October, 2019 Military Aviation News

6 Russian warplanes enter South Korean air defense zone as South Korea scrambles fighter jets

10/23/2019

South Korea sent its fighter jets to warn Russian warplanes who encroached South Korea’s air defense zone on Tuesday. Over several hours, Russian bombers and other warplanes – six total aircraft – entered the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) for the 20th time this year, ignoring the unique protocol required for foreign aircraft to identify themselves, Reuters reported.

Russia and Turkey reach deal to push Kurdish forces out of zone in northern Syria

10/23/2019

Russia and Turkey agreed Tuesday on a plan to push Syrian Kurdish fighters from a wide swath of territory just south of Turkey’s border, cementing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s preeminent role in Syria as U.S. troops depart and America’s influence wanes.

Lockheed Martin sees big demand for F-16 in Middle East & Asia

10/23/2019

Lockheed Martin believes its backlog of orders for the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft could more than triple based on demand from Middle Eastern and Asian countries. The company currently has a backlog of 30 F-16s, but anticipates orders for additional aircraft could increase its sales by at least another 60 examples, says Kenneth Possenriede, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Lockheed Martin on the firm’s third quarter earnings call on 22 October.

KAL-ASD analyses data from unmanned 500MD ahead of army trial

10/23/2019

Work is continuing on a South Korean project to convert elderly MD Helicopters MD500s into unmanned rotorcraft, with the sole prototype eventually to be handed over to the country's army for assessment. First flight of the aircraft, known as the 500MD, took place in July and Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD), which is leading the modification effort, is now assessing data from that sortie.

KAI stays focused on FA-50 despite T-X setback

10/23/2019

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is forging ahead with sales efforts in the international advanced jet trainer/light attack market with the FA-50 after a stinging loss in the USA’s T-X competition. Sang Choi is executive vice president and general manager of KAI’s business division. He is a veteran of the company’s overseas sales campaigns for the T-50 advanced jet trainer and its FA-50 light attack variant. He spoke with FlightGlobal at the recent Seoul ADEX show.

USAF awards $6.4bil for mock dogfighting services

10/22/2019

The US Air Force’s (USAF) Air Combat Command awarded seven companies contracts worth $6.4 billion in total to provide mock dogfighting and aerial combat training services over the next five years. As part of the Combat Air Forces Contracted Air Support programme, the companies will fly their own fleet of fighter aircraft against USAF fighters during Red Flag exercises, the USAF says in an online award notice posted on 18 October.

Industry details self-protection update bid for Eurofighter

10/22/2019

The Eurofighter Typhoon’s self-protection equipment will be the subject of a major modernisation effort, with industry partners having launched plans for a so-called Praetorian Evolution, or “Evo” package of capabilities. Details of the proposed enhancement were outlined to partner air forces, the Eurofighter consortium and the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency on 9 October by EuroDASS: a venture involving Elettronica, Hensoldt, Indra and led by Leonardo.

RAAF Super Hornets eye computing upgrade, IRST

10/22/2019

A pair of notifications on a US government website indicates that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) may increase the processing power of its Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers, and that it will add an infrared search & track (IRST) capability.

USA clears possible Korean AMRAAM sale

10/22/2019

The US State Department has cleared the possible sale of 120 Raytheon AIM-120C-7/C-8 AMRAAM missiles to South Korea. A statement from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency estimates the cost of the potential deal at $253 million. The package includes support equipment, logistics, and spare parts, and stems from an original request from Seoul.

Will Germany Choose America's F-15EX as Its New Fighter?

10/21/2019

The German air force will select a new fighter aircraft in early 2020, German minister of defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced in late September 2019. The plane will replace the Luftwaffe’s fleet of 93 Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers and complement the service’s roughly 140 Eurofighter Typhoons. For the longer term, Germany is working with France to develop a next-generation warplane under the Future Combat Air System program.

From growing pilots to shifting training while also meeting growing demands, Army aviation has challenges

10/21/2019

Army aviation faces current and future challenges as it adapts itself to both find new pilots while also preparing the next generation of aviators for air combat not seen in generations. In recent weeks, top Army aviation leaders have said publicly that while the number of pilots in the ranks fills the current aviation needs of the combatant commanders, junior pilot numbers are short and could create a critical gap as senior pilots retire or end their service.

