August, 2019 Military Aviation News

MAKS 2019 Airshow Preview: The Practice Flights as Seen at Zhukovsky.

08/23/2019

We’re outside the fence of Zhukovsky Airport in Zhukovsky, Russia, about 40 kilometers from downtown Moscow. The instant Alex’s car comes to a stop we are out and setting up cameras. Alex, who speaks both English and Russian, plugs his earphone into his scanner.

India moves towards broad adoption of ASRAAM

08/23/2019

MBDA’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) appears set for integration on several Indian combat aircraft. The weapon will be part of the missile armament for Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Tejas Mk-1A, a combat capable version of the Hawk Mk132 called Hawk-India (Hawk-i) and Sukhoi SU-30MKIs, in addition to upgraded Sepecat/HAL Jaguar strike aircraft.

Boeing awarded nearly $1bn for more A-10 wing replacements

08/23/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) awarded Boeing a contract worth up to $999 billion for 27 wing replacements for the service’s Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, with the option to order 85 more sets over the contract’s 11-year period.

Goodbye F-15s, Hello F-16 Vipers: The Air National Guard Is Getting an Upgrade

08/22/2019

As reported by AirforceTimes, lawmakers at a House Armed Services readiness subcommittee hearing on Mar. 22, 2017 were told by Lt. Gen. Scott Rice, director of the Air National Guard (ANG), about plans to retire its 236 F-15C/Ds to save costs. He added that the service plans to replace those retired aircraft with upgraded F-16s.

Northrop Grumman to boost RQ-4 production capacity

08/22/2019

Northrop Grumman plans to more than double production capacity for the RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4C Triton unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to 12 aircraft per year in anticipation of growing demand for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform.

Why RSK MiG sees a future in regional turboprops

08/22/2019

Russian fighter manufacturer RSK MiG is preparing production of an updated version of the Ilyushin Il-114 regional turboprop in a bid to create additional workload beyond its long-standing MiG-29 family.

ANALYSIS: Taiwan's F-16 deal and the price of deterrence

08/22/2019

Washington's formal approval to sell 66 new Lockheed Martin F-16 C/D Block 70s to Taiwan provides a much-needed boost for the island state, but has already drawn the (inevitable) ire of Beijing. A Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) statement on the pivotal sale has been expected for some months, with confirmation finally coming late last week from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

2 Blue Angels planes touch in Florida during midair practice run

08/21/2019

The U.S. Navy says two Blue Angels jets touched midair during a practice run in the Florida Panhandle. Navy spokeswoman Lt. Michelle Tucker tells the Pensacola News Journal a jet made momentary contact with the underside of a second jet’s outer wing Wednesday as the pilots practiced over the Naval Air Station Pensacola. She says no one was injured.

India Set To Revamp Su-30 MKI Fighter Jets For Exporting To Friendly Nations

08/21/2019

As India looks to overhaul its Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fleet for better, India also hopes to make a mark in the defence export market by offering upgraded Sukhoi aircraft to friendly nations. The Russian aircraft is one of the best fighters the Indian Air Force has and now India hopes to sell the tweaked versions to strategic partners.

Russian Su-35 jets allegedly intercepted Turkish warplanes over Idlib

08/21/2019

The Turkish Air Force allegedly deployed some of their warplanes to the southern countryside of the Idlib Governorate after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) scored a series of gains near the city of Khan Sheikhoun. According to the aviation publication Avia.Pro, two Russian Su-35 jets intercepted the Turkish warplanes and forced them to leave Syria’s airspace.

Seoul to receive four more F-35As, as Tokyo confirms F-35B

08/21/2019

South Korea is set to receive four additional Lockheed Martin F-35As, bringing the number of the type on the Korean peninsula to eight. According to a report by official news agency Yonhap, quoting military sources, the four aircraft will arrive later this week. By the end of 2019 the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) will have ten examples on the peninsula, out of a total order for 40.

The F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter Is Back! (Don't Get Too Excited...)

08/20/2019

Eleven years after the U.S. Air Force retired the type, an F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter has made yet another public appearance. Dismantled and being hauled across the American West on a tractor-trailer. Photographer Chris McGreevy spotted the truck and its F-117 cargo on Aug. 16, 2019 on Columbia Way near the Palmdale Regional Airport outside Palmdale, California.

US Navy looks to replace or improve F/A-18E/F EO/IR targeting pods

08/20/2019

The US Navy (USN) is soliciting options to improve or replace the electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting pods on its Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers. The move comes amid concern about the current hardware's readiness state and sustainment cost.

Japan Officially Selects F-35B for Its STOVL Fighter

08/19/2019

The Japanese Ministry of Defense announced formally its decision to select the U.S. F-35B stealth fighter as the country’s short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. The decision was virtually assured given that the United States and Lockheed Martin, the aircraft’s manufacturer, were the only bidders for the Japanese contract.

