October's top stories: BAE to upgrade Typhoons, Nato increases ISIS attacks

BAE to upgrade UK Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon fleet, Nato has intensified its efforts against ISIS by deploying its advanced airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. Airforce-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from October 2016.


BAE to upgrade UK Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon fleet

BAE Systems announced that the initial phase of enhancements to the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon fleet has entered the operational evaluation stage.

Phase I Enhancements Further Work (P1Eb FW), which forms a part of the UK's Project Centurion, ensures that the Typhoon fleet is ready to take on the role currently performed by Tornado aircraft.

The transition of capability from Tornado to Typhoon is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Nato intensifies efforts against ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Nato intensified its efforts against ISIS by deploying its advanced airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft to provide surveillance and situational awareness.

The AWACS aircraft will fly only in international airspace or over Turkey to support the Global Coalition's overall air picture.

The aircraft will not coordinate coalition air strikes or provide command and control for fighter aircraft, Nato said in a statement.

Raytheon to support UK RAF's Sentinel surveillance aircraft

Raytheon UK continues to support the UK Royal Air Force's (RAF) Sentinel surveillance aircraft, under a £131.5m deal.

The deal requires the company to provide in-service support and maintenance for the Sentinel aircraft, which has the ability to gather intelligence on enemy movements and track specific targets.

The aircraft uses air to ground search capabilities, by scanning areas from a safe distance to protect the Armed Forces in delivering actionable, accurate information, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.

Finland accuses Russia of violating airspace

Finland alleged that Russian fighter jets have entered into its airspace twice over the Baltic Sea on the same day.

The Finnish Ministry of Defence said that two different Russian SU-27 fighters have been detected in the Gulf of Finland south of Porvoo on 6 October.

The first suspected violation occurred at 16:43 local time on Thursday, while the second event took place in the same area at 21:33.

Poland's plans to purchase $3.5bn Airbus Caracal helicopters scrapped

Poland reportedly scrapped talks on a $3.5bn deal to purchase EC-725 Caracal helicopters from Airbus, according to the Ministry of Economic Development.

If the ministry went ahead with this deal, Airbus would have delivered up to 50 EC-725s to the nation.

The deal was announced by the previous government in 2014 to improve military capabilities amid regional tensions over Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine that year.

RAAF's KC-30A conducts first air refuelling with Singapore's F-16D+ Falcon

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)  completed the first air-to-air refuelling mission between a KC-30A multi role tanker transport (MRTT) and a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16D+ Falcon aircraft.

The air-to-air refuelling mission required both aircraft to fly at high-speed in close formation.

During a week-long series of trials, KC-30A made 49 contacts and transferred more than 35,000l of fuel.

Reliance and Dassault form JV to execute €7.87bn Rafale deal offsets

India's Reliance Group formed a joint venture (JV) with Dassault Aviation to execute offsets for the recently signed €7.87bn contract for 36 Rafale fighter jets.

The agreement includes a 50% offset obligation.

The JV, called Dassault Reliance Aerospace, will support the development of major Indian programmes with high levels of technology transfer to benefit the entire aerospace sector, Reliance said in a statement.

Russia's first Yak-152 conducts maiden flight

Russia's Yak-152 primary trainer aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight on 29 September this year.

The Yak-152 has flown for the first time at the airfield of its developer, Irkutsk Aviation Plant.

The new aircraft has been designed for use by training pilots in flying techniques, basics of navigation, simple, complex, and aerobatic pilotage, as well as group piloting and will provide initial pilot training during the day and night.

India to purchase defence equipment from Russia

India reportedly signed various agreements for the procurement of military equipment from Russia.

Under a Inter Governmental Agreement, India will acquire five S-400 'Triumf' long-range air defence missile systems for its armed forces.

The Almaz Central Design Bureau-built anti-aircraft weapon system has the ability to engage all types of incoming targets such as aircraft, missiles and drones within the range of up to 400km.

L-3 begins work on $1.9bn KC-10 logistics support contract from USAF

L-3 Communications' Vertex Aerospace division started providing full contractor logistics support (CLS) for the US Air Force's (USAF) KC-10 aircraft fleet.

A $1.9bn indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to this effect was awarded to the company in June this year.

The contract award to L-3 was stalled for about four months after competitor AAR Defense Systems and Logistics filed a protest in June, which was denied by the Government Accountability Office on 22 September.