Open Skies Help Keep the Peace With Russia

10/21/2019

International security isn’t a given. Historically, peace among the great powers is a rarity. It’s also a great accomplishment. Like trust, peace and security take a long time to build and only a moment to dismantle. One of the pillars upholding international peace and security today is the 1992 Open Skies. Treaty. Thirty-four nations, including the U.S. and Russia, have agreed to this treaty, which allows signatories to fly unarmed surveillance aircraft over one another’s territory.

AIM-260 and Peregrine Incoming: Why the U.S. Air Force Urgently Needs New Air to Air Missiles

10/21/2019

The United States is set to receive at least two entirely new classes of long range air to air missile in the 2020s, which are intended to replace the AIM-120 AMRAAM currently in service. U.S. defence manufacturer Raytheon, best known for its THAAD, RIM-161 and AIM-120 missiles, in September announced the development of the ‘Peregrine’ - an entirely new family of air to air missiles intended to be deployed by next generation American fighters.

Israel 'Modified' Their F-35 Stealth Fighters. The Results Speak for Themselves.

10/20/2019

On May 22, 2018 Israeli Air Force commander Amikam Norkin announced that its F-35I stealth fighters had flown on two combat missions on “different fronts,” showing as proof a photograph of an F-35 overflying Beirut. While details on those missions have not been released—apparently, they were not deployed in a massive Israeli air attack on Iranian forces in Syria that took place on May 9, 2018.

Defense chief: US troops leaving Syria to go to western Iraq

10/20/2019

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. Speaking to reporters traveling with him to the Middle East, Esper did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. But he said those details will be worked out over time.

China Focus: Chinese "20 series" military aircraft wow public in NE China

10/20/2019

Roaring jet engines, amazing aerobatic flights and cheering crowds, the Chinese large transport aircraft Y-20 and stealth fighter J-20 ignite the passion for aviation in Changchun, a well-known "automobile city" and the capital of northeast China's Jilin Province. Friday marks the opening of a five-day air show held to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force, and the Y-20 and J-20 contributed demonstration flights.

Full F-35 Production May Not Begin for More Than a Year, Pentagon Top Buyer Says

10/19/2019

It's official: top Pentagon officials will not clear the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for full-rate production this year, after setbacks during a crucial testing phase. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord on Friday said officials may not sign off on the F-35 full-rate production milestone - a sign of confidence in the program to produce more fighter jets -- until as far out as January 2021 because of the latest testing lapse.

Turkey-Syria cease-fire is 'not a success,' Republican lawmaker says

10/19/2019

House Foreign Affairs Committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said the Turkey-Syria cease-fire amid a U.S. troop pullout in Syria is not a success. Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran of the Iraq War, told Neil Cavuto Friday on "Your World" that the cease-fire's terms essentially allow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reach his goal in the region.

USAF looks for expeditionary precision landing system for Pacific

10/19/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) is looking for a precision approach landing system to enable its aircraft to land at expeditionary air strips on islands in the Pacific Ocean. The service is asking military contractors to submit white papers that outline component-level designs and trade-off analyses to determine the right mix of requirements necessary for a Small Footprint Precision Approach and Landing Capability (SF-PALC) system, it says in an online notice on 17 October.

This Is ODD: Why Does the Air Force Have Only 20 B-2 Stealth Bombers?

10/19/2019

Since its inception in 1947, the U.S. Air Force has been deeply invested in operating long-range strategic bomber for nuclear deterrence. However, by the 1960s it grew clear that high-flying B-52 bombers had poor odds of surviving the Soviet Union’s growing network of high-speed interceptors and surface-to-air missiles. The Air Force instead invested in supersonic FB-111 and B-1 bombers designed to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitude, where radar detection was more difficult.

Satellite images reveal China's first full-sized aircraft carrier being built at the country's 'warship factory' outside Shanghai

10/18/2019

High-resolution satellite images show that the construction of China's first full-sized aircraft carrier is progressing steadily in what has been billed as the country's future 'warship factory'. The vessel will be Beijing's third aircraft carrier which is expected to be launched in 2021. Also captured by the pictures are expansive infrastructure work that suggests the ship will be the first of several large vessels produced at the site by the Yangtze River, according to analysts.

