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03 Jan 17. The Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia have agreed to purchase H145M helicopters from Airbus Helicopters. Under the agreed terms, Serbian Air Force and Police will receive nine latest generation helicopters to conduct different missions such as transport, search-and-rescue (SAR), combat, medical evacuation, surveillance and security. The deal is in line with the country’s modernisation plan, under which Serbia will also receive aircraft and equipment from Russia, reported Reuters. The deal also covers associated logistic support, including spare parts, tools and documentation. Airbus will also take responsibility to maintain and repair the helicopters being purchased by Serbia. Additionally, the agreement includes equipping, training and certification of ‘Moma Stanojlovic’ aeronautical plant as centre for maintenance of Gazelle helicopters, as well as Moma inclusion in Airbus Helicopters overhaul network, the defence ministry said in a statement. It also includes support to Serbian manufacturing plants and R&D institution in order to obtain relevant qualifications and certifications, combined with seeking of opportunities for engagement of Serbian industrial capabilities and procurement of its goods and services, the statement said. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

04 Jan 17. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, has been awarded a $56,656,833 undefinitized contract action order (0034) to an existing basic ordering agreement (FA8620-15-G-4040) for the Spain MQ-9 Exportable Block 5 Procurement program. Contractor will provide MQ-9 aircraft and its associated equipment. Work will be performed at Poway, California, and is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2019. This contract is 100 percent foreign military sales to Spain. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

04 Jan 17. QinetiQ has placed an order with Pilatus for two PC-21 aircraft, marking the first step in its modernisation of the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) aircraft fleet. The contract, won by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd in competition, is the first awarded by QinetiQ in delivering its programme to modernise training for test pilots and aircrew. The programme is part of a £1bn deal with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), announced on 2 December 2016, under which QinetiQ and MOD have agreed to invest £85m in the school to reduce operating costs and enhance its capabilities to drive future growth. The two PC-21 turboprop aircraft will be based at MOD Boscombe Down, Salisbury, UK, where they will carry out duties currently supported by ETPS Hawks and Alpha Jets. Students flying the PC-21 will be taught flight test techniques by ETPS instructors, including assessment of aircraft performance, handling and systems such as advanced cockpit displays and simulated weapons.

05 Jan 17. Thales to equip the French forces with Spy’Ranger mini reconnaissance UAVs.
Thales’s latest-generation Spy’Ranger mini surveillance and reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has been chosen by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to equip the French forces. Up to 70 mini-UAV reconnaissance systems (SMDR) will be made available from 2018. Each system consists of three mini-UAVs, a ground segment and the associated technical support.
* Starting in 2018, Thales will provide French forces up to 210 mini reconnaissance UAVs.
* The Spy’Ranger is the new ‘eye in the sky’ for the combined arms tactical group, able to be operated in a standalone mode or connected to a C4I system.
The Spy’Ranger is specifically tailored to the needs of the Armed forces, as well as to those of essential operators.

05 Jan 17. Ultra Electronics’ Command and Sonar Systems sonobuoy facility has secured a contract extension for the delivery and production of sonobuoys for the UK Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk2 maritime patrol helicopter fleet. Based in Greenf

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