December, 2017 Military Aviation News

U.S. military sets record in ‘war against terrorists’ — see what they just did

12/18/2017

A B-52 Stratofortress, a long-range strategic bomber, just set a record for the number of “smart bombs” dropped during a combat mission, Military.com reported. Smart bombs use GPS to guide missiles to their targets. It happened during a November mission in Afghanistan, Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, director of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, future operations, told Military.com. The bomber is stationed at the Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Qatar seeks to ‘spend billions on military but faces staffing shortage’

12/18/2017

Qatar seeks to spend billions of dollars to increase its military power, particularly its air force capabilities, but the small Gulf state may face a staffing shortage, according to a report by Defense News.

Integration of BrahMos on 40 Sukhoi-30MKI combat aircraft begins!

12/18/2017

After the test-fire of the BrahMos-A supersonic Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) from a Sukhoi-30 jet, Indian Air Force said that BrahMos coupled with Sukhoi's superlative performance would give the IAF a strategic reach, allowing the force to dominate the ocean as well as the battlefields. The complicated process of BrahMos-Sukhoi integration involves electrical, mechanical, and software modifications to the Sukhoi aircraft.

PICTURES: Leonardo test fires Sidewinder from M-346

12/18/2017

Leonardo has continued development work on the attack variant of its M-346 trainer, performing a successful test firing of a Raytheon AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missile from the platform.

USAF finds F-35 maintainers outside A-10 fleet

12/18/2017

The US Air Force no longer needs to rob its A-10 fleet’s maintainers to support the incoming Lockheed Martin F-35As, according to a Congressional report. The F-35 delivery plan currently outpaces the number of maintainers the USAF can maintain and recruit until fiscal year 2020. In the interim, the service is hiring contract maintainers through 2019 in non-deploying squadrons to allow the USAF to stand up new F-35 squadrons, but Congress remains wary of a long term gap.

Lebanon to receive MD530Gs, ScanEagles from USA

12/18/2017

Lebanon is to receive MD Helicopters MD530Gs and Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles as part of a new military assistance package from the USA. Announced by the US embassy in Beirut on 13 December, the deal is worth more than $120 million.

Russia's New Su-57 Stealth Fighter Has A Big Problem That Won't Be Fixed Until 2025

12/14/2017

Russia has started testing its new Sukhoi Su-57 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter with its new next-generation Saturn izdeliye 30 engines. The flight-testing with the new engines will run for several years. In the meantime, the Russians will build a dozen Su-57s equipped with interim Saturn AL-41F1 afterburning turbofans producing 32,500lbs thrust each for operational testing.

Pentagon OKs limited F-35 testing before modifying jets

12/14/2017

The Pentagon’s top weapons tester intends to approve limited testing on the Lockheed Martin F-35 while the programme office waits for modifications needed to begin the fighter’s full initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E).

Eurofighter powers up Typhoon production for Kuwait

12/14/2017

Kuwait's future fleet of Typhoons remains on track for introduction from 2019, with the first major parts now in production by the Eurofighter partner companies. "Production activities have begun, in order to comply with the contract and customer expectations," the Eurofighter consortium says. Kuwait signed for 28 of the multirole type – including six two-seat trainers – in 2016 and Italy's Leonardo is lead partner for the sale.

Elbit lands Israeli Hercules training deal

12/14/2017

Elbit Systems is to provide the Israeli air force with flight simulation services to support operations with its Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules tactical transports until 2030. Announced by the company on 6 December, the $74 million deal covers both the new-generation C-130J and Israel's upgraded C-130H transports.

Fresh upgrade boosts Colombia's Kfir fleet

12/14/2017

Israel Aerospace Industries has upgraded the Colombian air force's Kfir fighters to its latest C-60 standard, enabling the type to carry an expanded range of weapons and sensors. Benjamin Cohen, general manager of IAI's Lahav division, says the avionics suite at the heart of the upgrade is similar to the one installed in the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52.

New F-35 Avionics Improves Weapons Delivery & Targeting

12/13/2017

The Pentagon is upgrading mission systems avionics as part of a tech refresh effort for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that improves memory, weapons delivery, storage, processing speed, display video and aircraft parametric data, industry developers said.

CHINESE MILITARY JETS ENCIRCLE TAIWANESE AIRSPACE AS INVASION FEARS RISE

12/13/2017

China’s military sent fighter jets, bombers and surveillance aircraft to patrol the self-governed island of Taiwan on Monday. The “island encirclement patrol” took place after a senior Chinese diplomat threatened that Beijing would invade Taiwan if any U.S. warships made port visits there.

‘Contract for 36 Rafales include weapons suite superior to the earlier case … higher capability more apt for IAF’

12/13/2017

I had the opportunity to fly the F-16 in the US, Gripen in Sweden and Eurofighter in the UK during official visits to these countries as chief of air staff. I also flew the Rafale in India during ‘Exercise Garuda’ with the French air force. These fighter aircraft are very impressive in their performance, equipped with state-of-the-art systems and weapons to execute operational tasks.

Australian 'Classic' Hornets to fill Canada capability gap

12/13/2017

Canberra has confirmed that it will sell 18 Boeing F/A-18 A/B Hornet fighters to Canada for an undisclosed amount. The first two "classic" Hornets will delivered to Canada in 2019, when the Royal Australian Air Force's transition to the Lockheed Martin F-35A will be well underway, says defence minister Marise Payne.

Canada announces open fighter competition with caveats

12/13/2017

Canada will hold an open competition to replace its aging CF-18 fighter fleet, but sent a firm warning to any company who might try to hurt Canadian business. That admonition appeared as a not-so-veiled threat toward Boeing, whose commercial arm launched a spat with Bombardier by accusing the Canadian manufacturer of dumping the CSeries on the market.

The Rafale Acquisition Scandal: A Potential Threat to France-India Defense Relations

12/12/2017

The tortuous Rafale acquisition saga has put a dent in an otherwise robust defense relationship. India’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition for 126 aircraft, won by France’s Dassault Rafale, was initiated by the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in August 2007.

Qatar formalises deal for 24 Eurofighters

12/12/2017

Qatar has entered a deal to obtain 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters just days after confirming an order for 12 additional Dassault Rafales. BAE Systems, the Eurofighter campaign lead for Qatar, says that the deal is valued a £5 billion ($6.7 billion).

Israel declares its F-35I fleet combat-ready

12/10/2017

The Israeli air force on 6 December declared its Lockheed Martin F-35I "Adir" combat aircraft as having achieved initial operational capability. Air force commander Maj Gen Amikam Norkin confirmed the milestone involving the stealthy type, nine of which are assigned to its 140th "Golden Eagle" squadron at Nevatim air base. The declaration followed an inspection performed on five of the unit's jets, after which the service says "the aircraft was found fit for operational activity".

Qatar adds a dozen more Rafales to order

12/10/2017

Qatar will operate a future fleet of 36 Dassault Rafale fighters, having signed an option to boost a previous commitment for 24 of the type. Announced by the manufacturer on 7 December, the development builds on a contract signed in May 2015 covering the provision of 18 single-seat Rafale EQs and six two-seat DQ-model trainers. Dassault has not disclosed whether the fresh order for 12 units will contain any additional trainers.

Damaged F-22 makes comeback after six-year repair job

12/10/2017

A Lockheed Martin F-22 grounded since a trainee pilot’s error led to a crash landing in May 2012 could be ready to return to service next March after a nearly six-year-long repair job, according to a new US Air force document. The process to return the aircraft, serial number 4037, to service condition offers a glimpse into the effort the USAF will undertake to keep as many of the limited number of F-22s flying rather than writing them off after extensive damages.

Northrop proposes canister-launched UAV for E/A-18 upgrade

12/07/2017

Northrop Grumman is partnering with composites manufacturer VX Aerospace on a canister-launched unmanned air vehicle that could fly on the US Navy’s updated Boeing E/A-18G Growler. The Office of Naval Research funded an October flight test that demonstrated the Dash X, a 3.66m (12ft)-long folding UAV, could collect and share electronic warfare information in flight with a manned aircraft.

Singapore air show highlights new exhibitors, conference line-up

12/07/2017

Singapore air show organizer Experia has announced a number of new exhibitors for the show's sixth edition, which will run from 6 to 11 February 2018. At a media briefing, Experia managing director Leck Chet Lam highlighted Boom Supersonic and Honda Aircraft, amongst other new exhibitors including IHSE Asia, WEARE Group and Wright Brothers Science and Technologies Development.

Boeing flies first KC-46A tanker for US Air Force

12/07/2017

Boeing’s first KC-46A tanker slated for the US Air Force operational fleet made its maiden flight this week, pushing the aircraft closer to a newly-delayed, 2018 delivery. While Boeing has flown six other test articles, the newest 767-2C-based aircraft will be one of the first 18 inducted into the service next year. The USAF had expected Boeing to deliver the first KC-46 by the end of 2017.

VIDEO: Russia flies first Su-57 fitted with new Product 30 engine

12/07/2017

Russia’s latest fighter aircraft flew on 5 December for the first time with the NPO Saturn “Product 30” engine, which will be the production standard for the Sukhoi Su-57. Sukhoi has built and flown nine flight test prototypes of the Su-57 fighter powered by NPO Saturn Product 117 engines, which are derived from the AL-41F-1S afterburning turbofans developed for the Su-35.

France welcomes first tanker-equipped A400M

12/07/2017

France has taken delivery of its first Airbus Defence & Space A400M equipped with underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods, edging its air force closer to introducing a new tactical tanker capability.

Large US military air exercise draws warning of 'nuclear war' from North Korea

12/05/2017

North Korea issued a dire warning Monday as a large-scale joint U.S.-South Korean air exercise got underway. Two hundred and thirty U.S. military aircraft and 12,000 American personnel are participating in a five-day annual joint exercise with the South Korean military known as Vigilant Ace 18.

Qatar to sign contract to purchase Typhoon and Hawk aircraft

12/05/2017

The Government of Qatar is expected to soon sign a contract with BAE Systems for the purchase of Typhoon fighter jet and Hawk trainer aircraft. Qatar intends to acquire a total of 24 Typhoon and six Hawk aircraft from the UK firm. In September, Qatar Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with the then-UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to purchase Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft.

Russia to offer MiG-29 aircraft at Argentina’s tender for fighter jets

12/05/2017

Russia has sent Argentina all the necessary materials for taking part in a tender for fighter jets with its Mikoyan MiG-29 aircraft, Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Anatoly Punchuk told TASS on Monday. Punchuk is heading the Russian delegation at the Expodefensa 2017 arms exhibition in Bogota, Colombia. The arms show is being held on December 4-6.

Could flying faster save the Air Force fuel?

12/05/2017

On a Sunday morning just outside of Anchorage, Alaska, a group of Hawaii Air National Guard fighter pilots gathered around a desk at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to hear the day's operational briefing after three weeks of training at Red Flag Alaska. As they sipped coffee and listened to the delivery control officer, they learned the mission was not difficult, but it was certainly unique.

US, Allies 'Blitz' Korea with Massive Air Power Display

12/05/2017

The U.S. sent its most advanced stealth fighters as part of a massive contingent of air power to the Pacific for a war game this week that may be more about sending a message to North Korea than training with allies. While the jets - made to evade detection from surface-to-air missiles -- have flown in joint exercises before, their addition to the lineup for the Air Force's week-long Vigilant Ace 18 could be seen as changing the play.

HAL to offer technology to private sector to build helicopter

12/04/2017

In the first such initiative, state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is ready to transfer the technology of its advanced light helicopter Dhruv to a domestic defence manufacturer for the commercial production of the chopper, official sources said. HAL is in the process of identifying the private defence major with whom it will share the technology for the production of the twin-engine combat helicopter in India.

US stealth jets arrive in South Korea for combat exercises

12/04/2017

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated over the weekend as US stealth fighters moved into the region and official sources from both North Korea and the US said the chances of war are growing. The bellicose rhetoric from North Korea came in two phases: On Saturday, a statement from its Foreign Ministry said US President Donald Trump is “begging for a nuclear war” through what it called an “extremely dangerous nuclear gamble on the Korean Peninsula.”

China showcases jet fighters on South China Sea island

12/04/2017

China has showcased its J-11B jet fighters in the disputed South China Sea islands as Beijing seeks to consolidate its hold over the region. Footage aired by state-run China Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday for the first time confirmed deployment of the fighter aircraft in a hangar on Yongxing island, a Chinese name for Woody Island, which is part of the Paracel islands - also claimed by Vietnam.

RFP for 57 multi-role combat fighter jets likely by mid-2018: Indian Navy

12/03/2017

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba today said a request for proposal (RFP) is likely to be issued by mid-2018 for the procurement of 57 multi-role combat fighter jets for the Navy's aircraft carrier. "Hopefully we will be able to issue the RFP by middle of next year," he said. Four aircraft manufacturers have shown interest in the project.

The Forgotten Story of How the F-22 and F-35 Were Born

12/03/2017

On August 27, 1939, a stubby-winged airplane made of unpainted steel alloy took off over Germany and soared into history. Instead of a pointy propeller hub in the nose, the Heinkel 178 had an open-mouthed turbojet intake, making it the first operational jet-powered aircraft.

Israel strikes military site near Damascus, Syria's state-run news claims

12/03/2017

A military site near Damascus came under attack just after midnight Saturday by missiles from the Israeli military, according to the Syrian state-run SANA news agency and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Two of the surface-to-surface missiles launched were intercepted by Syrian air defense, but others caused material damage to the military site, sources told SANA. The Israeli military declined to comment on the incident when asked by CNN about the Syrian claim.

Lockheed Martin certificates slate of weapons for F-35

12/03/2017

Lockheed Martin has cleared the F-35 to accurately deliver a full slate of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons available with go-to-war, Block 3F software. "The F-35 is combat capable and poised for even more weapons capability growth as we evolve into the future," Lockheed's F-35 executive vice-president and general manager Jeff Babione said in a newsletter to employees earlier this month.

DSCA details support package for Singapore US F-15 detachment

12/03/2017

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of $415 million worth of equipment and services for a Singapore fighter training detachment based in Idaho. The package includes a broad range of items, all to be furnished by the USAF, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in a statement. The package will be sold under the auspices of the US government's foreign military sales programme.

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