May, 2019 Military Aviation News

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.

All Articles