November, 2017 Military Aviation News

ANALYSIS: Why A330 tanker sales boomed

11/18/2017

At the start of this century, the then-EADS began exploring the potential for its A330 widebody to deliver air-to-air refuelling (AAR) services for military operators. In doing so the European company replicated its strategy for the airliner market, by going head to head for international sales with Boeing, which held a virtual monopoly in the tanker sector.

Northrop flies first E-2D for Japan

11/18/2017

Northrop Grumman has performed the first flight of Japan's E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning and surveillance aircraft. Completed in early October from the US airframer's facility in St Augustine, Florida, the milestone was announced by the company on 15 November.

Bell considers autonomous flight of V-280 tiltrotor

11/18/2017

Being developed for the US Army's future vertical lift programme, the V-280 is due to make its maiden sortie before year-end. But, says Vince Tobin, Bell's vice-president of military business, the manufacturer is now considering possible future applications for the tiltrotor. "With the help of the US government, we hope to look at flying the V-280 autonomously, hopefully in the next year or so," he says.

OPINION: UAE fighter contest will be one to watch

11/18/2017

A Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and a Sukhoi Su-35 shared a common runway ramp for the first time at the Dubai air show. As reports heat up of a budding competition between the Su-35 and the Lockheed F-35 for a United Arab Emirates air force contract, that unlikely pairing at Al Maktoum International seemed appropriate.

British-built Hawk training jets to be maintained by BAE

11/16/2017

London-based BAE Systems Ltd. announced an agreement on Wednesday to maintain and support Hawk training planes in the United Arab Emirates. BAE will contract with the UAE-based Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center, or AMMROC, to provide repairs and upgrades to Hawk Mk61, Mk102 and Mk63 aircraft at a facility in Abu Dhabi until 2020.

Air National Guard strikes hard in first ‘Combat Hammer’ exercise

11/16/2017

Airmen from multiple Air National Guard units of Texas, New York, Iowa, Ohio, California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and North Dakota supported and flew MQ-9 Reaper aircraft during Operation Combat Hammer, the first operational air-to-ground weapons evaluation for the Air National Guard to be a part of as the sole MQ-9 Reaper mission set.

AN UPDATE ON THE F-22 AND THE EVOLUTION OF AIR COMBAT: THE PERSPECTIVE FROM THE FIRST FIGHTER WING

11/16/2017

I have dealt with the F-22 for many years and first visited the First Fighter Wing in 2007 as the plane was being stood up and introduced to the force. What was anticipated and hoped for with the introduction of the first fifth generation aircraft is clearly now being realized, although, unfortunately, at much lower numbers than the USAF desired or needed.

Mirage upgrade to boost UAE's defences

11/16/2017

While its years-long search for a future fighter continues, the United Arab Emirates has revealed a plan to modernise its in-service fleet of French-supplied combat aircraft. During the Dubai air show on 14 November, Dassault confirmed that the UAE's armed forces "have announced their intention to sign a contract for the upgrade of their Mirage 2000-9 fleet."

UAE picks C295 for airlift renewal

11/16/2017

The United Arab Emirates air force is to update its medium transport capabilities, with a new fleet of Airbus Defence & Space C295s to enter service from late next year. Announced at the Dubai air show on 15 November, the deal will deliver five of the twin-turboprop aircraft from the fourth quarter of 2018, Airbus says.

F-35 arrivals propel Norwegian air force modernisation

11/16/2017

The Royal Norwegian Air Force has conducted its first domestic flights with the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, after a trio of the fifth-generation type touched down at its Ørland air base early this month.

ANALYSIS: Italy at the leading edge in fighter pilot training

11/16/2017

The internationalisation of the Italian air force’s jet pilot training school and advances in its Integrated Pilot Training System (IPTS) are combining with the advent of full capability for Leonardo’s M-346 lead-in-fighter trainer and the upcoming introduction of its M-345 basic/advanced trainer to propel Italy to the leading edge of fighter pilot training.

