2019 Military Aviation News

The Invisible Anniversary Of The B-2 Bomber

07/18/2019

This week we’ll mark the 50th anniversary of the first men landing on the moon, a magnificent achievement that we still marvel at half a century later. Wednesday marked another anniversary in the annals of aerospace history that is less well known, but of significant consequence for the security of our nation—the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the B-2 stealth bomber aircraft on July 17, 1989.

RAF to develop hypersonic planes which could top speeds of more than 3,000mph to dodge missiles

07/18/2019

The RAF has set out plans that could see the production of hypersonic planes flying at more than 3000mph. The Ministry of Defence has announced it is investing £10 million to develop new hypersonic engines that could be used to power manned fighter jets and drones.

Moscow, Ankara may discuss fighter aircraft deal, says Russian deputy PM

07/18/2019

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov has said Moscow would consider signing an agreement for the sale of fighter aircraft to Turkey. The Russian Deputy Minister signalled a possible deal between the countries when responding to a question on whether Russia and Turkey could sign an agreement for combat aircraft, Euronews Turkish reported on Wednesday.

Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-22 to miss 80% mission capability rate

07/18/2019

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis ordered the USAF and US Navy (USN) in September 2018 to increase mission capable rates for the F-35, F-22, F-16 and Boeing F/A-18 to more than 80% by the end of September 2019. The mission capability rate is defined as the percentage of a fleet of an aircraft that are able to perform at least one assigned mission over a period of time.

PICTURES: UK's second F-35B squadron arrives at Marham home

07/18/2019

Six Lockheed Martin F-35Bs assigned to the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) 207 Sqn operational conversion unit touched down at the service’s Marham base in Norfolk on 16 July. The short take-off and vertical landing aircraft arrived at their new home following a 10h flight from the US Marine Corps’ MCAS Beaufort site in South Carolina. The deployment was supported by RAF Airbus A330 Voyager tanker/transports.

A Close Look At The Indian Air Force Su-30MKI Deployed To France for Garuda VI Exercise

07/17/2019

From Jul. 1 to 12, 2019, the Indian Air Force has deployed four Su-30MKI Flanker derivatives, belonging to the 15 Wing based at Bareily Air Force Station (AFS), along with an Il-78MKI Midas aerial refueler from the 78 Sqn, based at Agra AFS, to Mont-de-Marsan, France, as part of Exercise “Garuda IV”. A C-17 Globemaster III airlifter supported the deployment of 120 military that took part in the two-week drills in Europe, the largest joint exercise for the IAF this year.

Finland scrambles combat jets to identify three Russian military aircraft (Photo)

07/17/2019

Finland has scrambled its F/A-18 combat jets to identify three Russia military aircraft above the Gulf of Finland. "Finnish Air Force F/A-18s on #QRA [quick reaction alert] were scrambled on 15 July to identify Russian Tu-160, A-50 and Su-35 aircraft in international airspace above the Gulf of Finland and the northern part of the Baltic Sea," the Ukrainian-registered media outlet European Pravda reported, citing the Finnish Air Force's tweet.

Trump blames Turkey-F-35 dispute on Obama-era Patriot decision

07/17/2019

President Donald Trump blamed former President Barak Obama for Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 missile system – a decision which has caused the USA to ban the sale of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II to the country.

USAF starts construction of permanent F-35 base in Europe

07/17/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) and the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Infrastructure Organisation broke ground during a ceremony on new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath on 15 July.

Marshall, Boeing sign UK E-7 risk-reduction contract

07/17/2019

Boeing and the UK's Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group have signed a risk-reduction-phase contract linked to the latter's modification of five 737NGs for the Royal Air Force (RAF) E-7 airborne early warning and control system aircraft acquisition.

ANALYSIS: Skyworks gyrocopter returns from the brink

07/16/2019

Skyworks Global’s retro gyrocopter concept took a turn back toward the serious via a partnership with Northrop Grumman-owned Scaled Composites to design, build and test its first prototype aircraft. Utah-based Skyworks believes its VertiJet gyrocopter could have a 348kt (644km/h) cruise speed with a range of 1,000nm (1,852km). The company thinks it could have a prototype flying in 18 to 24 months now that it has the rapid prototyping expertise of Scaled Composites backing its project.

PICTURES: UK's first Poseidon MRA1 makes flight debut

07/16/2019

The UK’s first Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft made its flight debut on 12 July, with company test pilots completing a short transfer from the manufacturer’s Renton final assembly site to Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. Online flight tracking sites show that the debut sortie lasted 47min.

France eyes Chinook helicopter acquisition

07/16/2019

France is considering the acquisition of an undisclosed number of special forces-roled Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters for its air force. Although the French military operates extensive numbers of Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracal and NH Industries NH90 Caiman rotorcraft – both in the 11t class – the country's deployment in Mali has been augmented by three Royal Air Force Chinooks.

USA clears Greek MH-60R acquisition

07/16/2019

The US government has cleared the potential sale of seven Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to Greece. The $600 million package includes the rotorcraft, which are optimised for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare tasks, as well as sensors, weapons, and services related to the acquisition.

First used Australian fighter jets now flying in Canadian colours, plans underway to extend jet fleet to 2032

07/15/2019

The first two fighter jets purchased from Australia are now operational and plans are underway to upgrade those and other jets to keep the country’s CF-18 fleet in the air until 2032. The upgrade program, which will include improvements to navigation systems, communications and other systems, and eventually a new series of weapons and other combat enhancements for a smaller number of planes, could cost up to $1.5 billion, said Brig.-Gen. Todd Balfe.

Two more F-35 fighter jets land in Israel, bringing IAF’s declared total to 16

07/15/2019

Two F-35 fighter jets landed in Israel Sunday, the army said, bringing the number of fifth-generation stealth aircraft that the military says it has in its arsenal up to 16. The Israel Defense Forces’ first two F-35 jets arrived in December 2016. Approximately a year later, the stealth fighter — known in Israel as the Adir — was declared operational, and several months after that, the head of the air force revealed that the aircraft had conducted bombing raids.

CHINA TO CUT TIES TO U.S. BUSINESSES SELLING WEAPONS TO TAIWAN: 'CANCEL THE ARMS SALES IMMEDIATELY'

07/13/2019

China announced it will blacklist U.S. businesses selling weapons to Taiwan, a breakaway island nation over which Beijing claims sovereignty. Addressing a regular press briefing Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang condemned the recent $2.2 billion sales of M1A2T Abrams Tanks and Stinger man-portable air defense systems to Taiwan.

Turkey defies USA by taking delivery of Russian S-400 missiles

07/13/2019

Defying threats from the USA that it would be cut from the F-35 stealth fighter programme, Turkey took delivery of the first batch of components for the Russian-built S-400 surface-to-air missile system on 12 July.

North Korea Warns It Will Develop Special Weapons In Response To South Korea's Acquisition Of F-35 Jets

07/12/2019

North Korea has criticized South Korea for the latter’s purchase and ongoing deployment of American F-35 stealth fighter jets and threatened it will respond by developing and testing its own special weapons to destroy the aircraft. North Korea’s warning comes as South Korea expressed hope that the recent summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un will help revive dialogue between the Koreas.

Portugal to buy five Embraer military planes for 827 mln euros

07/12/2019

Portugal’s government will buy five KC-390 military transport aircraft and a flight simulator from Brazilian aerospace company Embraer for 827 million euros ($932 million), Defence Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho said on Thursday. The first of the five planes will be delivered to the Portuguese armed forces in February 2023, with the rest arriving by February 2027.

Boeing B-52 bombers to get new Raytheon AESA radars

07/12/2019

Boeing says it selected Raytheon to design, develop, produce and sustain the radars, which will be based on the company’s APG-79/APG-82 radar family used on the USAF’s F-15E fleet. Low rate initial production is scheduled to start in 2024 and the radar is intended to be used on the bomber fleet beyond 2050.

IAF's French Mirages Fly With Russian Missiles, Thanks To Israeli 'Jugaad'

07/11/2019

The R-73 was already in service with the IAF's Sukhoi 30s, MiG-29s and MiG-21 'Bison' jets but integrating these onto a Western platform had never been attempted. In Air Force circles, its been referred to as the ultimate 'jugaad' or innovative fix - mating a Russian air-to-air missile to an Israeli helmet mounted display to be worn by an Indian pilot flying a French-built Mirage 2000 fighter.

IAF to adopt ASRAAM missile across its fighter fleet

07/11/2019

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to adopt a new European visual range air to air missile across its fighter fleet. The Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) of European missile-maker MBDA has been approved for fitting on Jaguar jets and the IAF was looking to integrating it on the Su-30MKIs and the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) as well, defence sources said.

Boeing Defense catching up with helicopter and tanker deliveries

07/11/2019

After struggling with manufacturing and parts design problems last year, issues which delayed dozens of deliveries, Boeing Defense, Space & Security matched its 2018 delivery totals in the first six months of the year, with 96 military aircraft received by customers.

Bulgaria approves F-16 purchase

07/11/2019

Bulgaria's government has given the green light for the $1.25 billion acquisition of eight Lockheed Martin F-16Vs. Approval from the council of ministers was obtained on 10 July, with the agreement likely to be put before the country's parliament next week.

Australia lays out plans for new attack helicopters

07/11/2019

The Australian Department of Defence has issued a request for information (RFI) related to a future acquisition of up to 29 attack helicopters to replace the army's 22 Airbus Helicopters Tigers. The RFI was issued under the auspices of Canberra's LAND4503 requirement. It foresees deliveries commencing in the mid-2020s.

U.S. Air Force deploys squadron of F-15E fighters to Europe

07/10/2019

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Air Forces Africa has reported that one squadron of F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets was deployed to Europe. According to a statement, the U.S. Air Force deployed one squadron of F-15E Strike Eagles, Airmen, and associated equipment to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, for theater familiarization and to conduct training with allies, partners, and other U.S. Air Force aircraft in Europe.

Kuwaiti pilots graduate, train on Eurofighters

07/10/2019

Seven Kuwaiti military pilots have graduated from Italy receiving courses that included training on one of the world’s most formidable combat aircraft, the Eurofighter Typhoon. The airmen have completed the courses at the International Flying School and graduated at a ceremony held at the southern air base of Galatina. Eurofighter joint international bureau said in a statement on Tuesday that the graduation ceremony, held last Friday.

Without additional $157 million, US Army aviation readiness projected to suffer

07/10/2019

Without an additional $157 million, U.S. Army aviation readiness could suffer, according to an omnibus reprogramming request sent to Capitol Hill on June 25. The Army is asking congressional defense committees to approve the injection of $157 million into Army aviation readiness drawn from other fiscal 2019 accounts to fill a funding gap.

Boeing reassures it’s still in the Canadian fighter competition

07/10/2019

After a news report that said it might pull out of Canada’s fighter competition, Boeing says it’s still participating in the process and hasn’t made any final decisions. Boeing and Airbus, which are respectively offering Ottawa the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon, have complained in letters to Canada’s Department of National Defence that its procurement competition is unfairly favouring Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter, according to a report by Reuters.

AVIC official sounds upbeat note about FC-31: report

07/10/2019

Development of the AVIC FC-31 fighter is going well, and the aircraft is destined to enter service with the People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to its chief designer. A report the official China Daily newspaper quotes Sun Cong, a chief researcher at AVIC's Shenyang Aircraft Corporation unit, as saying that observers can expect news about the project at some point. "You will see its latest developments in due course, in the near future," Sun is quoted as saying.

Indian Air Force chief to fly cutting-edge Yak-130 trainer jet during Russia visit

07/09/2019

The commander of India’s Air Force is heading to Russia for visits to an array of facilities and to try the country’s newest subsonic jet trainer, just as India’s military looks to upgrade its fleet of combat aircraft. India didn’t reveal much about Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa’s “goodwill visit” to Russia, but said the top-tier commander will visit some “operational and training units” and will have talks with his Russian counterparts.

IAF finalises for 56 medium transport aircraft and 114 fighter jets

07/09/2019

As the budget has been all done, the Indian Air Force is now pushing for the two long-pending mega projects that form a part of PM Modi-led ‘Make in India’ project. With a total worth of about Rs. 1.5 lakh crore, the project for Tata-Airbus consortium’s 56 medium transport aircraft is set to commence this year while the other one for 114 fighter jets will have to wait to get to that stage.

New stealth jet project moving ahead on pace

07/09/2019

China's development of the FC-31, the country's second stealth fighter jet, is proceeding smoothly and on schedule, according to its chief designer. Sun Cong, president of the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment under Aviation Industry Corporation of China, said at a news conference on Thursday in Shenyang, Liaoning province, that people should be patient and wait for good news from the project.

PICTURE: First RCAF C295 conducts maiden flight

07/09/2019

The first Airbus Defence & Space C295 aircraft due for Canada’s Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement (FWSAR) programme has had its maiden flight. Airbus says that this places the aircraft on track for delivery by the end of 2019, whereupon it will begin operational testing.

U.S. Air Force works to push boundaries of speed

07/08/2019

In an op-ed for the Airman official magazine of the U.S. Air Force, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Air Force Research Laboratory officials have provided few details about future of American combat aircraft. According to the Airman, Air Force Research Laboratory and DARPA are working to push the boundaries of speed and make future technologies possible today.

China Likely Tested Missiles That Can Kill Aircraft Carriers in the South China Sea

07/07/2019

Earlier this week China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force most likely tested a DF-21D or DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missile—sometimes know as "carrier-killers"—in the South China Sea. Details remain sketchy, as Chinese spokesmen have remained close-mouthed about the exercise. The test came on the heels of news last May that PLA weaponeers had installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, and Mischief Reef, west of the Philippine Island

Sneaky: America's F-22 Stealth Fighter Snuck up on an Iranian F-4 Phantom

07/07/2019

It was a close call. Back in 2013, Pentagon press secretary George Little said that an Iranian air force F-4 Phantom combat plane attempted to intercept a U.S. MQ-1 Predator drone flying through international airspace near Iran. As we reported back then, one of the two F-4 Phantom jets — in service in Iran since the Shah — came to about 16 miles from the Predator, but broke off pursuit after two American planes escorting the drone broadcast a warning message.

U.S., Indonesian air forces wrap up Cope West ‘19

07/07/2019

The seventh iteration of Cope West, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored, bilateral tactical fighter aircraft exercise involving U.S. and Indonesian air forces, concluded with a closing ceremony at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, Manado, Indonesia, June 28. Cope West is designed to advance interoperability and build upon already-established partnerships between U.S. military forces and Indonesian air forces, with the end goal of enhancing both sides’ combat capabilities and unit readiness.

Russia scrambles fighter jet to intercept US surveillance plane over Black Sea

07/06/2019

The Russian Defence Ministry on Friday said that it scrambled a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft to intercept a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance jet heading towards the Russian airspace over the Black Sea. "A Su-27 fighter jet as part of the Southern Military District's air defences was scrambled to intercept the target. The crew flew the aircraft at a safe distance to the aerial target and identified it as a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance jet.

THE PIROUETTING S-97 RAIDER MAKES YOUR HELICOPTER LOOK LAZY

07/06/2019

EVEN AT SEVEN in the morning, the south Florida heat and humidity is stifling. It steams up eyeglasses and feels like an iron on your skin. An alligator lurks in a stagnant pond water between the taxiway and the runway. Perhaps a spy sent by Bell, Sikorsky’s chief competitor for the contract to build the Department of Defense’s next generation of vertical-lift aircraft.

?Investigation, sustainment cloud Indian PC-7 deal

07/06/2019

Indian media reports indicate that investigations are underway into New Delhi’s May 2012 purchase of 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II basic trainers. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is apparently looking into corruption allegations related to the basic trainer aircraft contract worth approximately US$523 million, following the completion of a three-year inquiry into the deal.

India edges forward with rebooted plan to acquire 110 fighters

07/05/2019

The Indian defence ministry’s response to a parliamentary question suggests that a plan to obtain 110 advanced fighters is inching through New Delhi’s bureaucracy.The response followed a question posted by a parliamentarian regarding India’s ambitions for “public private partnerships” to develop indigenous manufacturing capabilities.

Boeing to produce or remanufacture up to 600 AH-64E Apaches

07/04/2019

The US Army plans to grant Boeing a multiyear contract for the production or remanufacture of up to 600 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. The potential contract’s value was undisclosed, though it would consist of a five-year multiyear contract or one-year contract with options from FY2022 to FY2026, according to a US Army notice online. The army intends on sole sourcing the work to Boeing and posted its plan online so as to give other potentially interested parties a chance to bid.

NATO AWACS base to trial digital tower technology

07/04/2019

NATO's main operating base for its Boeing E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) fleet is to trial the use of digital tower air traffic control technology next year, with equipment supplied by Swedish venture Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions.

Boeing, Airbus in MoU for future RAAF P-8A sustainment

07/04/2019

Boeing Defence Australia and Airbus Australia Pacific have agreed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) related to future sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft fleet.

UK's Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 vs Russia's Sukhoi Su-30 and Su-27: RAF releases photos of face-off near Estonia's airspace

07/03/2019

The RAF released photos of the Eurofighter Typhoon jets, part of Operation AZOTIZE of the Baltic Air Policing mission in Estonia, intercepting the Russian Sukhoi Su-30s on June 14 and 15. Ten days later, the Typhoons were directed to intercept two Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighters.

Hill F-35s join big allies in combat exercise over the Mediterranean

07/03/2019

Troops and jets from Hill Air Force Base recently took to the sky with a pair of the United States’ most well-known allies. According to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs office, members of Hill’s 388th Fighter Wing flew their F-35 Lightning IIs with counterparts from the United Kingdom and Israel during “Exercise Tri-Lightning” on June 25.

Practice Makes Perfect: F-35s and F-16s Conclude 8 Hour War Game

07/03/2019

The active duty 388th Fighter Wing (FW) and Reserve 419th FW conducted a very unique integrated defensive counter-air exercise from Apr. 30 to May 2, 2019 at the Utah Test and Training Range. The friendly and enemy forces were made up of F-35 Lightning IIs from Hill Air Force Base (AFB), F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 311th Fighter Squadron at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, and 80th FS at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, and a team of contracted aggressor pilots from Draken International.

Second deadly German military air crash in a week

07/02/2019

An army helicopter crashed in northern Germany on Monday (Jul 1), killing the pilot, defence officials said, in the second fatal crash in a week for a military plagued with equipment problems. The aircraft hit the ground in Aerzen, near Hamelin in northwest Germany, at around 1.45pm (1145 GMT). The reason for the crash is not yet known.

Three-nation F-35 exercise demonstrates air power interoperability

07/02/2019

F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft from the U.S, United Kingdom and Israel participated in Exercise Tri-Lightning over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, June 25. Exercise Tri-Lightning was a one-day defensive counter air exercise involving friendly and adversary aircraft from the three participating countries and consisted of active and passive air defense operations. This exercise is a demonstration of the interoperability between the U.S., U.K. and Israel using the F-35A, F-35B and F-35I respect

Senate Calls for Additional HH-60Gs for Air National Guard

07/02/2019

The U.S. Senate is calling for additional Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopters (CSAR) for the Air National Guard to account for delays in the HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter program and planned replacements of HH-60Gs lost in combat.

CHINA MAY BUY MORE ADVANCED RUSSIAN JETS, IGNORING U.S. SANCTIONS

07/02/2019

China is reportedly considering an offer to purchase more advanced Russian fighter jets, once again ignoring U.S. sanctions. The state-run Tass Russian News Agency cited the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation as saying Wednesday it was "expecting a response from China on our offer to purchase modern weapons and military equipment manufactured in Russia, including additional batches of Su-35 fighter jets."

Russia offers more Sukhoi Su-35S fighters, which can detect F-35 stealth jets, to China

06/29/2019

The +9 g capable Su-35S is a supermanoeuvrable fighter with thrust vectoring engines. Russia claims the Su-35S jet is a quantum leap from Sukhoi’s Su-27 fighter and is just behind the 5th Generation Su-57 stealth aircraft, which the Russian Air Force has started to deploy, in terms of technology.

F-35 Test And Evaluation Centre – Behind The Scenes

06/29/2019

This is the moment a Royal Air Force Voyager refuels a £190 million UK F-35B combat aircraft over the Nevada Desert in a test of the capabilities of the UK’s most advanced warplane. As the tempo increases to prepare the UK’s F-35B for deployment, we exclusively go behind the scenes of the test centre in Edwards, California. The mid-air process is similar to that of refueling a Typhoon currently on Operation Shader and takes up to five minutes per jet to refuel.

Naval Aviation Facing Unexpected Budget Shortfall; Options to Slow Spending Being Considered

06/28/2019

The naval aviation community is facing a budget shortfall of at least $100 million for the current fiscal year and may have to cut back flight hours and other operations between now and the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year, USNI News learned. Commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic Rear Adm. Roy Kelley has notified Navy leadership and the numbered fleets that the aviation community is considering not scheduling additional flyovers until the new fiscal year.

Turkey hints at other partners for first national fighter jet

06/28/2019

The mock-up model of Turkey's first national and domestically developed national combat aircraft, the TF-X, debuted last week at the Paris Air Show. Being developed by Turkish aerospace engine manufacturer, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the aircraft is expected to be one of the best combat aircraft in the world. Reportedly, the first flight is planned for 2023. In 2017, the Turkish Kale Group established a partnership with British Rolls-Royce to produce an aircraft engine for the TF-X.

