October, 2018 Military Aviation News

PICTURES: UK trials unique carrier landing technique with F-35B

10/17/2018

The UK has for the first time tested an experimental shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) technique at sea using a Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning. BAE Systems test pilot Peter Wilson performed the manoeuvre while recovering to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in mid-October, the UK Ministry of Defence confirms.

F-16CM Thunderbird investigation of fatal crash released by US Air Force

10/17/2018

The US Air Force concluded in an accident investigation report that a fatal Lockheed Martin F-16CM Thunderbird crash on 4 April was the result of the pilot suffering loss of consciousness, caused by an 8.56g manoeuvre.

In 2021, A Massive Change is Coming to U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers (And It Makes F-35's Deadlier)

10/16/2018

The MQ-25A Stingray is evolving out of a now-cancelled carrier-launched ISR and attack drone program called Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system, or UCLASS. The Navy will launch formal flight testing in 2021 for a new, first-of-its kind carrier-launched drone engineered to double the attack range of F-18 fighters, F-35Cs and other carrier aircraft.

More Than a Dozen F-22s May Have Been Damaged or Destroyed by Hurricane Michael

10/16/2018

The U.S. Air Force is assessing what damage more than a dozen F-22 Raptor fighters suffered when Tyndall Air Force Base sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. Up to $2 billion in fighter jets were trapped on the ground because of maintenance issues and forced to ride out the Category 4 hurricane. Photographs show the hangars where F-22s were parked suffered severe damage.

More than 80% of F-35s returned to flight operations after inspections

10/16/2018

After completing inspections, more than 80% of operational Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft flown by US services and international partners have been cleared for flight operations. The worldwide fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft was grounded for inspections on 11 October after a problem with the aircraft’s engine fuel tube was discovered, which is believed to be related to the first crash of the stealth fighter a few weeks ago.

PICTURE: Aero Vodochody rolls out first L-39NG

10/16/2018

Aero Vodochody rolled out its first L-39NG jet trainer on 12 October, four years after the Prague-based company announced that it was to launch a new-generation version of its single-engined design at the Farnborough air show in July 2014. Manufacturing of parts and sub-assemblies started in 2017, with pre-serial production having commenced in January and the NG's first flight expected before year-end.

China’s Z-19E attack helicopter set for batch production: report

10/16/2018

The export version of AVIC’s Z-19 reconnaissance/attack helicopter is ready to start batch production following various tests. The company says that the Z-19E export variant has undergone various performance and other tests, reports the official China Daily newspaper. It is produced by AVIC unit Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing. While the Z-19 is operated by the Chinese army, it is not clear if AVIC has secured a customer for the Z-19E.

Defense industry grapples with cybersecurity flaws in new weapons systems

10/15/2018

Almost all of the U.S. military’s newly developed weapons systems suffer from “mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities,” a review of government security audits conducted from 2012 to 2017 found, suggesting military agencies have rushed to computerize new weapons systems without prioritizing cybersecurity.

Pentagon scrambles to bolster war readiness with aging aircraft fleet

10/15/2018

The Defense Department is scrambling for ways to ensure the U.S. military’s fleet of warplanes is able to fly and fight when called upon, despite a string of accidents over the past several months. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently took the unprecedented step of demanding an 80 percent readiness rate for all military aircraft, just days before the Pentagon ordered a fleetwide grounding of the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

China’s Navy Deploys New H-6J Anti-Ship Cruise Missile-Carrying Bombers

10/15/2018

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF) has acquired Xian-H-6J anti-ship cruise missile-carrying bombers, according to satellite imagery taken on September 7. An analysis of the satellite images shows that the first four H-6J bombers — assumed to be the naval variant of the upgraded H-6K — were on the ground at the PLANAF air base at Guiping-Mengshu in Guangxi in early September.

Setting The Record Straight On Why Fighter Jets Can't All Simply Fly Away To Escape Storms

10/14/2018

We have been leading the coverage on the state of aircraft left behind after Hurricane Michael made a direct strike on the highly important Tyndall Air Force Base. We have posted pictures showing QF-16s, Mu-2s, and yes, F-22s, sitting among the rubble inside badly damaged hangars at the base. The USAF has stated that aircraft were left behind, with unofficial figures being reported that range from three to 18 of the precious super fighters riding out the storm on site.