Taiwan’s F-16 Upgrade Program Is Back on Schedule

10/18/2019

Taiwan’s Minister of Defense, Yen Teh-fa, assured parliament on Wednesday that an estimated $4.5 billion (some sources state $5.3 billion) upgrade program for 142 Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) F-16 fighter jets is proceeding according to schedule.

The revolutionary fighter changing air warfare

10/18/2019

Fifth generation (5th Gen) combat aircraft are totally transforming the nature of air combat, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II test pilot Billie Flynn has told the 2019 Aeronautical Society of South Africa conference, in Pretoria. The F-35 multirole fighter is the second 5th Gen combat aircraft to enter service, following the F-22 Raptor air dominance fighter (which is also a Lockheed Martin product).

New Air Force secretary confirmed by US Senate

10/18/2019

The US Senate confirmed Barbara Barrett as the 25th secretary of the US Air Force (USAF). She was confirmed in an 85 to 7 vote on 16 October. Barrett replaces Heather Wilson who resigned in May to become the president of the University of Texas at El Paso. Barrett will become the third consecutive woman confirmed to lead the USAF.

Global C-130J Fleet Surpasses 2 Million Flight Hours

10/17/2019

The global community of C-130J Super Hercules operators recently surpassed 2 million flight hours, Lockheed Martin announced in an Oct. 15 release. These hours were logged beginning with the C-130J’s first flight on April 5, 1996, through the end of July 2019.

Mountain Home fighter jets could fly lower in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon

10/17/2019

The U.S. Air Force wants to fly supersonic fighter jets at lower altitudes in lightly populated areas of southwestern Idaho, northern Nevada and southeastern Oregon to better simulate combat conditions. The Air Force on Wednesday said it plans to prepare an environmental impact statement to study the idea and will hold meetings and take public comments through Nov. 25 to help shape the study.

ADEX: Seoul seeks big ISTAR, AEW&C boost

10/17/2019

The 2020s will see the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) obtain new aircraft for three emergent requirements. The requirements include a new Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) programme, two additional airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft, and possibly a dedicated electronic warfare (EW) platform.

France and Germany Want a Stealth Fighter That Is Better Than the F-35

10/16/2019

France and Germany have unveiled their much-anticipated Future Combat System (FCAS) at this year’s Paris Air Show, formally entering the global race for a sixth-generation fighter. FCAS is the successor to aircraft manufacturer Dassault’s four-decade old, fourth-generation Rafale fighter, boasting a bubble canopy design accompanied by what appears to be a fully digitized onboard display.

China’s Aircraft Carriers Fueling New Arms Race

10/16/2019

Since the Cold War, the U.S. Navy has enjoyed complete dominance in the aircraft carrier arena. Now China is building a fleet of at least four carriers that could rival the U.S. in the Pacific in the coming years. Her second carrier, Shandong, set out on her eighth sea trial yesterday. Other countries are now responding with carrier programs, further eroding the U.S. lead.

Gray Eagle ER to carry glide munitions and air launched effects

10/16/2019

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is upgrading its MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (ER) unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to be able to carry and launch the Dynetics GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition, as well as so-called future air-launched effects. Improvements in the aircraft’s external capacity – which is being increased to 680kg (1,500lb) across hardpoints on both wings, as well as on its centreline – will allow the UAV to carry more payload than before.

ADEX: Bell pursues defence, civilian deals in Asia-Pacific

10/16/2019

Bell is pursuing a number of Asia-Pacific opportunities across its defence and commercial product lines. A major focus regionally is for the AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter. South Korea’s marines are preparing a request for proposals for 24 attack helicopters, and have a separate requirement for two squadrons of utility helicopters.

US Congress mulls arms export ban on Turkey for incursion into Syria

10/15/2019

U.S. House and Senate lawmakers are readying bills to sanction and potentially ban U.S. arms exports to NATO ally Turkey to punish it over military operations in northern Syria against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces who helped fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The action comes after France, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Norway announced last week they would suspend arms sales to Turkey. French and German officials announced their bans Saturday.

The Royal Air Force Adopts the RCO, Expects “Healthy Competition” in Future Aircraft

10/15/2019

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force is emulating the US Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, creating its own RCO to swiftly field new aircraft gear, and will pursue a version of USAF’s new “Century Series” initiative in developing its own next-generation combat aircraft, the Tempest. Even with these steps, however, the RAF commander said he sees no changes for Britain’s involvement with the F-35 program.

