Defence http://www.timesaerospace.aero/ en Helo, good buy: Africa boosts fleets http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/helo-good-buy-africa-boosts-fleets <article class="flow post"> <header class="post-header grid twelve"> <span class="post-category" > <a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></span> <time class="post-date" > 23 May 2022</time> <h1> Helo, good buy: Africa boosts fleets </h1> </header> <div > <figure class="post__lead-image" > <img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-05/2a%29%20745775%20copy.jpg" width="1280" height="720" alt="AH-64E" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </figure> <div class="post__content grid twelve"> <div class="flow"> <div class="dropcap" > <p>Many air forces across Africa are in the process of strengthening their helicopter fleets.</p> </div> <p>The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Lockheed Martin a $102 million contract to modernise 25 of Egypt’s Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters to AH-64E Apache Guardian standard.</p> <p>The upgrade announcement comes 19 months after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approved a larger foreign military sales (FMS) deal, worth an estimated $2.3 billion, to upgrade a total of 43 Egyptian Apache attack helicopters.</p> <p>Thus, it appears a possibility that 18 of the aircraft may not be upgraded.</p> <p>The Egyptian Air Force originally placed an order for 36 AH-64As in 1995, and these were delivered to the same standard as the US fleet, but with indigenously produced radios.</p> <p>In September 2000, Boeing announced an order to remanufacture the 35 surviving Egyptian Apaches to AH-64D configuration, albeit without the type’s Longbow radar, which was withheld by the US Government.</p> <p>Egypt requested a further 12 Block II AH-64Ds with Longbow radar in 2009. Some 43 of the 47 D-models are understood to remain operational.</p> <p>The US Department of State approved the sale of 10 new-build AH-64Es to Egypt in November 2018, at a reported cost of $1 billion, and the latest upgrade will, thus, bring all but 18 of the AH-64Ds up to a common standard.</p> <p>Formerly known as the AH-64D Block III, the new Apache variant was redesignated as AH-64E Guardian in 2012. It introduces more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded transmission, new composite main rotor blades, improved digital connectivity, and an uprated landing gear.</p> <p>The upgrades will take place at Boeing’s facilities in Mesa, Arizona, and are scheduled to be completed by July 2024. They will include the installation of the Gen III target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor (TADS/PNVS) system with the Gen III day sensor assembly (DSA).</p> <p>The DSCA said the upgraded Apaches would be used to counter “terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula, which threaten Egyptian and Israeli security and undermine regional stability”. It added that the deal would enhance interoperability between Egyptian, US, and allied forces.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force has been undergoing a major re-equipment programme aimed at improving counter-insurgency and close air support capabilities.</p> <p>This has seen the introduction of the Embraer/Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano, together with a greater emphasis on rotary-wing platforms.</p> <p>Nigeria’s existing attack helicopter force consists of about four armed Agusta AW109E Power helicopters, five Mi-17/171s and about a dozen Russian-built Mi-24/35 ‘Hinds’.</p> <p>Nigerian ‘Hind’ purchases totalled about 31 aircraft, but attrition has been heavy, and some aircraft have been withdrawn from use, while others have been reactivated. The best estimate is that about a dozen are active with the 97th Special Operations Group at Lagos/Murtala Muhammed Air Base.</p> <p>However, further deliveries may be prevented by the threat of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a US federal law that imposes economic sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.</p> <p>To complement the aircraft now in service, the Nigerian Air Force is looking for about a dozen new attack helicopters, and is currently understood to be conducting negotiations with Airbus Helicopters, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and Turkey’s TAI, as the status of a long-planned procurement of Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters remains uncertain.</p> <p>In 2014, the US Obama administration blocked the sale of older second-hand Israeli Cobras to Nigeria, citing human rights concerns, and charging that Nigeria was not doing enough to avoid civilian casualties in its fight against Boko Haram. There were even suggestions that the sale was blocked in retaliation for Nigeria’s passing of legislation criminalising same-sex relationships.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Super 17" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9ad4e219-c3b3-4809-9863-22cf3165c5cc" src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/inline-images/super17-main%20copy.jpg" width="1920" height="853" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Super modernisation: South Africa’s Paramount and Georgia’s TAM Management (TAMM) offer overhauls and modernisation packages for the Mi-8 and Mi-17 under the designation Super 8 or Super 17, respectively. Picture: Paramount Group.</figcaption></figure><p>More recently, Nigeria’s interest switched to new-build AH-1Zs. The US State Department informed Congress of an intended $875 million sale of 12 AH-1Zs to Nigeria in January 2021. This triggered opposition by some members of the US Senate foreign relations committee, citing accusations of human rights violations committed by President Muhammad Buhari’s government.</p> <p>Nigeria’s intention to procure the AH-1Z was, however, reiterated during a visit to Abuja by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in November 2021, though it may be ‘on hold’ in the US.</p> <p>This may explain the flurry of reported activity surrounding possible negotiations for the Turkish TAI T129 ATAK, the HAL light combat helicopter (LCH), and with Airbus Helicopters for an attack helicopter capability.</p> <p>Meanwhile, availability and serviceability have been long-running problems for the National Air Force of Angola or FANA (Força Aérea Nacional de Angola), and recent reports suggest that almost a third of the country’s combat helicopters are currently unserviceable.</p> <p>In 2017, it was reported that the FANA was attempting to rebuild its shattered helicopter fleet by buying new and refurbished helicopters from Russia and Italy. However, it seems that serviceability remains a significant problem, and the FANA has reportedly sought solutions from a number of bidders, including the Russian arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, and South Africa’s Paramount Group.</p> <p>The backbone of the FANA helicopter arm is provided by some 66 Mil Mi-8/17/171 ‘Hip’ support helicopters, augmented by about 15 Mil Mi-24/25/35 ‘Hind’ attack helicopters.</p> <p>The original ‘Hips’ and ‘Hinds’ were augmented by a batch of four (or eight, according to some sources) armed Mi-171Sh aircraft delivered to Angola by Russian Helicopters in 2015-2016, as well as a batch of refurbished Mi-24P attack helicopters.</p> <p>The FANA also has about nine surviving Bell 212s, and 21 Alouette IIIs (some of them Romanian-built IAR 316s), and two more recently acquired AgustaWestland AW109E Powers (with four more on order) and four AgustaWestland AW139s.</p> <p>The air force’s SA342M Gazelles, SA 315B Lamas, SA-365M, AS-565AA, and AS-565UA Dauphins and Panthers have now almost certainly been permanently withdrawn from use.</p> <p>Rosoboronexport is an obvious fit for providing upgrades and MRO services for Russian-built helicopters, but Paramount also has a very high level of experience and expertise. Historically the group upgraded Algerian Mi-24s to the advanced SuperHind configuration, and has years of experience supporting the ‘Hip’ and ‘Hind’.</p> <p>The company now offers Mil Mi-17 and Mi-24 composite main rotor and tail rotor blades as fully compatible replacements for the original metallic blades, and is promoting advanced upgrade configurations for both types.</p> </div> <div class="post__aside"> <div class="author-teaser" > <figure > <a href="/node/145" hreflang="en"><img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2021-08/jon-lake.jpg" width="250" height="250" alt="Jon Lake" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </figure> <div class="author-teaser__inner"> <h3> <a href="/node/145" hreflang="en">Jon Lake</a> </h3> <p > Jon is defence editor for both Arabian and African Aerospace magazines. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tags"> <span>Article Also Filed in: </span> <ul class="l-rs tags__list"> <li class="tag" > <a href="/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="subscribe-block bg-grey-light flow" > <h2>Stay up to date</h2> <p>Subscribe to the free Times Aerospace newsletter and receive the latest content every week. We'll never share your email address.</p> <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/iframe-resizer/4.1.1/iframeResizer.min.js"> </script><script src="https://www.labelexpo-europe.com/pardot/forms/js/v2/tarsus.iframe-resizer.iframe-window.js"></script> <div class="width-100" id="parent-wrapper"> <iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" id="pardotframemulti2" scrolling="no" src="https://go.timesaerospace.aero/l/715553/2021-08-20/lbxy7" style="border: 0; width: 1px;min-width: 100%; min-height:0px;" type="text/html" width="100%"></iframe> </div> <script> iFrameResize({ log: true}, '#pardotframemulti2'); </script> </div> </div> </div> </article> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Related magazine Issue</div> <div><a href="/magazine/african-aerospace-april-june-2022" hreflang="en">African Aerospace: April-June 2022</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Mon, 23 May 2022 11:06:34 +0000 pIvanova 65028 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Neighbourhood watch... http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/neighbourhood-watch <article class="flow post"> <header class="post-header grid twelve"> <span class="post-category" > <a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></span> <time class="post-date" > 17 May 2022</time> <h1> Neighbourhood watch... </h1> </header> <div > <figure class="post__lead-image" > <img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-05/1a%29%20b534835a4b425bcba6a14b8ce553b010%20copy.jpg" width="1024" height="720" alt="SU-35" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </figure> <div class="post__content grid twelve"> <div class="flow"> <div class="dropcap" > <p>An arms race is developing in north Africa as both Algeria and Morocco make future fighter plans.</p> </div> <p>Relations between North African francophone neighbours, Morocco and Algeria, have been strained for decades, and have only worsened in recent years, with ongoing disagreement over the political status of Western Sahara and with Algeria condemning the signing of the Israel-Morocco normalisation agreement (part of Abraham Accords) in 2020.</p> <p>On August 24 last year Algeria formally severed ties with Morocco.</p> <p>The two countries have gone to war twice – first in 1963 with the so-called Sand War, and then during the long-running Western Sahara War of 1975-1991. Algeria continues to back the nationalist Polisario Front’s claims on the territory.</p> <p>In November 2020, Morocco launched a military operation in the United Nations-controlled buffer zone in Western Sahara, claiming that this was in response to weeks of ‘provocations’ from the Polisario Front. This incursion into the Guerguerat zone aggravated tensions and entrenched Algeria’s view that the region has a right to self-determination, while US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara led to a further deterioration in relations. </p> <p>This has all led to something of an arms race between the two nations.</p> <p>Algeria’s military spending of $9.7 billion in 2020 actually represented a slight (3.4%) reduction compared to 2019, but it remained by far the largest defence budget in Africa, while Morocco has progressively ramped up defence spending, allocating $4.8 billion in 2020 (a 29% increase on 2019 and a 54% increase compared to 2011).</p> <p>Much of this spending has been devoted to the air domain, and the two nations are currently upgrading and recapitalising their fighter arms, and are seeking to acquire fifth-generation fighter aircraft.</p> <p>Morocco’s fighter arm currently consists of 15 Lockheed Martin Block 52 F-16Cs and eight two-seat F-16Ds, assigned to Escadrons de Chasse ‘Viper’, ‘Falcon’ and ‘Spark’ at Ben Guerir Air Base.</p> <p>These are augmented by about 22 surviving F-5Es, and four two-seat F-5Fs with Escadrons de Chasse ‘Chahine’ and ‘Borak’ at Meknes-Bassatine, and about 26 Mirage F1CH, F1EH and probe-equipped F1EH-200s, upgraded to a common MF2000 configuration, serving with Escadrons de Chasse ‘Assad’ and ‘Iguider’ at Sidi Slimane.</p> <p>Thus, around 75 aircraft serve with eight small squadrons.</p> <p>In future, the Royal Moroccan Air Force fighter element will be built around advanced variants of the F-16.</p> <p>The US approved the sale of 25 Block 72 F-16C/D aircraft to Morocco in March 2019, and the surviving Block 52s will be upgraded to the near-identical F-16V standard under the same contract. The expansion in F-16 numbers will allow the retirement of the now obsolescent F-5E/Fs.</p> <p>In the slightly longer term, Morocco plans to acquire the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II  joint strike fighter to replace the Mirage F1s. It has been reported that Abdellatif Loudiyi, the Moroccan Minister of Defence, has asked for Israel’s help in ‘convincing the Biden administration in the US to authorise the sale of the F-35 to Morocco and in obtaining more advanced weaponry’.</p> <p>Algeria has always been able to field a bigger fighter arm than its neighbour, and currently has some 150 fast jets in service with about 12 squadrons, though its Soviet- and Russian-supplied aircraft are probably less serviceable and less available than Morocco’s western types, leaving the two air forces more balanced than ‘headline’ numbers might suggest.</p> <p>The backbone of the force is provided by 57 Su-30MKAs (with 16 more on order), parented by the 12ème Escadre de Defense Aerienne at Ouargla, but with individual escadrons operating from Aïn Beida, Ouargla, Tamanrasset, and Reggan.</p> <p>These are augmented by the 45-or-so MiG-29s of the 3ème Escadre de Défense Aérienne’s 193ème Escadron de Chasse at Bou Sfer, with a detachment at Béchar.</p> <p>Algeria’s dwindling number of about a dozen MiG-25s may still include a handful of MiG-25PD interceptors, as well as MiG-25RB reconnaissance variants. These all serve with the 5ème Escadre de Reconnasissance et de Guerre Electronique at Aïn Oussera, alongside the Su-24MPK and Su-24MRK.</p> <p>Most of Algeria’s 22-or-so Su-24 ‘Fencers’ are Su-24MK2 interdictors assigned to three squadrons of the 4ème Escadre d'Appuis Pénétration at Laghouat.</p> <p>Algeria reportedly signed a contract for 14 Sukhoi Su-35s (or 18, according to some sources) and 14 Su-34s in December 2019, with options on 14 more of each type. But these orders were subsequently cancelled, perhaps due to the Su-35’s reliance on older PESA radar technology, or more likely due to concerns over the potential impact of US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) regulations.</p> <p>Instead, Algeria now looks set to upgrade its Su-30MKAs with technologies from the Su-35, while waiting to acquire the more advanced Su-57, which will be available for export from the late 2020s.</p> <p>Algeria announced its intention to order 14 Su-57s in November 2020, and since then has been identified as a potential customer for the T-75 Checkmate.