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Defence

Airbus Helicopters Delivers Solid Sales Performance with a 9% Rise in Orders

Airbus Helicopters received 410 gross orders (net: 393) in 2023, indicating a steady market recovery, with strong performance this year from the light twin and medium twin helicopters. Orders came from 179 customers in 47 countries.

In 2023, the company delivered 346 helicopters, representing a preliminary 54% share of the civil and parapublic market. 2023 was a year of many firsts, including the first flight of the DisruptiveLab demonstrator, which featured a new aerodynamic architecture aimed at reducing fuel consumption, as well as the first flight of the German Navy’s cutting-edge anti-submarine warfare helicopter, the NH90 Sea Tiger.

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The Spanish Navy received its first H135 helicopters from Airbus, adding a new member to the family. In 2023, both civil and military customers continued to find favour with global support contracts and the HCare offering. “By-the-hour” contracts were used to acquire 140 additional helicopters, increasing the total to 2760 helicopters.

The Company continued to invest in demonstrators that advanced its decarbonisation roadmap and improved aviation safety, with a strong emphasis on innovation and sustainability. For the first time in the history of the helicopter industry, Airbus Helicopters’ FlightLab successfully tested an electric flight control system that would have replaced all three traditional pilot controls with a single stick.

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After these successful FBW flight tests, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus UpNext were able to test sophisticated autonomous features that would ease mission planning and management, lessen the workload of helicopter pilots, and enhance increase safety.

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Defence

US Air Force Invests $28 Billion in Next-Gen Fighter Development

US Air Force Invests $28 Billion in Next-Gen Fighter Development

In a bold move set to reshape the future of aerial warfare, the United States Air Force has unveiled plans to inject a staggering $28.48 billion into its Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter program over the fiscal years 2025-2029.

This ambitious initiative, outlined in newly released budget documents, marks a significant ramp-up in spending and underscores the military’s commitment to maintaining air superiority in an evolving global landscape.

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The creation of an extremely stealthy crewed aircraft, capable of completely redefining the capabilities of contemporary fighter jets, lies at the core of this initiative. Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA), which are intended to be unmanned and semi-autonomous “escort” aircraft, balance this focal point.

These CCAs will be essential to the creation of the NGAD, providing assistance with aiming, jamming, sensing, relaying communications, and even carrying extra ammunition. With unrivaled mobility and firepower, this symbiotic interaction between crewed and uncrewed assets promises to transform aerial warfare techniques.

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The Air Force intends to potentially introduce two variants of the NGAD in recognition of the diverse operational requirements across various areas. While one version will focus on enhanced range and optimization for the Pacific theater, another will be specifically designed for the European theater. The Air Force’s capacity to adjust highlights its dedication to addressing the unique difficulties presented by various geographical areas while preserving its competitive advantage.

The Air Force’s steadfast dedication to the growth of the NGAD program is reflected in the funding allocation for it. The service is indicating that it intends to give priority to technological dominance in the air domain with about $2.75 billion set aside for NGAD in 2025 alone—a significant increase from preceding years. In a similar vein, the CCA program’s funding is increased significantly, with $577 million set out for 2025. As Reported from Air & Space Forces Magazine.

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In terms of the NGAD program, the Air Force has laid out an ambitious five-year plan that includes $19.6 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation. The military’s trust in the program’s ability to provide unparalleled capabilities and uphold air dominance for many years is demonstrated by this significant commitment.

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Defence

Boeing Secures $3.4 Billion Agreement for P-8A Poseidon Aircraft

Boeing Secures $3.4 Billion Agreement for P-8A Poseidon Aircraft

Boeing has been given a $3.4 billion contract by the U.S. Navy to start producing 14 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force and three more P-8s for the German Navy.

Canada declared in November 2023 that it will replace its present fleet of CP-140 Auroras with the P-8A Poseidon. It is anticipated that the first P-8A for Canada will be delivered in 2026. Boeing’s economic ties to Canada through the P-8 acquisition have the potential to help Canadian industry and value-chain partners by creating over 3,000 jobs annually and contributing at least $358 million to the country’s GDP over a ten-year timeframe.

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CAE, GE Aviation Canada, IMP Aerospace & Defence, KF Aerospace, Honeywell Aerospace Canada, Raytheon Canada, and StandardAero are the members of Canada’s Team Poseidon. The team expands upon the 81 Canadian suppliers of the P-8 platform and the over 550 suppliers from all provinces that support over 14,000 Canadian jobs and contribute to Boeing’s ~CAD $4 billion yearly economic impact to Canada.

Following the initial procurement of five P-8 aircraft in June 2021, Germany added three additional aircraft to bring the total number of P-8s for the German Navy to eight. The first aircraft will be delivered in 2025, to replace the country’s fleet of P-3 Orions.

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In Germany, Boeing has partnered with ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH and Lufthansa Technik to deliver systems integration, training, support and sustainment work that will bring the highest operational availability to fulfill the German Navy’s missions.

Presently, nine countries—the United States, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Germany, and Canada—have 200 P-8s either in service or under contract.

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Defence

THC signs agreement for up to 120 Airbus helicopters

THC signs agreement for up to 120 Airbus helicopters

At the HAI Heli-Expo, which is currently being held at the Anaheim Convention Centre in California, The Helicopter Company (THC), which is completely owned by the Public Investment Fund and is the leading provider of commercial helicopter services in Saudi Arabia, has signed a historic framework agreement with Airbus.

Up to 120 different types of Airbus helicopters are scheduled to be delivered over the course of the next five to seven years, according to the framework agreement. Eight H125s and ten H145s, which are converted options from an earlier contract, are part of the transaction; THC will now have a total of 60 firm Airbus helicopters, 25 of which are now in service.

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The new H125 helicopters will help THC provide its variety of services, which includes tourism and aerial work. The H145s will serve a range of purposes, such as corporate travel and emergency medical services (EMS).

Having deployed both the H145 and H125 to support the Dakar Rally, and having put the H145 into operation for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), The Helicopter Company is leading the way in the development of commercial helicopter services in the Kingdom. The business received its first ACH160 last year for use in Red Sea Global’s tourism operations.

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Globally, the bestseller With over 5,350 helicopters in service today, the H125 has amassed more than 40 million flight hours. The type, which is extensively employed in extremely difficult missions, is renowned for its durability, adaptability, heat, and high performance.

THC was founded as a component of the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) plan to develop new industries in Saudi Arabia that aid in the realization of Vision 2030 by establishing safe and effective transportation services throughout the nation and establishing a whole new ecosystem for general aviation services.

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Defence

Airbus partners with Tata Group to set up India’s first helicopter Final Assembly Line

Airbus partners with Tata Group to set up India’s first helicopter Final Assembly Line

Airbus Helicopters has announced a partnership with the Tata Group to create a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for helicopters in India, providing a significant boost to ‘Make in India’ efforts. The FAL will manufacture Airbus‘ best-selling H125 helicopter from its civil range for India and export to certain neighboring countries.

The FAL will be the first instance of the private sector establishing a helicopter manufacturing plant in India, giving a significant boost to the Government of India’s ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ (self-sufficient India) policy. Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a Tata Group affiliate, and Airbus Helicopters will collaborate to build the facility.

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The announcement was made during French President Emmanuel Macron’s two-day visit to India as the Chief Guest for Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

The FAL in India will integrate the primary component assemblies, avionics, and mission systems, as well as install the electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel system, and engine. It will also test, qualify, and deliver the H125 to customers in India and around the region. The FAL will take 24 months to set up, and deliveries of the first ‘Made in India’ H125s are scheduled to begin in 2026. The location of the FAL will be selected jointly by Airbus and the Tata Group.

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The H125 is the world’s best-selling single-engine helicopter, outperforming other helicopters in its class. This high-performing, adaptable helicopter is part of Airbus’ Ecureuil family, which has collected over 38 million flight hours globally. It can operate in high-temperature and severe situations and is easily reconfigurable for a variety of missions such as aerial work, firefighting, law enforcement, rescue, air ambulance, passenger transport, and many more.

The H125 is the only helicopter to have landed on Mount Everest, confirming its capability in high-altitude, harsh situations.

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The projected helicopter production plant will be Airbus’ second FAL in India, using TASL’s aerospace and defense expertise. The two businesses are producing the C295 military transport aircraft FAL in Vadodara.

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Defence

Greece Successfully Procures 35 Black Hawk Helicopters

Greece Successfully Procures 35 Black Hawk Helicopters

A significant defence deal between Greece and the US was recently finalised, resulting in the acquisition of 35 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) negotiated this deal, which is valued at an incredible $1.95 billion (€1.78 billion) with Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary.

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The proposed sale aims to enhance the security of a NATO ally, a crucial partner for political stability and economic advancement in Europe, thereby supporting the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.

