Pilatus Aircraft confirmed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has chosen the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II as its new basic trainer. The Swiss company values the contract, signed on May 24, at more than $525 million. It includes 75 aircraft, an integrated ground-based training system and logistics support. Deliveries will begin in the last quarter of this year.
Serbian company UTVA is developing a light attack aircraft, known as the Kobac (sparrowhawk). It is based on the Lasta-95 piston-powered trainer that has been sold to the Iraqi air force, and was formerly known as the Lasta-TP. Designed by UTVA in conjunction with the military technical institute and Yugoimport-SDPR, the turboprop-powered Kobac is being offered for weapons training and counter-insurgency roles.
As UAVs become more prevalent, their capabilities will continue to develop. If you haven’t seen the videos demonstrating the nano-quadrotor UAVs under development at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, then you are missing something.
In the operations center at the Rolls-Royce factory in Bristol, UK, it is well past midnight, but engineers are still manning some of the dozen consoles, standing by to receive queries, consult databases and dispense their technical expertise to operators of the company’s military engines anywhere in the world.
Sikorsky Aerospace Services has announced the signing of a “blanket ordering agreement” with the Brunei ministry of defense for the support of recently ordered S-70i Black Hawk helicopters. The five-year agreement covers those aircraft that will be delivered next year to the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAF) as well as those that are currently in service.
The U.S. Air Force is terminating the C-130 avionics modernization program (AMP) and culling 286 aircraft from its fleet over the next five years as it restructures to meet budget constraints. At the same time, the service plans a service-life-extension program (SLEP) for 350 F-16s to compensate for delayed deliveries of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
BAE Systems revealed L-3 Link Simulation & Training as its partner to provide the ground-based training system for BAE’s Hawk Advanced Jet Training System (AJTS), proposed for the U.S. Air Force T-X jet trainer replacement program. L-3 Link, based in Arlington, Texas, joins Northrop Grumman as announced partners on the BAE pursuit team.
Duncan Aviation has developed a new roll-around Hawker landing gear system that allows the aircraft to be moved while the actual landing gear is removed for overhaul. “The roll-around gear works best in a multi-shop event where paint is tied in with airframe maintenance and gear overhaul,” Dan Fuoco, Duncan’s Hawker airframe service sales rep, told AIN.
The Italian Air Force accepted the first of six Alenia Aermacchi M346 advanced jet trainers. A second aircraft will follow shortly, and the pair will be flight-tested further by the air force at Pratica di Mare airbase.