Eurofighters collided at high altitude: Luftwaffe

06/28/2019

Germany's air force has disclosed further details about the fatal collision between two Eurofighter combat aircraft that took place near Rostock on 24 June. The pair were part of a formation of three single-seat Eurofighters practising an air combat mission at an altitude above 9,800ft, the Luftwaffe says.

PICTURES: UK F-35s make operational debut

06/28/2019

The UK gave an operational debut to its Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning force in mid-June, with the fifth-generation type having flown missions over Iraq and Syria alongside Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons.

Russia Reportedly Developing Its Own AC-130-Like Gunship From Converted An-12 Cargo Planes

06/27/2019

Russia is reportedly looking to develop an AC-130-like gunship armed with a pair of 57mm automatic cannons, as well as additional smaller guns. The first phase of the project would involve the conversion of an Antonov An-12 Cub cargo plane into a flying testbed to experiment with different weapons and tactics, techniques, and procedures.

IAF F-35'S TRAIN WITH US AND UK F-35'S FOR FIRST TIME

06/27/2019

Earlier this week, IAF F-35's took part in an international exercise with the United States and the United Kingdom for the first time, an IDF spokesperson announced on Wednesday. During the exercise, known as Tri-Lightning, Israeli F-35's trained alongside F-35's from the US and UK over the Mediterranean Sea. IAF forces practiced defense scenarios against changing threats in various advanced fighter aircraft, including the F-35.

Chinese military tests heavy aerial delivery with unmanned transport aircraft

06/26/2019

The Chinese military has tested an unmanned transport plane that successfully delivered cargo at a designated area, making it a future prospect for airdropping cargo through parachutes in real battle conditions, official media here reported on Monday.

Five Sobering Lessons From Iran's Downing Of America's Most Capable Drone

06/26/2019

Iran's destruction of a U.S. Global Hawk unmanned aircraft with a surface-to-air missile near the Strait of Hormuz should be a wake-up call for proponents of autonomous or remotely-piloted warfighting systems. The era of drone warfare is not upon us, because the vehicles currently available for military purposes are too limited in their capabilities to survive combat with a reasonably well-equipped adversary.

UK F-35Bs flying combat missions over Syria, Iraq

06/26/2019

Britain’s most advanced military aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, has flown its first missions over Syria and Iraq as part of ongoing operations against remnants of the Islamic State group, the U.K.'s defense secretary said. Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt said in a statement released Tuesday that that the jets’ first operational mission from a British air base in Cyprus was made following a highly successful training period.

UK’s newest F-35B combat aircraft successfully completed its first operational missions

06/26/2019

The U.K. Ministry of Defense has confirmed that its newest and most advanced fighter jet, the Lightning F-35B, has successfully completed its first operational missions. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense has announced F-35Bs have flown alongside Typhoon aircraft on operational flights over the skies of Syria and Iraq, as part of the ongoing fight against Daesh.

Probe begins into fatal German Eurofighter crash

06/26/2019

An investigation is under way into a fatal collision involving of a pair of German air force Eurofighter combat aircraft near Rostock on 24 June. The two jets were part of a formation of three single-seat Eurofighters from the Luftwaffe's 73 Squadron, which had taken off for a training flight from their base at Rostock airport, close to the Baltic Sea.

Japan Says Fighter Jets Scramble After Russian Military Aircraft Violate Airspace

06/24/2019

The Japanese military says its fighter jets were forced to scramble after two Russian military aircraft violated its airspace. The Defense Ministry said in a statement on June 20 that two Russian TU-95 bombers approached southern Japanese islands, including Kyushu, from the north before heading north toward the Japanese mainland.

Donald Trump says military action against Iran still 'on the table'

06/23/2019

President Donald Trump said Saturday he's still considering military action against Iran after it downed an unmanned US military aircraft, saying the use of force is "always on the table until we get this solved." The president said he aborted a military strike set for Thursday after learning 150 people would be killed. "I don't want to kill 150 Iranians. I don't want to kill 150 of anything or anybody unless it's absolutely necessary," he told reporters as he left the White House for a weekend.

UK RAF Eurofighter Typhoon jets intercept Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighters near Estonian airspace

06/22/2019

United Kingdom's Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets have been regularly tracking, monitoring and intercepting Russian fighters in the skies near the Estonian border as part of Operation AZOTIZE of the Baltic Air Policing mission. RAF Typhoon jets on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) intercepted Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft flying to the north of Estonia twice in two days.

South China Sea: Satellite image shows Chinese fighter jets deployed to contested island

06/22/2019

A satellite image obtained by CNN shows China has deployed at least four J-10 fighter jets to the contested Woody Island in the South China Sea, the first known deployment of fighter jets there since 2017. The image was taken Wednesday and represents the first time J-10s have been seen on Woody or any Chinese-controlled islands in the South China Sea, according to ImageSat International, which supplied the image to CNN.

These are the jets Iran would use in a fight with the US

06/22/2019

After 40 years of sanctions and arms embargoes, Iran's air force has slowly become an eclectic mishmash of aging platforms sourced through various channels. If war were to break out between Iran and the United States today, US pilots would find themselves squaring off with Iranian pilots in a swarm of old American, Soviet, and Chinese jets. Some of these planes, like the Northrop F-5 Tiger II, have seen update efforts over the years. Others, however, are thought to be barely sky-worthy.

PARIS: Eurofighter launches long-term enhancement programme

06/22/2019

The long-serving Eurofighter Typhoon could soon see additional enhancements as part of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) effort, which aims to boost the platform’s capabilities until next-generation assets – such as the Franco-German New Generation Fighter revealed earlier this week – are brought into service.

PARIS: Airbus defence chief targets technological edge

06/22/2019

After six months in position as Airbus Defence & Space’s head of military aircraft, Alberto Gutierrez was at the show in upbeat mood, buoyed by a new contractual agreement with customers of the A400M tactical transport and the swift progress being made with a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme for France, Germany and Spain.

Iran claims shoot down of RQ-4 Global Hawk

06/20/2019

Further raising tensions in the Middle East, the government of Iran claims to have shot down a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV) over Kuh Mubarak, a coastal area of Iran at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.

PARIS: Boeing looks to F/A-18 E/F Block III for overseas boost

06/20/2019

Boeing is optimistic on the international prospects for the Block III version of its F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. The company sees an opportunity to sell more than 350 aircraft across six major fighter competitions, and is in discussions with other unspecified countries, Boeing vice-president Thom Breckenridge says.

PARIS: Lockheed Martin juggles F-35 upgrades with fixing issues

06/20/2019

The company plans to modernise the aircraft over the next several years with a progression of enhancements. Additions will include Automated Ground Collision Avoidance Software, several new pieces of electronics hardware – such as an integrated core processor, cockpit display unit and aircraft memory system – new software to control loyal wingman unmanned air vehicles, anti-ballistic missile capabilities, extended-range fuel tanks and several undisclosed classified features.

PARIS: Bell-Boeing tries to sell V-22 despite lacklustre interest

06/19/2019

With its ability to offer bulk discounts to foreign militaries closing within about a year, the Bell-Boeing joint venture that makes and sells the V-22 Osprey hopes to close deals for up to 50 aircraft. Boeing says that about a dozen prospective customers are on its radar, and it is encouraging them to sign a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for the tiltrotor by the third quarter of 2020. Prospective customers include Israel and possibly blue water navies that need to resupply ships on long

PARIS: F-35 to take about half of fighter market over next decade

06/19/2019

The worldwide fighter market could grow by 17.2% over the next decade, representing a total output of 3,401 aircraft. That production volume would be worth $264 billion in FY2019 dollars, according to a report by Forecast International.

PARIS: NATO tanker fleet passes countermeasures test

06/18/2019

Officials involved in the multinational multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) fleet (MMF) – which will see eight adapted Airbus A330s pooled between five European nations – are keen to introduce more countries to the capability-sharing agreement.

PARIS: USAF still finding FOD in Boeing KC-46 and expects more

06/18/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) continues to find foreign object debris (FOD) inside the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tanker, including loose material found this week, and it expects to discover objects for the foreseeable future.

PARIS: Turkish Fighter emerges, as US spat intensifies

06/18/2019

Turkish Aerospace is one of the many companies at this year’s show to have pulled the covers off a new full-scale aircraft model – its fifth-generation Turkish Fighter (or TF-X) – and even stole some of the limelight from the unveiling of the Franco-German Future Combat Air System at the same time.

PARIS: Dassault and Airbus unveil New Generation Fighter

06/18/2019

Dassault kicked off its home show attendance in some style, unveiling a full-scale model of a proposed next-generation fighter that it and industrial partner Airbus Defence & Space soon expect to advance towards a first demonstration phase.

Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks

06/17/2019

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in remarks published Sunday that the kingdom will not hesitate to confront threats to its security and joined the U.S. in accusing its bitter rival Iran of being behind the attacks on two vessels traveling near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital trade route for Arabian energy exports in Asia.

Russian EW Weaknesses Endure While Other Nations Innovate

06/17/2019

Airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems are becoming an increasingly important part of the electronic systems in fighter aircraft. Moreover, the functionality of many airborne EW designs are no longer just limited to being a self-protection system. One of the secondary—but growing in importance—features of this technology is to be able to record all the signals and electronic emissions that the aircraft is either subjected to or in range of during its mission.

Iranian threat to shipping is real and growing, as US ‘smoking gun’ video evidence shows

06/15/2019

The U.S. military released an aerial video last night that shows an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps patrol boat removing a magnetic mine from the hull of the Japanese tanker Kokuka Courageous after it apparently failed to explode. The video, recorded by a U.S Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft, appears to have caught the Iranians red-handed, trying to remove the evidence that would directly link the Guard Corps to the coordinated attack on two tankers yesterday in the Gulf of Oman.

2,000 air force personnel from 4 nations join Red Flag-Alaska exercises

06/15/2019

Red Flag-Alaska, an exercise involving 2,000 personnel, 85 aircraft and the air forces of four Pacific Rim countries, is underway, the U.S. Air Force announced. The majority of the aircraft, from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the South Korean Air Force, the Royal Thai Air Force and the U.S. Air Force, are flying from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Eielson Air Force Base, both in Alaska.

Revised contract signature restores A400M prospects

06/15/2019

Airbus’s launch partners for the A400M Atlas tactical transport have signed a key contract amendment via Europe’s Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) defence procurement agency, concluding a process initiated by the airframer more than two years ago.

USAF does carry test of hypersonic ARRW missile on B-52 bomber

06/14/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) conducted a carry test flight of its AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) on a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress aircraft on 12 June at Edwards AFB in California. The prototype did not have explosives and was not released from the B-52 during the flight test, says the USAF. Instead, a sensor-only version of the ARRW prototype was carried externally by a B-52 during the test to gather environmental and aircraft handling data.

Italy orders 13 additional M-345 trainers

06/14/2019

taly has signed for 13 more Leonardo M-345s in a deal worth €300 million ($333 million), bring to 18 the number of the new trainers ordered by Rome. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2020, and the Williams International FJ44-4M-34-powered jets will be located at Galatina air base near Lecce.

PICTURES: Rafale M in marathon carrier deployment

06/14/2019

Dassault Rafale M fighters operating from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle are performing well during an epic long-range deployment. FlightGlobal visited the ship in Singapore three months into a cruise that has included the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and finally the Straits of Malacca.

The Pentagon is battling the clock to fix serious, unreported F-35 problems

06/13/2019

Over the past several years, U.S. Defense Department leaders have gone from citing technical problems as their biggest concern for the F-35 program to bemoaning the expense of buying and sustaining the aircraft. But the reality may be worse. According to documents exclusively obtained by Defense News, the F-35 continues to be marred by flaws and glitches that, if left unfixed, could create risks to pilot safety and call into question the fighter jet’s ability to accomplish key parts of its miss

Spain’s military still has eyes for the F-35 despite European fighter push

06/13/2019

The Spanish navy and air force are still interested in the American F-35 fighter jet, even though the government is about to join a Franco-German program to develop a new European plane. The two services are in the beginning stages of an analysis in which the Lockheed Martin-made aircraft is emerging as a key contender, officials told reporters on the sidelines of the FEINDEF defense expo here in late May.

USAF forced to move Boeing KC-46A funds to sustain older KC-135s

06/13/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to move $57 million in FY2020 funds from the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tanker programme to support the cost of flying and maintaining its fleet of older KC-135 Stratotankers longer than it expected.

UK to pursue new partnership model for Tempest collaboration

06/13/2019

The UK wants to adopt a new partnership arrangement with international participants in its Tempest next-generation combat aircraft programme, in an effort to avoid the rigid workshare model employed during previous joint efforts.

F-35A flights will resume with pilots undergoing special training

06/12/2019

The Defense Ministry will resume flights of F-35A stealth fighter jets that have been suspended since an April crash off Aomori Prefecture, with pilots to undergo training for spatial disorientation to prevent similar accidents. “We will carefully provide an explanation to related local governments,” Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said on June 10, when the ministry released the results of its investigation into the crash.

Greece Mulls Purchase of F-35 Fighter Jets from the US

06/12/2019

Greece is among the potential buyers for new F-35 fighter jets from the United States, according to Admiral Mathias Winter, head of the Pentagon office for the F-35s. The information was made public in a Reuters report which came out on Tuesday. According to Admiral Winter, Greece, Singapore, Romania, Spain and Poland are all among the future potential buyers of the aircraft.

U.S. Air Force deploys F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft to Germany

06/12/2019

“The U.S. Air Force has deployed one squadron of F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft, Airmen, and associated equipment to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, at Hill AFB, Utah, to participate in exercises and conduct training with other Europe-based aircraft as part of a Theater Security Package,” the Air Force said on Tuesday.

Sikorsky awarded $542m to build six ‘Marine One’ helicopters

06/12/2019

Sikorsky was awarded a $542 million contract from the US Navy (USN) to build six production VH-92A Presidential Helicopters, an aircraft which will be known by the call sign “Marine One” when the president of the USA flies aboard.

Wellington taps C-130J as preferred type for airlift upgrade

06/12/2019

Wellington has selected the Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transport as the preferred candidate to replace its five C-130H aircraft. It will seek pricing information on the aircraft via the US government’s Foreign Military Sales mechanism, says a defence ministry statement. Replacing the C-130Hs with a new type is “the highest priority project” for the government’s Defence Capability Plan in 2019.

Pentagon and Lockheed agree to $34bil deal for hundreds of F-35s

06/11/2019

In what is billed as the largest procurement contract in the history of the Department of Defense (DoD), Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon reached a $34 billion “handshake agreement” for hundreds of F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters. The agreement covers the purchase of 478 F-35 aircraft over low-rate initial production lots 12, 13 and 14. The Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin are negotiating on the final details of the contract, which would cover aircraft delivered to the USA, as well

ANALYSIS: Turkey ban to wipe out 20% of F-35 sales in Europe

06/11/2019

Lockheed Martin was building several F-35A Lightning IIs for Turkey on its production line in Fort Worth, Texas when FlightGlobal toured the factory on 9 May. A small version of the country’s flag, red with a white star and crescent moon, was optimistically posted in front of each fuselage being assembled.

Tokyo attributes F-35A crash to pilot disorientation

06/11/2019

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) believes pilot disorientation caused the crash of a Lockheed Martin F-35A on 9 April. A Reuters report quotes defence minister Takeshi Iwaya as saying that it is “highly likely the pilot was suffering from vertigo or spatial disorientation and wasn’t aware of his condition.” In addition, no distress call was received from the pilot, nor has the investigation into the crash revealed that he tried to eject.

U.S. Air Force B-2 Stealth Bomber to Get New Nuclear Weapon This Year

06/10/2019

New weapons and technologies arming the Air Force’s stealthy B-2 bombers are expected to bring “massive firepower to even the most heavily-defended targets,” according to an official service acquisition report. Specific adjustments, as outlined by the report, include the expected delivery of a new “earth-penetrating” upgraded B-61 mod 12 nuclear bomb for the aircraft - to arrive as soon as this year.

United Technologies, Raytheon announce massive merger

06/10/2019

The aerospace units of United Technologies - Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney - are to be merged with Raytheon. The boards have approved the all stock merger of the two companies, according to a joint statement from the two companies. “The transaction will create a premier systems provider with advanced technologies to address rapidly growing segments within aerospace and defense,” say the two companies.

U.S. orders end to Turkey’s involvement in F-35 program

06/08/2019

The Pentagon on Friday told Turkey that it is cutting off Ankara’s purchase of F-35 fighter jets if the Turkish government goes ahead with plans to buy a Russian missile defense system, ratcheting up what has been a lengthy, heated dispute between the two NATO allies.

InstantEye launches extended-range Mk-3 microdrone

06/08/2019

InstantEye has launched a new long-endurance variant of the Mk-3 GEN4D quadcopter that can fly for more than 50min. Called the Mk-3 GEN4-D1, the new surveillance drone uses a proprietary battery to increase its flight time by 20min, says InstantEye. The small unmanned air vehicle (UAV) is designed to be carried by a soldier in a backpack and then rapidly launched to gather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information for tactical-level situations.

Lockheed Martin eyes 500 F-35 fighters in Europe

06/08/2019

With the Pentagon wavering over the number of F-35s it wants to buy, Lockheed Martin has turned its gaze on Europe. The company is bullish on selling the aircraft to America’s European allies. It believes that by 2030 there will be more than 500 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters deployed in Europe – more than the number of Eurofighter Typhoons currently in operation worldwide.

US firm to make F-21 in India

06/07/2019

Lockheed Martin, US military aviation giant that is offering its F-21 fighter jet to India, says it will make the jet locally and is already working to tie up with Indian suppliers. The firm along with six other global companies is in the tender to produce 110 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.

Optionally piloted Sikorsky UH-60A makes first manned flight

06/07/2019

A Sikorsky UH-60A that was retrofitted with fly-by-wire controls and an autonomous flight control kit made its first manned flight on 29 May in West Palm Beach, Florida. Sikorsky is conducting follow-on flight testing throughout the summer of 2019 to expand the optionally piloted helicopter’s flight envelope. It plans to conduct a fully autonomous flight without any pilots in 2020.

Jordan military tries to sell off ‘knock-off’ Chinese drones

06/06/2019

The Royal Jordanian Army and Air Force (RJAF) is attempting to sell more than two dozen aircraft, including six recently delivered Rainbow CH-4B unmanned air vehicles (UAV) built by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The country’s armed forces posted its intent to sell the aircraft online on 3 June without explanation. It will close bidding on 1 July.

Saab to test electronic attack jammer pod on Gripen

06/06/2019

Saab will later this year conduct a first test flight of a Gripen C/D carrying a pod-housed electronic attack jammer, as it eyes potential sales opportunities with European air forces. A product of the Swedish company's Arexis family of electronic warfare equipment, the low-band jammer is contained within a demonstrator pod that is 4m (13.1ft) long and weighs 350kg (770lb).

India’s Air Force Mulls Arming Su-30MKI Fleet With I-Derby Extended Range Missiles

06/04/2019

The Indian Air Force is considering arming its fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole air superiority fighter jets with the Israeli-made Rafael Advanced Defense Systems I-Derby extended range (ER) beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) by 2022, according to local media reports.

Air Force An-32 transport plane missing after taking off from Assam, search ops to continue overnight

06/04/2019

An Indian Air Force transport aircraft has gone missing after taking off from an airbase in Assam. The last contact with the aircraft -- an Antonov An-32 military transport aircraft - was at around 1pm today. 13 people were onboard the plane, including eight crew members and five passengers.

Insitu sells 34 ScanEagle drones to Southeast Asian countries

06/04/2019

The tactical UAVs are expected to all be delivered by March 2022, according to a Department of Defense notice online. In addition to the aircraft, the orders provides for spare payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services and labour of field service representatives.

Boeing eyes international KC-46A, E-7 opportunities

06/04/2019

Boeing is working on potential international deals related to its KC-46A tanker and the 737-based E-7 airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. The company has delivered 11 KC-46As to the US Air Force, and aims to have 18 delivered by the second quarter and “somewhere between 36 and 40 by the end of the year,” says Boeing vice-president Jeff Shockey, speaking with reporters in Singapore in late May.

UAE submits request to buy three Boeing tanker aircraft

06/03/2019

The United Arab Emirates has issued a request to the United States to buy three tanker aircraft, manufacturer Boeing has confirmed. Jeff Shockey, Boeing’s vice president of global sales for defence, space and security, confirmed the request letter had been submitted by the UAE in comments to reporters at a media event in Singapore, according to a report by the Defence News website.

Israel attacks Syrian base hours after hitting other targets

06/03/2019

Israel fired missiles onto a Syrian military air base in the country’s center late Sunday, killing a soldier and wounding two others hours after other Israeli attacks in southern Syria killed three soldiers and wounded seven, Syria’s state-run media said.

Russia Built This Jet to Shoot Down the SR-71 Spy Plane

06/03/2019

In 1964, the Soviet Union’s awesome MiG-25 Foxbat jet fighter flew for the first time. Specifically designed to intercept the U.S. Air Force’s spy planes, the MiG-25 could routinely reach Mach 2.8—nearly three times the speed of sound.