With the proposed sale, Greece will be able to maintain the necessary level of readiness to carry out combined operations by replacing its current fleet of multirole helicopters with a more dependable and tested system.

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The Hellenic Army will be better equipped to use combat power to safeguard Greece’s borders, prevent actions that would jeopardize its interests, and, when necessary, respond with important force through to the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. Greece’s armed forces will have no difficulty integrating this equipment.

Greece is reportedly considering purchasing 14 AW-139 helicopters from the Italian company Leonardo in addition to the Black Hawks to supplement its current fleet for combat search and rescue operations.

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Civil Aviation

US military Osprey crashes off in Japan with 8 on board

US military Osprey crashes off in Japan with 8 on board

According to the Japanese coast guard cited by the local media, a US Osprey military aircraft carrying eight people crashed off the coast of Japan on Wednesday.

In the vicinity of Yakushima island, which is located south of Kyushu, the southernmost main island of the nation, the crash occurred at approximately 2:47 p.m. (local time). Aircraft and patrol boats have been dispatched to the location, according to a coast guard spokesperson. As the aircraft fell into the water, locals reported that flames were coming from the left engine.

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The aircraft vanished from radar at 2:40 PM local time, according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

A patrol boat and aircraft have been sent to the crash site, according to Coast Guard spokesperson Kazuo Ogawa. The safety of those on board, among other details, cannot yet be confirmed, he stated. According to Mr. Ogawa, a fishing boat close to the crash scene off the island of Yakushima, which is south of Kagoshima, made an emergency call. The aircraft crashed into the sea with its left engine on fire, according to locals, reported.

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Aerospace

5 fascinating facts about IL-76 Aircraft

5 fascinating facts about IL-76 Aircraft

The Ilyushin design bureau of the Soviet Union created the multifunctional, four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter known as the Ilyushin IL-76. Airborne early warning and control, cargo transport, firefighting, and other functions have all been performed by the IL-76, an aircraft originally designed for military use.

Here are five unique and fascinating facts about the IL-76 aircraft.

1. It is well known that the IL-76 is an outstanding aircraft for strategic airlifting. It is capable of transporting a variety of cargo, such as heavy gear, military hardware, and humanitarian aid, with a maximum payload capacity of about 50 tonnes. Because of its adaptability, it has been used extensively in both military and humanitarian operations worldwide.

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2. The IL-76 has several unexpected uses, including battling fires. The IL-76TD and IL-76TD-90VD are modified aircraft that have been fitted with a water-dispensing system and tanks that can hold up to 42 tonnes of water or fire retardant. With this upgrade, the IL-76 becomes an effective weapon against wildfires in difficult-to-reach areas.

3.For early warning and control missions from the air, the IL-76 platform has been modified. An extensive radar fixed atop a revolving disc above the fuselage is fitted to the IL-76-derived A-50 Mainstay. Strategic defence and reconnaissance greatly benefit from the long-range surveillance and command and control capabilities of this radar system.

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4.The IL-76 was first developed during the Cold War to support Soviet military and strategic transport requirements. After its first flight in 1971, it rapidly established itself as a mainstay of Soviet and then Russian military activities. Strongness, adaptability, and the capacity to function in a variety of conditions are highlighted in the aircraft’s design, which reflects the geopolitical and military concerns of the day.

5.The IL-76 performs better in short fields as a result of a unique reverse thrust system. Four turbofan engines powering the aircraft each have a thrust-reverser system. This characteristic makes the IL-76 appropriate for a range of mission profiles and environments by enabling it to operate from a variety of airfields, including those with shorter runways.

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Aerospace

IAF’s Rafale fighter jets hunt for ‘UFO’ sighted near Imphal

IAF's Rafale fighter jets hunt for 'UFO' sighted near Imphal

The Indian Air Force received information on Sunday about the sighting of unidentified flying objects near the Imphal airport.

The IAF quickly dispatched its Rafale fighter planes to search for them. The UFO was spotted over Imphal airport around 2.30 p.m., disrupting a few commercial flights. “Soon after information about the UFO near the Imphal airport was received, a Rafale fighter aircraft from a nearby airbase was scrambled to go and search for the UFO,” according to defence officials.

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“One more Rafale fighter was sent for the search after the first aircraft returned, but the UFO was not seen around the area,” they said. “The aircraft equipped with advanced sensors carried out low-level flying over the suspected area to look for the UFO but it did not find anything there,” they said.

According to them, there are videos of the UFO over the Imphal airport, and the concerned agencies are working to learn more about it.

