2018 Military Aviation News

Losing US air superiority risks ground forces

04/19/2018

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

RAAF receives final C-27J airlifter

04/19/2018

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

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

04/19/2018

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

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

04/19/2018

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

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

04/19/2018

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

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

04/18/2018

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

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

04/18/2018

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

Army Aviator Describes the Biggest Problems Facing Military Aviation

04/18/2018

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

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

04/17/2018

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

JASSM-ER makes combat debut against Syrian chemical weapons facilities

04/17/2018

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

German Sea Lion helicopter development gathers pace

04/17/2018

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

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

04/15/2018

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

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

04/15/2018

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

US and allies launch strikes on Syria chemical weapons sites

04/14/2018

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

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

04/14/2018

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

HAL, Mahindra join Boeing in Indian Super Hornet push

04/14/2018

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

Syria war: Weapons key players have at their disposal

04/13/2018

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

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

04/13/2018

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

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

04/13/2018

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

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

04/13/2018

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

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

04/13/2018

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

Pentagon refuses delivery of F-35s over repair dispute

04/12/2018

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

Boeing contract shows details of LRSO integration on B-52

04/12/2018

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

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

04/12/2018

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

US presents F-16 aircraft in Bratislava

04/11/2018

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

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

04/11/2018

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

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

04/11/2018

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

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

04/11/2018

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

Serbia closes on new helicopter orders

04/11/2018

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

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

04/10/2018

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

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

04/10/2018

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

France and Germany to push ahead with new joint MPA

04/10/2018

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

Thailand commissions four T-50 trainers

04/10/2018

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

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

04/09/2018

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

Air Force Thunderbirds Identify Their Fallen Pilot

04/08/2018

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

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

04/08/2018

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

Will India Become a Naval Superpower Thanks to Aircraft Carriers?

04/08/2018

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

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

04/08/2018

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

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

04/08/2018

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

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

04/08/2018

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

India re-opens competition to supply 110 fighters

04/07/2018

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

Senegal signs for new-generation L-39NGs

04/07/2018

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

Boeing tankers refuel each other in KC-46 milestone test

04/07/2018

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

Saab offers AEL wide area display for Gripen E buyers

04/07/2018

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

Colombian air force chief pushes for more Black Hawks

04/07/2018

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

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

04/04/2018

While the requirement for a carrier-based long-range strike capability is a frequent subject of discussion around Washington, the U.S. Navy’s need for improved air superiority capabilities is often neglected. The service has not had a dedicated air-to-air combat aircraft since it retired the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in 2006. But even the Tomcat was adapted into a strike aircraft during its last years in service after the Soviet threat evaporated.

US Air Force to deploy CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft to Japan early

04/04/2018

The U.S. Air Force has said today that it will deploy the CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft to Japan this week, more than a year ahead of schedule. In a statement issued earlier today, U.S. Forces, Japan, or USFJ, announced that five U.S. Air Force Bell-Boeing CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft are scheduled to arrive at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo later this week, ahead of the previously announced fiscal 2020 timeline.

Homestead Air Reserve Base may get 24 new fighter aircraft

04/04/2018

The Homestead Air Reserve Base, which currently utilizes F-16C planes to carry out Air Force Reserve Command related missions, might permanently gain up to 24 new F-35A aircraft, which combine stealth, sensor fusion and unprecedented situational awareness in combat, according to a notice of intent issued by the U.S. Air Force.

Netherlands outlines 10-year defence spending plan

04/04/2018

The Netherlands has unveiled a new long-term defence plan, which includes additional funding to boost operational readiness. Presented by recently appointed defence minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, the white paper proposes annual spending of €1.5 billion ($1.84 billion) – or about 1.3% of gross domestic product.

F-35s Are Now Practicing Their Dogfighting Skills Over Okinawa

04/03/2018

The U.S. Air Force’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighters are practicing air-to-air combat in the skies over Okinawa, Japan. The new multi-role fighter jets are facing off against American and Japanese F-15 Eagle fighters and also against each other, allowing both jets to practice fighting stealthy adversaries while F-35 pilots gain valuable experience.

MoD asks IAF to issue request for information for $15-billion order before DefExpo

04/03/2018

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to send out the request for information (RfI) for a $15-billion order for 100 fighter aircraft before the DefExpo starting April 11 in Chennai.

China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier set to carry out maiden sea trial

04/03/2018

China’s first home-built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, will embark on her maiden sea voyage in the northeastern Bohai Sea later this month, sources close to the military said. “Beijing will arrange a celebration for the first sea trial because the Type 001A was the first aircraft carrier fully designed and produced by Chinese shipbuilders,” one of the sources told the South China Morning Post.

Why America’s Two Top Fighter Jets Can’t Talk to Each Other

04/03/2018

With the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II, the U.S. has fielded two of the world’s most sophisticated, maneuverable and stealthy fighter jets. They both function as airborne shepherds of America’s flock of older combat aircraft, using their state-of-the-art systems to communicate threats and targets on the ground and in the air. Unfortunately, they have a difficult time communicating with each other.

Boeing awarded contract to deliver 28 Super Hornets to Kuwait

04/03/2018

Boeing was awarded a contract worth up to $1.17 billion to produce and deliver 22 F/A-18E and 6 F/A-18F Super Hornets for the government of Kuwait by 2022, the US Defence Department announced on 30 March. State Department approval of the sale of F/A-18 Super Hornets to Kuwait was first announced in November 2016, with the country requesting a total of 40 Super Hornets, including 28 fighters for initial delivery, plus the option to order 12 more.

Fighter pilot takes inspiration to new heights

03/31/2018

“I hear at times in my uniform out and about in daily life, ‘do they let women fly?’”said Lt. Col. Cheryl Buehn, the only female instructor pilot in the 71st Fighter Training Squadron. “I don’t think they realize they’re asking a female fighter pilot. So I take a breath and I say, ‘Absolutely. They let women fly fighters, tankers, RPAs, everything. Both men and women fly a lot of different platforms, and everyone is important to the fight right now.’”

From boots to flight suits, the Air Force is working to improve gear for female pilots

03/31/2018

It’s been 25 years since female pilots were allowed in combat roles in the Air Force, but it’s taking a little longer for their equipment to catch up. “What we’re finding is that women have been flying for years wearing gear that’s been designed for men,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein told Air Force Times during a March 8 editorial board meeting at the Pentagon.

US Navy remotely lands F/A-18 Super Hornet on carrier deck

03/31/2018

Naval officers aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln demonstrated for the first time the ability to remotely take control of an aircraft and land it on an aircraft carrier’s deck. Using the ATARI system, or aircraft terminal approach remote inceptor, landing signal officers demonstrated remote piloting of the F/A-18E Super Hornet while conducting carrier qualifications and flight testing aboard the Abraham Lincoln in March. The officers also demonstrated touch-and-go manoeuvres with the system.

UK C-130J tapped as next Fat Albert aircraft for Blue Angels

03/31/2018

A used Royal Air Force C-130J could soon be supporting the US Navy’s Blue Angels fighter demonstration team as a long-term replacement for the team’s famous “Fat Albert”. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) plans to quickly buy one of the RAF’s C-130Js to “avoid a gap in logistical support of the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron”, according to a government acquisition notice posted on 23 March.

Russia confirms military flight exercise between North Pole and North America

03/30/2018

The Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, addressed senior military commanders in Moscow where he said the exercise involved anti-submarine aircraft. He did not confirm when it took place. "For the first time since Soviet times anti-submarine aircraft flights have been carried out via the North Pole towards the North American continent," he said.

Croatia's govt agrees to buy F-16 fighter jets from Israel for $500 mln

03/30/2018

Croatia's government said on Thursday it has agreed to acquire 12 F-16 multi-purpose combat aircraft from Israel for some $500 million (405.7 million euro). Croatia will pay the price in 10 equal annual installments of $50 million each, prime minister Andrej Plenkovic said during a cabinet session streamed on the website of the government.

S. Korea's first F-35A stealth fighter unveiled

03/30/2018

The first F-35A stealth fighter aircraft for South Korea has made its public debut amid a series of diplomatic encounters ahead of an inter-Korean summit next month. South Korea and the United States held a joint rollout ceremony for the jet at Lockheed Martin's assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday, reported Yonhap news agency. The aircraft is the first of 40 F-35As South Korea has agreed to purchase in a 2014 contract. Each aircraft is reportedly priced at around 120 billion won.

Boeing Defense reorganizes by adding two new divisions and eliminating another

03/30/2018

Boeing plans to launch two new divisions within its Defense, Space & Security business starting next week – a Commercial Derivative Aircraft division, and a Missile and Weapon Systems division – as part of an ongoing reorganization effort by the business unit’s chief executive, Leanne Caret.

Brimstone deal to support MBDA sales offensive

03/30/2018

MBDA has received a long-term contract from the UK Ministry of Defence that will extend the production and sustainment of its improved Brimstone air-to-surface missile into the 2030s. Announced on 27 March and valued at £400 million ($563 million), the capability sustainment programme deal will provide weapons for the Royal Air Force's Eurofighter Typhoons, and potentially also equip rotorcraft and unmanned air vehicles.

Switzerland Outlines Requirements for New Combat Aircraft, Ground-Based Air Defense System

03/29/2018

Switzerland has unveiled a list of specifications for the country’s future combat aircraft and ground-based air defense system. The Swiss defense department said Friday its NKF combat aircraft should be able to protect the Swiss airspace and perform routine air policing missions continuously. The country is looking for an aircraft that can respond within minutes to violations committed by manned or unmanned air vehicles in the Swiss airspace.

South Korean delegation presses for F-35 MRO&U contracts

03/29/2018

A South Korean official on 28 March pressed the US Department of Defense to grant maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade contracts for the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighting II to Korean companies during a speech at a roll-out ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas.

RAF Tornados ready to deploy BriteCloud decoys

03/29/2018

Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR4 crews flying missions over Iraq and Syria are poised to benefit from a defensive update developed by Leonardo and recently approved for operational use by the UK Ministry of Defence.

JF-17 to get Chinese-developed AESA radar

03/29/2018

The Chengdu/Pakistan Aernautical Complex JF-17 fighter is to get an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which is expected to boost its export prospects. The KLJ-7A AESA radar developed by the Nanjing Research Institutie of Electronics Technology (NRIET) will be installed on the single-engined type, which is operated by the Pakistan air force, says NRIET's head Hu Mingchun in a China Daily report.

