The crash of an Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30 MKI on October 14 has led to the temporary grounding of the entire fleet of some 200 jets. The IAF’s safety record is again under scrutiny, with concerns about training and maintenance being voiced unofficially. The aircraft crashed approximately 20 km from Pune airbase, near Mumbai, after both K-36DM zero-zero ejection seats inadvertently fired. The pilots survived the ejections.
AIN Defense Perspective » October 24, 2014
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will begin using Schiebel Camcopter UAVs to monitor the uneasy truce in Ukraine between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists, starting on October 24. The aircraft, based near Mariupol, are being supplied and operated under contract by the Austrian manufacturer. The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) has been present in Ukraine with a multinational team of observers throughout the conflict.
Losing bidders have protested the U.S. Air Force’s contract award to Raytheon for the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) program to replace the service’s primary ground-based aerial search radar. Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin filed protests with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on October 21 and 22, respectively.
Embraer conducted a ceremonial rollout of the prototype KC-390 airlifter at Gaviao Peixoto in Brazil on October 21. The company said that more than 30 countries were represented at the event, and that guests included Brazilian defense minister Celso Amorim and air force commander Bg Gen Juniti Saito. First flight is planned by year-end, with deliveries starting two years later. A second prototype is also being built.
Boeing’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on October 17, completing its third and longest test mission since 2010. The unmanned spaceplane under development by the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office orbited for 674 days following its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle last December.
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