ADEX: Full-sized KAI KF-X mockup unveiled

10/15/2019

Seoul has unveiled a full-sized mockup of the developmental Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-X fighter. The dispaly shows the KF-X’s six wing hard points carrying mockups of two external fuel tanks, two bombs, and two short-range Diehl IRIS-T missiles. Its right cheek station carries a mockup of the Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pod, with four MBDA Meteor missiles on the aircraft’s belly.

ADEX: ROKAF F-35As in show debut amid order talk

10/15/2019

The Lockheed Martin F-35A appears likely to secure a 20 aircraft follow up order from Seoul, as the type makes its ADEX debut in the livery of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). One example is in the show’s static display, with three jets to appear in the flying display during the opening ceremony.

Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling ‘Ashamed,’ and Kurdish Allies Describing ‘Betrayal’

10/14/2019

American commandos were working alongside Kurdish forces at an outpost in eastern Syria last year when they were attacked by columns of Syrian government tanks and hundreds of troops, including Russian mercenaries. In the next hours, the Americans threw the Pentagon’s arsenal at them, including B-52 strategic bombers.

F-35 Lightning jets take off and land on HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier for the first time as the supersonic stealth planes conduct operational trials off the East Coast of the USA

10/14/2019

British supersonic stealth jets have taken off and landed on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier for the first time, as part of advanced trials with the US military. The F-35 Lightning jets, the world's most advanced, will undergo rigorous mission planning and flying exercises off the east coast of north America, the Ministry of Defence said.

3 reasons to investigate the US Navy UFO incidents

10/14/2019

UFO “sightings” are the stuff of tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists. That is, until one hears the extraordinary account of retired U.S. Navy Commander David Fravor and his colleagues. Fravor, a career fighter pilot, former squadron commander and level-headed skipper in an acclaimed PBS documentary, makes a particularly compelling witness to an as-yet unexplained incident that occurred off the coast of Southern California in 2004.

Eielson reactivates fighter squadron ahead of F-35's arrival

10/13/2019

In preparation for the arrival of the first of its F-35s next spring, Eielson Air Force Base has reactivated the 356th Fighter Squadron and named its new commander. Lt. Col. James Christensen will lead the 356th, the first of two combat fighter squadrons coming to the base, according to an Oct. 10 news release. The first of 54 F-35 Lightning IIs is scheduled to arrive in April 2020, with the rest following over two years. A number of personnel dedicated to the F-35s have already arrived.

RSAF marks 10 years of F-15SG fighter jet training in the US

10/12/2019

Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) pilots, weapon systems officers and engineers have been doing advanced training on F-15SG fighter jets for the past 10 years in the United States. At the same time, the more than 370 airmen of the Peace Carvin V (PC V) detachment and their families have made the city of Mountain Home in Idaho their second home, participating in events such as the annual air force appreciation day parade and charity projects.

South Korea Considers Building Large Aircraft Carriers As Country Prepares To Buy More F-35s

10/12/2019

A senior South Korean lawmaker has said the country should reconsider proposals for acquiring either light or medium aircraft carriers with Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery, or CATOBAR, configurations to respond to growing regional security threats. These were alternatives to South Korea's reported decision to purchase a number of large amphibious assault ships capable of supporting fixed-wing short takeoff and vertical landing combat jets.

Russian Helicopters to merge Mil and Kamov design bureaus

10/12/2019

Russian Helicopters plans to merge its two storied design bureaus, Mil and Kamov, into one unit, called the National Helicopter Center. The board of directors of Russian Helicopters, which is part of the larger Russian government-owned Rostec State Corporation, decided the two bureaus would be more efficient as one, the company says in a media release on 11 October.

Harbin Z-20 destined for wide number of roles: report

10/12/2019

The Harbin Z-20 helicopter will be employed for a number of missions across China’s military, according to a report in Beijing’s official China Daily. The helicopter appeared in the 1 October military parade in Beijing to celebrate 70 years of communist rule in China, and closely resembles the Sikorsky S-70.

