May's top stories: Pakistan and China co-produce JF-17B aircraft, UK DIO awards RAF Mount Pleasant refurbish contract

Pakistan and China are jointly producing the JF-17B dual seat combat fighter aircraft, the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded an infrastructure contract to Trant Engineering. Airforce-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from May 2016.


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Pakistan and China jointly produce JF-17B dual seat combat fighter aircraft

Pakistan and China are jointly producing the JF-17B dual seat combat fighter aircraft to be inducted by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Production of the multi-role combat aircraft was announced at an induction ceremony held at Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC) Chengdu, China.

Developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the CAC, the aircraft can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception.

UK DIO awards RAF Mount Pleasant complex refurbish contract

The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) awarded an infrastructure contract to Trant Engineering for upgrades at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Mount Pleasant complex on the Falkland Islands.

The move forms part of UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon's plans to invest £180m in the modernisation of military infrastructure on the Islands over the next decade.

Valued at £55.7m, the contract requires Trant Engineering to upgrade the power station, boiler house and district heating system at the Mount Pleasant complex.

Swiss Air Force plans to replace wing of F/A-18 fighter jet

The Swiss Air Force is to replace a wing on its Boeing F/A-18 Hornet combat aircraft after it discovered a disbond in an adhesive joint during regular inspection.

The joint between the wing and the fuselage of one F/A-18 aircraft was found to have become detached, according to the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (DDPS).

Further investigations have shown that a repair is not possible and the wing must be replaced within the next few months.

Airstrikes on refugee camps in Syria kill large number of civilians

UN

Airstrikes on refugee camps in Syria killed a large number of civilians, demonstrating a failure to abide by the requirements of international humanitarian and human rights law, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said.

At least 30 people, including children and women, have died and more than 80 people survived with injuries when the warplanes attacked settlements in Idlib Governorate, northern Syria, according to media sources.

The planes attacked the informal settlement of Ghita Al-Rahmeh which was hosting around 2,500 people, who had already fled their homes in western and northern rural Aleppo since late last year.

Northrop Grumman wins USAF's GPS system modernisation study contract

Northrop Grumman secured a study contract to modernise the US Air Force's (USAF) global positioning system (GPS), which has been offering global position, navigation and timing services worldwide for more than two decades.

Awarded by the Air Force Space Command, the 26-month contract is based on the company's proposal for the next-generation GPS III programme.

The contract was awarded after the USAF invited bids for the development of new generation of GPS space vehicles that will deliver the advanced capabilities needed by military and civil users, while countering the future threat environment.

Saab launches first Gripen E aircraft

Saab

Saab launched the first test aircraft of the next generation Gripen E, which is an improved version of the Gripen C/D multi-role aircraft.

The move keeps the company on track to deliver the fighter aircraft to the Swedish Air Force by 2018 to replace the Air Force's fleet of Northrop F-5E/F Tiger.

The 15.2m-long Gripen E with wingspan of 8.6m can travel at a maximum speed of Mach 2 at high-altitude, while the speed at low-altitude is 1,400kmph.

Ascent Flight Training wins £1.1bn MoD contract to supply rotary wing training

Ascent Flight Training, a joint venture (JV) between Lockheed Martin and Babcock International, secured a £1.1bn contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to design, deliver and manage rotary wing training.

Under the contract, Ascent will deliver a new military helicopter aircrew training service across the three Armed Services until the early 2030s.

Personnel at RAF Shawbury and Army Air Corps Middle Wallop will continue to conduct their basic and advanced rotary training.

Czech Air Advisory Team to support ISIS-combat mission in Iraq

Czech

A team of air instructors from the Czech Republic are in preparation to assist Iraq pilots to operate the L-159 advanced light combat aircraft (ALCA) to fight ISIS.

The Czech Air Advisory Team comprises of 30 soldiers from the 21st Tactical Air Force Base at Caslav, the personnel of the Military Police and the Military Medical Agency.

The training of Czech air instructors has entered its final weeks at the Military Academy in Vyskov.

Thales to deliver Scorpion helmet mounted cueing systems for Spanish Air Force

Thales was contracted to deliver Scorpion helmet mounted cueing systems (HMCS) to the Spanish Ministry of Defence.

The Spanish Air Force's EF-18 fighter jet fleet will be equipped with 80 HMCS during the course of 2016 and 2017.

Installation will begin after the completion of the operational qualification phase and air-to-air (A2A) and air-to-ground (A2G) tests.

Longbow to deliver Apache radar systems for Indian Air Force

Longbow, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, secured a foreign military sale contract from the US Army to provide fire control radar (FCR) systems for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Valued at $57.1m, the contract requires the company to produce and supply 12 FCR systems and spares for IAF's new Apache AH-64E helicopters.

With a very low-probability of intercept, Longbow FCR can rapidly and automatically search, detect and locate multiple moving and stationary targets on land, water and in the air in all weather and battlefield conditions from standoff ranges.