2020 Military Aviation News

Photos Of An A-10C After A Belly Landing Are A Reminder Of Another Key Feature of The Warthog: Its Main Landing Gear

04/09/2020

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, assigned to the 75th Fighter Squadron, performed a successful emergency gear-up landing at Moody AFB, Georgia, on Apr. 7, 2020. The pilot safely escaped the aircraft.

Why India Might Fly French Dassault Rafales Over Lockheed’s ‘Super F-16s’ In The Near Future

04/09/2020

An F-16V or F-21 is a radically different warplane compared to the F-16A that first flew in 1978. Lockheed Martin is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes. But don’t count on the American firm’s “F-21” to win the contract. According to journalist Angad Singh, the likely winner is French company Dassault’s Rafale twin-engine fighter.

Iran Has One of the World's Most Bizarre Air Forces

04/09/2020

Four decades since its Islamic Revolution made it a pariah, Tehran has cobbled together one of the world’s most bizarre air forces—a combination of rebuilt U.S.-supplied planes dating from the 1970s plus homegrown designs of highly varying value and, most strangely of all, scores of aircraft essentially stolen from Iraq after they fled to Iran to escape American attack during the 1991 Gulf War.

Jolly Green II combat SAR helicopter taken to extremes

04/09/2020

An HH-60W Jolly Green II, the U.S. Air Force’s new combat search-and-rescue helicopter, has completed a month-long trial of extremes inside the McKinley Climatic Lab. The Sikorsky test aircraft endured real temperatures ranging from 120 F to -60 F as well as 45 mile-per-hour winds coupled with heavy rainfall. All of those scenarios were created within the lab’s 55,000-square-foot test chamber.

The Marine Corps Wants to Transform JLTVs into Aircraft-Killing Trucks

04/09/2020

The Marine Corps wants to know whether the defense industry can transform its heavy weapons-mounted Joint Light Tactical Vehicles into mobile air defense systems for tracking and killing enemy drones, helicopters and fighters. Marine Corps Systems Command recently invited defense firms to submit ideas for creating the Direct Fire Defeat System being developed by Program Manager Ground Based Air Defense, according to a March 27 request for information.

Indian Navy Futuristic Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter

04/08/2020

In twelve years from now, a twin engine variant of India’s Tejas fighter could start replacing Russian built MiG-29K jets deployed on board the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and Vikrant which is yet to be inducted.

PACAF Maintains Readiness Despite COVID Challenges

04/08/2020

Pacific Air Forces has been fine-tuning the Agile Combat Employment concept in training exercises for years, but the new coronavirus outbreak has required real-world execution. “When it comes down to the Pacific theater and the … challenges we face out here, COVID is merely just another challenge to the world order,” Maj. Gen. Scott Pleus, the command’s director of air and cyberspace operations, told Air Force Magazine.

South Korean light fighter sale agreement to Argentina put on hold

04/08/2020

Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) said on Monday that the agreement to sell 10 FA-50 light fighters to the Argentine Air Force was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It must have been difficult for Argentina to spend its defense budget for fighter jets when it is experiencing difficulties due to the virus spread,” a KAI official said to a local newspaper in South Korea.

Boeing to build three MQ-25 carrier-based unmanned aerial tanker aircraft and avionics in $84.7 million deal

04/08/2020

U.S. Navy carrier aviation experts are ordering three unmanned aerial tankers from the Boeing Co. in preparation for future larger orders and eventual carrier deployment of these unmanned tanker aircraft. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced an $84.7 million order to the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis last week for three new MQ-25 unmanned tanker aircraft for system demonstration.

Azerbaijan eyes purchasing combat aircraft from Russia

04/08/2020

Russia is ready to supply combat aircraft to Azerbaijan, local media reported citing the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan on April 7. 'Within the framework of military-technical cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation, a delegation of specialists of the Azerbaijan Air Force visited the enterprises included in the Russian military-industrial complex.