US auditor gives backstory of software reform on F-22, F-35

03/29/2018

A new government audit explains for the first time how the Lockheed Martin F-22 quietly launched a movement within the US Department of Defense four years ago to fix a broken process for developing software for complex weapon systems.

Exclusive: Satellite images reveal show of force by Chinese navy in South China Sea

03/28/2018

Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises.

Afghan Air Force Drops Laser-Guided Bomb for 1st Time in Combat

03/28/2018

The Afghan Air Force (AAF) used laser-guided bombs for the first time during a close air support mission in the province of Farah in southwestern Afghanistan on March 22, according to a March 27 statement by the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

How is the F-35 improving its dogfighting skills in Japan?

03/28/2018

The F-35 has caught flack for what critics decry as lack of dogfighting prowess, a reputation that has followed the Joint Strike Fighter for years. But in the skies above Kadena Air Base in Japan, F-35 operators are getting the chance to prove those detractors wrong.

Combat Aircraft from Israel, UAE, Greece, Italy, UK and U.S. Take Part in Ex. “INIOCHOS 2018”

03/28/2018

Exercise “INIOCHOS” is a yearly medium-scale exercise hosted by the Hellenic Air Force at the facilities of the Air Tactics Center at Andravida Air Base, located in the Northwest Peloponnese, Greece. The “layout” of the exercise is quite standard: two weeks in length (including deployment and re-deployment of the assets), the exercise scenario adopts a Single Base Concept with air operation launched from an MOB (Main Operating Base).

Navy plans to modify 45 more F/A-18 Super Hornets in next two years

03/28/2018

The US Navy plans modify 45 more Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the next two years to increase the aircraft’s service life and capabilities, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced on 27 March.

Poland adds four more M-346 trainers

03/28/2018

Poland has exercised an option worth more than €115 million ($143 million) with Leonardo to boost the size of its M-346 advanced jet trainer fleet to 12 aircraft, and could further increase this in the future.

Qatari jets intercept two UAE civilian planes over Bahrain

03/27/2018

Qatari fighter jets flew dangerously close to two UAE-registered civilian aircraft passing through Bahrain, forcing the captain of one of the flights to alter course to avoid collision. The incident was reported Monday by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates which warned of the dangers posed by the two Qatari fighter jets. It called the development an infringement of Bahrain’s airspace.

Chinese military aircraft again fly close to Taiwan: MND

03/27/2018

Taipei, March 26 (CNA) Several Chinese military aircraft were seen flying Monday over the Bashi Channel, which lies between Taiwan and the Philippines, as part of a long-range flight training mission in the Western Pacific, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that day.

The omnibus spending bill would add an extra 143 aircraft for the military

03/27/2018

Congress seems to have come to an agreement on spending for fiscal year 2018, and military aircraft procurement is slated to receive a major bump, funding an additional 143 aircraft above the services’ requests. That’s great news for major defense primes like Lockheed Martin and Boeing, both of which stand to make billions more from the additional sales.

USAF researches bidders to deliver 22 AC-208 armed Caravans

03/27/2018

The US Air Force plans to acquire 22 more Cessna AC-208s to provide to allied governments to use for lightly armed surveillance missions. An acquisition notice published on 23 March suggests the USAF is open to receive bids from companies interested in modifying aircraft to carry weapons and sensors.

Leonardo steps up Typhoon pitch for Poland

03/27/2018

With some sources suggesting that Poland could launch its “Harpia” fighter tender within the next few weeks, Italian airframer Leonardo is stepping up its promotion of the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Afghans soon to fly missions with Black Hawks from US

03/27/2018

The U.S. military has been flying UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter missions in Afghanistan for years, but the storied aircraft will soon take to the country’s battlefields manned by pilots and crews from the Afghan military.

China Flies Long-Range Bombers, Fighter Jets Through Miyako Strait

03/27/2018

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) sent four Xian H-6K long-range bombers, one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic countermeasures aircraft, one Tupolev Tu-154MD electronic intelligence plane, and at least two Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter jets through international airspace between the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako in the East China Sea on March 23 as part of a military exercise, Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement.

US shows off new F-35 fighter jets ahead of US-South Korea drills

03/27/2018

Roaring off the deck of a 40,000-ton amphibious assault ship, F-35B fighter jets piloted by US Marines soar over the Pacific Ocean near the Japanese island of Okinawa. It's a show of force by the US military, which is demonstrating its newest - and most expensive - weaponry a week before it begins annual war games with South Korea.

The Indian Air Force's next Super Weapon Could Be the F-35 or F/A-18

03/27/2018

When the Times of India revealed that the Indian air force was revising its single-engine fighter competition to encompass twin-engine jet designs, a collective groan likely rang from New Delhi to Washington—and even Stockholm. The competition was meant to acquire a new generation of short-range jets suitable for defending India’s borders. The Indian air force is gradually retiring its 1950s-era MiG-21 single-engine fighter jets over the next few decades.

Defence outsourced

03/26/2018

Despite various govts going slow on hi-tech defence acquisitions, it now emerges that India is the largest weapons importer. This is ‘inglorious’ in the face of stridency over ‘desi’ production. And as we struggle, our neighbours find ways to forge ahead with new defence partners, a fact we can ignore to our peril.

How the U.S. Military Went to War against Vietnam's Radar and Air Defenses

03/26/2018

Captain John E. Donovan, an electronic warfare officer, monitored the equipment in his F-100F Super Sabre fighter. It was December 22, 1965, and his plane was part of a strike mission searching out enemy antiaircraft sites.

Chinese air force holds drills over South China Sea, Western Pacific in ‘preparation for war’

03/26/2018

H-6K bombers, Su-30 and Su-35 fighter jets carry out combat patrols after passing over Miyako Strait between Japanese islands. China’s air force used a number of its latest bombers and fighters in combat patrols over the South China Sea and drills in the Western Pacific after passing over Japan’s southern islands – its first military exercise in the area in more than three months.

Congress appropriates a 28% increase in funding for new aircraft

03/25/2018

President Donald Trump signed into law on 23 March a spending bill that adds 143 aircraft, worth $9.5 billion, to what was already requested by the Department of Defence, including 20 additional F-35 Lightning II fighters, 10 F/A-18 Super Hornets, and three KC-46A tanker aircraft.

Air Force: Ukrainian aircraft moved back from state of high alert

03/24/2018

Ukrainian aircraft have been moved back from a state of high combat preparedness, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Dmytro Strutynsky has said. “The state of combat preparedness that was declared today has already been lifted,” Hromadske.TV quoted him as saying.

Israel revives interest in V-22 purchase

03/24/2018

Israeli personnel have taken a fresh opportunity to assess the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey's capabilities, during a joint exercise conducted with the US Marine Corps. Staged in Israel from mid-March, the "Kia Green" manoeuvres included support from Osprey tiltrotors operating from the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. Other US military and Israeli air force aircraft were also involved in the joint activity.

Swiss fighter buy to hinge on 2020 referendum

03/24/2018

Fighter manufacturers are eyeing an opportunity to replace the Swiss air force's entire fighter fleet, although the requirement will be the subject of a public vote planned for early 2020. Four years ago, Switzerland's planned acquisition of 22 Saab Gripen Es was scrapped after a public referendum narrowly rejected the allocation of funds required to purchase the Swedish-built type. The deal had been intended to replace the Swiss air force's aged Northrop F-5 interceptors.

Suicide bomber detonates car bomb at California Air Force Base

03/24/2018

A US Air Force Base in California was rocked by an explosion on Wednesday after a car breached the main gate of the base and detonated. Travis AFB officials report that a vehicle gained “unauthorized access” to the facility Wednesday evening, exploding and killing the driver. Explosive Ordnance Disposal crews and emergency units rushed to the scene after the explosion, discovering that the driver had perished in the blast.

Bulgaria signs 81M leva deal with Russian aircraft corporation for logistics support for MiG-29s

03/23/2018

Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry has said that it has signed a framework agreement worth 81 million leva (about 41.4 million euro) with Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK MiG) for the supply of spare parts and services for the Bulgarian Air Force’s MiG-29 fighter jets. The installation of the spare parts will be carried out by Bulgarian engineers at the Graf Ignatievo Bulgarian Air Force base.

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m

03/23/2018

Britain will spend £345m ($486m) upgrading its F-35B fighter jets to the most recent, combat-ready, version of the aircraft’s operating system. The figure was indirectly revealed by defence procurement minister Guto Bebb, in response to a Parliamentary question. “The UK’s contribution will be around 4.5 per cent of F-35 Program common upgrade costs, from which the UK gains 100 per cent of the benefit,” said Bebb in his answer to Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards.

Russian combat aviation approaches Ukraine's borders

03/23/2018

Russian bombers and fighters took off from airfields in Crimea and flew close to Ukrainian state border; Ukraine's Air Force is on combat alert. The HQ of Ukraine's Air Force reported another provocative act by the Russian combat aviation - the second time this month. Fighters and bombers were spotted to the east and south of Ukraine's state border, namely near the occupied Crimea.

China’s J-20 stealth fighter designer promises his aircraft will be a battlefield ‘Trump card’

03/23/2018

SMARTER. Better informed. Highly automated. China is striving to prepare for combat. And its new stealth fighters are on the front line. This will allow it to “seize air superiority” in the Asia-Pacific, state media claims. And it’s thinking further ahead.

Swiss fighter buy to hinge on 2020 referendum

03/23/2018

Fighter manufacturers are eyeing an opportunity to replace the Swiss air force's entire fighter fleet, although the requirement will be the subject of a public vote planned for early 2020. Four years ago, Switzerland's planned acquisition of 22 Saab Gripen Es was scrapped after a public referendum narrowly rejected the allocation of funds required to purchase the Swedish-built type. The deal had been intended to replace the Swiss air force's aged Northrop F-5 interceptors.

Israeli military confirms it hit Syrian nuclear site in 2007

03/22/2018

The Israeli military confirmed Wednesday it carried out the 2007 airstrike in Syria that destroyed what was believed to be a nuclear reactor, lifting the veil of secrecy over one of its most daring and mysterious operations in recent memory. Although Israel was widely believed to have been behind the Sept. 6, 2007, airstrike, it has never before commented publicly on it.

Taiwan Military Tails Chinese Aircraft Carrier

03/22/2018

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it sent ships and planes to monitor a Chinese aircraft carrier that entered the Taiwan Strait this week. The rise in cross-strait tensions followed the U.S. passing a law greenlighting visits of senior officials between Washington and Taipei. The law’s passage drew protests in Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province.