?Islamabad highlights defence aviation progress

10/12/2019

The Pakistan military’s yearbook for 2017-2018 disclosed that Islamabad has obtained at least 60 CM-400AKG air-to-surface missiles, and that work continues on a future fighter concept. During the two years covered in the yearbook, which covers all arms of the military, Islamabad spent $100 million to obtain 60 Chinese-made CM-400AKGs, a supersonic anti-ship missile that can be deployed from the Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) JF-17 fighter.

How drones can change the nature of future warfare

10/11/2019

In light of the recent drone attack in Saudi Arabia, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has initiated necessary action to counter this new form of threat to critical installations and the security of the country. The drones have become versatile multi-role platforms because they can be launched for various purposes from a hill, dessert or sea.

Is the Su-35 Flanker-E Russia's Best Fighter Yet?

10/11/2019

The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E is the top Russian air-superiority fighter in service today, and represents the pinnacle of fourth-generation jet fighter design. It will remain so until Russia succeeds in bringing its fifth-generation PAK-FA stealth fighter into production.

Turkey-Syria payback: Norway suspends arms sales to Erdogan regime, exposing cracks in NATO solidarity

10/11/2019

Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria this week has been met with international condemnation – but it’s also induced something of a schism between members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Sikorsky pushes deeper into autonomous flight with OPV UH-60A

10/11/2019

Since making its first flight in May, Sikorsky’s optionally-piloted UH-60A Black Hawk has flown a combined 54.5h and tested several autonomous flight functions. The test helicopter, which is retrofitted with a full authority fly-by-wire Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) kit developed by Sikorsky, has now flown up to 150kt (278km/h), the company says.

RAAF funds work to beef up P-8A SAR capability

10/11/2019

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is funding a project to expand the search and rescue (SAR) capability of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The work is taking place NAS Patuxent River and has seen P-8As deploy the UNIPAC III SAR kit, according to a NAVAIR statement.

Kurdish-Led SDF Report Turkish Airstrikes On Civilians, Panic Among Population

10/10/2019

Turkish combat aircraft on Wednesday delivered their first airstrikes against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northern Syria, spreading the panic among the civilian population, Mustafa Bali, the head of SDF Press Office in northern Syria, said. "Turkish warplanes have started to carry out airstrikes on civilian areas. There is a huge panic among people of the region," Bali wrote in his Twitter blog.

Argentina to retrofit aging IA-58 Pucará into Fenix ISR model

10/10/2019

The Argentine air force plans to retrofit an undisclosed number of IA-58 Pucara light attack aircraft into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) variants, renaming the type as the IA-58 Fenix. Buenos Aires operates 25 IA-58s, according to Flight International’s 2019 World Air Forces Directory.

Airbus, Dassault warn over FCAS funding need

10/10/2019

Industry partners Airbus Defence & Space and Dassault are urging the French and German governments to agree funding commitments to rapidly launch demonstrator-phase activities linked to a proposed Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

Italy adds three more maritime patrol ATR 72s

10/10/2019

Italy’s Guardia di Finanza agency has signed for three additional ATR 72MPs – the maritime patrol variant of the turboprop airliner. Valued at over €150 million ($162 million), including support services, the deal adds to an initial example ordered in 2018.

Manila to return 7 UH-1s to service with Japanese spares

10/10/2019

The Philippine Air Force will use spare parts donated by Japan to help return seven UH-1 utility helicopters to service. According to an air force statement carried by the official Philippine News Agency, a team of air force personnel “found several items needed for restoring seven of the helicopters [to] operational status.”

The Netherlands to buy nine more F-35s for $1.1 billion

10/09/2019

The Dutch government on Tuesday announced plans to purchase nine more of Lockheed Martin's F-35 jets, a move that would bring the country's inventory to 46. The envisioned €1 billion acquisition will “lay the foundation” for a third F-35 squadron in the Dutch air force, a plan that government officials first floated in late 2018, according to a statement posted on the defense ministry website.

F-16 Crashes Near Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, Pilot Ejects Safely.

10/09/2019

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed at approximately 3:00 pm local time (1300 GMT) near Spangdahlem Air Base in western Germany close to the German/Luxembourg border. The pilot ejected and is safe, having sustained minor injuries, according to a news release from the 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs unit.

