Bell Boeing won a $18 million contract modification, which exercises an option to provide systems integration, technical analysis, and engineering support for the V-22 aircraft. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft, which operates as a helicopter when taking off and landing vertically. The nacelles rotate 90° forward once airborne, converting the aircraft into a turboprop aircraft. Work will take place in Texas and Pennsylvania. Estimated completion is in December 2022.
The Pentagon has given Northrop Grumman Corporation a task order to start engineering and planning work to reconfigure four EQ-4 Block 20 aircraft for the SkyRange program. These four aircraft will be fitted with sensors to collect data in order to support the testing of US hypersonic systems. Conversion will take place at Northrop Grumman’s Grand Sky facility near Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli media says Tel Aviv asked Washington for the immediate delivery of two KC-46A aerial refueling tankers. The original schedule is for Israel to receive the first two tankers in 2023. However, the United States reportedly denied the request. Back in July 2020, it was reported that Israel had also asked for the delivery of the planes to take place this year.
The Royal Moroccan Air Force is reportedly planning to buy 8 H225M Caracal helicopter from France. Morocco is currently negotiating with Airbus for eight H225Ms, as per reports. A dozen of these helicopters along with 80 Rafale fighter jets were purchased by the United Arab Emirates recently.
Greece’s Hellenic Air Force will commence operations with the first six Rafale fighters next month. The jets will be ready for operational missions immediately after arriving at 114th Combat Wing as the crew have completed their training.
China’s J-20 stealth jet has reportedly entered mass production after all technical issues concerning the domestically-made WS-10 engine having been solved; state-media reported quoting a statement from Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group Co. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force displayed J-20s equipped with domestically developed engines at Airshow China 2021.
Watch: The Good News about the KC-46 Tanker