August, 2009 Military Aviation News

U.S. Defense Secretary Underscores F-35 Importance During Lockheed Martin Visit


United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] final assembly operation for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter today, conveying optimism for the program’s future and emphasizing the F-35’s importance to global security.

Saudi Arabia set to buy 30 Russian military helicopters


Russia is concluding talks with Saudi Arabia on selling 30 Mi-171B helicopters, a source close to the negotiations said on Tuesday.

Tupolev aircraft maker to develop Russia's new strategic bomber


The Russian Defense Ministry and the Tupolev aircraft maker have signed a contract on the development of a new-generation strategic bomber, the company's general director said on Wednesday.

Russia to deliver 8 Su-30MK2 fighters to Vietnam in 2010


Russia will fulfill a contract on the delivery of eight Su-30MK2 fighters to Vietnam in 2010, state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday. Russia and Vietnam signed a of $500 million agreement on the sale of eight Su-30MK2 fighters in January 2009.

Russian Air Force could get 60 Su-family jet fighters by 2015


Russia's Air Force may receive over 60 Su fighters worth at least 60 billion rubles ($1.9 bln) under a contract expected to be signed at the MAKS-2009 air show.

Military news Russia aims to start making MiG-35 fighters for India in 2013


Production of MiG-35 multirole fighters offered for sale to India cannot start before 2013 or 2014, a Russian aircraft maker said on Thursday.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Successful In First Probe-And-Drogue Aerial Refueling


A short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter has become the first F-35 to complete an aerial refueling test using the Navy- and Marine Corps-style probe-and-drogue refueling system. Thursday’s successful mission is the first in a short series of tests that will clear the STOVL F-35B variant for extended-range flights, particularly to its primary test site at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Boeing B-1 Upgraded With Fully Integrated Data Link Completes 1st Flight


Boeing on July 29 successfully completed the first flight of a B-1 bomber upgraded with the Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL). This upgrade includes new processors, color displays and communications architecture, enhancing B-1 crews' situational awareness and communications capability. The U.S. Air Force 419th Test Squadron conducted the flight from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

India Adding Ka-31 AEW Helicopters


Indian media report that India and Russia will sign a contract for 5 more Russian Kamov-31 airborne early warning helicopters, after India’s Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) cleared the purchase on Aug 4/09. The rumored cost is INR 9.5 billion (about $195-200 million), but that remains to be finalized in negotiations. Note that transparency is often low with Russian contracts, and India has often found that the final price differs from any negotiated deal with Russian firms.

Iraq Orders C-130Js


In August 1990, Iraq’s Air Force had more than 500 aircraft in their inventory. The IqAF was decimated in 1991, after Saddam invaded Kuwait and ended up facing the US military and its allies. What remained was hobbled by extensive, and expensive, no-fly zones, until the war formally concluded in 2003 with a US-led invasion that eliminated Saddam’s regime. Rebuilding the IqAF under the new Iraqi government has been a slow process.

Boeing, Schiebel to Pursue Opportunities in Unmanned Airborne Systems With CAMCOPTER S-100


The Boeing Company and Schiebel Industries AG of Austria today announced they have signed a teaming agreement to pursue marketing and support opportunities for Schiebel's S-100 CAMCOPTER. The S-100 is a compact unmanned aerial vehicle that provides a platform for a wide variety of payloads, including a stabilized video system for surveillance and reconnaissance.

Boeing Delivers Qatar's 1st C-17 Globemaster III


Boeing today delivered Qatar's first C-17 Globemaster III airlifter to the Qatar Emiri Air Force during a ceremony at the company's facility in Long Beach.

Why the F-22 is needed - Su-30MK Beats F-15C Every Time


The Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30MK, the high-performance fighter being exported to India and China, consistently beat the F-15C in classified simulations, say U.S. Air Force and aerospace industry officials.

Boeing Receives $1.15B Contract for 15 Canadian Chinooks, Announces Matching Reinvestment in Industry


The Boeing Company today announced that it has received a US$1.15 billion contract from the Canadian government for 15 new CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. Under the contract, Boeing will match Canada's purchase price by executing contracts and investments of equal value with Canadian industry.

