Monday, October 24, 2016

Philippines’ MoD signs order with HHI for two frigates for its Navy

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) announced today that it signed a contract to build two 2,600-ton frigates for Philippine Navy. The frigates will be designed as a smaller version of the Incheon-class frigate which is already in service with the Republic of Korea Navy.

According to HHI, the 107m frigates will be propelled with a CODAD (Combined Diesel and Diesel) propulsion system reaching maximum speeds of 25-knots. With a projected range of 4,500 nautical miles range at a cruising speed of 15 knots, the ships will be operable up to Sea State 5, it was further said. The first frigate is scheduled for delivery in 2020.

The construction deal was signed in Manila, Philippines, was attended by Chung Ki-sun, executive vice president of Corporate Planning Office of HHI, Delfin Lorenzana, Philippines’ Defense Secretary and Kim Jai- shin, Korean Ambassador to Philippines. (Source:, 24-Oct-2016)

CAE Aviation SW4 crashes shortly after take-off from Malta IAP

A Fairchild SA227-AT Metroliner (N577MX) registered in the United States and leased to Luxembourg company CAE Aviation has crashed this morning shortly after taking-off from RWY 13 at Malta International Airport. The crash happened around 0720lt on the road (Triq l-Industrija, Kirkop) just outside the airport perimeter fence, very close to the spotter's wall.

Malta IAP's Fire and Rescue Services were quickly dispatched to crash scene to control the blazing aircraft full of fuel. These were soon joined by members from the Civil Protection Department, several ambulances and police oficers. The Police later reported that all five French people on board the aircraft were killed in the crash.

The flight was part of a French Customs surveillance operation which has been taking place for the past months, with the aim of tracing routes of illicit trafficking of all sorts, including human and drug trafficking. The said flight was registered with the Malta Air Traffic Services as a local flight and was to return to Malta within hours without landing in third countries. (Info from various sources / Photo: Edward Grech, 24-Oct-2016) (Video clip)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

USN commissions littoral combat ship Detroit

The U.S. Navy commissioned today its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, Detroit (LCS 7), during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony on Detroit's waterfront. Detroit is the sixth U.S. ship in our nation's history to be named in honor of city of Detroit.

Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, delivered the ceremony's principal address. Barbara Levin, wife of former U.S. Senator Carl Levin, served as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!" (Source: U.S. Navy, 22-Oct-2016)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sterna A30B nose gear collapses on landing at Recife, aircraft veers off the runway

A Sterna Linhas Aereas Airbus A300-B4 (PR-STN), performing postal cargo flight STR-9302 from Sao Paulo Guarulhos to Recife (Brazil) with three crew, landed on Recife's RWY 18 at about 06:10L (09:10Z), however, the nose gear collapsed upon touchdown. 

Consequently, the aircraft veered right-off the runway and came to a stop with both main gear and aircraft nose on soft ground. There were no injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage. 

The crew deployed the L1 slide, the slide inflated but detached from the aircraft before the crew could vacate the aircraft, the crew subsequently left the aircraft via ladders. The runway was closed for about two-hours as result of the occurrence. (Source:, 21-Oct-2016)

Friday, October 21, 2016

UK’s first Successor submarine to be named HMS Dreadnought

Her Majesty The Queen has given her consent for the first of the next-generation nuclear-missile-armed submarines to carry the name Dreadnought. One of the most symbolic names in Royal Navy history is thereby being resurrected after more than 35 years. It's a warship title which goes back to the reign of Elizabeth I, more than 450 years.

The name was last held by Britain's first nuclear-powered submarine, launched by the Queen exactly 56 years ago today in Barrow – the very same yard where the new boat is being constructed. That ninth Dreadnought largely served as an experimental/trials boat for subsequent generations of hunter-killer submarines and conducted Cold War patrols, until she was paid off in 1980.