</p> <p>Some have suggested that Algeria could turn away from Russia for its next fighter – perhaps looking to Italy or France.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Morocco F-16" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f26da4db-f64d-4543-aaf6-d5fc29dfaef7" src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/inline-images/1%29%20Morocco-F-16%20copy.jpg" width="1079" height="720" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>While Morocco will upgrade its existing F-16C/Ds to F-16V standards and acquire new-build Block 70 aircraft to replace its ageing Northrop F-5E/Fs, it also has a medium term requirement to replace its fleet of Mirage F1s. Picture: Lockheed Martin.</figcaption></figure><p>As well as fighters, both nations have sought to bolster their ground-based air defence (GBAD) capabilities.</p> <p>Morocco has reportedly begun negotiations to acquire Israel’s Iron Dome system.</p> <p>Designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (with some US support) Iron Dome uses radar to differentiate between targets that will hit built-up areas and non-built-up areas and prioritise accordingly. It has a claimed success rate of more than 90%.</p> <p>Morocco has also received US approval to receive the Patriot air defence missile system.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Algeria, already an operator of Russia’s S-400 Triumph air defence system, has reportedly expressed interest in Russia’s new S-500 Prometheus long-range air defence system, which is designed to intercept and destroy a wide range of targets, including intercontinental ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles.</p> <p>However, the new system will not be available to the export market until 2030, and Algeria may find itself having to wait behind India and Turkey for the weapon.</p> <p>Algeria has also made efforts to improve its electronic attack capabilities, and has acquired a new Chinese electronic warfare system, receiving an undisclosed number of vehicle-mounted systems made by ELINC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Electronics Corporation (CEC), and the China National Electronics Import &amp; Export Corporation (CEIEC). These could be used to disrupt Moroccan communications and radar systems.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="post__aside"> <div class="author-teaser" > <figure > <a href="/node/145" hreflang="en"><img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2021-08/jon-lake.jpg" width="250" height="250" alt="Jon Lake" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </figure> <div class="author-teaser__inner"> <h3> <a href="/node/145" hreflang="en">Jon Lake</a> </h3> <p > Jon is defence editor for both Arabian and African Aerospace magazines. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tags"> <span>Article Also Filed in: </span> <ul class="l-rs tags__list"> <li class="tag" > <a href="/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="subscribe-block bg-grey-light flow" > <h2>Stay up to date</h2> <p>Subscribe to the free Times Aerospace newsletter and receive the latest content every week. We'll never share your email address.</p> <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/iframe-resizer/4.1.1/iframeResizer.min.js"> </script><script src="https://www.labelexpo-europe.com/pardot/forms/js/v2/tarsus.iframe-resizer.iframe-window.js"></script> <div class="width-100" id="parent-wrapper"> <iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" id="pardotframemulti2" scrolling="no" src="https://go.timesaerospace.aero/l/715553/2021-08-20/lbxy7" style="border: 0; width: 1px;min-width: 100%; min-height:0px;" type="text/html" width="100%"></iframe> </div> <script> iFrameResize({ log: true}, '#pardotframemulti2'); </script> </div> </div> </div> </article> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Related magazine Issue</div> <div><a href="/magazine/african-aerospace-april-june-2022" hreflang="en">African Aerospace: April-June 2022</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Wed, 18 May 2022 10:43:55 +0000 pIvanova 65011 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero COMSAT and Satcom Direct Communications form SD Government http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/technology/comsat-and-satcom-direct-communications-form-sd-government <div property="schema:text"><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The rebrand brings its military and government services and support under one umbrella to deliver customers streamlined access to the entire SD ecosystem of services, for an even stronger connectivity and support experience.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The integration of SD Government with the collective SD hardware, software and infrastructure units will more effectively leverage the full capabilities of Satcom Direct, to provide enhanced products and services to a customer base requiring reliable, consistent connectivity to support mission critical situations.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">“Military and government customers rely on SD to deliver a complete, secure connectivity pathway from when the signal leaves the satellite through to end user receipt. Aligning our infrastructure in a single brand streamlines acquisition, customer support and service provision. SD Government represents the widest variety of secure hardware and software connectivity solutions for those operating in the most challenging environments, ensuring that military and government customers remain seamlessly and safely connected, at all times,” said Chris Moore, President Satcom Direct.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The strategic move will improve operational efficiencies, provide cohesive customer support and enable optimisation of the full gamut of SD end-to-end connectivity. The teleports, which provide the vital link between SD’s satellite partners and the terrestrial ground network, operate on the east and west coast of the USA, while SD Government is based at World Headquarters in Melbourne, FL. </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Alignment with the Tier III rated, ISO 27001 certified facility SD Data Centre, further harnesses delivery of the SD suite of cybersecurity solutions which maintain customer data integrity in the air, at sea and on the ground.</span></span></p> </div> <div> <div>Posted date</div> <div><time datetime="2022-05-16T12:00:00Z">Mon, 16/05/2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>First paragraph</div> <div><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Satcom Direct, the business aviation solutions provider, has ramped up its support for military and government customers by unifying COMSAT and SD Communications, under a new brand, SD Government. </span></span></p> </div> </div> <div> <div>Regions</div> <div> <div><a href="/middle-east-and-north-africa" hreflang="en">Middle East and North Africa</a></div> <div><a href="/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></div> <div><a href="/south-asia" hreflang="en">South Asia</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Other topics</div> <div> <div><a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Rate</div> <div><form class="fivestar-form-1" id="vote" data-drupal-selector="fivestar-form-1" action="/taxonomy/term/3/feed" method="post" accept-charset="UTF-8"> <div class="clearfix fivestar-average-text fivestar-average-stars fivestar-form-item fivestar-basic"><div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-fivestar form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-select form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <select class="vote form-select" data-drupal-selector="edit-vote" 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value="fivestar_form_1" /> </form> </div> </div> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Article main topic</div> <div><a href="/technology" hreflang="en">Technology</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Moved to