2018 Military Aviation News

Keeping combat edge is going to be a challenge

12/10/2018

The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has taken 26 years to get from the beginning of development in 1992 through to its first operational use in combat earlier this year by the Israeli Air Force over Syria. It is the most advanced warplane in the world today, and the RAAF is not only taking delivery of the first two of 72 F-35As, but has the option to order another 28 aircraft next decade.

Williamtown RAAF Base taking delivery of first two F-35A joint strike fighters

12/10/2018

The first of Australia’s F-35A joint strike fighters will touch down at Williamtown RAAF Base on Monday. Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, will be among the waiting dignitaries as two of the $125 million planes arrive from Brisbane after leaving Arizona last week.

USAF looks for stopgap GPS hardening for special ops C-130Js

12/08/2018

Increased anti-GPS electronic warfare from adversaries and delays to the launch of the GPS III network are forcing the US Air Force Special Operation Command to look for GPS hardening technology for its MC-130J and EC-130J aircraft to be used as a stopgap.

Boeing receives contract to build Japan a second KC-46A tanker

12/08/2018

Boeing received a $159 million contract from the US Air Force to build a second KC-46A tanker for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The aerial refueling tanker will be manufactured in Seattle and is expected to be completed by 30 June 2021. In December 2017, the USAF awarded Boeing a $279 million contract to produce Japan's first KC-46 tanker aircraft.

ANALYSIS: UK on a roll after F-35B carrier trials

12/08/2018

After more than a decade of study, experimentation, modelling and simulation, the UK has successfully completed a first phase of testing using a shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) manoeuvre for the Lockheed Martin F-35B on board the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Royal Air Force Dogfighting with Royal Navy Over Scarce F-35s

12/06/2018

When there aren’t enough F-35s to go around, who should get them: The air force or the navy? That question is reportedly roiling the British military as the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy dogfight over which F-35 stealth fighters the cash-strapped UK should buy. The Royal Navy is furious at alleged RAF plans to grab many of the 138 F-35s that Britain is purchasing, according to Britain’s Sky News .

Germany, France to add Spain to fighter program: sources

12/06/2018

Germany and France will welcome Spain as a full partner in their program to develop a next-generation air combat system, and expect to sign an agreement finalizing the move at the Paris Air Show in June, German government sources said on Wednesday. Paris and Berlin initially planned to offer Spain only observer status on the program, but changed their plans after extensive discussions with Spanish officials, according to a separate source familiar with the matter.

Rescue search after collision between US Marine F-18 Hornet and C-130 Hercules off Japan

12/06/2018

An air and sea search has been launched off the coast of Japan for seven US Marine aircrew after a F/A-18D Hornet fighter and a KC-130 Hercules tanker collided during a refuelling manoeuvre. Both aircraft crashed into the sea about 300km out from their base at Iwakuni. The incident happened about 2am local time (4am AEDT).

US Marine Corps looks to buy two C-40 executive transports

12/06/2018

In addition to providing the Texan II trainers, Affinity has sourced 23 G120TPs from Grob Aircraft and five Embraer Phenom 100s – all "configured to meet the needs of the UK Ministry of Defence". The new types are respectively employed in the basic, elementary and multi-engine crew training categories. Deliveries commenced with a first batch of G120TPs being accepted at RAF Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire in November 2016. Affinity notes that the final aircraft's transfer was made ahead of its

PICTURE: T-6C arrival completes UK trainer fleet renewal

12/06/2018

A key milestone in the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme was met on 3 December, with the early arrival of the last of 38 fixed-wing aircraft acquired via Elbit Systems UK/KBR joint venture Affinity Flying Training Services. The last of 10 Beechcraft T-6Cs acquired as replacements for the Royal Air Force's Short Tucano T1 turboprops – registered ZM332 – arrived at the service's Valley base in Anglesey, north Wales, following a delivery flight from Wichita, Kansas.

J-10C Fighter Aircraft Participating In Pak-China Joint Air Force Exercise: Military Expert

12/05/2018

China's J-10C fighter aircraft, currently taking part in the Pak-China joint air force exercise, is equipped with an Active Electronically Steered Array system (AESA) as well as an optoelectronic detection system. An improved version of China's J-10, the aircraft was activated for the combat missions in April this year, Wang Zhiming, a Chinese military expert told the news website China.org.cn on Tuesday.

Sikorsky aims to push aircraft sales with Chilean office

12/05/2018

Sikorsky's parent company Lockheed Martin intends to register an office in Chile to help push aircraft sales in Latin America. The company said it is in the process of registering an office with the Chilean government, adding that it intends to also use the site as a base for naval business in the region.

USAF fields new aircrew mask to protect against WMD contamination

12/05/2018

The US Air Force has started to field its Joint Service Aircrew Mask (JSAM) for helicopter aircraft in November as part of a larger effort to shield its personnel against contamination from weapons of mass destruction. The JSAM mask provides better protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contamination for aircrew on the HH-60G Pave Hawk and UH-1N Huey aircraft, said the USAF. It replaces the Aircrew Eye and Respiratory Protection system.

Airbus and Lockheed team for US tanker services

12/05/2018

Airbus and Lockheed Martin have signed a memorandum of agreement to jointly "explore opportunities" in the US aerial refuelling market, eight years after the European airframer lost out to rival Boeing in a bid to supply new tankers to the US Air Force.

First flight for upgraded C-27J

12/05/2018

Leonardo's aircraft division has performed the first flight of its C-27J transport in a new baseline configuration. The sortie took place on 3 December from the manufacturer's plant in Turin, northern Italy. Featuring a number of avionics and cockpit upgrades, the new configuration is designed to make the aircraft compliant with next-generation air traffic management requirements and reduce military obsolescence issues.

Poland accelerates fighter replacement plans

12/04/2018

Poland is to accelerate the replacement of its air force's RAC MiG-29 fighters and Sukhoi Su-22 ground-attack aircraft on the instructions of the country's defence minister. Mariusz Blaszczak, minister of national defence, has repeatedly stated his aim of removing Soviet-era aircraft from Warsaw's inventory.

Italy first in Europe to have F-35A fleet declared initial operational capable

12/04/2018

The Italian Air Force declared its F-35A Lightning II fleet initial operational capable on 30 November, making the force the first in Europe to achieve the mark. Italy intends to procure a total of 90 F-35 aircraft. The country’s air force, Aeronautica Militare, plans to buy 60 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing aircraft and 15 F-35B short-take-off-and-vertical-landing aircraft (STOVLs), while the navy, Marina Militare, is planning to acquire 15 F-35B STOVLs.

KC-46A completes Phase II receiver aircraft testing

12/04/2018

The Boeing KC-46A aerial tanker programme completed its Phase II receiver aircraft tests after finishing three weeks of flights with F-15E aircraft out of Edwards Air Force Base, California. Receiver certification for the KC-46A started in April 2018 with the Lockheed Martin F-16, says Boeing. A joint US Air Force Boeing team has completed receiver tests with Boeing KC-135, Boeing C-17, Fairchild Republic A-10, KC-46, Boeing B-52 and Boeing F/A-18 aircraft since then.

Missiles, Fighter Jets And Much More: How China Just Showed Off Its Military Muscles

12/03/2018

Think tanks normally do not put the fear of God in you, but a new report from the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) does the job. The report, “AirShow China 2018: ‘China Dream,’ Air Power and Deterrence,” demonstrates that China’s defense modernization and industrial efforts are “underscoring the role the sector has in President Xi Jinping’s broader nationalist vision of turning China into a great power.”

UkrOboronProm hands over combat aircraft, helicopters and UAVs to Armed Forces of Ukraine

12/03/2018

Ukraine’s state-owned defense industrial group, UkrOboronProm, has officially handed over a combat aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to the Armed Forces of Ukraine on 1 December. UkrOboronProm said in a statement that the Armed Forces of Ukraine received multirole upgraded MiG-29 fighter jets, heavy multirole high-maneuvering all-weather Su-27 fighter aircraft, combat and transport helicopters, L-39 training aircraft, and Spectator unmanned aerial systems.

US government, Boeing to help Japan upgrade missile, electronic warfare capabilities for F-15 jets

12/02/2018

Japan’s planned upgrade of its Boeing F-15 Eagle fighter jets will involve support from the United States and Boeing, the Japanese Defense Ministry has confirmed. Shigeyuki Uno, the principal deputy director of the defense planning and programming division of Japan’s Ministry of Defense, told Defense News during an interview at the ministry’s headquarters that the U.S. government and Boeing will provide support for the upgrade through the Foreign Military Sales process.

Poroshenko: Over 80,000 Russian troops in and around Ukraine

12/02/2018

More than 80,000 Russian soldiers are present at Ukraine's borders and the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula, as well as the rebel-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the Ukrainian president. As he rallies for international support against Moscow, Poroshenko said Russia had about 1,400 artillery and rocket systems, 900 tanks, 2,300 armoured combat vehicles, more than 500 military planes and 300 helicopters in and around Ukraine.

Russia deploys fighter aircraft at airfield near occupied Sevastopol

12/01/2018

Satellite imagery recorded 24 units of fighter aircraft, including 16 units of Sukhoi Su-27 of different modifications, 8 Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircrafts. Russia deployed fighter aircraft and other military equipment at the Belbek airfield, which is located in the occupied by Russia Crimea. The press office of the Ministry for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons reported this.

The 80 percent directive: How will combat aircraft get to Mattis' readiness goal?

12/01/2018

Given the current status of our combat aircraft, the recent directive by Secretary of Defense James Mattis that all the Air Force, Navy and Marines achieve a mission capability rate of above 80 percent by Oct. 15, 2019, for their four key tactical aircraft — including the F-16, F-18, F-22, and F-35 fighters — would appear to be both an impossible goal and, more importantly, an empty gesture that will not change much.

OPINION: Is China closing military gap with USA?

12/01/2018

China’s rising military prowess is a cause for ­concern among those of its neighbours unfortunate enough to be locked in territorial disputes with Beijing, but also increasingly for the US armed forces and any number of Western companies trying to export their equipment around the globe.

His F-16 lost its engine, then caught fire over Washington before crashing. And he lived to tell about it.

11/30/2018

Capt. Jonathan “Holster” Morgan was on a routine training mission slicing through clear blue sky over Washington. He had lifted off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 9:13 a.m. on a spring day in 2017, heading to a Pennsylvania shooting range with three other F-16s to practice bombing runs. Less than a minute into the air, his jet accelerated faster than he had ever felt. Warning lights flashed in the cockpit. “Lead,” Morgan radioed to his commander, “my engine’s giving out.”

Explained: Why China's J-20 Stealth Fighter Can't Compete with America's F-22 or F-35

11/30/2018

China has indeed long depicted the J-20 as a competitor to America’s fifth-generation jets, the F-22 and F-35. But a new report casts doubt on those claims. Specifically, the Hong Kong–based South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that “China rushed its first advanced stealth fighter jet into service ahead of schedule last year, using stopgap engines, in the face of rising security challenges in the region.” According to SCMP, that “means its capabilities will be severely limited.

Nigerian Air Force to receive 12 A-29 Super Tucanos

11/30/2018

The US Air Force awarded Sierra Nevada a $329 million foreign military sales contract to build 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force, which are intended for use against Boko Haram and ISIS.

RUSSIA VS. UKRAINE MILITARY COMPARISON: HOW ARMED FORCES COMPARE AS THREAT OF WAR LOOMS

11/29/2018

Russia and Ukraine have embarked on one of their most tense encounters since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula amid political unrest in 2014, prompting politicians and experts to speculate on the prospect of open warfare between the two rivals.

Bulgarian government approves 183M leva projects to overhaul MiG-29, Su-25 combat aircraft

11/29/2018

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s Cabinet has approved an 81 million leva project to overhaul eight MiG-29 fighter jets and a 99 million leva project to overhaul Su-25 fighter-bombers, a government statement on November 28 said. The move, involving proposed spending of more than 183 million leva (about 93.5 million euro) on overhauling the Bulgarian Air Force’s ageing Soviet-made combat aircraft comes as a process to choose a modern Nato-standard fighter jet is pending.

JAPAN AEROSPACE: Tokyo eyeing 100 more F-35s - report

11/29/2018

Tokyo is reportedly considering the acquisition of an additional 100 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, adding to the 42 F-35As already planned. According to an unsourced report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper, Tokyo would spread the acquisition between the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A variant and the short take off vertical landing F-35B.

JAPAN AEROSPACE: Tokyo attack helicopter deal advances

11/29/2018

Helicopter manufacturers are circling an upcoming Japanese requirement for over 50 attack helicopters. A request for information in May elicited responses from Bell, Boeing, Leonardo Helicopters, Airbus Helicopters, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. While the requirement was previously designated AH-X, this appears to have changed to NAH for ‘New Attack Helicopter.’ The deal is aimed at replacing the AH-1S, and possibly other types in service with the Japan Ground Self Defence Force.

Japan considers transforming helicopter destroyer into aircraft carrier

11/28/2018

Japan is considering upgrading its helicopter carriers to enable them to transport and launch fighter jets and include the decision in its new defense guidelines, a government source said Tuesday, indicating a departure from the country's strictly defense-oriented policy. The government is looking to upgrade the Izumo, a flat-top destroyer that currently accommodates helicopters, as it sees having an aircraft carrier as indispensable in the face of China's maritime assertiveness.

U. S.-Turkish relations remain fraught despite recent warming

11/28/2018

The United States’ often-fraught relations with NATO ally Turkey, which have enjoyed a relative upswing in the wake of American cleric Andrew Brunson’s release from a Turkish prison last month, face another possible nose-dive in the near future. U.S. lawmakers have threatened to demand the Trump administration delay or cancel delivery of F-35 stealth fighter aircraft the Turks help build and have already paid for, if Turkey does not void its purchase of a sophisticated Russian missile system.

17 Russian Combat Aircraft “Buzzed” British Royal Navy warship HMS Duncan in the Black Sea near Crimea

11/28/2018

An interesting “close encounter” in the Black Sea was captured on video. During the filming of a documentary, UK’s Channel 5 captured interesting footage of a Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer “buzzed” by Russian fighter jets off the coast of Crimea, in May 2018. The video, embedded below via the Daily Mail, indeed shows several Russian Navy (and probably Air Force) jets, including Su-30SM Flanker derivative and Su-24 Fencer jets flying in the vicinity of HMS Duncan.

Egypt eyes deal for 10 Apache attack helicopters

11/28/2018

Boeing could soon secure a fresh order for the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter after the US State Department approved a possible 10-unit sale to Egypt. To be acquired via the Foreign Military Sales process, the deal is worth an estimated $1 billion.

Japan to buy vertical takeoff F-35B Lightning II aircraft

11/27/2018

According to news24.jp, Japan is officially has decided to buy vertical takeoff F-35B Lightning II aircraft to operate from its Izumo-class helicopter destroyers. The newspaper said that the government has decided to procure the F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft which could be operated from a modified Izumo class ship and Island bases.

The U.S. Air Force’s E-11 BACN Aircraft Is So Unique, You Can Only Find It In One Place: Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan

11/27/2018

Commonly known as Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, the E-11A is a U.S. Air Force aircraft that provides unparalleled communications capabilities to coalition forces on the ground and aircraft in the air.

Air Force Push For Better Pilot Protection Upsets Competitive Landscape In Ejection Seats

11/27/2018

Earlier this month, the Air Force buying command responsible for developing a next-generation ejection seat to be installed on combat aircraft issued a curious request for information. It solicited industry inputs concerning whether the safety standards the service has established are too hard to meet.

DARPA explores UAVs operating autonomously

11/27/2018

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have demonstrated specially-programmed UAVs collaborating and executing a mission autonomously after electronic warfare disrupted their communications link with a human controller.

Lockheed Martin contracted for next phase of F/A-18 infrared search and track upgrade

11/27/2018

Lockheed Martin has received a $108 million contract for phase two of its Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II Infrared Search and Track (IRST) upgrade program. The contract pays for the development, platform integration, flight test, and qualification of IRST21 Block II sensor system on the US Navy’s jet and was awarded by the aircraft’s manufacturer Boeing. The Block II upgrade enhances the IRST system’s ability to detect and track enemy aircraft at greater ranges.

PICTURE: Saab's second Gripen E makes flight debut

11/27/2018

Saab's Gripen E flight-test programme made a significant advance on 26 November, when a second aircraft joined the activity. Flown from the Swedish manufacturer's Linkoping site, test aircraft 39-9 completed a 33min debut sortie, more than 17 months after its first example had taken to the air, in June 2017.

Australia might need new defense strategy as tensions rise

11/26/2018

There is no evidence that China has ever contemplated using its nuclear weapons to coerce another state. Instead, China has maintained a “no first use policy” on nuclear weapons. Surprising as it may sound to many, China wants to build an image of itself as a responsible power.

Air Force Pilot on the B-2 Stealth Bomber: “It is really an awesome bombing platform."

11/26/2018

As a stealth bomber engineered during the height of the Cold War, the B-2 was designed to elude Soviet air defenses and strike enemy targets – without an enemy ever knowing the aircraft was even there. In a special interview designed to offer a rare look into the technologies and elements of the B-2, Mickelson - who flew B-2 bombing missions over Libya in 2011 - explained that the platform has held up and remained very effective – given that it was designed and built during the 80s.

In South China Sea, a display of U.S. Navy strength — and a message to Beijing

11/26/2018

As fighter jets roared off the flight deck and darted above the South China Sea, visitors onboard the carrier USS Ronald Reagan raised their phones for the inevitable selfies. Among those clicking souvenir images was a lieutenant general from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, who was part of a VIP guest list as the carrier moved through contested waters.