China's New Stealth Fighter?: Is the J-16 Getting Stealthy or Not?

08/19/2019

The interesting photo in this post shows a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jet wearing a new silver-gray scheme which according to Chinese sources is able to give the aircraft a certain stealth capability.

Stealth F-22 Raptor Flew Right Under an F-4 Phantom from Iran

08/17/2019

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.

China's J-20 Stealth Fighter Today and Into the 2020s

08/17/2019

A photo of the J-20 was recently released as part of China’s recent defense white paper release titled “China’s Defense in a New Era.” Over the last few years, many photos of the J-20 5th generation fighter have been released, including photos of the J-20 in service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). However this J-20 bore a serial number indicating it belonged to a frontline combat unit, marking a major milestone for the aircraft.

USA approvals sale of F-16s to Taiwan

08/17/2019

The Trump administration has approved the sale of new Lockheed Martin F-16Vs to Taiwan, a long considered decision that will likely worsen tensions with China, which wants to bring the island nation back under its control. Several media outlets pegged the sale at $8 billion for 66 jets, citing anonymous sources. The deal was confirmed by a joint statement from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, a Democrat, and ranking member Michael McCaul, a Republican.

VIDEO: AFRL’s robotic pilot flies Cessna for 2 hours

08/17/2019

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Dzyne Technologies have developed a robotic system that successfully flew a 1968 Cessna 206 for 2h during a demonstration at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah on 9 August. The Robotic Pilot Unmanned Conversion Programme intends for a mechanical robot to fly an aircraft in same way as a human pilot would, says the AFRL. Its robotic system is called Robopilot.

Boeing upgrades New Zealand P-3K2 ASW capability

08/17/2019

Boeing has upgraded six Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orions operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) to improve their capability in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission. The $22 million project saw upgrades and modifications to both mission systems and aircraft components, the addition of improved simulation for training purposes, and support.

Boeing Australia steps up autonomous aircraft work

08/17/2019

Boeing Australia continues work on developing technology for autonomous aircraft, as it aims for the first flight of the Air Teaming System (ATS) prototype in 2020. Work designed to simulate mission capabilities and the aircraft’s lifecycle are taking place at the company’s Systems Analysis lab in Brisbane, says Boeing.

Watch out China, India May Be Getting the Super Hornet for Its Aircraft Carrier

08/16/2019

Watch out China, India May Be Getting the Super Hornet for Its Aircraft Carrier Boeing is vying for a Indian Navy contract for 57 new fighter jets to operate from its next aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. Dan Gillian, Boeing’s program manager for the F/A-18 and EA-18G, told Economic Times that his company had done simulations of the Super Hornet taking off from a ski jump and the aircraft can be launched with a ‘significant’ payloadwithout any modifications.

U.S. Air Force F-35A fighters staged “hunt” for L-159 aircraft

08/16/2019

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation stealth fighters held a real hunt for Draken International’s L-159 Honey Badger multi-role aircraft during the Northern Lightning exercise at Volk Field, Wisconsin. U.S. Air Force Airmen on its F-35A fighter jets assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing take part in annual Northern Lightning exercise. August’s edition of the exercise is the second iteration of Northern Lightning this year, the first of which occurred in May.

Unstoppable? MiG and Sukhoi Are Merging Under United Aircraft Corporation to Build Russia's Warplanes

08/16/2019

As reported by TASS, starting from 2019, MiG Corporation and Sukhoi will merge into the combat aviation structural unit of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). “For us, the year 2019 is the year when we switch to the format of a single company, a single corporate contour while the division will be in the format of a unit of the UAC single company,” UAC President Yuri Slyusar said at Paris Air Show responding to a question about establishing a combat aviation complex based on Sukhoi and MiG.

Model of Taiwan's new jet aircraft spotted at Taipei exhibition

08/15/2019

A photograph of what appears to be a small-scale model of Taiwan’s newest jet aircraft was released online a day before the opening of the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE), which is taking place this week from Aug. 14 to Aug. 17 at the Nangang Exhibition Center.

HAL pitches for 4 more squadrons of Su-30MKI

08/15/2019

State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has pitched for an order to manufacture four additional squadrons of the Su-30 MKI jets to quickly meet gaps in fighter squadron strength but the air force seems to be only keen on ordering replacements for aircraft that have been lost in accidents.

Video: Tense incident between Spanish and Russian aircraft over Baltic Sea

08/15/2019

A Spanish F-18 fighter jet had a tense encounter with a Russian Su-27 over the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, as seen in a video released by Russia’s Defense Ministry. The Spanish aircraft, which is deployed at the Lithuanian base of Siauliau as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, is seen tagging a plane that was reportedly carrying Russian Defense Minister Serguéi Shoigu.

