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Schools Aerospace Challenger winners announced

The Schools Aerospace Challenge winners for 2016 were announced at the Awards Reception held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London on Monday 21st November.

Red Arrows to Re-equip with New Aircraft

UK DEFENCE Secretary Sir Michael Fallon confirmed on November 1, that the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows aerobatic team is to re-equip with new aircraft. He said that the team’s current Hawk T1s are in need of replacement and a decision will be made within the next two years. Fallon said that it is too early at this stage to say what type of aircraft will replace them.

Second ex-USMC C-130T Hercules Delivered to Philippine Air Force

NEWLY ACQUIRED Philippine Air Force (PAF) C-130T Hercules 5040 (c/n 5040, ex USMC/163022) completed its delivery flight on October 9, when it landed safely at Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base, Cebu, in the Philippines. It had left Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Arizona, on October 5.

Aircraft Carrier Kuznetsov Transits English Channel En Route Syria

RUSSIAN NAVY aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (063) transited southwards through the English Channel on October 21, along with a Task Group of seven other Russian naval vessels en route to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where its aircraft will participate in operations against ISIL and other terrorist groups in Syria.

Aircraft Carrier Kuznetsov Transits English Channel En Route Syria

RUSSIAN NAVY aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (063) transited southwards through the English Channel on October 21, along with a Task Group of seven other Russian naval vessels en route to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where its aircraft will participate in operations against ISIL and other terrorist groups in Syria

Third Royal Australian Air Force C-27J Completes Delivery Flight

A THIRD C-27J Spartan has entered Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) service. The aircraft, A34-003 (c/n 4182, USAF/12-27050), arrived at RAAF Base Richmond, New South Wales, on October 18 at the end of its ferry flight from prime contractor L-3 Communications’ facility in Waco, Texas. The aircraft had routed through the UK, passing through RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, where it made an overnight stop on October 1-2. It then continued via Pisa, Italy, before continuing through the Middle East and Asia before arriving in Australia.

Third AW139 Delivered to the Armed Forces of Malta

AN ADDITIONAL AW139 has joined the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) Air Wing, supplementing two already in service. The new helicopter, AS1630 (c/n 31625, ex I-PTFT), was delivered on September 22.

US Approves Sale of Two More AC-208B Combat Caravans to Iraq

US STATE Department approval has been granted for a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq of two Cessna AC-208B Combat Caravan aircraft and related equipment, training, and support. The proposed order, worth an estimated $65.3 million, was announced today, October 7, by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which had notified Congress of this possible sale earlier.

Airbus Helicopters Begins Flight Testing SAR H175 Variant

AIRBUS HELICOPTERS has begun the flight test campaign for the public services variant of the H175 medium twin-engine helicopter. The company announced on October 12, at Helitech in Amsterdam that an initial flight-test campaign had been successfully concluded after 12 flights. This included a demonstration carried out with launch customer Hong Kong’s Government Flying Service (GFS) which, as previously reported in AFMD, placed an order for seven of this new variant in September 2015. Flight-testing of the public services variant will resume in December, with two additional aircraft to support the certification process ahead of a planned entry into service in late 2017.

Bangladesh Army Aviation Becomes New C295W Customer

BANGLADESH HAS become the latest nation to acquire the Airbus C295W medium airlifter with an order for a single aircraft for Bangladesh Army Aviation. Airbus Defence and Space announced the contract for the aircraft on October 11.

Finnish Air Force Acquiring 28 Grob G115Es from Babcock

FINLAND’S DEFENCE Ministry announced on October 10, that Defence Minister Jussi Niinisto has authorised the acquisition of 28 second-hand Grob G115E elementary and basic flying training aircraft from Babcock International in the UK. In addition to the aircraft, the purchase will include all necessary training on the type.

Royal Thai Air Force Orders Two More EC725 Caracals

TWO ADDITIONAL EC725 Caracals have been ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) as part of the continuation of its fleet strengthening programme agreement, which was launched in 2012. Airbus Helicopters announced the contract on October 4.

Romanian Air Force’s First Six F-16A/Bs Delivered from Portugal

PORTUGAL HAS handed over the first six of 12 second-hand F-16A/Bs being acquired by the Forţele Aeriene Române (FAR – Romanian Air Force) under the Peace Carpathian programme. 

India Finally Signs Contract to Buy 36 Rafales from France

INDIA HAS finally signed a firm contract for the purchase of 36 Dassault Rafales from France. An official ceremony took place in New Delhi today, September 23, during which French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves le Drian and his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, signed the formal documents for the deal. The order will comprise 28 single-seat and eight twin-seat aircraft.

US State Department Approves Japan’s Purchase of Four KC-46As

US STATE Department approval has been granted for a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan of four Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling aircraft, plus related equipment, training and support. The estimated cost is $1.9 billion. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which announced the approval yesterday, September 21, said that it had also delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on the same day.

USAF’s New B-21 Long-Range Strike Bomber Named Raider

SECRETARY OF the Air Force Deborah Lee James has confirmed that the US Air Force’s new Northrop Grumman B-21 Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) is to be named Raider. James announced the official name for the aircraft today, September 19, during her keynote speech at the Air Force Association’s Air Space and Cyber Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, in National Harbor, Maryland.

US Navy Trials Refuelling from Italian Air Force KC-767A

TESTING FOR the US Navy’s fighter aircraft to receive fuel from the Aeronautica Militare Italiana’s (AMI – Italian Air Force) Boeing KC-767A aircraft is currently underway at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. 

Tenth Royal Air Force A400M Atlas C1 Delivered to Brize Norton

AN ADDITIONAL A400M Atlas C1 has been delivered to the Royal Air Force. The aircraft, ZM409 (c/n 0034, ex A4M034), callsign ‘RRR4534’, landed at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, at 1228hrs on September 16, at the end of its delivery flight from the final assembly line at Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain.

RAF Chinook Centenary Event at RAF Odiham

Spanish Army’s First Two NH90s Officially Handed-Over

SPAIN’S FUERZAS Aeromóviles del Ejército de Tierra (FAMET – Spanish Army Aviation) took delivery of its first two HT-29 Caimán (NH90TTH) helicopters at the FAMET headquarters at Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, on September 13. 

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  • The first Turk Hava Kuvvetleri (THK – Turkish Air Force) Hercules to be modernised with new avionics under the Erciyes programme, C-130E 13188, seen during its hand-over ceremony at TAI’s facilities in Ankara on August 8.
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