The Secret Is Out: How Russia Somehow Captured U.S. Fighters (And Tested Them Out)

06/01/2019

It’s no secret that the United States has flown captured — or otherwise acquired — Soviet and Russian aircraft for test, evaluation and training. The Soviet Union returned the favor. The RT video below contains some quite famous footage of a U.S.-made Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter — formerly stationed at Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam — flying in Soviet markings in mock combat with a Soviet MiG-21.

Malaysia to buy used Kuwaiti fighter jets to expand fleet

06/01/2019

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) plans to acquire used Kuwaiti fighter jets while waiting to purchase new aircraft in the next 10 to 15 years. RMAF chief General Affendi Buang said Kuwait is planning to phase out its existing fleet of Hornet FA-18C and 18D aircraft as it waits for the delivery of the Boeing Super Hornet aircraft in 2021.

Japan receives first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

06/01/2019

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has taken delivery of its first Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. “Northrop Grumman’s longstanding partnership with Japan is beginning a new chapter with the delivery of the first Japan E-2D,” says Northrop Grumman’s Jane Bishop.

Denmark, Greenland and the F-35

05/31/2019

The Russians have expanded the perimeter of their defense capabilities in the Arctic and in so doing have raised concerns from the other Arctic powers. This is clearly a core concern for the Nordics and an important input to their defense modernization efforts, nationally and collectively.

Saab ready to offer Canadian-built Gripen fighters to Ottawa

05/31/2019

Saab is ready to sell the Canadian government 88 Canada-built Gripen fighters should Ottawa require home-built aircraft. The Swedish combat aircraft manufacturer cautions nothing is finalised and its offer will ultimately reflect Canada’s formal request for proposal (RFP). The company expects the final RFP to be issued around midyear by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

Malaysia More Inclined Towards Indian HAL Tejas Over Pakistani JF-17 Thunder – Reports

05/30/2019

Will Malaysia eventually purchase the Indian HAL Tejas over other competitors including Pakistani/Chinese JF-17 Thunder? According to the key sources, the Malaysian Government is quite keen on evaluating the HAL Tejas and is making a lot of enquiries which are being promptly answered.

Boeing and Sikorsky confirm bids for German CH-53G replacement

05/30/2019

Germany’s effort to replace its ageing heavy transport helicopter fleet is gathering pace, with both Boeing and Sikorsky formally confirming their interest in the requirement. Berlin in February issued a “call for competition” for the Schwerer Transporthubscrauber (STH) programme, requiring responses by late May.

Middle East demand could boost F-35 sales to 4,600 units: Lockheed

05/30/2019

Lockheed Martin believes that worldwide sales of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter could reach 4,600 units, a 15% increase from its previous projection. The company said as recently as 24 May that it projected the F-35 to have a lifetime sales potential of 4,000 aircraft. The current programme of record for the F-35 is around 3,200 examples; though that count includes planned purchases as well as signed orders.

KAI lands contract for Thai T-50TH work

05/30/2019

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has entered a $52 million contract related to Bangkok’s purchase of T-50TH advanced jet trainers. “The deal is an Upgrade & Modification program which aims to equip the T-50TH Jet trainers which RTAF operates with radars and the [radar warning receiver], and [counter measures dispenser system],” says KAI.

Poland reaffirms interest in F-35

05/30/2019

Poland has deepened its interest in the Lockheed Martin F-35, with the country’s defence minister indicating that it intends to purchase 32 examples of the fifth-generation fighter. Mariusz Blaszczak says it intends to acquire the A-model variant to replace its Soviet-era RAC MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-22 aircraft under the Harpia programme.

Australian military aircraft targeted with lasers during South China Sea flights

05/29/2019

Chinese maritime militia vessels are believed responsible for a series of laser attacks on Australian Navy pilots during a recent voyage through the hotly contested South China Sea. Defence sources have confirmed helicopters were targeted during night flights, forcing the pilots to temporarily return to their ship for medical check-ups.

Update: Poland formally requests F-35A combat aircraft

05/29/2019

Poland has issued a formal request to the US for the procurement of 32 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft, the country's defence minister announced on 28 May.

Boeing wins $259m USAF weapon planning software contract

05/29/2019

Boeing subsidiary Tapestry Solutions has won a 10-year contract worth up to $259 million from the US Air Force (USAF) to provide Weapon Planning Software for the service’s combat aircraft. Also called mission planning software, Tapestry’s programme is designed to help the USAF and allied air forces plan the details of combat missions, including routes, the location of threats and the points at which precision-guided weapons are launched.

France accelerates H160M helicopter acquisition

05/29/2019

France has advanced by 12 months the launch of its tri-service helicoptere interarmees leger (HIL) programme, enabling first delivery of the Airbus Helicopters H160M in 2026. Paris had previously planned a 2022 launch for its rotorcraft renewal effort, which will replace five types with just one, with deliveries set for later that decade.

AIRBUS 50: The future of Airbus Defence & Space

05/29/2019

Today’s Airbus Defence & Space can trace its corporate heritage back to roughly the same point as its parent company’s creation as a commercial aerospace entity, when Germany’s Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) was formed in 1969.

Russian experts to visit Turkey to help putting S-400 systems into operation

05/28/2019

Russian technical specialists will pay a visit to Turkey to help putting Russian-made S-400 missile systems into operation, Turkish Minister of National Defence Hulusi Akar told the Haber Turk TV channel on Monday.

Israel Strikes Syrian Target After Anti-aircraft Fire at Fighter Jet; Syria Says One Officer Killed

05/28/2019

Israel struck a Syrian military target in Quneitra on Monday after an anti-aircraft missile was launched earlier at an Israeli fighter jet, the Israeli army said. Also Monday, a report in the Lebanese media outlet Al Mayadeen said an israeli drone struck a reconnaissance compound in southern Lebanon. An additional report said the Lebanese army was at the scene investigating the compound, which is said to be Israeli.

PICTURES: India conducts second air-launched Brahmos test

05/28/2019

The Indian air force recently conducted the second launch of the Mach 2.8 Brahmos cruise missile from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter, and the country's weapons developers have also tested a new 500kg guided bomb. India’s defence ministry says the 22 May Brahmos launch went well and the aircraft scored a direct hit on a land target.

Strafing sorties to begin for F-35 pilots

05/26/2019

The introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter into service with the Royal Australian Air Force is on track to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) in December 2020, despite the recent unexplained crash of a Japanese aircraft.

Finland Works Its Fighter Replacement Program

05/25/2019

At the beginning of the 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Finland established a stance of enhanced independence when it purchased Hornets from the United States and began a process of working with Western allied airpower.

Gripen E testing ahead of schedule, vendor claims

05/25/2019

Flight-testing of Saab’s Gripen E combat aircraft is moving faster than anticipated, according to Eddy de la Motte, vice president and head of the Gripen E/F business unit at Swedish manufacturer Saab. De la Motte told a media briefing that tests to fire MBDA’s Meteor missile had been carried out by test aircraft 39-8 and 39-9 in northern Sweden. “We’d planned two weeks for the testing and were able to get everything done in one,” the executive remarked.

Pompeo pushes $8.1bn in arms sales citing unnamed Iranian threats

05/25/2019

In a controversial move, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing unnamed threats from Iran, bypassed approval from the US Congress and pushed through the sale of $8.1 billion of arms to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

USAF claims 100 years cut from weapons development cycles

05/25/2019

The US Air Force claims to have cut 100.5 years of what it deems “unnecessary schedule” from its weapons development programmes since May 2018. As part of its “Century Challenge” goal, the service is trying to streamline and accelerate development programmes to keep pace with adversaries such as Russia and China who are rapidly innovating in areas such as hypersonic missiles and anti-aircraft defences.

F-35 and F-15EX fighter jets could get drone wingmen in the coming years as part of the Skyborg programme

05/24/2019

Unmanned drones, powered by artificial intelligence, may soon accompany US Air Force Pilots on missions as autonomous wingmen. Both Boeing's F-15 and Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets are being considered for the 'Skyborg' drone support program. The scheme would cut down on the amount of people in the jets and could both reduce the risk to pilots and be more economical.

China Overhauls Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Fighter Jet

05/24/2019

China has reportedly overhauled a Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 “Thunder” Block I multirole fighter jet of the Pakistan Air Force in March, according to media reports. Citing a report by China Aviation News, the website Defense World.Net states that the overhaul of the aircraft was carried out by Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Company, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

US Navy awards Raytheon $235m for 23 JPALS units

05/24/2019

The US Navy (USN) awarded Raytheon a $235 million contract for 23 units of the company’s Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems (JPALS). The fixed-price-incentive contract was anticipated for several months now. It will pay for launch of serial production, as well as installation of JPALS on the USN’s 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and eight amphibious assault ships.

Lack of situational awareness blamed for RAF C-130J write-off

05/23/2019

UK military investigators have attributed a 2017 incident, in which a Lockheed Martin C-130J operated by the Royal Air Force’s 47 Sqn was written off, to the flightcrew’s lack of situational awareness as they attempted to land on a temporary strip in darkness. However, the Defence Safety Authority (DSA) notes that a “variety of inter-linked factors compounded this lack of [situational awareness] making the accident more likely.”

US intercepts Russian bombers ‘snooping’ around Northern Edge war-games in Alaska

05/22/2019

The US has scrambled a flight of F-22 Raptor interceptors in response to four Russian bombers and two fighters prying off the coast of Alaska. It was all fair, safe and ‘professional’. But when Russian bombers loiter off the United States’ front gate, people get nervous. Yesterday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)— a joint effort between the US and Canada — detected two flights of Russian aircraft approaching Alaska.

Bulgaria reveals why it might stop talks to buy F-16 fighter jets

05/22/2019

Bulgaria may walk away from negotiations with the U.S. for the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, according to Bulgaria’s defense minister, instead turning to Sweden or Italy for new combat aircraft. As part of Bulgaria’s tender to acquire eight new fighter jets for its military, Italy offered the Eurofighter Typhoon and Sweden offered the Saab JAS 39 Gripen. The Bulgarian Air Force aims to replace its outdated Soviet-era Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets with Western-made air

Boeing to test CH-47F Chinook with two 7,500shp engines

05/22/2019

Boeing plans to soon test fly a CH-47F Chinook Block II helicopter with two GE Aviation T408 turboshaft engines, which each produce 7,500shp (5,600kW). The GE T408 turboshaft has 2,500shp more than the helicopter’s current engine, the Honeywell T55. It is certificated and installed on the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) forthcoming heavy lift helicopter, the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion.

More hints about Beijing's aircraft carrier ambitions

05/22/2019

Beijing’s ambitions for a large aircraft carrier have gained more clarity, with the emergence of detailed artist impressions of the Xian KJ-600 airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft, as well as satellite imagery of a Chinese shipyard. Recent artists impressions posted on social media offer more details about the Xian KJ-600, which is expected to be a key part of future People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) carrier air wings.

Bell V-280 completes low-speed manoeuvre demo

05/22/2019

Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor completed a series of low-speed pitch, roll, and yaw manoeuvres at the company’s Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas in early May. The company says the rotorcraft’s flight demonstrations show that it meets the US Army’s Level 1 handling qualities requirements. Bell believes those qualities will roughly reflect what the service wants from its Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA).

USA-Turkey F-35 crisis grows with S-400 delivery before July

05/22/2019

Russia could deliver the S-400 anti-aircraft system to Turkey before July possibly forcing the USA to withhold delivery of Ankara’s F-35A stealth fighters. The US and its allies are concerned that Turkey’s plan to buy the Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system could expose vulnerabilities of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II – weaknesses which could then be exploited by Russia.

7 French fighter jets make emergency landing in Indonesia

05/20/2019

Banda Aceh, Indonesia: Poor weather conditions have forced seven French navy fighter jets taking part in a training exercise to make emergency landings in northern Indonesia, an Indonesian air force official said on Sunday. The crews of the seven Dassault Rafale combat planes landed safely at Sultan Iskandar Muda air force base in Aceh province on Saturday, 90 minutes after taking off from their aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Indian Ocean.

F-15C Eagle's New Infrared Search And Track Pod Spotted At Huge Exercise In Alaska

05/19/2019

The U.S. military's biannual Northern Edge exercise is in full swing in Alaska and a picture has emerged showing an F-15C Eagle taking part in the drills while carrying a Lockheed Martin Legion Pod. This system has an infrared search and track sensor, or IRST, which offers the pilot an important additional way to detect and track other aircraft at significant ranges.

Electronic warfare squadron activated at Eglin AFB

05/19/2019

A new squadron has been added to the 53rd Wing, which is responsible for operational testing and evaluation of new equipment and systems proposed for use by the service’s combat air forces. The 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron was formally activated in a ceremony held Friday at Eglin Air Force Base. It will be part of the wing’s existing 53rd Electronic Warfare Group.

California Air Nation Guard Pilot Being Evaluated, Aircraft Was from South Dakota ANG.

05/18/2019

A U.S. Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed into a large warehouse building while attempting to land at March Reserve Air Force Base in Riverside County, California on Thursday afternoon, May 16, 2019 at approximately 3:45 PM local time. The pilot of the aircraft ejected and is being evaluated in a local hospital according to news outlets.

Greek navy takes initial reactivated P-3B

05/18/2019

Greece has received its first revived Lockheed Martin P-3B Orion as part of a “rebirth” of the country’s maritime patrol capability as it brings stored aircraft back to service. Following work performed by Hellenic Aerospace Industries (HAI), the initial aircraft, described as an “interim” step, was presented to Greece’s navy on 17 May.

Switzerland earmarks Swfr6 billion for fighter replacement

05/18/2019

Switzerland's government has allocated Swfr6 billion ($5.85 billion) to replace by 2030 the nation's ageing Boeing F/A-18 and Northrop F-5 fighters as part of a wider overhaul of its air defences. The government states that the federal defence department has been tasked to draft by early September a procurement proposal, which has then to be approved first by the country's parliament and then voters via a referendum.

Boeing suggests propulsor, winged AH-64 Apache variant for US Army

05/18/2019

Boeing is showing off conceptual images of what it calls a Compound AH-64 Apache, a variant of the attack helicopter with a pusher propeller and small wing. The company says it would have increased range and speed – capabilities initially envisioned for the US Army’s Future Vertical Lift Capability Set 3, a medium-lift utility and attack rotorcraft. However, because the attack requirement was absent from the service’s latest development iteration – the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA)

F-15EX could be delivered as early as 2020: Boeing

05/15/2019

Boeing is ready to deliver at least two engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) F-15EX fighters to the US Air Force (USAF) as soon as 2020. The company says the aircraft’s similarities to its Advanced F-15 – a fighter it is producing for Qatar and Saudi Arabia – means it can quickly be turned out from its active production line.

CAE to supply UK with second P-8A simulator

05/15/2019

The UK has awarded CAE a contract to produce a second operational flight trainer (OFT) for its future fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, with the device to follow another already ordered for the Royal Air Force (RAF). CAE, which on 13 May announced its receipt of the business from P-8 prime contractor Boeing, says the UK's simulators are scheduled for delivery to RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland in 2021.

F-21 jets will not be sold to any other country if we get IAF contract: Lockheed

05/14/2019

US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin says it will not sell its newly rolled out F-21 fighter jet to any other country if India places an order for 114 planes, a move aimed at pitching itself ahead of its US, European and Russian competitors for the mega deal. Vivek Lall, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin, says if F-21 wins the contract, then India will also be integrated into the company's global fighter ecosystem, which is a $165 billion dollar market.

The F-35 Isn't Just 'Stealthy': Here's How Its Electronic Warfare System Gives It An Edge

05/14/2019

The F-35 fighter is the enabler of American air dominance through mid-century. It will provide the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps with combat aircraft that can survive in places where no legacy fighters would be safe, collect information crucial to joint operations, and suppress threats that might otherwise preclude victory.

DARPA to launch competition for AI-powered aircraft dogfighting

05/14/2019

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to launch a competition to teach artificial intelligence (AI) software programmes how to control aircraft and their weapons in dogfights.

RAF to get second-hand jets as part of Wedgetail buy

05/14/2019

Two of the UK’s five on-order Boeing E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft will be converted commercial airliners, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. London on 22 March signed a £1.5 billion ($1.96 billion) contract for the 737-based Wedgetails, which will be operated by the Royal Air Force.

US Air Force is reactivating 65th Aggressor Squadron with F-35A

05/13/2019

The Air Force is reactivating the 65th Aggressor Squadron and moving 11 F-35A Lightning IIs to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as part of a larger initiative to improve training for fifth generation fighter aircraft. The action came after Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, recommended improving training for fifth generation fighter tactics development and close-air support by adding F-35s to complement the fourth generation aircraft currently being used.

Weird: Why the Heck Did India Send an Ancient MiG-21 to Fight an F-16?

05/13/2019

The Indian air force defended its decision to send old MiG-21 fighters up against much more modern Pakistani F-16s during recent aerial skirmishes. On Feb. 26, 2019 Indian planes crossed the line of control at India's border with Pakistan and bombed what New Dehli described as a terrorist training camp near Balakot. Several days of aerial fighting followed the bombing raid. On Feb. 27, 2019, Pakistani F-16s and other planes crossed the line of control to attack Indian forces, New Delhi claimed

DARPA cancels ARES cargo drone project with Lockheed Martin

05/13/2019

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) canceled its ARES research programme with Lockheed Martin and Piasecki Aircraft due to cost. The project was aimed at developing a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft with twin, tilting ducted fans for hauling military cargo.

Qatar gains approval for repeat Apache purchase

05/13/2019

Qatar could be set to double the strength of its incoming fleet of Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, with the US Department of State having approved a potential 24-unit follow-on buy worth $3 billion. Doha has already ordered 24 Apaches, with Cirium's Fleets Analyzer showing that the first three of these were delivered earlier this year.

AI targeting upgrade planned for Su-25SM3 attack jets: report

05/09/2019

Moscow plans to upgrade its Sukhoi Su-25SM3 attack aircraft with a targeting system that uses artificial intelligence (AI), and continues to work on the cruise missile capabilities of its bombers. The system will allow pilots to select a target, and then let an AI engine prosecute the attack, according to a report by Russian news agency TASS quoting an unnamed defence official.

Saab to set up Indiana factory for T-X work

05/09/2019

Saab will open a new manufacturing site in Indiana to support its contribution to the T-X advanced jet trainer, which it jointly developed with prime contractor Boeing, and other advanced projects. The facility will be located in West Lafayette, at the Discovery Park District, which is affiliated with Purdue University. From 2020, when construction will start, Saab says it has earmarked $37 million for the development. Ultimately the new facility will create up to 300 jobs.

New Delhi approves navy Ka-31 buy

05/09/2019

India’s defence ministry has given its nod for a navy procurement of 10 additional Russian-built Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopters. The purchase approval came from the Defence Acquisition Council, which is led by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The deal is valued at approximately $515 million.

What’s killing the US Navy’s air wing?

05/06/2019

The U.S. Navy is on the brink of an explosion in research and development funding for its next-generation fighter program — an effort that could make or break the mainstay of the fleet’s powerful strike arm. The service this year proposed quadrupling funding for its next-generation air dominance program from last year’s paltry $5 million to $20.7 million, with plans to increase funding every year to at least 2024, when it peaks at $372 million, according to the Navy’s fiscal 2020 budget documen

Inside the Air Force's Plan to Revolutionize Pilot Training

05/06/2019

When Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson visited AFWERX's Pilot Training Next program in Austin, Texas, last year, she watched as trainees took flight from the seats in front of her -- through the use of virtual reality. It piqued her interest enough to ask service officials to explore ways that similar flight simulator programs could be introduced to high schools to get young students involved in the nation's endeavors to create more pilots.

Venezuelan military helicopter crashes, 7 officers killed

05/05/2019

Seven Venezuelan military officers have been killed when their helicopter crashed while heading to a state where President Nicolas Maduro appeared alongside troops Saturday. The Cougar helicopter hurtled into a mountain outside Caracas in the early hours of an overcast day in the capital.

Kim oversees missile firing drills, tells troops to be alert

05/05/2019

North Korean state media on Sunday showed leader Kim Jong Un observing live-fire drills of long-range multiple rocket launchers and what appeared to be a new short-range ballistic missile, a day after South Korea expressed concern that the launches were a violation of an inter-Korean agreement to cease all hostile acts.

The U.S. Military's Future: 6th Generation Fighters Firing Laser Weapons?

05/04/2019

U.S. arms-maker Lockheed Martin is developing a laser that could be small enough to arm a future, “sixth-generation” fighter plane, company officials told reporters on May 1, 2019. But it’s not clear when the Pentagon might develop a new fighter. The laser could be ready before the plane is.

US Strategic Drone, Aircraft Spotted In Ukraine: Report

05/04/2019

Aircraft and strategic drone belonging to the United States (US) have been conducting reconnaissance operations close to Russian borders in Ukraine, several reports have claimed. An online aircraft monitoring resource PlaneRadar stated that at least three American reconnaissance aircraft were spotted near Russia’s southern and western borders on May 1- the RQ-4B Global Hawk drone, Boeing RC-135V and the P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft.