Russia Scrambles Warplanes as Ukrainian Navy Moves on Kerch Strait

11/26/2018

The sudden intrusion by the Ukrainian ships prompted Russia to deploy it’s naval assets, along with military aircraft and combat helicopters, in order to contain the situation which Russian Federal Security Service described as “provocation.”

Bombers vs. Fighters in the Jet Era: Who Won the Battle for the Sky?

11/25/2018

"In short, big planes still confer big advantages for air forces interested in strike capabilities. But fighters, whether of the legacy or the stealth variety, will continue to pose a major obstacle for any bomber trying to reach its target."

Tyndall planes, crews begin move to Eglin (PHOTOS)

11/25/2018

A half-dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets arrived here Tuesday as aircraft and personnel from units of the 325th Fighter Wing at hurricane-damaged Tyndall Air Force Base began their operational transition. In all, 31 Raptors are headed to Eglin Air Force Base as Tyndall some 70 miles to the east continues to rebuild in the wake of last month’s Category 4 Hurricane Michael, which made a direct hit on Tyndall on Oct. 10, according to Eglin spokesman Andy Bourland.

Despite the new Russian stealth fighter, the US will maintain air superiority

11/25/2018

The Russian military has been showcasing its latest fifth-generation jet fighter, but the U.S. will continue to maintain its advantage in the aerial battlespace. Lately, the Russian military deployed the Su-57 to Syria in an attempt to test its capabilities and performance in combat conditions. During the flights, the Russian pilots tested the aircraft’s on-board systems, data management and coordination software, and the overall performance (for example, arming a weapon in extreme temperatures)

OPINION: Franco-German future fighter still has many hurdles to overcome

11/24/2018

Announcing that France and Germany were pressing ahead with development studies for a joint future fighter, French defence minister Florence Parly signed off her Tweet with a flourish. "Ca avance!" she wrote; "It's moving!"

Beijing’s airpower goals tightly related to USA: Rand

11/24/2018

A new Rand Corporation report has highlighted China’s development of modern airpower capabilities in the context of its perceived rivalry with the USA. The report notes that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the industrial base supporting it has taken great strides in the last two decades.

Brazil Hosts Air Combat Exercises for 13 Air Forces Including USAF

11/23/2018

The air forces of 13 nations including the United States are taking part this week in air combat exercises and non-conventional warfare training at a base in northern Brazil, the Brazilian Air Force said on Wednesday. Some 100 planes are involved in the so-called Southern Cross or CruzEx exercises, including six F-16 from the Texas Air National Guard alongside aircraft from Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Peru and Uruguay.

Embraer KC-390 successfully completes troop unloading test

11/22/2018

Embraer successfully completed a test of troop unloading and evacuation via the front and rear doors of its KC-390 at Brasília Air Force Base, in Brazil on 21 November. The tests are required for the aircraft to achieve Final Operational Capability, which is part of the final military certification of the aircraft, expected to occur in the last quarter of 2019, Embraer says. The KC-390 is a medium-sized military transport aircraft powered by two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofans.

France and Germany forge ahead with future fighter

11/22/2018

France and Germany are progressing their plans to develop a next-generation combat aircraft and will launch demonstrator programmes for the aircraft and engine in mid-2019. Announcing the move on Twitter, French defence minister Florence Parly said the partners have taken a "decisive step" to build on June's decision to pursue the joint effort.

Canada’s CF-18 fleet unable to meet NORAD pledges due to lack of pilots and technicians

11/21/2018

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of CF-18 fighter aircraft is unable to meet its commitments to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) due to a lack of pilots and technicians, according to a report by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

F-35A drops GBU-49 precision bomb for first time in combat training

11/20/2018

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II dropped a GBU-49 precision bomb for the first time in combat training at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The test on 7 November was conducted by the US Air Force 388th Fighter Wing’s 34th Fighter Squadron, which is stationed at Hill AFB, Utah. The GBU-49 is made by Raytheon. It is a converted “dumb” bomb that uses a laser and GPS to be guided to its target. The precision weapon can be used in a variety of weather conditions, against moving or stationary tar

USAF selects two maintenance bases for B-21 Raider

11/20/2018

The US Air Force selected two maintenance bases for the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider: Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma and Edwards AFB, California. The bases will coordinate maintenance and sustainment of the long-range stealth bomber, leading testing and evaluation of the aircraft, which is expected to be delivered in the mid-2020s, says the USAF.

Finland holds early talks in F-18 replacement contest

11/20/2018

Finland has held initial negotiations with five potential bidders for its H-X contest aimed at replacing the country's fleet of 62 Boeing F/A-18C/Ds. Project manager Lauri Puranen, writing in a blog post on the Finnish defence ministry website, says all five airframers involved were invited to participate in "pre-bid dialogue".

ANALYSIS: Tokyo contemplates its future fighter plans

11/20/2018

Tokyo continues to weigh options for procuring a successor to the Mitsubishi F-2 fighter, but technology and cost are concerns. The programme is certain to be in focus at Japan Aerospace in late November, as aerospace manufacturers pitch options and know-how. For its part, Tokyo's Acquisition, Technology, & Logistics Agency, the defence ministry, the Japan Air Self Defense Force and Japanese industry are still weighing options.

Russia “accidentally” exposes model of secret hypersonic 6th-generation fighter jet

11/19/2018

Russia’s Zvezda TV channel “accidentally” exposed model of a secret hypersonic 6th-generation fighter jet. In a live broadcast of the Zvezda TV Channel was revealed a model of modern Russian-made hypersonic 6th-generation fighter jet that is likely in unmanned version.

Why Is China Building So Many Different Types of Weapons?

11/18/2018

China’s effort to build more types of weapons, in all categories imaginable, than the entire world combined, begs more than just a cost-benefit analysis. It might be better to think in terms of an environmental impact study with only one question: just how many people does Beijing plan to kill? There are various theories about the rampant growth of redundant programs and seemingly wasteful spending by China’s military-industrial complex.