South China Sea: US State Department Criticizes China for Reported Ramming, Sinking of Vietnamese Fishing Boat

04/07/2020

On Monday, the U.S. State Department criticized China after reports emerged that a Vietnamese fishing vessel had been sunk near the disputed Paracel Islands. In a statement, Morgan Ortagus, the U.S. Department of State’s spokesperson, said that the United States was “seriously concerned by reports of the PRC’s sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.”

Boeing asked to integrate Honeywell ADCP II avionics computer aboard Air National Guard F-15C jet fighters

04/07/2020

Military avionics experts at the Boeing Co. will integrate the Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCP) II aboard versions of the U.S. Air Force F-15 combat jet under terms of a $8.2 million order announced last week. Officials of the Fighter/Bomber directorate of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to install and repair the environmental control system on the ADCP II boxes onto F

Battle for air supremacy heats up in Libya despite COVID-19 outbreak

04/07/2020

Renewed fighting in Libya, where both sides rely on drone support from foreign backers, has fueled a battle for air supremacy that augurs further escalation despite the coronavirus outbreak in the country. It also raises the prospect of Turkey sending more military aid to its allies.

Why Israel Was Not Allowed to Buy the F-22 Raptor

04/07/2020

Israel gets a large amount of defense aid from the United States in the form of both cash, weapons, and weapons platforms — but why doesn’t Israel have the F-22 stealth fighter? Perhaps the most prominent example of American-Israeli cooperation is the Israeli version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which Israel — and Israel alone — is allowed to modify to better fit Israeli requirements for the Middle East.

China develops fighter jet for training new generation of aircraft carrier pilots

04/06/2020

Chinese engineers have modified an old fighter jet to create a training aircraft for pilots who will serve on the country’s newest aircraft carrier – the Type 002 – which is currently in development, according to the plane’s manufacturer. The adapted JL-9 – also known as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle or “Shanying” – was produced by Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation (GAIC) specifically for use on the Type 002, which will have a catapult launch system, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said.

Crimean S-400s and Flankers Conduct Massive Drills to Counter Simulated Full Scale Missile Attack

04/06/2020

Russian forces in Crimea have carried out massive exercises simulating a full scale missile attack on facilities there. The drills were centred around S-400 battalions stationed in the newly claimed Russian territory - which is still hotly disputed by Ukraine and the Western Bloc and joined the Russian Federation in 2014. The peninsula is among the most heavily fortified of Russian territories, and is on the frontlines of a potential war with NATO or Ukraine.

Hill AFB fighter pilots continue flying, despite increasingly stringent COVID-19 measures on base

04/06/2020

Right now, Hill Air Force Base looks drastically different than it did just a few weeks ago. To help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, base brass has restricted access to the commissary and restaurants, closed all morale, recreation and welfare centers, and ordered a large percentage of Hill's workforce move to "mission essential reporting" duty status. That status requires that all nonessential base workers stay off the installation unless they are granted permission from a supervisor

China’s military and paramilitary forces have been employing lasers with increasing frequency since at least 2018.

04/05/2020

China is laser-focused on maritime primacy — quite literally. Beijing is leveraging lasers and other emerging technologies to expand and police its offshore sphere of influence and keep American and allied naval power at bay. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) finds it insufficient to fabricate law with expansive nine-dash line claims and coerce others the old-fashioned way via ramming and gunboat diplomacy.

US Navy will receive three additional MQ-25 unmanned refueling aircraft from Boeing

04/05/2020

“We’re honored to have the Navy’s confidence in our system design and performance that is evident from this additional order,” said Dave Bujold, Boeing’s MQ-25 program director. “This order establishes uninterrupted production of the first MQ-25 aircraft and lines up with the Navy’s MQ-25 test and training plans for fleet introduction. The MQ-25 program is vital in ensuring the Navy can deliver a critical unmanned aerial refueling capability to the carrier air wing.”