features</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Lead image:</div> <div> <img property="schema:image" src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-05/SD_Government_supports_customers_in_mission_critical_situations12.jpg" width="1920" height="1080" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>New batch</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Mon, 16 May 2022 14:32:16 +0000 eNethersole 64999 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Flying for the king http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/flying-for-the-king <article class="flow post"> <header class="post-header grid twelve"> <span class="post-category" > <a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></span> <time class="post-date" > 09 May 2022</time> <h1> Flying for the king </h1> </header> <div > <figure class="post__lead-image" > <img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-05/Lesotho%20Defence%20Force%20Air%20Wing%20copy.jpg" width="1152" height="720" alt="LDF fields" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </figure> <div class="post__content grid twelve"> <div class="flow"> <div class="dropcap" > <p>The recent purchase of four Airbus Helicopters H125 aircraft has reinvigorated the Lesotho Defence Force Air Wing’s capabilities.</p> </div> <p>Enclaved and surrounded by South Africa, the Kingdom of Lesotho has a small military, the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), which is primarily tasked with border control and countering a variety of internal security issues, such as cattle rustling.</p> <p>The LDF is also intended to defend the country against external aggressions and to take part in operations abroad, whether under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), or the United Nations.</p> <p>At present, a company-sized infantry force is deployed in Mozambique under the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).</p> <p>Lesotho’s military aircraft are operated by the LDF Air Wing, which was established in 1978 as the Lesotho Police Mobile Unit (PMU) Air Wing. Its first aircraft were two Short Skyvan 3M transports and a Cessna 152, all of which were commissioned in 1979.</p> <p>These were later joined by two Bo105 helicopters and a Soloy-Bell 47G, two Libyan-donated Mi-2s, a Dornier Do 27, and a Do 28.</p> <p>In 1986, the PMU became the Royal Lesotho Defence Force (RDLF), a fully military corps, which took over the former air wing and its aircraft.</p> <p>Additional deliveries followed, including a short-lived BK117, which was received in 1985 and sold a year later, two Agusta Bell 412s, and a Bell 412 in 1986, a Cessna 182Q in 1988, and two Casa C212-300s, which replaced the Skyvan 3Ms in 1989.</p> <p>One of the former crashed in November of that year and was replaced, in 1991, by another example of the same type. Also in 1991, a Bo105 was acquired.</p> <p>In 1993, the RDLF was reorganised into the current LDF. That same year, one of the Agusta Bell 412s crashed. A new Bell 412 was subsequently acquired and commissioned in 1994. However, it too crashed in 1998 and was replaced by a Bell 412SP.</p> <p>In 2000, one of the C212-300s was written-off, leading to the purchase of a C212-400 as replacement, which was delivered in 2001, together with two new Bo105s. One of the latter was written-off two years later.</p> <p>In 2004, a Bell 206 and a Gippsland GA8 Airvan single-engine transport were added to the fleet, the latter replacing the long-serving Cessna 182Q. The Bell 412 was lost in 2006 and a Bell 412EP was bought and pressed into service in 2007 to make-up for the loss.</p> <p>By the end of the 2000s, the air wing’s fleet was comprised of two C212s, one GA8, one Bo105, one Agusta Bell 412, one Bell 412SP, one Bell 412EP, and one Bell 206. In 2013, a single EC135T2+ was acquired to replace the last Bo105. However, it crashed in April 2017, with the loss of all on board, after hitting power lines.</p> <p>The LDF decided to replace it with an H125, delivered in October 2017. A further three examples of the type have since been procured, two of which were commissioned in 2018, while the third was received in November 2019. This particular aircraft was bought to replace one of the other H125s, which had crashed in December 2018.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the Bell 206 was sold on the South African civilian market.</p> <p>The LDF Air Wing is currently headquartered at Mejaletalana Air Base in the capital city of Maseru. Its commander is Brigadier Daemae Michael Matamane. who was appointed in 2018. Its primary role is to provide air support to the ground component of the LDF, conduct search-and-rescue operations, surveillance, reconnaissance, personnel and cargo transport.</p> <p>LDF aircraft can also be occasionally chartered for commercial flights. This is notably the case with helicopters and allows some income to be generated for the force.</p> <p>A limited offensive capability is provided by the Bell 412s and Agusta Bell 412, which can be armed with rocket launchers and machine-guns.</p> <p>Since the beginning of the SADC military intervention in Mozambique, and the deployment of LDF troops there, which began in August 2021, the air wing has supported SAMIM with one of its C212s being used in the light transport and liaison role.</p> <p>The LDF Air Wing has no pilot training capability of its own and most of its aircrews are sent to South Africa for training. The South African Air Force has trained numerous pilots from Lesotho, while others have received training at commercial flying schools.</p> <p>It is thought unlikely that any future aircraft purchase should take place in the short term, although in a more distant future a replacement for the C212s may be sought.</p> </div> <div class="post__aside"> <div class="author-teaser" > <figure > <a href="/profile/erwan-de-cherisey" hreflang="en"><img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2021-08/erwan-de-cherisey.jpg" width="250" height="250" alt="Erwan de Cherisey" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </figure> <div class="author-teaser__inner"> <h3> <a href="/profile/erwan-de-cherisey" hreflang="en">Erwan de Cherisey</a> </h3> <p > Erwan has been writing about military aviation matters since 2008. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tags"> <span>Article Also Filed in: </span> <ul class="l-rs tags__list"> <li class="tag" > <a href="/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="subscribe-block bg-grey-light flow" > <h2>Stay up to date</h2> <p>Subscribe to the free Times Aerospace newsletter and receive the latest content every week. We'll never share your email address.</p> <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/iframe-resizer/4.1.1/iframeResizer.min.js"> </script><script src="https://www.labelexpo-europe.com/pardot/forms/js/v2/tarsus.iframe-resizer.iframe-window.js"></script> <div class="width-100" id="parent-wrapper"> <iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" id="pardotframemulti2" scrolling="no" src="https://go.timesaerospace.aero/l/715553/2021-08-20/lbxy7" style="border: 0; width: 1px;min-width: 100%; min-height:0px;" type="text/html" width="100%"></iframe> </div> <script> iFrameResize({ log: true}, '#pardotframemulti2'); </script> </div> </div> </div> </article> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Related magazine Issue</div> <div><a href="/magazine/african-aerospace-april-june-2022" hreflang="en">African Aerospace: April-June 2022</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Mon, 09 May 2022 09:45:55 +0000 pIvanova 64945 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Turkey's Akinci demonstrates naval capabilities http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/defence/turkeys-akinci-demonstrates-naval-capabilities <div property="schema:text"><p style="text-align:start; margin-bottom:10px"><span style="font-size:medium"><span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="white-space:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none"><span style="font-size:10.5pt"><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">Developed by Baykar, the 12.2m long Akinci with its 20m wing span is capable of lifting a 1,500 kilo payload and operating up to 40,000 feet.