December, 2018 Military Aviation News

Keeping combat edge is going to be a challenge

12/10/2018

The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has taken 26 years to get from the beginning of development in 1992 through to its first operational use in combat earlier this year by the Israeli Air Force over Syria. It is the most advanced warplane in the world today, and the RAAF is not only taking delivery of the first two of 72 F-35As, but has the option to order another 28 aircraft next decade.

Williamtown RAAF Base taking delivery of first two F-35A joint strike fighters

12/10/2018

The first of Australia’s F-35A joint strike fighters will touch down at Williamtown RAAF Base on Monday. Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, will be among the waiting dignitaries as two of the $125 million planes arrive from Brisbane after leaving Arizona last week.

USAF looks for stopgap GPS hardening for special ops C-130Js

12/08/2018

Increased anti-GPS electronic warfare from adversaries and delays to the launch of the GPS III network are forcing the US Air Force Special Operation Command to look for GPS hardening technology for its MC-130J and EC-130J aircraft to be used as a stopgap.

Boeing receives contract to build Japan a second KC-46A tanker

12/08/2018

Boeing received a $159 million contract from the US Air Force to build a second KC-46A tanker for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The aerial refueling tanker will be manufactured in Seattle and is expected to be completed by 30 June 2021. In December 2017, the USAF awarded Boeing a $279 million contract to produce Japan's first KC-46 tanker aircraft.

ANALYSIS: UK on a roll after F-35B carrier trials

12/08/2018

After more than a decade of study, experimentation, modelling and simulation, the UK has successfully completed a first phase of testing using a shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) manoeuvre for the Lockheed Martin F-35B on board the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Royal Air Force Dogfighting with Royal Navy Over Scarce F-35s

12/06/2018

When there aren’t enough F-35s to go around, who should get them: The air force or the navy? That question is reportedly roiling the British military as the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy dogfight over which F-35 stealth fighters the cash-strapped UK should buy. The Royal Navy is furious at alleged RAF plans to grab many of the 138 F-35s that Britain is purchasing, according to Britain’s Sky News .

Germany, France to add Spain to fighter program: sources

12/06/2018

Germany and France will welcome Spain as a full partner in their program to develop a next-generation air combat system, and expect to sign an agreement finalizing the move at the Paris Air Show in June, German government sources said on Wednesday. Paris and Berlin initially planned to offer Spain only observer status on the program, but changed their plans after extensive discussions with Spanish officials, according to a separate source familiar with the matter.

Rescue search after collision between US Marine F-18 Hornet and C-130 Hercules off Japan

12/06/2018

An air and sea search has been launched off the coast of Japan for seven US Marine aircrew after a F/A-18D Hornet fighter and a KC-130 Hercules tanker collided during a refuelling manoeuvre. Both aircraft crashed into the sea about 300km out from their base at Iwakuni. The incident happened about 2am local time (4am AEDT).

US Marine Corps looks to buy two C-40 executive transports

12/06/2018

In addition to providing the Texan II trainers, Affinity has sourced 23 G120TPs from Grob Aircraft and five Embraer Phenom 100s – all "configured to meet the needs of the UK Ministry of Defence". The new types are respectively employed in the basic, elementary and multi-engine crew training categories. Deliveries commenced with a first batch of G120TPs being accepted at RAF Barkston Heath in Lincolnshire in November 2016. Affinity notes that the final aircraft's transfer was made ahead of its

PICTURE: T-6C arrival completes UK trainer fleet renewal

12/06/2018

A key milestone in the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme was met on 3 December, with the early arrival of the last of 38 fixed-wing aircraft acquired via Elbit Systems UK/KBR joint venture Affinity Flying Training Services. The last of 10 Beechcraft T-6Cs acquired as replacements for the Royal Air Force's Short Tucano T1 turboprops – registered ZM332 – arrived at the service's Valley base in Anglesey, north Wales, following a delivery flight from Wichita, Kansas.

J-10C Fighter Aircraft Participating In Pak-China Joint Air Force Exercise: Military Expert

12/05/2018

China's J-10C fighter aircraft, currently taking part in the Pak-China joint air force exercise, is equipped with an Active Electronically Steered Array system (AESA) as well as an optoelectronic detection system. An improved version of China's J-10, the aircraft was activated for the combat missions in April this year, Wang Zhiming, a Chinese military expert told the news website China.org.cn on Tuesday.

Sikorsky aims to push aircraft sales with Chilean office

12/05/2018

Sikorsky's parent company Lockheed Martin intends to register an office in Chile to help push aircraft sales in Latin America. The company said it is in the process of registering an office with the Chilean government, adding that it intends to also use the site as a base for naval business in the region.

USAF fields new aircrew mask to protect against WMD contamination

12/05/2018

The US Air Force has started to field its Joint Service Aircrew Mask (JSAM) for helicopter aircraft in November as part of a larger effort to shield its personnel against contamination from weapons of mass destruction. The JSAM mask provides better protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contamination for aircrew on the HH-60G Pave Hawk and UH-1N Huey aircraft, said the USAF. It replaces the Aircrew Eye and Respiratory Protection system.

