2018 Military Aviation News

PICTURES: UK trials unique carrier landing technique with F-35B

10/17/2018

The UK has for the first time tested an experimental shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) technique at sea using a Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning. BAE Systems test pilot Peter Wilson performed the manoeuvre while recovering to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in mid-October, the UK Ministry of Defence confirms.

F-16CM Thunderbird investigation of fatal crash released by US Air Force

10/17/2018

The US Air Force concluded in an accident investigation report that a fatal Lockheed Martin F-16CM Thunderbird crash on 4 April was the result of the pilot suffering loss of consciousness, caused by an 8.56g manoeuvre.

In 2021, A Massive Change is Coming to U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers (And It Makes F-35's Deadlier)

10/16/2018

The MQ-25A Stingray is evolving out of a now-cancelled carrier-launched ISR and attack drone program called Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system, or UCLASS. The Navy will launch formal flight testing in 2021 for a new, first-of-its kind carrier-launched drone engineered to double the attack range of F-18 fighters, F-35Cs and other carrier aircraft.

More Than a Dozen F-22s May Have Been Damaged or Destroyed by Hurricane Michael

10/16/2018

The U.S. Air Force is assessing what damage more than a dozen F-22 Raptor fighters suffered when Tyndall Air Force Base sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. Up to $2 billion in fighter jets were trapped on the ground because of maintenance issues and forced to ride out the Category 4 hurricane. Photographs show the hangars where F-22s were parked suffered severe damage.

More than 80% of F-35s returned to flight operations after inspections

10/16/2018

After completing inspections, more than 80% of operational Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft flown by US services and international partners have been cleared for flight operations. The worldwide fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft was grounded for inspections on 11 October after a problem with the aircraft’s engine fuel tube was discovered, which is believed to be related to the first crash of the stealth fighter a few weeks ago.

PICTURE: Aero Vodochody rolls out first L-39NG

10/16/2018

Aero Vodochody rolled out its first L-39NG jet trainer on 12 October, four years after the Prague-based company announced that it was to launch a new-generation version of its single-engined design at the Farnborough air show in July 2014. Manufacturing of parts and sub-assemblies started in 2017, with pre-serial production having commenced in January and the NG's first flight expected before year-end.

China’s Z-19E attack helicopter set for batch production: report

10/16/2018

The export version of AVIC’s Z-19 reconnaissance/attack helicopter is ready to start batch production following various tests. The company says that the Z-19E export variant has undergone various performance and other tests, reports the official China Daily newspaper. It is produced by AVIC unit Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing. While the Z-19 is operated by the Chinese army, it is not clear if AVIC has secured a customer for the Z-19E.

Defense industry grapples with cybersecurity flaws in new weapons systems

10/15/2018

Almost all of the U.S. military’s newly developed weapons systems suffer from “mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities,” a review of government security audits conducted from 2012 to 2017 found, suggesting military agencies have rushed to computerize new weapons systems without prioritizing cybersecurity.

Pentagon scrambles to bolster war readiness with aging aircraft fleet

10/15/2018

The Defense Department is scrambling for ways to ensure the U.S. military’s fleet of warplanes is able to fly and fight when called upon, despite a string of accidents over the past several months. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently took the unprecedented step of demanding an 80 percent readiness rate for all military aircraft, just days before the Pentagon ordered a fleetwide grounding of the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

China’s Navy Deploys New H-6J Anti-Ship Cruise Missile-Carrying Bombers

10/15/2018

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF) has acquired Xian-H-6J anti-ship cruise missile-carrying bombers, according to satellite imagery taken on September 7. An analysis of the satellite images shows that the first four H-6J bombers — assumed to be the naval variant of the upgraded H-6K — were on the ground at the PLANAF air base at Guiping-Mengshu in Guangxi in early September.

Setting The Record Straight On Why Fighter Jets Can't All Simply Fly Away To Escape Storms

10/14/2018

We have been leading the coverage on the state of aircraft left behind after Hurricane Michael made a direct strike on the highly important Tyndall Air Force Base. We have posted pictures showing QF-16s, Mu-2s, and yes, F-22s, sitting among the rubble inside badly damaged hangars at the base. The USAF has stated that aircraft were left behind, with unofficial figures being reported that range from three to 18 of the precious super fighters riding out the storm on site.

The Air Force's The F-22 Conducted Its First-Ever ‘Combat Surge’. Here's Why That Matters.

10/14/2018

While the Pentagon didn’t specify when the three-day surge occurred, the DoD stated that the squadron faced “both enemy fighters and surface-to-air missile systems” as part of the U.S. response to the Syrian regime’s illegal use of chemical weapons back earlier this year.

AERO VODOCHODY PRESENTS NEW L-39NG MILITARY AIRCRAFT

10/14/2018

Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody on Friday officially presented its new aircraft, L-39NG, a next generation model of the legendary L-39 Albatros, produced by the company since the 1960.

PICTURES: Tyndall Air Force Base suffers severe damage from Hurricane Michael

10/14/2018

Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, home to a Lockheed Martin F-22 training wing and a number of Boeing QF-16 target drones, suffered major damage when Hurricane Michael slammed into the military installation as a Category 4 storm with winds in excess of 130kt (241km/h).

F-22 stealth jets backed down 587 enemy aircraft in their first 'combat surge' over Syria

10/12/2018

US F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets just completed their first "combat surge" in operations over Syria, and in doing so it backed down almost 600 enemy aircraft in the crowded skies there that see Syria, Iranian, and Russian combat aircraft on a regular basis, the Pentagon said.

Second F-22 crash landing in 2018

10/12/2018

A Lockheed Martin F-22 coming in for a landing at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska crash landed and skidded across the runway, the second incident with the aircraft type this year. The US Air Force pilot was able to climb out of the cockpit unharmed, according to Elmendorf AFB. The cause of the incident is under investigation and the extent of damage to the aircraft is unknown.

Worldwide F-35 fleet grounded temporarily for inspections related to crash

10/12/2018

The worldwide fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft was grounded for inspections after a problem with the aircraft’s engine fuel tube was discovered, which is believed to be related to the first crash of the stealth fighter a few weeks ago.

USAF faces challenges to grow fleet, boost readiness

10/11/2018

The US Air Force faces challenges both increasing operational squadrons by 24% to 386 by 2025-2030, as it competes for funds with the US Army and Navy, which are also attempting to grow and modernize their equipment.

Third KC-390 transport conducts maiden flight

10/11/2018

The first series production Embraer KC-390 tactical transport has conducted its maiden flight, and will join the first two examples in the programme’s flight test campaign. “As agreed with the Brazilian Air Force, the aircraft will now join the flight test campaign, in which more than 1,900 flight hours have already been logged,” says Embraer.

Tyndall Evacuates Personnel as Bases Brace for Hurricane Michael

10/10/2018

U.S. Air Force bases located in Florida's panhandle are readying for Hurricane Michael, with some installations ordering mandatory personnel evacuations ahead of the Category 2 storm. Tyndall Air Force Base on Monday ordered the evacuation of all on-and-off-base personnel ahead of the hurricane, which is set to make landfall Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

China to sell 48 high-end military drones to Pakistan

10/10/2018

China will sell 48 high-end armed drones to its "all-weather ally" Pakistan in what a military observer said will be the largest deal of its kind, official media here reported Tuesday. The cost of the major defence deal was not revealed. Wing Loong II is a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aerial system, capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons.

OPINION: Can Boeing use T-X win to revive fighter prospects?

10/09/2018

It may seem premature, given that the champagne corks have only just finished popping in St Louis, Missouri – home to Boeing’s fighter business – on the back of its win in the US Air Force’s T-X trainer contest, but thoughts must surely be turning to what comes next.

Royal Saudi Air Force contingent arrives in Tunisia for joint drills

10/07/2018

The last aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) has arrived in Tunisia with their air, technical and support crews to participate in military exercises with the country’s air force. RSAF aircraft were received by Brig. Gen. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Sahyan, the military attache of the Saudi Embassy in Tunisia, Col. Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Shahrani, the commander of the exercise, and a number of Saudi and Tunisian officers.

Russia Says Its Syrian Air Defenses Can Track Aircraft In Europe, Israel

10/07/2018

Russia says its enhanced air defense system in Syria can spot aircraft on airfields in Europe and Israel. After a Russian surveillance aircraft was accidentally shot down by a Syrian missile during an Israeli air raid on September 18, Russia vowed to boost its electronic warfare defenses in Syria.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet plans a show of military might to deter an increasingly aggressive China

10/06/2018

The U.S. Pacific Fleet is drafting plans for a global show of force to warn China and demonstrate resolve to deter Beijing’s military actions, CNN reported, citing several unidentified U.S. defence officials. The draft proposal from the navy recommends that the Pacific Fleet conduct a series of operations during a single week in November that would involve American warships, combat aircraft and troops.

US clears armed helicopters for Iraq, surveillance aircraft for Canada

10/06/2018

The U.S. State Department has cleared a pair of proposed military sales — armed helicopters for Iraq and surveillance planes for Canada — with a joint price tag of more than $380 million. The two notifications were posted on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Thursday evening. Notifications are not guaranteed sales; members of the Senate could still choose to block the potential sale, and once it passes Congress, sale negotiations can change quantities and dollar figures.

Is India-made fighter possible? It’s never too late to get started

10/06/2018

It may be late in the day to think of an indigenously designed and manufactured fighter jet for the Indian Air Force, as much time has been lost over the decades, but things are still not — yet — beyond redemption. It’s still possible to make up for the time lost. Through diligent research, and by taking stock of the successes and failures on the way. If the right lessons are learnt and a course correction is done.

New Delhi bought 36 Rafales as “emergency” buy

10/06/2018

The chief of the Indian air force has defended the Narendra Modi government’s decision to obtain 36 Dassault Rafale fighters off the shelf, after terminating the long-running Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal.

US Army formally solicits Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft proposals

10/06/2018

The US Army is formally soliciting Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft proposals from the aviation industry. The service's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft Competitive Prototyping programme (FARA CP) will fund an effort to design, build, and test two aircraft, the service said in an online notice posted 3 October. The results of this prototyping and test effort will support a decision to enter into a formal programme of record in 2024.

Sweden offers to supply 8 new Gripen C/D fighter jets to Bulgaria

10/03/2018

Sweden has offered to supply 8 new Gripen C/D fighter jets equipped with the newest MS20 configuration to Bulgaria in response to the request for proposals received from the defence ministry in Sofia, the manufacturer the jets - Saab, said on Tuesday. The first jet can be delivered within 24 months of signing the contract, Saab said in a statement.

Canberra issues RFI for light special ops helicopters

10/03/2018

Canberra has issued a request for information related to “light helicopters” to support special operations. Issued on 25 September, the Department of Defence request solicits information about in-service helicopters “optimised for dense urban environments,” and that can be deployed by Boeing C-17 strategic transports.

Lockheed Martin awarded $632m to make Hellfire II missiles for Netherlands and Japan

10/03/2018

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $632 million contract to manufacture several types of the Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles for the Netherlands and Japan Self-Defense Forces. The fixed-price-incentive foreign military sale contract is estimated to be complete by 30 September 2021, according to a Department of Defense notice posted online 1 October. An undisclosed number of missiles will be produced at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Orlando, Florida.

NAF Reactivates Abandoned Aircraft for Military Operations

10/01/2018

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the in-house reactivation of 2 more platforms to enhance its operational efficiency in the discharge of its constitutional roles. The reactivation, which would enable the Service save huge foreign exchange that would have been expended if carried out abroad, would also improve NAF’s operational capability.

Days after multiple US bomber flights, Chinese warplanes did 'live fire shooting drills' in the South China Sea as tensions in the region boil

10/01/2018

A few days after multiple US bomber flights over the disputed waters of the South China Sea, fighters and bombers from the Chinese military carried out live-fire exercises over the same area — the latest round of drills in a period of increasing tension between the two countries.

US Marine Corps’ F-35B makes first air strike in Afghanistan

09/29/2018

The US Marine Corps used the Lockheed Martin F-35B to launch an air strike in Afghanistan on 27 September, the first ground attack by the stealth fighter. The F-35B Lightning took off from the USS Essex, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, in the Arabian Sea and launched an attack on a reportedly fixed Taliban target using an undisclosed weapon.

Lockheed Martin F-35A price dips below $90m for first time

09/29/2018

After drawn out negotiations with the Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin signed a contract to produce the eleventh lot of the F-35A for $89.2 million per unit. The price for the US Air Force’s conventional-takeoff-and-landing variant of the stealth fighter is the lowest yet, a 5.4% reduction from the prior production lot.

F-35 suffers first crash in South Carolina

09/29/2018

One day after the US Marine Corps conducted its first air strike with the Lockheed Martin F-35B over Afghanistan, another one of the stealth fighters crashed near USMC Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina. The incident is the first ever crash of any variant of the F-35 since the aircraft began flying 12 years ago. The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was being evaluated for injuries, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. The aircraft crashed around 11:45 Eastern Time.

Boeing wins $9.2b T-X trainer contract with USAF

09/28/2018

The US Air Force awarded Boeing Defense a $9.2 billion contract for production of 351 T-X trainer jets, 46 simulators and associated ground equipment The T-X trainers will replace the USAF’s 57-year-old fleet of Northrop T-38C Talons, the service announced 27 September. The contract is an indefinite-delivery and indefinite-quantity award, allowing the USAF to purchase up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators.

China demands US cancel arms sale to Taiwan

09/27/2018

China on Tuesday demanded the U.S. cancel a $330 million sale of military equipment to Taiwan, warning of "severe damage" to bilateral relations and mutual cooperation if Washington fails to comply. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a regular briefing that the sale violated international law and the "basic norms governing international relations."

Israelis find navigation jamming scarier than S-300 missiles

09/27/2018

This week, when Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced measures in response to the downing of the Russian Il-20 aircraft with 15 people aboard on September 17, two actions stood out. They were providing Syria with an S-300 air defence system and jamming satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft that attack targets in Syria and in the regions over the waters of the Mediterranean Sea bordering with Syria.

US F-35 fighter jet poised for combat debut

09/27/2018

The US Marine Corps' stealth F-35B Lightning fighter jet could fly its first combat mission within days, according to several US defense officials, who told CNN that the fifth-generation aircraft are currently aboard the USS Essex amphibious assault ship and should soon be in a position to conduct airstrikes over Afghanistan.

Royal Navy bids farewell to Sea Kings

09/27/2018

The Royal Navy has withdrawn its final Westland Sea King helicopters from use, ending 49 years of UK operation for the twin-engined type. However, with the replacement for the airborne surveillance and control (ASaC)-configured helicopters not due to enter service until 2020, there are fears that the retirement leaves the navy with a capability gap.

US-China tensions spilling over into the military arena

09/26/2018

A deterioration in U.S.-China relations, seen most dramatically in their escalating trade dispute, is spilling over into the military arena. The Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed that China had canceled a Washington visit by the head of its navy, and U.S. officials said China had denied a request for a U.S. Navy ship to make a port visit next month at Hong Kong. Also on Tuesday, China demanded the Trump administration cancel a planned $330 million sale of military equipment to Taiwan.

Serbia to buy Chinese UAVs

09/26/2018

Serbia is to acquire a number of Chinese unmanned air vehicles to be used for both reconnaissance and offensive missions. Nenad Miloradovic, Belgrade's assistant defence minister, confirmed on 17 September in Beijing that the country would buy the systems. They will be capable of day and night surveillance missions and be capable of carrying laser-guided munitions, he indicates.

USA approves support package for Taiwan air force

09/26/2018

The USA has approved the sale of $330 million in spare parts for several aircraft types operated by Taiwan. If accepted by Taiwan, the package covers both the repair and replenishment of spare parts for types such as the Lockheed Martin F-16, C-130, Northrop F-5, and the AIDC IDF (Indigenous Defense Fighter), says the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Russia to upgrade Syria's air defence systems after fatal downing of military aircraft

09/25/2018

Russia is to supply Syria with an advanced air defence system in response to the shooting down of one of Moscow's planes that killed 15 servicemen and was initially blamed on Israel. In an indirect warning at Israel, President Vladimir Putin's military said it would also start to jam the radar and satellite signals of planes that attack Syrian territory from the Mediterranean.

U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Jets Involved In First Operational Deployment Near the Horn of Africa Flying With External Gun Pod

09/25/2018

For the last two weeks, U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 “Wake Island Avengers”, deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, have undertaken the type’s first operational deployment in international waters off the coast of Djibouti.

OPINION: Is US Air Force really too small?

09/25/2018

Size matters, as the old adage goes. But how big is big enough, when it comes to the world’s most powerful air force maintaining its status? On stage at the US Air Force’s main gathering, the AFA conference, Heather Wilson – its highest-ranking civilian – said its current strength of 312 operational squadrons is “too small” once weighed against likely future operational demands.

Air supremacy by stealth

09/24/2018

In three months Australia will take delivery of the first of 72 Joint Strike Fighters, a fifth-generation fighter plane that will replace the country’s ageing fleet of Super Hornets. Depending on who you listen to, the JSF is either the most formidable fighter on the planet or an expensive boondoggle the likes of which this country has never seen.

China cancels military talks with U.S. in protest at sanctions over Russia military equipment

09/24/2018

The sanctions are related to China's purchase of 10 SU-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018, the State Department said. China summoned the U.S. ambassador in Beijing and postponed joint military talks in protest against a U.S. decision to sanction a Chinese military agency and its director for buying Russian fighter jets and a surface-to-air missile system.

USAF to take gradual approach in hypersonic acquistions

09/24/2018

The US Air Force is unlikely to purchase initial hypersonic weapons in large quantities, but instead will wait for improvements in follow-on versions. The service expects an initial operational capability of 2020 for its Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), though there may be some delays due to testing, said Will Roper, USAF assistant secretary for acquisition and technology.

Seoul set to re-launch training helicopter tender

09/24/2018

South Korea will reissue its tender for a basic flight training helicopter to help train pilots for both the army and navy. Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) plans to issue a new request for proposals on 2 October, according to a statement.

$674 billion of tanks, fighter jets, subs and more to boost US military power in 2019

09/22/2018

New destroyers, fighter jets, tanks, submarines, Black Hawk helicopters, supersonic weapons and more will make the U.S. military even more powerful next year. In line with White House recommendations, it looks as though defense will receive an increase of 3 percent in funding - meaning the military will receive $674 billion in support in 2019.

Switzerland to test combat missiles in Sweden

09/22/2018

The Swiss Air Force will be testing air-to-air missiles in Sweden due to lack of sufficient space in Switzerland. On Thursday, two Swiss F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets left the Emmen airfield in Switzerland and landed in Sweden at the Vidsel Test Range aerodrome. Various missile tests will be conducted there until October 12 under the supervision of Armasuisse, the Federal Office for Defence Procurement.

China and the US are at each other's throats over Russian weapons sales — here's what Beijing's been buying

09/22/2018

China, which was targeted by US military sanctions on Thursday for buying Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missiles, is one of Russia's key arms customers. Russia sold around US$15 billion worth of weapons to the Chinese in 2017, maintaining a similar level of sales to the previous year, according to Rosoboronexport, the Russian agency responsible for military exports.

Top drone: Reaper scores drone kill in air-to-air missile test

09/21/2018

The US Air Force has revealed that an MQ-9 Reaper uncrewed aircraft successfully shot down a smaller drone with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile in a test last November. The details, provided by Col. Julian Cheater, commander of the 432nd Wing, came in an interview with Military.com at the Air Force Association's Air, Space, and Cyber Conference in Washington, DC, yesterday.

Putin Calls Downing of Russian Plane in Syria ‘Tragic’ and Absolves Israel

09/21/2018

Syrian forces accidentally shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli airstrike on Syrian territory, Kremlin officials said Tuesday, the worst case of friendly fire for Russia in the Syrian war. The accident on Monday night briefly caused a crisis in Russia-Israel relations as the Kremlin blamed the Israelis, underscoring the risks of escalation from unintended consequences among the different forces operating in Syria.

Thai air force to take four more H225M helicopters

09/21/2018

Bangkok has ordered four additional Airbus Helicopters H225M heavy-twin rotorcraft for use by the Royal Thai Air Force. The follow-on order will see the service operating 12 examples by 2021, says the airframer.

Qatar makes first payment against Typhoon buy

09/20/2018

Qatar's programme to acquire 24 Eurofighter Typhoons and nine BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers has come into effect, after Doha made its first financial commitment against the deal. "The contract, valued at approximately £5 billion [$6.6 billion], has become effective with receipt of the first payment," BAE announced on 18 September.

RAAF combat squadron receives first F-35A

09/20/2018

The Royal Australian Air Force’s No. 3 squadron has received its first Lockheed Martin F-35A, the first RAAF aircraft not earmarked for the Luke AFB International Pilot Training Centre. This is the RAAF’s ninth F-35A, with the others being used to training at Luke, says Australia’s Department of Defence.

Russian aircrew deaths: Putin and Netanyahu defuse tension

09/19/2018

The leaders of Russia and Israel have sought to defuse tension after a Russian plane was shot down by Syrian forces amid an Israeli air raid. In a call to Vladimir Putin, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret at the loss of 15 Russian personnel, but stressed again that Syria was to blame. Mr Putin had earlier called the incident "a chain of tragic accidental circumstances".

The effort to counter Russian aggression in Europe is growing daily

09/17/2018

Europe continues to be a growth point for the Air Force as concerns about Russian intentions mount. International exercises, base funding and missions on the continent are all on an upward swing.

Vladimir Putin FLEXES MUSCLES with HUGE show of military force - NATO on alert

09/17/2018

FOR VLADIMIR Putin they represent the strength of the Russian people. More than 300,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen are today exercising in Siberia as part of Vostok 2018, the largest-scale Russian military war games since the depth of the Cold War in 1981.

Time running out for BAE Typhoon sale to Qatar

09/17/2018

Time is running out for BAE Systems to confirm a long-awaited deal to sell Typhoon fighters to Qatar. Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, and his Qatari counterpart ­unveiled the £5bn contract for 24 of the jets, together with a package of support and training, in December.

15,000 troops on Guam, Northern Mariana Islands for Valiant Shield exercise

09/17/2018

The skies and seas around Guam will be filled with 160 military aircraft, 15 ships and 15,000 people from the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps as Valiant Shield 2018 gets underway this week. Valiant Shield, conducted every two years, is a large training exercise that includes units from different branches of the U.S. military.

US government backs South Korean P-8A buy

09/17/2018

The US Department of State has cleared the potential sale of six Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to South Korea. The package is valued at $2.1 billion, says the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency. In addition to the 737-based aircraft and their engines, the package includes a range of mission systems, support and training.

What the Russian Tu-95 bombers intercepted by US F-22 stealth jets on September 11 were up to

09/14/2018

Russian Tu-95 nuclear-capable bombers have approached US airspace near Alaska twice in the last month, and most recently on September 11. But the Russians have a long history of sending the Tu-95s towards the US, and even on significant dates, such as July 4, 2015, when US jets intercepted a pair of the bombers.

Putin it up to Vlad! NATO fighter jets simulate flight interceptions over Western Europe to deter Russian aircraft from approaching allied airspace

09/14/2018

British, French and German fighter jets simulated flight interceptions over Western Europe on Wednesday as part of NATO drills to deter Russian planes from entering allied airspace and to showcase European efforts to integrate their air defences.

Aircraft carrier-based fighter jet officially capable of night combat

09/14/2018

The J-15 fighter jet is capable of night takeoff and landing on an aircraft carrier, the Chinese navy newspaper said Wednesday, leading a Chinese military expert to marvel at how fast the pilots mastered a difficult and dangerous technique. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has made a breakthrough in its aircraft carrier night takeoff and landing technique, a historic milestone for the J-15 and a significant breakthrough in overall attack and defense capability.

Bug Out: Most Military Aircraft Are Now Out of the Florence Zone

09/13/2018

The Navy and Marine Corps are not taking any chances with scores of aircraft based at East Coast air stations before the arrival of Hurricane Florence. Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in the Florida panhandle has already received more than 60 aircraft from NAS Oceana, NAS Patuxent River, and NAS Norfolk in Virginia and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort in South Carolina- all facilities in or close to the expected Flo Zone.

F-22 stealth fighters intercept Russian strategic bombers near Alaska for the second time this month

09/13/2018

US Air Force F-22 stealth fighters intercepted two Russian strategic bombers escorted by two fighter jets near Alaska on Tuesday, marking the second time Russia has done so in a month. Two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers, which are traditionally armed with a variety of air-launched cruise missiles, accompanied by Su-35 Flanker fighter jets were picked up by US aircraft "west of mainland Alaska," North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement Wednesday.

Spain plans to take more NH90 helicopters

09/13/2018

Spain's government has given approval for the acquisition of an additional 23 NH Industries NH90 troop transport helicopters. However, Madrid needs to give a further endorsement before a firm contract is signed. The helicopters are assembled and delivered from the Albacete facility of NHI consortium member Airbus Helicopters.

Japan cleared to buy nine additional E-2Ds

09/12/2018

The US government has cleared Tokyo to obtain nine additional Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. The US State Department announced the potential deal in Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) statement. This means that Tokyo could eventually obtain up to 13 E-2Ds, as it already has firm orders four examples of the type.

USAF awards Boeing $2.9 billion for 18 more KC-46As

09/11/2018

The US Air Force awarded Boeing a $2.9 billion contract for 18 additional KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, spares, support equipment, spare engines and wing air refueling pod kits. The contract represents the fourth production lot of KC-46A tanker aircraft the USAF has ordered from Boeing and brings the total number of tankers ordered to 52. Ultimately, Boeing expects to build 179 tankers for the service.

P&W awarded $437m for further development of adaptive jet engine

09/11/2018

Pratt & Whitney was awarded a $437 million contract modification by the US Air Force to further develop its adaptive jet engine design, a propulsion system for a future sixth-generation fighter.

NATO rotates Baltic, Romanian air policing duties

09/11/2018

NATO air forces have made their latest rotations in the provision of air policing services for the Baltic states and eastern Europe. Late last month, deployments involving fighters from France, Portugal, Spain and the UK concluded in Estonia, Latvia and Romania, with their duties passed on to Alliance partners Belgium, Canada and Germany.

AVIC rolls out first FTC-2000G light fighter

09/11/2018

AVIC has rolled out the first FTC-2000G, a light combat variant of its FTC-2000 trainer. The Chinese aircraft manufacturer says that assembly of the aircraft started in February at the Anshun factory of its Guizhou Aviation Industries Co unit. It is now scheduled to make its first flight in late September, and will also be displayed at the Zhuhai air show in November.

Meet the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s First Female F-35A Lightning II Pilot

09/10/2018

Colonel Regina Sabric, callsign “Torch”, of Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania has become the first female Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Col. Sabric is also commander of the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB in Utah, a unit she assumed command of in April of 2018.

China’s FTC-2000G Lightweight Multirole Combat Aircraft Has 1 Big Problem

09/10/2018

China’s Guizhou Aviation Industry Corporation has started production of its new export-oriented FTC-2000G lightweight multirole combat aircraft. The new light attack aircraft is expected to make its first flight by the end of September according to official Chinese government media.

F-22 stealth jets intercept Russian strategic bomber heading for Alaska ahead of massive war games

09/08/2018

US Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets intercepted two Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers near Alaska on Saturday, Russia's Ministry of Defense confirmed. The incident, first reported by The Washington Free Beacon on Thursday, unfolded outside US sovereign airspace ahead of Russia's biggest military exercise in modern history.

Israeli Combat Aircraft Which Participated In The Attack On The Syrian Nuclear Reactor in 2007 Given New Mission Marking

09/08/2018

On Sept. 6, 2007 the Israeli Air Force (IAF) destroyed the nuclear reactor in Dier ez-Zor, Syria as part of an operation named “Silent Tone” (previously unofficially named “Operation Orchard” by international media). For more than 10 years, Israel never publicly admitted that some of its aircraft destroyed the facility in eastern Syria, even though some details about the clandestine mission leaked throughout the years.

India's Tejas clears in-flight refuelling hurdle

09/08/2018

India’s long-delayed Tejas programme has successfully demonstrated the ability of a specially modified Mk1 example of the fighter to undergo air-to-air refuelling behind an Ilyushin Il-78MKI tanker.

OPINION: Does US Air Force need a Loyal Wingman?

09/08/2018

Think of contemporary military might, and in all likelihood a list would rank the USA as flying way clear of any rival power. And rightly so – our World Air Forces analysis for 2018 shows that Washington holds a 25% share of the global fleet: impressive, even before considering that this is just shy of double the combined arsenals of China and Russia.

US Army to order 11 more UH-72A Lakotas for pilot training

09/08/2018

The US Army intends to purchase 11 more Airbus UH-72A Lakota helicopters for pilot training at its Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The army has not yet awarded a contract to Airbus, but posted a sole-source requirement notice online on 30 August stating that it intended to do so. The service anticipates the aircraft will be delivered to support pilot training by fiscal year 2021.

Boeing bolsters Apache team for Polish contest

09/08/2018

Boeing has strengthened its industry team offering the AH-64E Apache in Poland's Kruk attack helicopter competition, after signing an agreement with local firm PGZ. "PGZ is our principal defence industrial co-operation partner," said Gene Cunningham, vice-president, global sales for Boeing Defense, Space & Security, at the MSPO exhibition in Kielce.

Navy Aircraft Carriers Are Getting a Big Upgrade

09/06/2018

The U.S. Navy on Aug. 30, 2018 chose Chicago-based Boeing to build the sailing branch’s first carrier-launched unmanned aerial vehicle. In choosing Boeing to build the MQ-25 Stingray multi-mission tanker, the Navy has opened the next major chapter in a story that began in the mid-1990s, when the sailing branch worked alongside the U.S. Air Force to develop a fighter-like drone.

Indian Air Force bats for 'beautiful' Rafale crafts, will add 'teeth to force'

09/06/2018

Even as the controversy over the Rafale deal reaches a boiling point, the Indian Air Force has come out in support of the agreement. Calling it a "beautiful aircarft" that will give India "unprecedented" combat capabilities, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SB Deo said those criticising it don't understand the laid down norms and procurement procedure.

Boeing KC-46 attains FAA supplemental type certificate

09/06/2018

The US Federal Aviation Administration has awarded the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tanker a supplemental type certificate (STC), thus completing the type’s FAA certification process. “To receive its STC, Boeing’s team completed a series of lab, ground and flight tests, which commenced in 2015,” says the airframer. “As part of the required flight testing, the team validated the KC-46’s boom and drogue aerial refueling systems met FAA certification criteria.”

Lockheed touts ‘Make in India’ credentials with F-16 wing work

09/06/2018

Lockheed Martin will shift production of wings for the F-16 fighter to India’s Tata Advanced Systems, as it ups the ante in its effort win a key fighter competition. The US firm and Tata have signed an agreement for the potential work, says Lockheed.

F-22 refines dogfighting and air-to-air combat tactics

09/05/2018

The Air Force F-22 has been refining its dog-fighting skills, assessing technical upgrades and testing air-to-air combat tactics during a Red Flag exercise in Nevada – designed to improve attack maneuvers and solidify emerging communications technologies and sensors, service officials said.

China ‘nearing mass production’ of J-20 stealth fighter after engine problems ironed out

09/05/2018

A new and improved engine designed to make China’s J-20 stealth fighter a world-class combat jet should be ready for mass production by the end of the year, military sources have said. The WS-15 engine features cutting-edge single-crystal turbine blades and has been in development for several years, but Chinese technicians have struggled to get it into mass production.

Austria advances Alouette helicopter replacement plan

09/05/2018

Austria's government has given the green light to begin replacing the aged fleet of Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopters operated by its air force. Vienna is committed to retiring the elderly single-engined type by 2023, according to the minutes of a 22 August cabinet meeting.

Did a Russian Made Anti-Aircraft Missile Really Hit an F-35?

09/04/2018

Already there are reports—again, just reports—that Israeli F-35s have flown combat missions. Given that the U.S. and Israeli air forces are among the most active in the world, sooner or later the F-35 will really, truly see combat. But the rumors are out there now. Did a Russian anti-aircraft missile hit one of Israel’s new F-35 stealth fighters?

Before 6th-Generation Fighter Flies, Lockheed Offers F-35/F-22 Hybrid

09/04/2018

Lockheed Martin is reportedly shopping around a F-35/F-22 hybrid concept, combining aspects of the two 5th-generation fighters as the Pentagon begins work on a 6th-generation fighter that could take decades to develop and field. To counter threats from near-peer adversaries like Russia and China, Lockheed has pitched to the Air Force and U.S. allies a fighter that has an upgraded F-22 stealth body and the F-35's avionics, according to a report by Defense One.

PICTURES: Singapore's first A330 tanker makes public debut

09/04/2018

The Republic of Singapore Air Force's first Airbus A330 multi-role tanker/transport made its public debut on 1 September, taking part in the service's 50th anniversary parade. Sporting special anniversary markings and the service registration 761, the adapted widebody had been flown to Singapore's Changi West air base in mid-August from Airbus Defence & Space's modification site in Getafe, near Madrid.

