Turkey Requests 2nd Batch F-35s | AeroVironment to Upgrade Netherlands UAVs | Jakarta Negotiations Ongoing for Russian Su-35sNov 02, 2016 00:58 UTC
- Embraer believes they will hit their operating targets for 2016 thanks to strong year-end demand. The company made the announcement on Monday. Chief Financial Officer Jose Antonio Filippo also told journalists a writedown of the company’s used aircraft portfolio, which contributed to a $34 million third-quarter loss, was focused on its commercial jets inventory and was not likely to be repeated in coming quarters.
- A Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year sentence in the US has appealed his conviction. Viktor Bout was convicted for attempting to sell millions of dollars worth of arms to whom he believed were militants with the FARC, a Colombian rebel group. Bout’s lawyer claims that a co-conspirator, Andrew Smulian, was a government informant throughout the investigation, which means Bout could not have been involved in a conspiracy with him. Bout’s infamy made the silver screen in 2005, with his story serving as the basis for Nicolas Cage’s Yuri Orlov in the movie “Lord of War.”
Middle East & North Africa
- After rumors they would do so, Turkey has officially requested a second batch of F-35s under the Joint Strike Fighter program. A meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK), Turkey’s procurement authority, brought top political and military officials together on Friday to make the decision. Officials are also hoping to build a new-generation, dual-fighter jet fleet by their country’s centennial, 2023, comprised of the F-35 and an indigenous aircraft, known as TFX, that Ankara has been designing.
- Iraqi special forces have reached the outskirts of the city of Mosul, as the offensive to reclaim the city from the Islamic State enters its third week. Soldiers of the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CST) have already captured the state television station, the most important building reclaimed to date. While the offensive on Mosul involves Kurdish Peshmerga, Shia militias and regular Iraqi security forces, the CST has been heavily trained with US help, undergoing training exercises with other elite units in places like Jordan.
- The Netherlands has contracted AeroVironment to conduct upgrade work on their RQ-11B Raven UAVs in a $10.3 million deal. In service since 2008, the Ravens will see their current analogue configuration upgraded to include AeroVironment’s digital datalink. Also included in the deal are new Puma AE and Wasp micro unmanned air systems, plus a new ground control station and support, which AeroVironment says will be delivered within six months.
- An investigation by the BBC and the Guardian newspaper has suggested that engine maker Rolls Royce was involved in corruption. Findings include the establishment of a network of agents hired to help them land lucrative contracts in at least 12 different countries around the world, sometimes allegedly using bribes. One deal scrutinized uncovered evidence of a suspicious payment of cash that may have helped Rolls-Royce win a major contract for engines on Hawk trainer aircraft worth $400 million to the company.
- Two J-20 stealth fighters made their public flying debut yesterday in a brief one minute taster at the Airshow China exhibition. Following a vertical split at the end of the runway, one of the J-20s quickly disappeared over the horizon, leaving the other to perform a series of turns, revealing its delta wing shape against bright sub-tropical haze. Neither of the fighters, however, expanded on basic maneuvers, with both failing to conduct a low-speed, high angle of attack pass, or opening weapons bays. Without a more encompassing display, it may be a while before we see the J-20 as a rival to the F-35 on the export market.
- An official with Indonesia’s defense ministry has confirmed that Jakarta is still in negotiations to purchase either nine or ten Su-35 fighters. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu had expressed his country’s interest in the fighter in May but any concrete deal has yet to materialize. While Russian and Indonesian officials haggle over pricing, it’s believed that Western companies such as Lockheed Martin and Saab are trying to wrest such a big ticket deal away from Russian manufacturer Sukhoi. Indonesia boasts one of the world’s fastest growing defense budgets with expectations that the archipelago will spend more than $20 billion on procurement between 2016 and 2025.
J-20s at Airshow China: