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[*] posted on 2-7-2020 at 02:42 PM


China's Yun-20 Large Transport Aircraft Holds Great Potential

(Source: China Military Online; issued June 30, 2020)


China is touting the capabilities and “great potential” of its Y-20 four-jet engined long-range military transport aircraft, which it says has a maximum take-off weight of 220 tonnes and a maximum payload of 66 tonnes. (China Military photo)

BEIJING --- Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, China's domestically developed Yun-20 large transport aircraft has carried out missions abroad for many times, successively delivering anti-epidemic supplies to Pakistan, Thailand and other countries.

Recently, it made its maiden flight to Russia to transport the PLA Guard of Honor to participate in the military parade staged in Moscow's Red Square. Military expert Chen Hong said that in the future, the Yun-20 transport aircraft is sure to significantly improve the combat capability of the PLA troops.

A solid backing to the PLA Air Force

In the modern warfare with wider war zones and faster war pace, countries all over the world are trying to strengthen the quick response and long-range delivery capabilities of their troops, to quickly transport their troops and weapons to areas in urgent need and save time for the reinforcement of follow-up troops. Under this situation, the armed forces of all countries are eager to equip large-scale heavy-duty transport aircraft.

According to the information from Tang Changhong, chief designer of the Yun-20, the maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 220 tons, and the maximum loading capacity is 66 tons.

"To build up a modern PLA Air Force with strong combat capability, it is quite necessary to equip large transport aircraft like Yun-20, the speed of which is more than three times that of high-speed rail trains and more than 20 times that of marine transportation. It can get the whole combat units rallied in the shortest time, greatly contributing to the rapid deployment of troops and enhancing combat capability", said Chen Hong.

It still holds great development potential

"The Yun-20 transport aircraft is quite promising for future development." According to Chen Hong's introduction, the Yun-20 transport aircraft is currently powered by Russian D-30KP-2 engines, which is likely to be replaced by WS-20, the domestically developed new-generation large-scale jet engine, in the future. It can provide more than 15 tons of thrust.

"In recent years, China's fighter engine R&D technology has achieved leapfrog development, breaking through the unimaginable bottlenecks. New engines like WS-20 will also be used to equip China's large military transport aircraft in the near future and play a more prominent role", added Chen Hong.

In addition, the Yun-20 can also be adapted as an aerial tanker or an antisubmarine aircraft. With a payload of up to 66 tons, it can become an aerial gas station, which can cooperate with fighters skillfully in aerial refueling operations. As an antisubmarine aircraft, it can carry a variety of light and heavy antisubmarine equipment. With its advantages of heavy weight, long endurance and long range, its performance will be more powerful.

At present, China's Air Force is in urgent need of Yun-20 transport aircraft. Chen Hong said that in view of China's current goal of building up a strategic air force, several hundred Yun-20s are needed at least. "It marks a magnificent progress in the history of China's Air Force. I believe there will be even more advanced aircraft to equip China's Air Force in the future", added Chen.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 20-7-2020 at 04:02 PM


Lockheed lands $15 billion deal for C-130J work

By Greg Waldron

20 July 2020

The US government has awarded Lockheed Martin a $15 billion contract related to upgrade work across the world’s C-130J tactical transport fleet.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract is expected to completed by July 2030, says the US Department of Defense (DoD) in a contract announcement.


Source: Greg Waldron
A US Air Force C-130J


It broadly covers “development, integration, retrofit, and production activities.”

“This contract provides flexibility to accommodate the broad enterprise of activities associated with the C-130J programme,” adds DoD.

Included in the contract are Foreign Military Sales of the type.

Cirium fleets data indicates that there are 441 C-130J family aircraft in service globally, with 37 on order and nine in storage.

The US Air Force is the largest operator with 250 in its inventory, followed by the US Marine Corps with 61. Major international users include Italy, Canada, UK, Australia, and India.

In addition to its transport role, the type is also used for special operations, air-to-air refueling, search and rescue, and meteorological work.
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[*] posted on 6-8-2020 at 08:56 PM


03 AUGUST 2020

Belgium's A400M conducts first flight

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Belgium's A400M made its first flight on 30 July, the Belgian air force announced on its Facebook page on 2 August. The aircraft took off from the Airbus facility in Seville, Spain, where its final assembly line is located.


Belgium's A400M made its first flight on 30 July. (Airbus)

During the flight, the production aircraft test manual was used in its entirety by Airbus test pilots, the Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported on its website on 3 August.

The ministry said a Belgian Air Component team would begin the process of delivering the aircraft very soon, after which the aircraft can fly to the 15 Air Transport Wing's base at Melsbroek, the military part of Brussels' Zaventem international airport.

Work is underway to build a new hangar at Melsbroek for major maintenance on the A400M. The Belgian MoD said on its website on 6 July that construction of the hangar would last no longer than a year and had not been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The new building is scheduled to become operational in mid-2021.

The first Belgian and Luxembourgeois A400Ms are expected in Melsbroek this autumn, the Belgian MoD reported on its website on 3 August.
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[*] posted on 8-8-2020 at 04:11 PM


Portuguese air force’s Embraer KC-390 passes preliminary design review

By Garrett Reim

8 August 2020

The Portuguese air force’s first Embraer KC-390 passed its preliminary design review in early July, one year after the country became the type’s first export customer.

Lisbon has ordered five examples of the military transport. Embraer is currently assembling the first aircraft for the country, the manufacturer says on 5 August. Previously, the company has said it plans to deliver the first aircraft in February 2023, with the other four aircraft to be delivered at a rate of one per year until February 2027.


Source: Embraer
Embraer KC-390


The only other firm customer for the KC-390 is the Brazilian air force, which has ordered 28 units. The first KC-390 was delivered to the Brazilian air force in September 2019, with the second delivered in December and the third example delivered in June.

Currently, four of Brazil’s ordered aircraft are in assembly, one of which is scheduled to be delivered before the end of 2020.

In addition to firm orders for Portugal and Brazil, Embraer has letters of intent for an additional 33 aircraft. The Argentine air force has expressed interest in six aircraft, the Chilean air force in six aircraft, the Colombian air force in 12 aircraft, the Czech air force in two aircraft and aviation services company SkyTech in six aircraft. As of July, Embraer told FlightGlobal that none of the KC-390’s letters of intent had been converted into a sale.
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[*] posted on 12-8-2020 at 02:28 PM


Rwanda To Receive Special-mission Cessna Caravans

by Jerry Siebenmark - August 11, 2020, 10:05 AM


Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX

Two Cessna Grand Caravan EXs will be the first fixed-wing aircraft to be put in service by the Rwanda Defense Force under a contract through ATI Engineering Services and as part of the African Partnership Flight initiative, Textron Aviation announced Tuesday. Grant aid funding from U.S. government foreign military sales cases have made the deliveries possible.

Following the delivery of the Caravans, ATI will modify and equip them with secure high-frequency and ultra-high frequency radios, a night vision imaging system interior and exterior lighting, and a multi-mission interior that can be configured for air ambulance, cargo, and passenger operations with two medical stretcher kits, 11 passenger seats, eight collapsible utility seats, and a removable rollerball cargo floor. The special-mission Caravans are expected to enter service in the first half of 2021.

“The Grand Caravan EX serves an enduring mission by providing transport, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation operations throughout Africa,” said Textron Aviation v-p of special mission sales Bob Gibbs. “The aircraft is engineered for challenging missions, high payloads, and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. It is a perfect match for this mission throughout the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility.”

Seven other African nations already possess special mission Grand Caravan EXs and are coparticipants in United Nations peacekeeping operations, including in missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
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