On October 6 Israel shot down a UAV over the northern Negev desert, south of Hebron and near the country’s nuclear weapons site at Dimona. The UAV entered Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean and was intercepted by F-16s from Ramon air base. According to Israeli media reports, the first Python missile fired at the drone missed, but a second was successful. The Israeli air force has released a video purporting to show the engagement.
Business aviation charity Sky Hope Network is collecting donations for the families of nine industry workers who were killed in a terrorist attack on September 18 in Afghanistan. Employed by South Africa-based ACS/Balmoral Central Contracts, the victims were three pilots, five mechanics and a customer service representative, who were targeted by a suicide car bomber as their minivan stopped at a gas station on its way to the airport in Kabul.
Bombardier Aerospace recently delivered a Global 6000 to the U.S. Air Force, the fourth Global-series aircraft added to the existing USAF inventory with E-11A military designation. The Air Force plans to equip this new addition with the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, in time for deployment next summer. This system will allow battlefield communications systems to share data.
Sikorsky Aircraft Australia has signed a four-year agreement with the Australian Defense Force for ongoing logistics and engineering support for the Commonwealth of Australia’s fleet of S-70A and S-70B Black Hawks. The more than $120 million deal, which includes six annual renewable options, is a follow-on agreement to one that is expiring after an eight-year term. Sikorsky Aircraft Australia does business as Sikorsky Helitech.
Eurocopter’s X3 compound helicopter prototype began its U.S. demonstration tour at the company’s Grand Prairie, Texas campus yesterday. The X3 first flew in 2010 and can reach speeds in excess of 230 knots. Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling said the company is “well positioned to bring this type of helicopter to market in the next 10 years.”
Aerovironment revealed that 19 countries have now bought “thousands” of Puma, Raven and Wasp hand-launched UAVs. At the Satory arms fair in Paris, the company announced new orders from Sweden for the Puma and Wasp, and from Denmark for the Puma. Denmark acquired the Raven in 2007.
Potential investors in the newly liberated Libya became more nervous last week after learning that an armed militia group had cut through a perimeter fence at Tripoli International Airport (HLLT) in broad daylight. The militia then drove their heavily armed vehicles onto an airport ramp in search of their leader, whom they believed was being held on the field.
Northrop Grumman gained a $1.7 billion (€1.2 billion) contract to supply five Block 40 Global Hawk UAVs with advanced multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP) radars for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program.
The threat to civil aviation posed by man-portable air defense systems (Manpads)–such as shoulder launched missiles–in conflict areas around the world is resulting in a requirement for intelligent systems to help counter the attacks. Saab’s Civil Aircraft Missile Protection (Camps) system has increasingly been used to combat such threats, Hannes Prinsloo, technical product manager South Africa for Saab told AIN.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) chose the Alenia C-27J Spartan to replace a fleet of 14 DHC-4 Caribou STOL airlifters that have already been retired. The 10-aircraft deal will be conducted via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system, with L-3 acting as the prime contractor. Alenia and L-3 formed a partnership to sell the C-27J to the U.S. armed forces. The RAAF also evaluated the EADS CN-295 for the Air 8000 requirement.