Update: Australian Army launches aviation command

by Jon Grevatt

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, are pictured disembarking from a CH-47F Chinook attached to the 5th Aviation Regiment. On 2 December the Australian Army established a new Aviation Command Unit. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian Army launched on 2 December a command unit to optimise its aviation assets and support improved co-ordination across the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, said at a ceremony in Canberra that the new Army Aviation Command (AVNCOMD) will enhance the service's resilience and adaptability, and ensure its training systems are “agile and contemporary”.

He added, “The alignment of army's aviation capability, under its own command, optimises army aviation to better support land, amphibious, and special operations.”

A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) told Janes on 6 December that AVNCOMD comprises three regiments under the 16th Aviation Brigade. These include the 1st Aviation Regiment at Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory, the 5th Aviation Regiment at Lavarack Barracks in Queensland, and the 6th Aviation Regiment at Sydney.

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Boeing rolls out first Poseidon MMA for South Korea

by Gareth Jennings

The first of six Poseidon MMAs for the Republic of Korea Navy was rolled out from the Boeing paint shop on 3 February. (Boeing)

Boeing presented the first of six P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA) for South Korea on 3 February.

Aircraft 921 (tail number 230921, construction number 170023) was rolled out of the Boeing paint shop near Seattle in the livery of the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

With South Korea's Foreign Military Sales procurement having been approved in September 2018, which the country signed in March 2020, deliveries are due to begin in 2023.

Once in service, the P-8s will initially augment the RoKN's eight Lockheed Martin P-3C/K Orion maritime patrol aircraft, before eventually replacing them.

Derived from the Boeing 737-800 commercial airliner (but with 737-900 wings), the P-8A Poseidon has been built by a Boeing-led industry team that includes CFM International, GE Aviation, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Spirit AeroSystems.

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Greece progresses F-35 procurement plans

by Gareth Jennings

The Hellenic Air Force is set to join the international F-35 operator community, with a team from the US Air Force programme office scheduled to visit Athens in February to provide the Greek government with informational briefings on the requirements for moving forward with the programme. (Commonwealth of Australia)

Greece's plans to acquire the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) are set to take a step forward, with a team from the programme office scheduled to visit the country in February.

The US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, told national media in late January of the planned visit as the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) seeks to progress its plan to acquire the F-35V as part of a wider ramp-up of its combat aviation forces.

“Let me start with the most important point, which is, Greece will be part of the F-35 programme. I think that's clearly understood by the government, by the Hellenic Air Force, but also by the US government. You've heard expressions to that effect not just from me but from senior officials of the State Department,” Ambassador Pyatt said.

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Jordan approved for further F-16 purchase

by Gareth Jennings

Jordan is set to receive 16 of the latest variant F-16s to add to the 61 older models (pictured) it already fields. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The United States has approved the sale of further 16 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to Jordan, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 3 February.

The State Department approval covers 12 single-seat F-16C Block 70 and four twin-seat F-16D Block 70 aircraft, as well as related equipment, weapons, services, and training for an estimated USD4.21 billion.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally [MNNA],” the DSCA said in its notification. “The proposed sale will improve Jordan's capability to meet current and future threats by ensuring continued interoperability with US and coalition forces. These aircraft will modernise the Jordanian fighter aircraft fleet and support operational requirements associated with regional US-coalition goals, such as countering violent extremist organisations, countering malign state and non-state actors, and border defence.”

As noted by Janes World Air Forces

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The Australian Army launched on 2 December a command unit to optimise its aviation assets and suppor...

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