US Air Force not large enough to handle future global threats

09/04/2018

The US Air Force’s aircraft capacity falls short of being able to meet a variety of long-term future scenarios, including a new cold war with Russia or China, according to an analysis by Rand Corp.

Russia war games: Biggest since Cold War 'justified'

08/29/2018

Russia plans to hold massive war games involving 300,000 personnel next month - its biggest military manoeuvres since a Cold War drill in 1981. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Vostok-2018 drills were justified given "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards his country. Units from China and Mongolia will also take part in the exercises at military ranges in central and eastern Russia. The manoeuvres come at a time of rising tension between Nato and Russia.

US aircraft carriers are about to get a lot deadlier with Navy F-35s training with F/A-18s

08/29/2018

The US Navy hit a major milestone in its quest to make aircraft carriers a more deadly, potent force by sailing the USS Abraham Lincoln with F-35C stealth fighters training alongside F/A-18s for the first time. The Navy's F-35C represents the most troubled branch of the F-35 family. With the Air Force and Marines Corps F-35s coming online over a year ago, the F-35C sorely lags behind as it struggled to master carrier takeoff and landings.

USAF posts adversary air request for proposals

08/29/2018

The US Air Force posted online an official request for proposals for its Combat Air Force Contracted Air Support programme on 24 August. The USAF intends to contract 30,000 adversary air sorties annually in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii, according to the notice. The service also wants aircraft for 10,000 close air support sorties annually in the continental United States to facilitate joint terminal attack controller training.

Japan, Taiwan must re-evaluate how they’re intercepting Chinese threats

08/28/2018

On a recent trip to East Asia, the subject of steadily increasing Chinese maritime and air activity in the waters and airspace of Japan and Taiwan came up often. China’s navy and air force are growing in number and sophistication of platforms, and China has been sending ships and aircraft in increasing numbers through international waters around both Taiwan and Japan, through their Exclusive Economic Zones, Air Defense Identification Zones, contiguous zones, and even territorial waters and airsp

Qatar to expand air base hosting major U.S. military facility

08/28/2018

Qatar will expand two air bases including Udeid, which hosts the largest U.S. military facility in the Middle East, a senior military official said on Monday amid a year-long dispute between the tiny Gulf Arab state and its neighbours.

Type 001A: China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier on final sea run to combat readiness

08/28/2018

The first Chinese-built aircraft carrier is entering the home straight to combat readiness with the start of a final sea trial that could last up to a year, according to observers. Just three months after its maiden voyage, the 65,000-tonne Type 001A vessel left a shipyard in Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning on Sunday towed by several tugboats, according to photographs and footage posted online by the Chinese military.

Bell receives $510m contract for AH-1Z Viper order for Marine Corps

08/28/2018

Bell Helicopter was awarded a $510 million contract to manufacture 29 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters for the US Marine Corps. The contract amount will also fund the purchase of long lead materials and components for an additional seven Lot 16 aircraft, according to a notice posted on the Department of Defense’s contracts page on 23 August.

?New Delhi sets stage for 24 MH-60R FMS deal

08/28/2018

India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has taken a step toward the possible acquisition of 24 Lockheed Martin Sikorsky MH-60R anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters. The news came in a defence ministry announcement that the DAC has earmarked INR460 billion ($6.4 billion) for new military equipment including helicopters for the navy and artillery for the army.

Iran's new jet fighter looks like a big joke — but its real purpose could save Iran's air force

08/24/2018

Iran drew widespread ridicule when it revealed that its supposedly "state of the art" and domestically designed and built new "Kowsar" jet fighter was really a 1970s US design with a fresh coat of paint — but according to an expert, the plane has an untold purpose that could save the Iranian air force.

NATO receives first US shipment for common precision weapon stockpile

08/24/2018

NATO has started to build a stockpile of common air-to-ground precision guided munitions with the receipt of its first weapons shipment from the USA on 22 August. The stockpile is meant to allow European NATO members to draw upon each other’s precision guided munitions in case of need, such as during joint air operations or in reaction to a crisis.

Russia’s Defense Ministry to Ink Contract for 12 Su-57 Stealth Fighters Soon

08/22/2018

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) is expected to sign a contract for a pre-production batch of 12 Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft, Russia’s first indigenously designed and built fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, with United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), a major Russian aerospace and defense company, this week, according to the head of UAC Yuri Slyusar.

Russia delivers fighter jets to Serbia

08/22/2018

Serbia's air force received two Russian MiG-29 fighter jets as part of an arms purchase that could heighten tensions in the Balkans and increase Moscow's influence in the region. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic attended the ceremony on Tuesday at a military airport close to the Serbian capital, Belgrade, thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin for helping make Serbia's armed forces stronger.

New Air Force light attack plane moves quickly toward combat

08/22/2018

The Air Force has entered the next phase in its development of a new, combat-ready Light Attack aircraft designed to maneuver close to terrain, support ground combat operations and operate closely with U.S. allies in an irregular warfare scenario. The service is now entering a proposal phase for its new aircraft, designed to lead to a production contract by next year.

Germany wants a new nuclear-capable fighter, and the US may get a say about which one

08/22/2018

Germany wants to replace its fleet of 89 Tornado combat jets with a new aircraft that retains the plane's nuclear capability, but doing so may mean the US gets a say about which aircraft the Luftwaffe ultimately picks, according to Defense News.

NASA begins test flights to study physiological events on military pilots

08/22/2018

NASA started a several months-long series of flights on 3 August to identify the physiological impacts of flying in high-performance military aircraft on the human body. The flights are being conducted at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California and will take place over 160 flight hours. The tests are managed by the NASA Engineering and Safety Center at Langley Research Center in Virginia.

That F-22 Vs. F-35 ‘Dogfight’ In Norway Was Not What Everyone Thinks

08/20/2018

A pair of stealthy fifth-generation U.S. Air Force Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor air superiority fighters squared off against a pair of Royal Norwegian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters during a one-day training exercise over Norway on August 15 .

Chinese bombers: the warplanes ‘training for strikes against US targets’

08/20/2018

The Pentagon has highlighted China’s growing military clout in a new report, saying the air force is developing its bombers to hit targets as far away as possible – and “likely training for strikes” against the United States and its allies. It said the People’s Liberation Army was pursuing nuclear capability for its long-range bombers, and the air force had “been reassigned a nuclear mission”, in its annual report to the US Congress on China’s military developments released on Thursday.

US Air Force T-38 Talon Jet Trainer Crashed Into A Field In Oklahoma

08/18/2018

Details are still coming in, but a T-38 Talon training jet from the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma has crashed. This is the sixth aircraft the Air Force has lost in non-combat mishaps in 2018 and the third incident involving a T-38 since November 2017.

PICTURES: Russia rolls out modernised Tu-22M3M bomber

08/18/2018

Russia is close to commencing ground and flight trials with its first modernised Tupolev Tu-22M3M bomber, with a lead example having emerged from the United Aircraft (UAC) plant in Kazan in mid-August.

Pentagon report highlights Beijing’s bomber capabilities

08/18/2018

A new Pentagon report highlights the strides Beijing is making with its bomber capabilities, as well as other airpower trends. In its annual report to congress about military developments in China, the US Department of Defense highlights the capabilities of the Xian H-6K bomber. It dedicates a whole chapter to Beijing’s ratcheting up of long-range bomber patrols.

US defence act budgets nearly $40bn for 413 new aircraft

08/17/2018

President Donald Trump signed the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act into law on 13 August, budgeting $39.5 billion for the purchase of 413 new aircraft. The largest appropriation for a single aircraft type is $7.6 billion to procure 77 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters; $4.2 billion to procure 48 F-35As for the US Air Force; $2.3 billion to procure 20 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps; and $1.1 billion to procure nine F-35Cs for the US Navy.

Singapore joins ranks of A330 MRTT operators

08/16/2018

The Singapore air force’s first Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) has arrived in the country. Images posted on social media show the aircraft landing at Changi International Airport, adjacent to the Changi West air base where the nation's Boeing KC-135R tankers are stationed.

The F-35 Is One of the Deadliest Fighter Jets on the Planet (And Now One of the Safest)

08/15/2018

The Air Force will soon operate F-35s with fast-evolving collision-avoidance technology able to help fighter jets avoid ground collisions by using computer automation to redirect an aircraft in the event that a pilot is injured or incapacitated.

Dogfight: Russia's 'Stealth' Su-57 vs. Su-35 (Who Wins?)

08/15/2018

The Russians seem to recognize that the initial version of the Su-57 will not offer a particularly more useful capability than the Su-35. Moscow only plans to purchase a dozen of the initial AL-41F1-powered version of the Su-57.

UK Unveils New Unmanned Fighter Aircraft For Future Warfare

08/15/2018

Britain has recently showcased their latest creation which aims to dominate the skies in the future. The fighter jet is named The Tempest, and it is co-developed by British aerospace companies BAE Systems Plc, Rolls Royce Holdings, MBDA UK and Anglo-Italian firm Leonardo SpA.

Boeing to convert F/A-18 E/Fs into Blue Angels

08/15/2018

Boeing was awarded $17 million to convert nine F/A-18E and two F/A-18F aircraft into Blue Angel demonstration aircraft. The Super Hornets are to replace the squadron’s McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets, which have been in use since 1986. The retrofit work will be done in St. Louis, Missouri and is expected to be finished in December 2021, according to the notice posted online 13 August.

Air Force Research Lab developing anti-laser glasses and visors for pilots

08/14/2018

The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) granted a $49.1 million contract to UES Inc. to help research and develop technologies to counter laser attacks on aircraft. Laser attacks are rising this year as China’s military forces have allegedly used beams to blind and harass US military pilots flying near Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea and a military base in Djibouti, according to the Department of Defense.

Black Hawk deal could lift Latvian military

08/14/2018

Latvia could advance its armed forces modernisation programme via a four-aircraft purchase of Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, after the US Department of State gave its approval to a potential deal.

RAAF KC-30A TANKERS OFFLOAD 100 MILLION POUNDS DURING OKRA OPS

08/13/2018

The RAAF’s Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) deployment to the Middle East under Operation Okra has marked 100 million pounds (over 45,000 metric tonnes) of fuel offloaded during air-to-air refuelling operations. Since September 2014, the RAAF had maintained a single KC-30A from Amberley-based 33SQN in the Persian Gulf region to support an RAAF Air Task Group and coalition aircraft on combat operations up into Iraq and Syria.

F-15Cs Intercept Stolen DASH-8 Airliner out of Seattle Tacoma Airport Before Crash.

08/12/2018

In a bizarre incident originating from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state an Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 twin-engine turboprop commuter airliner was commandeered by a lone male, reported to be an airport maintenance worker, and crashed into the ground on Ketron Island, which is southwest of Tacoma, in south Puget Sound. There were no passengers on board the aircraft. Ketron Island has only about 20 year-round residents according to news outlets.

China’s air force quietly adds new J-16 fighter jets to ‘push the envelope’

08/12/2018

China’s expanding line-up of multirole, all-weather J-16 fighter jets will help the air force to launch strikes deep into enemy territory and destroy key strategic assets like airfields and bridges, military analysts say.

India: The Next Big Aircraft Carrier Power?

08/12/2018

India’s aircraft carrier ambitions just passed a major milestone. On August 2, India’s domestically built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) conducted an arrested landing for the very first time. The naval variant of the LCA is India’s first indigenous carrier-based aircraft. The Teja didn’t land on a carrier deck. In fact, it didn’t land at all. The aircraft was simply practicing grabbing a tailhook of an arresting wire from the ground.

AIRPOWER DISRUPTION IN THE AGE OF THE F-35

08/11/2018

Australia is building its future air power capabilities around the F-35. What future threats might the fifth-gen fighter face? As tensions rise over China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, Australia deploys a squadron of F-35A Lightning Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), to the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth. This is a location very familiar to many Australian defence personnel from decades of deployments, going back to the dark days of World War 2.

China fires SIX WARNINGS to US Navy in South China Sea ‘This is China...LEAVE IMMEDIATELY’

08/11/2018

THE Chinese military told a US Navy plane flying over the highly-disputed island in the South China Sea to “leave immediately”. The US Navy P-8A Poseidon jet was flying at 16,500 feet to get a view of low-lying coral reefs that have been turned into garrisons with five-storey buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough to carry large military aircraft.

Marine Corps aircraft readiness numbers inaccurate, IG says

08/11/2018

At least nine active duty US Marine Corps Aviation squadrons failed to accurately report the present state of their squadron’s aircraft readiness in late 2017 and early 2018 due to confusion about what data should be recorded.

OPINION: USAF light-attack plans give cause for optimism

08/11/2018

Hard and bitter experience entitles the small but vocal community of advocates for buying cheap turboprop-powered attack aircraft to be sceptical, but their time may have finally come. The US Air Force actually seems serious about buying several squadrons of either Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29s or Beechcraft AT-6s from Textron Aviation.

Joint military exercise, Northern Strike, continues

08/10/2018

It was another busy day as Northern Strike continued on Wednesday, August 8, with first-responder drills focused on vehicle extrication taking place in Rogers City. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters also practiced sling-loading equipment at Alpena CRTC, along with many other activities in Grayling and on the Lake Huron Water Range.

Defeating modern air defenses is achievable with smart strategies, not only stealth and standoff

08/10/2018

In the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress agreed with the Air Force to cancel the manned JSTARS recap program in favor of a largely space-based system, the Advanced Battle Management System. ABMS is undefined, without an estimate of cost and with an unknown fielding date. In the meantime, against Air Force wishes, Congress has disallowed the retirement of any of the 17 legacy E-8C JSTARS aircraft.

NATO scrambled to INTERCEPT five Russian supersonic fighter jets flying near Europe

08/10/2018

The onslaught of Russian aircraft were shadowed by the NATO Air Policing Mission (APM) team tasked with guarding airspace over the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO aircraft were scrambled to escort Russian planes on eight separate occasions between July 30 and August 5, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence. On each occasion the Russian aircraft were flying either to or from Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave situated between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic

USAF analyst suggests ways to avoid cost overruns on 6th-gen fighter

08/10/2018

The Aircraft and Weapons division chief with the US Air Force Cost Analysis Agency has made a series of suggestions in a research paper for keeping the price of a sixth generation fighter down after analysing a myriad of cost-overruns by the B-2, F-22 and F-35 programmes.

Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon Accidentally Fires Live Air-to-Air Missile Over Estonia, 25 miles west of the Russian border

08/09/2018

A Spanish Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft accidently fired an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) while flying near Otepää in Estonia, less than 50 km west of the Russian border. The missile has not been recovered. The last assumed location of the missile is roughly 40 km to the north of the city of Tartu, and its direction was northbound. The incident took place on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 sometime around 3:45 PM local.

Military exercise in U.P., northern Michigan

08/09/2018

Military units from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are at Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and across northern Michigan through August 18 for Exercise Northern Strike ‘18. Officials say residents in parts of the U.P. may see military aircraft including fighters, cargo planes and helicopters during the exercise.

The Chinese threat that an aircraft carrier can’t stop

08/09/2018

Will the Pentagon, with its 30-year planning cycle for building ships, still be launching aircraft carriers in 2048 — even though they’re highly vulnerable to attack today? That’s an example of the military-modernization questions that kept nagging participants at last weekend’s gathering of the Aspen Strategy Group, which annually brings together top-level current and former national security officials, along with a few journalists, to discuss defense and foreign policy.

U.S. F-15 fighter jets to take part in largest Ukrainian aviation exercise

08/09/2018

Head of the Press Center of Ukraine’s Air Force, Roman Yurchilo has confirmed the participation U.S. troops in the upcoming Clear Sky 2018 multinational military exercise in Ukraine. Ukraine this year will hold the largest multinational aviation exercise since its independence. The Clear Sky 2018 exercise scheduled to be held in mid-October for two weeks.

Russia’s Aircraft Carrier to be Upgraded to Carry Mig-29K/KUB Fighter Jets

08/08/2018

The flight deck of the flagship of the Russian Navy, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, will undergo a major upgrade to carry MiG-29K/MiG-29KUB fighter jets as part of a general overhaul of the warship slated to begin in the coming weeks, according to Russian defense industry officials.

Lockheed Martin claims both USAF hypersonic programmes

08/08/2018

The US Air Force has selected Lockheed Martin to rapidly develop and field both new hypersonic missiles launched as a response to surprise developments in high-speed weapons by China and Russia, newly-released acquisition documents confirm.

