December, 2019 Military Aviation News

Korean Air in support deal for A-10 tank killer

12/10/2019

Korean Airlines Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) has received a $213 million contract to support US Air Force Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II attack planes deployed to South Korea. The contract covers ten years to 31 December 2029, according the US Department of Defense. A-10s deployed to Korea are based at Osan, south of Seoul. KAL-ASD will perform support work at its MRO facility in Busan. The company also supports other USAF aircraft.

Boeing looks at laser-range finder for KC-46A refuelling boom

12/10/2019

Boeing is researching adding a laser-range finder to the KC-46A Pegasus’ problem-plagued refuelling boom camera system. The laser-range-finder retrofit onto the boom cameras, known as the remote vision system (RVS), would give operators additional information about the true distance between the end of the KC-46A’s boom and a receiving aircraft’s receptacle during in-flight refuelling, says Will Roper, assistant secretary of the US Air Force (USAF) for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Mission possible: China ramps up aircraft production

12/09/2019

China is mass-producing a genre of special mission warplanes that experts say will help create a full information system that allows the Chinese military to recognize every hostile movement and even sabotage enemy communications. Shaanxi Aircraft Industry Corp. Ltd. (SAIC) under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has been manufacturing special mission aircraft — including anti-submarine aircraft, early warning aircraft, surveillance aircraft and electronic warfare air

Indian Rafale fighter jets to fly with BS-series tail numbers honouring ex-IAF chief BS Dhanoa

12/09/2019

The Indian Rafale fighter jets will fly with the tail sign 'BS' after the recently retired Air Force Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa. "While the two-sweater trainer Rafales will have the tail number initials of present Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria RB, the fighter versions will fly with the tail sign initials of BS after the previous chief Dhanoa," IAF officials told ANI.

Malaysia MD 530G deliveries contracted for early 2020

12/08/2019

MD Helicopters (MDHI) expects to start deliveries of six MD 530G light scout attack helicopters to Malaysia in the first quarter of 2020. When ordered in early 2016, plans had called for deliveries to start later that year, but MD Helicopters explains that this was delayed at the behest of Malaysian prime contractor, Destini Group.

Pentagon Considers Increasing Troop Presence in Middle East

12/06/2019

The Pentagon is considering deploying additional forces to the Middle East—a move it considers a “prudent” step to deter Iranian aggression as part of a dynamic response to ongoing threats in the region, the Defense Department’s head of policy told lawmakers.

F-22 armed with more precision attack technology

12/06/2019

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin are now arming the F-22 stealth fighter with more long-range precision attack technology, a wider targeting envelope or “field of regard” and new networking technology enabling improved, real-time “collaborative targeting” between aircraft.

Elbit upgrade to give MD 530G Hellfire, APKWS

12/06/2019

MD Helicopters intends to upgrade its MD 530G Block II scout attack helicopter with an integrated weapons system made by Elbit Systems that would make the rotorcraft capable of carrying and firing the AGM-114 Hellfire missile. The addition of the semi-active laser-guided missile would give the MD 530G an anti-tank and anti-armour capability it does not currently have.

USAF searches for Boeing E-4B aerial command center replacement

12/06/2019

The US Air Force (USAF) has started searching for a new airborne command, control and communications operations center to replace the Boeing E-4B, and the service is asking US defence manufacturers for input.

Air Force F-35 Simulator Will Let Pilots Fly in Formation, Talk to Other Aircraft

12/05/2019

When the U.S. Air Force gets its first F-35 Lightning II distributed mission training simulator system at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, this spring, pilots will have the ability to fly virtually as a group, alongside other aircraft, and practice exchanging information across a network, according to Lockheed Martin officials.

Naval Version of India’s Tejas Fighter to Conduct Maiden Flight From Carrier

12/05/2019

The naval version of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is being readied for its first-ever take off from the Indian Navy’s Kiev-class aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, according to Indian defense industry officials. “It [the carrier-based take-off] is not too far. Extra safety is being taken and hence time is being consumed,” a source within the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) was quoted as saying on December 2 by The Print.

