to certify the MRO center in Egypt in 2019.

First Law Enforcement-Configured Bell 505 JRX delivered to Sacramento Police Department

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announced the delivery of the first law enforcement-configured Bell 505 Jet Ranger X to the Sacramento Police Department, the helicopter maker said on December 3, 2018.

Russian Helicopters completes Southeast Asian demo tour

Mi-171A2 and Ansat helicopters, manufactured by the Russian Helicopters holding company (part of State Corporation Rostec), completed a demonstration tour of the countries of Southeast Asia. Attendees of Airshow China in Zhuhai, China, as well as potential customers from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, familiarized themselves with the capabilities of both aircraft. Full-scale demonstrations in these countries of the latest civil technology made it possible to reach specific agreements and create an extensive portfolio of orders for them.

New C-27J baseline configuration takes to the sky

The new C-27J Spartan baseline configuration — characterized by a brand new avionics system, new cockpit control panels and LED aircraft lights — completed its first flight yesterday at Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Turin plant.

Airbus, Lockheed join forces to promote A330 MRTT for US defense customers

Lockheed Martin and Airbus have signed an agreement to jointly explore opportunities to meet the growing demand for aerial refueling for U.S. defense customers. The companies will seek to provide aerial-refueling services to address any identified capacity shortfall and to meet requirements for the next generation of tankers capable of operating in the challenging environments of future battlespace.

Russia to integrate unguided bombs on Mi-28N and Ka-52 helicopters

The Russian Defense Ministry reviewed the set of munitions for helicopter gunships. Mi-28N and Ka-52 will be armed with unguided high-explosive bombs (FAB). It has been thought for long they are incompatible with the helicopters which mainly fire guided and unguided missiles. Pilots will be trained to release bombs in Syzran. In some conditions helicopters will replace frontline aircraft to decrease operational costs, the Izvestia daily writes.

South Korea to partially replace UH-60 fleet with Surion helicopters

The South Korean military plans to change the defense minister's helicopter from the U.S.-made UH-60 to the locally developed Surion, a military source said Sunday, according to the local media Yonhap.

Airbus opens world's first Zephyr HAPS flight base

Airbus Defence and Space announced the opening of the world’s first High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) flight base serving as the launch site for the Zephyr UAV in Wyndham, Western Australia, the European giant said on December 3, 2018.

New CBRN protective mask for US helicopter pilots

The U.S. Air Force completed field testing last month of an improved chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protective mask for crews on rotary wing aircraft.

Indra and iAltitude jointly fighting pilot hypoxia with new flight trainer

Indra, one of the leading global consulting and technology companies and one of the world's leading simulation manufacturers, is working together with iAltitude, a company specializing in high altitude sports training, in the development for the Spanish Air Force of a new flight trainer, the first of its kind in the world, which incorporates a hypoxia system that reproduces the conditions of low oxygen availability which air force pilots can encounter during high-altitude flights.

Thales, Rheinmetall progressing towards Tiger helicopter simulator upgrade

Armed forces need access to instruction and training resources based on the latest technologies. To make the right decisions at every decisive moment in the theatre of operations, they need to master ever more complex tactical situations in real time. German and French Tiger helicopter simulators are being upgraded under the Tiger Aircrew Training Means (TATM) programme awarded by Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) in December 2014.

China's GJ-2 UAV to boost border control and counter-terrorism efforts

A professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) revealed on Thursday the first details of China's new armed reconnaissance drone following its debut at the Airshow China 2018 earlier this month. The GJ-2 is believed to enhance China's border patrol and counter-terrorism efforts.

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