Germany studies market for Sea Lynx replacement

03/22/2018

Germany is proceeding with a project to replace its navy's fleet of 22 Westland Sea Lynx anti-submarine warfare helicopters, but does not yet have a date for launching the procurement. The fleet is set to retire in 2025, and in December last year the "functional requirements" for a replacement were approved by the German chief of defence, says the Bundeswehr.

Winglet-equipped C-27J to arrive in 2019

03/22/2018

Leonardo will from 2019 deliver its C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter in a new baseline configuration featuring updated avionics and winglets as standard. Flight tests of the modernised variant are due to begin later this year, with the modifications in 2017 having passed the critical design review milestone. Although the Italian airframer began flight trials of the winglets in 2015, it has only just revealed its progress on the project.

Japan Seeks to Answer China With an Aircraft Carrier

03/21/2018

Japan’s ruling party called for the nation to develop its own aircraft carrier and buy American F-35B fighter jets in response to what it described as aggressive Chinese actions. Tuesday’s proposal from the Liberal Democratic Party’s defense panel, if adopted, would be the latest step by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up defense of outlying islands, including those also claimed by Beijing.

In a First, a Finnish Fighter Pilot Lands on a U.S. Aircraft Carrier

03/21/2018

On March 17, 2017 in the Atlantic, a fighter jet landed onto the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The only difference this time was that the pilot was Finnish, not American. Capt. Juha “Stallion” Jarvinen’s landing was the first landing on an aircraft carrier by a Finnish air force pilot in history, according to the U.S. Navy.

Here’s South Korea’s First F-35A Lightning II Stealth Aircraft During Its Maiden Flight

03/21/2018

On Mar. 19, 2018, the first F-35A destined to the ROKAF performed its maiden flight at Lockheed Martin Ft. Worth facility, Texas. Piloted by LM F-35 Chief Test Pilot and Test Flight Director Alan Norman, the aircraft flew as “Lightning 41”, taking off at 14.48LT and landing at 16.40LT. The photo in this post was taken by Highbrass Photography’s Clinton White during South Korea’s F-35’s first sortie (designated C01).

USAF criticises Boeing on new KC-46 delay concerns

03/21/2018

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson heavily criticised Boeing for what she believes will be further delivery delays of KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tankers during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on 20 March.

RAAF P-8As achieve IOC five months ahead of schedule

03/21/2018

The Royal Australian Air Force's Boeing P-8A Poseidon fleet has achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The IOC for the 737-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft came five months ahead of schedule, says defence minister Marise Payne. The RAAF has taken delivery of six P-8As from an overall order book of 12. The type is operated by the No. 11 sqn. from RAAF Edinburgh.

We Now Know When Navy Aircraft Carriers Will be Armed with F-35s

03/20/2018

US Navy leaders have announced that the first-of-its kind carrier-launched F-35C stealth fighter will deploy for its first operational deployment on the USS Carl Vinson - in 2021. The anticipated historical deployment could be accelerated by the 2019 budget proposal which supports a transition of the F-35C program from a developmental phase to more formal test and evaluation before being declared operational later this year.

Lockheed Martin: Long Range Anti-Ship Missile completes successful test

03/20/2018

Lockheed Martin announced on 19 March that a production-version of its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, or LRASM, had another successful test firing after it hit a stack of shipping containers aboard a boat on the Pacific Ocean.

OPINION: It may be ageing, but U-2S could be more relevant than ever

03/20/2018

On its first overflight mission of the Soviet Union 62 years ago, the Lockheed U-2 was tracked for the entire mission. It would take the Soviets another four years to ­acquire the technology to shoot down the U-2, as Central Intelligence Agency pilot Francis Gary Powers learned to his cost over Sverdlovsk on May Day.

India Weighs Expanding Scope of Fighter Aircraft Order

03/19/2018

India is planning to revise the specifications for one of the world’s biggest fighter jet orders, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would allow manufacturers such as Boeing Co. and United Aircraft Corp. to pitch their twin-engine combat aircraft.

UAE's military aircraft violate Qatari airspace: Qatar inform UN

03/18/2018

Qatar informed the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General of a violation of Qatari sovereignty on the part of UAE. Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani said in a message to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and to President of the UN Security Council for this month Ambassador Karel van Oosterom that a military transport aircraft CN-35 that belongs to the UAE violated the airspace of Qatar on Sunday March 4.

Maiden solo sortie by IAF first woman combat pilot

03/18/2018

The country’s oldest airbase, Ambala, witnessed another landmark in the history of military aviation when the Air Force’s first woman combat pilot, Flying Officer Bhawana Kanth, flew her maiden solo sortie in a fighter aircraft from the base on Friday. Bhawana took off in a MiG-12 Bison belonging to the IAF’s No.3 Squadron, the Cobras, from Ambala, where she has been posted, at 2 pm and the sortie lasted about half an hour.

The Air Force's Light Attack Search Won't Yield a New A-10. Here's Why

03/17/2018

Lawmakers have been pressing the U.S. Air Force the last few weeks about its light attack program. The service says that light attack, dubbed OA-X, will be an example of how it intends to buy and field planes faster in the near future.

Israel keeps quiet over F-35I's combat debut

03/17/2018

Israel’s Lockheed Martin F-35I "Adir" is reported to have made its combat debut during strikes conducted against Syrian air defence systems last month. The action was mounted following a border clash that culminated in an Israeli air force Lockheed F-16 being shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

US military helicopter crashes in Iraq

03/16/2018

A US military HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter, a Black Hawk variant, has crashed in western Iraq near the border with Syria, according to multiple US defense officials. One US defense official said that there were "likely fatalities" involved and that rescue teams were on the scene in under an hour. The officials cautioned that these are early reports and that the Pave Hawk was carrying seven personnel, but was not on a combat mission.

India eying Boeing's Super Hornet in latest twist to air force procurement

03/16/2018

Boeing Co, considered the frontrunner in the race to supply the Indian navy with new fighter jets, is now in contention for a much bigger $15 billion order after the government abruptly asked the air force to consider the twin-engine planes.

PICTURES: Saab's GlobalEye makes flight debut

03/16/2018

Saab's GlobalEye swing-role surveillance aircraft completed a 1h 46min debut flight from Linköping in Sweden on 14 March, less than three weeks after its formal unveiling. Carrying the temporary registration SE-RMY, the heavily modified Bombardier Global 6000 demonstrated "smooth handling, just as predicted," according to Saab experimental test pilot Magnus Fredriksson. The debut included "collecting extensive flight-test data using the on-board instrumentation suite," the company adds.

Fighter Jet Crashes Off Key West, Florida - US Navy

03/15/2018

A US Navy F-18 Hornet crashed in the water on the Naval Air Station Key West property late Wednesday afternoon. The two pilots ejected and were later found, according to the US Navy. Rescue crews recovered both pilots after search and rescue efforts and they were taken by ambulance to Lower Keys Medical Center, the US Navy reported Wednesday evening. Their condition has not been revealed.

Qatar ups order for NH90 helicopters as it firms 2014 deal

03/15/2018

Qatar has finally firmed a long-held tentative deal for NH Industries (NHI) NH90 helicopters, to be split between the naval and troop transport variants. The revised order sees the Gulf state increase its commitment to 28 helicopters, up from the 22 it initially signed for in 2014.

USAF considers accelerated light-attack aircraft buy in 2019

03/15/2018

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson may ask Congress to reallocate funds to the light-attack aircraft programme this year, a move which would accelerate the department’s purchase of the aircraft by one year to 2019.

Chengdu J-20 to become multi-role platform

03/15/2018

Beijing will evolve the Chengdu J-20 fighter into roles well beyond aerial supremacy. The aircraft’s primary mission for the time being is “making way for other aircraft in an air battle,” says Zhang Hao, who heads an air force flight test centre. Zhang made the remarks in a story carried by Beijing’s official China Daily news organ.

South Korea Signs Deal for 90 Bunker-Buster Cruise Missiles

03/14/2018

South Korea has concluded a contract for 90 German-built Taurus KEPD 350 long-range precision-guided cruise missiles, the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) revealed on March 12. “The contract was signed in late February,” Kang Hwan-seok, a DAPA spokesperson, told reporters this Monday, according to Yonhap news agency.

UK and Saudi Arabia sign memorandum of intent for Typhoon aircraft

03/14/2018

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has signed a memorandum of intent with the UK Government to purchase 48 Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighter jets. The memorandum of intent has been signed during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the UK. In a statement, BAE Systems said: “This is a positive step towards agreeing a contract for our valued partner.

USAF likely to issue B-52 engine replacement request for proposals in early 2019

03/14/2018

The US Air Force is likely to issue a request for proposal for its Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bomber engine replacement programme close to the first quarter of 2019, according to an Air Force document released on 13 March.

J-20 stealth fighter's capabilities to be enhanced

03/13/2018

China will continue to improve and upgrade its cutting-edge J-20 stealth fighter jet, giving it more capabilities than merely penetrating an enemy's air defense networks, according to its chief designer.

France Pitches Another Batch of 36 Rafale Fighter Jets to India

03/13/2018

During an official state visit to India from March 10 to 12, French President Emanuel Macron in talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted the sale of additional Dassault Rafale multirole fighter jets to the Indian Air Force (IAF). “It is a long-term contract which is mutually beneficial. I personally consider it as the heart of the strategic partnership,” the French president said in a statement following talks with the Indian prime minister on March 10.

India Wants to Link Its Rebooted Fighter Jet Tender to Future Stealth Fighter Development

03/13/2018

The Indian Air Force reportedly is set to formally reboot its plans to purchase nearly 115 fighter jets within weeks, but it may tie any final contract to a demand that it also receive technical assistance for its domestic fifth generation fighter project. This decision would seem to confirm ongoing reports that India is not happy with the progress of its existing stealth fighter deal with Russia, might again give Lockheed Martin an upper hand since it is already building the F-35.

U.S. Marine Corps puts out request for information for ship-based VTOL drone

03/13/2018

The US Marine Corps issued a request for information for its proposed ship-based vertical takeoff and landing drone, the MUX aircraft, on 8 March. MUX, which is short for Marine Air Ground Task Force – Unmanned Expeditionary Capabilities programme, would operate autonomously from the deck of an amphibious assault ship and is designed to fill what the USMC sees as its current inability to provide persistent multi-role aerial coverage 350nm (648km) beyond its ships.