ANALYSIS: AeroVironment plays catch-up with new Switchblade types

12/05/2019

After falling behind several new competitors, pioneering loitering-munition manufacturer AeroVironment is working on a bigger Switchblade variant, as well as several new uses for its legacy weapon. Additionally, the company believes it is close to receiving US State Department approval for a license to export its loitering munition, says AeroVironment chief executive officer Wahid Nawabi during a 3 December earnings call.

India funds P-8I top-up buy and AWACS acquisition

12/05/2019

The purchase of additional Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft for the Indian navy has received government approval – but only six aircraft are now planned to be acquired, instead of the 10 originally planned. New Delhi has also revived its moribund Airborne Warning and Control System India (AWACS India) programme, which seeks to deliver an indigenous replacement for the Ilyushin Il-76-based A-50Is now in use.

Spain picks PC-21 as C-101 trainer successor

12/05/2019

Spain has selected the Pilatus PC-21 single-engined turboprop to replace its aged fleet of jet-powered CASA C-101 trainers. Tender documents indicated that Madrid will pay €204 million ($226 million) for 24 PC-21s, plus simulators and a logistics package, against a budget of €225 million.

What’s in the Malaysia-Russia Fighter Jet Exchange Deal?

12/04/2019

While speculation on the agreement continues to fuel headlines, there are few concrete indications about how it could play out. Late last month, Malaysia’s defense minister confirmed that Kuala Lumpur was still considering a fighter jet exchange deal with Russia that had previously been in the headlines. The comments once again spotlighted one of the areas of Malaysia-Russia security relations that continues to attract speculation.

CAE debuts new virtual reality system for cheaper pilot training

12/04/2019

Pilot training company CAE has unveiled a new virtual reality training system it says can help militaries accelerate pilot training and reduce pilot training costs. CAE's Sprint Virtual Reality system is meant to give military student pilots more hours in realistic flying scenarios at less expense than in full-motion simulators or in actual aircraft, CAE says.

Romania to take five more F-16s from Portugal

12/04/2019

Romania plans to acquire another five surplus Lockheed Martin F-16s from Portugal – and will upgrade the 12 examples of the fighter already in its fleet. Under a draft law passed by the government on 28 November – still to be ratified by the country’s parliament – four aircraft will arrive in 2020, with the final example to follow in 2021.

Japan buys Mageshima island for US$146 million to conduct military drills with US

12/03/2019

The Japanese government has completed the 16 billion yen (US$146 million) purchase of an uninhabited island between Kyushu and Okinawa prefecture which it plans to develop into a training base for Japanese and US military aircraft.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Crashes While Attempting To Land At Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. Pilot Ejected.

12/03/2019

A U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon (nicknamed “Viper” in the fighter pilots community) crashed near Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, around 3:30PM LT. The jet was approaching the runway at the airbase to perform what the Air Force defined a “routine landing” when the pilot was forced to eject for reasons that have not been disclosed yet. The F-16 pilot landed near the base suffering minor injuries, and was taken to a medical facility.

F-35 Lightning II: A 21st century concept

12/03/2019

The F-35 Lightning II is not only a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, but a 21st century tooth-to-tail concept. I recently had the privilege to join a Canadian media trip sponsored by Lockheed Martin to visit the F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as the 63rd Fighter Squadron, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., which is responsible for F-35 pilot training.

Lockheed Martin starts building 63 new F-35A combat aircraft and avionics in contracts worth $1.16 billion

12/03/2019

Officials of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. - the organization handling F-35 aviation technology procurement for all military forces - are asking the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics segment in Fort Worth, Texas to build 15 F-35As for Australia, and for long-lead items to build 48 F-35As for the Air Force.

ANALYSIS: 'Great Power' friction to inflate 2020 military budgets

12/03/2019

Chilling relations between the USA, China and Russia are forecast to push military spending higher in 2020, continuing a trend that bodes well for the aerospace industry. Total defence spending is estimated to grow 3-4% next year to $1.9 trillion worldwide, with funds primarily spent on modernising and replacing aging military equipment, according to a report released in recent days by consultancy Deloitte.

