About Craig Hoyle

Author Archive | Craig Hoyle

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British Army eyes Apache upgrade

The US Army will be withdrawing support for sustaining the AH-64D Apache Longbow’s Block I standard by 2017, which poses a bit of an issue for the UK. It’s less than a decade since the British Army’s Westland-completed Apache AH1s entered use (initial operating capability came in October 2004), but the service needs to act […]

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Special report: Savvy Swedes

Our new issue of Flight International contains an eight-page Sweden country special report, with a stunning cover image of an air force Gripen taken by Gunnar Ã…kerberg. I contributed an 1,800-word piece on the Swedish air force’s current activities, including a look back at the Gripen’s reconnaissance role over Libya (the nation’s first operational commitment with […]

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What we learned from Zhuhai

Flightglobal’s blockbuster defence offering this week includes a great analysis from our Singapore-based colleague Greg Waldron about the offerings on show at last week’s Airshow China event in Zhuhai. As expected, there was some interesting new kit to be seen, including a model of an advanced fighter concept, which looked more than a bit like the Shenyang […]

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Denmark falls for Romeo

AgustaWestland suffered a Danish tragedy on 21 November, when the nation’s defence ministry confirmed the selection of the rival Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk (US Navy image below) to meet its future shipborne helicopter requirements. Nine “Romeos” will be delivered between 2016 and 2018 under the deal, which still requires the final go-ahead from Denmark’s finance ministry. […]

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Spartan marches on, despite JCA setback

Apologies for it having gone a bit quiet on The DEW Line over the last week or so, while I was on the road and Dave took in some well-earned R&R. But the good news is that, just like Obama, we’re back. I made a first visit to Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin-Caselle visit last week, in […]

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Hermes accident rate prompts UK action

The British Army’s interim use of leased Hermes 450 unmanned air vehicles has involved an eye-watering 11 crashes in Afghanistan since 2007, according to armed forces minister Andrew Robathan. I filed an initial news story about the disclosure earlier today, but hope to get an answer from the army soon with regard to the categories of accident […]

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RAF picture special – beauty and the beast

Our Image of the Day blog today carries a great image of a Royal Air Force formation of nine Eurofighter Typhoons flying overhead the stunning Lincolnshire landscape. Yes, that statement does involve some mild topographical sarcasm, but as I was born in the UK’s potentially flattest county I reckon I can get away with it. […]

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Vulcan death grip: one year left for XH558

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which faithfully restored Avro Vulcan XH558 to flight status, has announced that 2013 will be the Cold War bomber’s last year as a flying attraction, and described its decision as having been reached “with particular sadness”. A wing leading-edge modification which would be required at the end of next year […]

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Photo oddity: Global Hawks go biplane

Our colleague Zach Rosenberg filed on the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s completion of a flight test programme intended to prove the viability of autonomous high-altitude refuelling involving unmanned air vehicles. Performed using a pair of NASA-owned Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawks, the activity showed that refuelling could have been successfully conducted during 60% […]

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Might at the museum

It’s nice to see that one of the UK’s Nimrod R1 electronic intelligence aircraft has been put on public display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford (which provided the image below), a little over a year after it was retired from service. Originally flown in the Nimrod MR1 maritime patrol aircraft configuration in December […]

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