The Air Force's The F-22 Conducted Its First-Ever ‘Combat Surge’. Here's Why That Matters.

10/14/2018

While the Pentagon didn’t specify when the three-day surge occurred, the DoD stated that the squadron faced “both enemy fighters and surface-to-air missile systems” as part of the U.S. response to the Syrian regime’s illegal use of chemical weapons back earlier this year.

AERO VODOCHODY PRESENTS NEW L-39NG MILITARY AIRCRAFT

10/14/2018

Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody on Friday officially presented its new aircraft, L-39NG, a next generation model of the legendary L-39 Albatros, produced by the company since the 1960.

PICTURES: Tyndall Air Force Base suffers severe damage from Hurricane Michael

10/14/2018

Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, home to a Lockheed Martin F-22 training wing and a number of Boeing QF-16 target drones, suffered major damage when Hurricane Michael slammed into the military installation as a Category 4 storm with winds in excess of 130kt (241km/h).

F-22 stealth jets backed down 587 enemy aircraft in their first 'combat surge' over Syria

10/12/2018

US F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets just completed their first "combat surge" in operations over Syria, and in doing so it backed down almost 600 enemy aircraft in the crowded skies there that see Syria, Iranian, and Russian combat aircraft on a regular basis, the Pentagon said.

Second F-22 crash landing in 2018

10/12/2018

A Lockheed Martin F-22 coming in for a landing at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska crash landed and skidded across the runway, the second incident with the aircraft type this year. The US Air Force pilot was able to climb out of the cockpit unharmed, according to Elmendorf AFB. The cause of the incident is under investigation and the extent of damage to the aircraft is unknown.

Worldwide F-35 fleet grounded temporarily for inspections related to crash

10/12/2018

The worldwide fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft was grounded for inspections after a problem with the aircraft’s engine fuel tube was discovered, which is believed to be related to the first crash of the stealth fighter a few weeks ago.

USAF faces challenges to grow fleet, boost readiness

10/11/2018

The US Air Force faces challenges both increasing operational squadrons by 24% to 386 by 2025-2030, as it competes for funds with the US Army and Navy, which are also attempting to grow and modernize their equipment.

Third KC-390 transport conducts maiden flight

10/11/2018

The first series production Embraer KC-390 tactical transport has conducted its maiden flight, and will join the first two examples in the programme’s flight test campaign. “As agreed with the Brazilian Air Force, the aircraft will now join the flight test campaign, in which more than 1,900 flight hours have already been logged,” says Embraer.

Tyndall Evacuates Personnel as Bases Brace for Hurricane Michael

10/10/2018

U.S. Air Force bases located in Florida's panhandle are readying for Hurricane Michael, with some installations ordering mandatory personnel evacuations ahead of the Category 2 storm. Tyndall Air Force Base on Monday ordered the evacuation of all on-and-off-base personnel ahead of the hurricane, which is set to make landfall Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

China to sell 48 high-end military drones to Pakistan

10/10/2018

China will sell 48 high-end armed drones to its "all-weather ally" Pakistan in what a military observer said will be the largest deal of its kind, official media here reported Tuesday. The cost of the major defence deal was not revealed. Wing Loong II is a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aerial system, capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons.

OPINION: Can Boeing use T-X win to revive fighter prospects?

10/09/2018

It may seem premature, given that the champagne corks have only just finished popping in St Louis, Missouri – home to Boeing’s fighter business – on the back of its win in the US Air Force’s T-X trainer contest, but thoughts must surely be turning to what comes next.

Royal Saudi Air Force contingent arrives in Tunisia for joint drills

10/07/2018

The last aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) has arrived in Tunisia with their air, technical and support crews to participate in military exercises with the country’s air force. RSAF aircraft were received by Brig. Gen. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Sahyan, the military attache of the Saudi Embassy in Tunisia, Col. Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Shahrani, the commander of the exercise, and a number of Saudi and Tunisian officers.

