July, 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."

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