Indonesia trade agency proposes cargo use for A400M

03/13/2018

State-owned Indonesia Trading Company (ITC) has proposed operating two Airbus Defence & Space A400M tactical transports to help balance domestic trade in Indonesia. On its website, the Indonesian air force states that it would be willing to provide crews to support such a venture. The remarks came after a meeting between air force chief of staff Yuyu Sutisna and president director of ITC, Agus Andiyani.

Pakistan Deploys Fighter Jet Squadron to Afghan Border to Protect Airspace

03/12/2018

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has fielded a squadron of new Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 “Thunder” combat aircraft, according to a recent report by the Associated Press of Pakistan. The multi-role fighter jets are stationed at Pakistan’s Samungli Base near Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

Why China Loves Russian Fighter Jets (and Steals All Their Technology)

03/12/2018

The Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” was never planned to exported when it was originally developed, unlike its lighter cousin, the MiG-29. However, ever since being approved for export it has been one of the most popular fighter exports in the Asian region. The first customer for the Su-27 was China, which secured a procurement deal while the Soviet Union still existed. But how did Beijing accomplish this?

Pakistan Stands Up New Fighter Squadron

03/12/2018

The Pakistan Air Force inaugurated a new JF-17 fighter squadron in Quetta last month. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) stood up a new fighter squadron composed of Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 “Thunder” multirole fighter jets in Quetta, Balochistan last month, according to local media reports.

Army orders 35 more UH-72A Lakotas from Airbus

03/12/2018

Airbus Helicopters announced that it received a $273 million contract from the US Army to deliver 35 more UH-72A Lakotas. The helicopters will be used as training aircraft, and will be split between the initial entry rotary wing mission at Fort Rucker, Alabama, which will receive 17 aircraft, and the observer and controller mission at the Army’s combat training centres, which will receive 18 aircraft.

Riyadh advances on repeat Typhoon order

03/11/2018

Saudi Arabia could be set to acquire a follow-on batch of 48 Eurofighter Typhoons, pending the conclusion of government-to-government discussions with the UK disclosed on 9 March. "The UK government has signed a memorandum of intent with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to aim to finalise discussions for the purchase of 48 Typhoon aircraft," BAE says. The Royal Saudi Air Force already has acquired 72 of the European type.

Norway Says Russian Aircraft Ran Mock Attacks On A Secretive Radar Base

03/08/2018

The head of the Norway’s main military intelligence arm says his agency has watched as Russian military aircraft flew a number of simulated attacks on key military installations in his country and NATO warships in the region. The incidents offer yet more evidence that the Kremlin is taking an increasingly aggressive stance toward the Western alliance and that it is looking for ways harass it and its other European partners that don’t run the risk setting off an actual conflict.

F-35 development and support to cost $1 billion annually

03/08/2018

The Joint Program Office (JPO) estimates that continued development of the F-35 to deal with evolving threats and changing warfighting environments will cost the U.S. government more than $1 billion a year between 2018 and 2024. The figure came to light during testimony from Vice Admiral Mathias Winter to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on 7 March.

Airbus to slash A400M assembly rate

03/08/2018

Airbus is to dramatically slow its final assembly rate for the A400M tactical transport from a high of 19 achieved in 2017 to only eight per year from 2020, the company confirms. "Production will be adjusted to eight units per year as of 2020, following production of 15 A400Ms in 2018 and 11 units in 2019," Airbus says.

Russian military plane crash in Syria kills 39

03/07/2018

A Russian military transport plane crashed in Syria on Tuesday killing all 39 people on board, Russian officials said, an incident that sharply raised the death toll from the Kremlin’s intervention in the Syrian war. President Vladimir Putin, who is running for re-election later this month, declared in December that the Russian mission in Syria was largely completed, but casualties continue to mount.

India Denies Interest in F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

03/07/2018

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has officially denied reports that it has requested a classified briefing by U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin on the capabilities of its fifth-generation stealth multi-role F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II, the aircraft’s conventional takeoff and landing version.

ANALYSIS: German military wrestles with aircraft availability

03/07/2018

Germany is struggling to maintain the operational readiness of its military aircraft inventory, as obsolescence issues and challenges around the introduction of new platforms combine to diminish front-line availability.

Super Hornet upgrade takes off with life-extension

03/07/2018

Boeing is to advance a planned service-life extension programme for the US Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, with the company having been contracted to perform work on an initial four aircraft.

Jordan, Qatar to acquire DB-110 reconnaissance pods

03/07/2018

Jordan and Qatar have been confirmed as new customers for United Technologies Aerospace Systems' (UTAS) DB-110 tactical reconnaissance pod, under deals worth a combined $51.2 million. Detailed by the US Department of Defense on 5 March, the awards have been made via an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract signed earlier this year by the US Air Force.

The Air Force may finally pit the legendary A-10 against the F-35 in an air support fly off next month

03/06/2018

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter may have been the subject of more postulation than any other military aircraft in history. After years of cost overruns, delays, and issues, the fighter platform that America has long touted as the most advanced on the planet is finally nearing a stage when its comparisons to tried and true combat aircraft can leave the drawing board and start being based on legitimate side by side comparisons.

Lockheed Martin’s Greenville facility gears up for major projects in 2018

03/06/2018

Since 1984, Lockheed Martin, a Maryland-based aerospace and defense company, has provided modification, maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for both military and civil aircraft from its 16-hangar facility at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center in southern Greenville County. Now the company’s local operation is gearing up for another busy year.

America's F-4 Phantom: Taking On the World's Best Fighters (At 60 Years Old)

03/06/2018

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a legendary aircraft?—?an icon of the Vietnam War and the archetype of the third-generation jet fighter designs that entered service in the 1960s. More than 5,000 of these heavy supersonic fighters were built, and hundreds continue to serve and even see combat in several air forces today.

China Announces Largest Military Spending Increase In 3 Years

03/06/2018

China on Monday announced the largest increase in three years to its defense budget, saying it would spend 8.1 percent more than the previous year as the country continues a push to modernize its military and expand its air and naval capabilities.

Tata, Boeing inaugurate Hyderabad AH-64 fuselage line

03/06/2018

Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) and Boeing have inaugurated an assembly line in Hyderabad that will be the exclusive source of future AH-64 Apache fuselages. Under the Tata Boeing Aerospace (TBAL) joint venture, the fuselage sections will be produced at TASL’s production facility on the outskirts of Hyderabad, says Boeing in a statement. The joint venture was set up in 2015, and the line will start producing fuselage sections in 2018.

Air Forces Around the World Love This Killer Fighter Plane. And Its Not from America.

03/05/2018

The JAS-39 Gripen is the Swedish defense industry’s largest export, financially. The Gripen has seen considerable success replacing aging fighters in former Warsaw Pact countries, and has also seen sales in Africa, the Americas and Asia. But why is the Gripen successful on the export market? How does it stack up against other NATO products and Soviet jets?

Will BAE Systems’ Typhoon be our last fighter to reach for the sky?

03/05/2018

Workers on the Typhoon line at Warton in Lancashire were given the news they had long dreaded last October. Faced with dwindling orders, BAE Systems was slowing down production of the fighter jet to a trickle. About 750 jobs would be cut at Warton and its sister plant Samlesbury, the defence giant said, part of 1,400 job losses across its military air business. The production rate is expected to drop to 11 Typhoons a year — down from the previous rate of 20.

As Tempo Rises, the Most Active Reserve Rescue Unit Wants New Planes and Helos

03/05/2018

Reserve airmen of the 920th Rescue Wing are doing their part to keep aircraft here up to snuff, as they await the arrival of a new combat rescue helicopter and HC-130 recovery planes. And while leaders at the base are craving more modern planes, they're still years away from formal delivery. For the most active Reserve unit -- and the only Reserve rescue wing in the Air Force - officials said they need and want the best to be ready for the missions they are already tasked to do.

OPINION: F-35 cost issue is solvable, but needs fixing fast

03/05/2018

Some time in the next several weeks or months, the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme will pass a historic milestone. The system development and demonstration phase that began 17 years ago appears poised – barring any unforeseen showstoppers – to conclude by the end of summer. The aircraft, engine, simulators and logistics system will shift from development to operational status, albeit six years behind schedule.

Israel concerned over Su-57 debut in Syria

03/02/2018

Russia's surprise deployment of Sukhoi Su-57s to a base inside Syria has positioned its new stealth fighter within the same region of operations as the Israeli air force's Lockheed Martin F-35I. Video footage appearing to show Su-57s arriving in Syria was confirmed by pictures captured by an Israeli imaging satellite. The new type's deployment marks the peak of Moscow's direct intervention so far in Syria's long-running civil war.

ANALYSIS: Why Super Hercules is a strong performer

03/02/2018

With Lockheed Martin having marked the latest milestone in its C-130J “Super Hercules” programme on 9 February – the delivery of its 400th example – we use Flight Fleets Analyzer data to detail the type’s sales performance so far.

US military targets F-35 labour costs, repairs for savings

03/02/2018

US military officials have launched a new affordability initiative for the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme that targets labour costs and manufacturing efficiency, says Vice Adm Mat Winter, the F-35 programme executive officer.

Four Years After an ISIS Massacre, the Iraqi Air Force Opens a New Academy

03/01/2018

On Feb. 21, 2018, the Iraqi government announced that the Iraqi air force had reopened its academy at Balad air base. U.S. Central Command announced that the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team will help establish standardized training programs. Forty cadets will start their coursework in March 2018.

Saab has sky-high sales hopes for GlobalEye

03/01/2018

Saab is poised to start ground-test activities with its first GlobalEye surveillance aircraft, having unveiled the heavily-adapted Bombardier Global 6000 for launch customer the United Arab Emirates. Rolled out at the Swedish company's Linköping site on 23 February, the modified business jet is the first of three such "swing-role" platforms ordered by the Gulf nation since November 2015.

Air Force T-6s Return to Flight; OBOGS Monitoring Cited

02/28/2018

The basic training plane for Air Force pilots, the propeller-driven T-6 Texan, is returning to flight almost one month after being grounded after a series of unexplained physiological events (what we used to call suspected hypoxia incidents). As is the case with most such groundings, the service was very careful to call these “multiple unexplained physiological events.” A statement notes the incidents “differed from classic hypoxia, which is caused by oxygen deprivation.”

