November's top stories: US approves $31.2bn fighter jet sale, India test fires Prithvi-II

US approves $31.2bn sale of military aircraft to Qatar and Kuwait, India has reportedly test-fired two Prithvi-II short-range ballistic missiles. Airforce-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from November 2016.


US approves $31.2bn sale of military aircraft to Qatar and Kuwait

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale of F-15QA aircraft to Qatar for $21.1bn and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to Kuwait for $10.1bn.

Under the sale, the Government of Qatar seeks to receive 72 F-15QA multi-role fighter aircraft and associated weapons package, while Kuwait has requested for 32 F/A-18Es, with F414-GE-400 engines; in addition to eight F/A-18Fs with F414-GE-400 engines.

Qatar also requested for continental US-based lead-in-fighter-training for the F-15QA, associated ground support, training materials, mission-critical resources and maintenance support equipment

India test fires Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile

India reportedly test-fired two Prithvi-II short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) from a test range at Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha state.

The twin trial follows a similar test firing conducted in October 2009 from the same test range.

During the latest trial, two nuclear-capable missiles were launched from mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in quick succession, The Press Trust of India reported.

Spanish Air Force takes delivery of first A400M from Airbus

The Spanish Air Force received the first A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space.

The delivery follows successful maiden flight of the airlifter in Spain on 5 September.

Spain will receive 27 A400Ms in total and will become the sixth nation to have the aircraft in service.

Singapore to acquire new H225M, CH-47F helicopters from Airbus and Boeing

The Singapore Ministry of Defence awarded contracts to Airbus Helicopters and Boeing to supply the H225M medium lift helicopter and CH-47F heavy lift helicopter respectively.

The new helicopters will replace the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) existing Super Pumas and Chinooks, which have been operational since 1983 and 1994 respectively.

With better lift and reach capabilities, acquisition of the H225M and CH-47F will enable the RSAF to meet the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) lift requirements for a broad range of operations.

Czech Air Force completes Nato air policing mission over Iceland

The Czech Air Force completed a month-long Nato air policing mission in the skies over Iceland.

The Nato’s ‘Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to Meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs’ mission was conducted by four Gripen fighter planes since the beginning of October.

The Gripen fighter planes were equipped with medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) which increases their intercepting capabilities.

Brazil plans to invest $5bn in Gripen NG project

Brazil revealed plans to invest nearly $5bn in the Gripen NG project, which has already secured BRL1.5bn ($413.2m) as part of the 2017 budget.

The project includes the procurement of 36 Gripen NG fighter aircraft to equip the Brazilian Air Force.

Delivery of the aircraft will begin in 2019 and will continue throughout 2024.

US, UK, ROK air forces conduct first joint air exercise Invincible Shield

The air forces of the UK, US and South Korea successfully conducted the first joint air exercise, Invincible Shield, at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek county, south of Seoul.

Invincible Shield marks the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) first domestic air combat manoeuvring exercise with a foreign nation other than the US.

The drills provided opportunity to develop interoperability between different types of aircraft and weapon systems.

UK DIO completes hangar for RAF's A400M Atlas maintenance

The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) completed construction on an A400M Atlas aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul facility at the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty constructed the three bay hangar at a cost of £42m.

Work under the project included levelling the site, diverting underground pipes and cables and installing emergency water storage tanks.

New Zealand outlines plans to spend $20bn on military capabilities by 2030

New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee set out the government's new plan to spend $20bn on military capabilities by 2030.

Brownlee said that the Defence Capability Plan 2016 is the next step in delivering on the defence white paper released in June this year.

Under the plan, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) will procure new transport aircraft to replace existing C-130 and B757 fleets.

IAI introduces new collision warning system for military aircraft

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) introduced a new collision warning system (CWS) that has the potential to prevent mid-air collision of military aircraft with commercial and civilian aircraft.

The CWS will allow military and civil aircraft to fly in congested air space, by improving flight safety.

It is said to extend the collision-warning functions of IAI's EHUD range-independent air-combat manoeuvring instrumentation (ACMI).