USAF Research Laboratory shoots down multiple missiles with laser

05/04/2019

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) successfully used a laser weapon to shoot down multiple air-launched missiles in flight. The AFRL Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration Programme downed the missiles using a ground-based laser demonstrator. The SHiELD programme is developing a directed energy laser system to be installed on an aircraft for self-defence against surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

China 'rapidly closing' gap with Western air forces: Pentagon

05/04/2019

Beijing continues to make strides in developing modern airpower capabilities across the full spectrum of platforms, from strategic bombers to armed UAVs. In its most recent report to Congress, the US Department of Defense notes progress with fighters such as the Chengdu J-20 and AVIC FC-31, the Xian H-6K bomber, the development stealth bomber to be designated H-20, and well as the greater integration of special mission aircraft. In addition, combat training in China is becoming more realistic.

Fighting Over Fighter Jets: Pentagon Plan to Buy F-15EX Sparks Controversy

05/03/2019

A battle is brewing between the Pentagon, congressional purse-holders and two of the country’s top defense contractors over President Donald Trump’s controversial 2020 budget request calling for the Air Force to acquire a souped-up variant of the F-15 jet fighter.

Afghan pilot training ends after almost half went AWOL in America

05/03/2019

A program to train Afghan attack pilots has been ended after the airmen kept going absent without leave, or AWOL, while training in the United States. More than 40 percent of the Afghan Air Force students enrolled in the U.S.-based training program to fly the AC-208 Combat Caravan, a light attack combat aircraft, went AWOL, according to a quarterly report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.

IDEF: Aselsan pitches AESA radar at F-16 upgrade market

05/03/2019

Aselsan used the IDEF exhibition in Istanbul to showcase its latest airborne radar developments, including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) design that is being pitched for integration on the Turkish air force's fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16s.

USAF looks to help Taiwan with F-5 spares

05/03/2019

The US Air Force wants to assess sources that can provide spare parts for Taiwan’s fleet of Northrop F-5E fighters. The Proven Aircraft Office of the Air Force Materiel Command has issued a list of 37 separate F-5 parts required, ranging from windshield panels and fuel tanks to air data computers.

Boeing awarded $5.7B for KC-46 Pegasus combat capability work

05/02/2019

Boeing has been awarded a $5.7 billion post-production contract for combat capability for the U.S. Air Force's troubled K-46 Pegasus refueling tanker aircraft. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, includes non-recurring and recurring requirements centered on user-directed and Federal Aviation Administration-mandated KC-46 air vehicle needs.

China's Stealth Jet May Be Ready This Year, U.S. Commander Says

05/02/2019

China may declare its first stealth fighter operational this year as it also develops long-range bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons, part of a regional buildup by Beijing that the U.S. is closely monitoring, according to the U.S. Air Force’s Pacific commander.

French air force receives first ‘tactical’ A400M transport plane

05/02/2019

The French air force has taken delivery of its 15th A400M Atlas military transport aircraft, the first directly outfitted to the “tactical standard,” including an expanded ability to land and take off from unprepared terrain and the capacity to make landing approaches under automatic pilot in all weather.

Further GlobalEye sales already on radar, says Saab chief

05/02/2019

With the first delivery of its GlobalEye surveillance system still more than a year away, Saab is already talking to several potential additional customers, chief executive Hakan Buskhe has revealed. Buskhe says the Swedish company’s GlobalEye flight test campaign is “going extremely well”.

Sweden weighs extending Gripen C/D operations by a decade

05/02/2019

Sweden could be poised to approve an extension to operations with part of its Saab Gripen C/D fleet until beyond 2030, in a step that would bolster the size of its fighter inventory beyond the 60 E-model examples currently on order for its air force.

Coalition and Iraqi forces attack ISIS sleeper cells in Hamrin mountains

05/01/2019

In what it described as the largest combined operation since the March capture of Baghuz, Islamic State’s last bastion in eastern Syria, the Coalition said CJTF-OIR and Iraqi forces on April 24 attacked ISIS sleeper cells in northern Iraq. Separately, in the first acknowledged combat employment of the aircraft by the U.S. military, two U.S. Air Force F-35A joint strike fighters conducted an airstrike in the same area on April 30.

U.S. Air Force F-35As conduct first combat employment

05/01/2019

Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft conducted an air strike at Wadi Ashai, Iraq, in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, April 30. This strike marked the F-35A’s first combat employment. The F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces.

Airbus still wrestling with A400M contract revision

05/01/2019

Airbus is aiming to have a revised contract for the A400M signed off by mid-year, as negotiations with the programme's launch nations continue. Speaking on a first-quarter results call on 30 April, chief executive Guillaume Faury said that talks were "progressing".

PICTURE: RAAF C-130Js to get high-speed satcom capability

05/01/2019

The Royal Australian Air Force will equip five Lockheed C-130Js with Ka-Band satellite communications systems. The work will be undertaken from late 2019 and be completed in 2022, says the RAAF. One RAAF C-130J was fitted with the system in 2017 for trial purposes. The work involves installing Honeywell’s JetWave Ka-Band system. This will allow high-definition video to be streamed and support mission planning while the aircraft is in flight.

RAAF EA-18Gs achieve IOC

05/01/2019

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft have achieved initial operating capability (IOC). “Over time, this aircraft will work with Army and Navy platforms to enhance our ability to control the electronic environment, and where necessary, deny or degrade the electronic systems of adversaries,” says Air Marshal Leo Davies.

Israel Nearing Major Aircraft Buy

04/30/2019

The Israeli Air Force is nearing a multi-billion-dollar order for American-made aircraft. On April 28, 2019, IsraelDefense magazine reported on the current status of Israel’s pending acquisition of U.S.-made aircraft. The Israeli Air Force has been known to be considering a potential deal for new fighter jets, transport helicopters, and tanker aircraft, and is looking to make a purchase from either Lockheed Martin or Boeing.

NATO launch exercise "Spring Storm" in Estonia as part of plan to "contain" Russia – media

04/30/2019

On Monday, April 29, Soldiers of the North Atlantic Alliance countries officially began the annual exercise Spring Storm. During exercises from April 29 to May 17, servicemen at different levels will work on techniques for synchronizing combat plans, cooperation in management, and increased readiness for tactical tasks, according to the Defence Blog, an online military magazine.

UAV industry purging hobbyist-grade components from supply chain

04/30/2019

The implementation of aerospace industry standards has helped the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) industry significantly improve the quality of components available compared to 15 years ago when it relied on hobbyist-grade parts and systems.

As China and Russia strengthen economic, military relations, India must seek closer ties with US

04/29/2019

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s red-carpet welcome by Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing on the occasion of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation earlier this month has not surprised anyone. At a time when Xi’s ambitious project – Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – has alarmed the Western countries and Asian and African nations, including India, by fueling indebtedness to expand Beijing’s political and military influence around the world.

F-22 pilots receives modern GAU-5A automatic rifles

04/29/2019

The U.S. Air Force’s 3rd Wing announced on his Facebook page that the new GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon will increase the firepower of the F-22 fighter jet pilots if they ever have to eject over enemy territory.

Military Pilots Aren't Getting the Training Needed to Fight, Watchdog Warns

04/25/2019

The U.S. military's aviation training ranges are outdated and underfunded, leaving pilots operating in the Asia-Pacific region ill-prepared to deal with modern-day threats, a Defense Department investigation found.

Artificial intelligence (AI) changes strategies for B-2 and F-35 combat aircraft

04/25/2019

Faster computer processors, AI-infused algorithms able to fuse sensor information, and automated maintenance and checklists are influencing emerging pilot tactics to anticipate future threat environments. For the F-35 and B-2 stealth combat aircraft, AI enables rapid database access, organizing information, and high-volume procedural functions. Algorithms, for example, increasingly are able to scan, view, and organize targeting, navigation, radar warning, images, and video.

Boeing Defense backlog hits $67bn on surveillance aircraft orders

04/25/2019

Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s revenue in the first quarter of 2019 increase 2% to $6.6 billion year on year due to higher sales volume of satellites, weapons and surveillance aircraft. The company’s first quarter profit increased 12.8% to $847 million.

ANALYSIS: Izumo and Kaga, aircraft carriers in all but name

04/25/2019

Some military secrets are better kept than others. The emergence of Tokyo’s real plan for its pair of Izumo-class helicopter destroyers was always, to naval observers, more a matter when than if. With their 248m (814ft) length, expansive flight decks and large hangars, the JS Izumo and her sister JS Kaga are the largest ships in the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) – and aircraft carriers in all but name.

The F-35 versus the F-15x

04/23/2019

In July 1972, the F-15 fighter jet flew for the first time. The F-15 was the American military’s answer to the Soviet block’s mighty Mig-25 and incorporated all the lessons learned in the Vietnam War. The F-15 rapidly replaced the 1950s designed F-4 Phantom as the U.S. Air Force’s dominant air superiority fighter. Also in the 1970s, the Air Force secretly developed the first stealth fighter, the super secret F-117 for strike missions without being detected by radar.

Guard aviators will get the newest advanced helicopters before some active Army units

04/23/2019

The likely next Army chief of staff has made Guard aviators of the future a real part of the service’s next steps in combat aircraft. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said that the newest helicopter under development, which will replace many UH-60 Black Hawks and CH-47 Chinooks, will go not just to tip-of-the-spear units such as the 101st Airborne Division, 82nd Airborne Division and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

USA and Japan confident China won’t find missing F-35A wreckage

04/23/2019

The defence chiefs of the USA and Japan are confident that China won’t be able to recover pieces of the Lockheed Martin F-35A that crashed off the coast of Japan on 9 April. A flurry of media reports had speculated that parts of the aircraft were vulnerable to discovery by the Chinese or Russian militaries, giving those countries’ armed forces an opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities or copy the fighter’s stealth technology.

Washington, Tokyo go deeper on F-3 tech transfer: report

04/23/2019

Washington and Tokyo appear to be holding deeper talks related to Japan’s development of a new fighter to replace the Mitsubishi F-2. A report in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, citing unnamed government sources, says that the United States is willing to offer a notable degree of intellectual content related to stealth aircraft design. The report adds that a proposal from the US side is on the table, and that Tokyo will decide by the end of 2019.

Why Nothing Could Stop a 6th Generation F-22 Stealth Fighter

04/22/2019

The scenario goes like this: In 2030, Russia invades the Baltic States. As the U.S. sends forces to Europe, China seizes the opportunity to seize disputed islands in the South China Sea. American airpower flies to the rescue, only to discover that sophisticated Russian and Chinese fighters and anti-aircraft defenses have rendered the skies too deadly for older American planes to conduct missions.

U.S. Air Force T-38 Talon celebrate 60 years after maiden flight

04/20/2019

The T-38 Talon prototype embarked on its maiden flight as the U.S. Air Force’s first supersonic trainer on April 10, 1959. Serving critical missions for six decades, the venerable T-38 has consistently performed and has assisted in flight training exercises for 80,000 pilots. And, with various modernizations, the aircraft has maintained low operating costs, is maintenance-friendly and has a great safety record.

Indian Air Force Strike Power Needs Critical Augmentation – OpEd

04/20/2019

The Indian Air Force spectacular and dramatic deep penetration strikes on Pakistan terror camps at Balakot on February 26 2019 by India’s valiant ‘Air Warriors’ enabled by bold & decisive leadership of PM Modi opens new imperatives for fast tracking augmentation of Indian Air Force ‘Strike Power’ in the unfolding geopolitical threatening environment.

Five Japanese F-35A Stealth Jets, Including Crashed Aircraft Involved In Emergency Landings

04/20/2019

The Japanese F-35A stealth jet, which is missing since April 9 was involved in seven emergency landing incidents prior to the crash along with four other F-35s out of 13 in service with the Japanese Self Defence Force (JSDF). The first accident took place on April 9 when one of the fighters crashed into the Pacific during a routine anti-fighter combat training with three other F-35A jets.

US Air Force sends next generation fighter jets to UAE

04/19/2019

The US Air Force has deployed F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters to the Middle East for the first time. The jets arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi earlier this week and are ready to be sent on missions across the region. The aircraft, which cost about $90 million each, are undetectable by radar. The F-35s are equipped with advanced weapons systems which mean they do not have to be pointing at its target. They also have the capability to launch electronic warfare attacks on enemies.

Did India shoot down a Pakistani F-16 in February? This just became a big deal.

04/19/2019

With voting underway in India’s general election, February’s Kashmir conflict is likely to weigh on the minds of voters, especially given last week’s social media uproar over the reported downing of a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet during the crisis. The controversy flared up when a Foreign Policy article stated that the Pentagon had accounted for all of Pakistan’s F-16 jets.

PICTURES: HAL HJT-36 IJT flies after three year hiatus

04/19/2019

Hindustan Aeronautics has recommenced flight testing of its HJT-36 Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) from its Bengaluru production centre. “The flight was flawless and its success is an important step towards the IJT program,” says HAL. “The flight testing of IJT (HJT-36), designed and developed by HAL for the stage-II training of IAF pilots was put on hold after the aircraft had encountered problem in the spin test flights in the year 2016.”

Russia Completes Delivery of Su-35 Fighter Jets to China for $2.5Bln

04/18/2019

Russia has completed the delivery of Su-35 combat aircraft to China in defiance of U.S. sanctions, Russia’s military and technical cooperation agency told state media Tuesday. Russia and China signed a $2.5 billion deal on the delivery of 24 Sukhoi Su-35s in 2015, making it the first foreign buyer of the fourth-generation multirole air superiority fighter. The United States imposed sanctions on the Chinese military last September for buying 10 Su-35s in 2017 and missile systems in 2018 from Rus

US offers to renew Taiwan F-16 training at Luke AFB

04/18/2019

The US Department of Defense has approved a possible deal for the continuation of a training and support programme for the pilots of Taiwanese Lockheed Martin F-16s at Luke AFB, Arizona. If accepted by Taipei, the possible $500 million package includes flight training, exercise participation, and other services and equipment consistent with the Luke contingent.

No word on missing Japanese F-35A

04/18/2019

The search continues for a Lockheed Martin F-35A operated by the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force that crashed last week in the northern Pacific Ocean. Japanese media reports indicate that that the aircraft’s tail has been recovered, but the aircraft’s fuselage and the body of the pilot have yet to be located.

Meet the Mitsubishi F-3: Japan's 6th Generation Fighter Jet

04/14/2019

Japan’s 2019 Mid-Term Defense review quietly revealed that after years of hesitation, Tokyo has decided to press ahead with development of its own domestically designed sixth-generation Mitsubishi F-3 air-superiority stealth fighter, rather than purchasing an additional foreign stealth design to supplement its growing fleet of F-35s.

Boeing releases concept images of its new Advanced Eagle fighter aircraft

04/14/2019

U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has released concept images depicting the new F-15EX Advanced Eagle fighter aircraft. Boeing launches a new update for the website as part of the promotional activities of its new upgraded version of the F-15EX fighter jet, commonly known as Strike Eagle on Steroids. With new concept images, Boeing reveals additional details of new fighter jet purpose-built for the U.S. Air Force.

Why the the days of ‘fighter jock culture’ may be numbered

04/14/2019

For the past half century, fighter pilots have dominated high-level leadership roles in the Air Force, much as bomber pilots did during World War II and the Cold War. But a recent study from the Rand Corp., sponsored by the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment, questions whether that hierarchy — with fighter pilots first, bomber pilots second and other specializations after — continues to serve the best interests of the service, especially in terms of fostering innovation.

Puerto Rico Air Guard's C-130 Airlifters And Flying Role Are Being Taken Away

04/13/2019

The Puerto Rico Air National Guard, or PRANG, has lost its flying mission less than two years after Hurricane Maria battered its main base and nearly a year after tragic accident exposed a culture of apathy and poor morale. It will now reorganize its former flying units to support the U.S. Air Force’s recent push to revitalize its ability to rapidly deploy and establish forward bases overseas during major crises and conflicts.

Switzerland Begins Evaluation Phase of Combat Aircraft Competition

04/13/2019

The evaluation phase of Switzerland’s ongoing fighter assessment for a new-generation combat aircraft is underway. The current flight trials follow an earlier exercise whereby Swiss officials tested the aircraft models involved in simulators in the countries of each manufacturer.

PICTURE: Dutch investigate F-16 damaged by own gunfire

04/13/2019

Details have emerged of an incident early this year during which a Lockheed Martin F-16AM from the Royal Netherlands Air Force was damaged by its own gunfire during a training flight. The 21 January mishap involved a formation of two Dutch F-16s using their M61A1 20mm cannons during a practice strafing run, firing at a target on the Vliehors range located on the island of Vlieland.

US, Filipino and Aussie forces conduct premier military exercise, but don’t mention China

04/12/2019

Officials have said that the major U.S., Filipino and Australian exercise known as Balikatan isn’t aimed at China, but given Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent words of warning, observers can be forgiven for thinking that. Balikatan 2019 is running from April 1-12 and taking place on the islands of Luzon and Palawan.

The F-35 and other warplanes descend on Switzerland this spring

04/12/2019

The Swiss have kicked off flying season for the five types of combat aircraft under consideration to replace the country’s aging fleet, with several demonstrations scheduled between now and early July. The probes are part of the Swiss “Air 2030” program, an $8.2 billion project to buy new aircraft and ground-based equipment for policing the country's airspace.

Honeywell eyes Malaysia F/A-18D, C-130 upgrade work

04/12/2019

Honeywell is eyeing upgrade opportunities for Kuala Lumpur’s Boeing F/A-18D Hornet fighters and Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules tactical transports. Honeywell has a significant amount of content on the F/A-18Ds that it could upgrade, says company vice-president Tim Van Luven.

How China's Military Is Becoming More Dangerous By the Day

04/11/2019

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency’s 125-page report, “China Military Power – Modernizing a Force to Fight and Win,” details China’s military modernization efforts with an emphasis that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not a “national army” but a military arm of the Chinese Communist Party that exists to guarantee the CCP’s survival.

Navy Dream Come True: F-35s and Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carriers Together In Battle

04/11/2019

The start of formal operational testing is a milestone more than 18 years in the making,” Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer, said in a written statement. "While aircraft are in operational test, the F-35 Joint Program Office will continue to support the delivery of phased capability improvements and modernization of the air system.

Japan grounds F-35 fighter jets after 1 disappears over Pacific

04/11/2019

A Japanese F-35 stealth fighter jet with one pilot on board disappeared from radar while on a training mission over the Pacific on Tuesday night, the defense ministry said. The disappearance prompted Japan's military to ground its remaining fleet of the U.S.-made warplanes.

Northrop awarded $3.2bn for 24 additional E-2Ds

04/11/2019

The US Navy (USN) has awarded Northrop Grumman a $3.2 billion multiyear procurement contract for the purchase of 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. This is the second multiyear procurement contract awarded to Northrop Grumman for the E-2D. The USN awarded the first contract in 2014 for the production of 25 E-2D aircraft, which Congress later increased to 26 aircraft.

Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme to get new director

04/11/2019

President Donald Trump nominated US Air Force Major General Eric Fick for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as director of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. Fick currently serves as deputy executive officer for the programme, which is based in Arlington, Virginia. He will replace US Navy Vice Admiral Mathias Winter, who has served as the programme’s director since May 2017. The Department of Defense (DoD) did not say when Fick would take over.

Search underway for missing Japanese Lockheed Martin F-35

04/10/2019

The radar wake of a Japanese F-35A stealth fighter disappeared over the Pacific Ocean about 73nm (135km) east of Misawa air base on 9 April at 19:27 local time. The Japanese military has commenced a search mission for the aircraft and its single pilot, though the country’s air force offered no details on suspected causes of the disappearance. The Lockheed Martin F-35A was engaging in night-time training with three other F-35A jets, according to The Japan Times.

Does North Korea Have Any Chance of Killing an F-35?

04/07/2019

The ROKAF, South Korea’s Air Force received their first F-35A fighter jets in April 2019. The ROKAF hopes to eventually buy forty F-35As and should have ten F-35As by the end of the year. But how do these aircraft fit into the ROKAF’s existing fleet of aircraft? What role could they play in countering the North Korean KPAF?

F-35 on track to hit 80% mission capability rate by September 2019

04/07/2019

Combat units of the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter fleet within the three US military services and eight international programme partners are on track to reach an 80% mission capability rate by September 2019.

Does Russian Military Aviation Have Anything Left to Offer China?

04/06/2019

Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been a leading client for high-end Russian military hardware. Such imports played a key role in revolutionizing China’s aerial warfare capabilities, in particular during the 1990s with acquisition of the most capable Russian air defense systems, air-to-air missiles and air superiority fighters available.

Here’s how F-35 technology would be compromised if Turkey also had the S-400 anti-aircraft system

04/06/2019

The U.S. Air Force was able to bomb Libya with impunity after knocking out its relic of an Integrated Air Defense System, but what if the country had actually maintained a competent IADS network? That would pose a different challenge altogether. Russia’s S-400 system, for instance, mixed with other overlapping missile batteries, fighter aircraft and command and control nodes, would have tested America’s ability to carry such an air raid like never before.

Poland hopeful of speeding F-35 acquisition

04/06/2019

Poland believes it can accelerate the purchase of up to 32 Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft, following suggestions that the USA is willing to expand the fifth-generation jet's operator base. In written testimony to the US House of Representatives, Vice Admiral Mat Winter, director of the Joint Strike Fighter programme, indicated that the Department of Defense was considering sales to countries including Greece, Poland, Romania and Spain.