View: Why India should not delay its fighter jet procurement

02/28/2018

By cancelling the single engine fighter jet procurement and expanding it to include twin engine fighters, the government is trying to find a different result by trying the same thing as it was done in the previous MMRCA tender which it scrapped in 2015. The reason apparently is due to the furore created over the Rafale deal and the government does not want allegations later as there were only two contenders for the single engine jet, Lockheed Martin F-16 and SAAB Gripen.

Russia’s Su-57 stealth fighter is about to meet the US F-22 over Syria

02/27/2018

IT’s a next generation combat jet of many names. It was the PAK FA. It was the T-50. Now it’s the Su-57. It’s Russia’s answer to the United States’ cutting-edge F-22 “Raptor” stealth fighter. Now, more than 15 years after the F-22 entered service, Russia is on the brink of pitting the best its military aviation industry can offer against its rival in Syria. F-22 versus Su-57: It’s the ultimate face-off between East and West.

How Russia Is Using Syria As A Military ‘Guinea Pig’

02/27/2018

Russia’s deputy defense minister claimed Thursday that Moscow has tested over 600 new weapons and other military equipment in Syria since intervening in the conflict in 2015. “The chance to test in real combat can’t be overestimated,” Yuri Borisov asserted, adding that “customers have started queuing up for the arms that have proven themselves in [battle].”

Russia and Lebanon Drafting Agreement for Increased Military Cooperation

02/27/2018

Since the Syrian civil war erupted nearly seven years ago, perhaps the most dramatic regional diplomatic development has been the steady reemergence of Russia as a major player in the convoluted world of Middle East politics. As a reward for its intervention in Syria, Russia has received 49-year leases on an airbase and port facility there.

Navy's Cutting-Edge Method to Launch Aircraft Faces Reliability Issues

02/27/2018

For more than 60 years, the U.S. Navy has relied on steam power to catapult planes off the decks of aircraft carriers, leaving behind a telltale trail of steam rising from the track. A new generation of carriers will rely on something far more technologically complex: an electromagnetic system that could potentially launch more aircraft off the deck and at a faster rate than traditional steam methods.

USAF has no plans for all-weather, wide area surveillance after JSTARS

02/27/2018

The US Air Force has no firm plans to replace a wide area surveillance capability if Congress later this year approves a proposal to retire the Northrop Grumman E-8C JSTARS in 2025, the head of the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command says.

Army: Crew of F-16 downed by Syria made ‘professional error’

02/26/2018

An internal military investigation into the downing of an Israeli F-16 jet by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile on February 10 has shown that the aircraft’s crew did not respond properly to the threat and made a “professional error.” However, the probe also found that the pilot and navigator were right to abandon the warplane after it was hit.

Satellite Imagery Confirms Russia Deployed Stealthy Su-57 Fighters To Syria

02/25/2018

Our initial analysis has been outright confirmed and at least two Russian Su-57s have been forward-deployed to Khmeimim Air Base in western Syria. Satellite imagery dated February 23rd, 2018 shows two of the aircraft parked on the base's tightly packed fixed-wing tactical aircraft ramp.

US and French Fighters Contend for a Place Aboard India's New Aircraft Carrier

02/24/2018

With the Indian Navy’s first two carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant deploying Russian built MiG-29K multirole fighters from their decks India has sought a new source of fighters for its third and largest carrier – INS Vishal. While the Vikramaditya, a heavily modified former Soviet Kiev class carrier, is currently in service and the Vikrant, the country’s first domestically built carrier, is in its late development stages, the INS Vishal remains in the mid-design stage and has yet to see

Russia's most advanced fighter arrives in Syria

02/24/2018

Russia has sent its most advanced fighter jet to Syria, a US military official tells CNN. It's a deployment that could potentially increase the level of danger to US forces operating inside the country. The Su-57 is Moscow's most sophisticated military jet and comes equipped with stealth capability. Russia's move comes despite a promise from President Vladimir Putin to scale back Russia's military commitment in the country.

New wings on Qatar F-15s pave upgrade path for USAF

02/24/2018

A Qatari order for the F-15 Advanced Eagle will introduce a new structural upgrade for the wing that could be offered as a service life extension option for the US Air Force’s F-15Cs and for the fleets of other international customers, a top Boeing manager says.

OPINION: C-130J's success gives hope to A400M

02/24/2018

Twenty years ago, Lockheed Martin made its first delivery of a C-130J to launch operator the UK Royal Air Force, following a troubled development and testing programme which was very much at odds with its chosen moniker: “Super Hercules”.

PICTURE: Saab unveils first GlobalEye for UAE

02/24/2018

Saab has unveiled its first GlobalEye surveillance aircraft, revealing the extensively modified Bombardier Global 6000 business jet in the livery of launch customer the United Arab Emirates air force.

Boeing rejoins competitive field for Canadian fighter deal

02/23/2018

The Canadian government has announced that five bidders — Boeing, Dassault, Eurofighter, Lockheed Martin and Saab — are eligible to compete for a long sought-after contract to replace the country’s 88 CF-18 fighters.

UK preparing ambitious combat air strategy

02/23/2018

The UK Ministry of Defence will publish a new combat air strategy document later this year, which defence secretary Gavin Williamson says will “bring together the best of British engineering, skill and design, and deliver a compelling vision for the future of air power".

Has Moscow moved its Su-57 stealth fighter into Syria?

02/22/2018

Russia appears to have sent two of its most modern stealth fighter jets to Syria. Footage circulating out of Syria today appears to show two of the distinctive aircraft arriving at Russia’s Khmeimim air force base on the shores of the Mediterranean. As they came in to land, a Su-35 fighter is seen to swoop past protectively. The unverified footage has interesting implications, if true.

Avani becomes first-ever Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo, that too a MiG-21

02/22/2018

Growing up in a small town named Deolond near Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, Avani Chaturvedi never in her wildest dreams imagined she would one day become the first-ever Indian woman to break the sound barrier with resounding sonic booms in a supersonic fighter all alone.

AHRLAC variant Bronco II unveiled for US light attack bid

02/22/2018

Newly-formed Bronco Combat Systems on 21 February launched the Bronco II light attack aircraft for the US military market, leveraging the South African-designed AHRLAC platform with a US-based mission systems integrator named Fulcrum Concepts.

Sikorsky begins final assembly of first HH-60W

02/21/2018

Sikorsky has introduced the first HH-60W combat rescue helicopter (CRH) into final assembly ahead of a scheduled first flight by the end of this year. The derivative of the UH-60M is the first of a planned 112-aircraft production programme worth $8.12 billion to replace the aging fleet charged with rescuing downed US Air Force pilots.

US clears RNLAF for $1.19b Apache deal

02/21/2018

The Royal Netherlands Air Force is cleared by the US State Department to buy 28 remanufactured Boeing AH-64E helicopters worth a total of $1.19 billion, the US government announced on 20 February.

Gripen E delivery schedule on target, says Saab boss

02/21/2018

Saab remains on track to deliver the first series production examples of its Gripen E in the third quarter of next year, and is also hopeful of concluding delayed sales of new-build C/D-model examples during 2018.

PICTURES: Norway tests braking parachute on F-35A

02/21/2018

Norway has completed the first in-country test of a braking parachute on a Lockheed Martin F-35A, with the trial taking place on 16 February at Ørland air base. "Our combat aircraft must be able to land during extreme Norwegian winter conditions, and Norway, with experience in this, will help develop and test the F-35 braking parachute," says Norway's F-35 programme director, Gen Morten Klever.

China is challenging ‘dominance’ of U.S in South China Sea, diplomat says

02/20/2018

The risks of a "miscalculation" and armed conflict have risen in the disputed South China Sea with a militarily stronger China now able to challenge the United States, which used to be the dominant power in the strategic waterway, the Philippine envoy to Beijing said Monday.

South China Sea turning into signals hub for Chinese military

02/20/2018

Generally the acreage and borders in question are based on the land as nature intended it to be. But what if your strategic interests required creating land out of thin air, or in this case, deep blue ocean? Enter the People’s Republic of China and their man-made islands in the Spratly island chain, in the hotly disputed South China Sea.

The F-35 for Germany

02/20/2018

In May of last year, the German air force asked to be briefed on the American-made F-35, the stealthy, multi-mission, 5th-generation aircraft. Then, in November, Lt. General Karl Müllner, the Luftwaffe chief of staff, indicated his service’s preference for replacing the Tornado jets with the F-35 because of its low-observable signature and its ability to identify and strike distant targets.

Philippines cancels Bell 412 deal on order of president

02/20/2018

In a bizarre turn of events, the Philippines has cancelled a contract for 16 Bell Helicopter 412EPIs for its air force just days after revealing the deal at the Singapore air show. The cancellation was ordered by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte after the Canadian government – which had backed the deal for the Montreal-built aircraft – ordered a review into the acquisition.

Amid the chaos of Syria, will Israel and Iran launch an all-out war?

02/18/2018

Neither country will benefit from a new Middle East conflict, but unless they cease military clashes, such as those inside Syria last weekend, hopes of peace remain fragile. Tensions between Israel and Iran have hit a new high following last weekend’s unprecedented military clashes inside Syria. The fighting has intensified fears that the Middle East is heading for all-out war. But such alarming predictions assume both protagonists standing toe-to-toe, actuallywant to fight. Is this reallytrue?

FINLAND AND NEW COMBAT AIRCRAFT: LOOKING BACK AT THE HORNET ACQUISITION

02/18/2018

The Finnish government is set to acquire 64 new fighter jets for its air force. “It’s important that our armed forces have the equipment that they need to fulfill all of their fundamental roles,” said Niinistö. Niinistö has described Russia’s more unpredictable behavior in the greater Baltic Sea region, particularly in the areas of political influencing methods and security policies, as the “new normal”.

Airbus chief hails A400M contract review as 'breakthrough'

02/18/2018

Airbus foresees a charge worth €1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) associated with the A400M programme for 2018, after the manufacturer reached a tentative agreement with its launch customers to revise their contracts for the tactical transport.

INTERVIEW: R-R engine expert discusses future fighter technology

02/18/2018

Rolls-Royce believes that advanced engines will be the single most important design factor for future fighter aircraft. Conrad Banks is R-R’s chief engineer for defence future programmes. In his 30-year career he has worked on projects such the Pegasus for the BAE Systems Harrier and the EJ200 for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Now his role is to look towards the future.

ANALYSIS: How F-16I loss will reshape Israel's offensive strategy

02/18/2018

A sequence of events that began with the shooting down of an Iranian copy of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel stealth unmanned air vehicle led to an Israeli air force Lockheed F-16I being shot down, and a massive aerial attack being launched against at least a dozen targets inside Syria.

