Israel’s Urban Aeronautics is ground-testing its unmanned Mule fancraft, an unconventional rotorcraft featuring two shrouded main rotors in tandem configuration that should one day have a manned version for rescue missions in cities. The first untethered flight of the Mule, originally scheduled to take place in the spring, has been postponed until September or October.
AIN Defense Perspective » July 24, 2009
The Romanian air force took delivery of its first Alenia C-27J Spartan at Bucharest-Otopeni air base. Seven Spartans are on order to replace the last of Romania’s Communist-era transports and to bolster the transport fleet’s ability to support international operations. The last aircraft is due in 2012.
Boeing unveiled the first F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at a July 8 ceremony in St. Louis. The aircraft manufacturer is building 24 Super Hornets for Australia, in two batches of 12. The first aircraft is due to be delivered in March 2010, and Australian production will run at roughly one per month. The aircraft will have APG-79 AESA radar installed.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is proceeding with a controversial upgrade of 30 SA330 Puma helicopters that have already been operated by the Royal Air Force for nearly 40 years. Eurocopter will soon receive a contract worth about £220 million ($360 million) for a Life Extension Program (LEP) that will keep the Pumas in service for another 10 years, starting in 2012.
As negotiations to secure a future for Europe’s troubled A400M airlifter continue, the UK government is taking the hardest line with Airbus Military, and moving quickly to secure alternative solutions. At the meeting of defense ministers in Seville, Spain, last month, the UK vetoed a Franco-German proposal to delay a final decision until December.
AIN Defense Perspective is AIN’s e-newsletter focused on the aero defense industry. It is distributed once a week and is FREE to all subscribers. Simply fill out the subscription form, which is accessed by clicking on the button below. You can also use this button to update your current account information.