Boeing suspends production of Chinook and Osprey aircraft

04/04/2020

Boeing has suspended operations at its Ridley Township, Pennsylvania facilities due to the spread of coronavirus, the company said Thursday. The site includes manufacturing and production facilities for military rotorcraft such as the H-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter, the MH-139A Grey Wolf multi-mission helicopter and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for defense customers, Boeing said.

China's Air Force Is Being Held Back By Its Terrible Jet Engines

04/04/2020

The Chinese defense industrial base is infamous for its tendency to “borrow” from foreign designs, particularly in the aerospace industry. Almost the entirety of China’s modern fighter fleet have either borrowed liberally from or directly copied foreign models.

US Air Force Reserve receives first HC-130J Combat King II

04/04/2020

The US Air Force (USAF) Reserve has received its first Lockheed Martin HC-130J Combat King II. The turboprop transport is to be operated by the 39th Rescue Squadron, part of the 920th Rescue Wing, at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, says Lockheed Martin on 2 April. The Reserve flies the older HC-130 P/N Combat King search-and-rescue transport. The USAF received its first HC-130J in 2011. The US Coast Guard also operates a fleet of HC-130Js for search and rescue.

Netherlands takes new CH-47F as Boeing pauses production

04/04/2020

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has taken delivery of its first Boeing CH-47F Chinook produced in the manufacturer’s latest standard, with its Defence Helicopter Command to eventually operate 20 of the tandem-rotor transports. “The RNLAF made it clear to us that they need the advanced, proven capability of the CH-47F now,” says Andy Builta, the manufacturer’s CH-47 programme manager.

US awards Lockheed $512 million for Bulgarian F-16 production

04/04/2020

The US government has awarded Lockheed Martin $512 million to produce eight F-16 Block 70 fighters for Bulgaria. The project is expected to be completed by 31 January 2027, says the US Department of Defense in a contract announcement. The work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas and at Lockheed’s new F-16 line in Greenville, South Carolina.

Done deal: Boeing will have to rip and replace KC-46 sensor and camera systems on its own dime

04/03/2020

The agreement puts an end to years of negotiations between the Air Force and aerospace giant over the nature and extent of redesign work needed to correct the Remote Vision System, the collection of cameras and sensors that provide boom operators the imagery needed to steer the boom into another aircraft and safely transfer fuel.

Training in the Age of Corona: Israeli, American F-35 Pilots Meet in the Air, Debrief at a Distance

04/03/2020

Israeli and American fighter pilots held a joint F-35 training drill over southern Israel in recent days, meeting only in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic. Face-to-face meetings for briefings and after-drill reviews were instead conducted over the phone and video conferences. The one-day exercise, held on March 29, and dubbed “Enduring Lightening,” saw fifth-generation jets fly in joint squadrons and tackle a range of mock threats in Israeli skies.

Chinese air force’s drill ‘aimed at signalling deterrent around Taiwan’

04/03/2020

The Chinese military command responsible for patrols around Taiwan stepped up its drills by staging a long-endurance early-warning exercise in March, the official PLA Daily reported on Wednesday.

The Air Force is Cutting Tankers (That Seems Like a Big Mistake)

04/03/2020

The United States Air Force is now considering private contractors to help refuel its bombers and fighters within the next two years as it faces a near-term shortage of refueler aircraft. This comes as the USAF's 2021 budget proposal calls for cutting sixteen active-duty KC-10s and thirteen KC-135s from the active and reserve fleets.

US special forces Armed Overwatch light attack demo scheduled for November

04/03/2020

US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) plans to conduct a flight demonstration as part of its Armed Overwatch light-attack aircraft prototype project in November 2020. Should SOCOM decide to move forward with Overwatch after demonstrations, one company could be awarded a production contract for 75 aircraft to be delivered over a five- to seven-year period, the service says in a 2 April online notice.

