May, 2018 Military Aviation News

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

05/24/2018

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

V-22 crash off Australian coast possibly due to downwash

05/24/2018

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

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

05/24/2018

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

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

05/23/2018

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

Marine Corps orders Switchblade drones from AeroVironment

05/23/2018

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

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

05/23/2018

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

South China Sea dispute: China lands bombers on island

05/22/2018

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

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

05/20/2018

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

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

05/20/2018

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

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

05/16/2018

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

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

05/16/2018

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

USAF prepares for rapid demo of high-energy laser weapon

05/16/2018

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

Netherlands targets Apache remanufacturing deal

05/16/2018

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

Cameroon: U.S. Donates Military Aircraft to Cameroon

05/15/2018

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

Why is China expanding its airbase 160 miles from Taiwan?

05/15/2018

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

Danish west coast could become training region for NATO fighter jet

05/12/2018

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

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

05/12/2018

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

Bangladesh picks Marshall support for secondhand C-130Js

05/11/2018

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

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

05/11/2018

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

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

05/11/2018

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

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

05/10/2018

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

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

05/10/2018

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

Saab begins building structures plant for Gripen in Brazil

05/10/2018

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

Indonesia presses pause on K-FX involvment

05/10/2018

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

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

05/09/2018

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

Leonardo still working to finalise Qatar NH90 order

05/09/2018

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

USN reveals concept to defend aircraft against missile attack with interceptors

05/09/2018

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

USAF launches second phase of light attack experiment

05/08/2018

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

Embraer reports KC-390 runway excursion in Gaviao Peixoto

05/07/2018

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

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

05/07/2018

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

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

05/04/2018

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

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

05/04/2018

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

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

05/04/2018

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

Autonomous refueling considered for KC-46A upgrade plan

05/04/2018

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

USAF teaching dogfighting to small autonomous drones

05/04/2018

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

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

05/02/2018

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

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

05/02/2018

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

US approves AH-1Z attack helicopter sale to Bahrain

05/02/2018

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

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

05/01/2018

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

The widening gap between Indian and Chinese air power

05/01/2018

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

US policy shift could open door for Israeli UAV sales

05/01/2018

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

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