USAF reveals intentions to acquire light attack fighter fleet

08/08/2018

After more than a year of flight demonstrations the US Air Force is formally moving the light attack aircraft experiment into the acquisitions phase, with the intention that it will award a production contract to Sierra Nevada Corporation or Textron Aviation in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Chinese waverider vehicle hits Mach 6

08/08/2018

China has reportedly conducted the maiden flight of a new hypersonic test vehicle, achieving speeds of Mach 5.5 for over six minutes, and reaching Mach 6. The test of the unmanned system, designated Starry Sky 2, took place recently in Northwestern China, reports the official China Daily newspaper.

Who Care About Russia's Stealth Fighter: The Su-35 Is the Plane the Air Force Should Fear

08/06/2018

The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E is the top Russian air-superiority fighter in service today, and represents the pinnacle of fourth-generation jet fighter design. It will remain so until Russia succeeds in bringing its fifth-generation PAK-FA stealth fighter into production.

Lockheed Martin delivers last upgraded C-5

08/06/2018

Air Mobility Command began a programme to modernize the C-5s in 1998 after a study concluded the decades-old aircraft had 80 percent of their service life remaining. Since, Lockheed Martin upgraded 52 C-5s for the USAF with new engines, avionics and diagnostics systems – upgrades which will extend the service life of the fleet out until the 2040s.

Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jets visited Croatia as part of a demonstration tour

08/05/2018

On the eve of the celebration of the 23rd anniversary of Operation Storm which ended Croatia’s 1991-95 war of independence, three Israeli F-16 Barak multi-purpose combat aircraft landed at the 91st air base of the Croatian Air Force in Pleso on 2 August.

China’s new J-16 advanced fighter jet ‘targeting Taiwan’ may soon be combat ready

08/05/2018

The announcement came as the air force said a squadron of J-16s – described as 4.5-generation fighter jets – had conducted a combat training exercise along with J-10, J-11B and Su-30 aircraft. “[The exercise] was a solid step towards comprehensive combat capability,” according to the PLA Air Force statement late on Thursday, which did not specify the date or location of the drill.

FAA clears obstacle to KC-46A delivery in October

08/05/2018

An unresolved software flaw won’t delay the first delivery of the Boeing KC-46A tanker after the US Federal Aviation Administration approved a temporary exemption from safety requirements. Boeing’s engineers discovered earlier this year that the KC-46A lacks an independent system to monitor fuel flow, as required by the FAA’s safety regulations.

The $717 billion defense bill just made its way to Trump's desk. Here's what the Pentagon is poised to get

08/03/2018

President Donald Trump is expected to approve the colossal defense policy bill that authorizes a top-line budget of $717 billion. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act includes $616.9 billion for the Pentagon's base budget, another $69 billion for the overseas contingency operations, or OCO, funding and $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Energy Department.

PICTURE: LCA Navy conducts arresting hook test

08/03/2018

The Hindustan Aeronautics LCA Navy fighter has passed a milestone with the engagement of an arresting hook in taxi tests. The work involved LCA Naval Prototype 2 contacting an arresting wire with the aircraft moving at “moderate taxi-in speeds,” says HAL. HAL says that this is the first of several tests at INS Goa that will develop the type’s arrestor hook capability.

Air Force Pilot on Why F-35 Is So Deadly: "I can look through the airplane and see the ground below me."

08/02/2018

The aircraft’s sensor technologies allow the platform to perform a much greater ISR function than previous aircraft can, giving it a “drone-like” ability to gather and disseminate surveillance information. As part of this, the F-35 can also use a specially engineered data-link to communicate in real-time with other F-35s and other aircraft and fighter jets.

Malaysia continues to face Russia-produced fighter aircraft problems

08/02/2018

Malaysia’s Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu has confirmed that country’s Air Force continues to facemaintenance problems and a lack ofspare parts of its Russian-made fighter jet fleet, according to a report in The Star Online newspaper on 31 July.

Ukrainian Air Force gets modernized MiG-29MU1 fighter aircraft – Poroshenko

08/02/2018

The Ukrainian Air Force received modernized MiG-29MU1 combat aircraft; two fighter planes were already transferred to one of the military units. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko informed this on his Facebook page.

USAF studies NEAT replacement for E-4B, E-6B and C-32A

08/02/2018

A newly-posted solicitation document combines plans for replacing three separate US military aircraft fleets flown today by three different Boeing types into a single programme. The 747-200-derived E-4B, 707-based E-6B and 757-based C-32A could all be replaced under the US Air Force’s proposed NEAT programme.

UK Typhoons intercept Russian Su-24 bomber over Black Sea

07/31/2018

The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, based in Romania, have been successfully deployed to intercept Russian Su-24 Fencer aircraft operating near NATO airspace over the Black Sea. The RAF Typhoon aircraft operated from the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast.

“Retired” F-117 Stealth Fighters Seen Flying Over Nevada

07/31/2018

The F-117 Nighthawk, the first purpose-built stealth aircraft to enter combat, was retired in 2008 after a relatively short but eventful flying career. Aviation enthusiasts still catch glimpses of the “retired” jet flying from time to time. The latest sighting took place last week in the skies over Nevada, prompting the question: What are they doing?

PICTURES: Indian air force Apache, Chinook make flight debuts

07/31/2018

India's dual programme to introduce Boeing's AH-64E Apache and CH-47F Chinook rotorcraft has cleared a significant milestone, with first examples of each type having been flown for the first time.

Powerful Dragon v Raptor: how China’s J-20 stealth fighters compare with America’s F-22s

07/30/2018

China’s new J-20, officially named Weilong or powerful dragon, is one of the world’s most advanced fighter jets and the country’s answer to the American F-22 Raptor. In mid July the PLA Airforce released a video of a nighttime training exercise involving the stealth fighter as a demonstration of its combat readiness. The Chinese warplane was developed by the Chengdu Aerospace corporation, which began testing them in 2011 before the first planes entered service in March 2017.

Japan scrambles fighter jets to intercept Chinese spy plane after South Korea lodges protest

07/30/2018

Japan’s defence ministry said it scrambled fighter jets to intercept a Chinese electronic surveillance aircraft over the Sea of Japan, or East Sea, on Friday, after South Korea did the same when a PLA warplane entered its air defence identification zone the same day.

Raytheon, Northrop fight for F/A-18C/D AESA radar upgrade

07/30/2018

A two-way competition has started to fill a sudden requirement to replace mechanically-scanned Raytheon APG-73 radars on seven squadrons of US Marine Corps Boeing F/A-18C/Ds. Raytheon and Northrop Grumman plan to respond to a request for proposals issued by the Marines within the last two weeks with active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs).

OPINION: Turkish F-35 deal stays in danger zone

07/30/2018

After voicing previous disquiet over Turkey's acquisition of Lockheed Martin's latest stealth fighter, the US House and Senate armed services committees have made good on their threat of enacting legislation that could block future deliveries of the F-35 to Ankara.

New Details About the F-15X That Boeing is Pitching the US Air Force

07/27/2018

The single-seat jet is being built to shoot down enemy aircraft, pound targets on the ground, and even hit ships at sea. The new F-15 combat aircraft that Boeing is pitching to the U.S. Air Force would have a single-seat cockpit and a host of new weapons, including anti-ship missiles, Defense One has learned.

Canada asks fighter bidders for sustainment information

07/27/2018

As Canada formulates requirements for a future fighter to replace Boeing CF-18 Hornets, the government is now asking six potential bidders for information about their capabilities to maintain the new fleet. A letter of interest sent to bidders on 23 July broadens the Canadian government’s year-long series of engagements with industry suppliers.

F-35 fuselage production raises Northrop’s sales

07/27/2018

Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector, including its F-35 fuselage production line and restricted programmes, such as the B-21 stealth bomber, helped push the company’s second quarter sales higher, despite mixed results in its other business units. Overall, the company’s sales rose 10% to $7.1 billion, from $6.5 billion, for the three months ended 30 June 2018, according to the firm's quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

US defence bill cuts JSTARS

07/27/2018

The House and Senate’s compromise 2019 defence bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), endorsed the US Air Force’s plan to replace the Northrop Grumman E-8 JSTARS with a new network of sensors spread across unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, called the Advanced Battle Management System.

Israel shoots down Syrian fighter near Golan Heights

07/25/2018

Israel says it has shot down a Syrian warplane which entered its airspace - a rare incident between the two foes. Two surface-to-air missiles were fired at the Sukhoi fighter jet, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted. According to Israeli reports, it happened over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The pilot's fate is not clear.

The F/A 18 can safely operate from Indian aircraft carriers with significant payload: Boeing

07/25/2018

After conducting detailed capability studies and simulation analysis, US aerospace manufacturer Boeing has said that it is confident that the F/A 18 Super Hornet Block III can safely operate from Indian aircraft carriers, with a `significant’ weapons payload.

Congress moves to put 90-day hold on F-35 transfers to Turkey

07/25/2018

Two weeks after Defense Secretary James Mattis discouraged US lawmakers from blocking the transfer of Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters to Turkey, the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee jointly released details of a compromise National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill that would do just that.

Those Suped-Up OV-10 Broncos That Took On ISIS In Iraq Are Being Sold Off

07/24/2018

The U.S. Air Force is expecting to facilitate the delivery of four OV-10 Bronco light attack aircraft to an unspecified American partner overseas. This could very well be the Philippines, which is the last military user of the type anywhere in the world, and might reflect a shrinking number of government operators of any type worldwide rather than any serious revival of interest in its capabilities.

Boeing wants to build a new 'F-15X' fighter for the US Air Force

07/24/2018

There may be a new-old fighter jet on the horizon for the U.S. Air Force. DefenseOne reports that Boeing Co. is pitching a new version of the F-15 Eagle as the service defines its inventory mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft. Known as F-15X, the fighter would be equipped with better avionics and radars and would carry more than two dozen air-to-air missiles, DefenseOne said, citing unnamed officials with knowledge of the plans.

Unpacking UK Combat Air Strategy

07/24/2018

On July 16, 2018, the opening day of the Farnborough Air Show, UK Secretary of State for Defence unveiled the UK Combat Air Strategy (CAS).1 Alongside, in a significant move, a plan to develop a new combat aircraft, ‘Tempest’, was announced. The United Kingdom, a pioneer in airpower, was the first to establish an independent air arm.

USAF offers rare glimpse of VC-25B configurations

07/24/2018

The US Air Force’s $3.9 billion contract with Boeing to modify two 747-8 commercial airliners into VC-25B presidential aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One, offered a rare glimpse into the aircraft configurations.

Beyond the F-22 or F-35: What Will the Sixth-Generation Jet Fighter Look Like?

07/23/2018

The American development and deployment of Fifth-Generation stealth aircraft like the F-35 Lightning is one of the central stories of today’s security zeitgeist. But behind the scenes, several countries are already looking ahead to the design of a Sixth-Generation jet.

Turkey's Hürjet to make first flight in 2022, first delivery in 2025

07/23/2018

Within the scope of the Hürjet project initiated by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), a protocol has been signed between the company, the Defense Industry Directorate and the Air Forces Command. The Hürjet project, developed considering the needs of Turkish and global markets, will be provided strong support by the Defense Industry Directorate and the Air Forces Command.

What is so special about Rafale fighter jet? Here's the lowdown

07/23/2018

India in September 2016 inked a direct deal with the French government to purchase 36 new Rafale fighter jets in a 7.87 billion euro deal that is likely to bring major work to the Indian private sector in terms of offsets under the make in India policy.

DOD opposes removing Turkey from F-35 programme, citing supply chain disruption

07/22/2018

In a letter sent to US Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis acknowledged concerns about the Turkish government, while opposing US lawmakers’ efforts to remove the country from the F-35 Lightning II programme, saying the loss of the nation from the supply chain would delay delivery of some aircraft for up to two years.

FARNBOROUGH: IAI and Aero Vodochody defend late pitch for light attack

07/22/2018

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Czech aerospace manufacturer Aero Vodochody have defended pitching their F/A-259 Striker jet to the US Air Force more than a year after the service’s light attack experiment started.

FARNBOROUGH: V-22 office urges foreign militaries to buy on shared bulk discounts

07/22/2018

The V-22 Joint Programme Office is encouraging foreign militaries at Farnborough air show to place orders for the Osprey before the end of FY2020 so as to take advantage of multi-year contract discounts that the US and Japanese military services have secured.

FARNBOROUGH: New helicopter refuelling trials to boost A400M

07/22/2018

Airbus Defence & Space will launch flight tests in the first quarter of next year to prove the ability of its A400M tactical transport to refuel helicopters in flight. Previous tests involving an Airbus Helicopters H225M exposed stability issues for the rotorcraft while it was operating near the Atlas, with the 90ft length of its refuelling hose also bringing it too close to the airlifter's tail.

FARNBOROUGH: UK gets headstart on Poseidon

07/22/2018

Although the UK's first Boeing P-8A Poseidon is only in the early stages of production, the Royal Air Force is already making major strides with gaining experience on the maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare type.

FARNBOROUGH: New Italian training school to take off with M-346

07/18/2018

Italy's ambitions of playing a continued leading role in the provision of international pilot training have been underscored by a new pact involving the nation's air force and an industry team headed by Leonardo.

FARNBOROUGH: L-39 scores 34 commitments

07/18/2018

Aero Vodochody has won commitments for 34 L-39 aircraft from companies that plan to provide training services to the world’s air forces. The deals involve US firm RSW and Portugal-based SkyTech. RSW placed firm orders for 12 new-build L-39NG, as well as six L-39CWs. Skytech, which is backed by commercial lessor HiFly, ordered 12 L-39NGs and took options for six.

FARNBOROUGH: Lockheed selects BAE for F-16 computer upgrade

07/18/2018

BAE Systems will supply new flight control computers potentially to upgrade Lockheed Martin F-16s operated by the UAE, the company announces today. Lockheed selected BAE to supply the Digital Flight Control Computer for the fly-by-wire, single-engined fighter.

FARNBOROUGH: Japan F-35 production headed to max capacity next year

07/18/2018

Japan’s F-35 final assembly and check-out facility, run by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagoya, is on track to hit peak production next year when the country’s stealth fighter production tops out at six aircraft per year.

FARNBOROUGH: US offers Patriot to Turkey in place of anti-stealth S-400

07/17/2018

In an attempt to talk Turkey out of purchasing the Russian S-400, a surface-to-air missile system with anti-stealth aircraft capabilities, US acting assistant secretary for political-military affairs Tina Kaidanow said that the US Department of State is in talks with Ankara to sell the nation the Raytheon MIM-104 Patriot.

FARNBOROUGH: Saab pushes ahead with Gripen E development

07/17/2018

Saab is confident that the second and third test examples of its Gripen E will fly soon, as it continues development work with the first aircraft. The second and third test jets, designated 39-9 and 39-10, will “fly soon,” says Jonas Hjelm, senior vice president and head of aeronautics at the Swedish manufacturer. While they won’t join the test programme at exactly the same time, at this time in 2019 they will both be part of it, he says.

FARNBOROUGH: Airbus details maritime patrol plans for A320

07/17/2018

Airbus Defence & Space is advancing plans to adapt the top-selling A320 for a broad range of military applications, with the need to replace ageing maritime patrol aircraft fleets in Europe driving early activities. The company is using the Farnborough air show to outline the potential of its planned modular multi-mission product – dubbed the A320M3 – in roles that could also cover airborne early warning, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and signals intelligence-gathering.

FARNBOROUGH: Boeing seeks first European sale of F/A-18 Super Hornet

07/17/2018

Boeing comes to Farnborough eyeing its first F/A-18 Super Hornet sale to a European military after the type's production line gains a new lease of life from orders last year from the US Navy – and a $1.5 billion commitment from Kuwaiti air force last month.

FARNBOROUGH: Lockheed drops F-35 price in Lot 11 ‘handshake agreement’

07/17/2018

Lockheed Martin says it has made a “handshake agreement” with the F-35 Joint Program Office for the 11th lot of low-rate initial production. The company declined to state the unit cost for LRIP 11 until the deal was finalised, though it says the agreement puts the F-35A Lightning II on track to cost $80 million per unit by Lot 14 in 2020.

Russia Basically Just Admitted Its Next-Generation Stealth Fighter Is A Failure

07/14/2018

Russia announced earlier this month that the Su-57, its proposed entry into the world of fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft, would not see mass production. “The plane has proven to be very good, including in Syria, where it confirmed its performance and combat capabilities,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Russian TV on July 2, as reported by The Diplomat.

Tornado multirole combat aircraft crashes in Saudi Arabia

07/14/2018

The Panavia Tornado multirole combat aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Force crashed at 04:41 AM local time in Asir Province on 12 July. According to Arab Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki, a Saudi Arabian Royal Air Force Tornado jet came down in Asir region.

Pakistan orders 30 T129 attack helicopters

07/14/2018

Pakistan has concluded a long-awaited deal with Turkish Aerospace Industries for the latter's T129 ATAK attack helicopter. Islamabad will take 30 examples of the twin-engined rotorcraft, along with a package including ammunition, spare parts and training. No details of the contract value or delivery timelines have been released, however.

Leonardo receives Italian order for ATR 72MP

07/14/2018

Italy's Guardia di Finanza customs body has ordered an ATR 72-600 for maritime patrol missions, to be outfitted by prime contractor Leonardo. Valued at €44 million ($51.2 million), including training and logistics support, the deal could eventually reach a total value of €250 million if an unspecified number of options are exercised.

UK approved to buy 200 AIM-120D missiles

07/14/2018

The US State Department approved the sale of up to 200 radar-guided Raytheon AIM-120D medium-range air-to-air missiles for an estimated cost of $650 million to the United Kingdom. The possible sale would arm the Royal Air Force with the longest range version of the AIM-120. The D-variant’s range is thought to be more than 90 nautical miles (167km), which is roughly the detection range of an active electronically scanned array radar.

Dassault Reveals New-Gen European Fighter Jet In A Promo Video

07/12/2018

Dassault Aviation has revealed what could be the contours of the next generation fighter jet to be made by a European team led by France. The video, ‘Wings for Europe’ released by the company on its website in May this year showed the outline of the new jet that France and Germany are eyeing to produce jointly. The video describes the aircraft as “2018 European New Generation Aircraft”. France and Germany in July last year, planned to jointly develop a new fighter jet.

Slovakia to acquire fourteen F-16 fighter jets from US

07/12/2018

Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic plans to procure fourteen F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets from the United States, said an announcement on 11 July. The Slovak Ministry of Defence announced on 11 July plans to procure 14 F-16 Block 70/72fighter jets for replacing of Soviet-made MiG-29s that Slovakia’s Air Forces uses now.

KAI Aiming for Spanish and Greek Trainer Deals

07/12/2018

Following a series of successes in Asia, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI, Chalet C27) has its eyes set on the competitive European market. The aircraft manufacturer will be offering the KT-1 Woongbi turboprop trainer and T-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainer to a number of potential Western clients.

Why an unmanned fighter fleet isn’t yet viable, in the words of Britain’s Air Force chief

07/12/2018

Step back two years to the start of the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow, when few people in Europe were talking about a new manned fighter. But today it seems to be a topic on everyone’s mind. The reason, according to the head of Britain’s Royal Air Force, is that the technology required to operate an unmanned fighter fleet has not yet advanced sufficiently to make that happen.

BAE Systems Awaits UK Combat Air Strategy

07/11/2018

Will the UK continue to produce combat aircraft in the next decade? The government has promised to answer that question soon, by launching a new “Combat Air Strategy.” This is particularly awaited by the Military Air and Information (MAI) business of BAE Systems (Outside Exhibit 11). It may no longer be rolling out new Eurofighter Typhoons at Warton by the middle 2020s and, although the company has developed significant expertise in unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs).

AFRL sets first flight date for XQ-58A

07/11/2018

An experimental aircraft designed to demonstrate a radical new concept in modern air warfare will enter flight testing this autumn, says Maj Gen William Cooley, commander of the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Centurion update nears service with RAF Typhoons

07/11/2018

A vital programme to transfer ground-attack capabilities from the UK Royal Air Force's retiring Panavia Tornado GR4s to the Eurofighter Typhoon remains on target to deliver by year-end, according to BAE Systems.

USAF starts work on defining adaptive engine for future fighter

07/11/2018

US Air Force officials have taken the first concrete step towards defining a new class of adaptive jet engines to power the next generation of combat aircraft that come after the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Draken Begins Assembly Of First Mirage F1M Destined For Advanced Aggressor Duty

07/09/2018

America's private air forces for hire continue to rapidly expand to meet looming demand for contracted adversary support services. Draken International has emerged as the behemoth in the marketplace and has acquired 22 Dassault Mirage F1s from Spain to be the backbone of its advanced, radar-equipped, supersonic aggressor fleet. The first of these has arrived at the company's Lakeland, Florida facility and is now undergoing assembly.

Everything you need to know about the weapons China sells to Africa

07/09/2018

When defence officials from China and the African nations on Tuesday wrap up a high-level security forum, both sides are expected to vow to enhance defence relations, boosting a bond between the two parties that already includes surging Chinese arms sales to Africa.

India’s ‘Request For Information’ for fighter jets get six bids

07/09/2018

Six global aircraft manufacturers have responded to a Request for Information (RFI) from the Indian Air Force to supply 110 fighter aircraft. The deadline for the RFI was July 6. All six manufacturers have earlier bid for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), which was cancelled in 2015.

Russian lawmaker says Su-57 stealth jets will be 'considerably cheaper' than F-35s and F-22s

07/08/2018

A Russian lawmaker said this week that Su-57 stealth jets will be way cheaper than F-22s and F-35s, according to Sputnik, a Russian state-owned media outlet. "The fifth-generation fighter jets are undoubtedly competing with US F-22s and F-35s, but it is considerably cheaper even though it has similar characteristics, while in some aspects, for example, maneuverability, it does better than the US jets," Vladimir Gutenev, a member of State Duma's expert panel on the aviation industry, told Sputnik

Germany’s choice for a Tornado replacement could undermine NATO

07/08/2018

In February, the German parliament’s military commissioner published a devastating report on the German military’s lack of readiness. At the end of 2017, no submarines and none of the Luftwaffe’s 14 large transport planes were available for deployment due to repairs. Much of the rest of the German military’s equipment, including fighter jets, tanks and ships, are outdated and in some cases not fully operational because of a lack of spare parts.

Tomorrow’s squadron leaders will be accompanied by drones

07/07/2018

A human being who can make decisions will always be needed somewhere in the system, Mr Christie reckons. And in some cases it would be best if that person was in the aerial thick of things. Just as fighter pilots now fly with wingmen alongside them, a single pilot could fly with a number of combat drones, similar to Taranis, as his “wingbots”. The drones would operate autonomously but respond to a pilot’s command.

Swiss call for bids over fighter jets

07/07/2018

Switzerland has started off the competition to replace its ageing fleet of fighter jets, by inviting five European and United States companies to submit their bids. The defence ministry has sent the first offer for tender out, a statement said on Fridayexternal link. The new jets under consideration are: the Swedish Gripen E (Saab), the French Rafale (Dassault), German l'Eurofighter (Airbus), and from the American side, the successor to the FA-18, the Boeing Super Hornet and the F-35A.

Boeing wins $1.5 billion contract to build 22 F/A-18E/F combat aircraft for Kuwait

07/07/2018

Combat aircraft designers at the Boeing Co. are building 28 new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jet fighter-bombers for the government of Kuwait under terms of a $1.5 billion U.S. Navy order announced Wednesday. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to build 22 single-seat F/A-18E jets and six two-seat F/A-18F jets for Kuwait.

Airbus urges pan-European solution to future combat air system

07/07/2018

Airbus Defence & Space has urged Europe to come together to work on a future combat air system, warning that the bloc cannot support the development of several competing platforms. Speaking at a pre-Farnborough air show media briefing, Dirk Hoke, chief executive of the division, said any programme for a sixth-generation fighter "had to be a full European solution".

Boeing, Embraer form separate joint venture to boost KC-390

07/06/2018

Boeing and Embraer will create a joint venture to promote the KC-390 and other defence products and services for new markets and applications, the companies announced on 5 July. The new agreement expands a six-year-old relationship between Embraer and Boeing on the KC-390 programme. A joint press release issued on 5 July includes only two sentences about the formation of the new joint venture.

Beijing keen to develop J-15 successor - report

07/06/2018

Beijing wants to develop a new carrier-borne fighter to replace its Shenyang J-15s, which have been plagued by safety and mechanical problems. According to a report in the South China Morning Post, quoting Chinese air force lieutenant general Zhang Honghe, a “new carrier-based fighter to replace the J-15” is in development.

UK committee urges against Wedgetail selection

07/06/2018

The chairman of the UK's cross-party parliamentary Defence Committee has taken the unusual step of making public its concerns over a possible plan to replace the Royal Air Force's fleet of Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft.

Canada requests seven additional Australian Hornets

07/06/2018

Canada has requested an additional seven surplus F/A-18 A/B Hornets from Australia. In February, Ottawa requested seven examples for use in non-flying activities such as software testing, static training, and spares, says Australia’s Department of Defence.

Northrop Grumman enters full-rate production on F-35 fuselage

06/30/2018

Northrop Grumman entered full-rate production on the F-35 Lightning II’s centre fuselage at its Palmdale, California facility in May in order to meet increasing order quantities from the Pentagon and international customers. The company said the 400th centre fuselage was completed and delivered to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin last month. Production of the 500th centre fuselage began the week of 18 June.

USAF suspends light attack experiment and looks to end contest early

06/30/2018

The US Air Force suspended its light attack experiment at Hollomon AFB in New Mexico after the fatal crash of a Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano on June 22. The USAF is examining the data collected thus far in the about a month-long second phase of the experiment to determine if it has enough information to end the contest early.

Trump guarantees F-35 deliveries to Ankara, says Turkish minister

06/30/2018

Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu says in a TV interview that US president Donald Trump personally promised to ensure the delivery of the Lockheed Martin F-35A to his country.

Russia to base in Syria – permanently

06/28/2018

With its aerial intervention having played a major role in pushing back Daesh terrorists in Syria, Russia is now seeking to maintain a presence in the country with permanent bases. Russia is no stranger to Syria. Throughout the Cold War, the port of Tartus acted as a major replenishment facility for units of the Soviet fleet deploying through the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Soviet air units also periodically visited Syrian air force airbases.

Brand new HAL built Su-30 MKI crashes

06/28/2018

A brand new Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter manufactured by Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has crashed during a pre-delivery test flight. Both pilots Wing Commander Prashant Nair and Squadron Leader L Biswal (Flight test Engineer) were able to eject safely. The twin engined multi-role combat aircraft crashed after taking off from Nashik Airport, adjacent to HAL Nashik assembly line, at 11 hours in the morning.

Navy asks Lockheed Martin to upgrade electronic warfare (EW) systems aboard E-2D carrier aircraft

06/28/2018

Avionics experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. will upgrade electronic warfare (EW) systems aboard the U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft under terms of a $64.7 million five-year contract announced Monday.

Embraer close to completing Portuguese KC-390 contract

06/28/2018

Embraer is on the verge of completing a deal with Portugal confirming the country as the first export customer for the KC-390 tanker transport. “We are discussing with the government the final contract,” the Brazilian airframer’s chief executive Paulo Cesar Silva said at a pre-Farnborough air show media briefing in Lisbon on 26 June.

U.S. Navy Pilot Killed in A-29 Super Tucano Crash at White Sands Missile Range. Twelfth U.S. military aircraft crash in 2018.

06/27/2018

Aircraft Was Part of Air Force Light Attack Experiment Program. It’s the seventh U.S. Air Force crash this year. A U.S. Navy pilot participating in the ongoing Light Attack Experiment died Friday, June 22, 2018 when the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft he was flying crashed inside the Red Rio Bombing Range inside the White Sands Missile Range.

Boeing’s MPA agenda advances in Asia-Pacific

06/27/2018

Boeing has won a deal to supply four P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to South Korea, and is poised to win a deal in New Zealand to supply the 737-based platform. On 25 June, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration said that Seoul would obtain the type under a $1.7 billion deal under the Foreign Military Sales process. No numbers were given.

Canberra to buy six MQ-4C Tritons

06/27/2018

Australia has confirmed its long-planned acquisition of six Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft. The initial A$1.4 billion ($1 billion) deal includes one MQ-4C, as well as a A$200 million programme with the US Navy for development, production, and sustainment of the aircraft, says prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Bahrain order keeps F-16 production ticking over

06/27/2018

Lockheed Martin has signed an initial contract worth $1.2 billion to launch production of the F-16 Block 70 on a new final assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina for the Royal Bahraini Air Force. The undefinitised contract for 16 examples of the latest version of the 45-year-old F-16 keeps the programme in production as Lockheed continues to market the single-engined fighter for new orders in India and elsewhere.

Potent New Israeli Air-surface Missile Revealed

06/23/2018

A new supersonic air-surface missile has been developed in a partnership between Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industries (IMI). The state-owned companies unveiled the Rampage weapon just days before Elbit Systems announced that it had finalized the acquisition of IMI.

US Fears Russia May Get Access to F-35 Tech Via Turkey - Reports

06/23/2018

Despite Congressional efforts to block the delivery of F-35 combat aircraft to Ankara, the first two of the advanced US fighters have been handed over to Turkish military representatives. US lawmakers and the Pentagon fear that if plugged into Turkey's integrated air defense network, the S-400 air defense missile systems, which Ankara wants to buy from Russia, could be able to pick up technical data on the F-35's capabilities and pass it to Moscow, CNN wrote.

Boeing Sees Two-Year Wait for World's Biggest Fighter Jet Deal

06/23/2018

It could be another two years before India picks the winner of the world’s biggest combat aircraft order, according to a senior Boeing Co. executive. Boeing is well placed in the race to supply the Indian Air Force with 110 fighter jets, Gene Cunningham, Boeing vice president of global defense sales, told Bloomberg News on Sunday on the sidelines of a security forum in Singapore. The company is a finalist in a separate competition to supply the Indian navy with 57 fighter jets.

Suspected Chinese lasers target US aircraft over the Pacific, US military source says

06/23/2018

Lasers have been used to target US aerial operations in the Pacific, with 20 incidents recorded since September of last year, according to a US military official. The military spokeswoman, who requested not to be named, told CNN that lasers had been flashed at US aircraft, and that the sources of these flashes are suspected to be Chinese. The latest incident occurred within the last two weeks, the official said.

A-29 Super Tucano crashes during light attack experiment

06/23/2018

A Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano crashed in New Mexico on 22 June while participating in a month-old light attack experiment, a US Air Force spokesman confirms. Both USAF crew members ejected during the 11:45am incident and one crew member sustained minor injuries. No information on the status of the second crew member was available as of 6:25 pm in New Mexico on 22 June.

USAF proposes MOAB-sized bomb carriage for B-52H wings

06/23/2018

In addition to making the Boeing B-52H more fuel efficient and sophisticated, the US Air Force’s ongoing makeover project also aims to make the pride of Gen Curtis LeMay’s Cold War-era bomber fleet more destructive.

OPINION: Farley's lessons will live on with F-35B

06/23/2018

Mentioning the name John Farley evokes memories of a time when the UK’s aerospace industry was able to produce a succession of jet fighters – albeit sometimes of variable quality. As our obituary piece details, Farley was inspired to join the Royal Air Force and subsequently become a test pilot when, as a child, he saw a Graf Zeppelin pass gracefully – and probably menacingly – over Hastings.

Kongsberg nears end of JSM development activity

06/23/2018

Kongsberg's Joint Strike Missile is in the last stages of its qualification process, with development activities due to be completed this autumn. Integration onto the Lockheed Martin F-35A for the Royal Norwegian Air Force will take place with the Block 4 software update, says the nation's defence ministry, achieving full operational capability by 2025.

Air Force tests two turboprops as potential A-10 “replacements

06/20/2018

The US Air Force has kicked off the procurement for another round of wing replacements for A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, known affectionately by many as the Warthog. With new wings, the A-10s will help fill a gap left by the delayed volume delivery of F-35A fighters, which were intended to take over the A-10's close air support (CAS) role in "contested environments"—places where enemy aircraft or modern air defenses would pose a threat to supporting aircraft.

UK’s deal with Turkey on TF-X fighter jet deal faces trouble - analysis

06/20/2018

After months of delicate diplomacy, the UK’s alleged partnership with Turkey to build a fifth generation fighter jet, has run into trouble, says the Financial Times. The article published on Monday recalls initial concerns about the management of intellectual property raised this year by Rolls-Royce, the British aero-engine group that has been working with Turkish industrial giant Kale to bid for the engine development contract on what is set to become Turkey’s first indigenous combat aircraft.

USAF set to begin dual mode ramjet design for hypersonic vehicle

06/20/2018

The US Air Force has set plans to begin the competitive phase of a plan to develop a dual mode ramjet for a new class of missiles and aircraft with top speeds over Mach 3. Two contract awards worth a total of $10 million for design and testing of a dual mode ramjet are now anticipated, the USAF’s Air Force Research Laboratory says in a notice dated 8 June.

US lawmakers intensify efforts to block F-35 delivery to Turkey

06/20/2018

Moves by the US Senate and members of the House of Representatives to block the delivery of the Lockheed Martin F-35 to Turkey have intensified, increasing tensions with Ankara. The US Senate passed the 2019 National Defense Authorisation Act on 18 June with a clause that would stop the delivery of the F-35 to Turkey.

America's F-22 Raptor Is the Best Fighter In the World (But France 'Shot' One Down)

06/19/2018

Eight times during a two-week war game in Alaska, individual German Typhoons flew against single F-22s in basic fighter maneuvers meant to simulate close-range dogfights. “We were evenly matched,” German Maj. Marc Gruene told Combat Aircraft. Past evidence seems to confirms that a French fighter pilot once “killed” an American F-22 Raptor stealth fighter in mock combat.

In Praise Of The Harrier, The Underappreciated Jet Marines Really Want In A War

06/19/2018

Since the United States and coalition partners began its anti-ISIS mission in 2014, the Middle East’s skies have become crowded with the very best in modern air power. The air is full of flashy fourth-generation fighters (like the Air Force’s F-15s and F-16s and the Navy’s F/A-18E/Fs), and newer fifth-generation fighters (like the F-22).

Thai F-5s to fight on with IRIS-T missiles

06/19/2018

The Royal Thai Air Force is to arm its Northrop F-5 fighters with IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missiles, following the signature of a repeat order with German manufacturer Diehl Defence. Noting that Bangkok has previously acquired the infrared-guided weapon for its Saab Gripen fighters and also subsequently its Lockheed Martin F-16 fleet, Diehl Defence notes: "The new procurement plans to integrate the missile onto the F-5, making IRIS-T a standard armament of the Royal Thai Air Force."

IAF not keen on getting more Sukhoi fighter jets

06/14/2018

At a time when the Russians have offered to sell 40 more Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft to India, it seems that the Air Force is not keen to add more of these heavy weight and expensive to maintain fighter jets in its inventory. The Indian Air Force (IAF) already has more than 220 of these Russian planes in its fleet and has plans of inducting all the 272 planes ordered by it over the years by the end of 2020.

Russia’s Electronic Warfare Advances Offers Stealth Capability for Fighter Aircraft

06/14/2018

An underlying driver in the reform of the Russian Armed Forces, first initiated in the fall of 2009, has proved to be the adoption and adaption of “command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” capabilities to offer conventional options against a high-technology adversary. A key factor in the introduction of a Russian variant of the concept of network-centric warfare is the complete overhaul and modernization of its Electronic Warfare inventory.

Raytheon to develop new F-35 Distributed Aperture System

06/14/2018

Lockheed Martin awarded Raytheon a contract to develop the F-35 Lightning II’s next generation Distribute Aperture System (DAS). The (DAS) was previously manufactured by Northrop Grumman, which decided not to bid on the next generation system, saying it wasn’t an attractive business deal. Lockheed did not disclose the terms or the amount of the contract in its announcement on 13 June.

Iraq receives new batch of T-50 jet fighters from South Korea

06/13/2018

A new batch of the T-50 jet fighters arrived Wednesday in Iraq coming from South Korea to help in the fight against Islamic State (IS). In a brief statement, the Iraqi Air Force said, “a new six-jet batch of T-50 has arrived in Iraq.” Last year, Iraq said it will receive 24 T-50 (Golden Eagle) fighter jets from South Korea as part of an agreement signed in 2013.

Grounded bombers and another fighter crash on Sunday night: When will the Defense Department admit there’s a problem?

06/13/2018

A routine training flight off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa ended in yet another U.S. military aviation disaster on Sunday night, as a U.S. Air Force F-15 went down for unspecified reasons. The pilot was able to eject and was recovered in a search and rescue operation; he is currently listed in critical condition. “We have been notified that the pilot is in serious condition. Our hearts and prayers go to the pilot and his family as they go through this difficult time,” read a state

Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter-jet program reaches milestone

06/13/2018

Over the years, adjectives such as controversial and expensive have been used to describe Lockheed Martin's F-35 program. But while those concerns may have merit, the air defense company's Fort Worth plant nonetheless continues to crank out the stealth fighter aircraft at what has become a steady pace.

State Department approves sale of six AH-64E Apaches to India

06/13/2018

The State Department approved a possible direct commercial sale of six Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters to India for an estimated cost of $930 million on 12 June. Included in the sale are 14 GE Aviation T700-GE-701D engines; four Northrop Grumman APG-78 fire control radars; 180 Lockheed AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; and 200 Raytheon Stinger missiles, among other weapons and subsystems.

Aero Vodochody and IAI pitch revamped L-159 for OA-X need

06/13/2018

Aero Vodochody and its new partner Israel Aerospace Industries are making a late bid to be selected for the US Air Force’s OA-X close air support programme with an advanced version of the L-159 they say could be ready for delivery from 2020.

PICTURES: NATO allies hone personnel recovery skills

06/13/2018

Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from seven NATO and Partnership for Peace countries took part in a major multinational personnel recovery exercise that concluded in Europe earlier this month. Running from 22 May until 6 June, the air-centric personnel recovery operators course (APROC) event was hosted by the Netherlands Defence Helicopter Command, and involved almost 600 participants from a total of 12 nations.

Qatar picks Sniper pod for Rafale fleet

06/12/2018

Qatar's future fleet of Dassault Rafale fighters will be equipped with Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods, the US company has announced. "Pod deliveries to the Qatar Emiri Air Force will begin in 2019," says Lockheed. "Integration efforts are ongoing, with flight tests currently in progress."

Beware, North Korea: South Korea's Air Force Is Ready for War

06/11/2018

The backbone of the ROKAF is its fighter force. The most numerous type in service is the Northrop F-5E Tiger II. The F-5 was a mainstay of the ROKAF for many years, beginning in the 1970s when F-5As and F-5Bs were exported to South Korea. The current stock of F-5Es and F-5Fs (dual seat variant) came later, and featured a new fuselage, a radar, and better engines compared to the F-5A/B. F-5As and Bs were retired from Korean service as the F-16 was adopted.

F-35 jet imbroglio between the U.S. and Turkey

06/10/2018

As tensions between the United States and Turkey simmer, though unlikely to boil over before June 24 Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections, debate over the delivery of U.S. F-35 advanced combat aircraft to Turkey is becoming a measure of the relationship between the NATO allies.

Rafale delivery will commence in September 2019

06/10/2018

The man who was in charge of the exercise was Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa. In an exclusive interview with THE WEEK, he said the exercise demonstrated the IAF’s capability to achieve and sustain a very high serviceability of aircraft and systems. Dhanoa, however, expressed concern about the depleting combat strength of the IAF, and said the force would reach its desired strength only by 2032.

Meet Russia's Yak-130, the Killer Light-Combat Jet You Never Heard of (Until Now)

06/10/2018

Developed in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Yakovlev Yak 130 is one of the best advanced trainer and light combat aircraft available on the international defense market.

USAF grounds B-1B Lancer fleet due to safety issues

06/09/2018

The US Air Force ordered the grounding of its entire fleet of Rockwell B-1B Lancer bombers on 7 June due to safety concerns. The USAF suspended flights of the aircraft following an emergency landing of a B-1B at Midland International Air and Space Port in Texas on 1 May, which had blown at least one of its escape hatches without launching its ejection seat. All four members of the crew landed safely.

PICTURES: UK's first F-35s touch down at Marham home

06/09/2018

The UK's first four new-generation strike aircraft touched down at the Royal Air Force's Marham base in Norfolk on the evening of 6 June, with the Lockheed Martin F-35Bs having completed a nonstop flight from South Carolina.

Taiwan air force F-16 jet goes missing at start of annual live-fire military drills

06/06/2018

A Taiwanese fighter jet went missing in northern Taiwan on Monday at the start of the island’s biggest annual military drills, casting a shadow over exercises meant to showcase the island’s ability to fend off an attack. The suspected crash comes after Beijing has conducted repeated rounds of military exercises around the island and as authorities on the island try to reassure voters ahead of elections later this year, according to analysts.

Norwegian Updates on The Standup of Their F-35s

06/06/2018

According to a Norwegian Ministry of Defence press release dated May 23, 2018: Six aircraft are now on Norwegian soil. – Our new F-35s are a major investment and the most important acquisition to strengthen the defence capabilities of our Armed Forces, said Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen. Delivered on time, the three new aircraft represent a new milestone in our acquisition program.

Deficiencies could delay F-35 full-rate production decision

06/06/2018

The Department of Defense agreed with a Government Accountability Office report that it should resolve the Lockheed Martin F-35’s critical deficiencies before requesting funds to pay for full-rate production of the aircraft. Waiting for the resolution of critical deficiencies in the F-35 Lightning II could delay the aircraft’s full-rate production, which the DoD had planned to begin in 2021.

Leonardo launches BriteCloud decoy to protect military transports

06/06/2018

Leonardo has launched a more powerful version of its BriteCloud decoy jammer optimised for use during the self-protection of medium and large transport aircraft. "Currently in the final stages of development, BriteCloud 55-T is available to order now for deliveries in early 2019," the company says. It identifies potential candidate platforms as including its own C-27J Spartan, along with the larger Airbus Defence & Space A400M, Embraer KC-390 and Lockheed Martin C-130.

Lack of funds causes USAF to skip hypersonic cruise missile competition

06/05/2018

The US Air Force skipped a more extensive competition for its nearly $1 billion hypersonic cruise missile development contract due to lack of available funds to pay multiple sources to develop alternative prototypes, according to a newly-released government document.

India to send Sukhois and C-17 aircraft for multi-lateral 'Pitch Black' exercise in Australia

06/03/2018

India may have rebuffed Australia’s proposal to join the annual trilateral Malabar naval wargames it holds with the US and Japan but will be dispatching four Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets and a C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft to the country to participate in the multi-lateral “Pitch Black” air combat exercise.

As Trump talks trade and nukes, China quietly tightens its grip on the South China Sea

06/03/2018

With global attention fixated on fraught U.S.-China trade negotiations and on-again, off-again nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea, China continues to strengthen its position in the South China Sea. The world's second largest economy is boosting its military capabilities there, and analysts say there's really not a whole lot the U.S. can do about it.

Senators Want $100 Million for New Marine Corps Light Attack Aircraft

06/03/2018

The Senate Armed Services Committee has set aside millions for light attack aircraft, but this time not solely for the U.S. Air Force. In its version of the fiscal 2019 budget markup, the committee announced last week it wants to give $100 million to the Marine Corps to procure light attack aircraft such as the AT-6 Wolverine to boost lower-cost aviation support. The version passed the committee with a vote of 25-2. It heads for a full Senate vote in coming weeks.

North Korea to get relief only after 'verifiable and irreversible step to denuclearization': Mattis

06/03/2018

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Sunday North Korea will receive relief only after it takes clear and irreversible steps to end its nuclear program, adding it would be a bumpy road to a summit between U.S. and North Korean leaders.

Pratt & Whitney receives $2 billion to supply F-35 engines

06/03/2018

The Department of Defense awarded Pratt & Whitney a $2 billion contract to supply F135 turbofan engines for the Lot 11 order of F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The 11th low rate initial production contract will cover 135 engines, as well as programme management, engineering support, production support, spare modules and spare parts, P&W said on 31 May 2018.

Death Match: Russia's 'Stealth' Su-57 vs. Su-35S Flanker-E (Who Wins?)

05/30/2018

The Russians seem to recognize that the initial version of the Su-57 will not offer a particularly more useful capability than the Su-35. Moscow only plans to purchase a dozen of the initial AL-41F1-powered version of the Su-57. The Kremlin will likely buy as many as 60 of the second stage Su-57 with the new engine, but given the sheer expense and the limited jump in performance of the new aircraft over the Su-35.

Russia Denies Aerial Skirmish With Israel As The Two Countries Look To Make Syrian Deals

05/30/2018

“Reports circulated by an Israeli news website about alleged ‘interception’ of two Israeli F-16 planes by Russian Su-34’s in the airspace over Lebanon are dilettantish nonsense,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, according to state-run outlet TASS. “The Su-34 multirole bombers of the Russian taskforce in Syria are not used to intercept aerial targets and perform no missions in Lebanon’s airspace.”

PICTURED: Britain’s new 'invisible' 1,200mph F-35 stealth fighter ready for ACTION

05/30/2018

F-35s are considered to be the world’s most advanced warplane with “unprecedented” stealth capabilities. Four of the jets, based at US Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, are due to hurtle over their UK. Defence bosses expect the F-35s will arrive in Britain at any time from June 5. Another five of the planes will follow by the beginning of August. And the warplanes designers have warned the planes will face combat against weapons designed by China and Russia.

US Air Force releases official A-10 wing replacement RFP

05/30/2018

The US Air Force released on 25 May its official request for proposals to replace 112 wing sets on its Fairchild Republic A-10 fleet. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract will have a basic five-year ordering period beginning at contract award, two one-year optional ordering periods thereafter, and a four-year delivery period following the end of the ordering periods, according to the RFP notice.

Kazakhstan to boost Su-30SM fleet

05/30/2018

Kazakhstan is to boost its fleet of Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters, with the nation's air force to field a further batch of the Irkut-built type. Announced during the KADEX exhibition in Astana on 24 May, the new deal is for an undisclosed number of aircraft. "The contract will be completed in 2020," says Irkut.

Boeing Joins Saab in Race for World's Biggest Fighter Jet Deal

05/29/2018

Boeing Co. proposed to build fighter jets in India along with two local firms, as the U.S. giant prepares to bid for the world’s biggest combat aircraft order, joining the likes of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Saab AB. Boeing will partner state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. and Mahindra Defense Systems to manufacture the F/A-18 Super Hornet in India at a new facility, which can also be used for other requirements, it said in an emailed statement.

Dual air-launched LRASMs hit moving ship for second time

05/28/2018

Lockheed Martin successfully hit a moving vessel with two Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles launched from a US Air Force B-1B bomber. The test over the Sea Range off NAS Point Mugu, California on an unspecified date in May 2018 was the second time the company demonstrated hitting a ship with two of its long range missiles at once, Lockheed Martin said. The missiles flew through a series of pre-designated waypoints before using their sensors to identify and impact the intended target.

US warships sail within China’s claimed territorial waters in Paracel Islands as evidence shows new missiles and fighters

05/28/2018

BEIJING has reacted angrily to the presence of two US warships in disputed waters of the South China Sea, calling it a ‘provocation’ and a serious assault on its ‘sovereignty’. Chinese state media source CGTN says the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) “acted immediately” and ordered its own warships and aircraft to intercept the USS Higgins and USS Antietam.

US services battle over future helicopter priorities

05/27/2018

US Marine Corps officials are seeking clarity from their army counterparts over the latter's priorities for the Future Vertical Lift helicopter programme, as the service eyes the long-term replacement of its Bell UH-1Y fleet.

Royal Navy receives first Merlin HC4, but could request future in-flight refueling capability

05/27/2018

The UK Royal Navy has taken delivery of the first of an eventual 25 Leonardo Helicopters AW101 Merlin HC4 heavy-lift transports, but future upgrade priorities are already being outlined. To be operated by the RN's Commando Helicopter Force, the former Royal Air Force Merlins are being upgraded and marinised under a £388 million ($517 million) contract.

Bell confident on V-280 as development gathers pace

05/27/2018

Bell Helicopter is confident that its new V-280 Valor tiltrotor will achieve the programme's targeted speed of 280kt (518km/h) later this summer, with the test aircraft having so far hit 190kt during initial transitions to forward flight.

Air Force T-38C Talon Jet Trainer Crashes in Mississippi

05/24/2018

Details are still emerging, but a U.S. Air Force T-38C Talon training jet has crashed near Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. It is the second crash of one of the service's aircraft in May 2018 and the latest in a spike of serious accidents across the U.S. military's aviation communities.

V-22 crash off Australian coast possibly due to downwash

05/24/2018

An US Marine Corps investigation of the crash of a MV-22B Osprey into an amphibious transport ship in August 2017, which killed three, found that the rotorcraft suffered no mechanical or electrical problems and the flight crew was not at fault. A paragraph containing the service’s "most probable" explanation of the mishap was redacted in the report, though engineers with Naval Air Systems Command noted problems with the aircraft’s rotor downwash in a non-redacted section.

Boeing F/A-18E/F demonstrates sensor fusion

05/24/2018

Two Boeing F/A-18E/Fs have demonstrated a sensor fusion capability that combines the data from multiple sensors on both aircraft in near real-time as the programme launches production of the Block III version of the 20-year-old, carrier-based fighter, says Bob Kornegay, business development manager for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G Programs at Boeing.

