Category: Commercial Pilot Maneuvers Requirements

Turkey Begins Assembly Of Hürjet National Jet Trainer Prototype

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The first fuselage of the Hürjet training aircraft. (Photo: SavunmaSanayiST.com)

The TAI Hürjet is scheduled to fly for the first time in 2023 and will replace the ageing T-38 and F-5 jets.

Over the last decade, Turkey has put great attention on its national aerospace industry, starting many ambitious programs for different types of aircraft, including unmanned ones. One of these programs is the Hürjet, an advanced jet training and light attack aircraft launched in 2017 and developed with the Turkish Aerospace Industries’ (TAI) own resources and the first completely developed in Turkey. Now, the Hürjet prototype entered the assembly phase, with videos showing the front section of the fuselage in the works at TAI’s facilities.

The company is planning the rollout of this first prototype by the end of the year, followed by the first flight on Mar. 18, 2023, coinciding with celebrations for the 108th anniversary of the Çanakkale Naval Victory (WWI Gallipoli campaign). Current plans involve the construction of two flying prototypes, as well as other two for ground static and fatigue testing. According to the images shared online, at least two fuselages are currently in the works.

As the mockup and promotional material show, Hürjet is a single engine, single tail, tandem-seat aircraft. The structure of the two engine air inlets, on the sides of the fuselage, goes all the way to the tail, acting also as main landing gear housing and horizontal tail planes support. Six weapon stations are visible, including the two wingtip rails, to allow the use as light fighter aircraft. The mockup was shown with different types of smart bombs, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and external fuel tanks.

The design is not final however, as there are two variants to accommodate two different engines, the General Electric F404-GE-102 and the Eurojet EJ200. The EJ200-powered variant required revised air inlets with an enlarged section and required further wind tunnel testing. At the time of the Critical Design Review last year, the final engine was still unknown and both options were evaluated. According to some sources, the engine that will power the prototype should be the F404.

A possible confirmation of the F404 engine comes from the aircraft specifications, which show a thrust of 17,600 lb. The aircraft has about the same size of other comparable trainers, with a length of 13.6 meters and a wingspan of 9.5 meters. TAI reports a service ceiling of 45,000 ft, max speed of Mach 1.4, range of 1200 nm, and load factors between +8G and -3G, with sustained turns of 5.5G at 15,000 ft and less than Mach 0.9. Other unconfirmed data are a stall speed of 102 KCAS and takeoff distance of about 1000 ft.

Among the jet’s features, the company mentions carefree handling with high AoA (angle of attack) controllability, a full authority, Digital Fly-by-Wire Flight Control System, aerial refueling capability, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for autonomous operations, full glass cockpit with Head-up Display (HUD), Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), State-of-the-art HMI (Human-Machine Interface), NVIS (Night Vision Imaging System) compatibility, datalinks and Embedded Tactical Training & Live Virtual Constructive Training systems.

- Turkey Begins Assembly Of Hürjet National Jet Trainer PrototypeAn artistic representation of the Hürjet. (Photo: TAI)

The jet is being developed for multiple roles, Including Advanced , Lead-In Fighter Trainer, Adversary Aircraft (Aggressor), Aerobatic Demonstration Aircraft, Light Attack and Air Policing. Interestingly, Turkey’s Head of Defence Industry Presidency, Prof. Ismail Demir, stated that there are plans in the works to adapt the Hürjet as an aircraft carrier-compatible aircraft to be deployed on the Turkish Navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Anadolu.

Even if the main focus of the program is to replace the aging 68 T-38Ms Advanced Jet Trainers and 12 NF-5s of the Turkish Stars Aerobatic Team, Turkey is wishing to use the Hürkus also to lessen the burden off the F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet for the Close Air Support missions. Also, TAI is looking at the export market for both the trainer and light fighter aircraft roles as a potential alternative to other aircraft like the Leonardo M-346 or the KAI/Lockheed Martin T-50. An offer for 18 aircraft in a light fighter role has already been submitted to Malaysia.

The plans appear to be pretty ambitious but we need to wait for the “final product” to be available to assess its full potential. In fact, while having significant experience in various fields, including the design, development and production of a wide array of pretty successful drones as well as in the licensed production of various types, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon jets and the CASA/IPTN CN-235 light transport/maritime patrol/surveillance aircraft, a fully indigenous advanced design (or a modern generation fighter) may represent a completely different endeavour.

Anyway, TAI is undergoing a rapid expansion, with new facilities inaugurated few days ago to support a multitude of needs, like the Composite Production Building, Space Systems Engineering Center, Factory-Level Component Maintenance and Control Center, and an Engineering Center dedicated to the National Combat Aircraft, the TF-X.

The TF-X, an indigenous 5th gen design, is being designed to replace the F-16 in the 2030s. The first mockup, highly reminiscent of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II of the aircraft was unveiled in 2019, while the roll-out is scheduled for 2023 and the first flight by 2025. Not much is known, other than an expected top speed of Mach 1.8, service ceiling of 55,000 ft and 58,000 lb of thrust provided by two F110 engines. According to rumors, the aircraft might even feature a mix of Turkish, Russian and US tech.

Another indigenous program that is already in an advanced status is the Hürkuş, a turboprop trainer developed from the KAI KT-1 designed to replace the T-37 Tweet. The aircraft flew for the first time in 2013, entering service a year later to become the Turkish Air Force’s primary basic training aircraft. Hürkuş is enjoying some export success too, with an order from Niger and strong interest by Azerbaijan.

