Boeing has delivered the first operational Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet to the USN.
VADER completes first African tests
The first VADER light surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for the French Air and Space Force completed its first mission from 28 April to 21 May 2021, the French MoD announced on 22 June.
The hot-weather tests in Djibouti ‘made it possible to assess the logistical support and resilience of the equipment in an environment close to its future missions’, the MoD noted.
These ‘future missions’ include deployment to Mali, Shephard recently reported.
VADER (formerly known as ALSR) IS based on the Beechcraft King Air 350 ISR aircraft.
Two were delivered in July 2020 by Sabena Technics and Thales under a contract dating from June 2016. According to Shephard Defence Insight, they are operated by the air force but owned by the French intelligence services.
A third is scheduled for delivery in 2023, and the French Air and Space Force wants eight in all to be in service by 2030.
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