BAE proposes UK govt financing to Malaysia for Typhoon jet deal

02/14/2018

BAE Systems will provide Malaysia a United Kingdom-backed financing deal if it decides to replace its fleet of combat jets with the Eurofighter Typhoon, senior company officials said. Malaysia has for several years been weighing France’s Rafale jet and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by a European consortium including Britain’s BAE, as it looks to buy up to 18 jets to replace its Russian MiG-29s - most of which are grounded.

Boeing unit joins General Atomics' bid for MQ-25

02/14/2018

Boeing has joined a team of suppliers supporting General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ bid to win the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray programme even as it continues to promote a clean-sheet alternative design.

China appears to have rushed its J-20 stealth fighter into service with an 'embarrassing' flaw

02/13/2018

Chinese state media announced on Friday that the Chengdu J-20 stealth jet had officially entered into service as a combat-ready platform — but inside sources say it's a long way from fighting fit and has an embarrassing flaw. Citing military sources with knowledge of the J-20's development, the South China Morning Post reported that the jets that entered service didn't feature the engines China custom-built for the platform but used older ones instead.

USAF plans to consolidate bomber fleet to B-21 and B-52

02/13/2018

The US Air Force has confirmed plans to re-engine the Boeing B-52H fleet and retire the Northrop Grumman B-2 and the Rockwell B-1 as Northrop’s next-generation B-21 stealth bomber ramps up deliveries.

JSTARS replacement cancelled in new USAF budget plan

02/13/2018

The US Air Force’s has decided to retire its primary aerial ground surveillance platform in the mid-2020s and replace it with a network of existing and new sensors linked to a ground-based command and control system.

Looking at partnering with other Indian entities: Swedish Saab

02/12/2018

Months after it announced a joint venture with the Adani Group, Swedish defence giant Saab has said it plans to partner with a few other Indian entities for manufacturing a broad portfolio of products in view of the improving business climate in India. Mats Palmberg, Vice President of Saab's International Partnerships, said the company was also bringing its global partners to India to expand on its product range.

The drone shot down by Israel was an Iranian copy of a U.S. craft, Israel says

02/12/2018

The drone that Israel said it shot down this weekend appeared to have been developed by Iran from technology obtained when it captured a U.S. stealth aircraft in 2011, according to aviation experts and Israeli officials. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for Israel’s military, and Yuval Steinitz, a minister in Israel’s security cabinet, said the craft was a copy of a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone, which Iran claims to have reverse-engineered.

Israel carries out ‘large-scale attack’ in Syria after Israeli jet crashes under antiaircraft fire

02/10/2018

Israel’s army said it had launched a “large-scale attack” inside Syria on Saturday after one of its jets was downed under Syrian antiaircraft fire, in a series of cross-border incidents that threatened to destabilize the volatile region between the two countries. Israel says the situation started with an Iranian drone crossing into its territory from Syria at around 4:30 a.m. It was shot down by an Israeli attack helicopter.

Israeli fighter jet crashes under Syria fire, military says

02/10/2018

An Israeli F-16 fighter jet has crashed amid Syrian anti-aircraft fire after an offensive against Iranian targets in Syria, the Israeli military says. The two pilots parachuted to safety before the crash in northern Israel. It is believed to be the first time Israel has lost a jet in the Syrian conflict. Israel was carrying out strikes after the launch of an Iranian drone into Israel. The drone was shot down.

New "Digital Eye Piece" Will Allow U.S. Fighter Pilots To Own The Night Like Never Before

02/10/2018

Donning a helmet mounted display (HMD) or night vision goggles (NVGs) has been a far from seamless issue for American fighter pilots since the widespread introduction of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) well over a decade ago. Now that is changing via a fairly novel piece of technology that leverages existing cockpit HMD infrastructure and NVGs called the "Digital Eye Piece."

USAF commissions Boeing to build more MOPs

02/10/2018

The US Air Force has commissioned Boeing to produce a new batch of GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs), the 13,600kg (30,000lb) mega-conventional bombs used for burrowing deep inside fortified bunkers and detonating.

Draft documents reveal USAF plans for more A-10 upgrades

02/10/2018

The US Air Force has released draft acquisition documents showing plans to buy up to 116 new wing sets for the Fairchild Republic A-10 fleet that call for reviving production after March 2019 with a new contractor.

France to buy more Rafales, A330 tankers under new spending plan

02/10/2018

France has unveiled an ambitious and wide-ranging military modernisation programme that includes the acquisition of additional Dassault Rafale fighters, an all-new fleet of light helicopters and additional aerial refuelling tankers. Still to be ratified by lawmakers, the military spending plan, or LPM, covers the period 2019-2025.

BAE to upgrade HUD on UAE F-16 fleet

02/10/2018

Lockheed Martin has tapped BAE Systems to upgrade heads-up displays (HUD) for the United Arab Emirates F-16 Block 60 fighters. The work will see the aircraft's existing cathode ray tube projector with a digital projector, says BAE in a statement.

Russian jet pilot 'pulled grenade pin' to avoid capture in Syria's Idlib

02/08/2018

Russian media have lauded a pilot killed in Syria as a hero, saying he detonated his grenade to avoid being captured by jihadists who had shot his plane out of the sky. Roman Filipov's reported last words were: "Here's for the guys." His Sukhoi-25 ground-attack aircraft was shot down over rebel-held Idlib province. He survived the attack and ejected, but died in a ground fight.

Syria war: Israel 'strikes Damascus military complex'

02/08/2018

A Syrian military statement said its air defence systems blocked most of the missiles, but gave no further details. A monitor said ammunition depots in Jamraya were hit. It is the location of a scientific facility where the West suspects chemical weapons are produced. Israel, which has acknowledged carrying out at least 100 clandestine strikes in Syria since 2011, declined to comment.

SINGAPORE: Lockheed promotes IRST for region’s fighters

02/08/2018

Lockheed Martin is promoting infrared search and track (IRST) to help upgrade the sensor capabilities of the region’s fighter fleets. Unlike radar, IRST is a passive sensor. It detects targets by sensing their IR signatures. This eliminates the need for an aircraft to give away its position through the transmission of radar waves.

SINGAPORE: Lockheed's Carvalho kiboshes SR-72 idea

02/08/2018

The head of Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics division has dismissed recent media reports that it has developed the SR-72, a successor to the iconic SR-71 Black Bird. “I can tell you unequivocally that it has not been built,” says Orlando Carvalho, executive vice-president of aeronautics at Lockheed Martin.

SINGAPORE: Lockheed favours incremental F-35 software updates

02/07/2018

Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics head believes a new software update regime for the F-35 fighter will greatly improve efficiency, and also says that sustainment for the type is improving. The plan will see smaller updates applied more frequently, as opposed to sweeping, all-inclusive updates applied every few years. Lockheed says “our plan is to move ahead with it for the F-35 as part of follow-on modernisation.”

USAF considers options for lifting T-6A grounding

02/07/2018

The US Air Force may set a temporary altitude restriction to lift a grounding order on the Beechcraft T-6A Texan II after the fleet of primary trainers became the latest military aircraft type to cause pilots to experience a rash of hypoxia-like symptoms, a top US Air Force official informed Congress on 6 February.

SINGAPORE: Boeing pursues P-8 Poseidon refinements

02/07/2018

Boeing has made several updates about its P-8 Poseidon programme, as it pursues further refinements for the platform. Speaking to media during a programme update briefing at the Singapore air show, Matt Carreon, head of global sales and marketing for Boeing Defence, Space and Security, listed over four updates that the manufacturer will implement on the P-8.

VIDEO: Black Eagle T-50B crashes during takeoff at Changi

02/07/2018

A Korea Aerospace Industries T-50B aircraft from the Black Eagles display team crashed while taking off from Changi airport’s runway 1. The crash occurred at 13:24 local time when the jet “skidded and crashed into the grass verge at the side of runway 1 and caught fire,” says the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore in a statement.

SINGAPORE: Saab's Gripen fighter in maiden show appearance

02/06/2018

The Saab JAS-39 C/D Gripen fighter is appearing for the first time at the Singapore air show. The two aircraft are operated by the Royal Thai Air Force, and will appear both on the static line and aerial display.

SINGAPORE: Sikorsky eyes Armed Black Hawk deals

02/06/2018

Sikorsky sees regional opportunities for its Armed Black Hawk initiative, which turns its iconic UH-60/S-70 platform into a hard-hitting helicopter gunship. At a briefing at the American Chamber of Commerce, chief engineer for the S-70 programme Joe Palumbo said the system can come with newly delivered rotorcraft, or be retrofitted. This is particularly useful for operators who lack the resources to operate dedicated gunships such as the Boeing AH-64 Apache or Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper.

SINGAPORE: SkyTech in LOI for six KC-390s

02/06/2018

Aviation services firm SkyTech has signed a letter of intent for up to six Embraer KC-390 tactical transport aircraft. “The aircraft are earmarked for multiple defense projects and both companies have also agreed on a potential strategic collaboration to jointly explore new business opportunities in training and services,” says Embraer.

SINGAPORE: Boeing defence eyes opportunities in India, Japan

02/06/2018

Boeing continues to press forward with sales opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, both for combat and support aircraft. Speaking at a media roundtable at the company's office, Gene Cunningham, vice president of Boeing Defense, Space & Security listed a number of opportunities in which the company is engaged.

S. Korea's fighter jets equipped with advanced targeting system

02/05/2018

South Korea's military has completed the deployment of an advanced nighttime targeting system for its fighter aircraft, the country's arms agency said Monday. It would greatly improve the precision strike capability of KF-16s, a key combat element of the Air Force, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

Is the FAA Endangering America's Stealth Fighters?

02/05/2018

Even as the skies are becoming more crowded with airplanes and drones, the creaky U.S. air traffic control system is struggling to keep up. Hence the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has come up with a plan that requires aircraft to broadcast their positions to avoid mid-air collisions.

SINGAPORE: Harris eyes Asian F-16 market for EW sales

02/05/2018

Harris Corporation is promoting its electronic warfare (EW) systems to the region’s air forces, with a particularly focus on the Lockheed Martin F-16 fleet. The company sees three main areas of EW focus among the region’s countries: mission success in contested domains, marine awareness in congested seas, and battlefield communications.

