ABC News reported June 9 that seven heavily armed Taliban fighters launched a pre-dawn raid on NATO’s Kabul Airport facilities, wounding two Afghan civilians. None of the seven guerrillas, all of whom were killed in the attack, managed to breach the airport perimeter.
Russia won export orders for weapons exceeding $15 billion and delivered weapons worth $14 billion in 2012, compared with $13.2 billion of weapons in 2011. “Surely, Russia will continue cooperation with her traditional partners in the sphere of military-technical cooperation,” Russian president Vladimir Putin told a meeting of the government’s committee for military-technical cooperation with foreign countries in December. “But it is of not less importance to us to enter new markets, expand the nomenclature of deliveries and services.”
Transport aircraft designer Antonov (Hall 1 H298) is presenting the An-70 short take off and landing (Stol) military freighter at the Paris Air Show. The company claims it is the world’s only aircraft that can take off from short unpaved runways of 600 to 700 meters with 20 tons of cargo over a 1,620-nm range.
The An-70 cabin “accommodates all types of CIS and NATO military equipment and armaments as well as construction machines and vehicles weighing up to 47 tons,” according to Antonov.
For the Dassault Rafale combat jet, the French intervention in Mali provided another chance to demonstrate its multirole capability. Starting with a 3,400-mile interdiction mission (AI) launched from France on the night of January 13, up to six aircraft subsequently flew daily from their deployed base at N’Djamena, Chad, also performing reconnaissance and close-air-support (CAS) missions. Six of them are still there.
In Afghanistan, soldiers still pull the trigger. Civilian contractors do almost everything else. While the U.S. and its allies may be preparing for a troop draw-down there next year, for the contractors flying an assortment of 50 helicopters in country, things have never been busier or better.
Pilots planning on overflying Kansas this summer, specifically through the Salina area and the nearby Smoky Hill Air National Guard Weapons Range, would do well to attend the pilot safety briefing about the range to be held on Thursday, June 6, at the Salina Airport Authority’s Hangar 600 at 4:30 p.m. Representatives from the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Weapons Range are due to present an update on the range’s activities.
Sri Lanka’s second international airport–the $200 million China Exim Bank-funded Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA)–opened last month and has already attracted national carrier SriLankan Airlines and its subsidiary, SriLankan Cargo; Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia; and flyDubai.
West Star Aviation was recently recognized by the Department of Defense for its continued support of its National Guard and Reserve employees. The recognition comes from the MRO’s commitment to the support of troops as they are called into action and its willingness to prepare and integrate the people back into their team upon their return. Colonel Lou Brackett (Ret.), the Employer Outreach Coordinator for the State of Colorado, presented the award.
Helicopter Association International (HAI) president Matt Zuccaro fired back at the White House following its late February call for an end to the alternate depreciation tax plan for corporate aircraft. The tax plan allows buyers of general aviation aircraft to depreciate their purchases over five years rather than the seven-year depreciation mandated for commercial aviation.
Helicopter appraisal firm HeliValue$ has laid bare the market so that visitors to this year’s Heli-Expo can get an idea of what is actually going on in the market, based on prices. “At HeliValue$, our most-asked question of the past quarter has been ‘What’s going on with the helicopter market?’” said Sharon Desfor, president of the Wauconda, Ill.-based company.