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The Indian Air Force’s Eastern Command, with its headquarters located in Shillong, declared the activation of its Air Defence response mechanism after Imphal airport was cleared for regular operations. Nevertheless, the precise nature of the measures implemented remained confidential.

The Eastern Command announced on ‘X’ (previously Twitter) that “IAF activated its Air Defence response mechanism based on visual inputs from Imphal airport.” After then, the little object was not seen.”

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Aerospace

Turkey plans to acquire Eurofighter Typhoon amid German blockade concerns

Turkey has declared that it is in negotiations with the UK and Spain to buy 40 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, but Germany may decide to block such a deal.

Turkey plans to acquire Eurofighter Typhoon amid German blockade concerns

Turkey has declared that it is in negotiations with the UK and Spain to buy 40 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, but Germany may decide to block such a deal.

He stated, “We are working on procurement,” during an Ankara parliamentary hearing. “Although we are not in talks with Germany, the UK and Spain are now trying to persuade Germany… We intend to buy forty Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, if it’s possible.”

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Turkey is seeking assistance from the United Kingdom and Spain, two Eurofighter co-manufacturers. Negotiations are likely to take place during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s November 17, 2023 visit to Germany.

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Concurrently, Turkey is in talks with the US to purchase 40 F-16 Block 70 Vipers and modernise 79 existing aircraft. Congressional objections, fueled by concerns about the S-400 acquisition and Turkey’s political stances, put doubt on the deal.

Turkey clearly needs more fighters to strengthen its air force, and it wants them sooner rather than later, regardless of what happens.

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Defence

Russia asks Pakistan to return helicopter engines

Russia asks Pakistan to return helicopter engines

Russia is in a terrible situation as a result of Ukraine’s lengthy conflict. In order to restock its military equipment, it turned to former defense allies for assistance. Moscow is particularly interested in Pakistan.

According to the report, Islamabad has been requested by Russia to return the helicopter engines. These are necessary components for the Mi-35M helicopter, which is widely used in Ukraine. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, has denied any claims that it was contacted by Russia regarding any such requests.

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This role emphasizes the conflict’s wider effects on foreign military alliances and the defense sector, as well as Russia’s pressing need for military assistance.

Russia’s attempts to safeguard these vital assets are part of a bigger modification of its military supply lines since the situation in Ukraine keeps its rotary-wing aircraft operating at a high operational tempo.

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Russia has apparently made similar requests to other nations, including Egypt and Belarus, demonstrating a trend of seeking backing for its military forces used weaponry.

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Defence

Saudi Arabia to order 54 Rafale from Dassault Aviation

Saudi Arabia to order 54 Rafale from Dassault Aviation

According to reports, Saudi Arabia is considering buying 54 multirole Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France.

This might be Riyadh’s first purchase of a combat aircraft built in France, even though Paris has been trying for decades to strike a deal with the kingdom. The kingdom requested a proposal to acquire 54 Rafale jets, according to the report, and Dassault has until November 10th to formalize a proposal.

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The Royal Saudi Air Force now uses F-15 Eagle jets supplied by the United States and Eurofighter Typhoon fighters made by Airbus. The possibility of Saudi Arabia acquiring 54 Rafale aircraft might improve France’s standing as a leading combat aircraft in the Middle East and reinforce its position in the defense market.

The Saudi Kingdom has requested to purchase Eurofighter Typhoons, but Germany has rejected the sales owing to the ongoing conflict with Yemen.

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Defence

U.S. releases Video footage of aircraft intercepts by Chinese planes

According to Ely Ratner, the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, DOD officials believe that China is engaging in “a centralized and concerted campaign” to “coerce a change in lawful U.S. operational activity” through the unsafe interceptions of a US citizen and allied aircraft in international airspace.

The images and video made public on Tuesday represent a portion of what the Pentagon believes to be China’s “centralized and concerted campaign” to alter Us operations in the area. Since the fall of 2021, there have been over 180 incidents of “coercive and risky” behavior against U.S. jets.

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A portion of these intercepts’ video was made available by the DOD. One of these was when a PLA fighter jet passed in front of an American aircraft that was flying legally at a distance of only 100 yards. In May of this year, A video showing a PLA aircraft rushing beside an American aircraft before cutting in front of it was published by Indo-Pacom.

“This vision is characterized by respect for sovereignty, adherence to international law, belief in transparency and openness, freedom of commerce and navigation, equal rights for all states and the resolution of disputes through peaceful means, not through coercion or conquest.”

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