TAI has heavily invested also in the helicopter sector, developing the T625 Gökbey utility helicopter. The first prototype flew in 2018 and recently a fourth prototype has been unveiled. The helicopter is intended to be used for a wide range of missions and scenarios, for both civilian and military markets, with a MTOW of 6 tonnes and space for up to 12 passengers. Serial production and deliveries are scheduled to start this year, with the first helicopters going to the Gendarmerie.

Last but not least is one of the most known Turkish programs, the T129 ATAK. The attack helicopter, developed from the Italian-made Leonardo AW129 Mangusta with Turkish avionics, weapons and airframe modifications, was a response to the requirement for a new tactical reconnaissance and attack helicopter for the Turkish armed forces. The helicopter, which is now completely different from the Mangusta, is now in widespread service in the Turkish Army and Gendarmerie, with orders also from Philippines and Pakistan.

H/T to for the heads-up!

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Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

First Completely New Russian Tu-160M Bomber Makes First Flight

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The first newly built Tu-160M during its maiden flight on Jan. 12, 2022. (Image credit: UAC)

The brand new Tupolev Tu-160M ‘White Swan’ strategic missile-carrying bomber performed its debut flight.

A completely new Tupolev Tu-160M bomber performed its debut flight on Jan. 12, 2022, the Press Office of the state tech corporation Rostec announced.

“On January 12, the first newly-built Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bomber performed its debut flight from the aerodrome of the Kazan Aviation Enterprise, a subsidiary of the Tupolev Company [part of the United Aircraft Corporation within Rostec], on January 12,” the press office said.

The maiden flight of the “White Swan” (as the Tu-160 is nicknamed by the Russian pilots) lasted about 30 minutes and saw the bomber fly at 600 and conduct maneuvers used to inspect the aircraft’s stable and controlled operations in the air.

The Tupolev Tu-160 is a supersonic strategic missile-carrier with a variable sweep wing. The decision to resume the production of the upgraded version of the Tu-160, the Tu-160M, was made in 2015.

As a consequence, two existing Tu-160s were upgraded to the Tu-160M ​​standard under a contract with the Ministry of Defense. Overall, 15 airframes should be upgraded. The aircraft that first flew on Jan. 12, 2022 is the first newly build airframe under a contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade out of ten advanced Tu-160M2 aircraft which will be produced for the Russian Aerospace Forces.

The new Tu-160M2 version, includes a glass cockpit, weapons upgrades, new engines and the removal of obsolete equipment no longer relevant to the Tu-160’s mission. According to the CEO of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Yury Slyusar, the new aircraft has 80% of its systems and equipment upgraded. The original Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack” first flew in 1981 and entered service in 1987.

The first flight of the first deeply modified Tu-160 (designated Tu-160M2), built from backlog airframe took place on Feb. 2, 2020 and lasted 2 hours and 34 minutes.

On Nov. 3, 2020, the first “fundamentally upgraded strategic bomber” flew from Kazan, Russia, powered by the new NK-32-02 engines . The United Aircraft Corporation said that during the flight the upgraded general systems and onboard radio-electronic equipment were tested and the performance of the new engine NK-32 of the 02 series assessed.

At the moment, we can’t but notice that the new Tu-160 is often referred to as Tu-160M and M2. If any, the difference between M and M2 variants is not clear.

A big Thank You to our friend Alex Snow for helping us with some details of this story!

f5260c1a4f5417527329915544c2932f?s=125&d=mm&r=g - First Completely New Russian Tu-160M Bomber Makes First Flight
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

Here’s What the Massive An-225’s Wake Turbulence Does To Fog

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A screenshot of the video embedded in the story showing the landing of the Mriya at Rzeszów on Jan. 9, 2022. (Image credit: Marcin Bobro)

Watch the effect of the giant Antonov An-225 Mriya on fog during final approach.

The only Antonov An-225 strategic airlift cargo aircraft made its fifth landing at the Rzeszów airport in Poland on Sunday Jan. 9, 2022. The aircraft damaged its landing gear during the touchdown.

“On January 9, 2022, while the AN-225 aircraft landing at Rzeszów airport, Poland, on a starboard main landing gear strut the bolts fixing the landing gear position sensor “flight-ground” were damaged. The detected malfunction did not affect the safety of flight and landing of aircraft. After replacement of the damaged bolts, the aircraft will be fully operational. The AN-225 will continue its commercial flight,” an official Antonov company release said.

Antonov’s maintainers came to Rzeszów flying an An-26, and proceeded  with the necessary repairs.

The Antonov An-225 Mriya (NATO reporting name: Cossack) was designed at the end of Cold War. The main purpose of the aircraft was to carry the Soviet “Buran” space shuttle and parts of the “Energia” rocket on its back.

The aircraft landed at Rzeszów to bring aluminum castings ordered by a company located in Lesser Poland. Mriya is regularly engaged in transport operations, bringing goods ordered by Polish businesses from China.

Konrad Wołos Director for the Operations at the Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport, speaking to Radio Rzeszów, said that it is not a major challenge for the airport to accommodate an aircraft of this size, as the Rzeszów airport has hosted the An-124 Ruslan multiple times in the past.

The video below gives one an insight into the massive wake turbulence that the An-225 creates. Flying the short final, the aircraft simply cleared the fog behind it, creating a big “hole in the sky”. The Antonov, together with the Airbus A380-800, belongs to the FAA’s Super-Heavy weight class – Code J for the FAA Aircraft Weight Class Table.

Here’s what we wrote about the wake turbulence in a previous post on the An-225 we posted at The Aviationist:

Generally speaking, wake turbulence is a disturbance in the atmosphere that forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. It is made of various components, the most important of which are jetwash and wingtip vortices.

Wingtip vortices form because of the difference in pressure between the upper and lower surfaces of a wing. When the air leaves the trailing edge of the wing, the air stream from the upper surface is inclined to that from the lower surface, and helical paths, or vortices, result. The vortex is strongest at the tips and decreasing rapidly to zero nearing midspan: at a short distance from the trailing edge downstream, the vortices roll up and combine into two distinct cylindrical vortices that constitute the “tip vortices.”

The tip vortices trail back from the wing tips and they have a tendency to sink and roll toward each other downstream of the wing. Although they eventually dissipate at a certain distance from the wing, wingtip vortices cause additional downflow behind the wing and form the major component of wake turbulence that can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, there is a number of separation criteria for take-off, landing and en-route phases of flight based upon Wake turbulence categories. ATC (Air Traffic Control) agencies sequence aircraft departing or landing regard to these minima and aircraft making a visual approach are advised of the relevant recommended spacing and are expected to maintain their own separation.

Needless to say, the greater the size of the aircraft, the more intense the wake turbulence it generates. This turbulence can be so severe to make an aircraft flying nearby or in the path of a larger one, crash.

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Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

USMC F-35Cs Have Departed For The First Operational Deployment Aboard USS Abraham Lincoln

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PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 3, 2022) F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, arrive aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as they prepare to deploy alongside the Navy as an integrated part of Carrier Strike Group 3. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, led by Carrier Strike Group 3, deployed from San Diego, Jan. 3, in support of global maritime security operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1stLt. Charles Allen)

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing becomes the first Marine squadron to deploy the F-35C on an aircraft carrier.

The F-35C Lightning II of the U.S. Marine Corps reached yet another milestone, with the type leaving for the first operational deployment aboard an aircraft carrier. The F-35s of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 “Black Knights”, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, arrived on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) on January 3, 2022, together with the other squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing Nine.  The USS Lincoln is leaving San Diego with Carrier Strike Group 3 to head for the Pacific Ocean.

“The Black Knight’s deployment of F-35C Lightning II aboard USS Abraham Lincoln is the newest chapter in the Marine Corps’ long history of naval integration,” said Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, 3rd MAW commanding general. The upcoming deployment represents years of hard work and innovation by the Marines and Sailors of VMFA-314, MAG-11, and 3rd MAW. It also reinforces our commitment to fielding the most lethal and ready Navy-Marine Corps force as we project warfighting capabilities throughout the Indo-Pacific region, or globally wherever our nation calls.”

The Marines consider the capability to deploy operationally the F-35C significant as it was specifically built for aircraft carrier operations, as well as enhancing the battlespace awareness of all aircraft in the Carrier Air Wing, contributing to a flexible, mobile force that expands the US military advantage at sea. This is especially true in a contested maritime region like the Pacific Ocean, where the presence of the 5th gen fighter aircraft might contribute to the regional stability while providing security for the US and allies.

“Our ability to operate the F-35C in the Pacific greatly increases the Marine Corps’ naval expeditionary force capabilities by providing us the capacity to employ the most advanced electronic warfare capabilities on any aircraft today in support of fleet operations,” said Lt. Col. Brendan M. Walsh, VMFA-314 commanding officer. “In addition, having this asset available greatly increases the Marine Corps’ ability to provide security to our allied nations and preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The 3rd MAW has also demonstrated the F-35’s long-range aerial maritime strike capabilities last summer during Exercise Summer Fury 21. During the exercise, which is the largest Marine aviation exercise on the West Coast, the Wing’s F/A-18C Hornets and F-35s flew from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar to Washington State, a distance of more than one thousand miles, to deliver long-range precision fires on a simulated enemy naval surface combatant in a distributed, maritime environment.

- USMC F-35Cs Have Departed For The First Operational Deployment Aboard USS Abraham LincolnFile photo of U.S. Marines F-35C Lightning IIs with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 over Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in 2020. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Leilani Cervantes)

“The Summer Fury long-range strike is an opportunity for 3rd MAW to execute a maritime strike against an enemy surface combatant while being supported by an aerial-delivered forward arming and refueling point,” said Lt. Col. Duncan A. French, 3rd MAW lead operations planner. “The concepts and tasks inherent in this mission are critical to the success of a fight against a peer adversary.”

The first operational deployment of the F-35C comes as a culminating effort as VMFA-314 completed its workups last year with Carrier Air Wing Nine on board the USS Abraham Lincoln. The last step off the workups saw VMFA-314 completing their final integrated training cycle along other elements of Carrier Strike Group Three in December as the Marine Corps continues to develop its 5th Generation strike fighter capabilities.

The development of the USMC’s is 5th Generation strike fighter capabilities to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving future operating environment is still ongoing, as VMFA-314 became the first squadron in the Marine Corps to declare the Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the F-35C Lightning II in July 2021. VMFA-314 was the first Marine Corps squadron to transition to the F-35C variant of the Joint Strike Fighter after retiring its legacy F/A-18A/C aircraft and receiving its first F-35C in January 2020 from Naval Air Station Lemoore and declared the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by the end of the year.

The Abraham Lincoln Combat Strike Group is led by the command staff of CSG 3 and consists of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, Carrier Air Wing 9, the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and the guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 21 (DESRON 21) – USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sampson (DDG 102) and USS Spruance (DDG 111). This is also the first time in the U.S. Navy history that a woman, Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, has been assigned the command of an aircraft carrier and will lead it on an operational deployment.

The Carrier Air Wing Nine includes eight squadrons: Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 “Black Knights”, flying F-35Cs; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 “Tophatters” and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 “Vigilantes”, flying F/A-18E Super Hornets; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41 “Black Aces”, flying F/A-18F Super Hornets; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 “Wizards”, flying EA-18G Growlers; Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 117 “Wallbangers”, flying E-2D Hawkeyes; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14 “Chargers”, flying MH-60S Knight Hawks Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 “Raptors”, flying MH-60R Sea Hawks.

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Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

F-35 Has Taken Over The QRA Role From F-16 In Norway

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One of the RNoAF F-35A in QRA at Evenes. (All images RNoAF)

The Transfer Of Authority of the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) to the F-35 ended the F-16’s mission after 42 years.

On Jan. 6, 2022, the Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A Lightning II officially took over the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) mission in Norway from the F-16 fleet.

The formal TOA (Transfer Of Authority) from the F-16AM/BM to the F-35A took place at Evenes Air Base in northern Norway, further north of Bodø air base, that has hosted the QRA cell until now. Evenes will be the RNoAF’s most important base in the north, as an advanced base for the F-35 fleet as well as the main operating base for the P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft.

At Evenes, the RNoAF also has an air defense battalion and a base defense squadron that together will protect the airport. In addition, a number of support functions have been established at Evenes: by 2025, about 500 employees and 300 conscripts will work at the base.

- F-35 Has Taken Over The QRA Role From F-16 In NorwayOne of the RNoAF F-35A at Evenes.

As highlighted by NATO in a public statement, the TOA marked a historical milestone for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Royal Norwegian Air Force, as it ended the F-16 fleet’s 42 year-long mission serving Norway and NATO. While not on a 24/7/365 basis, the Norwegian F-35A were already taking part in the QRA mission.

The first Norwegian F-35 landed in Norway at Ørland Air Station in November 2017. Work started immediately with operational testing and evaluation,  to be ready to be able to stand on QRA from Evenes in 2022. The Norwegian F-35As achieved the IOC (Initial Operational Capability) on November 6, 2019, becoming the third European country to reach IOC with the F-35 after Italy and the UK. Since then, the Lightning have carried out two deployments in support of Icelandic Air Policing in Iceland (in 2020 and 2021), as well as domestic QRA from Ørland Air Station.

Full Operational Capability is expected to be achieved in 2025, with a fleet of 52 F-35A.

As already explained multiple times here at The Aviationist, Norwegian F-35s are unique compared to other nations’ F-35s as they are the only ones at the moment to use a drag chute during landing, housed in a special fairing on the upper rear fuselage between the vertical tails. The drag chute was installed so that it can be used to rapidly decelerate Norwegian F-35s after landing on icy runways under windy conditions. Indeed, the TOA ceremony on Jan. 6, 2022, at Evenes airport had to be shortened because of the heavy snowfall with little visibility…

According to the official F35.com website, the pod “distinguishes Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Belgian F-35As from other F-35s,” although the system is at the moment used only by the RNoAF jets.

The system is designed as a wing pylon so that the pod can be installed and removed with minimal time and effort. The pod contains the drag chute system that rapidly decelerates the F-35s after landing on the country’s short, icy runways. The pod is specifically designed to minimize effect on radar cross section and ensure the aircraft maintains stealth characteristics while flying.

Akin to the conventional parachute, the F-35 drag chute system is a device used to slow the motion of the F-35A and provide control and stability for pilots. The chute creates aerodynamic drag also known as air resistance. The F-35A drag chute uses the force of wind pushing in the opposite direction of the motion of the aircraft to safely land on short, wet and icy runways.

To deploy the chute, the pilot flips a switch up on the upper left side of the instrument panel. The switch activates hydraulic actuators that open the pod to release a Kevlar parachute. Once the aircraft is slowed sufficiently, the pilot flips the same switch down to release the drag chute as the aircraft comes to a stop.

- F-35 Has Taken Over The QRA Role From F-16 In NorwayF-35A taxiing at Evenes.

f5260c1a4f5417527329915544c2932f?s=125&d=mm&r=g - F-35 Has Taken Over The QRA Role From F-16 In Norway
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

Let’s Talk About The Israel Air Industries Loitering Munitions And What They’re Capable Of

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A Harop loitering munition is launched from canisters installed on a truck. (All images: IAI)

Loitering munitions are becoming increasingly common in modern conflicts, providing benefits over classic munitions but also some ethical questions.

Modern conflicts are continuously evolving, and so are the technologies employed on the battlefield. One of the advanced technologies that is being increasingly seen in action during the most recent conflicts is the loitering munition. Loitering munitions, often defined as suicide drones, are precision weapons, usually with Man In The Loop (MITL) guidance, which can loiter for a certain time over a defined area while looking for a target to attack.

According to many opinions, loitering munitions can fit in the niche between cruise missile and Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles with some important differences from both, as these systems are designed to loiter for relatively long time compared to a cruise missile and the entire asset is expended in the attack compared to a UCAV (hence the term suicide drone). The first munitions of this kind emerged in the 1980s/1990s to be used against air defense systems during Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD/DEAD) missions.

Loitering munitions brought us from a one missile to one target ratio to a many to many ratio. In fact, while classic missiles are launched to one precise target whose position is already known, loitering munitions can be launched even if the target location is unknown, they just need a “killbox” where they might find multiple targets and choose one suitable for the attack. This makes them ideal for time sensitive pop-up targets that needs to be attacked immediately and can’t wait for a missile to be launched on preplanned coordinates.

One of the companies that pioneered the development of loitering munitions is IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries), with more than 35 years of experience in this sector. The development was started inside the company’s missile branch, before the creation of the Loitering Munitions Division. The company, in fact, refers to these munitions as missiles instead of drones, as the entire asset is a weapon and the capabilities which are similar to UAVs are only secondary and meant to assist the Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage, Assess kill chain.

IAI  first developed the Harpy, an autonomous anti-radiation loitering munition for SEAD/DEAD missions. Later the Harpy was joined by the Harop, which swapped its fully autonomous guidance for a Man In The Loop guidance and the anti-radiation sensor for an Electro-Optical/InfraRed (EO/IR) sensor. These two are very relevant systems in the tactical arena, designed to locate, track and destroy high quality static and mobile targets on a larger scale.

Harpy and Harop were later joined by their “little brothers” Mini Harpy and Green Dragon, designed to provide significant situational awareness and firepower in a compact envelope to small ground units and special operations forces. An even smaller one is Rotem, a lightweight and compact loitering munition based on a light multi-rotor platform and designed to be employed by just one operator to perform squad-level ISR and attack missions.

- Let’s Talk About The Israel Air Industries Loitering Munitions And What They’re Capable OfArtistic rendition of a Harpy NG anti-radiation loitering munition.

Let’s talk about these systems in detail. As we said, the first one to be developed was Harpy and, through various upgrades, it has now evolved in the Harpy NG (New Generation), which shares the same planform of the Harop and is designed to counter the most recent air defense threats thanks to the new Anti-Radiation Seeker. The upgraded variant features an extension of the radio frequencies analyzed and better flying characteristics, including longer loiter time, extended range, higher altitude.

Harpy is a “Fire and Forget” autonomous weapon, programmed on the ground and launched from canisters normally mounted on trucks at standoff ranges. Immediately after the rocket assisted launch, the munition unfolds its wings and activates its piston engine with a two-blade pusher propeller that can take it up to a top speed of 225 kts and a maximum altitude of 15,000 ft which.

The missile then performs autonomous flight to a pre-defined “Loitering Area”, in which they orbit while searching for radiating targets. The “signature” of these targets is compared with a preprogrammed database of known air defense systems and, once the target is confirmed, Harpy begins the dive that will lead to the accurate destruction of the radar system. The high precision and the warhead allow the total destruction of the radar target.

This way, Harpy can effectively perform SEAD/DEAD missions suppressing hostile air defenses for hours while autonomously searching, identifying, acquiring, attacking and destroying enemy radar emitting threats. Emitting is an important word in the last sentence, as if the enemy radar is turned off and does not emit signals, the attack is automatically aborted. IAI also emphasizes Harpy’s vertical attack capabilities, as most air defense systems have a blindspot right above their position where they can’t physically detect and/or engage targets.

Harop is very similar to Harpy but very different at the same time. They share the planform, launch canisters, the Ground Control Shelter and pretty much all the training and logistics. However, it is not limited to just SEAD/DEAD missions, as it replaces the anti-radiation sensor with an ElectroOptical/InfraRed (EO/IR) sensor and the autonomous targeting capability with a Man In The Loop guidance, enabled by a two-way data link that allows about a 200 km range.

Harop has the capability to attack any high-value and time-sensitive targets, following all the steps of the killchain. As Harpy, Harop is programmed to fly autonomously after launch to a loiter area, with the operator in the MCS periodically checking the munition’s position and status. When controlling multiple Harops, the operator has the ability to select one munition for target search and attack, while the others are monitored.

The operator can direct the selected Harop to the target area and use the video feed to select a target and to initiate the attack. The munition then dives on the target, detonating the warhead upon impact and another one can be rerouted to perform the Battle Damage Assessment if needed. Like Harpy, if the target doesn’t meet anymore the conditions for the attack before the impact, the attack can be aborted and the operator can reuse the same loitering munition for other targets during the nine-hour loiter time.

Harop has a warhead of 15 kg that can be used in a wide range of battle scenarios, including low and high intensity conflict, urban warfare and counter terror operations. The latter two scenarios are greatly benefiting from the abort capability, as it allows to avoid collateral damage, as well as the capability to attack from any direction and at any angle, from flat to vertical, both stationary and moving targets. The high-performance color CCD EO seeker with 360 degrees hemispherical coverage allows the maximum precision on target, with a circular error probability of less than one meter.

- Let’s Talk About The Israel Air Industries Loitering Munitions And What They’re Capable OfArtistic rendition of a Green Dragon loitering munition launched from ship-mounted canisters.

Harop has also a maritime variant, which provides an operational solution for a range of naval vessels, from offshore patrol vessels to frigates, and gives mission commanders the capability to collect intelligence, assess and strike targets both at sea or on land and at a long-range. The use of the loitering munition on naval platforms is considered an operational alternative and complementary element to employing sea-sea missiles, with a wide range of uses.

The differences of the maritime variant are limited and include some changes meant to endure the salty and corrosive marine environment and adjustments to the communication channels of the loitering munition, as the radio communications over the sea present unique problems due to the distance from land and the lack of relays that could “bounce” the signal sent from the ship to Harop, as well as the fact that the source of the command and control signal is constantly moving.

Both Harop and Harpy are not designed to be recovered, as the addition of a landing gear or parachute system would have increased the complexity and costs of the munition, as well as the weight which in turn would have led to a reduction of the flight characteristics. A simple landing gear, mounted externally, was only used during testing to allow the recovery of the prototypes for further study.

Let’s talk about the smaller brothers of Harpy and Harop. Green Dragon is a tactical, low-cost loitering munition designed to provide small ground units and special operations forces with significant situational awareness and firepower in a compact solution. Like the larger munitions we already mentioned, Green Dragon is stored, transported and launched from a sealed canister, with as many as 12-16 units carried on a light vehicle and launched upon request.

Green Dragon is designed to be easily operated and controlled from a tablet-sized electronic control panel with a tactical low-power data link to the loitering munition. The datalink allows “Non-Line of Sight” (NLOS) and “Over the Hill” operations, extending the reach of the ground troops and enabling the strike of distant or geographically concealed targets without line-of-sight. The EO/IR sensor allows Green Dragon to collect visual intelligence of the surrounding areas and locate, acquire and dive on operator designated targets.

The capabilities are pretty much the same of Harop, but on a smaller scale. The range and loiter time provided by its silent electrical motor are reduced to 50 km and up to two hours, respectively, and the warhead is of just 3 kg, but the MITL guidance is still highly accurate and allows a CEP better than 1 m. The Green Dragon operator also has the same built-in “abort and go around” capability of the larger Harop to prevent unnecessary collateral damage or mistaken targeting, as well as the capability to employ the full range from shallow to vertical attack angles.

- Let’s Talk About The Israel Air Industries Loitering Munitions And What They’re Capable OfArtistic rendition of a Mini Harpy dual-guided loitering munition.

A further enhancement in capabilities comes with Mini Harpy, which adds an anti-radiation sensor to a larger Green Dragon’s airframe becoming a loitering munition with Dual EO/IR and Anti-Radiation seeker guidance. This way, the munition provides tactical forces with the ability to suppress the area of interest for long duration and to strike immediately both emitting and non-emitting targets, effectively combining the capabilities of IAI’s two flagship loitering missiles, Harop and Harpy.

Mini Harpy can be launched from a broad range of mobile land platforms as well as marine platforms, sharing this capability with both the larger Harop and Green Dragon. There are also provisions for this munition to be air-launched, with a particular focus on combat helicopters that could greatly benefit from this capability. As for the other munitions, Mini Harpy is programmed before launch to fly to a designated loiter area, with the operator checking its status enroute and taking control for the target search.

Being equipped with two seekers, the missile can perform the targeting either fully autonomously, when using the anti-radiation seeker against emitting targets, or through the MITL guidance, when using the EO/IR sensor against non-emitting targets. In either case, the operator has control of Mini Harpy up to the last moment, including the abortion of the attack at any stage and the following recovery maneuver to return the missile to the loiter orbit for another attack run.

The last, but not least loitering munition, is completely different from the ones we just mentioned. In fact, the smallest munition in IAI’s portfolio is Rotem, a tactical system based on a lightweight and compact multi-rotor platform that is designed to be assembled in seconds and operated by a single soldier in the field. The munition is capable of lethal precision strikes both on stationary and mobile targets with same abort capability of the larger munitions and is fully recoverable.

Rotem is considered to be the first combat-proven Vertical Take-Off & Landing (VTOL) Tactical Loitering Munition already used in operations by several militaries. The extremely versatile platform can perform both squad-level ISR and attack missions with minimal planning and operational focus from the operator. The tactical kit is designed to fit in a normal backpack containing two aerial vehicles with all the required gear to allow an operational unit to use it organically as a part of their standard gear.

- Let’s Talk About The Israel Air Industries Loitering Munitions And What They’re Capable OfThe Rotem tactical kit in the backpacked configuration.

This game-changer small loitering device, based on a quadcopter drone platform, acts as a power multiplier for tactical forces in a range of scenarios, providing reconnaissance and attack envelope with maximum ease of use. The operator, in fact, can control Rotem via a simple and intuitive operation interface on a touchscreen tablet without distractions from other combat tasks when embedded in a squad.

Moreover, Rotem incorporates a unique safety mechanism that enables its safe return to the operator (if mission is aborted or engagement is not required) for a safe recovery, reloading a reuse in accordance with the MIL-STD-331C standard for the safety, reliability and performance characteristics of weapon system fuzes and the MIL-STD-1316E standard for safety criteria for fuzes and Safety and Arming devices. The operator can also autonomously remove the warhead, composed by two semi-exposed fragmentation grenades, should the attack capability not be required.

The quadcopter platform allows this loitering munition to be highly maneuverable and capable of high angle flank engagements, as well as advanced obstacle avoidance for urban operations in complex terrains. The modularity of Rotem is granted by an open system architecture which enables the integration of a range of IAI sensors and/or effectors, including assault warheads, counter UAS and IED systems, door breacher and target acquisition (EO/IR, COMINT, Fire Detection).

The baseline Rotem is equipped with the explosive warhead and EO/IR sensor, which are used within a 30-minute endurance to support the ground team. The standard backpacked configuration allows the extension of the endurance to 180 minutes with the additional batteries if needed. According to IAI, the quadcopter combines high-end Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) components with the company’s technology for tracking, homing and engagement, lowering the costs.

Many autonomous modes have been added to assist the operator, like the Emergency Return Home, Nav-to-Route, Observation, Attack, Abort and ATOL (Auto Takeoff & Landing). This way the loitering munition can be employed even if the soldier is involved in a firefight, without causing a fatal distraction by diverting the attention from the engagement and reducing the situational awareness, as well as granting an immediate solution during time-critical events like ambushes or sniper attacks.

As we saw in this report, loitering munitions opened the modern warfare to many new possibilities. Nowadays there is more understanding of the benefits provided by these systems, and many militaries are surveying this technology field and acquiring/developing their own loitering munitions. This is especially true after recent events like the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict demonstrated how effective are these munitions in shaping the battlespace, even if they uncovered some ethical issues related to the autonomous target attack capabilities.

The Aviationist would like to thank IAI for the help provided in the preparation of this article, while making sure also that it would not compromise sensitive information that would preclude the safety of any parties involved and of the operators employing these advanced technologies.

1c874047463801220adcba061ba371a3?s=125&d=mm&r=g - Let’s Talk About The Israel Air Industries Loitering Munitions And What They’re Capable Of
Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

South Korean F-35A Performs Belly Landing Due To ‘Avionic System Issues’

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gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== - South Korean F-35A Performs Belly Landing Due To ‘Avionic System Issues’
File photo of the first ROKAF’s F-35A during its first flight in 2018 (Image credit: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Photo by Angel DelCueto)

It’s the first known gear-up landing of an F-35.

An F-35A of the ROKAF (Republic Of Korea Air Force) carried out an emergency landing at 12.51 PM on Jan. 4, 2022, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

According to the report, the 5th generation aircraft was involved in a training mission when an avionic system issues forced the pilot to carry out a gear up landing at Seosan airbase, 151 kilometers southwest of Seoul. The emergency apparently marked the type’s first ever belly landing.

“Before the landing, the Air Force mobilized a fire engine to apply special foam on the runway, which prevented the jet’s fuselage from sustaining any serious damage,” Yonhap reported. While the real extent of the damage to the aircraft has not been revealed, the mishap left the pilot unharmed.

A joint investigation with Lockheed Martin will determine the root cause of the incident; meanwhile, ROKAF will suspend all of its F-35A fighters pending the probe.

The Republic of Korea selected the F-35 at the end of its F-X III fighter acquisition program with the signing of a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) between the U.S. and Korean governments on Sept. 30, 2014. So far, ROKAF has received more than 30 aircraft out of 40 ordered F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant jets. In December 2017, South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration established a process for procuring the 20 additional aircraft, the Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple government sources.

The first F-35A for the ROKAF, known as aircraft AW-1, took flight in Fort Worth, Texas, in March 2018. In the same year, the first F-35A was delivered to Luke AFB, Arizona, for pilot training while in 2019, the first F-35As were delivered to their permanent base in South Korea.

The ROKAF’s 17th Fighter Wing and its two child units, the 151 Fighter Squadron and 152 Fighter Squadron, operate the F-35 out of Cheongju Air Base, southeast of Seoul.

f5260c1a4f5417527329915544c2932f?s=125&d=mm&r=g - South Korean F-35A Performs Belly Landing Due To ‘Avionic System Issues’
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

Pakistan Might Be Getting Chinese J-10 Fighter Aircraft

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A Chinese J-10 during a low-altitude flight. (Photo: Chinese Internet)

Pakistani Interior Minister stated that 25 fighters will be delivered by March to counter Indian Rafales.

After years of rumors, it looks like Pakistan might be getting the Chinese Chengdu J-10 fighter jet for real. On Dec. 29, 2021, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed announced during a public event that the Pakistan Air Force will perform a fly-over for the Republic Day parade on March 23, 2022 with 25 “JS-10” jets newly purchased from China to counter the Dassault Rafale jets bought by India.

The news was first noted in the west by Forbes, as it initially went unnoticed due to being diffused only in the Pakistani regional media. Neither Pakistan nor China confirmed the deal and details about it are very scarce. The variant that will be acquired by the PAF should be the FC-20E, the export variant of the J-10C that, according to the Minister, is “far superior to the Rafale” thanks to the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar and PL-15 dual-pulse long-range air-to-air missiles.

Also, we don’t have precise info about the number of J-10s acquired, as the Minister mentioned 25 aircraft but other sources states that the Pakistan Air Force will receive a total of 36 aircraft to equip two squadrons with 18 each. According to the Minister’s speech, the first squadron will be fully equipped by the Republic Day. While this might seem a very short time for such a large delivery, the fighters might have already been built for the PLAAF and redirected for Pakistan before their delivery happened or the deal might have been signed long time ago and kept secret.

The J-10, also known as Vigorous Dragon, was first offered to Pakistan in 2006, but the negotiations were stalled as the government decided to concentrate resources on the indigenous JF-17 Thunder. In late 2020 it was revealed that Pakistan was still interested in the J-10, and specifically the export variant of the J-10C, called either J-10CE or FC-20E. Some sources claim that Pakistan was working to get its own variant, possibly called J-10CP, but this was not confirmed.

- Pakistan Might Be Getting Chinese J-10 Fighter AircraftA J-10 lands after a training mission with rocket launchers. (Photo: Chinese Internet)

The delta-wing J-10 flew for the first time in 1998, with almost 500 built so far for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. Given its appearance, many believe that the aircraft developed from the Israeli IAI Lavi, with various sources claiming that they had confirmation about the connection between the two aircraft and other denying everything. However, no formal statements have ever been disclosed to address this controversy.

The Lavi, which was designed as a strike fighter aircraft in the same class of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, was planned to become the main fighter aircraft of the Israeli Air Force, however the program was cancelled in 1987, a year after its first flight, due to economic controversy. Much like the J-10, the Lavi had a delta wing design with canards and an air inlet with splitter plate under the fuselage, just below the cockpit.

The J-10 has been upgraded through the years, with the J-10C variant now featuring AESA radar, IRST (Infrared Search and Track) sensor, advanced ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) and an indigenous WS-10 engine to replace the Russian al-31FN engine used by earlier variants. As for the armament, the J-10C is reportedly equipped with PL-10 and PL-15 air-to-air missiles as well as various types of smart air-to-ground weapons. Many of these weapons are also shared by the JF-17.

1c874047463801220adcba061ba371a3?s=125&d=mm&r=g - Pakistan Might Be Getting Chinese J-10 Fighter Aircraft
Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

Check Out This Amazing Video Of German Air Force Tornado Aircraft Flying Low Level Over Afghanistan

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gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== - Check Out This Amazing Video Of German Air Force Tornado Aircraft Flying Low Level Over Afghanistan
Some screenshots of the German Tornado aircraft operating over Afghanistan.

Some really cool footage shows the Tornado aircraft in action during their 3-year deployment to Mazar-i-Sharif.

For 3 years, from 2007 to 2010, a contingent of six German Air Force Tornado IDS aircraft operated over Afghanistan, flying reconnaissance sorties in support of NATO International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) and Resolute Support (RS) missions.

Belonging to the Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 (AG51) “Immelmann” (51st Reconnaissance Wing – renamed, in 2013, as Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 51 – Tactical Air Force Wing 51 and equipped since then with Tornado ECRs) based at Schleswig, the “recce Tornados” were deployed to Mazar-i-Sharif, Northern Afghanistan, and during their operational tour generated more than 50,000 aerial photographs from almost 4,600 reconnaissance sorties across Afghanistan.

The video in this post was filmed back then and provides a glimpse into the life of the Luftwaffe aircrews and their missions over Afghanistan back then.

One of coolest parts of the clip is the take off segment, showing the German Tornado banking hard to the left after rotation and keeping low level to accelerate before zooming at higher altitude (with precautionary release of flares to disguise eventual IR-guided missiles fired from MANPADS – Man Portable Air Defense Systems). Then, there’s plenty of low level flying between the mountains, aerial refueling from U.S. tankers; and, again, low level recovery to Mazar-i-Sharif.

Interestingly, the footage shows the Tornado IDSs carrying the Telelens pod used before the Reccelite was introduced: the old one carried two Zeiss KS153A wet-film optical cameras for missions at altitudes over 2,000 feet.

The German Air Force is believed to operate around 20 of its 35 Tornado ECRs. Initially, the Tornado IDS/ECR were to be replaced entirely by Eurofighters, with the new Eurofighter ECR variant replacing the specialized Tornado ECR. However, under the current plans, Germany intends to replace its fleet of Tornado ECR and IDS aircraft with a mix of 55 Eurofighters, 30 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and 15 E/A-18G Growlers.

H/T to Aljoša Jarc for the heads-up!

f5260c1a4f5417527329915544c2932f?s=125&d=mm&r=g - Check Out This Amazing Video Of German Air Force Tornado Aircraft Flying Low Level Over Afghanistan
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

AW149 Helicopter’s Live Fire Testing Activity With Rockets Caught On Camera

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gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== - AW149 Helicopter’s Live Fire Testing Activity With Rockets Caught On Camera
Some images of the AW149’s live firing activities in Hungary (Credit: Benedek Levente/combatant.blog.hu/)

Interesting footage shows the AgustaWestland AW149 during recent live fire tests in Hungary.

The AgustaWestland AW149 is an advanced, medium-lift multirole military helicopter developed by AgustaWestland, now Leonardo. Equipped with a single pilot NVG compatible low workload ‘glass cockpit’ with four 8” x 10” colour displays and state of the art Human Machine Interface, the AW149  features an open architecture mission system that enables the quick integration of customer specific avionics, mission and weapon systems to carry out a wide variety of missions, such as troop transport; re-supply/external load lift; medical and casualty evacuation; Search and Rescue (SAR) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR); special forces operations; close air support/armed escort; Command and Control (C2); and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

In terms of weaponry, the Italian chopper, that is in service with the Royal Thai Army, was ordered by the Egyptian Navy and is a candidate to replace the RAF’s Puma helicopters as part of the UK’s New Medium Helicopter programme, can carry, internally, 2 x Sniper Rifle (Window) and 2 x 7.62 mm Machine Guns (Window / Cabin Door); and externally, 2x  12.7 mm Gun Pod or 2 x 20 mm Gun Pods; 2 x 2.75” Rocket Launchers (Guided / Unguided) as well as 2x Air Ground To Missile Launchers.

Leonardo S.p.A. did a live fire test trial, with the AW149 helicopter in Hungary earlier this year and our friend Benedek Levente of the combatant.blog.hu blog had a chance to film and shoot the military chopper during the firing activity.

The helicopter, with Italian experimental registration CSX81848 and Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) grey livery, arrived for the first time at the Hungarian Bakony Combat Training Centre and firing range near Veszprém back in September and operated in Hungary for two weeks.

Leonardo worked together during the time with the local company called HM Arzenál Zrt. The hungarian company has the license to maintain, store and inspect live rocket/missile ammunitions. Arzenál did the same job back in 2017 and 2018, when Airbus Helicopters tested the HForce on their H145 helicopters.

The crew did most of the activity on the firing range, and flew there from Pápa air base, which besides a Hungarian military airfield, is also the homebase of the Heavy Airlift Wing. Some of its flying movement during the stay was shown on several flight track applications. Those showed that the AW149 used the PROVA83 callsign during the test phase.

After several days of familiarization flights (Fam Flight) near Pápa and the firing range, the helicopter shot its first 70 mm guided and unguided rockets on the last day of the test. After that it returned to Italy.

CSX81848 eventually came back to Hungary for the second time in November and this time it did fired several 70 mm rockets, including unguided salvos and laser guided rockets. The helo again stayed at Pápa Air base and flew usually midday near Veszprém for the test, when weather permitted and returned during sunset. The AW149 did live firing during hovering, some 3 to 4 kilometers from the target area and in flight as well.

Checkout the following videos of the activities in the Hungarian range filmed by Benedek Levente during the November trials.

f5260c1a4f5417527329915544c2932f?s=125&d=mm&r=g - AW149 Helicopter’s Live Fire Testing Activity With Rockets Caught On Camera
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.
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