Airbus and Lockheed team for US tanker services

12/05/2018

Airbus and Lockheed Martin have signed a memorandum of agreement to jointly "explore opportunities" in the US aerial refuelling market, eight years after the European airframer lost out to rival Boeing in a bid to supply new tankers to the US Air Force.

First flight for upgraded C-27J

12/05/2018

Leonardo's aircraft division has performed the first flight of its C-27J transport in a new baseline configuration. The sortie took place on 3 December from the manufacturer's plant in Turin, northern Italy. Featuring a number of avionics and cockpit upgrades, the new configuration is designed to make the aircraft compliant with next-generation air traffic management requirements and reduce military obsolescence issues.

Poland accelerates fighter replacement plans

12/04/2018

Poland is to accelerate the replacement of its air force's RAC MiG-29 fighters and Sukhoi Su-22 ground-attack aircraft on the instructions of the country's defence minister. Mariusz Blaszczak, minister of national defence, has repeatedly stated his aim of removing Soviet-era aircraft from Warsaw's inventory.

Italy first in Europe to have F-35A fleet declared initial operational capable

12/04/2018

The Italian Air Force declared its F-35A Lightning II fleet initial operational capable on 30 November, making the force the first in Europe to achieve the mark. Italy intends to procure a total of 90 F-35 aircraft. The country’s air force, Aeronautica Militare, plans to buy 60 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing aircraft and 15 F-35B short-take-off-and-vertical-landing aircraft (STOVLs), while the navy, Marina Militare, is planning to acquire 15 F-35B STOVLs.

KC-46A completes Phase II receiver aircraft testing

12/04/2018

The Boeing KC-46A aerial tanker programme completed its Phase II receiver aircraft tests after finishing three weeks of flights with F-15E aircraft out of Edwards Air Force Base, California. Receiver certification for the KC-46A started in April 2018 with the Lockheed Martin F-16, says Boeing. A joint US Air Force Boeing team has completed receiver tests with Boeing KC-135, Boeing C-17, Fairchild Republic A-10, KC-46, Boeing B-52 and Boeing F/A-18 aircraft since then.

Missiles, Fighter Jets And Much More: How China Just Showed Off Its Military Muscles

12/03/2018

Think tanks normally do not put the fear of God in you, but a new report from the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) does the job. The report, “AirShow China 2018: ‘China Dream,’ Air Power and Deterrence,” demonstrates that China’s defense modernization and industrial efforts are “underscoring the role the sector has in President Xi Jinping’s broader nationalist vision of turning China into a great power.”

UkrOboronProm hands over combat aircraft, helicopters and UAVs to Armed Forces of Ukraine

12/03/2018

Ukraine’s state-owned defense industrial group, UkrOboronProm, has officially handed over a combat aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to the Armed Forces of Ukraine on 1 December. UkrOboronProm said in a statement that the Armed Forces of Ukraine received multirole upgraded MiG-29 fighter jets, heavy multirole high-maneuvering all-weather Su-27 fighter aircraft, combat and transport helicopters, L-39 training aircraft, and Spectator unmanned aerial systems.

US government, Boeing to help Japan upgrade missile, electronic warfare capabilities for F-15 jets

12/02/2018

Japan’s planned upgrade of its Boeing F-15 Eagle fighter jets will involve support from the United States and Boeing, the Japanese Defense Ministry has confirmed. Shigeyuki Uno, the principal deputy director of the defense planning and programming division of Japan’s Ministry of Defense, told Defense News during an interview at the ministry’s headquarters that the U.S. government and Boeing will provide support for the upgrade through the Foreign Military Sales process.

Poroshenko: Over 80,000 Russian troops in and around Ukraine

12/02/2018

More than 80,000 Russian soldiers are present at Ukraine's borders and the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula, as well as the rebel-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the Ukrainian president. As he rallies for international support against Moscow, Poroshenko said Russia had about 1,400 artillery and rocket systems, 900 tanks, 2,300 armoured combat vehicles, more than 500 military planes and 300 helicopters in and around Ukraine.

Russia deploys fighter aircraft at airfield near occupied Sevastopol

12/01/2018

Satellite imagery recorded 24 units of fighter aircraft, including 16 units of Sukhoi Su-27 of different modifications, 8 Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircrafts. Russia deployed fighter aircraft and other military equipment at the Belbek airfield, which is located in the occupied by Russia Crimea. The press office of the Ministry for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons reported this.

The 80 percent directive: How will combat aircraft get to Mattis' readiness goal?

12/01/2018

Given the current status of our combat aircraft, the recent directive by Secretary of Defense James Mattis that all the Air Force, Navy and Marines achieve a mission capability rate of above 80 percent by Oct. 15, 2019, for their four key tactical aircraft — including the F-16, F-18, F-22, and F-35 fighters — would appear to be both an impossible goal and, more importantly, an empty gesture that will not change much.

OPINION: Is China closing military gap with USA?

12/01/2018

China’s rising military prowess is a cause for ­concern among those of its neighbours unfortunate enough to be locked in territorial disputes with Beijing, but also increasingly for the US armed forces and any number of Western companies trying to export their equipment around the globe.

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