ANALYSIS: How LIMA deployment marked new high for India's Tejas

04/06/2019

Group Captain Samrath Dhankhar of the Indian air force has earned a place in aviation history, as the commanding officer of its 45 Sqn (“The Flying Daggers”): the first to operate the Hindustan Aeronautics Tejas Mk1 fighter.

Dropping sniper nests in four story buildings: A-10 Warthogs earn gallantry award in Syria

04/05/2019

The Air Force awarded the Gallant Unit Citation to the 74th Fighter Squadron out of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, March 14 for its combined actions during close-air support missions against the Islamic State group in Syria. The squadron struck more than 44 percent of targets in the Operation Inherent Resolve theater over the course of 181 days with only 12 aircraft beginning in the summer of 2017, according to the unit citation.

Germany’s Embargo on Saudi Arabia and the Limits of European Arms Cooperation

04/05/2019

Germany’s renewal of an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia effectively casts doubt as the lead partner for France to build a future fighter jet, drone, and tank, key projects to boost consolidation in the European defense industry. Berlin on March 28 extended by a further six months a ban of the sale of weapons to Riyadh. German imposed that sanction last October in the wake of the slaying of journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi officials in Turkey.

IAF Close To Buying 21 Mig-29 Fighter Jets For $900M

04/05/2019

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to purchase 21 Russian MiG-29 jets to address the shortfall of combat aircraft in a deal estimated to be valued at $900 million (INR 6,300 Crore). “The airframes are ready and Russia has promised to deliver all 21 fighters within 18 months,” a senior air force official was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying Thursday.

PICTURES: Tests end for new model of world's biggest helicopter

04/05/2019

Russian Helicopters has completed preliminary flight tests of the new Mil Mi-26T2V helicopter, pending its handover to the Russian defence ministry for joint evaluation. The rotorcraft first flew in August 2018, and testing has been conducted from the Mil Moscow Helicopter plant. Russian Helicopters says the Mi-26 is the world’s largest helicopter, with a maximum take-off weight of 56t and capable of carrying a 20t payload.

Su-30MKM Life Extension May Put Off Malaysian MRCA Procurement

04/04/2019

Malaysia’s SU-30MKM fighter jets are now almost certain to get a life extension following the launch of a local enterprise to perform deep maintenance on the Russian-made fighter jets. Consequently, a plan to purchase the Dassault Rafale or the Eurofighter, as part of the Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) project may be delayed indefinitely as Kaula Lumpur grapples with budget cuts and a deepening palm oil crisis with the European Union.

Air Force Gearing Up for Next A-10 Re-Winging Contract

04/04/2019

The U.S. Air Force is preparing for the next A-10 Warthog contract to re-wing more of the close-air support aircraft. The next contract for the "A-10-Thunderbolt II Advanced-Wing Continuation Kit," known as "ATTACK," is going through source selection and is expected to be awarded this fall, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Monday. The service has $267 million set aside to buy "about 20 total wings," she said.

Malaysia could purchase JF-17 fighter jets from Pakistan

04/04/2019

Malaysia is said to be considering purchasing JF-17 Thunder fighter jets from Pakistan following Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to Islamabad last month, according to reports. Mohamad was Prime Minister Imran Khan’s guest of honor while on a state visit as he watched the Pakistan Day military parades and celebrations.

US Air Force practices Lockheed Martin F-35A hot crew swap

04/04/2019

US Air Force pilots and maintainers at Hill AFB in Utah completed the first operational hot crew swap exercise with the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II. Also, called a “rapid” crew swap, during the operation a pilot takes off, completes his mission, lands and refuels the aircraft, while another pilot takes over the cockpit of the same fighter. The process cuts down on the number of required maintenance activities and reduces the time it takes to launch new sortie by up to 2h, says the USAF.

USA clears India’s purchase of 25 MH-60Rs

04/03/2019

The US State Department has cleared the sale of 24 Lockheed Martin MH-60R anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters to India. The deal is work $2.6 billion and follows a request from New Delhi for the acquisition, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

First ROKAF F-35As arrive in South Korea

04/03/2019

The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has received its first pair of Lockheed Martin F-35As in South Korea. Seoul’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) confirms that the two aircraft arrived on 29 March, landing at Cheongju air base at 14:00 local time.

USAF stops Boeing KC-46 deliveries for second time after more FOD

04/03/2019

The US Air Force suspended deliveries of Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers for a second time in about a month on 23 March after discovering foreign object debris (FOD) inside the aircraft. The service previously halted delivery of the refueling tankers on 20 February after FOD, including forgotten tools, were discovered inside the aircraft’s airframe.

Russian Su-57 fighter sale to China may give Beijing a stealth edge

04/02/2019

China says it will buy Russia’s advanced Su-57 stealth fighter in a move that will further cement the nation’s status as a rising world superpower. The Beijing controlled Global Times reports Moscow has released the advanced new fighter jet for expert in a bid to attract scarce foreign currency.

Spain buys two MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper drones

04/02/2019

Spain plans to purchase two General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Block 5 Reapers for $34 million via the US foreign military sales process. The acquisition also provides for associated equipment, presumably ground control stations, spares and support equipment. The unmanned air vehicles are expected to be completed by 31 March 2020, according to a US Defense Department contract notice online.

Riyadh reveals first locally built Hawk trainer

04/02/2019

Saudi Arabia has rolled out the first of an eventual 22 BAE Systems Hawk Mk 165 jet trainers to be locally assembled. Unveiled at King Abdulaziz air base by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the indigenous manufacturing effort is part of the country's Vision 2030 strategy to grow its defence sector.

NAF reinventing self through research, development

04/01/2019

Advanced air forces around the globe are often highly technologically dependent, considering the sophistication and complexities inherent in aerospace technology. These complexities are often surmountable through painstaking efforts of many years of unbroken research and development, with huge financial burden on the nation and its citizenry. The sacrifices may seem grave but the benefits are no doubt greater.

Why the Air Force Wants to Buy Boeing's Aging Fighter

04/01/2019

The Pentagon's annual budget request is a shopping list featuring some of the most sophisticated, cutting-edge technologies available on the planet. But one item that stood out in this year's request was the military's embrace of a 1960s-era fighter jet that the Air Force said it intends to acquire in significant quantities in the years to come.

Two Marine Corps Pilots Killed in Arizona Helicopter Crash

04/01/2019

A pair of Marine Viper pilots were killed Saturday night when their helicopter crashed in Arizona, Marine officials announced Sunday. The crash occurred near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma at about 8:45 p.m. local time, according to a statement from base officials. The pilots were flying an AH-1Z Viper helicopter.

Rajasthan: Air Force's MiG-27 Fighter Jet crashes in Sirohi

04/01/2019

A MiG-27 UPG aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed on Sunday morning here. The pilot managed to eject safely. The aircraft was on a routine mission. Notably, MiG-27 UPG is upgraded versions of the aircraft. Indian Air Force now is now left with the last squadron of the Mig-27 UPG, according to reports.

PICTURES: Maiden flight of Ilyushin Il-112V transport

03/31/2019

The Ilyushin Il-112V military turboprop completed its maiden flight on 30 March from the VASO manufacturing plant in Voronezh. The aircraft, which is part of the United Aircraft (UAC) stable, took off with chief pilot Nikolai Kuimov at the controls. The maiden test flight was flown in normal mode, says UAC.

RMAF plans to acquire LCA jets

03/30/2019

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) requires between RM6 billion and RM7 billion of funding from the government to acquire 36 light combat aircraft (LCA). RMAF chief General Datuk Seri Affendi Buang said the new requirement for the LCA would enable the air force to keep up with advanced technology and capability. “Our BAE Hawks are now already passing 25 years in service.

The Harrier: The U.S. Marine Corps Loves This Plane For 1 Big Reason

03/30/2019

The Harrier II is unique among American military aircraft as one of few to have been adapted from a foreign design. The AV-8B's origin traces back to the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, which was designed in the 1960s. Though not the first vertical/short take-off and landing aircraft built, it was the first fully operational and successful example. V/STOL capability was revolutionary because it created an aircraft that could operate from short or less-than-ideal runways, or from no runway at al

USAF grounds entire B-1B Lancer bomber fleet again

03/30/2019

For the second time in 12 months, the US Air Force has grounded its Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber fleet over safety concerns with its ejection seat. Air Force Global Strike Command ordered a safety stand-down of the B-1B Lancer fleet March 28. The service says that during a routine inspection potentially fleet-wide issues were identified with the rigging of the ejection seat drogue chute system. As a precautionary measure, the USAF directed an all-inclusive inspection of the entire egress system.

Japan declares F-35A squadron initial-operation capable

03/30/2019

Japan’s air force stood up its first operational F-35A fighter squadron, the 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, on 29 March. The stealth fighter replaces the squadron’s aging, third-generation Mitsubishi F-4EJ Kai fighters, which are Japanese-licensed variants of the Vietnam-era McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The squadron is stationed at Misawa Air Base, which is near the northernmost point of Japan’s main island.

Japan discloses further details of next-generation fighter aircraft

03/29/2019

Japan continues to work on creating domestic fifth-generation stealth fighter as seen in footage aired on national TV. The footage posted on 26 March shows that Mitsubishi Electronics-led team proceeded to test their active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar based on the F-2 fighter aircraft. According to several media reports, the new Japanese AESA radar similar to US-made AN/APG-81, which is installed on Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.

No Secret Here: The Air Force Has Russian MiG-29s To Dogfight Against

03/29/2019

As the United States Air Force continues its struggle with fielding enough aggressor aircraft for its combat aircraft crews to train against, contractors are stepping up to the plate. In some cases, contractors are able to field remarkable aircraft that provide an exceptionally authentic replication of enemy aircraft. Such is case of Air USA—the company has managed to acquire three two-seat trainer versions of the Mikoyan MiG-29UB Fulcrum.

Dr M says their ageing combat aircraft can still be used while Dr Ng proceeds to buy F35s

03/29/2019

Speaking in a press conference at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition yesterday (26 Mar), Malaysia Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia’s ageing combat aircraft are still functioning well and can be used for several more years.

USAF selects first air base to host B-21 Raider stealth bomber

03/29/2019

The US Air Force selected Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota on 27 March as the preferred location to base the first operational Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber and the stealth aircraft’s formal training unit.

Belgium gains approval for SkyGuardian buy

03/29/2019

Belgium has secured approval for a potentially $600 million acquisition of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' MQ-9B SkyGuardian. The US Department of State determination moves Brussels closer to obtaining four of the medium-altitude, long-endurance type, which will be equipped with General Atomics' detect and avoid technology to enable flight in non-segregated airspace.

Raytheon developing new Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar for U-2

03/27/2019

The company says it has a $320 million undefinitized contract with the US Air Force to develop the new radar. The ASARS-2B has double the surveillance range of its predecessor, the ASARS-2A system, while maintaining the same mapping and imagery resolution. The new radar completed flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base in California in early 2019, says Raytheon.

Brimstone 3 test success fires MBDA ambitions

03/27/2019

The latest iteration of MBDA's combat-proven Brimstone precision-strike weapon has undergone a successful first test firing. Conducted at the Vidsel range in Sweden, the telemetry unit-equipped Brimstone 3 was deployed from a surface launcher against a pick-up truck target.

LIMA: Malaysia bolsters Su-30MKM support

03/27/2019

A Malaysian aerospace group has developed a programme for the 10-year service inspection of the Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter. An Su-30MKM that underwent Aerospace Technology Systems’ (ATSC) inspection regime was officially presented to the country’s prime minister at the Langkawi international Maritime Exhibition.

Indian air force accepts first four CH-47F Chinooks

03/27/2019

India’s air force formally inducted its first four Boeing CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters into its inventory on 25 March. The helicopters were handed over during a ceremony held at Air Force Station Chandigarh that was attended by senior air force dignitaries. India’s defence ministry says that the remaining 11 Chinooks from its 2015 order will be delivered progressively by March 2020.

Russian Transport Aircraft Deliver Men And Materiel To Venezuela Direct From Syria

03/26/2019

Russian Air Force An-124 Condor heavy transport plane is back home after a brief trip to Venezuela, where it helped reportedly deliver almost 100 military personnel and tons of unspecified cargo as part of the Kremlin’s ongoing support for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. For two months now, Maduro has been locked in a political crisis with American-supported opposition leader Juan Guaido and there continue to be signs that a U.S. military intervention might be on the horizon.

US State Department approves sale of 25 F-16s to Morocco

03/26/2019

The US State Department approved the possible sale of 25 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 72 fighters to the Royal Moroccan Air Force, as well as a possible agreement to upgrade 23 of the air force’s Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to the F-16V variant. The F-16C/D fighters and related equipment are estimated to cost $3.79 billion, while the upgrade and related equipment is estimated to cost $985 million.

Laos joins Yak-130 operators list

03/26/2019

Russia's Irkut has confirmed the delivery of Yak-130 advanced jet trainers to Laos, with Cirium's Fleets Analyzer recording four examples as having been handed over to the nation's air force so far this year. Laos has another six of the type on order, our data indicates.

MALAYSIA AND AZERBAIJAN HEADLINE PAKISTAN’S FRESH JF-17 SALES EFFORTS

03/25/2019

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) are renewing their efforts to secure additional customers for the JF-17 Thunder lightweight multi-role fighter, which is co-produced by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and PAC, and is the mainstay combat aircraft of the PAF.

During dogfight with Indian planes: All our fighter jets were airborne, says ISPR

03/25/2019

Pakistan is ruling out the possibility of using its nuclear weapons and sees them as more of deterrence tool to prevent actual wars, Spokesman for the Pakistan Army Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told the international media in an interview. "Since we have gone overtly nuclear, as India also, in 1998, our stance is that this capability eliminates the possibility of a conventional war between the two states. So that is to say, this is a weapon of deterrence and a political choice.

Tejas Fighter Jet To Participate In Malaysia's Aerospace Exhibition

03/25/2019

India's indigenous supersonic fighter jet Tejas will for the first time participate in aerial displays during the five-day Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia. India has been projecting the Tejas aircraft in a big way as it has been manufactured indigenously at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.

China's F-16: Meet the J-10 Fighter (Possibly Thanks to Israel)

03/24/2019

The J-10 “Vigorous Dragon” is a mainstay of China’s effort to modernize its large fleet of single-engine jet fighters, with 350 already in service. An agile tactical fighter similar to the ubiquitous F-16 Fighting Falcon , the Vigorous Dragon was the first domestic Chinese design roughly on par with Western and Russian fourth-generation fighters .

Russian Fighter Showdown: Su-35 vs. MiG-35 (Who Wins?)

03/23/2019

Egypt recently turned heads with its decision to purchase twenty advanced Su-35S fighter jets from Russia. This adds yet another unique airframe to Egypt’s inventory, which currently fields Rafales, two generations of F-16s, MiG-29s modernized to near MiG-35 standard, and two generations of Mirages. What could the Su-35S add onto this lineup? What could the political repercussions of the buy be?

General Atomics awarded $123m to produce four Dutch MQ-9 Reapers

03/23/2019

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems was awarded a $123 million contract by the Pentagon to manufacture four MQ-9 Block 5 Reapers for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The contract has been anticipated for a while, as the US State Department approved the sale in 2015 and Amsterdam officially announced the order in July 2018 at the Farnborough air show in the United Kingdom.

UK signs E-7 airborne early warning contract

03/23/2019

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed plans to acquire five Boeing 737-based E-7 airborne early warning and control system aircraft, with the platforms to be modified by Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group. Announced on 22 March and worth £1.5 billion ($1.98 billion), the contract will lead to the adapted narrowbody airliners being introduced to service from the early 2020s. They will replace the Royal Air Force's (RAF) current Boeing 707-based E-3D Sentry fleet.

Taipei stepping up efforts to buy new fighters

03/22/2019

The leadership of Taiwan has recently stepped up efforts to obtain a new American fighter aircraft to urgently recapitalise its aging air force. Media reports indicate that president Tsai Ing-wen has publically confirmed that a request for new fighter aircraft has been made to Washington.

C295 purchase to bolster Kazakhstan defences

03/22/2019

Airbus Defence & Space has been awarded a contract to produce a single C295 medium transport for Kazakhstan's border service. Announcing the commitment on 21 March, the European airframer says the asset will be employed for duties including "border control activities and homeland security operations". A delivery schedule has not been revealed.

Meteor, Spear additions to give UK F-35s added punch

03/22/2019

Weapons integration activities on the Lockheed Martin F-35B are to be expanded for the UK, with the pending addition of MBDA's Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and in-development Spear ground-attack system. Announced on 18 March and placed by Lockheed as "an initial funding award", the integration activity will be conducted by a team including the airframer and European guided weapons specialist, along with BAE Systems.

Boeing in $4 billion deal for F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets

03/22/2019

Boeing has secured a three-year contract for 78 F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, with a total contract value of approximately $4 billion. “Boeing will begin converting existing Block II Super Hornets to Block III early in the next decade,” says a company statement. “The fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours.”

Ukraine's Joint Forces show video of MiG-29 fighters, Su-25 attack aircraft in combat training flight over Sea of ??Azov

03/21/2019

A MiG-29 fighter wing and a pair of Su-25 attack aircraft performed scheduled flights over the Sea of Azov, providing an air cover for Ukraine Navy ships sailing in the area. The corresponding video was posted by the press service of the Joint Forces Operation HQ on its Facebook page.

Pentagon orders second stealth target drone to be built

03/21/2019

The Department of Defense ordered a second stealth aerial target demonstrator from Sierra Technical Services on 13 February. The so-called 5th Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) is a high-performance, fighter-size unmanned air vehicle that is intended to represent stealthy aircraft threats from advanced adversaries such as China or Russia.

PICTURES: 30 years since Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey’s first flight

03/21/2019

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey first flew 30 years ago today on 19 March 1989. Since, the Bell-Boeing joint venture behind the tiltrotor has produced more than 375 examples, which have accumulated more than 450,000 flight hours, the manufacturers say.

Boeing to integrate nuclear-tipped cruise missile on B-52

03/21/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Boeing Defense Space & Security a $250 million contract to integrate the nuclear-tipped Long Range Stand-Off Cruise Missile (LRSO) on the B-52H bomber. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract is for aircraft and missile carriage equipment development and modification, engineering, testing, software development, training, facilities, and support necessary to fully integrate the missile on the strategic bomber, says the USAF.

India to potentially acquire Su-57 stealth jets: report

03/19/2019

The Russian Federation’s domestically-produced Su-57 stealth jet will be transferred to their aerospace forces by the end of 2019, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) President Yuri Slyusar announced this month. While Russia is expected to purchase all fifteen of the Su-57 jets, it appears Moscow may have a potential buyer in India, the National Interest publication reported.

The Brief – Replacing Turkey in NATO

03/19/2019

A global geopolitical shift has taken place without the wider audience noticing. Turkey has drifted apart from the US and NATO, it has got much closer to Russia, and the US is desperately seeking to find ways to fill a huge gap in the strategic Black Sea region. Turkey is still a NATO member. But it has repeatedly said it is committed to buying Russian missile defence system, despite warnings from the United States that the S-400s cannot be integrated into the NATO air defence system.

The Japanese Air Force Needs an Upgrade

03/19/2019

Japanese leaders will soon need to make a decision that will fundamentally shape their nation’s security: the replacement of their aging F-2 fighter aircraft. One overarching threat sets the bar for Japan: China. Beijing’s increasingly aggressive actions throughout the Pacific, backed by rapid and cutting-edge military buildup, leave no margin for error.

OPINION: The F-15's unlikely renaissance

03/19/2019

Not too long ago, the Boeing F-15's days looked numbered. First flown in 1972 - back when the Vietnam War was still raging and President Nixon remained in office - the "Eagle" had lately seemed too old, too last-century, to compete for sales against modern counterparts, notably the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Stealth on Steroids: Meet Israel’s F-35I Adir (An F-35 Like No Other)

03/18/2019

Israel is also developing two different sets of external fuel tanks to extend the F-35’s range. The first will be non-stealthy 425-gallon underwing tanks developed by a subsidiary of Elbit—these could be dropped when approaching enemy airspace (the pylons holding the drop tanks would reportedly detach as well so as not to compromise stealth), or used for missions in which stealth isn’t necessary.

Servicing delays ground India’s best fighter jets SU-30 MKI

03/18/2019

With India and Pakistan sabre-rattling over cross-border skirmishes, a distressing fact about India’s premier fighter jets has come to light. According to sources, over 20 SU-30 MKI fighters, the backbone of the Indian Air Force, are lying with Hindustan Aeronautics for overhaul and are not available for combat.

The Skyborg Program: The Air Force’s new plan to give fighter pilots drone sidekicks

03/18/2019

The Australian government and Boeing recently unveiled their plans for a “Loyal Wingman” drone system that would provide multiple support drones for fighters, bombers, and even unarmed aircraft during combat operations. Now, the U.S. Air Force has begun touting a new endeavor, dubbed “Skyborg,” that could take the Loyal Wingman concept to the next level.

India no longer the largest importer of arms: Should not induce complacency

03/17/2019

According to the latest report on arms transfer, released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) earlier this month, India ceased to be the world’s largest importer of arms during 2014-18, sliding to the second position behind Saudi Arabia with a 24 per cent decrease in imports compared with the imports during the preceding five-year period (2009-13) as compared with a 192 per cent increase in imports by Saudi Arabia.

Russia returned the SU-25 attack aircraft to Syria

03/17/2019

The Russian Armed Forces again deployed Sukhoi SU-25 attack aircraft to Syria after a year’s interval. Images from civilian satellite company ImageSat International released a new photo showed returned SU-25 attack aircraft at Khmeimim air base in Syria. Recent satellite images from ImageSat reveal a new deployment of SU-25 aircraft at the Khmeimim base since the previous one in July 2018.

Pakistan’s Long, Controversial Love Affair with the F-16 Fighting Falcon

03/17/2019

During an aerial skirmish on February 27, 2019, an Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison was shot down by a radar-guided missile. The Pakistani Air Force (PAF) claims the kill was scored by a JF-17 Thunder, a domestically-built fighter built with Chinese assistance. However, India subsequently revealed fragments of an AIM-120C-5 missile—a U.S.-built weapon only compatible with the American-built F-16s in PAF service.

Death by Stealth: How the F-35 Is Destroying Enemy Fighter Jets in War Simulations

03/17/2019

“I’ve never seen anything like it before. My wingman was a brand new F-35A pilot, seven or eight flights out of training. He gets on the radio and tells an experienced, 3,000 hour pilot in a fourth-generation aircraft. ‘Hey bud, you need to turn around. You’re about to die, There’s a threat off your nose,’” Wood explained in the service report.

Qatar receives first batch of Apache aircraft

03/16/2019

Qatar has received the first batch of Apache-QA during a ceremony held at the Boeing Defense Systems headquarters in Arizona, US, in presence of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah. nnThis batch comes as part of a deal signed by the Qatar Armed Forces to acquire the latest - sixth generation - of the fighter aircraft.

US Air Force takes first Block 30 AC-130J Ghostrider gunship

03/16/2019

The US Air Force’s (USAF) 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida took delivery of the first Block 30 AC-130J Ghostrider gunship on 6 March. The Block 30 AC-130J Ghostrider gunship is to replace the AC-130U Spooky gunship, which is slowly being retired from active duty after more than 20 years of operation.

Leonardo targets role on UK's Tempest next-gen fighter

03/16/2019

Leonardo is hopeful that Italy can join the UK's Tempest sixth-generation fighter programme, building on the involvement of its defence electronics division in the effort. Although the company is headquartered in Rome, it has a large presence in the UK, including the former Selex operation.

US Navy declares F-35C stealth fighter aircraft mission-ready

03/15/2019

The US Navy has announced that the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is ready for operational use after meeting all requirements. The F-35C achieved initial operational capability (IOC) after the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

US Air Force sees F-15EX as cheap and quick fix

03/15/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) is requesting funds from Congress for eight Boeing F-15EX fighters instead of more of its favoured aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter, in a move aimed at cutting costs.

Two dead after Chinese navy plane crashes

03/14/2019

A Chinese navy plane crashed in Hainan province on Tuesday killing two crew members, the military said. A short statement said the crash happened during a training exercise over rural Ledong county in the southern island province. No one else was reported to have been injured after the plane hit the ground and the cause of the incident is being investigated.

PAF successfully test-fired extended range smart weapon from JF-17

03/14/2019

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Tuesday successfully test-fired indigenously developed extended range smart weapon from JF-17 multi-role fighter aircraft. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), “the weapon has been developed, integrated and qualified solely through indigenous efforts of Pakistani scientists and engineers.”

Report: JF-17 ‘Thunder’ Block III Fighter Jet Production Is Underway

03/14/2019

Development and production of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 “Thunder” Block III multirole fighter aircraft is reportedly underway, the chief designer of the fighter jet, Yang Wei, said at press conference in China last week.

US Air Force begins search for Next Generation Ejection Seat

03/14/2019

The US Air Force started a market assessment to identify potential sources for its Next Generation Ejection Seat. The service is looking for a modern ejection seat replacement to be installed in a variety of aircraft, including the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor and Rockwell B-1 Lancer, it says in an online announcement.

PICTURE: Polish-based US Reapers declared fully operational

03/14/2019

A Polish-based US military unit equipped with the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted air system has achieved full operational capability. Forward-deployed at the Polish air force's Miroslawiec air base, the US Air Force's (USAF) 52nd Expeditionary Operations Group Detachment 2 flies the medium-altitude, long-endurance type in an unarmed configuration. MQ-9s have been flown from Poland since May 2018, the service says.

Japanese F-35s get powerful anti-ship capability

03/14/2019

Kongsberg has entered into a deal with Tokyo to supply its Joint Strike Missile (JSM) for use by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The Norwegian company disclosed the deal in a statement, but said that neither it nor the Japanese government are disclosing the number of weapons or the value of the contract. The timing of deliveries was also not discussed.

Pentagon budget proposal heavy on aircraft R&D and repairs

03/13/2019

As part of its fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, the Pentagon is requesting billions from the US Congress to further research and development work on new aircraft, as well as funds to improve the day-to-day flight readiness of its current fleet. For example, requested funding for the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider heavy bomber is to increase more than 30% to $3 billion as the programe moves from design to manufacturing development. The stealth bomber completed its critical design review in Novemb

Poland eyes F-35 for Harpia requirement

03/13/2019

Warsaw has prioritised its Harpia fighter programme as part of a new technical modernisation plan for its armed forces, while its aged RAC MiG-29s remain grounded following a 4 March crash. Poland plans to acquire 32 "fifth-generation" aircraft to replace its remaining MiG-29s and a ground-attack fleet of Sukhoi Su-22s. It is believed to be particularly interested in the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Harris chosen to provide electronic warfare (EW) avionics to protect Kuwaiti combat aircraft from missiles

03/12/2019

Electronic warfare (EW) experts at Harris Corp. will provide sophisticated EW systems to the government of Kuwait that are designed to protect combat aircraft from incoming radar-guided missiles. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., on Friday announced a $43.3 million order to the Harris Electronic Systems segment in Clifton, N.J., for additional lot 16 AN/ALQ-214 A(V)4/5 EW jammers for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter-bombers for the Kuwaiti milita

Infrared search and track (IRST) technology gives jet fighter aircraft stealthy vision

03/12/2019

Look on the nose of many modern jet fighter aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and you’ll spot a large bulbous protrusion coming from just near the cockpit. Air Force Technology reports. Continue reading original article

Northrop Grumman starts AARGM-ER engineering and manufacturing

03/12/2019

Northrop Grumman received a $323 million contract from the US Navy for engineering and manufacturing development work on its Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER), an air-launched weapon designed to seek and destroy radar sites on the ground.

ANALYSIS: Why Dassault trusts in abilities – not luck

03/12/2019

Although it has a manufacturing presence throughout France, Dassault's headquarters is in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Cloud, its heavy black gates a stone's throw from the river Seine. Journalists attending the airframer’s annual results press conference have grown used to the event being held on the company's boat, Le Talisman, moored opposite the main office building.

U.S. Navy awards order to upgrade additional MV-22 to Block C configuration

03/10/2019

The U.S. Navy has signed delivery order for Bell-Boeing team to upgrade an additional four MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the Block C configuration. The modification to a previously awarded contract, announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Defense, is worth more than $85,7 million and provides for the upgrade of four MV-22 aircraft from the Block B to the Block C configuration in support of the Common Configuration Readiness and Modernization Program (CC-RAM).

Secretary of US Air Force Heather Wilson to resign

03/10/2019

Secretary of the US Air Force Heather Wilson plans to resign on 31 May and become president of the University of Texas at El Paso. Wilson is President Donald Trump’s first Secretary of the Air Force and was rumoured to be considered for Secretary of Defense, a position which came open in December after Secretary James Mattis retired. The White House has yet to nominate someone for the role, so former Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan is serving as the acting official.

Australia continues to pursue coalition refueling trials. What works — and doesn’t — so far?

03/08/2019

Australia plans to continue conducting refueling trials with the Airbus KC-30A tanker aircraft, as the country seeks to expand the type’s flexibility in supporting coalition operations. Speaking at the Avalon Airshow, Flight Lt. Kevin Baker, a test pilot from No. 33 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force, which flies the KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport, said the receiver aircraft are from other nations and include U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SG

Singapore details F-35 plans

03/07/2019

The Minister of Defence for Singapore, Ng Eng Hen, has further clarified the country's plans to modernise the Royal Singapore Air Force combat aircraft fleet. Speaking at the Committee of Supply Debate in parliament, the Minister of Defence for Singapore, Ng Eng Hen, has further clarified the country's plans to modernise the Royal Singapore Air Force combat aircraft fleet through the acquisition of F-35s.

Red Flag 2019: First Great Power Air War Test In Years

03/07/2019

After refueling at night over a southern-Nevada dust bowl called Texas Lake, scores of U.S. and coalition warplanes crossed into contested air space on a mission to suppress state-of-the-art enemy air defenses. The formation was soon bombarded with warning signals as radars of advanced surface-to-air (SAM) missile batteries with the reach of Russia’s S-300 and S-400 air defense systems switched on.

US Air Force’s new trainer jet could become its next light-attack or aggressor aircraft

03/07/2019

The U.S. Air Force’s new T-X jets could be more than just trainers, with aggressor or light-attack missions now on the table for the Boeing-made plane, the head of Air Combat Command said Thursday. Although buying new T-X trainers to replace the more than 50-year-old T-38 fleet still remains a top priority for that program, the service is beginning to explore whether the T-X could be procured for other uses, Gen. Mike Holmes said at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium.

Rolls-Royce pulls out of joint engine supply bid for Turkish fighter

03/07/2019

Rolls-Royce has reportedly scaled back attempts to join a programme to build a new fighter jet for Turkey in partnership with Kale Group. The programme seeks to create Turkey’s first combat aircraft. Financial Times (FT) first broke the story and stated that the company’s decision will affect the UK’s ambitions to ensure the British aerospace industry plays a pivotal role in the project.

The USA is providing financial backing of $19 million for a pair of Mielec M28 Block 50 utility transports that will be delivered to Nepal.

03/07/2019

The USA is providing financial backing of $19 million for a pair of Mielec M28 Block 50 utility transports that will be delivered to Nepal. “This contract involves foreign military financing to Nepal,” says a recent US Defence Department statement. “This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition. Foreign military financing funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award.”

HAI: Airbus eyes foreign military sales of UH-72A Lakota

03/07/2019

Though Airbus Helicopters’ deliveries of the UH-72A Lakota to the US Army are scheduled to conclude in 2020, the company believes the programme may still have some foreign military sales life left. Airbus Helicopters assembles the twin-engine light utility helicopter in a factory in Columbus, Mississippi and expects to deliver 24 examples this year. The company believes it will finish all 472 deliveries to the US Army in August of 2020.

Two Marine F/A-18s collide midair over Twentynine Palms, California

03/06/2019

Two F/A-18s collided in midair over the sprawling Twentynine Palms, California, Marine training base on Feb. 28, according to military officials. The two Hornets involved in the accident are from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. They both managed to land safely after “experiencing a mid-air incident” over Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, 1st Lt. Fredrick D. Walker, a spokesman for 3rd MAW, told Marine Corps Times. "No personnel were injured.”

IAF in process of equipping Su-30MKI with Israeli SPICE-2000 bombs: Sources

03/06/2019

The Indian Air Force is in the process of equipping its Su-30MKI with Israeli SPICE-2000 laser-guided bombs, as part of its effort to make the fighter jets more potent, official sources said. Currently, the IAF's Mirage-2000 are equipped with the SPICE-2000 bombs and these aircraft were used in the pre-dawn strike on the biggest terror camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror outfit in Pakistan recently.

Pakistan F-16 pilots fired 4-5 AMRAAMs at Indian planes from 40-50 km

03/06/2019

Pakistani fighter pilots flying their F-16 combat aircraft had fired four to five American AMRAAMs from a distance of 40-50 km at the Indian aircraft including the Su-30 and the MiG-21 Bison. To expose Pakistan further on its claim of not using the F-16 planes while attacking India on February 27, Indian troops on the ground are carrying out an extensive search of probable areas where the debris of the AMRAAMs could have fallen, sources told ANI on Tuesday.

Farnborough air show axing public weekend from 2020

03/06/2019

The show – held every two years, alternating with the Paris air show – has normally capped off its five-day trade and industry focus with two days of flying displays which are open to the public. But organiser Farnborough International says it will be “removing” the weekend public days from the 2020 show, in favour of allowing public access to the final trade day.

This is why Air Force A-10s are flying escort for Marine Ospreys over Hawaii

03/05/2019

In November 2018 the Corps decided to attach elite Air Force pararescuemen to its Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Africa, to aid in rescue missions and field an in-flight paramedic. Much like the Pacific theater, U.S. forces in the Africa command area of operations must overcome a monstrous distance.

IAF Aircraft Shoots Down Pakistani Drone On Rajasthan Border

03/05/2019

Earlier in the day, IAF chief B.S. Dhanoa had claimed that the operations were still going on as he refused to go into details about the aerial engagement between the two forces. A Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Monday shot down a Pakistani Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone opposite the Bikaner-Nal sector on the International Border in Rajasthan using its air-to-air missile, news agency ANI reported.

Rafale fighter production 'alive' for next decade

03/05/2019

Dassault can secure sufficient additional orders for the Rafale fighter to take production to at least 2030, but is unconcerned over any potential production gap with the next-generation combat aircraft it is developing alongside Airbus. In 2018, the airframer took in additional 12 export orders from Qatar, raising the year-end backlog for the fourth-generation type to 101.

“Four F-117s Conducted Covert Air Strikes In Syria in 2017” Reputable Dutch “Scramble” Magazine Says

03/04/2019

As you probably already know by now, both on Feb. 26 and 27, 2019, an F-117 Nighthawk (or two?) flew very low over the flats in beautiful Panamint Valley in Death Valley National Park. Using radio callsign “Lehi”, the Nighthawk(s), chased by two F-16s (Groom Lake Vipers have been spotted chasing F-117s in the past), the stealth jet flew over the Death Valley and were shot by some lucky photographers over there.

Conflict between India and Pakistan shows the dogfighting era is far from over

03/04/2019

With the exception of one engagement over Syria in 2017, the United States has not found any of its fighters in a good old-fashioned “dogfight” since the early 1990s. Throughout much of the world, the same can be said for most other national militaries. As a result (and bolstered by new fighter technologies), there’s a growing sentiment within the defense media and among some defense officials that the days of dogfights are gone forever.

Let's Talk About The Rumor That F-117s Have Flown Missions In The Middle East Recently

03/04/2019

After a fairly amazingly well documented week of F-117 Nighthawk action over desolate Death Valley, the Facebook page of an established aviation enthusiast's website from the Netherland's featured a post that has raised a remarkable amount of attention. In it, they state that the F-117 Nighthawk—an aircraft that had supposedly been retired from operational service for over a decade—was sent back into combat as recently as 2017, albeit in very small numbers.

Fishbed vs Falcon: Why the ancient MiG-21's F-16 kill is no fluke

03/04/2019

In the ensuing dogfight, the first between India and Pakistan since the 1971 War, Wing Commander Varthaman in his Soviet-era jet managed to acquire a lock on one of the F-16s, shooting it down with a short-range Vympel R-73 air to air missile. Although he couldn't see the outcome of the short 15-minute high-altitude dogfight, Varthaman radioed to base the words "R-73 selected". Seconds later he was himself shot down.

Did Pakistan use its Chinese JF-17 jets to shoot down Indian planes?

03/03/2019

Beijing has refused to confirm a former Pakistani air force officer’s claim that China-made JF-17 fighters were used by the Pakistan Air Force to shoot down Indian military aircraft. Less than two hours after the claim was made on Wednesday morning, the share price of the state-owned plane maker’s sister company rose in trading in Shenzhen.

How the IAF compares with the PAF

03/03/2019

In the unlikely scenario of a full-fledged war the IAF will still be superior, but its squadrons need to be strengthened. India-Pakistan tensions have assumed an aerial dimension with the recent combat engagements between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Air power is the total military capability of a nation for use of aircraft and missiles. So how does the IAF compare with its arch rival the PAF?

Is the Air Force Killing the F-22 Raptor?

03/03/2019

Pilots also can't train because they are tasked with homeland security, even though air defense is a mission that could be handled by other aircraft. Poor U.S. Air Force organization and management have contributed to problems with the F-22 Raptor fighter, according to a new Government Accountability Office audit.

New Life for the B-52

03/03/2019

The U.S. Air Force is planning to keep its fleet of 76 Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers in service until at least 2050, when the youngest aircraft will be 88 years old. The USAF will operate these B-52s alongside at least 100 Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider stealth bombers, while the newer Rockwell B-1B Lancers that augment the B-52 today will retire in 2025-2035, followed by the small fleet of Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bombers.

US Navy declares F-35C stealth fighter aircraft mission-ready

03/03/2019

The US Navy has announced that the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is ready for operational use after meeting all requirements. The F-35C achieved initial operational capability (IOC) after the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

Has Pakistan’s JF-17 ‘Thunder’ Block II Fighter Jet Engaged in its First Dogfight?

03/02/2019

Pakistan’s military said on February 27 that it has shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets that had entered Pakistani airspace, capturing a pilot. “IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace,” according to Pakistan’s military spokesman. “One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K [Azad Kashmir] while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.”

USAF suspends Boeing KC-46A tanker deliveries until FOD is fixed

03/02/2019

After foreign object debris, including forgotten tools, were found inside an undisclosed number of Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aircraft delivered to the US Air Force, the service suspended acceptance of the air refueling tankers on 20 February.

Dassault chief warns on creating 'Eurofighter 2.0' for FCAS work

03/02/2019

Additional partners could still be brought into the ongoing effort to develop a European future fighter aircraft, but lead company Dassault has warned against overcomplicating the project. France and Germany agreed to jointly develop a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) in 2018, comprising both manned and unmanned assets. Dassault and Airbus Defence & Space are the industrial champions.

Singapore to order four F-35s, with options for eight

03/02/2019

Singapore plans to place a firm order for four Lockheed Martin F-35s, with options for an additional eight aircraft. “We have announced our plans to replace our F-16s, which will face obsolescence post 2030, with the F-35s,” said defence minister Ng Eng Hen in a parliamentary speech.

US Navy declares IOC for Lockheed Martin F-35C

03/01/2019

The US Navy declared the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II, the aircraft carrier-capable variant of the stealth fighter, to have achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on 28 February. The declaration comes shortly after the USN’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson and received a Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification, the service said.

After delays Sikorsky promises HH-60W flight before July 2019

02/28/2019

Two fully assembled Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters are preparing for maiden flights planned to take place before mid-2019 at the company’s West Palm Beach, Florida testing site. The aircraft were transported late in 2018 to West Palm Beach after rolling off the final assembly line at Sikorsky’s factory in Stratford, Connecticut, said Sikorsky.

Northrop Grumman pitches AESA radar for Boeing B-52 bomber

02/28/2019

Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array radar is being considered by Boeing for the Cold War-era B-52 bomber. The company said it is pitching the modern radar to Boeing as part of the B-52 Bomber Modernisation Radar System initiative, which would include engineering, manufacturing, development and delivery of an initial seven radar units.

AVALON: Kawasaki C-2 makes Down Under debut

02/28/2019

The Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft made its first public appearance in Australia after a flight from Japan via the Philippines. The twin-engined aircraft appeared in the static park near the Airbus Defence & Space A400m, to which it is the most similar in size.

Pakistan-India: Pakistan 'shoots down two Indian jets' over Kashmir

02/27/2019

Pakistan says it has shot down two Indian Air Force jets in a major escalation of the Kashmir conflict. A spokesman said one plane had fallen in Pakistani territory and two pilots had been captured. Pakistan also denied reports one of its jets was shot down. India has confirmed the loss of an MiG21 fighter and said a pilot was missing. It said it was investigating reports of his capture.

AVALON: Boeing drone heralds Australian aerospace renaissance

02/27/2019

Australian defence minister Christopher Pyne sees the developmental Boeing Airpower Teaming drone as heralding a renaissance in Australian aerospace defence production. “This is the first military aircraft Australia has invested in since the Boomerang in 1942 to 1945,” said Pyne, referring to a piston-engined fighter developed by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.

PICTURES: Serbia receives MiG-29 fighters from Belarus

02/27/2019

Serbia formally accepted four RAC MiG-29 fighters donated by Belarus during a ceremony at the latter's 558th Aircraft Repair Plant in Baranavichy on 25 February. Maintenance and overhaul work to be funded by Serbia, along with the replacement of some avionics and the installation of new navigation and communication equipment, will take up to 18 months to complete, with Belgrade expecting its first modified aircraft to be available before year-end.

Rolls-Royce touts modernised Indiana factory for B-52 engine bid

02/26/2019

Rolls-Royce plans to build its F130 turbine at a modernised factory in Indiana if selected by the US Air Force to replace the engines on the service’s fleet of Boeing B-52 bombers. The USAF programme calls for 650 new engines to help extend the longevity and performance of its aging B-52s. Rolls-Royce says its Indianapolis, Indiana facility is nearing completion of a $600 million modernisation initiative, which would optimise production of an engine in the size class of the F130.

Pilot error caused Light Attack Experiment crash: Investigators

02/26/2019

US Air Force investigators have found that the fatal Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano crash in June 2018 during the service’s Light Attack Experiment was caused by pilot error. After the crash the USAF suspended further experimental flights and eventually finished its testing programme prematurely. The pilot flying the A-29 died as a result of the crash, while the aircraft’s weapons systems officer was able to eject and parachute to safety, sustaining only minor injuries.

ANALYSIS: How Aero Vodochody recharged the L-39

02/26/2019

Most of the pilots who honed their combat skills in the Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros single-engined jet trainer were defending the Soviet empire. The 21st century-born aviators who fly its successor – the L-39NG – will only know of the Cold War from history books.

Lockheed Martin’s proposal is attractive sales pitch

02/25/2019

Lockheed Martin’s offer to make F-21s — F-16s in new avatar — in India has opened up prospects for the Indian fifth generation fighter development programme but a possible tie-up with the US aircraft-maker will hinge on its commitment to honour license issues and the extent of technology transfer.

The Crazy Story of How the Stealth F-35 Fighter Was Born

02/25/2019

Development and procurement of roughly 2,400 F-35s through 2037 is now estimated cost over $400 billion, roughly eight times the annual defense spending of Russia. In 2019, the first fully-combat capable of F-35 Lightning stealth fighters with Block IIIF software will finally enter service—twenty-seven years after it was first conceived, and after over 350 aircraft have already been delivered.

India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft Is Combat Ready

02/25/2019

More than three-and-half decades after the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark-I was conceived, the fighter jet was accorded final operational clearance (FOC) by India’s aviation certifying authority this week. FOC certification means that the Tejas fighter jet is now ready to be deployed in combat operations by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Brazil’s navy ordered three Airbus H135 light twin-engine helicopters.

02/24/2019

Brazil’s navy ordered three Airbus H135 light twin-engine helicopters. The helicopters will be operated by the 1st General Purpose Helicopter Squadron and will be used for missions such as special operations, transport of troops and freight, naval inspection, search and rescue and medical evacuation, says Airbus Helicopters. The aircraft are replacements for the Brazilian navy’s twin-engine, light utility Eurocopter AS355 Écureuil helicopter.

OPINION: Lockheed's F-21 reveal: marketing or masterstroke?

02/24/2019

What’s in a name – particularly when your product seemingly already has more than enough of them to choose from? Lockheed Martin surprised everyone at the Aero India show near Bengaluru by launching its F-21 fighter in pursuit of a 110-unit opportunity with the nation’s air force.

Attrition: Rebuilding the Ukrainian Military

02/19/2019

In early 2014 Russia invaded Ukraine. This began with special operations troops, the so-called “little green men” appearing in Crimea and declaring that they were separatists who wanted to free Crimea from Ukrainian rule.

Japan's New F-3 Fighter: Why Not Just Buy More F-35s?

02/19/2019

In February 2019, Japan turned heads with its decision to proceed with the development of an indigenous stealth fighter jet. This came in the wake of the decision to purchase more than one hundred American F-35 jets, and the supposed cancellation of the Japanese X-2 stealth fighter prototype in 2018.

F-35 Block 4 jet fighter could become killer for the Navy with Small Diameter Bomb II, Aim 9X Block II

02/19/2019

After years of expensive development, the first combat-capable Block IIIF F-35 stealth fighter will enter service in this year, yet the Pentagon already is looking ahead to adding capabilities to a follow-on model called the F-35 Block 4 -- an upgrade so ambitious, its already budgeted to cost $16 billion. The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

Canada receives two F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft from Australia

02/19/2019

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has received the first two F/A-18 AB Hornet fighter aircraft at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake in Alberta from Australia. Last year, the Australian Government agreed to sell up to 25 aircraft to Canada along with spares and support equipment.

IAF in talks with Russia for urgent MiG 29 purchase

02/17/2019

Indian Air Force, which is facing an acute shortage of combat aircraft, is in advance talks with Russia for an urgent procurement of MiG 29 fighters that can be delivered at a relatively short notice. The plan to acquire 21 additional aircraft to make a new squadron of MiG 29 jets that were first purchased in the 1980s has been discussed in detail last month and is expected to cost the Indian exchequer less than Rs 6,000 crore, government sources said.

South Korea begins building prototype of next-generation fighter aircraft

02/17/2019

Korea Aerospace Industries, or KAI, is starting production on the first prototype of a next-generation fighter jet. On 14 February, South Korea’s biggest aerospace company held a ceremony in order to celebrate the start producing of the first bulkhead, which is the main part of the forward fuselage of the next-generation Korean Fighter Xperiment (KFX) aircraft.

US Army helicopters to get 5,000 encrypted communication systems

02/17/2019

The US Army awarded Raytheon a contract worth $406 million to provide ARC-231A communication systems for a variety of helicopters. As part of the contract, Raytheon will deliver 5,000 systems over the next five years, as well as support services and software upgrades to the US Army, the company says.

New Delhi sets stage for naval utility helicopter RFP

02/14/2019

New Delhi has called for expressions of interest related to the planned procurement of 111 aircraft via its Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) requirement, leading up to a request for proposals (RFP) due for release late in the third quarter.

Moscow claims new A-100 superior to E-3 Sentry

02/14/2019

Moscow has touted the capabilities of its new Beriev A-100 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft as being far superior to domestic and international rivals. The Russian defence ministry made the claim in a recent release about the type’s launch of preliminary flight tests pending acceptance by the country’s military.

Pentagon lays out F-35’s Tier II global repair network

02/14/2019

The US Department of Defense roughly outlined the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II’s Tier II global repair network. Tier II servicers within the F-35’s maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade network are eligible to fix nearly 400 repairable components, including avionics, power systems, landing gear, egress and canopy systems, pumps, valves and power systems, the Defense Department said 12 February. The network is responsible only for global work outside the continental United States.

China's eyeing a 6th-generation fighter to beat the US — its 5th-gen fighters probably don't stand a chance in a fight

02/12/2019

China is locked in an intensifying arms race with the US, and it's not backing down, Chinese media warned Monday. China is developing a sixth-generation fighter that could be seen as early as 2035, if not sooner, the Global Times reported Monday, citing a recent Chinese media interview with Wang Haifeng, a chief architect at Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute who was involved in the development of the J-20 stealth fighter.

The F-35s New Best Friend: The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Be All Sorts of Amazing

02/12/2019

The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.

Spain joins France, Germany on new combat fighter

02/12/2019

Spain will join a Franco-German project to build a new fighter plane to replace the Eurofighter and Rafale, the defence ministry said Monday. Defence Minister Margarita Robles will sign a letter of intent with her French and German counterparts on Thursday on the margins of a NATO meeting in Brussels, a spokesperson said.

Boeing losses in KC-46A programme continue to rise

02/12/2019

Boeing recorded a $736 million reach-forward loss in 2018 on its KC-46A Pegasus tanker, bringing the programme’s total losses to nearly $3.6 billion. The programme’s losses in 2018 primarily reflected higher estimated costs associated with “certification, testing and change incorporation on aircraft,” as well as a greater than expected effort to meet the US Air Force’s requirements in order for initial aircraft to be accepted, Boeing said in its 2018 financial filing with the Securities and Exc

PICTURES: Boeing transfers fifth KC-46A to Altus base

02/12/2019

Boeing has delivered its fifth KC-46A Pegasus tanker to the US Air Force, with its latest example the first to be transferred to Altus AFB in Oklahoma. The heavily adapted 767 – registered 76027 – arrived at the site from Everett, Washington on 8 February, exactly two weeks after Boeing had transferred a lead pair of the type to McConnell AFB, in Kansas. That location also received the programme's third and fourth examples, the company says.

What exactly is the F-35 ‘Beast Mode’ we keep hearing about?

02/11/2019

The phrase “beast mode” wasn’t coined for the sake of the F-35. In fact, more often than not, you’ll find those two words adorning tweets about professional football players breaking tackles or in the caption under videos of street fights. So how did the phrase manage to find its way into so many headlines pertaining to Lockheed Martin’s flagship fifth-generation fighter? Well, for one thing, it makes for some great marketing.

China to sell aircraft carrier to Pakistan

02/11/2019

The Chinese government has decided to sell its first and only aircraft carrier to Pakistan. More specifically, the Liaoning will be sold to Pakistan for a yet-undetermined price in order to upgrade the Pakistani Navy’s capabilities, reported Chinese and Russia media on Saturday.

Jaguar, IAF's ground attack deep penetration fighter to roar at Vayushakti 2019

02/11/2019

The Jaguar ground attack deep penetration fighter aircraft will roar in the skies at the Indian Air Force's exercise Vayushakti 2019 on February 16. With over-wing missile pylons, multi-purpose nose radar, anti-shipping weapons, night sensors, photo reconnaissance, laser range finder, the aircraft is a mean fighting machine.

Warplanes: B-52 Stays, B-1B Retires

02/10/2019

The U.S. Air Force has decided to retire its B-1B bombers, which were built in the 1980s, before the B-52Hs, which were built in the 1960s. It’s all about cost. One of the two older heavy bombers has to go when the new B-21 stealth bomber begins entering service in 2030. If that happens the B-1Bs will start to retire in 2025 and the last will be gone by 2035. The B-52s are to serve until the 2040s.

Airbus and Dassault announce partnership to develop sixth-generation fighter

02/10/2019

The governments of Germany and France have granted the first contract to manufacturers Airbus and Dassault to jointly develop the first conceptual studies for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program that is expected to originate a Friday fighter aircraft generation by 2040. The announcement was made by the French military minister, Florence Parly, and her German colleague, Ursula von der Leyen, at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

What’s Next for China’s Fifth Generation Fighter Jet?

02/10/2019

Upon entering service in 2017 the Chengdu J-20 became the first active fifth generation fighter jet in the world developed outside the United States — providing the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) with an analogue to the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter. The J-20 was designed with a radar evading stealth profile to maximize its survivability both in air-to-air combat against enemy fighters and against enemy air defenses.

USAF to struggle with novice aircraft maintainers for years

02/10/2019

The US Air Force continues to struggle to keep and replace sufficient numbers of experienced and highly skilled aircraft maintainers. That’s according to a Government Accountability Office report which said the USAF reduced the overall gap between actual maintainer staff levels and authorised levels from 4,016 maintainers in fiscal year 2015, to 745 in fiscal year 2017.

Lockheed Gets Boost When Pentagon Labels Late F-35s as ‘On-Time’

02/09/2019

Lockheed Martin Corp. delivered 91 of its F-35 jets in 2018 as promised, but only 54 were “on-time” based on monthly contract targets - and 19 of those were reclassified from “late” in a settlement of production issues with the Pentagon. The tardy deliveries mark the fifth consecutive year in which Lockheed’s missed the monthly dates, which are different from annual targets agreed to with the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, according to the Defense Contract Management Agency.

Nigerian Air Force orders 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft

02/09/2019

The Nigerian Air Force has placed an order with Embraer Defense & Security and its partner Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to procure 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. Under the contract, Embraer and SNC will provide ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment, and alternate mission equipment.

Raytheon looks to install F-35’s DAS on helicopters

02/09/2019

After winning a contract in June 2018 from Lockheed Martin to develop and produce the F-35 Lightning II’s next-generation electro-optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS), Raytheon is looking at also installing the camera technology on helicopters.

LCA Tejas Likely To Be Equipped With ASRAAM

02/08/2019

India's indigenously-made Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is likely to be equipped with air-to-air missile ASRAAM. State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and MBDA are set to hold formal talks this week to arm the aircraft with the heat-seeking close combat air-to-air missile, The Print reported Wednesday.

France and Germany sign first FCAS development contracts

02/08/2019

France and Germany have stepped up their efforts to develop a joint Future Air Combat System (FCAS) by awarding Airbus and Dassault a first contract for the project, while Safran Aircraft Engines and MTU Aero Engines have announced a partnership to build the aircraft's powerplants.

Sikorsky stays defiant over SB-1 helicopter prospects

02/08/2019

Sikorsky remains confident that the SB-1 Defiant helicopter it is jointly developing with Boeing can achieve a target speed of around 270kt (500km/h), even though the technology demonstrator is yet to leave the ground.

Do 'proper homework' while acquiring new technology: Parliamentary committee to IAF, defence ministry

02/07/2019

The Indian Air Force and the defence ministry should do “proper homework” while acquiring new technology, said Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee. The committee said this in relation to delays in implementing the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation System, resulting from “lack of planning” in integrating it to different aircraft and not timely modifying the IAF fleet.

RIP Russia's Stealth Fighter: Why the Su-57 Is In Serious Trouble

02/07/2019

Combined with the dramatic collapse of the Russian economy in the wake of Western economic sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the inflexibility of UAC made the Su-57 impossible to realize. Westerns analysts have concluded that Russia’s fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter is unlikely to enter operational service before 2027. Postponements, cost-overruns and research and development-related problems mar the project.

PICTURE: Qatar receives first of 36 Rafale fighters

02/07/2019

Dassault has handed over the first of an eventual 36 Rafale combat aircraft – a DQ two-seat variant – to Qatar, for operation by the country's air force. Doha signed for 24 examples in 2015, adding a further 12 aircraft a little over two years later. “For the fourth time in our long and trustful partnership with Qatar, a Dassault aircraft will serve proudly in the Qatari Emiri Air Force," says Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier.

PICTURES: RAF Tornados complete operational duties

02/07/2019

Deployed operations with the UK's Panavia Tornado GR4 strike aircraft have come to an end, with its last examples having returned to the Royal Air Force's Marham base in Norfolk. Three of the type completed a transfer from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus on 5 February, the day after five others had returned to the UK.

'Huge effort' yields Tiger, MRH90 performance boost for Australia

02/07/2019

Australia believes it has finally overcome the high-profile problems that have dogged two of its helicopter procurement programmes – with such progress made on one platform that it has now been accepted for special forces operations. Canberra acquired both the Airbus Helicopters Tiger and the NH Industries NH90 in the early 2000s, and saw both rotorcraft fail to deliver promised levels of availability or performance.

US Army upbeat on future armed scout contest

02/07/2019

US Army officials say they are pleased with the quality of the bids so far received under its future attack reconnaissance aircraft (FARA) programme, with an initial contracting decision anticipated by mid-year. Declining to be drawn on the number of competing submissions, Brig Gen Walter Rugen, the army's director future vertical lift cross-functional team, says that it anticipates, no later than June, awarding "up to six" contracts for the next development stage.

Design issues delay badly needed Combat Rescue Helicopter

02/07/2019

The USAF wants HH-60Ws produced and deployed as soon as possible because its 96 HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters have exceeded their expected service lives of 6,000h of flight. As of last August, those helicopters had logged an average of 7,100h of flight, according to a US Government Accountability Office report. Only about 68% of the fleet was mission-capable in fiscal year 2017 – short of the USAF’s desired 75% mission-capable goal.

Red Flag adjusts for today’s challenges

02/06/2019

The 414th Combat Training Squadron, which oversees Red Flag, is making changes to the exercise for improved efficiency at Nellis Air Force Base. Red Flag is a realistic multi-domain training exercise that maximizes the combat readiness and survivability of participants by providing a robust, accurate training environment.

Elbit subsidiary picked for RC-26B avionics update

02/06/2019

Elbit Systems of America has been awarded a potentially $22 million contract to support an avionics modernisation activity on the US Air National Guard's fleet of Fairchild Metroliner-derived RC-26B surveillance aircraft.

Crash of Indian air force trainer aircraft kills 2 pilots

02/05/2019

An Indian air force Mirage 2000 trainer aircraft crashed Friday while taking off after being upgraded by a state aerospace company, killing the two pilots. Spokesman Group Capt. Anupam Banerjee said the pilots died after ejecting from the French-made aircraft at an airfield in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state. No one on the ground was injured.

Ambassador Eric Rubin: Bulgaria Was Not Pressured To Choose The U.S. F-16

02/05/2019

Bulgaria has never been pressured to choose the F-16. “This is a Bulgarian sovereign decision. Bulgaria is our partner, a member of NATO and the EU.” This, the U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric Rubin assured in an interview with BTV on the upcoming talks with the U.S. on the purchase of a new fighter, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The Only Reason Japan's Navy Doesn't Have Aircraft Carriers

02/05/2019

To repeat: the only serious obstacles to Japan’s construction of fleet carriers are political. But political obstacles are still obstacles, and the appearance of Shokaku and Zuikaku would have significant repercussions at home and abroad. Indeed, the existence of such obstacles would seem to demand a gradual approach. Still, the decision to refit the Izumos to fly modern stealth attack aircraft suggests that the current Japanese government is willing to run some risks.

Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Is in Serious Trouble

02/04/2019

From crashing two aircraft in less than two week to being accompanied by massive tugboats wherever it goes, the last several years have not been kind to Russia’s sole, geriatric aircraft carrier. Most recently, a 70-ton crane smashed into Admiral Kuznetsov ’s hull as the PD-50 floating drydock that housed it sank. The PD-50 incident sparked a new round of speculation concerning Admiral Kuznetsov’s future; while the Kremlin insists that Kuznetsov’s major 2020 overhaul will proceed as planned.

USAF's New Excuses For Delaying Light Attack Aircraft Program Sound Like A Death Sentence

02/04/2019

The Air Force's top officer says the service had to put its most recent light attack aircraft program on hold to gather yet more data on how it might use such these planes and how they might operate together with attack helicopters, armed drones, and other platforms. He also implied that there had been a lack of interest from potential foreign partners.

US intelligence reveals another mysterious Chinese stealth bomber project

02/04/2019

China made history as the only nation other than the U.S. to ever field a stealth fighter jet, and a new report on China’s military power from the Defense Intelligence Agency just revealed yet another batch of stealth combat aircraft projects.

Northrop Grumman sales rise, helped by B-21 development work

02/04/2019

Northrop Grumman’s revenue grew 16% to $30.1 billion in 2018, partly helped by orders from the US Department of Defense for additional unmanned air vehicles, fighter aircraft and B-21 development work. The aerospace manufacturer makes the fuselage for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in Palmdale, California and Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet in El Segundo, California. It also is developing the B-21 stealth bomber in California, reportedly in Palmdale.

Should the Air Force Buy More Stealth F-35s?

02/01/2019

While senior Air Force leaders are calling for a “fast” pursuit toward production and delivery of its stated F-35 objectives, there are some voices now raising the question as to whether the rates should be sped up even more -- potentially even increasing the overall numbers for the program.

F-35s train in air combat 'beast mode' in the Pacific after China deploys 'carrier killer' missiles

02/01/2019

US Marine Corps F-35B pilots embarked aboard the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship, took off with externally stored missiles in the Philippine Sea, which suggests they trained for all-out aerial combat with China. The move came just days after China deployed its DF-26 missiles that experts say can take down US aircraft carriers from thousands of miles away.

Canada forced to pay bigger share of F-35 fighter jet development costs — even though it may never buy any

02/01/2019

Canada is being forced to shoulder a bigger share of the costs of developing F-35 fighter jets even though it has not decided whether it will actually buy any. Canada is one of nine partner countries in the F-35 project, each of which is required to cover a portion of the stealth fighter’s multibillion-dollar development costs to stay at the table.

Russia to supply four Su-30SM fighter jets to Belarus in 2019

02/01/2019

The Defense Ministry of Belarus has confirmed the information on the planned adoption of the first batch of Russian Su-30SM jets this year. The ministry noted that “the contract provides for the supply of the first four aircraft.” On Wednesday, January 30, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the Irkutsk Aviation Plant where he said that in 2019, the Armed Forces of Belarus are preparing to receive the first batch of Su-30SM, interfax.by reports.

New Hypoxia Sensor Aims to Make Military Trainer Aircraft Safer

02/01/2019

A new helmet-based sensor that can read human biometrics alongside an aircraft's cockpit pressure levels just hit the market with Air Force pilots in mind. Spotlight Labs, a veteran-owned small business founded by fighter pilots, on Wednesday announced that its SPYDR hypoxia sensor is ready to be used in aircraft that have had a history of pilots reporting hypoxia-like symptoms, such as the T-6 Texan II trainer.

PICTURE: First operational F-35A emerges for the Netherlands

02/01/2019

Lockheed Martin has rolled out its first operational F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, ahead of its transfer to the service's Leeuwarden air base later this year. The fighter was unveiled during a ceremony at the company's Fort Worth final assembly site in Texas on 30 January.

Manila nears formal commitment for 16 S-70is

02/01/2019

Manila is on the verge of placing an order for 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters equipped for combat utility missions. The final elements of the deal are being put in place, according a source familiar with the transaction. The rotorcraft will be acquired on a direct commercial sale basis, and be produced at Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec unit in Poland

Leonardo sees US Navy favoring single-engined trainer helicopters

02/01/2019

Leonardo’s pitch for the US Navy’s TH-XX helicopter trainer replacement competition will focus on what it said is the affordability of its light-weight, single-engined TH-119 helicopter. Based on the commercial AgustaWestland AW119, the Italian company said the helicopter’s simple and rugged design, as well as its single engine, make it the most practical and cost efficient aircraft for training naval aviators.

Boeing Defense turnaround helps company post record $101bn sales

02/01/2019

Boeing’s revenue reached a record $101 billion in 2018, partly helped by a turnaround in the company’s defence unit, which won several large contracts thereby reversing more than a decade of declining sales. Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s revenue grew to $23.2 billion last year, rising 13% from the year prior, the company said in a financial filing. Though, the division’s profit declined 27% to $1.59 billion for the year.

