February 2018 Air Force Military Aviation Defence Industry News

China: CH-4 UAV live-ammunitions tests completed

The Caihong (Rainbow) CH-4 drone has successfully completed a live-ammunition 6-day bombing test under extreme environmental conditions (including blizzards and darkness) in Northwest China, said the Beijing Aerospace Propulsion Institute (No. 11 Institute) under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) on January 31.

Delivery of Su-30SM fighter jets to Belarus postponed to 2019

The implementation of the contract to deliver Russian Su-30SM fighter jets to Belarus may begin one year later in 2019 after Russia gets rid of dependence on imported and blacklisted components, Belarussian Defense Minister Andrey Ravkov said on February 14, 2018.

Russian Helicopters progressing towards Progress AAC plant overhaul

Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Rostec State Corporation, implemented the first project to reconstruct factory airbase of the Sazykin Progress Company. The upgrade increased the capacity of the test facility nearly two times, the holding said on February 14, 2018.

ACCaP Program: And now, over to the evaluation phase

On February 14, 2018, the UK Department of Defense representing Eurofighter Typhoon and the US Joint Program Office representing the Lockheed Martin F-35A introduced their Best and Final Offers (BaFO) to the Belgian procurement team in charge of the ACCaP program, the country's Minister of Defense, Steven Vandeput, said on its website.

Belgium: two "Best and Final Offers" (BaFO) for the F-16 replacement

On February 14, Lockheed Martin (for the F-35A) and the Eurofighter consortium (for the Typhoon II) handed Belgium their best and final offer, their definitive proposals for the replacement of the 54 aging F-16s of the Air component of the Belgian army. These offers, for an initial market of around € 3.6 billion (but estimated at €15 billion over the expected 40 years of the new combat aircraft's lifespan), was handed over to the Air Combat Capability Program (ACCaP), which is responsible for piloting this program within the Defense Staff in the form of large files.

US Army pilot flies V-280 Valor for the first time

Bell Helicopter's Air Vehicle Concept Demonstrator aircraft, funded under the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration program, was flown for the first time by an US Army pilot Feb. 7, the AMRDEC Public Affairs said on Feb. 12, 2018.

Poland planning Mi-24 helicopters upgrade

The Polish military is planning to upgrade its Mi-24  gunships, according to local media outlets. Poland is reported to procure new helicopters under the Kruk (Raven) program and upgrade the existing fleet of the Mi-24 Cold War-era helicopters. "Requirements related to modernization of the Mi-24 gunships are being developed in parallel to the Kruk procedures," the Defence24.pl website says, adding that the Hinds will remain operational until the acquisition of new combat rotary-wing platforms at least.

U-2 pilots to get brand new Garmin wirstwatches

Garmin International, Inc. a unit of Garmin Ltd., today announced that the D2 Charlie aviator watch has been selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) for use by the pilots of the Lockheed U-2 aircraft. The high-sensitivity WAAS GPS-enabled D2 Charlie aviator watch incorporates global navigation capability, rich and colorful moving maps and more, providing pilots in the USAF with an exclusive, back-up navigation timepiece in the cockpit.

Philippine DND scraps deal for 16 Bell 412EPI helicopters

The Philippines officially terminated on Tuesday a multimillion dollar helicopter deal with Canada. "The Department of National Defense (DND) has issued a notice to Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) terminating the contract for the supply and delivery of 16 units of Bell 412 Combat Utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force," the DND said in a statement on February 12, 2018.

Belgium formally joins the MMF program

Belgium today signed a MoU which will see the country officialy join the European/NATO Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF). Belgium’s accession to the MMF was celebrated during a signing ceremony at NATO headquarters in Brussels also attended by EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq.

Belgian F-16s to get Hensoldt new missile warning system

HENSOLDT, a leading independent sensor house, will equip Belgian Air Force F-16 fighters with its proven AN/AAR-60 (V) 2 MILDS F missile warning system integrated into Terma's weapon pylon PIDS+ (Pylon Integrated Dispensing System). With this contract the majority of the European F-16 operator countries (Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and now Belgium) are relying on HENSOLDT's MILDS F to protect their F-16s.

China puts J-20 fighter jet into air force combat service

China's latest J-20 stealth fighters have been commissioned into air force combat service, a spokesperson confirmed Friday. "It marks an important step for the J-20 to have comprehensive combat capabilities," said Shen Jinke, spokesman for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force.

USMC CH-53K successfully demonstrates JLTV vehicle lift

The USMC CH-53K King Stallion successfully lifted (and set down) a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) during a demonstration, Jan. 18, the Naval Air Systems Command said on February 6. Using the single point hook, the helicopter hovered up to 100 feet for approximately 10 minutes while carrying the 18,870-pound vehicle.

Lockheed Martin delivers its 400th C-130J Super Hercules

On February 9, Lockheed Martin delivered its 400th C-130J Super Hercules. This Super Hercules is an MC-130J Commando II Special Operations aircraft. This aircraft is assigned to the USAF Special Operations Command (AFSOC).

FZ 70mm rocket picked for FAMET, Bundeswehr Tiger helicopters

The Spanish FAMET (Fuerzas Aeromóviles del Ejército de Tierra), and the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), who have been involved in different UN-peacekeeping missions and currently in Mali with Tiger helicopters, are increasing their capabilities with Thales’ rockets to meet their ambitions, the company said on February 8, 2018.

France betting on ACCaP scrap to enforce the Rafale

What if France was betting on the ACCaP program scrap ? In a note unveiled by the Belgian economic newspaper L'Echo, Paris contradicts the legal advices the Belgian MoD asked for, and specifies that the country may legally interrupts its RfGP without fear of legal repercussions from the two other contenders, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin.

BAE Systems to update UAE F-16 aircraft HUD

BAE Systems has been selected by Lockheed Martin to modernize head-up displays (HUD) on F-16 aircraft for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, replacing the fleet’s analog system with advanced digital technology, the defense giant said on February 8, 2018.

BIRD Aerosystems signs new contract for Mexico's ASIO Special Mission Aircraft fleet support

BIRD Aerosystems, the leading developer of Special Mission Aircraft Solutions (ASIO) and Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS), has been awarded a 3 year follow-on contract under which it will provide a variety of maintenance and support services to the Mexican Government ASIO Special Mission Aircraft (SMA) fleet, which includes Cessna Citation Aircraft Modified to Ground Surveillance missions, Special Mission Bell 407 Helicopters, Headquarters and Intervention Vehicles.

Russian Helicopters' Mi-171E2 completes test trials

The Russian Helicopters, Holding of Rostec State Corporation, successfully completed test trials of the multirole Mi-171E2 helicopter with a new power plant and carrying system. It was designed by the Mil enterprise in Moscow and will be produced by the helicopter plant in Ulan-Ude (U-UAZ).

USCG gets first HC-130J with new L3 mission systems

L3 Technologies announced yesterday, January 31st that it has delivered the first production HC-130J aircraft integrated with a next-generation Minotaur Mission System Suite (MSS+) to the U.S. Coast Guard for improved long-range surveillance capabilities. Work was done by L3’s Aerospace Systems business segment, and an aircraft completion ceremony was hosted at its facility in Waco, Texas.

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