Work on the future, 17,200-tonne HMS Dreadnought began two weeks ago when Defence Secretary Michael Fallon set the steel cutter in motion at BAE's Barrow Yard; those first sheets of steel will eventually be home to the control panels and switchboards serving the nuclear reactor. (Source:, 21-Oct-2016)

Jetairfly rebrands as TUIfly Belgium

Jetairfly has rebranded itself as TUIfly Belgium with effect from Oct. 19th. The move is part of parent firm TUI AG's decision to create a singular brand name across four of its carriers. Despite the change in name, all TUIfly's airlines will continue to operate under their own AOCs, however a unified brand name and image will allow for improved fleet interoperability, especially during the busy summer season. (Source:, 21-Oct-2016)

Vietnam Airlines to lease twelve A321neo from ALC

Vietnam Airlines has agreed long-term leasing contracts with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) involving twelve A321neo aircraft. The state-owned carrier will take delivery of the first six in 2018 with the remainder due a year later. Vietnam Airlines currently operates fifty-four A321-200s with a further two of the type due for delivery. (Source:, 20-Oct-2016)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 
  • 9H-KAT - Boeing B737-400 (c/n. 24643/1860), registered to Aerotron Ireland Ltd., Ireland (ex 4L-GSN)
  • 9H-GVI - Gulfstream G650 (c/n. 6006), registered to Elit'Avia Malta Ltd. (rrg LX-SIX)
(Source: Transport Malta, 18-Oct-2016)

Irish Navy commissions its third Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel

The Irish Navy has commissioned its third Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel, LE William Butler Yeats, during an Oct. 17th ceremony in Galway, Ireland. The vessel was officially named by C. Yeats, a granddaughter of the Irish 20th-century poet the ship is named after.

LE William Butler Yeats was built by Appledore Shipbuilders, a subsidiary of Babcock Marine, which floated out the vessel on Mar. 10th, 2016. The Irish Navy has contracted Babcock in 2010 to deliver three offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Irish Naval Service with the work being carried out at Babcock’s Appledore facility in Devon. (Source:, 18-Oct-2016)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

German Navy FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern calls at Valletta Port

The German Navy Brandeburg-class (Type F123) frigate FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (F 218) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The German frigate is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is presently berthing alongside at Bormla wharf (in French creek), and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port next week. (18-Oct-2016)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

USN commissions destroyer USS Zumwalt

The U.S. Navy's newest and most technologically advanced warship, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) was commissioned into active service today, at North Locust Point in Baltimore. Zumwalt, the lead ship of a class of next-generation multi-mission destroyers, features a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design, and the latest warfighting technology and weaponry available.  Secretary of the Navy, the Hon. R. Mabus, delivered the ceremony's principal address. (Source: U.S. Navy, 15-Oct-2016)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

French Navy FS Enseigne de vaisseau Jacoubet recalls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Enseigne de vaisseau Jacoubet (F 794) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this evening on a courtesy visit.

The French corvette is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in on Wednesday, Oct 19th. (15-Oct-2016)

Airbus delivers its 10,000th aircraft

Airbus today celebrated the delivery of its 10,000th aircraft - an A350-900 for Singapore Airlines. The milestone event was marked by a special ceremony in Toulouse hosted by Airbus Group CEO T. Enders and attended by Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines.

The aircraft delivered today is the sixth A350-900 for Singapore Airlines, out of a total order for 67. Featuring a special "10,000th Airbus" logo, the aircraft will be used to launch the airline’s new non-stop services between Singapore and San Francisco later this month. (Source: Airbus, 14-Oct-2016)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Philippine Airlines signs LOI for up to 12 Dash 8s

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that Philippine Airlines, Inc., flag carrier of the Philippines, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to acquire up to 12 Q400 aircraft. The airline will be launch customer of extra-capacity, two-class Q400 aircraft with 86-seat, featuring ten premium service seats. (Source: Bombardier, 14-Oct-2016)

Irish Naval Service LE Samuel Beckett recalls at Valletta Port

The Irish Naval Service Samuel Beckett-class offshore-patrol vessel LE Samuel Beckett (P 61) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her second visit in the Grand Harbour this year.