Boeing military aircraft deliveries jump 114% in Q3

10/09/2019

Boeing Defense, Space & Security delivered 77 military aircraft in the third quarter of 2019, a 114% jump over the number of aircraft it delivered in the second quarter, as the company continues catching up on orders delayed by quality issues. Much of the production lift comes from a boost in deliveries of new and remanufactured AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, as well as of KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tankers, the company disclosed in a media release.

Dassault delivers first Rafale to India

10/09/2019

New Delhi has taken delivery of its first four Dassault Rafales, completing a decades-long odyssey to obtain a new fighter for the Indian air force. The jets were handed over to Indian defence minister Raksha Mantri at a ceremony held at Dassault's Merignac production line near Bordeaux in southwest France.

Bulgarian PM: F-16 acquisition means long-term partnership to benefit Air Force

10/08/2019

The acquisition of the F-16V Block 70 fighter jets is not just a purchase, but a long-term partnership that enables the Bulgarian Air Force to successfully meet the new challenges in the sector, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said at a meeting with representatives of Lockheed Martin, a government statement said.

Turkey launches airstrike after US confirms withdrawal

10/08/2019

Fears a US withdrawal from Syria will leave Kurdish fighters exposed to Turkish invasion have materialised amid reports of an airstrike by Ankara. Turkish combat aircraft carried out an airstrike against a Kurdish and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) military base in Syria's Hasakah province, local media reports. It came after US President Donald Trump defended a decision to withdraw American troops from northern Syria.

A botched program to train Saudi pilots for war in Yemen cost a U.S. Army aviator his life

10/08/2019

He died Sept. 6, 2018, while training a Saudi student pilot at the Khashm Al An Airfield in Riyadh. When the accident occurred, Reidy only had 75 hours of flight time on the AH-6i. He needed a minimum of 250 hours in that aircraft, according to Saudi Arabia’s own regulations, and so was granted a waiver, according to an investigation into the mishap obtained by Army Times.

Thailand wants software work for new fighter buy

10/08/2019

Bangkok wants to be involved in the development of software when it eventually looks to obtain a new fighter. In remarks made to the Bangkok Post, Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) commander Maanat Wongwat said that a Concept of Project Requirements (COPR) will be developed for aircraft acquisitions.

Why the U.S. Military Needs to Worry about China's 'Mini' Aircraft Carriers

10/07/2019

Is China’s newest aircraft carrier half-full or half-empty? That depends on how you look at the vessel’s aircraft capacity. The ship, prosaically named the Type 001A for now, is China’s second carrier and the first built in China. The first carrier, the Liaoning, is a refurbished ex-Soviet vessel. The Liaoning could carry twenty-four J-15 fighters. The Type 001A can carry thirty-six J-15s plus various support aircraft and helicopters, according to Chinese media.

Rafale with Meteor and Scalp missiles will give India unrivalled combat capability: MBDA

10/07/2019

Ahead of handing over of the first Rafale jet to India, European missile maker MBDA has said that the aircraft with most advanced weapons package comprising Meteor and Scalp missiles will provide the country unrivalled deep strike capability and air dominance in the region. MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the 36 Rafale jets being procured by India at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

RTAF denies jet purchase bid

10/07/2019

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has downplayed reports it is planning to acquire a new fleet of high-tech, expensive fighter jets - including the US-made F-35 multi-role combat aircraft. Air force commander ACM Maanat Wongwat said the air force has a policy of not purchasing "ready-made" aircraft, and the F-35 manufacturer has yet to sell its jet to a buyer who wants to participate in the development of the fighter jets' software programmes.

Boeing’s F-18 jet may have a leg up in Germany over Eurofighter

10/05/2019

The race between Boeing’s F-18 jet and the Airbus Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to replace Germany’s Tornado fighter-bombers has tilted toward the American plane, according to a German media report.

Erratic flight path: Canada’s fighter procurement plan

10/05/2019

The path towards procuring a replacement fighter for the CF-188 Hornet has been one with many twists and turns due to political gamesmanship and strategic business marketing, causing much public misunderstanding.

PICTURES: US Navy F/A-18C Hornet makes final flight

10/05/2019

The US Navy’s (USN) last F/A-18C Hornet made its final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia on 2 October. The fighter aircraft, number 300, had been flying for decades, completing its first USN acceptance check flight 14 October, 1988, says the service. The service noted that Lieutenant Andrew Jalali, who piloted the Hornet for its final 1.5h flight, was also born in 1988.