DUBAI: Bell closing in on V-280 first flight

11/16/2017

Bell Helicopter's immediate attentions at Dubai may be centred on the sale of AH-1Z attack helicopters, but back at its Amarillo, Texas facility the focus is on first flight of its latest rotorcraft.

DUBAI: USAF general sceptical of mixed F-35 and Russian fleet for UAE

11/13/2017

The United States may be in talks with the United Arab Emirates over a potential Lockheed Martin F-35 sale, but the US Air Force’s head of Central Command doubts the UAE would be able to operate the Joint Strike Fighter alongside a fifth-generation Russian fighter.

DUBAI: Japan’s C-2 makes overseas debut in push for export sales

11/13/2017

The Kawasaki Heavy Industries C-2 is making its debut outside of Japan at the air show, as the country pushes for export sales of the military transport. Powered by General Electric CF6 engines, the aircraft has been developed as a successor to the Kawasaki C-1 in both strategic and tactical airlift missions.

DUBAI: Canada expects fifth-generation fighter contract by 2021

11/13/2017

The Royal Canadian Air Force expects to release a new request for proposals for its fifth-generation fighter competition by 2019 with a contract award by 2021, the RCAF’s commander says this week.

The 10 best companies for veterans

11/11/2017

The unemployment rate for veterans is the lowest it has ever been since September 2001, and it continuing to fall. This achievement is due in part to the employers who have made a commitment to hire those who have served in our armed forces. In advance of Veterans Day, job site Monster worked with a panel of veteran hiring experts and Military.com to gather a list of the 10 best companies for veterans.

CHINESE MILITARY TO DEVELOP THIRD AIRCRAFT CARRIER AFTER TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH

11/11/2017

China will now be able to move ahead with its third aircraft carrier, after it announced a breakthrough on technology for launching aircraft. The new technology would be the most advanced jet launch system in the world that doesn’t use nuclear power, China's military said. The new developments on its integrated propulsion system would create more power for an electromagnetic catapult.

Norway receives first F-35 fighter jet

11/11/2017

Norway on Friday received the first three of the 40 F-35 fighter jets it ordered from Lockheed-Martin as part of efforts to beef up its air force. Norway is the fourth country after the United States, Israel and Italy to receive the planes. “These warplanes will improve the entire Norwegian defense,” General Major Tonje Skinnarland, head of the Norwegian airforce, told broadcaster TV2. Their main task was to secure air control, to allow other parts of Norwegian defense to operate safely, she sai

Malaysia Grounds MiG-29s and Rethinks Future Fighter

11/11/2017

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is no longer seeking a multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) and is evaluating light combat aircraft (LCA) instead. In another change of policy, the service has grounded its remaining airworthy MiG-29s instead of upgrading them, although the government has not made a final decision about their future. The RMAF is also now seeking four-to-six new maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

Indian Air Force Rejects Home-made Tejas Light Combat Aircraft

11/11/2017

The Indian Air Force has said that the domestically manufactured Tejas Light Combat Aircraft is not fit enough to protect the Indian skies. The IAF said the Tejas is far behind its competitors like the JAS 39 Gripen manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab and the US made F-16 manufactured by Lockheed Martin, sources were quoted as saying by India Today Friday.

Why No Nation on Earth Wants to Fight the A-10 Warthog in a War

11/10/2017

Known for an ability to keep flying after taking multiple rounds of enemy machine gun fire, land and operate in rugged terrain, destroy groups of enemy fighters with a 30mm cannon and unleash a wide arsenal of attack weapons, the A-10 is described by pilots as a “flying tank” in the sky - able to hover over ground war and provide life-saving close air support in high-threat combat environments.

Shopping for Fighters: Is the Chinese/Pakistani JF-17 Thunder the Real “Joint Strike Fighter”?

11/10/2017

Develop it faster, build it cheaper and make it more available. From electronics to automobiles, the Asian doctrine of the 20th century. With the rush toward globalization and the blurring of borders in the internet age, manufactured products in every category move across borders and subvert political boundaries with impunity.

Top USN admiral warns Congress on aviation fleet

11/10/2017

The US Navy’s commander of Naval Air Forces is sending a dire warning to Congress this week over the rampant cannibalisation of its fighter fleet could threaten the service’s ability to go to war.