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-align:start; margin-bottom:10px"><span style="font-size:medium"><span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="white-space:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none"><span style="font-size:10.5pt"><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">Turkish media reported the UAV engaged a sea target with MK-82 bomb fitted with a TEBER guidance kit which was dropped from 20,000 feet. The high altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV began ground tests in August 2019 with a Ukrainian Ivchenko-Progress AI-450C turboprop engine. It is planned to join the Turkish Navy.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p style="text-align:start; margin-bottom:10px"><span style="font-size:medium"><span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="white-space:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none"><span style="font-size:10.5pt"><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">The UAV is already in use with the Turkish military in counter terrorism activities. It is equipped with dual artificial intelligence avionics that supports real-time signal processing, sensor fusion, and situational awareness.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div> <div>Posted date</div> <div><time datetime="2022-04-28T12:00:00Z">Thu, 28/04/2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>First paragraph</div> <div><p><span style="font-size:medium"><span style="font-family:Calibri, sans-serif"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="white-space:normal"><span style="text-decoration:none"><span style="font-size:10.5pt"><span style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">Turkey’s combat UAV, the Akinci, has completed live trials and successfully conducted its first live firing at a sea target in its preparation to join the Turkish Navy</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> </div> <div> <div>Regions</div> <div> <div><a href="/middle-east-and-north-africa" hreflang="en">Middle East and North Africa</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Other topics</div> <div> <div><a href="/technology" hreflang="en">Technology</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Rate</div> <div><form class="fivestar-form-2" id="vote--2" data-drupal-selector="fivestar-form-2" action="/taxonomy/term/3/feed" method="post" accept-charset="UTF-8"> <div class="clearfix fivestar-average-text fivestar-average-stars fivestar-form-item fivestar-basic"><div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-fivestar form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-select form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <select class="vote form-select" data-drupal-selector="edit-vote" aria-describedby="edit-vote--4--description" id="edit-vote--4" name="vote"><option value="-">Select rating</option><option value="20">Give it 1/5</option><option value="40">Give it 2/5</option><option value="60">Give it 3/5</option><option value="80">Give it 4/5</option><option value="100">Give it 5/5</option><option value="0">Cancel rating</option></select> <div id="edit-vote--4--description" class="description"> <div class="fivestar-summary fivestar-summary-average-count"><span class="empty">No votes yet</span></div> </div> </div> </div> </div><input style="display:none" data-drupal-selector="edit-submit" type="submit" id="edit-submit--2" name="op" value="Rate" class="button js-form-submit form-submit" /> <input autocomplete="off" data-drupal-selector="form-plebprlr2kj3qakixrikvmphetzly3gkf9lk8sdspwu" type="hidden" name="form_build_id" value="form-pLEBprLr2Kj3qAkiXRIKVMpHetzly3gKF9Lk8sdsPWU" /> <input data-drupal-selector="edit-fivestar-form-2" type="hidden" name="form_id" value="fivestar_form_2" /> </form> </div> </div> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Article main topic</div> <div><a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Moved to features</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Lead image:</div> <div> <img property="schema:image" src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-04/Baykar%E2%80%99s-New-AKINCI-UCAV-Conducts-First-Live-Firing-at-Sea-Target.jpg" width="1600" height="1043" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>New batch</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Thu, 28 Apr 2022 13:31:53 +0000 aPeaford 64896 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Mauritania beefs up air surveillance capabilities http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/mauritania-beefs-up-air-surveillance-capabilities <article class="flow post"> <header class="post-header grid twelve"> <span class="post-category" > <a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></span> <time class="post-date" > 28 April 2022</time> <h1> Mauritania beefs up air surveillance capabilities </h1> <div class="primary-msg" > <p>Three G1 Aviation ultralight aircraft were formally handed over to the Mauritanian Air Force by the European Union (EU) at Nouakchott Air Base.</p> </div> </header> <div > <figure class="post__lead-image" > <img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-04/G1%20ULM%20Mauritania_Credit%20THEMIIS%20copy.jpg" width="1113" height="720" alt="G1 Mauritania" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </figure> <div class="post__content grid twelve"> <div class="flow"> <div class="dropcap" > <p>Three G1 Aviation ultralight aircraft were formally handed over to the Mauritanian Air Force by the European Union (EU) at Nouakchott Air Base in February.</p> </div> <p>The aircraft, procured via the French Management Institute for International Security (THEMIIS), were provided to Mauritania under the aegis of the Ghawdat programme, part of the European Union-sponsored Mauritania security and development support project (PADSM).</p> <p>According to Peer de Jong, THEMIIS’ senior vice president for development, the 2020 tender, which led to the selection of the G1, saw three companies bidding.</p> <p>G1 Aviation offered the best solution from a technical standpoint with a proven aircraft already in service with the Senegalese Gendarmerie, which fields three aircraft for air surveillance duties, he explained.</p> <p>Among the key strongpoints of the SPYL-XL are its ability to land in just 20 metres, a maximum speed of 200kph, an endurance of up to 10 hours, a strengthened undercarriage, and an integrated parachute, which can be used in an emergency to recover the aircraft.</p> <p>In addition to the three G1 SPYL-XLs, two Toyota Land Cruiser pick-up trucks and trailers were also acquired. These can be used to move the aircraft by land with their wings folded.</p> <p>Satellite phones, as well as day and thermal surveillance stabilised cameras, have also been installed on the aircraft. Training of the aircrews and ground support personnel took place at G1 Aviation’s facilities in France last year.</p> <p>Ultralights are a cost-effective intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) tool and have enjoyed significant success in Africa owing to their low operating costs, ruggedness and ease of maintenance.</p> <p>Several countries on the continent have either procured or been gifted ultralights for counter-poaching, training, and ISR. Aside from Mauritania, these include Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.</p> <p>As de Jong explained, the aircraft are intended to conduct light transport and surveillance duties in support of the Mauritanian National Guard and its nomadic group. The latter is a cavalry unit, comprised of two camel-mounted squadrons and a motorised squadron. Its mission is to provide a visible government presence across the remote reaches of the south-eastern Mauritanian hinterland, near the border with Mali.