NAVAIR fast tracks technology to help CH-53E in ‘brownouts’

04/03/2020

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is expediting the development of a system that improves low-speed performance of the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter in poor visibility conditions. US Marine Corps (USMC) operations in the Middle East have showed that in “brownout” conditions caused by sand billowing up from landing zones, helicopters have a tendency to “drift” when attempting to land and take off, NAVAIR says.

AH-64E explores maritime attack role in Arabian Gulf

04/03/2020

The US military has conducted joint operations in the Arabian gulf to demonstrate army attack helicopters teaming with naval assets to engaged simulated surface targets. The work involved the army’s Boeing AH-64E attack helicopters operating from the USS Lewis B Puller, an Expeditionary Sea Base ship, says the US Naval Force Central Command.

The Bronco Is Back! A Fleet Of OV-10s Will Help Train Air Force Forward Air Controllers

04/02/2020

A quarter-century after the last OV-10 Broncos left U.S. military service – not counting experiments and a brief field test in Iraq involving a pair of heavily modified OV-10G+ variants on loan from NASA – U.S. Air Force Forward Air Controllers, now dubbed Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs), may find themselves working with these light attack planes again soon during training programs and exercises.

Iran's F-7 Fighter Is A Copy of a J-7 Fighter from China (That Copies a MiG-21)

04/02/2020

One of their lesser-known, and indeed less-capable airframes is a copy…of a copy. Meet the J/F-7. The F-7 (or sometimes called J-7, after it’s Chinese parent) is an odd duck. The F-7 is a copy of the J-7, which is a copy of the MiG-21. This video of Albanian F-7’s or J-7s shows the decidedly Soviet and antiquated nature of the airframes.

Japan Rejects Lockheed Martin Plans for Next-Generation Fighter Aircraft

04/02/2020

Japan has rejected proposals by foreign aircraft manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin, to develop a next-generation combat aircraft based on existing designs under the F-X future fighter program, according to a spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense’s (MoD’s) Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA).

Northrop Grumman to start AARGM-ER production for US Navy

04/02/2020

The US Navy (USN) intends to award a sole source contract to Northrop Grumman to start production of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER). The quantity of the forthcoming order was not disclosed, but would be part of low rate initial production lot one, says the service in a notice posted online on 31 March.

UK Royal Navy sets course for Carrier Strike Group 21 test

04/02/2020

Moored nose-to-tail in Portsmouth harbour for the first time earlier this year, the UK’s two largest ever warships made an imposing presence, despite the absence of the Lockheed Martin F-35Bs which will in time deliver the Royal Navy (RN) vessels’ firepower during operations around the globe.

Captain of Aircraft Carrier Pleads for Help as Virus Cases Increase Onboard

04/01/2020

The captain of an American aircraft carrier deployed to the Pacific Ocean has pleaded with the Pentagon for more help as a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship continues to spread, officials said Tuesday. Military officials say dozens of sailors have been infected.

Lockheed awarded $4.9B for work on F-35s

04/01/2020

Lockheed Martin picked up three contracts totaling $4.9 billion for work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft Tuesday, according to the Pentagon. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter -- a single-engine stealth multirole combat aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps - is considered the most advanced fighter aircraft in the sky.

Swedish training transition to engage Gripen C/Ds

04/01/2020

The Swedish air force is poised to begin modernising its pilot training system, with the process from later this decade to involve the interim use of Saab Gripen C/Ds during advanced instruction phases. Stockholm has employed the Saab 105 (Sk 60) for both basic and advanced/tactical training since 1986, but Colonel Torgny Falthammar, Gripen programme head at the nation’s air staff organisation, says steps will be taken to replace the aged type.

USA approves new IFF, datalink for Korean F-16s

04/01/2020

The US government has cleared a potential sale of Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) and the Link 16 tactical datalink to South Korea for its Lockheed Martin F-16s. The deal is worth $194 million, and includes a range of services and equipment related to the acquisition, says the US State Department.

