Two MA60s for Angola

Two MA60s for Angola

The Força Aérea Nacional de Angola (FANA, Angolan Air Force) has recently taken delivery of two Xian MA60s. They were noted passing through Dhaka/Shah Jalal International Airport, Bangladesh, during their delivery flight from China on August 21 and subsequently arrived at Base Aérea No 1 Luanda-Belas/ Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport on August 24. The aircraft wore FANA titles, but only carried Chinese ferry registrations B-00D8 and B-00D9, rather than military serials.

Following arrival in Angola, FANA serials were applied, with B-00D8 becoming T-270 and B-00D9 assuming T-271. They are to be operated by the Esquadra de Transportes based at Luanda. A contract for the aircraft was signed in January last year, but at the time the customer was not announced. Dave Allport

Ecuador Orders KT-1s

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is to supply the Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana (FAE, Ecuadorian Air Force) with eight KT-1 turboprop trainers. The new aircraft will replace the Beech T-34C Turbo Mentors retired in May last year. The contract, for an undisclosed sum, includes four options and deliveries were expected to start in November. The KT-1s will serve with the Escuela Superior Militar Aviación (Military Aviation School) in Salinas. Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy

Italy Joins Tempest Team

Italy has signed a government-togovernment agreement with the UK to commit to collaborating on participation in the next-generation Tempest fighter aircraft project. The deal, signed at the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade show in London on September 11 will see Italian companies Leonardo Italy, Elettronica, Avio Aero and MBDA Italy joining Team Tempest, the industrial portion of the project. Displayed alongside the fullscale Tempest mock-up at DSEI were concepts of new weapons including two within visual range air-to-air missiles (WVRAAMs). The shorter of the two designs would be carried in tandem within the Tempest’s weapons bay, while the larger weapon would be carried singly and have greater range and higher performance. Also displayed with the Tempest by MBDA was a new version of the Spear precision attack missile designed to act as a stand-off jammer. The turbojet-powered Spear-EW could also be carried by the F-35 and Typhoon.

Fairford U-2 Deployment

United States Air Forces Europe released a short statement on September 25 saying: “U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft assigned to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California, deployed to RAF Fairford, England. The deployment of ISR assets to the European theatre demonstrates US commitment to our allies and partners in the region.”

The Cotswolds base regularly sees U-2s stop over in transit from the US to operational locations and on return. By the time we went to press two aircraft had arrived at the base: 80-1071 and 80-1080.

Prince of Wales Merlin

Royal Navy Merlin HM2, ZH856, became the first aircraft to land on HMS Prince of Wales when it touched down on the ship’s deck on September 23. The helicopter is pictured at RAF Lossiemouth carrying HMS Prince of Wales titles on the nose. The aircraft carrier left Rosyth dockyard near Edinburgh on September 19 for sea trials. The ship will be commissioned before Christmas. Niall Paterson