</p> <p>This includes conducting long-range patrols, as well as providing medical assistance to the civilian population.</p> <p>Infrastructure work is also part of the group’s duties, which has included supporting THEMIIS in the digging of 10 wells to provide watering points to the locals.</p> <p>The national guard is a military force under the ministry of the interior, which is responsible for patrolling and policing eastern Mauritania’s desert.</p> <p>The Ghawdat programme’s main purpose has been to rebuild the nomadic group and provide it with the camels, vehicles, and infrastructure to perform its duties. THEMIIS has been acting as the lead contractor since 2019 and was notably tasked with procuring 300 camels and building a Mehari school, inaugurated in 2021, to train the unit’s personnel.</p> <p>While delivered to the Mauritanian Air Force, the new ultralights are intended to be operationally used by the nomadic group to extend the reach of its surveillance capabilities and allow for better focus of resources when planning and executing patrols.</p> <p>One of the challenges that has yet to be resolved is how the new SPYL-XL will be deployed and sustained in the border region with Mali since their current location in Nouakchott is not practical to effectively support the nomadic group.</p> <p>Ghawdat is now reaching the end of its first phase. According to de Jong, the project is considered a resounding success by both the EU and Mauritania, and the very positive and proactive cooperation dynamic between the former and the Mauritanian armed forces is driving plans for an extension and strengthening of the programme, with talks on the matter currently under way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="post__aside"> <div class="author-teaser" > <figure > <a href="/profile/erwan-de-cherisey" hreflang="en"><img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2021-08/erwan-de-cherisey.jpg" width="250" height="250" alt="Erwan de Cherisey" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </figure> <div class="author-teaser__inner"> <h3> <a href="/profile/erwan-de-cherisey" hreflang="en">Erwan de Cherisey</a> </h3> <p > Erwan has been writing about military aviation matters since 2008. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tags"> <span>Article Also Filed in: </span> <ul class="l-rs tags__list"> <li class="tag" > <a href="/africa" hreflang="en">Africa</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="subscribe-block bg-grey-light flow" > <h2>Stay up to date</h2> <p>Subscribe to the free Times Aerospace newsletter and receive the latest content every week. We'll never share your email address.</p> <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/iframe-resizer/4.1.1/iframeResizer.min.js"> </script><script src="https://www.labelexpo-europe.com/pardot/forms/js/v2/tarsus.iframe-resizer.iframe-window.js"></script> <div class="width-100" id="parent-wrapper"> <iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" id="pardotframemulti2" scrolling="no" src="https://go.timesaerospace.aero/l/715553/2021-08-20/lbxy7" style="border: 0; width: 1px;min-width: 100%; min-height:0px;" type="text/html" width="100%"></iframe> </div> <script> iFrameResize({ log: true}, '#pardotframemulti2'); </script> </div> </div> </div> </article> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Related magazine Issue</div> <div><a href="/magazine/african-aerospace-april-june-2022" hreflang="en">African Aerospace: April-June 2022</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Thu, 28 Apr 2022 09:43:18 +0000 pIvanova 64894 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Angola orders three Airbus C295s http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/defence/angola-orders-three-airbus-c295s <div property="schema:text"><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Two aircraft will be specifically equipped for maritime surveillance and one for transport missions.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The aircraft configured for transport missions will be able to carry out tactical cargo and troop transport tasks, paratrooping, load dropping or humanitarian missions.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The two C295s configured as Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) will play a key role for Search and Rescue (SAR), control of illegal fishing and borders, support in case of natural disasters and intelligence-gathering missions, among others. They will be equipped with the Airbus-developed Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) mission system as well state-of-the-art sensors.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">All three aircraft will be equipped with the latest version of the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion avionics suite.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">With this new order, the Força Aérea Nacional de Angola becomes the 38th C295 operator worldwide.</span></span></p> </div> <div> <div>Posted date</div> <div><time datetime="2022-04-21T12:00:00Z">Thu, 21/04/2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>First paragraph</div> <div><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Angola has placed a firm order for three Airbus C295s to perform multirole operations. </span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> <div> <div>Regions</div> <div> <div><a href="/middle-east-and-north-africa" hreflang="en">Middle East and North Africa</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Other topics</div> <div> <div><a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Rate</div> <div><form class="fivestar-form-3" id="vote--3" data-drupal-selector="fivestar-form-3" action="/taxonomy/term/3/feed" method="post" accept-charset="UTF-8"> <div class="clearfix fivestar-average-text fivestar-average-stars fivestar-form-item fivestar-basic"><div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-fivestar form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-select form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <select class="vote form-select" data-drupal-selector="edit-vote" aria-describedby="edit-vote--6--description" id="edit-vote--6" name="vote"><option value="-">Select rating</option><option value="20">Give it 1/5</option><option value="40">Give it 2/5</option><option value="60">Give it 3/5</option><option value="80">Give it 4/5</option><option value="100">Give it 5/5</option><option value="0">Cancel rating</option></select> <div id="edit-vote--6--description" class="description"> <div class="fivestar-summary fivestar-summary-average-count"><span class="empty">No votes yet</span></div> </div> </div> </div> </div><input style="display:none" data-drupal-selector="edit-submit" type="submit" id="edit-submit--3" name="op" value="Rate" class="button js-form-submit form-submit" /> <input autocomplete="off" data-drupal-selector="form-8qlhj2s6epiwboud1dr-wcx9mqstgbqkrud8c7mqr4" type="hidden" name="form_build_id" value="form-8qlhj2S6Epiwboud1dr_-Wcx9mqstGBQkrUd8C7MQR4" /> <input data-drupal-selector="edit-fivestar-form-3" type="hidden" name="form_id" value="fivestar_form_3" /> </form> </div> </div> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Article main topic</div> <div><a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Moved to features</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Lead image:</div> <div> <img property="schema:image" src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-04/C295%20MPA-Angola-Copyright%20Airbus.jpg" width="1440" height="810" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>New batch</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Thu, 21 Apr 2022 14:59:21 +0000 eNethersole 64862 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Rooivalk deployed to Mozambique? http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/defence/rooivalk-deployed-to-mozambique <div property="schema:text"><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="line-height:115%"><span style="font-family:Cambria,serif"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">In his first official briefing earlier this month on the military intervention there, Chief of the South African National Defence Force (CSANDF), General Rudzani Maphwanya, was cautious about confirming such a possibility. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="line-height:115%"><span style="font-family:Cambria,serif"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">South Africa is part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) combatting ISIS-aligned </span><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:#231f20">Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah</span></span> <span lang="EN-ZA" style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">(ASWJ)</span></span> <span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">extremists insurgents in the north of that country. Besides South Africa, the SADC Troop Contributing Countries to SAMIM are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, in collaboration with the host country’s armed forces. Rwanda also supplied troops at the invitation of Mozambique.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="line-height:115%"><span style="font-family:Cambria,serif"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">The <span style="color:#231f20">SANDF’s Operation VIKELA follows an extraordinary summit of SADC in Maputo, Mozambique last year. Initially South Africa’s </span><span style="background:white"><span style="color:#363b40">contribution consisted of Special Forces that have now been augmented with infantry, medical, engineer and counter-IED units. SAMIM also has a maritime component that includes the South African Navy frigate<i> SAS Spioenkop</i>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="line-height:115%"><span style="font-family:Cambria,serif"><span style="background:white"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:#363b40">Whilst SAMIM has air assets, like transport aircraft, General Maphwanya was reluctant to divulge details on operational capabilities. Asked about the Rooivalk, he said: “</span></span></span><span lang="EN-ZA" style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">We are not denying or confirming that we are considering deploying the Rooivalk or any other attack helicopters that SADC as a region has.”</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="line-height:115%"><span style="font-family:Cambria,serif"><span lang="EN-ZA" style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">Since 2013 South Africa’s Rooivalk and Oryx medium transport helicopters have been deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the United Nations peace support mission MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). The Rooivalk in particular was successful in routing rebel groups, earning high praise from the head of MONUSCO.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-ZA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:#333333">The Rooivalk was designed for tree-top level, all-weather, night-time operations, capable of delivering significant and accurate firepower. Whilst the ASWJ terrorists have been suppressed and the threat degraded, as General Maphwanya outlined, calls have been made for air support of operations in the dense forest terrain of Cabo Delgado. This was after some SAMIM losses, including a South African soldier. </span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">&nbsp;Sam J Basch reports.</span></span></p> </div> <div> <div>Posted date</div> <div><time datetime="2022-04-21T12:00:00Z">Thu, 21/04/2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>First paragraph</div> <div><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Is South Africa’s Rooivalk attack helicopter heading for Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province?</span></span></p> </div> </div> <div> <div>Rate</div> <div><form class="fivestar-form-4" id="vote--4" data-drupal-selector="fivestar-form-4" action="/taxonomy/term/3/feed" method="post" accept-charset="UTF-8"> <div class="clearfix fivestar-average-text fivestar-average-stars fivestar-form-item fivestar-basic"><div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-fivestar form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-select form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <select class="vote form-select" data-drupal-selector="edit-vote" aria-describedby="edit-vote--8--description" id="edit-vote--8" name="vote"><option value="-">Select rating</option><option value="20">Give it 1/5</option><option value="40">Give it 2/5</option><option value="60">Give it 3/5</option><option value="80">Give it 4/5</option><option value="100">Give it 5/5</option><option value="0">Cancel rating</option></select> <div id="edit-vote--8--description" class="description"> <div class="fivestar-summary fivestar-summary-average-count"><span class="empty">No votes yet</span></div> </div> </div> </div> </div><input style="display:none" data-drupal-selector="edit-submit" type="submit" id="edit-submit--4" name="op" value="Rate" class="button js-form-submit form-submit" /> <input autocomplete="off" data-drupal-selector="form-18poefcijbg5m34piwebtqcd4nhwq9hjk4vqiegc-ju" type="hidden" name="form_build_id" value="form-18PoEFCijbG5M34PiWeBTQCd4nhwq9hjK4vQIEGc_JU" /> <input data-drupal-selector="edit-fivestar-form-4" type="hidden" name="form_id" value="fivestar_form_4" /> </form> </div> </div> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>On</div> </div> <div> <div>Article main topic</div> <div><a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Moved to features</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Lead image:</div> <div> <img property="schema:image" src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-04/9V0A2442-CSANDF.jpg" width="1630" height="1070" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>New batch</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Thu, 21 Apr 2022 10:38:27 +0000 eNethersole 64859 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Calidus B-250 programme is re-ignited after review http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/calidus-b-250-programme-is-re-ignited-after-review <article class="flow post"> <header class="post-header grid twelve"> <span class="post-category" > <a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></span> <time class="post-date" > 20 April 2022</time> <h1> Calidus B-250 programme is re-ignited after review </h1> </header> <div > <figure class="post__lead-image" > <img src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-04/211228%20Arabian%20Calidus%20B-350%20copy.jpg" width="1080" height="720" alt="Calidus B-350" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </figure> <div class="post__content grid twelve"> <div class="flow"> <div class="dropcap" > <p>Al Ain-based Calidus, which launched the armed B-250 turboprop at the Dubai Airshow in 2017, appears finally to making some headway with the development of the aircraft.</p> </div> <p>Shortly after the prototype made its public appearance four years ago, several design issues surfaced that led to a complete review of the B-250 turboprop project.</p> <p>While Calidus will not acknowledge the issues, the programme now looks to be back on track.</p> <p>The company has a flight-test team, made up of ex-Brazilian Air Force personnel, comprising two pilots and two engineers, who will now prepare the aircraft for certification.</p> <p>They have recently been involved in the integration and subsequent launch of the Edge P31 Thunder guided bombs, with the P32 next, while I understand that the on-board gun is another priority.</p> <p>It’s not surprising that Calidus has hired a Brazilian flight-test team, given the connection the company has with the South American state. Calidus acquired Brazilian company, Novaero, in 2015. Its chief designer, Joseph Kovacs, was responsible for the Super Tucano and, ultimately, designed the carbon-fibre B250.