Dubai Air Show: Asian debutants at Dubai

David Oliver

The Dubai Air Show marked the debut in the Middle East of several aircraft of Asian origin, showing the increasing interest of Far East companies for their western neigbours

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Among the Asian aircraft displayed for the first time at the Dubai Airshow is the Block III PAC-CAC JF-17C Thunder combat aircraft, the first of which has been delivered to the Pakistan Air Force’s Flight Test Centre earlier this year. The aircraft at Dubai wearing the markings of No 14 Squadron, was equipped with the X-band KL-17A AESA radar, the Aselsan Aselpod advanced targeting pod, and Link 17.

An Indian Air Force HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), in the opening picture, took part in the flying display, on the which the EDGE’s advanced technology arm, AL TARIQ long-range precision-guided munitions (LR-PGMs) has been integrated.  AL TARIQ is a joint venture company, between EDGE and South Africa’s Denel.

The AL TARIQ family of modular, all-weather, day/night LR-PGMs are designed to fit onto the Mark 80 series and the Indian designed High-Speed Low Drag (HSLD) series of aerial munitions. The addition of a wing kit converts the AL TARIQ-S (Standard Range) to the AL TARIQ-LR (Long Range), extending the stand-off range from 45km to 120km. Full integration and qualification of AL TARIQ’s LR-PGMs on HAL’s Tejas LCA is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2024.

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Two helicopters manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) took part in the daily flying display the Dubai Airshow for the first time, the twin-engine KUH-1E Surion utility helicopter and the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) both of which were derived from the Airbus Helicopters H155.

The KUH-1E is the export version of the KUH-1, 200 of which have been delivered to the Republic of Korea Army. It is being used offered with different avionics and sand filters to protect the engines in desert climates, and stub wing pylons have been fitted with a range of UAE-developed armaments, including anti-armour missiles and guided rockets. It could also be armed with an under-nose cannon as fitted to the Marine Attack Helicopter version of the Surion.

KAI has completed the development of the LAH, the second prototype of which was flown at Dubai.   

Photos by D. Oliver