The Irish OPV is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

LE Samuel Beckett is presently berthing alongside at Deep Water Quay-4, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (14-Oct-2016)

Spanish Navy ESPS Navarra calls at Valletta Port

The Spanish Navy Santa Maria-class frigate ESPS Navarra (F 85) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The Spanish frigate is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

ESPS Navarra is presently berthing alongside at Magazine wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (14-Oct-2016)

LOT Polish Airlines to lease up to 11 Boeing MAX 8s

LOT Polish Airlines has agreed to lease up to 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8s from U.S. lessor Air Lease Corp. (ALC) for delivery in 2017-2020. ALC said it will place six new 737 MAX 8s with CFM LEAP-1B engines on long-term lease to the Warsaw-based carrier. The agreement also includes the option to lease five new 737 MAX 8s, to be confirmed by early 2017.  All 11 aircraft are from ALC's order book with Boeing. (Source:, 13-Oct-2016)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

China Southern Airlines finalizes an order of 12 787-9 Dreamliners

Boeing and China Southern Airlines today finalized an order of 12 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $3.2 billion at current list prices. The new order strengthens China Southern's expanding long-haul fleet. China Southern Airlines currently operates ten 787-8s. (Source: Boeing, 12-Oct-2016)

Binter signs agreement to buy six more ATR 72-600s

Spanish carrier Binter, a long-standing ATR operator in Europe,  has today signed an agreement to buy six additional ATR 72-600s, taking their total order for the aircraft to eighteen. The aircraft will serve Binter's Canary Islands network. (Source: ATR, 12-Oct-2016)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bangladesh orders a single C-295W for its Army

Bangladesh has become the latest nation to acquire the Airbus C-295W medium airlifter with an order for a single aircraft for Bangladesh Army Aviation. The aircraft, in transport configuration, will be delivered in the second half of 2017 under a contract that also includes customer support and training. It is the first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft to be operated by Bangladesh Army Aviation. (Source: Airbus D&S, 11-Oct-2016)

Polar Airlines AN26 touches down off the runway at Belaya Gora due to poor weather

A Polar Airlines Antonov AN-26-100 (RA-26660), performing flight PI-203 from Yakutsk to Belaya Gora (Russia) with 27 passengers and 6 crew, attempted to land in Belaya Gora but touched down at the banks of river Indigirka near the village due to poor weather. All gear collapsed, the right hand propeller made ground contact and was torn off, the aircraft came to a stop on its belly about 400 meters/1300 feet from the runway. There are no injuries being reported, the aircraft sustained substantial damage. (Source:, 11-Oct-2016)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: none

  • 9H-EAT - Robinson Helicopter R44 Clipper II (c/n. 10498), registered to Foxhill Holdings Ltd., Cyprus
  • 9H-SVA - Dassault Falcon 900 (c/n. 054), registered to Global Technical Services Srl, Italy (rrg 'N754MM)
(Source: Transport Malta, 7-Oct-2016)

Royal Navy HMS Diamond calls at Valletta Port

The Royal Navy Daring-class frigate HMS Diamond (D 34) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. She has an AgustaWestland AW-159 Wildcat HMA.02 helicopter on board, serial ZZ522.

The British destroyer is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

HMS Diamond is presently berthing alongside at Boiler wharf (French Creek), and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Friday, Oct. 14th. (11-Oct-2016)

Qatar Airways signs order for 30 787-9s and ten B77W, and LOI for 60 737 MAX 8s

Boeing and Qatar Airways announced an order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners and ten 777-300ERs, valued at $11.7 billion at list prices, validating the value, reliability and performance of Boeing's twin-aisle airplanes. The airline also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for up to 60 737 MAX 8s, valued at $6.9 billion at list prices. (Source: Boeing, 7-Oct-2016)

German Navy FGS Brandenburg catches fire in Baltic Sea

German Navy frigate Brandenburg (F215) was forced to dock in Kiel, Germany after a fire broke out on the ship on Saturday. According to the German news site Kieler Nachrichten, the crew was able to put out the fire and the ship managed to enter the Kiel base under its own power on Sunday.

None of the crew were injured in the incident but a part of the propulsion plant was damaged in the fire and could not be used, the news site further reported. It is still unclear what caused the fire in the engine room while the ship was in the Baltic Sea. The outcome of an upcoming inquiry will determine when the frigate will return to its training program. (Source:, 10-Oct-2016)