Israeli F-35Is make combat debut with two air strikes

05/23/2018

Israeli Air Force F-35I Adirs have participated in two air strikes in the Middle East, making the country’s recently-deployed, Lockheed Martin-made fighters the first in the global fleet to see combat, says IAF commander Maj Gen Amikam Norkin.

Marine Corps orders Switchblade drones from AeroVironment

05/23/2018

Usage of AeroVironment’s explosive-tipped drone, the Switchblade, is growing as the US Marine Corps ordered its first of the missile-like weapon in April 2018. The USMC order was part of a larger follow-on contract with the US Army which brings the total value of Switchblade awards to $111 million since August 2017, according to the company.

BAE Systems receives $100 million plus to support F-35’s electronic warfare system

05/23/2018

BAE Systems received a more than $100 million contract from Lockheed Martin to support the maintenance and replacement of electronic warfare systems on the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. The company will manage the supply chain for the electronic warfare system and maintain regional warehouses with on-hand inventories of critical components.

South China Sea dispute: China lands bombers on island

05/22/2018

China has for the first time landed bombers on disputed territory in the South China Sea, its air force said, prompting fresh US warnings that it is destabilising the region. The long-range H-6K bomber was among those which took part in drills on islands and reefs to improve China's ability to "reach all territory".

Warthog replacement anyone? Former Air Force officers say to think beyond light attack aircraft

05/20/2018

As the Air Force contemplates whether to buy a new fleet of light attack aircraft, a duo of former Air Force officers are pressing for an even wider revival of the attack aircraft inventory that could include a light reconnaissance plane or even a purpose-built replacement to the A-10 Warthog.

Raytheon awarded infrared and radar system upgrade contract for F/A-18 and E/A-18G

05/20/2018

Naval Air Warfare Center intends to award a sole source contract to Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems to upgrade infrared and radar systems aboard the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18 and E/A-18G aircraft.

Boeing says F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet can help India grow its aerospace ecosystem

05/16/2018

US aerospace major Boeing has said its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet can help India grow its aerospace ecosystem which can be utilised for its Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft programme. Boeing's current F/A-18 production involves 60,000 jobs and 800 suppliers in 44 states in the US and this can be replicated in India, Thom Breckenridge, vice president, global sales, Boeing India, told PTI in an interview, as the company seeks to enterb India's fighter jet bidding process.

Germany’s Typhoon problem: Only four fighters can be made combat ready

05/16/2018

If you thought the US Department of Defense's procurement adventures with the F-35 and other big-budget weapons systems are bad, you might want to check out what's going on in Europe, where defense procurement battles have left most of the German Luftwaffe grounded for lack of parts.

USAF prepares for rapid demo of high-energy laser weapon

05/16/2018

The US Air Force has started preparing to rapidly stage a demonstration of a highly mature laser weapon system (LWS) for an unspecified “airborne vehicle”, with the potential for a follow-on production programme.

Netherlands targets Apache remanufacturing deal

05/16/2018

The Netherlands' defence ministry has outlined its plans to remanufacture the nation's current fleet of 28 Boeing AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, with the goal of operating the updated type until 2050.

Cameroon: U.S. Donates Military Aircraft to Cameroon

05/15/2018

The United States has given Cameroon two military aircraft to assist in the fight against Boko Haram militants. It adds to armored vehicles, U.S.-led training on landmine detection and the presence of U.S. Marines in the country.

Why is China expanding its airbase 160 miles from Taiwan?

05/15/2018

China is expanding an airbase on the East China Sea coast, adding facilities that potentially allow it to permanently base combat aircraft closer to Taiwan and islands of which both China and Japan claim ownership.

Danish west coast could become training region for NATO fighter jet

05/12/2018

The American defence company Cubic Defense Systems has published advanced plans to establish a central training and command centre in Denmark for all northern European F-35 combat aircraft, according to Jyllands-Posten.

Marine Corps poised to take delivery of first operational CH-53K

05/12/2018

The US Marine Corps is scheduled to take delivery of its first production version of the CH-53K King Stallion from Sikorsky early next week. The heavy-lift helicopter is to be received at MCAS New River, North Carolina. At the base, the USMC said it plans to put the aircraft through its Supportability Test Plan by conducting a logistics assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall support of the King Stallion.

Bangladesh picks Marshall support for secondhand C-130Js

05/11/2018

Bangladesh has selected the UK's Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to modify a pair of ex-Royal Air Force-operated Lockheed Martin C-130Js and provide long-term support for the tactical transports.

Embraer re-affirms KC-390 delivery date despite second mishap

05/11/2018

Embraer still expects its first KC-390 transport aircraft to be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in the fourth quarter of 2018, despite a second mishap with one of its prototypes on 5 May, which caused extensive damage to the aircraft’s three landing gear and fuselage structure.

US Coast Guard requests long-endurance UAV to counter drug and migrant smuggling

05/11/2018

The US Coast Guard issued a request for demonstrations of long-range, ultra-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in US coastal transit zones that are highly trafficked by illegal drug and migrant smugglers.

China's Stealth Jets Conduct First Over-the-sea Combat Training

05/10/2018

China's indigenously developed J-20 stealth fighter jets have begun their first-ever over the ocean combat training, a senior official of the People's Liberation Army Air Force said on Wednesday. The J-20 jets are China's fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter aircraft, which were commissioned into combat service earlier this year.

First F-16 to receive life extension modifications rolls out of shop

05/10/2018

An Air Force Thunderbird jet was the first Lockheed Martin F-16 to have a service life extension – modifications that will add more than 4,000 flight hours to the aircraft’s lifetime. The aircraft is one of about 300 refurbished C and D models of the F-16s that will roll off the shop floor of the 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah after receiving structure-strengthening modifications, the USAF announced on May 3.

Saab begins building structures plant for Gripen in Brazil

05/10/2018

A Saab aerostructures plant now under construction in Brazil to support Gripen fighter production also will expand the capacity of Saab’s global supply chain, the Swedish manufacturer says on 9 May.

Indonesia presses pause on K-FX involvment

05/10/2018

Jakarta wants to review its involvement in the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) K-FX fighter programme. Following recent media reports stating that it would review the initiative, Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu confirmed Jakarta's position in a television interview. Nonetheless, Ryacudu believes Jakarta should stay in the programme given the money it has already invested.

Why Russia's Su-35 (Now in China's Air Force) Could Be Taiwan's Worst Nightmare

05/09/2018

The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E has entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense. The advanced Russian-built fourth generation fighter is a significant boost to the PLAAF and could be used to good effect by Beijing in over the South China Sea.

Leonardo still working to finalise Qatar NH90 order

05/09/2018

Leonardo remains confident it can finalise a contract with Qatar for 28 NHIndustries NH90 helicopters before year-end. Although the Middle Eastern country moved in March this year to formalise a long-held tentative agreement for the military rotorcraft, the deal has yet to be signed off.

USN reveals concept to defend aircraft against missile attack with interceptors

05/09/2018

A US Navy document reveals a new concept to protect large cargo and surveillance aircraft from incoming missiles using small interceptors launched by the targeted aircraft themselves or by unmanned escort aircraft flying next to them.

USAF launches second phase of light attack experiment

05/08/2018

The second phase of an experiment that began on 7 May with two light attack fighters can allow the US Air Force to bypass several steps in the acquisition process, a top USAF general says. The Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and Textron Aviation AT-6 Wolverine began an open-ended series of experiments at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, which are focused on answering questions about how to sustain such aircraft and connect them with battlefield networks.

Embraer reports KC-390 runway excursion in Gaviao Peixoto

05/07/2018

Embraer’s first KC-390 flight test aircraft ran off the runway during a ground test in Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil, on 5 May, the company says. he crew of the aircraft exited the aircraft without injury, the company adds.

State Department approves sale of six C-130J Super Hercules to Germany

05/07/2018

The US State Department approved the sale of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport and tanker aircraft to Germany for an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

‘A C-130 literally just dropped out of the sky’: A deadly plane crash stuns drivers in Savannah

05/04/2018

The C-130 Hercules is like the ancient elephant of the modern Air Force — huge, strong and put to almost endless uses. Since the 1950s, the planes have hauled massive cargo loads to war zones, been converted into gunships and bombers, and been packed with electronics to hunt for hurricanes. And like the old war elephants, when a C-130 falls, it goes down hard.

China upped the ante by installing missiles at key South China Sea outposts. Warplanes are likely next

05/04/2018

Beijing has upped the ante with its latest deployment of anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems to fortified outposts in the hotly contested waters of the South China Sea. And it means China will likely soon send warplanes to the area, too, according to an expert on the region.

USAF selects three bases to station the future B-21 fleet

05/04/2018

The US Air Force plans to station its future Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider fleet at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas; Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri starting in the mid-2020s.

Autonomous refueling considered for KC-46A upgrade plan

05/04/2018

Although the delivery of the first KC-46A Pegasus is still months away, Boeing is about to launch a follow-on development programme, with potential upgrades including autonomous refueling, improved survivability and new communications systems, says the company’s programme manager.

USAF teaching dogfighting to small autonomous drones

05/04/2018

The US Air Force Academy is attempting to teach autonomous unmanned air vehicles when to perform combat manoeuvres used by fighter pilots to counter potential swarms of adversarial UAVs.

Let's Talk About This Rumor That Israeli F-15s Mimicked US Jets To Strike At Iran In Syria

05/02/2018

Days after an intense volley of strikes targeting Iran’s military activities in Syria, new information about the Israeli operation continues to trickle out, though many details remain uncertain. Now, a new rumor has emerged on social media claiming that Israel’s F-15I Ra'am multi-role combat aircraft were able to get close to their targets without raising the alarm by using the same transponder codes as U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and taking a circuitous route through Jordan and Iraq.

US plans to order up to 1,600 GBU-49 bombs for foreign F-35

05/02/2018

The US military plans to order 1,400 to 1,600 Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway bombs in the fourth quarter to distribute to certain foreign customers of the Lockheed Martin F-35, according to an acquisition notice released on 30 April.

US approves AH-1Z attack helicopter sale to Bahrain

05/02/2018

The US Department of State has approved the possible sale of 12 Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters to Bahrain. Worth an estimated $911 million, including training and support services, the deal is being concluded under the Foreign Military Sales process.

F-35 Brains in an F-22 Body: Thinking Through Japan's Next-Generation Fighter Options

05/01/2018

The aviation world went bonkers early this week when news emerged that Lockheed Martin has proposed offering a hybrid of the F-22 and F-35 to Japan. The fighter, which would come in addition to the purchase of at least 60 F-35s, would combine elements of the two fighters to presumably produce one of the world’s most formidable combat aircraft.

The widening gap between Indian and Chinese air power

05/01/2018

As the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to undertake significant organizational and modernization reforms to build a military that is “built to fight,” in line with President Xi Jinping’s recent rhetoric at the 19th Party Congress, asymmetric inequalities between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) are set to widen.

US policy shift could open door for Israeli UAV sales

05/01/2018

Israeli manufacturers could benefit from a decision by Washington to ease restrictions on the US defence industry's sale of armed unmanned air vehicles, although they are likely to face increased competition.

U.S. Fighters for Taiwan

04/30/2018

Chinese bombers and warships conducted exercises near Taiwan this month, a show of force that officials in Beijing called a warning not to pursue formal independence. Last year the number of Chinese air patrols off Taiwan’s east coast quadrupled, and Beijing under President Xi Jinping has stepped up pressure on the island democracy to “reunify” with the motherland.

Koreas make nuclear pledge after historic summit

04/28/2018

The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons, after holding a historic summit. The announcement was made by the North's Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea after talks at the border. The two also agreed to push towards turning the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 into a peace treaty this year.

Boeing completes final FAA test on KC-46 tanker programme

04/27/2018

Boeing’s KC-46 tanker programme completed all required supplemental type certificate (STC) flight tests for the US Federal Aviation Administration following a successful refueling and communications flight with a C-17. Boeing said on 26 April that it plans to now submit the resulting data and reports to the FAA for review.

Northrop Grumman to develop algorithms to counter fast-changing enemy radar

04/27/2018

Northrop Grumman will develop machine learning algorithms to help the Boeing EA-18G Growler’s electronic warfare system pin down and jam fast-changing enemy radar signals. Such machine learning algorithms would be needed “against agile, adaptive, and unknown hostile radars or radar modes,” according to the announcement of a $7.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract by the US Navy on 25 April.

US senators introduce bill to block F-35 delivery to Turkey

04/27/2018

A bi-partisan group of US senators introduced a bill on 26 April to prevent the transfer of the Lockheed Martin F-35A to Turkey. The bill would also block Turkey’s role as a maintenance depot for the aircraft, according to a press release issued by the senators. The bill was introduced on 26 April by Sen James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, Sen Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, and Sen Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina.

Airbus and Dassault join forces to build next fighter aircraft

04/26/2018

Rivals Airbus and Dassault Aviation have struck a deal to develop and produce Europe's next generation of fighter aircraft. Franco-German Airbus is part of the consortium behind Eurofighter, while France's Dassault makes the Rafale jet. The two companies said their European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) would replace the existing planes by 2040.

F-35 deployment to Japan hit with sustainment problems

04/26/2018

Since the US Marine Corps’ deployment of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in January 2017 the aircraft has been hit with an assortment of sustainment problems.

ILA: Boeing unveils team for German Chinook bid

04/26/2018

Boeing has partnered with 10 aerospace suppliers that have operations in Germany to support its bid to supply CH-47 Chinooks for the nation’s heavy-lift helicopter competition. In addition to several German equipment and training specialist suppliers, the group includes CAE, Diehl Defence, Honeywell, Liebherr, Rockwell Collins and Rolls-Royce.

ILA: Eurofighter to upgrade Typhoon engine to lift sales

04/26/2018

Eurofighter will upgrade the engines and systems on its Typhoon combat aircraft as part of a bid to replace Germany’s fleet of Panavia Tornados and support efforts to sell additional aircraft to other European countries. On 24 April, Airbus and Eurofighter submitted to Germany’s defence ministry an offer to replace the nation's 90 Tornados, which are to be phased out from 2025.

Aero Vodochody and IAI to collaborate on advanced L-159

04/25/2018

Czech Republic-based Aero Vodochody and Israel Aerospace Industries are to develop and market an advanced version of the former's L-159 trainer and light attack aircraft. The partners will integrate a new avionics suite and "other solutions" onto the platform, as well as jointly marketing the Honeywell F124-GA-100-powered type.

China's aircraft carrier leads live combat drill in East China Sea

04/24/2018

The Chinese aircraft carrier formation, featuring the carrier Liaoning, held "live combat drill" in the East China Sea, state media reported early Tuesday. Te formation took part in anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare training with an "opposing force." said State-run Xinhua news agency.

Lockheed Martin to Propose 5th Gen F-22/F-35 Hybrid to Japan

04/24/2018

Late Friday, April 20, Reuters journalists Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo reported that Lockheed Martin will propose a new 5th generation low-observable (stealth) combat aircraft to Japan. According to Kelly and Kubo’s article, the two sources who provided the information to Reuters have direct knowledge of the upcoming proposal.

Iraq's An-32 Cargo Planes Turned Bombers Flew Nearly Twice As Many Strikes As its F-16s

04/24/2018

Following a recent strike its F-16IQ Viper multi-role jets flew against ISIS terrorists in neighboring Syria, the Iraqi Air Force has released a detailed infographic showing how many combat and combat support missions each of its aircraft types have flown over the past nearly four years. Of particular note is that the country’s An-32 cargo planes have conducted more airstrikes than either Iraq’s F-16s or its Aero L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft, or ALCA, light attack jets.

State Department clears $1.2 billion sale of Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks to Mexico

04/24/2018

The US State Department cleared the possible sale of eight Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Mexico for $1.2 billion on 19 April. The order also includes spare engines, radios and navigation equipment. Weapons and targeting equipment also included in the possible purchase are 1,000 SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys; 10 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System II rockets; 30 Mk-54 lightweight hybrid torpedoes; 12 M-240D machine guns; and 12 GAU-21 machine guns.

Tokyo eyes multiple routes for new fighter jet

04/24/2018

Japan’s Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics Agency (ATLA) continues to weigh ideas for a futuristic fighter to replace the nation’s Mitsubishi F-2 aircraft. “We have been doing the RFI process continuously, and our questions have been changing,” says an official familiar with the programme to develop a new aircraft, likely to be designated F-3.

USAF eyes more orders as B-21 finishes preliminary design review

04/24/2018

Northrop Grumman has finished preliminary design review of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber. The heavy bomber is now moving towards a critical design review, says Lt Gen Arnold Bunch, the air force's military deputy for acquisition during an 18 April Senate Armed Services hearing. Critical design review is the next step before assembly of the first aircraft can begin.

US diplomat threatens Turkey's F-35 role in S-400 spat

04/24/2018

Assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell’s remarks during 18 April hearing in Congress escalated a simmering confrontation with a NATO ally and combat partner against ISIS, which agreed to acquire the Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf system even as it plans to take delivery of its first F-35A later this year.

Losing US air superiority risks ground forces

04/19/2018

The asymmetric advantage that the U.S. military possesses ? and that has prevented enemy aircraft attacks on American ground forces since April 15, 1953 ? is eroding.

RAAF receives final C-27J airlifter

04/19/2018

The Royal Australian Air Force has received its tenth and final Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical transport. “The Spartan provides flexibility to defence operations, allowing us to land at airfields that are smaller or unsuitable for our much larger transport aircraft like the [Lockheed Martin] C-130J Hercules and [Boeing] C-17A Globemaster,” says defence minister Marise Payne.

New software flaw requires FAA intervention to avoid KC-46 schedule slip

04/19/2018

A newly-discovered software flaw could trigger another schedule delay for the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus unless the US Federal Aviation Administration approves a temporary waiver from certification requirements. In a document submitted to the FAA on 26 March, Boeing requests a time-limited exemption from the FAA’s supplemental type certification criteria for the 767-2C, the commercial aircraft model on which the KC-46A is derived.

USAF awards Lockheed Martin $928 million contract for hypersonic cruise missile

04/19/2018

Huntsville, Alabama-based Lockheed Martin Space will develop the US Air Force’s first hypersonic cruise missile under a new contract awarded on 18 April. The indefinite-delivery and indefinite quantity award worth up to $928 million suggests the USAF is ready to move past several decades of development and demonstrations of weapons that can cruise for long distances at speeds exceeding Mach 5.

UK re-forms 617 Sqn for F-35B era

04/19/2018

The Royal Air Force's 617 Sqn – the UK's first frontline unit to field the Lockheed Martin F-35B – has been officially re-formed during a ceremony in Washington DC. Staffed by a mix of RAF and Royal Navy pilots and support personnel, lead elements of 617 Sqn are currently involved in training at MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina, using the UK's current 15 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) Lightning IIs.

NATO faces down Russia: Fighter jets scrambled to DEFEND Europe four times in ONE WEEK

04/18/2018

Russian military planes were intercepted by the NATO Air Policing team tasked with guarding airspace over the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO fighters were scrambled to escort the Russian aircraft on four separate occasions between April 9 and April 14, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence. On each occasion the Russian aircraft were flying to or from Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave situated between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic coast.

The US Air Force is short more than one-quarter of the fighter pilots it needs, according to a government report

04/18/2018

Air Force officials have been warning about the force's dire pilot shortage, and a recent Government Accountability Office report illustrates just how bad the shortfall has gotten. The report assesses the gaps between the actual number of fighter pilots that the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy have and the number of positions they are authorized to have.

Army Aviator Describes the Biggest Problems Facing Military Aviation

04/18/2018

This past Friday, an AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed during a training mission at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the latest in a slew of deadly mishaps from across the services in the past week. The accident comes on the heels of a damning report from the Military Times, documenting an alarming rise in accidents stretching back over four years.

Will Malaysia Buy Pakistan’s JF-17 Fighter Jet?

04/17/2018

Pakistan and Malaysia are purportedly engaged in preliminary talks over the possible procurement of an unknown number of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 “Thunder” multirole fighter jets, a PAC official told IHS Jane’s at the Defense Services Asia (DSA) 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on April 16.

JASSM-ER makes combat debut against Syrian chemical weapons facilities

04/17/2018

US, French and British aircraft fired several cruise missiles at chemical weapons research and production facilities in Syria on 13 April, resulting in the combat debut of the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended-Range.

German Sea Lion helicopter development gathers pace

04/17/2018

NH Industries (NHI) is gearing up to begin qualification activities later this year for the naval-variant NH90 helicopters being procured by Germany under its Sea Lion programme. Berlin is to acquire 18 NFH rotorcraft as replacements for its navy's 21-strong fleet of elderly Westland Sea Kings, used for search and rescue and transport missions, with deliveries of the first three examples to take place in late 2019.

Syria fired 40 missiles 'at nothing' after allied air strikes destroyed three Assad chemical sites

04/15/2018

he Assad Regime fired 40 defensive missiles at thin air in a failed attempt to save the three Syrian chemical weapons sites destroyed by allied air strikes, the Pentagon said. A total of 105 missiles rained down on a research centre in Damascus as well as a storage site and a bunker 15 miles west of Homs at 4am Syrian time.

F-22 Raptor Came To A Rest On Its Belly During Major Mishap Friday At NAS Fallon

04/15/2018

An F-22A Raptor belonging to Elmendorf Air Force Base's 3rd Wing was involved in a major mishap this weekend. Details remain sketchy and are likely to change, but a source told The War Zone that the jet may have retracted its gear too early during takeoff, with the aircraft slamming back down on the runway at relatively high speed and skidding its way to a stop. Thankfully the pilot was able to egress from the aircraft without major injuries.

US and allies launch strikes on Syria chemical weapons sites

04/14/2018

The US, UK and France have bombed multiple government targets in Syria in an early morning operation targeting alleged chemical weapons sites. The strikes are in response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last week. "A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway," President Trump said in an address to the nation. Explosions were reported near the Syrian capital Damascus.

Indian Air Force carries out 10,000 sorties of combat aircraft fleet in 3 days

04/14/2018

Aiming to prepare itself for a short and swift two-front war against China and Pakistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out around 10,000 sorties of its entire combat aircraft fleet in three days across the country to demonstrate its capability to undertake high intensity operations with the limited number of aircraft available.

HAL, Mahindra join Boeing in Indian Super Hornet push

04/14/2018

Boeing has teamed with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems for its bid to sell more than 100 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets to India’s air force. The partnership is aimed at bringing together the global supply chains, advanced manufacturing experience and design capabilities of all three companies to produce and support Super Hornets in India if it is selected to meet the requirement.

Syria war: Weapons key players have at their disposal

04/13/2018

Indications suggest that the type of strike being planned by Washington, with the possible assistance of the UK and France, will involve weapons launched from warships or submarines at long range. Any aircraft used would be either firing weapons from beyond the reach of Syria's surface-to-air defence systems or be drones that can be remote-controlled.

Portion of A-10 fleet to move into backup status in lead up to FY25

04/13/2018

The Air Force expects it will have to ground a portion of the A-10 fleet in the years running up to fiscal year 2025, as the life of their wings runs out, but the service believes it will not effect operations, a three-star general said Thursday. “We are not confident that we’re flying all of the A-10s that we currently possess through 2025 with our plan,” said Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, during a House Armed Services Committee panel.

Boeing joins hands with HAL, Mahindra for 'Make in India' Super Hornet fighter jet

04/13/2018

Eying the mega IAF contract for 11o fighter jets, Boeing today announced a partnership with PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) for manufacturing the F/A-18 Super Hornet in India. The US aerospace major said the partnership will also work for joint development of future technologies in India, saying it will transform India's aerospace and defence ecosystem.

Marine Corps experimenting with sharing F-35’s data with soldiers

04/13/2018

The US Marine Corps is experimenting with several ways to provide soldiers on the ground a link to sensor data gathered by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and other unmanned aircraft on a tablet computer.

F-35's 11-year flight test phase comes to an end

04/13/2018

A Lockheed Martin F-35C on 11 April completed the final test flight of the programme’s system development and demonstration (SDD) phase, capping off an 11-year-long saga spanning 9,200 sorties and 17,000 flight hours for three major variants.

Pentagon refuses delivery of F-35s over repair dispute

04/12/2018

The US Department of Defense is refusing delivery of F-35 Lightning IIs over a dispute with manufacturer Lockheed Martin about who should pay for repair costs to fix a production error found on the aircraft last year.

Boeing contract shows details of LRSO integration on B-52

04/12/2018

The US Air Force granted Boeing Defense, Space and Security a contract worth up to $250 million to integrate the forthcoming Long Range Stand-Off cruise missile on the B-52H Stratofortress.

Israel considers packaging V-22 with heavy-lift helicopter purchase

04/12/2018

Israel has revived discussions with the US government over a potential acquisition of Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys as the programme looks abroad to fill vacant production capacity. The Israeli government last year froze a plan to buy six V-22s, three years after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a potential sale of the tiltrotor aircraft to Tel Aviv.

US presents F-16 aircraft in Bratislava

04/11/2018

If the offer is accepted, the first fighter planes should arrive in Slovakia by the end of 2022. Representatives of the US aerospace, defence, security, and advanced technology company, Lockheed Martin, presented an offer to sell F-16 aircraft to Slovakia on April 10. If Slovakia accepts the offer, the first F-16 fighter jets could arrive in the country by the end of 2022, they said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

India’s air force just started a $19.5 billion fighter program — sort of

04/11/2018

The Indian air force has launched a very ambitious $19.5 billion program to buy 110 military fighters. The problem is, the country’s Ministry of Defense says it is only a fact-finding exercise and there is no commitment from the government on the program as of now. The IAF on April 6 issued a Request for Information or RFI to all major global aviation companies to bid on the 110 fighter buy.

Boeing's 100th P-8 Poseidon enters final assembly

04/11/2018

The 100th Boeing P-8A Poseidon entered final assembly in Renton, Washington in March.The maritime patrol aircraft is destined for the US Navy in fall 2018 and is part of a string of backorders that Boeing said will keep its P-8 production line running until 2022. The aerospace manufacturer said it has delivered 82 aircraft since the launch of the programme in 2011, and in total has 127 aircraft contracted to the US Navy, Australia, United Kingdom and India.

AAS-equipped P-8A could replace E-8C

04/11/2018

The US Navy's P-8A Poseidon could pick up a new mission if the US Air Force is allowed to follow through on plans to cancel a replacement for the Northrop Grumman E-8C JSTARS. The navy is buying 117 P-8As to perform anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol missions, but a subset of the fleet is being equipped with Raytheon's Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS) radar.

Serbia closes on new helicopter orders

04/11/2018

Serbia has begun talks with Russia over the acquisition of four Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters and the same number of Mi-35 attack rotorcraft. The likely purchase was revealed by Belgrade's defence minister Aleksandar Vulin, after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu in Moscow. Previous indications from Serbia's defence ministry were that the order would probably only be for six Mi-17s.

Opinion: 5 US Military aircraft crashes in a week shows what happens when lawmakers use the budget as a bargaining chip

04/10/2018

Yet another deadly crash on Friday evening brought the total number of American service members to die during routine aircraft operations last week to seven, as a rash of recent incidents have reignite concerns about the dismal state of readiness the U.S. military has found itself in.

Lockheed's MQ-25 reuses USN fighter engines, landing gear

04/10/2018

New details of Lockheed Martin’s bid for the MQ-25 Stingray contract reveal a flying wing unmanned tanker with several key components re-used from aircraft already on board the US Navy’s aircraft carriers.

France and Germany to push ahead with new joint MPA

04/10/2018

France and Germany are to jointly develop a future maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), with a letter of intent covering the programme to be signed by the nations' defence ministers on 27 April. Destined to replace the countries' respective fleets of Dassault Atlantique 2 and Lockheed Martin P-3C Orions, the new aircraft will be available to coincide with the out-of-service dates for both models, says the German navy. This is likely to be in the 2030s.

Thailand commissions four T-50 trainers

04/10/2018

The Royal Thai Air Force has commissioned the first four Korea Aerospace Industries T-50TH advanced jet trainers. The commissioning ceremony took place on 4 April at Thai air force base, says KAI in a statement. The four aircraft were originally ordered in 2015, with a follow on order for eight additional examples placed in 2017. These will be delivered in 2020.

The death toll for rising aviation accidents: 133 troops killed in five years

04/09/2018

In the last three weeks, six military aviation crashes have killed 16 pilots or crew — a tragic development that has cast a spotlight on a growing crisis: Accident rates have soared over the last five years for most of the military’s manned warplanes. Through a six-month investigation, the Military Times found that accidents involving all of the military’s manned fighter, bomber, helicopter and cargo warplanes rose nearly 40 percent from fiscal years 2013 to 2017.

Air Force Thunderbirds Identify Their Fallen Pilot

04/08/2018

The Air Force Thunderbirds released the identification of the pilot lost in Wednesday’s crash of an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a training exercise in a brief statement issued today. The Thunderbirds jets were in the air over the squadron’s Nevada Test and Training Range north of their base at Las Vegas when someting went wrong causing Thunderbird 4 to crash in the isolated region.

U.S. military grounds aircraft in Djibouti after multiple accidents

04/08/2018

At the request of the Djiboutian government, the U.S. military has halted its air operations in the East African country, a critical location in the fight against terrorism, following two accidents involving military aircraft, three defense officials told CNN. On Tuesday, a U.S. Marine Corps Harrier jet crashed at the country’s international airport. The pilot was able to eject and was treated at a medical facility but has since been released according to several officials.

Will India Become a Naval Superpower Thanks to Aircraft Carriers?

04/08/2018

With one large carrier in service and another on the way, India has become one of the world’s pre-eminent naval aviation powers. How did the program come about? Where is it going? And what is the strategic rationale for India’s massive investment in aircraft carriers?

2 soldiers die in helicopter crash, bringing to 7 the number killed in military aviation mishaps this week

04/08/2018

Two soldiers were killed in a training flight of an Apache attack helicopter at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The two deaths in the crash Friday night brings to seven the number of service members who have died just this week in three military aviation crashes in the United States. Two other aviation mishaps in the east African nation of Djibouti resulted in no casualties.

House Armed Services chairman: Military readiness 'at a crisis point'

04/08/2018

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee called the deaths of two soldiers in an Apache helicopter crash in Kentucky on Friday "heartbreaking" in a statement Saturday, adding that military readiness is in crisis. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said he grieves "over the loss of our men and women in uniform," and added that "the tragic deaths of troops killed in aviation accidents over the past month is especially heartbreaking."

Germany, France to move ahead on sixth-generation combat aircraft

04/08/2018

Plans for a Franco-German combat aircraft are set to kick off in earnest at the Berlin Air Show later this month, officials told French media on the sidelines of a meeting of the two countries’ defense ministers in Paris on Thursday. The idea of a joint “systèmedecombat aérien dufutur,” or SCAF, came out of a bilateral Cabinet decision last summer, part of a larger effort to promote the Berlin-Paris relationship in a militarily stronger Europe.

India re-opens competition to supply 110 fighters

04/07/2018

A global competition to sell more than 100 fighters to the Indian air force re-opened for the third time in a decade on 6 April. The IAF released a 73-page request for information to six companies to supply 110 single- and twin-seat fighters over a maximum of 12 years.

Senegal signs for new-generation L-39NGs

04/07/2018

Aero Vodochody has secured its first buyer for the new-generation L-39NG, with Senegal to acquire four armed examples from the Czech Republic manufacturer. Confirming its selection on 4 April, Aero Vodochody said: "The order contains four aircraft in a light-attack version, maintaining also the full training capability." Its deal with Dakar also covers the provision of training services for pilots and maintainers, plus ground-support equipment, spare parts and logistics support.

Boeing tankers refuel each other in KC-46 milestone test

04/07/2018

Boeing announced that its KC-46 Pegasus aerial tanker programme completed its fuel on-load testing, part of its overall supplemental type certificate, by successfully transferring 66,200kg (146,000lb) of jet fuel to another KC-46 during flight using the centreline boom. The fuel transfer took place during a 3h, 40min-long flight on an undisclosed date, Boeing says.

Saab offers AEL wide area display for Gripen E buyers

04/07/2018

Brazilian-made wide area and head-up displays for the Saab Gripen E/F will be offered to all customers of the single-engined fighter as a potential cockpit upgrade, says Mikael Franzén, head of Business Unit, Gripen Brazil.

Colombian air force chief pushes for more Black Hawks

04/07/2018

The Colombian air force’s appetite for the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk has not waned five months after the government in Bogota signed an agreement ending a 50-year-old conflict with FARC guerrilla fighters. “I hope we will have enough budget to continue acquiring this aircraft,” says Gen Carlos Eduardo Bueno Vargas, speaking on 4 April during a Sikorsky press conference.

The Navy's Secret Wish: Bring Back the Old F-14 Tomcat from the Dead?

04/04/2018

While the requirement for a carrier-based long-range strike capability is a frequent subject of discussion around Washington, the U.S. Navy