SINGAPORE: RSAF chief discusses future capabilities

02/05/2018

Singapore possesses Southeast Asia’s most powerful air force, but maintaining its edge in an increasingly volatile region requires constant assessment of new technologies and ideas. In an interview with FlightGlobal, Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force Major-General Mervyn Tan discussed future plans and emerging capabilities, on the year of the RSAF’s fiftieth anniversary.

Russia strikes back as Syrian rebels take credit for shooting down fighter jet, killing pilot

02/04/2018

Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility Saturday for the downing of a Russian warplane in northern Syria, apparently using a surface-to-air missile to target the aircraft. The pilot was killed after he ejected and exchanged gunfire with militants on the ground, the Russian Defense Ministry and a monitoring group said.

USAF rejects Scorpion for OA-X, names A-29 and AT-6 finalists

02/04/2018

The US Air Force has excluded the Textron AirLand Scorpion light-attack aircraft from the next phase of its OA-X experiment, leaving Textron Aviation's Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano as the finalists for a potential follow-on acquisition deal.

Norway runs into fresh problem with NH90 helicopters

02/04/2018

Norway has concluded that its on-order fleet of NH Industries NH90 naval helicopters will not deliver sufficient flight hours to perform the roles originally intended for the 11t-class rotorcraft and recommends that all are converted to the anti-submarine warfare mission.

French army starts definition work for new armed scout helicopters

02/04/2018

The French army has begun early definition work with Airbus Helicopters on the H160Ms it will obtain as part of a tri-service procurement.Paris in March 2017 selected the developmental H160M to form the basis of its hélicoptère interarmées léger (HIL) programme, splitting 160-190 rotorcraft between the air force, army and navy to replace a sizeable fleet of aged types.

The Air Force Turned Off GPS To Rehearse a War Without It

02/02/2018

The U.S. military is worryingly dependent on GPS. Our global positioning satellites tell planes where they are, provide targeting info for smart weapons, and support communication and navigation systems. But in a war with a tech-advanced adversary—think China, Russia, or Iran—GPS could become a big liability because it could be jammed, spoofed, or outright destroyed.

‘At Least 12 Crew Members Killed’ In Chinese Military Plane Crash

02/02/2018

A military aircraft crash in Guizhou this week killed at least a dozen crew members and exposed the “fatal gap” between the air force’s ambitions and its technology, the South China Morning Post has learned. Military sources say the crash has severely affected air force morale. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has confirmed that an aircraft crashed in the southwestern province during a training exercise on Monday.

Now Russia Is Demanding US Stop Spying Near Its Borders After Buzzing Navy Spy Plane

02/02/2018

The Russian Ministry of Defense has mocked the crews of American spy planes as overly cautious and suggested the United States either stop such missions near its borders or agree to a set of rules governing those flight. The official statement comes after the U.S. Navy released half a dozen videos showing one of Russia’s Su-27 Flanker series fighter jets flying dangerously close to an EP-3E Aries II intelligence aircraft in international air space over the Black Sea.

Delhi hopes to be third time lucky with new tanker RFI

02/02/2018

India’s ministry of defence has issued a fresh request for information for six mid-air refueling tankers, following two abortive earlier attempts. This time the requirement specifies that the tanker aircraft be powered by two turbofan engines, ruling out the Ilyushin IL-78.

India struggles to match China as elite world weapons exporte

02/01/2018

India celebrated Republic Day by parading troops and locally made weapons in front of New Delhi's colonial-era sandstone buildings and past 10 Southeast Asian heads of state -- all potential buyers.

NH Industries confident on sealing NH90 orders from Qatar and Spain

02/01/2018

NH Industries (NHI) is hopeful that it can finally secure a firm order from Qatar this year for both variants of its NH90 helicopter. Doha four years ago signed a tentative agreement with the three-way consortium for 22 examples of the 11t-class rotorcraft: 12 TTH troop transports and 10 NFH maritime helicopters.

Germany needs in-flight refuelling for future heavy-lift helicopters

02/01/2018

Germany has confirmed that its future fleet of heavy-lift helicopters will require in-flight refuelling capability. Berlin in late 2017 gave the go-ahead for its BAAINBw procurement agency to begin the acquisition of around 60 helicopters to replace an existing fleet of 70 elderly Sikorsky CH-53G/GA/GS transports operated by the German air force.

UK begins Gazelle helicopter replacement effort

02/01/2018

Initial work is under way to replace the British Army's active fleet of 22 elderly Aérospatiale Gazelle AH1 helicopters, as the venerable type nears retirement. "We do have plans to replace the Gazelle," says Air Cdre Al Smith, capability air manoeuvre at the UK's Joint Helicopter Command. "It hinges on operational outputs so the customer gets the same or better product," he adds, noting: "I think we can probably do better than we do today."

Russia's Military Used 215 New Weapons Systems in Syria

01/31/2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the performance of the Russian military and its hardware during the Kremlin’s campaign in Syria, but stressed that Moscow has to fix problems that were brought to light during those operations. “The rout of the well-equipped terrorist groups in Syria demonstrated the power of our Army and Navy, and the course of the operation demonstrated the tradition of reliability and effectiveness of Russian weapons,” Putin said in a speech.

The Aircraft Carrier Is the Ultimate Weapon of War. Here Are the 5 Best.

01/31/2018

Anyone who's tried to compare one piece of kit—ships, aircraft, weaponry of various types—to another will testify to how hard this chore is. Ranking aircraft carriers is no exception. Consulting the pages of Jane's Fighting Ships or Combat Fleets of the World sheds some light on the problem. For instance, a flattop whose innards house a nuclear propulsion plant boasts virtually unlimited cruising range, whereas a carrier powered by fossil fuels is tethered to its fuel source.

Chinese Military Aircraft Crashes During Training Exercise [Photos, Video]

01/31/2018

According to a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the aircraft went down in Zhengchang Town, Suiyang county, and was later confirmed by PLA on Chinese social media website, Weiko. "In the afternoon of January 29, an aircraft from the Air Force crashed during flight training in Guizhou province. Currently, search and rescue efforts are underway."

First operational JASDF F-35A makes its debut at Misawa AB

01/30/2018

Blue skies and snowy mountains welcomed the first operational Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II during an arrival ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Jan. 26. In the upcoming Japanese fiscal year, nine more aircraft will join this one to incept the first fifth-generation fighter squadron as part of the JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing.

Russian jet flies within 5 feet of US Navy plane, Pentagon says

01/30/2018

A Russian Su-27 jet performed an unsafe intercept of a US Navy surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea Monday, three defense officials told CNN. The American pilots reported that the Russian jet came within 5 feet of the US plane, according to two of the officials.

First modernised Tu-160 makes maiden sortie

01/30/2018

Russia's United Aircraft has flown the first remanufactured Tupolev Tu-160, with the supersonic aircraft performing a short flight from Kazan on 25 January. Watched by a crowd of VIPs including Russian president Vladimir Putin, the 7min sortie was performed at an altitude of 300m, to check the aircraft's handling characteristics.

Nellis blaze damages Australian EA-18G Growler

01/30/2018

Both crew members of a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing EA-18G Growler escaped serious injury when their aircraft caught fire at Nellis AFB, Nevada on 27 January. Confirming the incident via a Twitter post, Australian defence minister Marise Payne said it had occurred "on the runway during take-off," and added: "All personnel are safe, and an inquiry has commenced."

Air Force plans to jam aircraft GPS across the western US during massive weeks-long combat training exercise

01/28/2018

The Air Force is preparing to launch a massive combat training exercise, and indications have emerged that GPS jamming could affect large swathes of the western US during the maneuvers. Red Flag 18-1, as the exercise is officially designated, began on Friday and runs through February 16 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where up to 160 planes will take off daily.

New Tu-160 bomber to strengthen Russia’s nuclear triad — Putin

01/28/2018

New Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber will strengthen Russia’s nuclear triad, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after watching the aircraft perform a flight demonstration in the city of Kazan. "It is a serious step to advance the development of the high-tech industry and strengthen the country’s defense capabilities, because it is one of the elements of our nuclear triad," Putin said while talking to workers at Kazan’s Gorbunov Aircraft Plant.

RAAF fighter plane catches fire at US base

01/28/2018

An Australian air force plane has caught fire during exercises at an American military base in Nevada. A Defence spokesman said the incident involved an RAAF EA-18G Growler fighter jet at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas.

US Army cleared to buy UH-72As, ending three-year lawsuit

01/26/2018

An appellate judge has cleared the US Army to buy a new batch of UH-72As from Airbus, ending a three-year-long battle launched by Leonardo over a decision to award the contract without a competition.

Leonardo plant delivers first F-35B assembled in Italy

01/26/2018

A Leonardo-operated facility in Italy has delivered the first F-35B assembled outside of Lockheed Martin’s main fighter plant in Fort Worth, Texas, the US manufacturer announced on 25 January.

USAF plans to re-open A-10 re-winging contract

01/26/2018

The US Air Force plans to re-open a contract to produce new wings for the Fairchild Republic A-10 and preserve at least some of the three squadrons of fighters now facing early retirement in the absence of the structural upgrade, a top commander says.

Singapore air show looks to the industry's future

01/26/2018

The upcoming Singapore air show and its attendant events will focus on innovation and the future of the industry. At a media briefing prior to the show, the head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Kevin Shum, shared a conceptual video of the industry's future.

Myanmar signs order for six Su-30s

01/24/2018

Myanmar is to obtain six Sukhoi Su-30 fighters under a deal signed during a visit by Russia's defence minister to the Southeast Asian nation. A report by Russia's TASS news agency quotes deputy defence minister Lt. Gen. Alexander Fomin as saying that the aircraft will be the main fighter aircraft of the Myanmar air force.

INTERVIEW: F-16 Viper team pilot aims to inspire next generation

01/24/2018

While flying the F-16 is hard to beat, I truly enjoy interacting with young kids and hope to show them that if they work hard they can find success in their pursuits. I was fortunate growing up with several good role models and people that helped guide me to the path that I am on today. I view my opportunity to be a part of the Viper demo team as a means of giving back and a chance at hopefully inspiring the next generation.

Bell makes progress on V-247 unmanned tiltrotor

01/24/2018

Bell Helicopter is continuing through the preliminary design review stage of its V-247 Vigilant unmanned tiltrotor, as it waits for its intended US Marine Corps customer to deliver precise requirements for the programme.

Boeing still evaluating whether to bid for Canadian fighter contract

01/24/2018

Boeing has yet to decide whether to compete for a contract worth $12-14.5 billion to replace Canada’s tactical fighter fleet. The airframer once had the deal in its pocket before Ottawa terminated plans to buy the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet after Boeing filed a trade complaint against Bombardier last May.