Stealth Showdown: Could the F-35 Start a Deadly Arms Race in Asia?

01/31/2019

On January 2019, Singapore announced that it planned to buy a limited number of F-35 fighters for evaluation purposes. While this didn’t come as a surprise to many Singaporean military watchers, the decision comes at a tense time for Singapore, with China becoming more assertive and rising tensions with Malaysia. Could the F-35 purchase accelerate the arms race in the region? How might the F-35’s unique technical characteristics make it suitable for Singapore’s tactical environment?

Technological Advances in Warfare Make Fighting Invisible

01/31/2019

The word “warfare” summons images of bombs bursting in air, tanks rolling across scarred battlefields and the rat-a-tat of gunfire. But technological advances in warfare are making war invisible as tools like infrared lasers, fire control radars and cyberweapons are increasingly being deployed. As these tools evolve, many conventional weapons are losing some of their punch.

China Establishes South China Sea Rescue Center

01/31/2019

China's Ministry of Transport opened a maritime rescue center in Fiery Cross Reef (Yongshu Reef) in the Spratly Islands earlier this week. The Ministry stated that the center has been built to better protect navigation and transport safety in the South China Sea. The move follows last year's establishment of two rescue ships to operate in the area. The two ships have so far rescued 16 people and two ships in eight operations, says the Ministry. Property worth about $1.7 million has been salvage

ANALYSIS: Boeing plays catch-up with KC-46A deliveries

01/31/2019

When US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson's aircraft was grounded because of smoke in the cockpit, causing her to miss the delivery ceremony for the first Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker, the snag seemed to be par for the course for the programme.

Pentagon will not cut F-35 orders for Boeing F-15: Lockheed

01/31/2019

Lockheed Martin chief executive Marillyn Hewson said she was assured by Department of Defense officials that any order of Boeing F-15 aircraft will not come at the expense of future Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II purchases. Hewson was responding on a 29 January earnings call to rumours that the US Air Force might buy F-15 fighters to fill a hole in its future inventory caused by delayed F-35 deliveries.

Egypt denies report of Rafale fighter aircraft crash

01/30/2019

On 29 January, some Russian media claimed, with reference to Egypt source, that a Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft of Egypt Air Force has crashed during a routine training mission. Later Egyptian military officials categorically denied Russian media reports and stated a possible provocation against the background of the started phase of negotiations on the purchase of an additional 12 Rafale fighter jets for Egypt’s air force.

U.S. Navy’s Last Operational F/A-18C Hornet To Be Retired On Feb. 1, 2019

01/30/2019

VFA-34 “Blue Blasters”, the remaining F/A-18C Hornet squadron in the U.S. Navy, will perform their last flight in the Legacy Hornet this week. The only squadron that has not transitioned to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet yet will say farewell to the “Legacy Hornet” at their home base at NAS Oceana, Virginia, on Feb. 1, 2019.

Enhancing the capabilities of Australia’s Super Hornets with Block III upgrades

01/30/2019

Boeing’s Block III upgrades for the Super Hornet platform will enhance the interoperablity of 4th and 5th generation strike and air combat capabilities of many air forces, with the RAAF’s Super Hornets prime candidates for the modernisation program.

Leaked Information on Russian Unmanned Combat Aircraft

01/30/2019

Latest social media has shown what is reportedly Russia’s Okhotnik, or Hunter – an unmanned combat vehicle (UCAV). The aircraft has been in development for years in one form or another, with Russian aircraft design house Sukhoi leading-up the project. The craft looks large and with a hardy landing gear that looks similar to those used on modern Russian tactical jet designs.

Bell to roll back V-280 funding until US Army competition

01/30/2019

Bell plans to make no more significant investments in its V-280 Valor tiltrotor until the US Army makes a commitment to Future Vertical Lift Capability Set 1 or Capability Set 3 programmes. After the V-280 reached its 280kt (519km/h) speed goal on 23 January, Bell believes that it sufficiently demonstrated the tiltrotor technology.

US Air Force F-16s painted like Russia's Su-57 could give the US a major combat advantage

01/29/2019

The US Air Force's 64th Aggressor Squadron, which uses 20 F-16 fighter jets to train the rest of the force on realistic battle scenarios against enemy fighters, will take the paint scheme of Russia's newest fighter jet, the Su-57. And this should give the US a considerable advantage in aerial combat against the Russian jet that's meant to take on US F-22 and F-35 fighters, Brig. Gen. Robert G. Novotny, who commands 38 squadrons including the 64th, told The Drive.

Canada to extend life of Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopters to 2031

01/29/2019

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) said that Bell Helicopter Textron Canada will be undertaking the design and development work necessary to upgrade the helicopter’s avionics systems, engines, cockpit displays and integrated sensor systems. Pratt & Whitney Canada says it has been selected to replace the engines on the fleet with its PT6T 9 TwinPac, which is equipped with an engine electronic control system.

PICTURES: RAF Tornados poised for operational end

01/29/2019

The UK Royal Air Force is within days of completing its last combat deployment involving the Panavia Tornado GR4, as preparations gather pace for the ground-attack stalwart's formal retirement by 31 March.

NATO chief: Top combat aircraft can defeat Russian air defenses

01/29/2019

Joining an editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner on Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained that the most advanced allied fighter-bomber aircraft can degrade Russia's ability to use anti-access/area denial systems, or A2/AD, to threaten NATO territory.

Israel Kamikaze Drones are Destroying Syria’s Air Defenses

01/28/2019

On January 21, Iranian, Syrian and Israeli forces unleashed a hail of missiles upon each other in what is becoming yet another flare-up of violence along the Syria-Israel border. Afterwards, the Israeli Defense Force released a video depicting unidentified munitions eliminating two or three short-range air defense systems—apparently including Russia’s latest short-range system, the Pantsir-S2.

Lockheed Martin receives $33,7M for Norwegian C-130J support

01/28/2019

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corp. was awarded a $33,7 million contract for C-130J long-term sustainment support for the Royal Norwegian Air Force, according to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Russian bombers buzz North American coastline

01/28/2019

A pair of Russian supersonic, nuclear-capable bombers buzzed North America Saturday, forcing American and Canadian fighter jets to scramble and intercept them, the U.S. military said. The two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers “remained in international airspace,” but were escorted by two U.S. Air Force F-22 fighter jets and two Canadian CF-18 jets, according to a statement from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD.

F-35A fighter jets to take a lead role in Red Flag 19-1

01/28/2019

The U.S. Air Force has announced that high-tech F-35A fighter jets, from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, will be to take a lead role in Red Flag 19-1 Operations at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. According to a 388th Fighter Wing Public Affairs statement, from Jan. 26 – Feb. 15, approximately 200 Airmen from Hill AFB, including reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing, will participate in what is known as the Air Force’s premier combat training exercise.

U.S. Air Force receives first KC-46A Pegasus aircraft

01/28/2019

On 25 January, team McConnell’s Total Force crews delivered the first two KC-46A Pegasus aircraft to the Home of Air Refueling – in the Air Capital of the World. “This day will go down in history as a win for Team McConnell and the Air Force as a whole,” said Col. Josh Olson, 22nd ARW commander. “With this aircraft, McConnell will touch the entire planet.”

China Offering J-10 Fighters To Laos, Bangladesh As Rival To Russian Yak-130 Aircraft

01/27/2019

China has started hard-selling its J-10 fighter jet to Laos and Bangladesh to wean them off Russian aircraft such as the Yak-130 trainer/light fighter which both countries are considering. The country has been trying to get Pakistan interested in the J-10 but Islamabad has shown little interest despite several photo-ops of Pakistani military leaders in the cockpit of the J-10 fighter jet.

Beijing tells Washington to abide by ‘one China’ principle after US Navy’s Taiwan passage

01/27/2019

The Chinese foreign ministry on Friday urged Washington to abide by its “one China” principle after two US warships passed through the Taiwan Strait the previous day. It was the first such operation this year and analysts said that while the coming year may see increasing confrontation over the self-ruled island, the two sides would both be very cautious about taking things too far.

Boeing secures $2.5bn order for 19 P-8 maritime patrol aircraft

01/27/2019

Boeing received a $2.5 billion foreign military sales order for 19 P-8 maritime patrol aircraft for the US Navy, Royal Air Force and Norway. The USN is ordering 10 aircraft, the UK is ordering four aircraft and the government of Norway is ordering five aircraft. Thus far, Boeing says it has delivered 78 P-8A Positions to the USN, eight to the Royal Australian Air Force, and eight P-8Is to India. The RAF is scheduled to receive its first aircraft by the end of 2019, says Boeing.

ANALYSIS: What lies ahead for aerospace sector over next decade?

01/27/2019

The decade since Flight International celebrated its centenary in 2009 seems to have flown by – if you pardon the pun – and during this period there have been some key developments across the aerospace industry, as outlined elsewhere. But that poses the question: what could the next 10 years hold in store? Here, we present some potential advances across the industry that could play out during Flight’s 12th decade.

General Atomics signs up UK suppliers for RAF Protector UAV

01/27/2019

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has signed contracts with MBDA and Raytheon Systems for the armament of the UK Royal Air Force's future Protector remotely piloted air system, which is based on the manufacturer's MQ-9B SkyGuardian.

Canada to keep paying for F-35 development as fighter-jet competition ramps up

01/26/2019

Canada is poised to contribute tens of millions of dollars toward further development of the F-35 stealth fighter even as the federal government wrestles with whether to buy the plane or not. In an interview with The Canadian Press, the Department of National Defence’s head of military procurement says there are no plans for Canada to quit as one of nine partner countries in the F-35 stealth fighter program until after the Trudeau government completes the competition.

Stealth Fighters, Carrier-Killer Missiles and Deadly ICBMs: How China's Military Is Evolving

01/26/2019

TAIPEI - The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency’s 125-page report, “China Military Power – Modernizing a Force to Fight and Win,” details China’s military modernization efforts with an emphasis that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not a “national army” but a military arm of the Chinese Communist Party that exists to guarantee the CCP’s survival.

Japan Intercepts Russian Spy Plane

01/26/2019

Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) fighters intercepted a Russian Navy Ilyushin Il-38 “Dolphin” maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft over the Sea of Japan on January 17, Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a recent statement. The intercept took place in international water and Japanese airspace was reportedly not violated, according to the MoD.

Bell V-280 hits 280kt speed goal

01/26/2019

Bell has hit its target speed of 280kt (518km/h) with the V-280 tiltrotor in a little over a year since the technology demonstrator performed its first flight. The airframer says it will continue to expand the aircraft's flight envelope, as it eyes the US Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme.

KC-46A debuts as Boeing reveals rapid delivery plan

01/26/2019

Deliveries of the Boeing KC-46A to the US Air Force will rise sharply in the early part of 2019 following the delivery of the first two examples on 25 January, but will eventually level off at three aircraft monthly for the remainder of this year.

The F-16 Fighters Offered To Bulgaria Will Be Manufactured In The US, Not In India

01/25/2019

The U.S. aerospace company Lockheed Martin denied the claims circulating in some media recently that the F-16 Block 70 fighters for Bulgaria will be manufactured in India, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

Qatar to receive first Rafale fighters early for February

01/25/2019

The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) is set to receive first recently purchased Dassault Rafale multirole fighters. The new Rafale fighters have already painted in a full two-tone grey camouflage color scheme, and are expected to be delivered on 7 February to Qatar. According to deputy commander of the QEAF, the first Qatari squadron will be deployed at Doha Air Base. Also noted that all oredered fighter aircraft will arrive in the emirate between 2019 and 2022.

China Flies Aircraft Close to Taiwan After Taiwan Launches Live-Fire Drills

01/25/2019

Taiwan’s defense ministry says the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flew “various military aircraft” close to the island on Tuesday, one week after Taiwan held its first large-scale military drills of 2019 to deter a potential Chinese invasion.

USAF looks at autonomous drone swarms for search and rescue

01/25/2019

US Air Force researchers are looking at using swarms of autonomous unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for search and rescue missions. The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), in collaboration with the Wright Brothers Institute and University of Dayton Research Institute, said on 22 January that they plan to run a competition to explore the concept.

Is J-20 fighter really better than US’ F-35? At least Chinese media claims so

01/24/2019

Endowed with state-of-the-art aviation, stealth capabilities and an advanced weapon system, China's fifth generation fighter jet J-20 is considered as one of the world's most advanced fighter jets. China's ace fighter, developed by the Chengdu Aerospace corporation, is somewhat similar to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi T-50 fighters. But, the Chinese media has claimed that J-20 is superior to the United States' F-35 stealth fighter.

China's J-20 stealth fighter has no cannon - and it shows the jet can't dogfight with the US

01/24/2019

China's J-20 stealth fighter jet represents a massive milestone for Beijing's armed forces and the first stealth aircraft ever fielded outside the US, but the impressive effort still falls noticeably short in some areas. The J-20 doesn't have a cannon, and represents the only entry into the world of fifth-generation fighters that skips the gun, which has seen 100 years of aerial combat.

Space debris poses threat to UK and French air force operations

01/24/2019

Modern armed forces could cope with the loss of some space-based capabilities, but disabling orbiting assets would be a "game-changer" in the areas of imaging, positioning and ballistic missiles.

Poland to update Mi-24 helicopter fleet

01/24/2019

Poland has advanced plans to modernise its fleet of Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters operated by the nation's army aviation branch. Warsaw intends to conduct a dialogue with potential suppliers, running from July to September, to analyse the feasibility of the project, which will mean extending the lifespan of the Cold War-era helicopters.

Portugal eyes contracted M-346 fleet for training need

01/24/2019

Portugal is exploring the possibility of contracting advanced jet training for its air force pilots to an external provider that would acquire Leonardo M-346s for the operation. Lisbon has struggled with its pilot training requirements since the retirement of its Dassault Alpha Jets at the beginning of 2018, sending some crews to the USA as a stopgap measure.

Lockheed Martin offers to shift fighter aircraft F-16 production from US to India

01/23/2019

Lockheed Martin sees a potential export market of more than $20 billion for its F-16 fighter aircraft from an assembly line in India it has offered to set up in order to win a large Indian military order, a top executive said. The U.S. defence firm is competing with Boeing's F/A-18, Saab's Gripen, Dassault Aviation's Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon and a Russian aircraft to supply the Indian air force with 114 combat planes in a deal estimated to be worth more than $15 billion.

US Marine Corps orders 25 more Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters

01/23/2019

The US Marine Corps has ordered 25 additional Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters for $439.5 million. The helicopters are part of production Lot 16, the Department of Defense said in a notice on 18 January. Naval Air Systems Command is contracting the aircraft on behalf of the USMC.

France signs $89m deal for FLIR micro drones

01/23/2019

France has signed a contract with a ceiling value of $89 million to buy an undisclosed number of FLIR Systems' Black Hornet 3 micro unmanned air vehicles for its armed forces. The contract will be managed and executed by FLIR in Hvalstad, Norway, the manufacturer says. About 30 countries around the world operate variants of the Black Hornet, including a number of NATO allies.

Russian Tu-22M3 Bomber Crashes in Murmansk Region Killing Two Crew Members

01/23/2019

A Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 supersonic bomber crashed at Olenegorsk airbase, in the Murmansk region, shortly after 13:30LT on Jan. 22. According to the first reports, the aircraft was attempting to recover at its homebase in bad weather after a training sortie when it performed a hard landing. Of the four crew members, two were injured and were transported to a medical facility to receive assistance whereas two were killed.

Tokyo casts frugal eye over domestic F-35 production

01/23/2019

Tokyo will review indigenous production of the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter with an eye to saving production costs. No decision has been made about the fate of long-term F-35 production in Japan, but the Japanese government clearly sees potential to save costs by taking jets from the main Fort Worth production line, according to a government document viewed by FlightGlobal.

2 bodies recovered after Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers collided above Sea of Japan

01/20/2019

The bodies of two airmen were found during a complicated search and rescue operation in stormy waters after two Russian Su-34 warplanes collided during a training flight. One crew member was saved, and one is still missing. The bodies of two crew members were recovered during the search and rescue operation, the military confirmed. An aircraft navigator was earlier located and evacuated to safety. The Defense Ministry said he was found in “satisfactory condition”.

US Air Force wants a new prototype fighter to replace F-22 Raptors and F-35s in dogfights

01/20/2019

The F-35 strike fighter is supposed to be streets ahead of the competition. It’s stealthy. It’s smart. It networks with everything and everybody around it to give its pilot an unprecedented picture of what’s going on. So why does the US Air Force already want to replace it? Warfare is changing fast.

IAF planning to order 8 new Su-30MKI combat aircraft from HAL

01/20/2019

Seeking to make up for the losses in different crashes, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to place an order for eight new Su-30MKI combat aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics LimitedNSE 0.74 % (HAL), likely to be worth over Rs 3,000 crore. "The plan is to acquire eight new Su-30MKI combat planes," top Indian Air Force sources told ANI.

Advanced Russian fighter jets collide in mid-air with at least one crashed near Japan

01/19/2019

Two Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers collided in mid-air during a training event over the Strait of Tartary near Japan, Russian media reported on Friday. A rescue helicopter has recovered one pilot while efforts continue to save others. Russian media quoting Russia's Ministry of Defense carried conflicting reports saying that the pilots ejected and that one of the jets may have managed to stay airborne.

Russia to buy 14 new MiG-35 multirole combat aircraft in 2020

01/19/2019

Russian media announced on 18 January that the country air force had agreed to buy 14 MiG-35 multirole combat aircraft in 2020. According to the state-owned TASS news agency, Russian Aerospace Forces will sign a contract for the delivery of another batch of MiG-35 4++ generation multirole jet fighters in 2020.

USAF 3-D prints metal parts to keep F-22 repair cost down

01/19/2019

For the first time, the US Air Force has 3-D printed and installed a replacement titanium part on a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor as part of a greater effort to shrink repair costs and time. The USAF has only 186 operational F-22s and has struggled to deploy and maintain the aircraft effectively. Managing the small fleet is especially difficult because the stealth fighters are notoriously expensive to maintain or fix after damage.

ANALYSIS: F-35 production ready to soar in 2019

01/19/2019

Production of the F-35 Lightning II is on course to make its latest rate rise this year, after Lockheed Martin met its contractual target to deliver 91 of the fifth-generation fighter during 2018. Detailing last year's delivery total, Lockheed says a combined 54 aircraft were handed over to the US Air Force, US Marine Corps and US Navy, while 21 went to partner nations. The remaining 16 were shipped to Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme customers.

Singapore commits to “small” F-35 procurement

01/19/2019

Singapore has confirmed that it will replace its Lockheed Martin F-16s with the F-35, but will assess a “small number” before deciding on its long-term fleet. The country’s defence ministry announced the decision to acquire to acquire the F-35 in a brief statement on its website.

One of the U.S. Air Force Aggressor F-16s Will Get The Russian Su-57 Stealth Jet’s Digital Paint Scheme

01/17/2019

A Nellis Air Force Base’s Aggressor Viper to be painted with the same color scheme as the Russian radar-evading 5th generation aircraft. Eye-catching paint schemes which make fighter planes similar to their Russian counterparts have become a distinguishing feature of U.S. Aggressors and Adversary jets.

Pegasus arrives: KC-46 tanker makes America more effective in era of growing threats

01/17/2019

This was a milestone week in Air Force history. The U.S. Air Force and Boeing found agreement on the terms for the KC-46 air-refueling aircraft to enter the active inventory. The long-sought goal of recapitalizing the KC-135 air-refueling force is set to begin. As former Secretary of the Air Force Donald Rice explained in the 1992 version of the seminal “Global Reach—Global Power” whitepaper: “Our global power ensures our friends are not alone. With our responsiveness, potential adversaries unde

France: development contract for the Rafale F4 aircraft

01/17/2019

On 14 January 2019 Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, received the F4-standard development contract for the Rafale combat aircraft during the visit of the Dassault Aviation Mérignac plant by Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces.

Boeing relationship key to KC-390 costs, marketing

01/17/2019

Embraer’s defence joint venture with Boeing will use the American company’s leverage over suppliers to cut parts and components costs on the KC-390 tactical transport. The Brazilian company said at an investor conference on 16 January that it will also lean on Boeing’s international sales and marketing network, as well as the USA’s geopolitical influence, to expand the transport’s sales.

General Atomics unveils local suppliers for Belgian SkyGuardian

01/17/2019

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has partnered with five Belgium-based suppliers as part of its effort to include local suppliers in its deal to deliver MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned air vehicles to the Belgian Armed Forces.

Russia Claims Its Su-57 Fighter Is Even More Stealth (Be Skeptical)

01/16/2019

Russia reportedly has upgraded the stealth features on its radar-evading Su-57 fighter. But the enhancements don't amount to much. Even with upgrades, the Su-57 still is a niche, mostly experimental aircraft that lacks critical combat systems and which Russia has not committed to building in large numbers.

The F-35 Fighter Is A Success. So How Do We Keep It Ready & Reliable For The Next 50 Years?

01/16/2019

The F-35 fighter has successfully completed flight testing. It is now joining the combat fleets of three U.S. military services and a dozen overseas allies. By the end of 2019, nearly 500 fighters will have been delivered.

Lockheed wins second Long Range Anti-Ship Missile contract

01/16/2019

Lockheed Martin has won a $172 million contract from the US Navy and US Air Force for the second production lot of its stealthy Long Range Anti-S