China's most advanced stealth fighter may now be able to strike targets at greater distances than ever

11/17/2018

China's most advanced stealth fighter is ready for aerial refueling operations, giving it the ability to pursue targets at greater distances, according to Chinese state media. The "fifth-generation" Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter entered military service last year and was incorporated into Chinese combat units this past February.

To Improve U.S. Air Combat Readiness, End The Budget Control Act

11/17/2018

The United States faces a dangerous imbalance with security threats on the rise and military preparedness ravaged by years’ worth of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA)-driven defense budget cuts. That is why Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ recent directive for the Navy and Air Force to increase the readiness of their fighter aircraft is so important.

Australia to buy armed Reaper drones in shift towards pilotless future

11/16/2018

Australia will buy at least a dozen armed Reaper drones in a major step towards a future in which air strikes are increasingly carried out remotely. The aircraft, made by US company General Atomics, will be used mainly to provide cover to Australian soldiers on operations, flying overhead while looking for threats and striking them with bombs or missiles.

QF-16 delivered to hurricane-ravaged Tyndall AFB

11/16/2018

Boeing delivered a QF-16 to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. on Oct. 24. The QF-16 enables live fire weapons testing during Combat Archer. Combat Archer evaluations are conducted to prepare and evaluate operational fighter squadrons' readiness for combat operations. The program evaluates all phases of combat operations from weapons loading to aircraft performance, aircrew performance and weapons performance.

Sikorsky receives $382 million contract for eight MH-60R Seahawks

11/16/2018

Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky received a $382 million contract for eight MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from the US Navy. Work on the helicopters is expected to be complete by September 2020, says the US Department of Defense in an online notice on 14 November. Some $147 million will be obligated initially from fiscal 2018 USN aircraft procurement funds, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

UK confirms new deal for 17 F-35Bs

11/16/2018

The UK Ministry of Defence has ordered its next 17 Lockheed Martin F-35Bs, as part of a 255-unit, multinational framework agreement announced by the US Department of Defense. Confirming the development on 15 November, the MoD said: "The 17 new F-35B aircraft will be delivered between 2020 and 2022." This corresponds with the programme's 12th through 14th lots of low-rate initial production.

Bahrain confirms purchase of 12 AH-1Z Vipers

11/16/2018

Bahrain has confirmed its order for 12 Bell AH-1Z Vipers, six months after the US Department of State approved the deal, worth an estimated $912 million, under the Foreign Military Sales process. The attack helicopters will be delivered from the second half of 2022, the Royal Bahraini Air Force said at the Bahrain air show. Bell chief executive Mitch Snyder said the "most advanced helicopter in production" would "help protect the country for decades to come".

Lockheed sees 400-strong market for new F-16s

11/16/2018

Lockheed Martin sees a market for 400 new F-16s – mainly in the Middle East – after securing Bahrain as launch customer for the Block 70 variant. The Royal Bahraini Air Force committed in June to 16 examples of the single-engine fighter, to be built at a new final assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina. The deal, agreed months after President Trump overturned his predecessor’s ban on a sale to Bahrain over human rights concerns.

Massive F-35 deal covers production into 2023

11/16/2018

Lockheed Martin has won a $22.7 billion contract to supply 255 F-35 Lightning II fighters for the three branches of the US armed services and international operators. The contract covers 106 F-35s for the USA, comprising 64 F-35As for the air force, 26 F-35Bs for the marines, and 16 F-35Cs for the navy, a US Department of Defense contract announcement states.

US Air Force moves to fortify F-35 weak points against hacking

11/15/2018

The USAF is devoting fresh energy to plugging cybersecurity holes in the F-35's external support systems, as they are deemed the easiest entry points for hackers into the fifth-generation combat jet, according to a key service official. “It’s a software-based aircraft, and any software-based platform is going to be susceptible to hacking,” Brig. Gen. Stephen Jost, director of the Air Force F-35 Integration Office.

One pilot dead, another injured in the fifth T-38 Talon crash in a year

11/15/2018

One pilot was killed and another was hospitalized when their T-38C Talon crashed late Tuesday at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, service officials said. It was the fifth crash of the training jet in the last 12 months. The aircraft, which is used for training student pilots to fly fighter or bomber jets, crashed about 7:40 p.m. local time on the south Texas base just outside Del Rio, according to a statement posted on Laughlin’s Facebook page.

PICTURE: Bahrain receives ex-Royal Air Force Hercules

11/15/2018

Bahrain has taken delivery of its first of two ex-UK Royal Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports. Acquired via the UK Ministry of Defence following its retirement from service, the aircraft underwent depth maintenance at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group's Cambridge airport site before being approved for a return to operational use. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the aircraft – which now carries the Royal Bahraini Air Force registration 702 – is 19 years old.

U.S. Navy F/A-18F From USS Ronald Reagan Crashes at Sea, Crewmen Rescued. Sixth U.S. Super Hornet crash in 2 years.

11/13/2018

A two-seat U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet has crashed at sea while operating from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76). The crash occurred at an unspecified location northeast of the Philippines on Monday, November 12, 2018. Reports indicate both crew members ejected and were rescued from the sea by helicopter.

ASSAULT WITHDRAWS FROM CANADA FIGHTER COMP

11/13/2018

French manufacturer Dassault Aviation has withdrawn its Rafale fighter from Canada’s fighter replacement program. The withdrawal reportedly comes after Dassault raised concerns over its ability to meet Canada’s interoperability and intelligence sharing requirements. “On November 8, the French government officially notified Canada of its withdrawal from the competitive process to replace Canada’s fighter jet fleet,” a Public Services and Procurement Canada spokesperson told DefenseNews.

USAF Reserve and Air National Guard F-16s to be upgraded with anti-jam GPS

11/13/2018

The US Air Force awarded Rockwell Collins a contract to upgrade US Air National Guard and US Air Force Reserve F-16 aircraft with anti-jam GPS receivers. The digital GPS anti-jam receivers are intended to provide reliable navigation for Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft operating in contested electromagnetic environments. This will be the first combat fighter aircraft to be installed with the latest version of the receiver, Rockwell Collins says.

