The 21 An-124 heavy airlifters owned by the Russian Air Force are now available for sale to commercial operators, according to unconfirmed media reports in Russia. The Russian Air Force grounded the aircraft in December 2005, and their technical condition is uncertain. If they are for sale, they are certain to attract interest from the four current commercial operators of the An-124.
AIN Defense Perspective » August 16, 2007
After years of preliminary definition and assessment, the UK Ministry of Defence gave the go-ahead for construction of two 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers. They will enter service in 2014 and 2016, and will be able to carry up to 40 aircraft, including F- 35 Joint Strike Fighters, AEW aircraft and helicopters.
To no one's great surprise, EADS finally admitted that the A400M airlifter will be late taking off. "The consequence on deliveries and cost is under assessment," the company added.
Northrop Grumman has won the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Combat Air Systems Technology Demonstrator (UCAS-D) contract, worth $635 million over the next six years. The company's proposal for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) capable of operating from aircraft carriers, designated the X-47B, beat the X-45N submission from Boeing. The decision is ostensibly a big blow for Boeing, which pioneered the development of UCAVs in the U.S.
Eurofighter reached an agreement with Austria over the disputed contract for 18 Typhoons, as predicted by AIN at Paris. The compromise involved trimming the $2.7 billion agreement by three aircraft and $500 million in cost.
The future of the Defence Export Services Organisation is under review by the new UK government. The agency promotes British arms sales abroad, and has administered the ongoing but controversial Al-Yamamah contracts through which the UK sold the Royal Saudi Air Force 120 Tornado combat jets, 50 Hawk and 50 PC-9 trainers, all supplied and supported by BAE Systems.
In our final edition at the recent Paris Air Show we revealed that Saudi Arabia had already concluded a contract for 72 Eurofighter Typhoons with the UK government worth $16 billion for the airframes alone.