June’s top stories: A400M deliveries, LCH hot weather trials

Airbus Defence and Space resumed deliveries of its A400M aircraft after Spanish regulator DGAM lifted all remaining flight restrictions, the UK sent a C17 Globemaster to Tunisia in order to assist with the government's response to the terrorist attack in the country, and HAL completed the hot weather flight trials of its light combat helicopter at Jodhpur, India. Airforce-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from June.


A400M

Airbus resumes A400M deliveries after Spain's DGAM withdraws restrictions

Airbus Defence and Space resumed deliveries of its A400M aircraft after Spanish regulator DGAM lifted all remaining flight restrictions on new production aircraft.

As part of this development, all A400M aircraft were cleared for flight, as they have completed checks specified in the alert operator transmission (AOT).

Airbus Defence and Space Military Aircraft head Fernando Alonso said: "We appreciate the Spanish authorities' timely action in restoring our permission to fly without restriction, as well as our customers' patience and support in recent weeks.

UK deploys RAF's C17 Globemaster aircraft for relief efforts in Tunisia

C-17

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) sent a C17 Globemaster aircraft to Tunisia in order to assist with the government's response to the terrorist attack in the country.

The aircraft was loaded with medical support equipment and a specialist medical team. In addition, the C17 was also used to transport injured people back to the UK.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "It's right that we do all we can to help those affected by this terrible attack on innocent families.

India's HAL completes hot weather flight trials of new LCH

Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) successfully completed the hot weather flight trials of its light combat helicopter (LCH) at Jodhpur, India.

The week-long test of this indigenously designed and developed helicopter included temperature surveys of engine bay and hydraulic systems, assessment of performance, handling qualities and loads at different 'all up weights', low speed handling and height-velocity diagram establishment.

HAL chairman and managing director T Suvarana Raju said: "Test flights were carried out in the temperature range of 39 to 42 degree Celsius.

USAF failed to fully assess cost savings of A-10 divestment, says GAO report

A-10

The US Air Force (USAF) did not fully assessed the cost savings related with A-10 divestment or its alternatives proposed, according to a new report released by the US Government accountability office (GAO).

Earlier, the USAF proposed to retire the A-10 fleet by 2019 to save an estimated $4bn over five years.

The report argued that the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the USAF gave less priority ofor n single-role aircraft like the A-10, while they prioritised fifth-generation aircraft such as the F-35.

UK's F-35 Lightning II aircraft tests Paveway IV bombs

F-35

The F-35 Lightning II Patuxent River integrated test force (ITF) conducted an inaugural weapons separation test of the Paveway IV, achieving a milestone for the UK Royal Navy and RAF F-35 programme.

During the test, RAF Test Pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell released two inert 500lb dual mode Paveway IV precision-guided bombs from aircraft BF-03 over the Atlantic Test Ranges.

The latest development has maintained the stealth characteristics of the aircraft.

It also further strengthened the collaborative approach of the US and UK in the development of the F-35 Lightning II.

USAF contracts Raytheon to start SDB II low-rate initial production

Raytheon received a $30.94m fixed-price incentive firm contract from the US Air Force (USAF) for the small diameter bomb II (SDB II), following its achievement of Milestone C.

Under the contract, the company will deliver low-rate initial production for 144 SDB II Lot 1 munitions, 156 SDB II Lot 1 single weapon containers, eight SDB II weapon load crew trainers and conventional munitions maintenance trainers.

In addition, the firm will supply four SDB II Lot 1 practical explosive ordnance disposal system trainers, and data.

RAAF completes boom refuelling trials with KC-30A and E-7A Wedgetail

KC-30A

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) successfully completed air-to-air refuelling trials between its KC-30A multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft and E-7A Wedgetail aircraft.

The latest trial was conducted in airspace off the coast of northern New South Wales. It marked the first refuelling of the Wedgetail from the KC-30A.

Number 2 Squadron (2SQN) commanding officer, wing commander Christian Martin said: "Air-to-air refuelling considerably increases the Wedgetail's range and endurance, allowing us to provide command and control, and air battlespace management over longer periods.

UK reports Russian aircraft incursion near Baltic States

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon jets intercepted two Russian aircraft near Baltic States when the aircraft tried to approach Baltic airspace without sharing a flight plan.

According to the UK Defence Ministry, one of the aircraft was identified as an Il-20M 'Coot' A surveillance aircraft, while the second aircraft was an An-26 'Curl' transport plane.

The latest interception marks the Typhoon's fourth tasking since May after deploying to the Baltic as part of the Nato Baltic Air Policing mission.

Kuwait set to buy Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets from Italy

The Kuwaiti Government began talks with Italy to purchase Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets, in a bid to upgrade the country's air force capabilities.

According to a source, this possible deal would see the purchase of two squadrons of fighter planes and around 24 to 28 of the twin-engine jets, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The deal, which is expected to worth more than €4bn, could also cover pilot training and other related items.

US gives green signal for sale of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to Japan

Haweye

The US State Department approved the possible $1.7bn sale of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft and associated equipment to Japan.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified US Congress about the possible sale.

Under this proposed sale, the US will deliver four E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, ten T56-A-427A engines (eight installed and two spares), eight multifunction information distribution system low volume terminals (MIDS-LVT), and four APY-9 Radars.