September, 2018 Military Aviation News

Air supremacy by stealth

09/24/2018

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

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

09/24/2018

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

USAF to take gradual approach in hypersonic acquistions

09/24/2018

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

Seoul set to re-launch training helicopter tender

09/24/2018

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

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

09/22/2018

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

Switzerland to test combat missiles in Sweden

09/22/2018

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

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

09/22/2018

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

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

09/21/2018

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

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

09/21/2018

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

Thai air force to take four more H225M helicopters

09/21/2018

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

Qatar makes first payment against Typhoon buy

09/20/2018

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

RAAF combat squadron receives first F-35A

09/20/2018

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

Russian aircrew deaths: Putin and Netanyahu defuse tension

09/19/2018

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

The effort to counter Russian aggression in Europe is growing daily

09/17/2018

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

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

09/17/2018

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

Time running out for BAE Typhoon sale to Qatar

09/17/2018

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

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

09/17/2018

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

US government backs South Korean P-8A buy

09/17/2018

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

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

09/14/2018

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

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

09/14/2018

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

Aircraft carrier-based fighter jet officially capable of night combat

09/14/2018

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

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

09/13/2018

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

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

09/13/2018

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

Spain plans to take more NH90 helicopters

09/13/2018

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

Japan cleared to buy nine additional E-2Ds

09/12/2018

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

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

09/11/2018

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

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

09/11/2018

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

NATO rotates Baltic, Romanian air policing duties

09/11/2018

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

AVIC rolls out first FTC-2000G light fighter

09/11/2018

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

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

09/10/2018

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

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

09/10/2018

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

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

09/08/2018

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

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

09/08/2018

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

India's Tejas clears in-flight refuelling hurdle

09/08/2018

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

OPINION: Does US Air Force need a Loyal Wingman?

09/08/2018

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

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

09/08/2018

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

Boeing bolsters Apache team for Polish contest

09/08/2018

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

Navy Aircraft Carriers Are Getting a Big Upgrade

09/06/2018

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

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

09/06/2018

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

Boeing KC-46 attains FAA supplemental type certificate

09/06/2018

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

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

09/06/2018

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

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

09/05/2018

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

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

09/05/2018

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

Austria advances Alouette helicopter replacement plan

09/05/2018

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

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

09/04/2018

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

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

09/04/2018

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

PICTURES: Singapore's first A330 tanker makes public debut

09/04/2018

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

US Air Force not large enough to handle future global threats

09/04/2018

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

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