Malaysia’s requirement for a new multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) was a key feature of this week’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition. Although no formal request for proposals (RFP) has been issued, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen were all on flying or static display in pairs.
The prototype MiG-29K (side number 311) was loaded by crane onto India’s new aircraft carrier in Severodvinsk last month. The Sevmash Dockyard said that work to convert the former Russian cruiser Gorshkov is 90 percent complete.
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.
The JF-17 Thunder fighter, co-developed by China’s Avic and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), is to receive improvements that will start being produced with the Block-2 version from next year.
Alsalam Aircraft Co. is hoping for a record year and believes there is much business to be had in VIP conversion work and military MRO.
French hopes of an early order for Rafale fighters from the United Arab Emirates Air Force may have been dashed. A British source with knowledge of the requirement has told AIN that the Emiratis will now hold a formal competition, and had just issued a request for proposals (RfP) to the UK government for the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Critics may say that Boeing’s argument is self-serving, but McCrary and colleagues believe that the upgrades already made or pending on the F-15 and F-18 prove their point.
An avionics retrofit for Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters is being proposed as part of a new partnership between the multinational Cobham Group and Carson Helicopters of the U.S. Cobham has provided avionics to most aerospace majors, while Carson has specialized in airframe modifications to enhance the performance of S-61 helicopters.
Budget cuts to the German Armed Forces will force the renegotiation of contracts with two divisions of EADS for the A400M transport, and for NH90 and Tiger helicopters.