F3-R-standard Rafale gains French approval

11/13/2018

Dassault has achieved French military qualification for the F3-R-standard variant of the Rafale combat aircraft. Launched at the end of 2013, and based on operational feedback, the upgrade sees the fighter gain a number of enhancements, including the integration of MBDA's Meteor air-to-air missile, the laser-guided version of the Safran AASM air-to-ground munition and Thales's Talios laser designator pod.

PICTURE: First Korean A330 MRTT arrives in Busan

11/13/2018

The first of four Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTT) has arrived in South Korea, where it will undergo acceptance tests. Piloted by an Airbus and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) South Korean air force crew, the aircraft conducted its ferry flight to Gimhae air base from Getafe, Spain with a stop in Vancouver, Canada. Gimhae Airbase is located next to Busan’s Gimhae International Airport.

China warns US to avoid islands it claims in South China Sea

11/11/2018

China bluntly told the United States to stop sending ships and military aircraft close to islands claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, during talks Friday that set the stage for a meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping later this month. The U.S. pushed back, insisting it will continue to “fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.” In late September, U.S. and Chinese vessels nearly collided near a disputed reef.

A rare look at what this DFW company hopes will be its aircraft of the future (Video)

11/11/2018

Fort Worth-based Bell has big hopes for the V-280 Valor. The company is developing the tiltrotor for a major U.S. Army deal scheduled to be awarded next decade. If the Army picks Bell for its future vertical lift program, that could lead to other branches or foreign militaries also selecting the V-280 for their fleets.

Air show deals highlight Russia’s prospects for arms sales to China in spite of US sanctions

11/11/2018

Russia’s prospects for arms sales to China remain undiminished by US sanctions after the countries signed new weapons contracts at China’s major air show. Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state arms seller, said it signed three more weapons contracts with China during the Zhuhai Airshow, which is being held in south China’s Guangdong province until Sunday.

Modi Govt's Rafale Deal Was 40% More Expensive Per Aircraft Than Dassault's Earlier Offer: Report

11/11/2018

The haze surrounding the Rafale deal finally appears to be clearing up a bit. The price for 36 aircraft purchased by the NDA government in 2016 was 40% higher per aircraft than what Dassault initially offered for 126 Rafales back in 2012, according to a report published in Business Standard. While Dassault offered each aircraft for Euro 155 million in 2012, during the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender.

India’s HAL to Double Annual Production Rate of Tejas Light Combat Aircraft From 8 to 16

11/11/2018

India’s state-owned aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will set up a new production facility at Nashik in Maharashtra by 2020 to increase its annual output of Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the head of HAL told The Economic Times on November 2.

DARPA asks for counter-hypersonic weapons proposals

11/10/2018

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is asking companies to submit ideas for counter-hypersonic weapons as part of its Glide Breaker programme. The Glide Breaker programme aims to rapidly develop a low-cost enabling technology critical for an advanced interceptor capable of defeating manoeuvring hypersonic vehicles in the upper atmosphere, according to a 6 November online broad agency announcement by DARPA.

VIDEO: China intent on AESA radar upgrades

11/10/2018

Chinese Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars are in evidence at this year’s Airshow China, both for fighters and a potential carrier capable airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. At its stand, China Electronics Technology Group (CETC) displayed a model of its KLJ-7A AESA radar, which was developed by the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET).

North Korea's Air Force Is Complete Junk. But It Can Still Kill.

11/08/2018

Both the J-5 and the J-6 are hopelessly obsolete, and if anything, during regular combat operations would simply be missile sponges for American and South Korean fighters and surface-to-air missile batteries. North Korea’s Korean People's Army Air Force (KPAAF)—referred to as the Air and Anti-Air Force Command in South Korean documents —is not in the top ranks of the world’s air forces.

Why this company is bringing dozens of French-built fighter jets to Fort Worth Alliance Airport

11/08/2018

For 40 years, the Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jet saw action in combat zones in Africa and the Middle East as a staple of the French military. Now, more than 60 of the jets will find a home near Fort Worth where they’ll be taking on a new kind of mission as part of a multibillion-dollar opportunity for Alliance Airport’s newest tenant.

China’s Beating the US to Market on Combat Drones, By Copying US Technology

11/08/2018

The mockup of China’s CH-7 combat drone unveiled at Zhuhai Airshow this week looks a lot like one the U.S. Navy was developing — until it dropped the project, allowing China to position itself to beat the U.S. and other allies in fielding a long-range, high-altitude combat drone. That’s despite the fact that—in the words of one expert—the United States had a “ten-year head start.”

Europe’s next-gen fighter jet is stuck in the bickering phase

11/08/2018

The future Franco-German combat aircraft program is set to begin in earnest early next year, but a key project phase is already in full swing: the bickering. On the surface, the two main companies involved — Dassault and Airbus — have “a clear common vision on the project,” as an Airbus spokesman put it. But there is also the politicking, the jockeying for position and the mistrust that tends to show itself when there is big money on the table.

US Air Force considers equipping A-10s with 3-D audio warning devices

11/07/2018

The US Air Force is considering equipping some of its Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II fleet with 3-D audio warning devices which are meant to improve a pilot’s situational awareness. It is not clear how many of the A-10 “Warthogs” will receive the audio devices, though the USAF is examining making a sole source acquisition of between 150 to 200 units from the hardware’s manufacturer, Terma North America, according to a 5 November request for proposal posted online.

J-10B TVC wows Zhuhai crowds with surprise performance

11/07/2018

A surprise participant in the flying display of this year’s Airshow China is a Chengdu J-10B testbed equipped with a thrust vectoring control (TVC) engine. The aircraft is likely powered by an advanced version of the indigenous Shenyang WS-10 engine equipped with a hinged nozzle.

J-20s in conservative flying display over Zhuhai

11/07/2018

The Chengdu J-20 appeared in this year’s flying display at Airshow China, performing a conservative flying routine. The show started with a three aircraft flyby, after which two aircraft performed a series of sweeping turns in tight formation. A solo aircraft also performed a series of rolls and a sharp climb before climbing out of the show and departing.