Anduril unveils drone-smashing Interceptor UAV

10/05/2019

Startup Anduril Industries unveiled its drone-smashing Interceptor unmanned air vehicle (UAV) on 3 October. The small UAV is designed to take out drones, such as consumer quadcopters, by colliding into them, the Irvine, California-based company says in a media release.

USAF sets up advanced fighter technology office

10/05/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) has created a new office to help with the development of advanced fighter technologies. “The new office was created to transform the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program into the Air Force’s Digital Century Series initiative, using digital engineering, modular open systems architecture and Agile software development to design advanced airplanes faster and enter production with a significantly lower learning curve,” says the USAF.

Russia's Next Military Move: Selling Radar That Can Detect Hypersonic Weapons?

10/04/2019

Proving yet again that one nation’s misfortune is another’s business opportunity, Russia says it will sell radars in the Middle East that are designed to detect cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons. The announcement follows a devastating attack – reportedly by drones and cruise missiles – on Saudi oil facilities last month. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran of being behind the attack, which ostensibly was conducted by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

A-10 Warthog: Pilots Who Fly Them Love Them (And They Told Us Why)

10/04/2019

It is built to withstand more damage than any other frame that I know of. Its known for its ruggedness, A-10 pilot Lt. Col. Ryan Haden, 23rd Fighter Group Deputy, Moody AFB, told Scout Warrior in an interview last year. The pilot of the A-10 is surrounded by multiple plates of titanium armor, designed to enable the aircraft to withstand small-arms fire and keep flying its attack missions.

Misawa maintenance commander fired for ‘loss of confidence’

10/04/2019

The 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base in northeastern Japan relieved the commander of its maintenance squadron on Monday, according to a media report. Lt. Col. Jason Moehle, who led the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, maintainers of the F-16 Wild Weasel aircraft, was relieved by 35th Maintenance Group commander Col. Rognald Christensen, who cited a loss of confidence in Moehle’s ability to command, the Air Force Times reported Wednesday.

Will Egypt and Algeria's Su-35s anger Trump

10/04/2019

In September 2018, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on China following its purchase of the Su-35SK under the terms of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). This Act is intended to counter Russian influence in Europe and Eurasia, and to punish Russia for its involvement in the wars in Ukraine and Syria and for its alleged interference in the 2016 US election, by restricting its ability to export weapons.

UK RAF receives final advanced Typhoon fighter aircraft

10/04/2019

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has received the final advanced Typhoon combat aircraft from BAE Systems during a ceremony at the company’s final assembly facility at Warton, Lancashire. The delivery marks a key programme milestone as BAE Systems completes the handover of 160 Typhoon aircraft ordered by the RAF.

USAF awards Collins Next Generation Ejection Seat contract

10/04/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to award a sole source contract to Collins Aerospace to deliver 3,018 examples of its ACES 5 ejection seats for installation in the service’s fleet of Boeing F-15, Lockheed Martin F-16, Lockheed Martin F-22, Boeing A-10 and Boeing B-1Bs.

Belarus to get first four Russian Su-30SM aircraft in November

10/03/2019

The first four Russian Su-30SM aircraft are supposed to be delivered to Belarus in November, BelTA learned from Belarusian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov on 2 October. The official said: “The contract, which was signed in 2017, has come into force. Its financing has begun. The first four Su-30SM aircraft are supposed to be delivered in November 2019.”

Huge win for Make in India! Lockheed Martin to build F16 fighter jets’ wings in the country

10/03/2019

One of the most significant Make in India success stories for the Modi government has been the US-based aerospace company Lockheed Martin’s decision to build F16 wings for their global supply to the world from India. Renowned aerospace scientist Dr Vivek Lall had made the announcement along with Lockheed’s strategic partner Tata in September 2018.

NDIA Perspective: Recapitalizing America’s Air Force

10/03/2019

The U.S. Air Force’s extended post-Cold War “procurement holiday” has many of these characteristics. During the late 1970s through the 1980s, the service averaged buying more than 200 combat aircraft per year. Post-Cold War, for more than 25 years, it averaged less than 20 leading to the smallest, oldest Air Force in history. When the Air Force deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, it had 134 fighter squadrons across all components.

ANALYSIS: Bell reveals 360 Invictus proposal for US Army contest

10/03/2019

Facing competitors who are pushing the envelope in terms of complexity and novelty, Bell has revealed that it is taking a more conventional route to its proposal for the US Army’s Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition: a winged helicopter called the 360 Invictus.

Tokyo to receive nine additional E-2Ds

10/03/2019

Tokyo will receive the full allotment of nine Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft originally announced last year. A 26 September statement from the US Department of Defense navy awarded $1.4 billion to Northrop for the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal.

China Finally Unveils DF-41 Hypersonic Ballistic Missile: Nuclear Strikes From Beijing to Washington in 30 Minutes

10/02/2019

At the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unveiled a number of new pieces of high end hardware during a large scale parade in Tiananmen Square. Alongside new DF-17 hypersonic tactical missiles, WZ-8 hypersonic surveillance drones and Gongji-11 unmanned stealth bombers the PLA for the first time displayed its DF-41 hypersonic intercontinental range ballistic missiles.

Korea’s biggest domestic weapons project takes off

10/02/2019

The biggest homegrown weapons development project in Korean history is about to take off as Seoul begins production for its new cutting-edge, multi-role fighter jets known as the KFX. The design for the KFX, which stands for Korean Fighter Experimental, is the result of almost two decades of planning that cost the government approximately 8.6 trillion won ($7 billion).

US Navy plans cargo UAV fly-off competition in January 2020

10/02/2019

The US Navy (USN) plans to host a fly-off competition in Yuma, Arizona in January 2020 to find a tactical cargo resupply unmanned air vehicle (UAV) for the US Marine Corps (USMC). The competition is called the small Unmanned Logistics Support – Air (ULS-A) effort, says the USN in a media release on 30 September.

China shows off H-6N, hypersonics, and gyrocopters

10/02/2019

Beijing used the 70th birthday party of communist rule in China to display an impressive array of firepower. Involving a total of 15,000 personnel, hundreds of vehicles, as well as over 100 aircraft and helicopters, the parade was conducted under extremely tight security in Beijing.

Don’t Just Call Them ‘Drones’: A Guide To Military Unmanned Systems On Air, Land And Sea

10/01/2019

Unmanned systems are rapidly transforming the ways wars are fought across the globe—whether high-tech stealth drones operated by the U.S. military or cheap commercial quadcopter modified by rebels in Syria to carry improvised bombs. Drone warfare reached a new milestone in the fall of 2019 when Turkish- and Chinese-built drones operated by both factions in Libya’s civil war largely replaced manned aircraft in combat roles, and were used to attack each other’s bases.

Rafale to give India edge over China, Pakistan: IAF Chief Bhadauria

10/01/2019

Rafale jets will greatly enhance the capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and will give the IAF an edge over Pakistan and China, new IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said on Monday. "Rafale is a very capable aircraft, once we induct it, it will be a gamechanger in terms of our operational capability and when we use it in combination with SU-30 and other fleets which we have, we would have a serious jump in our capability. It will give us an edge over Pakistan and China," Bhadauria

SAAB wants to offer Gripen at half of Rafale cost, with full tech transfer, local production

10/01/2019

As India looks to acquire 114 new medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) to shore up its depleting strength, Swedish defence major SAAB has pitched for a complete Transfer of Technology (TOT) and local production of its Gripen fighter jet at “half” the cost of French alternative Rafale.

USAF awards Boeing $2.6bn contract for 15 KC-46A tankers

10/01/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) awarded Boeing a $2.63 billion contract for 15 KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tankers. The lot 5 production contract includes funds for KC-46A aircraft, as well as related product data, two spare engines, five wing refueling pod kits, initial spares, support equipment, “subscriptions and licenses,” the USAF says in a notice posted 27 September. The aircraft are expected to be finished by March 2023.

PICTURES: Viper, Venom star for USMC in Okinawa

10/01/2019

Some names stick. Bell designates the latest incarnation of the venerable AH-1 attack helicopter as the AH-1Z Viper – sometimes referred to as the ‘Zulu’ in casual conversation. The most recent version of the UH-1, meanwhile, is the UH-1Y Venom.

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