Malaysia takes tentative step toward MPA acquisition

11/10/2017

State news agency Bernama reports that the Royal Malaysian Air Force has set up a team to evaluate MPAs. This follows a provision for the acquisition four aircraft in the government's 2018 budget. The report, quoting air force chief Affendi Buang, adds that the participation of local industry will be a key factor.

This Piece of Chinese Military Hardware Could Change the Balance of Power in Asia

11/09/2017

In an attempt to address this operational limitation and establish a sustainable aerial refueling program of its own, the PLAAF initiated an indigenous aerial refueling program via the Xi’an Y-20 “Kunpeng” (named after an ancient Chinese mythical bird that can fly for thousands of miles) heavy transport aircraft platform with the first Y-20 prototype, successfully making its first flight at Shaanxi Yanliang Aviation Base in January 2013.

India Could Have Doubts About Russian Fifth-gen Fighter Buy

11/09/2017

India could be about to re-examine its decision to acquire fifth-generation fighters from Russia, after the Indian Air Force (IAF) produced a report questioning the reasoning behind the program. A number of Russian media reports in late October stated that India will decide not to press forward with participation in the Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program.

Germany Says the F-35 is the "Preferred Choice" to Replace its Tornados

11/09/2017

Despite a plan to jointly develop its own fifth generation fighter jet with France, Germany is still very interested in joining the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, is looking hard at the American jet as it presses for purchases of an already in production or development design to replace its aging Panavia Tornado swing-wing combat aircraft.

Malaysia Seeking Light Combat Aircraft Options

11/09/2017

Malaysia is seeking lightweight multi-role fighter options to complement its fleet of twin-engine medium and heavyweight fighters, an air force official said. “The Royal Malaysian Air Force [RMAF] is looking at its capabilities for the next 15-years-or-so, and how best we can suit our requirements,” the official was quoted as saying by IHS Jane's, adding that the new Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) procurement programme is looking to have some air-to-air and a full air-to-ground capability.

Lawmakers add F-35s, keep JSTARS in proposed NDAA

11/09/2017

The House and Senate armed services committees released details of a conference report on a $700 billion National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) that boosts the number of Lockheed Martin F-35s and maintains the Northrop Grumman E-8C JSTARS recapitalisation programme.

USAF puts comms gateway for F-22 and F-35 back on shopping list

11/09/2017

A communications system that can translate messages between the US Air Force’s most advanced and oldest fighters is back on the service’s expedited shopping list, according to a recent acquisition notice.

Typhoon tests keep Brimstone integration on target

11/09/2017

A flight-test campaign involving nine live firings of MBDA's Brimstone air-to-surface missile from the Eurofighter Typhoon has been completed in the UK, with the combination on track to enter operational use with the Royal Air Force by March 2019.

KC-390 programme on track for 2018 deliveries

11/09/2017

In a third-quarter results statement issued on 27 October, Embraer said it "will be ramping up production of the KC-390" next year, "with first delivery of this jet expected in the second half of 2018". The Brazilian air force is its only confirmed buyer for the twinjet to date, with the service to field an eventually 28-strong fleet. The company has previously outlined a plan to hand over its first two customer aircraft in 2018.

MDA awards low power laser demo award to General Atomics

11/08/2017

Unmanned air giant General Atomics scored the contract for the first phase of the Missile Defense Agency’s low power laser demonstration contract this week, marking the first step on the road toward a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV with a high-energy laser.

Lockheed laser to demonstrate “tens of kilowatts” of power

11/08/2017

Lockheed Martin will demonstrate an airborne laser generating tens of kilowatts of power for the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s podded electric laser concept for fifth- and sixth-generation fighter jets.

Israel ready to receive next two F-35Is at Nevatim

11/08/2017

Israel's air force is due to receive its next two Lockheed Martin F-35Is before the end of this week, boosting its fleet of the type to nine. The aircraft will touch down at Nevatim air base in the south of the country.

ANALYSIS: Saab on a high with GlobalEye

11/07/2017

Two years ago, the Dubai air show’s surprise deal followed the appearance of a nondescript press notice, which pointed simply to an “announcement” between the United Arab Emirates air force and Saab.

Lockheed to develop experimental laser for fighters

11/07/2017

Lockheed Martin has received a $26.3 million contract to develop and produce a laser than can be tested on a fighter jet by 2021. The initiative will see Lockheed develop a high power fiber laser as part of US Air Force's Research Lab's Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) programme, says Lockheed in a statement.

Saudi testing precedes Scorpion's Dubai debut

11/04/2017

Textron AirLand's production-standard Scorpion light-attack aircraft appears set to make a debut appearance at the Dubai air show from 12-16 November, with the aircraft currently being flown in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

New long-range missile project emerges in US budget

11/04/2017

The existence of a two-year-old project to develop a new air-to-air missile capable of intercepting targets at great distances has emerged in US budget documents. The Office of the Secretary Defense (OSD) launched a two-year engineering assessment of a new long-range engagement weapon (LREW) designed with the goal of “maintaining air dominance”, according to budget documents released last March.

RAAF to assist in development of next generation jammer

11/04/2017

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the US Navy to jointly develop the of the Raytheon AN/ALQ-249 next generation jammer mid-band capability (NGJ-MB).

India's Jet Fighters Are Now Equipped with Nuclear-Armed Missiles

11/03/2017

Pairing the Su-30 with the Brahmos missile will also drastically expand the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad. The Su-30 itself has a range of up to 1,800 kilometers while the Brahmos missile can strike targets nearly 300 kilometers away. Thus, the newly modified Su-30s will allow India’s nuclear aircraft to strike deep in the heart of China or Pakistan, Delhi’s two main adversaries.

Delayed Saudi AH-6is spark new lawsuits between MDHI, Boeing

11/02/2017

A batch of helicopters delivered years late and allegedly with parts missing and broken has led to a second legal dispute between MD Helicopters (MDHI) and Boeing, two acrimonious neighbours and former corporate partners in Mesa, Arizona.

Latest Afghan Super Tucanos cost $174.5 million

11/02/2017

The US Air Force’s latest batch of six Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucanos for Afghanistan cost $174.5 million, a price tag includes aircraft transportation, maintenance spares and advanced sensors, the service tells FlightGlobal.

Corrosion issue stops F-35 deliveries for a month

11/02/2017

Lockheed Martin halted all F-35 deliveries for a month after discovering excessive corrosion on fasteners under an F-35A’s fuselage panels during maintenance at Hill AFB, Utah, the Defense Department confirmed this week.

20 Years of the Mighty F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter

11/01/2017

The United States Air Force held a ceremony earlier this month to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor’s first flight. The ceremony was held at Edwards Air Force Base in California on October 19. However, the actual 20th anniversary of the Raptor’s was on September 7.

We Finally Know Where Those Surplus Jordanian F-5 Tiger IIs Ended Up

11/01/2017

Private red air contractor TacAir is the purchaser of the ex-Jordanian F-5Es that we wrote about being pulled off a 747-400F in Florida last February. The aircraft were going to be overhauled by the Northrop Grumman plant located in St. Augustine that also supports the Navy and Marine Corps' F-5Ns, and has upgraded other air arms' aging Tiger IIs with structural and avionics enhancements over the years. These aircraft were the only four delivered from Jordan to the U.S. via air.

Myanmar Air Force to induct JF-17 fighters by end-2017

11/01/2017

A JF-17 Fierce Dragon fighter aircraft with the insignia of the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) on its tail has been conducting test flights in China's Chengdu airport, indicating that plans to induct them into MAF by end of this year may be on course. That will make Pakistan a military hardware exporter because the Fierce Dragon has been jointly developed by Pakistan and China.

US delivers 2 A-29 light-attack aircraft to the Lebanese army

11/01/2017

The United States delivered two A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to Lebanon's army on Tuesday, a sign of continued US support despite Israeli accusations that the Lebanese military is controlled by Hezbollah. The planes will be used as armed observation aircraft, a security source in Lebanon said, and represent a big upgrade for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).

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