Enough Eagles have landed for ops to begin

11/06/2018

The Iraqi Air Force has now received sufficient Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50IQ Golden Eagle advanced trainer/light combat aircraft to start operations with the type. A third batch of six aircraft arrived at the Martyr Mohammed Alaa Air Base at Baghdad International Airport on June 6, joining four aircraft delivered in two batches by March 2018. Iraq is due to acquire a total of 24 T-50IQs to equip two squadrons.

'We expect them to BEHAVE' US fury after Russia jet carries out DANGEROUS interception

11/06/2018

A RUSSIAN fighter jet veered dangerously close to a US aircraft in a dramatic midair manoeuvre as tensions between Moscow and Washington escalate. The Su-27 fighter passed ahead of the US Navy EP-3 Aries, which was taking part in a NATO military exercise above the Black Sea on Monday. US Navy officials said the stunt put the aircraft crew at risk. The navy released a video showing the Su-27 turn sharply in front of the surveillance plane with its engines firing.

PLAAF shows off capabilities in Zhuhai static park

11/06/2018

The Peoples’ Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has a large presence in this year’s static park at Airshow China in Zhuhai, including the public debut of a new operational type. The most notable PLAAF aircraft on display is an AVIC Wing Loong II UAV, which for the first time is appearing in the show in PLAAF markings. Moreover, it is in the PLAAF paddock, and was seen being attended to by air force technicians.

China’s new aircraft to be on display at Zhuhai Airshow

11/02/2018

At least four J-20 stealth fighters from the Chinese Air Force buzzed the southern coastal city of Zhuhai on Tuesday and Wednesday in a flyover to promote China’s largest biennial air show. Warplanes and civil aircraft from home and abroad are set to descend on the city starting from November 6.

RAF Typhoons to monitor suspected Russian jets near UK airspace

11/02/2018

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has reportedly deployed Eurofighter Typhoon multirole combat jets to intercept suspected Russian jets, the UK Ministry of Defence said in a statement. The Eurofighters investigated the flight of the Russian fighter aircraft, which were spotted travelling in the vicinity of the UK’s airspace.

Ottawa issues draft RFP for 88 fighter requirement

11/02/2018

In a notice posted online 26 October, Ottawa listed five suppliers eligible to replace its fighter fleet with 88 advanced jets: Dassault Aviation, maker of the Rafale; Saab, maker of the JAS 39 Gripen; Airbus Defense, a major partner in the Eurofighter joint venture, which makes the Typhoon; Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-16 and F-35; and Boeing, maker of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-15E Strike Eagle. Only these five will be allowed to submit proposals.

More Power for the Mighty 'Bear'

11/01/2018

An initial batch of four Nikolai Kuznetsov NK-32-02 turbofans is set for delivery to the Russian defense ministry by the year-end, according to Alexander Artyukhov, general director at the United Engine Corporation (local acronym ODK). Earlier this month he inspected the ODK’s Kuznetsov Plant in Samara where production lines have been re-opened to build turbofan and turboprop engines powering Tupolev strategic bombers. The plant has recently secured an order for 22 more NK-32-02s, he added.

The Real Reason France Wants a New Aircraft Carrier

11/01/2018

A single nuclear carrier does not make a navy, but it does convey a certain cachet. “They still aspire to be a major player,” Shurkin says. “Having a nuclear carrier really supports that ambition.”

A400M contract revision still possible by year-end: Airbus

11/01/2018

Airbus believes it is "inconceivable" that it will not finalise contract revisions with its A400M launch customers in 2019, and is optimistic that it could still hammer out an agreement by year-end.

Mattis calls for end to Saudi-led war in Yemen

10/31/2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis made a forceful call for all parties involved in the brutal war in Yemen to come to the negotiation table within the next month, to bring to an end to a conflict pushed by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition that has devolved into a military stalemate that has produced one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Boeing Defense grows revenue despite another KC-46A delay and higher costs

10/31/2018

Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s third quarter revenue grew 13.5% to $5.7 billion year-over-year, despite its KC-46A Pegasus tanker programme struggling with another delay and highest costs.

?F-35A wins Belgian fighter competition

10/31/2018

Belgium has selected the Lockheed Martin F-35A to fill a 34-aircraft requirement to replace its fleet of F-16s. Belgian defence minister Steven Vandeput announced the decision on 25 October at a media briefing, making Belgium the 13th partner in the programme. Vandeput says the acquisition is around €500 million ($560 million) less than the €4 billion budgeted for. Deliveries are due to begin in 2023.

A LOOK AT THE FUTURE AIRCRAFT OF THE ISRAELI AIR FORCE

10/26/2018

With a need to keep ahead of increased threats in the Middle East, the Israel Air Force is soon to place orders on several new aircraft to upgrade its aging squadrons. Most of Israel’s aircraft are decades old, and with its first F-35I Adir stealth squadron operational, the IAF and Defense Ministry are now considering one of the largest defense deals in Israel’s history with US aerospace giant Boeing

Pakistan Moves Ahead With Sale of 3 JF-17 Fighter Jets to Nigeria

10/26/2018

Pakistan’s government has provided a $183.4 million sovereign guarantee for the sale of three JF-17 fighters to Nigeria. Pakistan appears to have a second international customer for its domestically assembled Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 “Thunder” multirole fighter jet after Myanmar.

To Improve U.S. Air Combat Readiness, End The Budget Control Act

10/26/2018

The United States faces a dangerous imbalance with security threats on the rise and military preparedness ravaged by years’ worth of the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA)-driven defense budget cuts. That is why Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ recent directive for the Navy and Air Force to increase the readiness of their fighter aircraft is so important. In it he states: “…we must focus on meeting our most critical priorities first.

Belgium lines up Predator acquisition

10/26/2018

Alongside its plans to acquire Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, Belgium is also in negotiations to purchase a pair of medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicles. The country's defence ministry says the government has approved the start of negotiations with the USA over the requirement. Although it does not specify which UAV it hopes to acquire, images released by Brussels show a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9B Sky Guardian – a NATO-standard variant of the B-model Predator.