</p> <p>Powered by a 1600shp Pratt &amp; Whitney PT6A-68 engine, with a four-blade Hartzell propeller, the aircraft is faster and more manoeuvrable than the Super Tucano. Undoubtedly, its biggest advantage is that it is made from carbon fibre, because it weighs around 1,000kg less than the Super Tucano. Weight savings that can be converted into more avionics, more fuel and more armaments.</p> <p>Now, according to one source, there are two more B-250s being built on the Al Ain production line that should fly this year.</p> <p>The United Arab Air Force and Air Defense (UAEAF&amp;AD) announced at the 2019 Dubai Airshow that it would purchase 24 Calidus B-250s at a cost of AED 2.274 billion ($620 million) for the trainer/light attack role, with its spokesperson at the time saying: “It’s a UAE platform for the UAE.”</p> <p>According to Mustapha Skhiri, head of aerospace cluster at Al Ain, the deal is for 12 B250s with the other 12 being on option, that will fulfil the light attack role.</p> <p>Deliveries to the UAEAF&amp;AD are expected to take place inside the next three years.</p> <p>Skhiri, said: “Being pressurised to fly up to 30,000ft, the B250 will be out of the range of enemy air defences and man portable air defences (MANPADS), which the force’s AT 802 Archangel border patrol aircraft cannot do.”</p> <p>While the cockpit houses two Martin Baker Mk 16 ejection seats, the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system, which is predominantly used for civilian applications and which was initially selected for the two prototypes, has been replaced by a solution from Canada’s CMC Electronics. Skhiri did not recall the system name and CMC has not responded to Arabian Aerospace’s enquiries.</p> <p>Sitting alongside the B-250 at November’s Dubai Airshow was a full-size mock-up of the bigger and more heavily-armed B350 that Calidus has been working on behind closed doors for three years.</p> <p>Skhiri said: “Its predominantly for combat intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and has six hardpoints under each wing.</p> <p>“This is still a concept at the moment, but we have included a retractable MX-25 under the forward fuselage with a Leonardo Osprey 30 [airborne electronically scanned array (AESA) radar primed for ISR missions], further back, just to give an idea of what we hope it can do.” He wouldn’t be drawn on exactly when the aircraft would fly, although 2025 would be a fairly good guess.</p> <p>He continued: “The B-350 will be powered by a Pratt &amp; Whitney Canada PW127C – the same engine as the ATR 72.”</p> <p>On display around the mock-up was a plethora of weapons, predominantly from the UAE’s Edge company, which is also weaponising the B-250. They included Al Tariq Mk 81/82 bombs, smaller Halcon Desert Sting 16 bombs ,as well as 500lb GBU-12 bombs and rocket pods.</p> <p>Two mock-up AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles were positioned on the outer pylons for air defence.</p> <p>Alan Warnes reports.</p> </div> <div class="tags"> <span>Article Also Filed in: </span> <ul class="l-rs tags__list"> <li class="tag" > <a href="/middle-east-and-north-africa" hreflang="en">Middle East and North Africa</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="subscribe-block bg-grey-light flow" > <h2>Stay up to date</h2> <p>Subscribe to the free Times Aerospace newsletter and receive the latest content every week. We'll never share your email address.</p> <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/iframe-resizer/4.1.1/iframeResizer.min.js"> </script><script src="https://www.labelexpo-europe.com/pardot/forms/js/v2/tarsus.iframe-resizer.iframe-window.js"></script> <div class="width-100" id="parent-wrapper"> <iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" id="pardotframemulti2" scrolling="no" src="https://go.timesaerospace.aero/l/715553/2021-08-20/lbxy7" style="border: 0; width: 1px;min-width: 100%; min-height:0px;" type="text/html" width="100%"></iframe> </div> <script> iFrameResize({ log: true}, '#pardotframemulti2'); </script> </div> </div> </div> </article> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Related magazine Issue</div> <div><a href="/magazine/arabian-aerospace-february-april-2022" hreflang="en">Arabian Aerospace: February-April 2022</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Wed, 20 Apr 2022 12:01:52 +0000 pIvanova 64853 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero Rafale contract for the UAE enters into order backlog http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/defence/rafale-contract-for-the-uae-enters-into-order-backlog <div property="schema:text"><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The contract was signed on December 3, 2021 in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">"The Rafale shows, through its proven operational qualities and its export success, that it is today a real ‘game changer’ on the global geopolitical scene and an undisputed instrument for independence and sovereignty. Dassault Aviation is fully committed to supporting the United Arab Emirates in its sovereign power, its strategic challenges and its ambitious vision of the future,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.</span></span></p> </div> <div> <div>Posted date</div> <div><time datetime="2022-04-20T12:00:00Z">Wed, 20/04/2022 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>First paragraph</div> <div><p><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Rafale has received the first down payment of the contract for the acquisition of 80 Rafale by the United Arab Emirates.</span></span></p> </div> </div> <div> <div>Regions</div> <div> <div><a href="/middle-east-and-north-africa" hreflang="en">Middle East and North Africa</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Other topics</div> <div> <div><a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Rate</div> <div><form class="fivestar-form-5" id="vote--5" data-drupal-selector="fivestar-form-5" action="/taxonomy/term/3/feed" method="post" accept-charset="UTF-8"> <div class="clearfix fivestar-average-text fivestar-average-stars fivestar-form-item fivestar-basic"><div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-fivestar form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <div class="js-form-item form-item js-form-type-select form-item-vote js-form-item-vote form-no-label"> <select class="vote form-select" data-drupal-selector="edit-vote" aria-describedby="edit-vote--10--description" id="edit-vote--10" name="vote"><option value="-">Select rating</option><option value="20">Give it 1/5</option><option value="40">Give it 2/5</option><option value="60">Give it 3/5</option><option value="80">Give it 4/5</option><option value="100">Give it 5/5</option><option value="0">Cancel rating</option></select> <div id="edit-vote--10--description" class="description"> <div class="fivestar-summary fivestar-summary-average-count"><span class="empty">No votes yet</span></div> </div> </div> </div> </div><input style="display:none" data-drupal-selector="edit-submit" type="submit" id="edit-submit--5" name="op" value="Rate" class="button js-form-submit form-submit" /> <input autocomplete="off" data-drupal-selector="form-4st-wkoe7dbwssls2tppdcwndlrbjle-juws5-3gjom" type="hidden" name="form_build_id" value="form-4ST-WkOE7dBwSSls2TppDcWNdLRBJLe_jUWs5_3gjOM" /> <input data-drupal-selector="edit-fivestar-form-5" type="hidden" name="form_id" value="fivestar_form_5" /> </form> </div> </div> <div> <div>Top story</div> <div>On</div> </div> <div> <div>Article main topic</div> <div><a href="/defence" hreflang="en">Defence</a></div> </div> <div> <div>Redirected</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Moved to features</div> <div>Off</div> </div> <div> <div>Lead image:</div> <div> <img property="schema:image" src="/sites/aerospace/times/files/2022-04/DA00046634S.jpg" width="2000" height="1327" alt="" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <div> <div>New batch</div> <div>Off</div> </div> Wed, 20 Apr 2022 11:55:45 +0000 eNethersole 64852 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero