Aviation News. 05.2018

(Axel Boer) #1

Russia Sends

Su-57s to Syria
Two Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter
prototypes have been sent to Hmeymim air
base in Syria’s Latakia province by Russia.
The pair arrived on February 21, escorted by
a Su-30SM or Su-35. It is unclear whether
the deployment was related to on-going test
and evaluation of the aircraft, but since it
coincided with the Defender of the Fatherland
Day military parade at Hmeymim it may have
been for ceremonial purposes.
Earlier in the month, deputy defence
minister Yuri Borisov announced the Su-
57 had completed its first stage of flight
acceptance tests flown by contractor test
pilots, and the defence ministry was close
to signing a contract for a batch of 12 pre-
production Su-57s. Nine flying prototypes
are currently undergoing tests (T-50-1 to
T-50-6, and T-50-8, -9 and -11); the latest,
T-50-11, first flew last August 6. The first two
pre-production Su-57s could enter Russian
service in 2019, according to Borisov.

King Air 350

Enters RNZAF

Beechcraft King Air 350i VH-ZPE, the
first of four examples being leased to the
RNZAF under the Aircrew Training Capability
programme, has been delivered. The aircraft
arrived at RNZAF Base Ohakea on March
24 – it had first been ferried from the US
to Sydney-Bankstown Airport, Australia,
where it arrived on August 15 last year. On
November 26 it flew to Hawker Pacific’s
facility in Cairns and was painted in an
overall charcoal grey military scheme.
It was then registered to Hawker Pacific
as VH-ZPE on December 18, and on March
23 left Cairns for Brisbane before continuing
the next day via Lord Howe Island to
Ohakea. Dave Allport

Russian manufacturer Ilyushin has delivered
the first series production upgraded Il-
76MD-M transport aircraft for the Russian
Federation Air and Space Force, it was
announced on March 13. Aircraft RF-
made its first flight after modernisation on
February 28, 2016, before extensive air
testing, latterly at Zhukovsky, near Moscow.
Work on an eventual total of 30 aircraft will
continue in accordance with the nation’s
armaments programme.
The defence ministry signed a contract
with Ilyushin in August 2013 to extensively

modernise the air force’s Il-76MD and Il-78M
tankers to extend their service life by 15 years,
replace older apparatus and provide modern
navigation and communications equipment.
The improvements used elements of the
new-production Il-76MD-90A and Il-78M-90A
variants, for maximum commonality, while the
D-30KP engines have also been modified for
longer life. Dave Allport

More Typhoons for Saudi?

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,
Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud,
signed a memorandum of intent (MOI)
during a meeting with UK defence
secretary Gavin Williamson that paves
the way for a purchase of 48 additional
Eurofighter Typhoons. The MOI was
signed at RAF Northolt, London, during
meetings that took place over three

days starting on March 6.
Saudi ordered 72 Tranche 2 Typhoons
in 2007. The first 24 were built by BAE
Systems at Warton facility, after which
it was intended the remaining 48 would
be constructed in Saudi Arabia by the
Alsalam Aircraft Company. In the event,
the co-production deal foundered, and all
72 aircraft were built in the UK.

http://www.aviation-news.co.uk 7

First Production Il-76MD-M Arrives

Ilyushin Il-76MD-M RF-76746 – the first series
production example – which has now been
handed over to the Russian defence ministry.

The Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at NAS Fallon, Nevada has
painted F/A-18C Hornet 164646/37 in a new scheme. The centre develops naval aviation tactics
and maintains a number of adversary aircraft that are flown by the instructors to simulate
‘hostile’ fighters. Tom Gibbons

New Aggressor Scheme

at NAS Fallon

Farewell 829 NAS
The Royal Navy has decommissioned 829
NAS at RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall. The
unit provided Merlin HM2 helicopters for
the service’s Type 23 frigates. Crews and
aircraft have been transferred to 814 NAS as
part of changes to the Maritime Merlin Force
based at the station.
The Maritime Merlin Force’s 820 NAS
will provide aircraft for the carriers, with 814
NAS responsible for the small ships’ flights
on board Type 45 destroyers and Type 23
frigates, Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels and
shore-based detachments. Operational
training will remain the preserve of 824
NAS, and 849 NAS will continue to operate
the Sea King ASaC7 until later this year.
David Billinge

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