June, 2019 Military Aviation News

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.

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