F-35A wins Belgian fighter competition

10/26/2018

Belgium has selected the Lockheed Martin F-35A to fill a 34-aircraft requirement to replace its fleet of F-16s. Belgian defence minister Steven Vandeput announced the decision on 25 October at a media briefing, making Belgium the 13th partner in the programme. Vandeput says the acquisition is around €500 million ($560 million) less than the €4 billion budgeted for. Deliveries are due to begin in 2023.

China's sea power is growing— here's what their future carrier strike group may look like

10/25/2018

The Chinese People's Liberation Army is pushing ahead with its ambitious plan to build a modern, capable "blue-water navy" that will dominate China's neighbors, showcase Beijing's rising power and one day even threaten the US Navy. China has one aircraft carrier in operation, another undergoing sea trials, and a third one in development, putting the Chinese navy on track to begin fielding carrier task forces as it gains experience with carrier operations.

F-35 combat missions now have operational ‘threat library’ of mission data files

10/25/2018

The Pentagon's F-35 is conducting attacks, surveillance operations and combat missions with an updated on-board “threat library” of Mission Data Files engineered to identify enemy threats in key regions around the globe. “The AORs (Areas of Responsibility) for current operations where our forces are -- currently have adequate Mission Data Files,” Vice Adm. Mat Winter, Program Executive Officer for the F-35 program, told a group of reporters

BAE sharpens Hawks’ talons

10/25/2018

BAE Systems Australia has successfully inducted the final Hawk Mk 127 lead-in trainer aircraft into its Williamtown maintenance facility ahead of its upgrade, which will make the Royal Australian Air Force’s Hawks among the most advanced of its type in the world.

Saab voices opposition to UK Wedgetail buy

10/25/2018

Rival producers of airborne early warning and control/battle management aircraft are stepping up their efforts to halt a non-competitive acquisition of the Boeing/Northrop Grumman E-7 Wedgetail system by the UK.

France unveils model of the New Generation Fighter

10/24/2018

The well-known French company Dassault used this year’s Euronaval 2018 exhibition to display a model of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) that will eventually replace the current generation of Dassault’s Rafales and Germany’s Eurofighter Typhoons aircraft by around 2035-2040.

Taiwan Receives First Upgraded F-16 Viper Fighter Jet

10/24/2018

The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) took delivery of its first Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon Viper (V) Block 70 multirole combat aircraft, according to an anonymous ROCAF source quoted by China News Agency. The first of four ROCAF F-16A/B fighter jets currently being upgraded by Taiwan’s state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) to the F-16V variant was handed over to the service at an airbase in Chiayi county in southwestern Taiwan on October 20.

Embraer KC-390 receives Brazilian type certification

10/24/2018

Embraer's KC-390 transport has received a type certification from the Brazilian aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil. A ceremony was held at Brasília Air Force Base to deliver the civil certificate of airworthiness to Embraer on 23 October. It was attended by Brazilian President Michel Temer, as well as the country’s Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna, and Lt Brig Gen Nivaldo Rossato, its air force commander.

Saab gets first contract for T-X development phase

10/24/2018

Saab has been awarded a $117 million contract covering its portion of the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the US Air Force's T-X trainer project. Announcing its receipt on 18 October, the Swedish company said the sum will cover activities running through 2022, with these to run in parallel with work performed by T-X prime contractor Boeing. "EMD includes testing, US military flight certification and delivery of five jets," says Saab.

How Ukraine's Air Force Is Pushing Hard to Modernize (And There Is a Big Reason)

10/22/2018

At 5:00 PM on October 16, a twin-engine Su-27UB1M jet fighter of the Ukrainian Air Force’s 831 st Tactical Aviation Brigade smashed into the ground near the village of Ulaniv in western Ukraine. According to a purported eyewitness account , the fighter entered an uncontrolled spin above the village, but the pilots adjusted its trajectory to crash in an empty field.

F-35: How the fifth-generation fighter jet might take RSAF to the next level

10/22/2018

In the first of a three-part series on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Channel NewsAsia’s Aqil Haziq Mahmud visited Lockheed Martin’s production facility for an in-depth look at the fighter jet and how it could be a battlefield game changer.

Egypt reveals details of ‘new military drones’

10/19/2018

For the first time, Egypt has unveiled about its new unmanned aerial aircraft system, of which it had recently furnished its Airforce. In a move which was described as a “major shift, the Egyptian Ministry of Defense yesterday released a documentary on its official social media pages, introducing the “Wing Loong” armed drones. The video was published on the occasion of the 45th Air Force Day.

HAL facility floors UAE’s top minister

10/19/2018

Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi Al Falacy, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, the United Arab Emirates, visited Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru on Wednesday. He was briefed on all the ongoing projects in HAL and taken around the Helicopter Complex, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Division and Hawk Final Assembly hangar.

Army Approaches Its Biggest Aviation Decision In 60 Years: Whether To Buy Tiltrotors

10/19/2018

The Association of the United States Army held its annual conference and exposition in the nation’s capital last week. The event was huge and heavily attended, with hundreds of suppliers participating. But it wasn’t hard to figure out who had the biggest exhibit. It was Textron, owner of Bell Helicopter, which brought a full-scale model of a tiltrotor combat aircraft to the event.

Deadly fighter jet crash in Ukraine claims the the life of a US pilot

10/19/2018

Two pilots, one American and one Ukrainian, were killed in a crash during joint war games in the Ukraine. A Ukrainian Su-27UB fighter aircraft crashed in an area about 185 miles southwest of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev during the ongoing Clear Sky 2018 exercises, US Air Forces in Europe said in a statement Tuesday. "We have seen reports claiming a U.S. casualty and can confirm a U.S. service member was involved in this incident."

Manila eyes Gripen for future fighter force

10/19/2018

The Philippines has identified the Saab Gripen as the best candidate for the nation’s fighter requirement. The government-owned Philippine News Agency recently quoted defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana as saying that the Swedish fighter is the best option in terms of price and capability. He is reported as saying that the inclination to acquire Gripen follows thorough research into the matter.

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