Surplus Kiowa Warriors to bolster Greek army fleet

01/23/2018

Greece should later this year complete the administrative work related to its planned acquisition of 70 Bell Helicopter OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed scouts formerly operated by the US Army. To be sourced via the US military's excess defense articles (EDA) programme, the reconnaissance helicopters, plus related weapons and other equipment, should be delivered from later this year. Initial operational capability with the type is expected during 2019.

Brazil signs option for third SAR-roled C295

01/23/2018

Brazil has exercised a contract option that will lead to it operating a three-strong fleet of Airbus Defence & Space C295 search and rescue (SAR) aircraft by 2020.

State Department clears potential F-35A export to Belgium

01/22/2018

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale of 34 Lockheed Martin F-35As to Belgium worth an estimated $6.53 billion, the agency announced this week. Lockheed still needs Congressional approval, but the State Department blessing moves Lockheed once step closer in its bid to replace Belgium’s aging fleet of 59 F-16A/Bs.

Pentagon's new strategy turns to Russian and Chinese threats

01/22/2018

The US Defense Department’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, the Pentagon policy that will drive its budget priorities for the next five years, pivoted away from counter-insurgency operations and toward more sophisticated security threats, such as China and Russia.

Why Uganda Needed Sukhoi Fighters

01/19/2018

Combat aircraft are among the most important single weapons systems in any country’s arsenal. They are not only the most lethal, but also the most flexible – and most visible – form of military power.

Security risks remain unresolved in new system for tracking military aircraft

01/19/2018

The Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration have yet to resolve security risks to military aircraft posed by a new tracking system required to be implemented in less than two years, according to a government audit released Thursday.

Short-term funding could delay B-21 delivery

01/19/2018

Development and delivery of the US Air Force’s B-21 stealth bomber could stall if Congress passes yet another short term funding bill that would freeze the Pentagon’s spending limit at previous fiscal year levels, a senior USAF official warns.

Jakarta inches closer to Su-35 order

01/19/2018

Jakarta could finalise its order for 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters in the coming months. In an interview with Indoneisan television, the nation's new air force chief of staff Yuyu Sutisna says that concluding the long-awaited acquisition is "something on our plate" and could be formalised in the coming months. In August 2017, Jakarta confirmed that it will buy 11 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft for $1.14 billion, with a major component of the deal involving agricultural commodities.

British companies say their involvement in the F-35 jet production is boosting business

01/18/2018

British businesses have said playing a vital role in the production of the F-35 stealth fighter jet has had a positive impact on their companies. With more than 3,000 of the cutting-edge warplanes set to be produced over the coming decades, 15% of each aircraft will be UK made.

Islamabad Is One Step Ahead of Washington Despite the Military Aid Cut

01/18/2018

When the US abruptly cuts off military supplies to its allies for political or other reasons, the reaction has been predictable: it drive these countries into the arms of the Chinese, the Russians and Western European weapons suppliers.

Russia blasts Britain over RAF jets intercepting Putin's bombers: ‘An excuse to SHOW OFF'

01/18/2018

Putin’s diplomats claimed British military forces used the incident in the skies 35 miles from UK airspace as a “PR exercise”. RAF Typhoons were scrambled to intercept two TU-160 aircraft, which were then pursued by the fighters until they headed back to Russia. The Ministry of Defence released footage of the two British jets flying alongside the Russian bombers – known as Blackjacks by NATO.

NAVAIR plans to install ACAS Xu on MQ-4C fleet

01/18/2018

Northrop Grumman will prepare to modify the MQ-4C Triton unmanned air system with an emerging technology that can be used to help the maritime surveillance aircraft sense and avoid other objects in flight.

Air Force snubs A-10 re-winging effort: POGO

01/18/2018

The US Air Force is letting its close air support workhorse die a slow death by shelving plans to replace the remaining wings on the rest of its Fairchild-Republic A-10C fleet, according to a government watchdog group.

A400M deliveries hit new high in 2017

01/18/2018

Airbus Defence & Space delivered its first A400M of the new year on 12 January, taking its total output of Atlas tactical transports to 56 units so far. Its most recent delivery was the German air force's 15th A400M – service registration 54+16 (MSN64) – from a total commitment for 53 of the four-engined type.

Why Navy Aircraft Carriers Might Be Unsinkable

01/17/2018

Large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are the signature expression of American military power. No other combat system available to U.S. warfighters comes close to delivering so much offensive punch for months at a time without requiring land bases near the action. As a result, the ten carriers in the current fleet are in continuous demand from regional commanders - so much so that extended overseas combat tours are becoming the norm.

UK Scrambles Fighter Jets to Intercept Russian Bombers Over North Sea

01/17/2018

Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed that the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft took off from Royal Air Force (RAF) base Lossiemouth in north east Scotland, without confirming the exact number of Typhoons involved.

Boeing reveals new combat aircraft concept

01/17/2018

American Corporation Boeing revealed the concept of strike and reconnaissance unmanned aircraft during the conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech 2018, Naked Science reported.

DoD IG: Afghan attack pilots are helping turn the tide for troops on the ground

01/15/2018

Less than two years after flying its first combat mission, the Afghan Air Force’s A-29 Super Tucano aircraft are playing a key role in supporting Afghan soldiers on the ground. “When they show up overhead, the Afghan National Army have the confidence to continue attacking on ground,” the deputy commander for Train, Advise and Assist Command-South said in a new Defense Department Inspector General report.

China J-20 stealth jets on training ops in Tibet

01/15/2018

One of the Chinese military’s most recent cutting-edge acquisitions that is expected to be the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) for the next 20 years, the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter aircraft, has started its operational role about two weeks ago in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force by training for battles that are India-centric amid the realisation that control of the skies will be pivotal in case of a possible India-China conflict.

Dassault details Rafale order backlog

01/15/2018

Dassault ended last year with a firm order backlog for 101 Rafales, after delivering nine of the type during 2017. In a financial overview released on 8 January, the airframer says it shipped eight Rafales to Egypt and a single example to the French air force last year, in line with its planning expectations. Additionally, it returned one Rafale M for service with the French navy, after upgrading it to the latest F3 operating standard.

BAE ignites unmanned interest with Magma

01/10/2018

BAE Systems completed initial flight trials late last year with an innovative unmanned air vehicle which is intended to prove its ability to operate future platforms using their propulsion systems, rather than moving control surfaces.

Nigeria to acquire three JF-17 fighters

01/10/2018

Nigeria's proposed 2018 budget document confirms that the African nation will obtain the Chengdu Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 fighter. The nation's 2018 budget allocation document indicates that N13.1 billion ($36 million) will be earmarked as partial payment for three JF-17s. The payment will also cover support equipment and spares.

Yemen's Houthi rebels claim to shoot down Saudi-led coalition's fighter jet

01/09/2018

Yemen's Houthi rebels on Sunday claimed they shot down a fighter jet of the Saudi-led military coalition, though Saudi media reported it only crashed due to technical problem. The jet was shot down in the northern province of Saada on Sunday, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported. "The air defense of the army and popular forces (Houthi fighters) shot down a Saudi-led coalition combat aircraft today," the report said, citing a Houthi military official.

China-Pakistan military ties set to get even closer as ‘iron brothers’ eye new alliance

01/09/2018

With reports that China is planning to build its second offshore naval base near a strategically important Pakistani port it appears that the relationship between Beijing and Islamabad is as strong as ever.

Did Russia Really Lose Seven Warplanes in Syria on New Year’s Eve?

01/07/2018

On Jan. 3, 2018, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that “radical Islamists” had destroyed seven Russian combat jets at Khmeimim, or Hmeimim, air base near Latakia, Syria on New Year’s Eve, 2017. Russian president Vladimir Putin had visited the base earlier that month to praise the troops for their “victory over the most combat capable Islamic militants” and announced a partial withdrawal of Russian forces stationed there.

USAF: Skies over Iraq and Syria are “treasure trove” for adversary eyes

01/07/2018

Russia and China are studying American air power over Syria and Iraq, and US Air Force generals are worried they have already learned too much. In the past, the US competed against the Soviet Union’s brute force and China’s overwhelming numbers, but the two adversaries could soon outpace the US with more sophisticated and wider reaching surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

Stealth War Analysis: F-35 vs Russia PAK-FA, Chinese J-20

01/02/2018

An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be able to use its sensors, weapons and computer technology to destroy Russian and Chinese 5th-Generation Stealth fighters in a high-end combat fight, some service officials said.

Bangladesh to build two air bases

01/02/2018

Bangladesh will build two new air bases to further strengthen its Air Force. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the announcement after inspecting a parade on Sunday by young Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) officers in Jessore, 164 km from Dhaka, Xinhua news agency reported. She said steps were on to establish the new air bases in southern region of Barisal and in Sylhet in the northeast.

Russia's Military Is Proving Just How Dangerous It Really Is (And Testing New Weapons)

01/02/2018

Russia this month announced another draw-down from its combat operations in Syria, which began on Sept. 30, 2015. The Russian military will retain troops in the country, likely indefinitely, where it has demonstrated the capabilities of new weapons and tactics — which together show it has learned from its shortcomings in past operations.

F-35 may see combat in 2018

01/02/2018

After a very long and problematic development process, the F-35 Lightning II is about to serve on the front lines. The US Marine Corps is deploying the F-35B (the short takeoff and vertical landing variant) to ships in the Central and Pacific Command theaters in the spring and summer of 2018. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is traveling aboard the USS Essex, which is headed to the Middle East, while the 31st will be attached to the USS Wasp and might head to the coast of North Korea.

The Gremlins are coming! US military to test 'flying aircraft carriers' that can launch swarms of tiny killer drones in 2019

01/02/2018

They were the mischievous creatures blamed for causing mechanical failures and faults on aircraft during World War Two - before starring in a hit film as destructive monsters. Now, the gremlins are back - as a new type of killer flying drone. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research arm is pitting Dynetics and General Atomics (maker of the Predator drone) against each other in a contest to make the craft.

Trump in Palm Beach: F-16 fighter jets intercept private plane

01/01/2018

Two F-16 fighter jets intercepted a private plane on Sunday afternoon that was flying in air space prohibited during the president’s visits to Mar-a-Lago. According to a spokesman for NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the fighter jets from Homestead Air Reserve Base were already patrolling nearby airspace when they were alerted that a small private plane had violated airspace restrictions.

All Articles