Iraq Gate, the first business jet operator based in Iraq, is celebrating its first anniversary. Operating five aircraft–one Bombardier CRJ-200, three Hawker 800XPs and one Beechcraft King Air B200–for charter services, it also offers flight planning and ground handling. Abu Ghazaleh is the CEO and general manager of the holding company, Jordan-based International Wings Group.
Guided rocket conversion competitors BAE Systems and Raytheon announced new milestones for their respective offerings. BAE’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon (APKWS) and Raytheon’s Talon laser-guided rocket (LGR) convert standard 2.75-inch Hydra rockets into precision guided munitions by adding a semi-active laser guidance package.
As part of enhanced collective measures agreed to by member countries in April, NATO has deployed more fighters to eastern Europe in response to the continuing crisis in Ukraine. France and Canada have dispatched aircraft this week, while a new NATO multinational team is taking over the enhanced air defense detachment in the Baltic republics.
Authorities reopened the upper airspace over the republic of Kosovo to civilian overflights on April 3, 15 years after it closed because of the ethnic war in the former Yugoslavian territory. The action will lead to shorter flight routes in the region and represents “a significant step toward aviation normalization in the Western Balkans,” Eurocontrol announced.
On Monday the North Atlantic Council announced that it will begin operating airborne early-warning flights in response to the situation in Ukraine, where pro-Russian forces are largely in control of Crimea. NATO will fly Boeing E-3 Awacs airborne early-warning aircraft in the airspace of member states Poland and Romania, which both border Ukraine. The flights are intended to “enhance the alliance’s situational awareness” of events in Ukraine.
Rafael’s exhibit here at the Singapore Airshow (Booth N51) reflects the outcome of the Israeli defense group’s recently completed reorganization that, according to chairman Brig. General (Retd.) Itzchak Gat, will better enable it to meet its goals for further developing its product portfolio.
A U.S. Congressional panel has agreed to the Pentagon’s plan to quickly deliver six Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq. They will be delivered in the summer, and will be leased from the U.S. Army to allow training to begin with Iraqi army aviation. The helicopters are AH-64Ds upgraded to a partial AH-64E configuration. The notification to Congress was lodged on January 23, and was followed by another four days later covering the $4.8 billion purchase of 24 new-build AH-64E Apache Guardians to be delivered over a three-year period.
AJW Group has appointed Michael Duncan as its regional director for Africa. Duncan will be responsible for developing the company’s presence and establishing partnerships with operators who need integrated aircraft support services. Previously Duncan was responsible for aviation projects in the Sudan, Comoros, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. government said this week that it will expedite foreign military sales (FMS) to Iraq, including deliveries of small UAVs and Hellfire missiles, to help stem spiraling violence in Anbar Province. The weaponry is part of a “holistic” strategy the U.S. and Iraqi governments are pursuing to dislodge al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, officials said.
Stratford, Conn.-based Volo Aviation has been awarded the contract to manage the FBO at MidCoast Regional Airport at Wright Army Airfield in Hinesville, Ga. The dual-use public/military airport 35 miles southwest of Savannah features a pair of 5,000-foot runways. In 2007 the local authorities partnered to construct a new 13,825-sq-ft terminal to house the airport’s military and civil operations. The aviation services provider operates four other bases in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida.