July, 2018 Military Aviation News

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

07/18/2018

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

FARNBOROUGH: L-39 scores 34 commitments

07/18/2018

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

FARNBOROUGH: Lockheed selects BAE for F-16 computer upgrade

07/18/2018

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

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

07/18/2018

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

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

07/17/2018

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

FARNBOROUGH: Saab pushes ahead with Gripen E development

07/17/2018

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

FARNBOROUGH: Airbus details maritime patrol plans for A320

07/17/2018

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

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

07/17/2018

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

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

07/17/2018

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

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

07/14/2018

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

Tornado multirole combat aircraft crashes in Saudi Arabia

07/14/2018

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

Pakistan orders 30 T129 attack helicopters

07/14/2018

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

Leonardo receives Italian order for ATR 72MP

07/14/2018

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

UK approved to buy 200 AIM-120D missiles

07/14/2018

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

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

07/12/2018

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

Slovakia to acquire fourteen F-16 fighter jets from US

07/12/2018

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

KAI Aiming for Spanish and Greek Trainer Deals

07/12/2018

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

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

07/12/2018

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

BAE Systems Awaits UK Combat Air Strategy

07/11/2018

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

AFRL sets first flight date for XQ-58A

07/11/2018

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

Centurion update nears service with RAF Typhoons

07/11/2018

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

USAF starts work on defining adaptive engine for future fighter

07/11/2018

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

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

07/09/2018

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

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

07/09/2018

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

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

07/09/2018

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

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

07/08/2018

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

Germany’s choice for a Tornado replacement could undermine NATO

07/08/2018

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

Tomorrow’s squadron leaders will be accompanied by drones

07/07/2018

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

Swiss call for bids over fighter jets

07/07/2018

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

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

07/07/2018

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

Airbus urges pan-European solution to future combat air system

07/07/2018

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

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

07/06/2018

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

Beijing keen to develop J-15 successor - report

07/06/2018

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

UK committee urges against Wedgetail selection

07/06/2018

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

Canada requests seven additional Australian Hornets

07/06/2018

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

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