PAKISTAN CONDUCTS ‘COMMAND LEVEL OPERATION’ EXERCISE

12/02/2019

On 29 November 2019, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) announced that it held a ‘command level operation’ exercise – designated ‘Hawk-Eye’ – involving all three of its Regional Commands. According to the PAF, Hawk-Eye involved the use of all of its aircraft types, including combat aircraft and force-multipliers, the latter likely being the fleet’s airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft as well as air-to-air refueling (AAR) tankers and/or electronic attack (EW) assets.

Trainer aircraft garner attention at Dubai Airshow. Will sales follow?

12/02/2019

Training aircraft took center stage at the 2019 Dubai Airshow, as defense contractors from around the world showed off trainers and their attack variants to potential buyers. One of the few major military contracts inked at the show was for trainer aircraft — a Nov. 20 order by the United Arab Emirates for 24 Calidus B-250 turboprop planes. But while companies from the United States, Russia, Italy, China and other nations also had their sights set on trainer sales to the UAE and beyond.

Military Conducts Live-Fire Coordination, Interoperability Training on Hawaii island

12/02/2019

Interoperability training among the nation's armed forces is occurring in Hawaii on an unprecedented scale -- and China is the reason, defense experts say. In the most recent example, two Air Force B-52 bombers, more than 1, 500 Schofield Barracks soldiers, at least 30 Army helicopters and Arkansas-based C-130 cargo carriers deployed to Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island for a 10-day "fire support coordination exercise."

HOW PAKISTAN MIGHT PURSUE ITS FUTURE STRIKE AIRCRAFT NEEDS

12/02/2019

For the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), a critical aspect of Swift Retort — the PAF’s retaliatory incursion against India for its stand-off range attacks across of the Line-of-Control (LoC) — was its ability to demonstrate a reasonable attack capability against predetermined targets in enemy territory.

National magazine hints at changes to Global Hawk program

12/02/2019

A report in the national magazine Foreign Policy indicates the Air Force is considering significantly scaling back its Global Hawk program. The news raises questions about the future of the Global Hawk mission, an unmanned surveillance aircraft whose mission is headquartered at Grand Forks Air Force Base and helps bolster the regional economy.

Japanese Defense Min Goes Onboard Indian Su-30 Aircraft During Visit To IAF Base At Hindon

12/01/2019

Japanese Defense Minister Kono Taro while on his visit to India arrived at the Hindon Airforce base on Saturday and went onboard the SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft. The Japanese Defense Minister and accompanying delegation were received by Air Marshal D Choudhury, Senior Air Staff Officer of Western Air Command and Air Commodore Rajiv Talwar at Air Force Station Hindan.

UAE To Support Kenya Air Force Aircraft

12/01/2019

The United Arab Emirates’ Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL) has signed an agreement with the Kenya Air Force to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for its aircraft. GAL, part of the newly created Edge defence conglomerate, made the announcement during the Dubai Air Show last week. It said the Kenyan agreement is its first international contract.

Why Not Even Father Time Can Beat the F-15 Eagle

12/01/2019

For nearly three decades, the F-15 Eagle fighter was considered the undisputed king of the skies. Until the debut of its replacement, the F-22 Raptor, the F-15 was the U.S. Air Force’s frontline air superiority fighter. Even today, a modernized Eagle is still considered a formidable opponent, and manufacturer Boeing has proposed updated versions that could keep the airframe flying for the better part of a century.

US Sending Ships to South China Sea to Teach Beijing, Not Fight It

12/01/2019

An unusually strong surge of U.S. Navy activity this month in the South China Sea shows that Washington is trying to teach China a set of rules for operating in contested waters, official statements and scholars say. The Navy sent two ships into the Asian sea, which is increasingly controlled by China but disputed by five other countries, last week after China sent its first domestically produced aircraft carrier into the same waterway for research and testing.

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