China Says It Could Locate and Kill Any F-22 or F-35, but Is It True?

08/14/2019

State-run Chinese media is claiming that the People’s Liberation Army has been able to track the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighters over the East China Sea. While the Chinese report might be easily dismissed as propaganda—it is not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact—it’s very possible that China can track the Raptor. Stealth is not a cloak of invisibility, after all. Stealth technology simply delays detection and tracking.

Majority of C-130s Return to Service Following Wing Crack Inspections

08/14/2019

The U.S. Air Force has given the OK for a majority of its C-130 Hercules fleet to fly again after about a quarter of its cargo aircraft were grounded last week for precautionary inspections. As of Aug. 12, 88 aircraft have been inspected and 87 returned to service, Air Mobility Command spokeswoman Rose Riley told Military.com on Tuesday.

Air Force Completes A-10 Re-Winging to Keep Iconic Aircraft Flying for Years to Come

08/14/2019

The U.S. Air Force has completed a re-winging effort for 173 A-10 Warthog attack aircraft that began nearly a decade ago. As part of the $1.1 billion "Enhanced Wing Assembly" contract awarded to Boeing Co. in 2007, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, recently completed work on the last A-10 slated to receive the upgrade, the service said in a news release Monday. The effort began in 2011.

Rafale jets coming to India! IAF to receive first batch of French fighters in September

08/14/2019

Indian Air Force (IAF) is getting ready to receive the first batch of four `Rafale’ fighter aircraft from Dassault Aviation in France next month. These state-of-the-art Rafale fighter planes are twin-engine multi-role fighter aircraft, nuclear-capable and can engage in both air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks. After receiving these combat aircraft equipped with Meteor missile.

Germany rolls out fix for grounded Tiger fleet

08/14/2019

Germany is working to progressively bring its Airbus Helicopters Tigers back into service after a safety issue forced their grounding on 2 August. Berlin's decision to suspend flight of the army's attack helicopter fleet was based on information from the airframer that certain titanium bolts in "safety critical" areas could suffer from a manufacturing defect.

Massive Pakistan Air Force buildup near Ladakh sector

08/13/2019

Pakistan is moving its fighter aircraft at forward air base Skardu near Ladakh, said reports by the intelligence agencies. Intelligence agencies have spotted atleast three Pakistan Air Force transport aircraft C-130 bringing equipment to Skardu air base.

Marine F-35B Drops 1,000-Pound Bombs on a Sea Target in the Pacific

08/13/2019

Marines in the Pacific carried out the first-ever, at-sea F-35B "hot reloads" in that theater, allowing the aircraft to drop back-to-back 1,000-pound bombs on a target in the middle of the Solomon Sea. Marines from the amphibious assault ship Wasp went to war last week with the "killer tomato," a big red inflatable target that was floating off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

Boeing juggles KC-46 tanker deliveries and boom redesign

08/13/2019

Boeing delivered three more KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tankers to the US Air Force (USAF) on 8 and 9 August, a week after winning a $55 million contract to redesign the aircraft’s boom telescope actuator.

Marine Women Advance F-35 Program, Make Headlines as Program Accelerates.

08/11/2019

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Anneliese Satz made history on June 27, 2019 when she became the first female USMC fighter pilot to complete the F-35B Lighting II training syllabus. Following her completion of training in the F-35B at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, Capt. Satz attended the grueling SERE school (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) for training combat pilots how to survive and escape if they are forced down over enemy areas.

Turkey mulling Russia’s proposal for Su-35 jets - Yeni Safak

08/11/2019

The Turkish defence procurement authority has asked the Turkish military to formally weigh in on the possible purchase of Russian Su-35 jets and will start official negotiations with Rosoboronexport if the military approves the proposal, pro-government daily Yeni Safak reported on Saturday.

Agreement reached to postpone Turkish incursion into Syria

08/08/2019

The United States persuaded Turkey to forestall its planned invasion of Syria, the U.S. embassy in Ankara announced on Wednesday. The embassy statement said that U.S. and Turkish military delegations met this week at the Turkish Defense Ministry in Ankara and agreed to "discuss plans to coordinate establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria."

British fighters intercept five Russian planes over Baltic Sea

08/08/2019

Eurofighter Typhoons, the British RAF fighter jets intercepted Russian combat airplanes over the Baltic Sea; the Russian aircraft went for another provocative act in Europe. According to BBC, on Monday, the fighter jets intercepted a Russian Antonov AN-26 “Curl” transport aircraft. Following this and on the same mission, the fighters later diverted to intercept a Russian TU-142 “Bear” Bomber and two SU-27B “Flanker” fighters. The planes approached the airspace of Lithuania.

The pilot shortage: The Army’s struggle to fix its aviation problems

08/08/2019

Despite years of attempts to address the problem, the Army is struggling to deal with a shortage of about 700 pilots, a persistent manpower problem that could impact the readiness of the entire force. Two years ago, the head of Army aviation told lawmakers that the Army was grappling with a hole in its warrant officer corps ? 731 pilots at the time ? and said the Army would tackle the problem through recruiting efforts, increasing seats at training schools and an aggressive push to retain seaso

Lockheed Martin F-35 sends target data to US Army missile control

08/08/2019

Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force (USAF) integrated the F-35 Lightning II’s target tracking data with the US Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS), an important milestone for the stealth aircraft's ability to act as an elevated sensor.

Japan’s F-35A Fighter Jets Resume Flight Operations

08/07/2019

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced last week that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has resumed training flights of its fifth-generation Lockheed Martin Lightning II F-35A Joint Strike Fighters as of August 1. Following the crash of a JASDF F-35A into the Pacific Ocean off northern Japan on April 9, the service’s entire fleet of 12 Joint Strike Fighters was grounded pending an investigation into the causes of the accident.

Raytheon delivers Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pod to US Navy

08/07/2019

Raytheon delivered the first Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) pod to the US Navy (USN) for the service to begin ground and aircraft integration testing. The jamming pod is the first of 15 EMD pods to be delivered to the USN for mission systems testing and qualification on the Boeing EA-18G Growler, the service’s carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, Raytheon says.

ANALYSIS: F-35's next engine to reach for more range

08/07/2019

One criticism – among many – of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is that the fighter lacks the range needed to conduct long-range stealth strike missions. While Lockheed Martin has studied adding external fuel tanks to extend the aircraft's range, slinging the bulky hardware under the F-35 would ruin its minimal radar cross section, giving away the stealth fighter's chief advantage.

Northrop Grumman scramjet engine produces record thrust in test

08/06/2019

A scramjet engine made by Northrop Grumman set a record for the highest thrust produced by an air-breathing hypersonic engine in US Air Force history. Ground tests of the 5.5m (18ft)-long engine were conducted by US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Air Force Test Center staff at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee.

Lockheed gets production contract for Slovak F-16s

08/06/2019

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Lockheed Martin an $800 million contract linked to the production and future support of 14 F-16V Block 70 fighters for Slovakia. Work under the contract will be completed by January 2024, the DoD said on 31 July, with the deal made via the US Foreign Military Sales mechanism.

How America Would Win a War Against Russia or China (Think F-35s and More)

08/02/2019

If land-based precision artillery, maneuvering Air Force fighter jets and Navy destroyers were all able to seamlessly share sensitive targeting information in real time during high-intensity combat, the Pentagon would be closely approaching its currently-envisioned concept of modern joint multi-domain warfare.

Northern Strike 19 fosters Michigan-Latvia cooperation

08/02/2019

In Michigan's 26-year defense cooperation with Latvia under the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program (SPP), a defining area of collaboration has been the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) program. The latest chapter in this story of cross-cultural teamwork is being written at Grayling Air Gunnery Range, Michigan, July 22 - Aug. 2 during exercise Northern Strike 19, with a visiting team of qualified Range Control Officers from Adazi Military Base, Latvia.

Fighter Jet Crashes in ‘Star Wars’ Canyon, Killing Pilot

08/02/2019

Fighter jets on training missions drop into a narrow canyon in California’s Death Valley National Park, banking and dodging the jagged walls. On a nearby overlook, tourists and aviation enthusiasts crane their necks or aim cameras at the jets, some of them so close that onlookers can glimpse into cockpits.

Germany picks NH90 to replace Sea Lynx

08/02/2019

Germany has selected the NH Industries NH90 as the replacement for its navy's 21-strong fleet of Westland Sea Lynx 88A anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters. Due to be delivered from 2025, Berlin will take a version of the NFH model, which is closest to the "Caiman" ASW variant operated by France, the country's defence ministry says.

Aero Vodochody shifts L-39NG certification plan

08/02/2019

Aero Vodochody has transformed its certification plan for the L-39NG, and is now seeking to clear the type for delivery in a full trainer configuration during the third quarter of 2020. It had previously been working towards securing approval for a basic standard before the end of this year.

EJ200 trial to accelerate UK hypersonics research

08/01/2019

A Rolls-Royce (R-R)-led team is to conduct a two-year study into hypersonic propulsion systems for the UK Ministry of Defence, with the technology demonstration linked to its Project Tempest future combat air system activity.

Fighter variant of M-346 secures launch deal

08/01/2019

Leonardo has secured a launch order for six examples of the M-346FA – the fighter attack variant of its advanced jet trainer – from a major "international customer". Speaking on a half-year results call on 30 July, Leonardo chief executive Alessandro Profumo said the deal was signed during the last month.

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