November’s top news stories

5 December 2019 (Last Updated December 6th, 2019 09:47)

The US approved Morocco’s request to purchase AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in a deal valued at up to $4.25bn, Indra is developing advanced electronic protection system for European aircraft. Airforce-Technology.com wraps up key headlines from November 2019.

November’s top news stories
An AH-64E Apache from 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, takes off from its landing pad at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California. Credit: US Army.

US approves sale of 36 AH-64E Apaches for $4.25bn to Morocco

The Trump administration approved Morocco’s request to purchase AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in a deal valued at up to $4.25bn.

Under the potential foreign military sale, the US will sell 36 AH-64E Apaches and associated equipment to the Government of Morocco.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which operates under the US Department of Defense (DoD), has notified Congress of the possible deal.


Indra to develop electronic protection system for European aircraft

Spanish defence company Indra is developing advanced electronic protection system for European aircraft to operate in hostile territory across the world.

The company has taken up the project under the direction of the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

Led by Spain, the project has the participation of France, Italy, Germany and Sweden.


UAE signs contracts worth $2bn for defence equipment and support

The Ministry of Defence of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) awarded contracts totalling more than AED7bn ($1.9bn) during the Dubai Airshow 2019.

The deals cover aircraft support, munitions, spare parts and maintenance.

Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL) has been awarded a AED3.5bn ($952.75m) contract to provide maintenance support for the UAE Joint Aviation Command’s (JAC) helicopter fleet.


Nato to sign $1bn AWACS modernisation contract

Nato and Boeing signed a $1bn agreement to modernise its fleet of Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg and Boeing president Sir Michael Arthur signed the contract at Melsbroek Airport, Brussels.

The in-service E-3A AWACS aircraft is a modified Boeing 707, easily identifiable by its large fuselage-mounted radar dome.


Saab conducts first flight of new advanced EA jammer pod

Saab conducted the first flight of the new advanced Electronic Attack Jammer Pod (EAJP) on a Gripen fighter aircraft.

The flight test was intended to test the EAJP’s interfaces with ‘the aircraft’s hardware and software, as well as cockpit control and monitoring’.

It marks a significant milestone in the pod’s development programme. The test was performed on 4 November and yielded positive results.


Dassault Aviation opens pyrotechnics facility in France

French aircraft manufacturing company Dassault Aviation inaugurated its pyrotechnics facility at the Martignas-sur-Jalle site.

Previously, the company’s pyrotechnic activities were based in Argenteuil and Poitiers and all these have been shifted to the new facility in Martignas.

The new pyrotechnics facility consists of a 2,500m² tripod-shaped building, with each wing dedicated to a specific function.


Turkey to begin testing Russian S-400 missile defence system

Turkey is set to begin testing the newly acquired Russian S-400 missile defences in spite of pressure from the US to stop the programme.

The US claimed that the S-400 system is incompatible with Nato defences and could pose a threat to F-35 stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin.

In an announcement, the provincial governor’s office stated that the Turkish Air Force F-16s and other aircraft conducted flights over Ankara to test the S-400 air defence system.


TWISTER missile defence project wins key European approval

The Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based Theater surveillance (TWISTER) capability project received key European approval.

The European Union Council approved the TWISTER missile defence project for development under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative.

Supported by five European nations, the project will develop a multi-role interceptor to tackle emerging threats.


Norway declares initial operational capability for F-35A

The Royal Norwegian Air Force’s (RNoAF) Lockheed Martin F-35A stealth combat jets reached initial operational capability (IOC).

RNoAF declared the IOC status for the F-35A aircraft after a deployment to Rygge Air Station near Oslo validated that the jets can be operated away from its home base of Ørland.

Norway is the third European country to achieve the IOC milestone after the UK and Italy.


Russia demonstrates hypersonic missile system to US observers

Russia showed US observers its hypersonic missile system to uphold requirements of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), according to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.

The Avangard missile system, slated to enter combat service in December, features a hypersonic glide body and, according to Russian state media, is capable at travelling in excess of 20 times the speed of sound.