Airbus has delivered the first upgraded Tranche 1 Eurofighter to Spain. The enhancements include the introduction of hardware modifications, which support the Operational Flight Programme 02 (OFP-02) developed by Spain’s Armament and Experimental Logistics Centre (CLAEX). The company has also integrated Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 equipment on the aircraft, including a computer symbol generator, digital video and voice recorder, laser designator pod and maintenance data panel.
The US State Department approved the sale of air-to-air missiles to Australia. The proposed deal for AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment is estimated at $240.5 million.
China has reportedly developed a new type of electronic warfare aircraft with additional antenna installations. A military expert said that it would gather intelligence on whatever comes near the South China Sea and East China Sea to gain an advantage in case of conflict. The aircraft appears to have been developed from the Y-9 which is a medium-sized tactical transport plane with a maximum range of about 4,000 kilometers.
The French Air Force and Navy have successfully conducted the first two Meteor missile test firings from Rafale fighters. Intended for air superiority missions, the Meteor air-to-air missile is powered by a ramjet and capable of intercepting targets at very long-range.
CHC Australia has completed the roll-out of six new generation Leonardo AW139 aircraft to replace the S-76 SAR helicopter fleet of the Royal Australian Air Force. The AugustaWestland AW139 is a five-seat medium-sized twin-engine helicopter capable of several different roles such as VIP/corporate transport, offshore transport, fire fighting etc.
The Pentagon will request 78 F-35 jets built by Lockheed Martin, six fewer than previously planned, in the budget expected to be sent to Congress next week, according to defence officials. The cutback from the 84 fighters projected a year ago for fiscal 2020 is a setback for Lockheed.
Northrop Grumman has finished the 500th centre fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II. Designated AU-18, the 500th F-35 centre fuselage is for a conventional takeoff and landing variant for the Royal Australian Air Force. The centre fuselage is a core structure of the F-35 and is designed and produced on Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line.
The US Navy has contracted Northrop Grumman for $322.5 million to develop new rocket motors for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile - Extended Range (AARGM-ER). The deal provides for engineering and manufacturing development of the AGM-88G variant of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile which is used on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35A/C aircraft platforms. Work is scheduled to be finished by December 2023.
Pilatus delivered a PC-24 to the Swiss government which it had ordered in 2014. The brand-new PC-24 Super Versatile Jet replaces a business jet supplied by a North American manufacturer and previously used for government flights. The Swiss Air Force will operate the aircraft for the Swiss government.
The US Navy has awarded Pratt & Whitney a $71.4 million task order to support the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter of the US Air Force, US Navy, non-Department of Defence participants and FMS customers. The United Technologies subsidiary will mature the F-35 propulsion system ahead of service operational use of the fighter aircraft. Work is scheduled to be finished by December 2023.
The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre has awarded Raytheon $21.2 million contract to retrofit the F-15 fleet with Mode 5 capability for the APX-114 and APX-119 on the F-15 models C/D/E via a hardware retrofit and software upgrade.
The US Air Force has contracted Rolls-Royce with a $19.5 million modification for C-130J Propulsion long-term sustainment which has an improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40 per cent greater range, 21 per cent higher maximum speed and 41 per cent shorter takeoff distance. Work is expected to be completed by the end of January next year.
Singapore plans to buy an initial four F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin for replacing its F-16 fleet. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on March 01, 2019 that the Ministry will issue a Letter of Request (LOR) to the US regarding the purchase. The LOR will request an initial acquisition of four F-35s, with the option of a subsequent eight.
It has been reported that Taiwan officials have made a request to buy 66 F-16V jets from the US for $13 billion. The Air Force confirmed it had made a request to the US regarding purchase of new fighter jets, but declined to say which planes exactly it was hoping to buy. Taiwan is currently upgrading its 144 F-16 A/B jets to F-16Vs as part of a $3.68 bil lion project launched by the government in 2016.