Russia Says Its Syrian Air Defenses Can Track Aircraft In Europe, Israel

10/07/2018

Russia says its enhanced air defense system in Syria can spot aircraft on airfields in Europe and Israel. After a Russian surveillance aircraft was accidentally shot down by a Syrian missile during an Israeli air raid on September 18, Russia vowed to boost its electronic warfare defenses in Syria.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet plans a show of military might to deter an increasingly aggressive China

10/06/2018

The U.S. Pacific Fleet is drafting plans for a global show of force to warn China and demonstrate resolve to deter Beijing’s military actions, CNN reported, citing several unidentified U.S. defence officials. The draft proposal from the navy recommends that the Pacific Fleet conduct a series of operations during a single week in November that would involve American warships, combat aircraft and troops.

US clears armed helicopters for Iraq, surveillance aircraft for Canada

10/06/2018

The U.S. State Department has cleared a pair of proposed military sales — armed helicopters for Iraq and surveillance planes for Canada — with a joint price tag of more than $380 million. The two notifications were posted on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Thursday evening. Notifications are not guaranteed sales; members of the Senate could still choose to block the potential sale, and once it passes Congress, sale negotiations can change quantities and dollar figures.

Is India-made fighter possible? It’s never too late to get started

10/06/2018

It may be late in the day to think of an indigenously designed and manufactured fighter jet for the Indian Air Force, as much time has been lost over the decades, but things are still not — yet — beyond redemption. It’s still possible to make up for the time lost. Through diligent research, and by taking stock of the successes and failures on the way. If the right lessons are learnt and a course correction is done.

New Delhi bought 36 Rafales as “emergency” buy

10/06/2018

The chief of the Indian air force has defended the Narendra Modi government’s decision to obtain 36 Dassault Rafale fighters off the shelf, after terminating the long-running Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal.

US Army formally solicits Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft proposals

10/06/2018

The US Army is formally soliciting Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft proposals from the aviation industry. The service's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft Competitive Prototyping programme (FARA CP) will fund an effort to design, build, and test two aircraft, the service said in an online notice posted 3 October. The results of this prototyping and test effort will support a decision to enter into a formal programme of record in 2024.

Sweden offers to supply 8 new Gripen C/D fighter jets to Bulgaria

10/03/2018

Sweden has offered to supply 8 new Gripen C/D fighter jets equipped with the newest MS20 configuration to Bulgaria in response to the request for proposals received from the defence ministry in Sofia, the manufacturer the jets - Saab, said on Tuesday. The first jet can be delivered within 24 months of signing the contract, Saab said in a statement.

Canberra issues RFI for light special ops helicopters

10/03/2018

Canberra has issued a request for information related to “light helicopters” to support special operations. Issued on 25 September, the Department of Defence request solicits information about in-service helicopters “optimised for dense urban environments,” and that can be deployed by Boeing C-17 strategic transports.

Lockheed Martin awarded $632m to make Hellfire II missiles for Netherlands and Japan

10/03/2018

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $632 million contract to manufacture several types of the Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles for the Netherlands and Japan Self-Defense Forces. The fixed-price-incentive foreign military sale contract is estimated to be complete by 30 September 2021, according to a Department of Defense notice posted online 1 October. An undisclosed number of missiles will be produced at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Orlando, Florida.

NAF Reactivates Abandoned Aircraft for Military Operations

10/01/2018

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the in-house reactivation of 2 more platforms to enhance its operational efficiency in the discharge of its constitutional roles. The reactivation, which would enable the Service save huge foreign exchange that would have been expended if carried out abroad, would also improve NAF’s operational capability.

Days after multiple US bomber flights, Chinese warplanes did 'live fire shooting drills' in the South China Sea as tensions in the region boil

10/01/2018

A few days after multiple US bomber flights over the disputed waters of the South China Sea, fighters and bombers from the Chinese military carried out live-fire exercises over the same area — the latest round of drills in a period of increasing tension between the two countries.

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