Boeing to Demonstrate Unmanned Cargo Aircraft for US Marine Corps


The Boeing Company received a $500,000 contract from the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory on Aug. 5 to demonstrate the company's A160T (YMQ-18A) Hummingbird for the Marines' Immediate Cargo Unmanned Aerial System Demonstration Program.

Probe into claim jets sold for $5 each in Russia's Volga Region


Russian investigators in Nizhny Novgorod have opened a criminal case into the illegal sale of MiG-31 Foxhound aircraft hulls at $5 instead of $3.7 million, the Prosecutor General's Office said Thursday.

Commander outlines future of the Russian Air Force


New and modernized aircraft will comprise 70% of the Russian Air Force by 2020, the Air Force commander said on Wednesday.

Northrop Grumman-Built Global Hawk Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft Reaches 25,000 Combat Hours


Northrop Grumman Corporation's RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) recently reached a major milestone -- 25,000 combat hours -- during an operational sortie July 8-9 from a deployed location.

Boeing B-52 With Combat Network Communications Upgrade Enters Flight Test


Boeing on Aug. 5 delivered to the U.S. Air Force a B-52 Stratofortress upgraded with Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT), a modification that equips the B-52 with 21st century situational awareness and mission flexibility. The upgraded systems will be tested and verified during flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base.

India Buys 6-12 C-130J-30 Hercules for Special Forces


In May 2006, India Defence quoted Air Chief S.P. Tyagi saying that “the IAF is planning to buy C-130J planes” for its special forces and Border Security Forces. Reports indicate that the IAF is particularly attracted to the C-130J’s ability to land and take off even in improvised or short airfields, and without lights. Those characteristics have served the Hercules well in other anti-terrorism scenarios like Operation Yonatan in Entebbe, and are now more routine maneuvers thanks to the C-130J He

9 billion euro contract for 112 Eurofighter Typhoons signed


NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency), Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH and EUROJET Turbo GmbH signed today the production contract for a further 112 aircraft, including 241 engines, for the four partner Nations: Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Successful Demonstration in Brazil of IAI's Heron UAV


A successful demonstration of Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) System took place last week in Brazil. The demonstration was done at the request of the Brazilian federal police, which is testing UAV use for several purposes, including border security, and smuggling, natural resource theft, and drug trafficking concerns.

Morocco’s Air Force Reloads


Morocco’s combat air force currently flies 2 squadrons of old F-5s, and 2 squadrons of only slightly newer Mirage F1s; T-37 light jets serve as key transitional trainers. Their neighbor and rival Algeria flies MiG-23s of similar vintage, but the Force Aerienne Algerienne also flies SU-24 Fencer and SU-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft, even more modern and capable MiG-29s, and is set to receive multi-role SU-30MKs as part of a multi-billion dollar weapons deal with Russia.

Russian company develops heavy UAV for military use


Russia's Kronshtadt defense company has developed a new- generation heavy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for military purposes, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

Israel’s Skyhawk Scandal Leads to End of an Era


McDonnell Douglas’ A-4 Skyhawk, aka. “Scooter,” has a long and storied career as a carrier-based attack aircraft with the US Navy. It’s old enough that Sen. John McCain was flying one when he was shot down over North Vietnam. It also has a storied land-based career with the Israeli Air Force, who used this simple, pilot-friendly aircraft from late 1967 onward as a versatile attack aircraft with surprising air-air teeth.

Lockheed Martin Delivers First C-5M Super Galaxy


Lockheed Martin today delivered the first fully modernized C-5M Super Galaxy to the U.S. Air Force at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins AFB, Ga.

Dynamic Tests Validate Design and Structural Integrity of X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System for Carrier Operations


Northrop Grumman Corporation recently completed a series of static and dynamic proof load tests to validate the design and structural integrity of the U.S. Navy's first X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) for aircraft carrier launches, recoveries and at-sea operations under the UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program.

Northrop Grumman Completes Structural Assembly of the First Euro Hawk(r) Unmanned Aircraft for Germany


Northrop Grumman Corporation has finished assembling the first Euro Hawk(r) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the German Ministry of Defence (MoD). With a wing span larger than a commercial airliner and endurance projected at up to 30 hours, the Euro Hawk(r) will serve as the German Air Force's high-altitude, long-endurance signals intelligence (SIGINT) system.

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