Dassault aims to begin gradual restart of production at French sites after coronavirus shutdown

04/01/2020

Dassault hopes to begin gradually recommencing production at its French facilities in the coming days following an agreement with workforce unions. Final assembly of Rafale combat aircraft and Falcon business jets has been suspended since 18 March, with parts manufacturing similarly halted four days later, in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel and America Just Conducted F-35 Drills (Iran, Take Notice?)

03/31/2020

Israel’s F-35 Adir fighters conducted a training exercise called 'Enduring Lightning' over southern Israel amid the global pandemic. They were joined by the U.S. Air Force American F-35s, pairing the two countries' fifth-generation fighter capabilities at a time of tension in the region

NEWEST MV-22B OSPREY SQUADRON, THE “UGLY ANGELS,” ARE READY

03/31/2020

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362, known as the “Ugly Angels,” were declared fully operational capable on Feb. 28, 2020, signifying that the Marine Corps’ newest MV-22B Osprey squadron is prepared to support the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Following the certification, they continued to work together to accomplish additional training and readiness objectives while conducting precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Boeing wins $1.5bn contract for 18 P-8A patrol aircraft for South Korea, New Zealand and US Navy

03/31/2020

The US Navy (USN) has awarded Boeing a $1.5 billion contract for 18 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The deal is for six aircraft for the South Korean navy, four aircraft for the Royal New Zealand Air Force and eight aircraft for the USN, Boeing says on 30 March. New Zealand and South Korea are scheduled to received their first aircraft in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Fuel is leaking from the Boeing KC-46A in-flight refuelling tanker

03/31/2020

The US Air Force (USAF) says fuel is leaking from its Boeing KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tanker. The problem, which was first discovered in July 2019, was recently upgraded to a category 1 deficiency, says the service on 30 March.

Airbus suspends Spanish production as outbreak restrictions tighten

03/31/2020

Airbus is suspending most of its production in Spain for more than a week, as it continues its efforts to address the coronavirus situation. Spain has been particularly hard-hit among European countries. Airbus says it is to suspend the “majority of production” until 9 April, in the aftermath of new measures imposed by the Spanish government from 30 March.

Pentagon seeks $76 million next year to start replacing Offutt-based 'Doomsday' jets

03/30/2020

The day is coming when Offutt Air Force Base’s giant “Doomsday” planes will fly off into the sunset. The Air Force has started a program to replace the four E-4B Nightwatch jets — also known as the National Airborne Operations Center — within 10 years. The Doomsday moniker is because their primary mission is to take off and maintain control of nuclear weapons in the event of nuclear war. They also frequently are used as a transport plane for the secretary of defense.

Hill fighter wings continue flying operations amid COVID-19 crisis

03/30/2020

The active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing are continuing to train and fly the F-35A Lightning II at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, despite the current global Coronavirus outbreak. There has been one confirmed case on Hill AFB. As cases continue to spread in America and more and more local and national guidelines and restrictions are put in place to prevent the spread of the disease, the wings implemented their own measures two weeks ago. The largest was, “segmented” OPS.

Yes the F-35 Would Wipe out an F-15 or F-16 (But Maybe Not Every Single Time)

03/29/2020

The F-35 wins at long-range due to its stealth capabilities. But it is no dogfighter and if another plane got close enough, maybe the F-35 would lose.

Japan rejecting foreign suitors in favor of homegrown design for new stealth jet, sources say

03/29/2020

Japan wants to develop a stealth fighter domestically, rejecting designs from Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. in the United States and Britain’s BAE Systems PLC, three sources with knowledge of the program said.

Defense forces disagree with claims Russia is suspending military exercises

03/29/2020

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said Russia has halted military exercises in the vicinity of its western borders, and its military aircraft are flying in the Baltic airspace with their onboard transponders switched on. But the Estonian defense forces do not agree with this assessment.

First Marine F-35C squadron received Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification

03/28/2020

The first F-35C squadron of the United States Marine Corps, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, received on March 20, 2020 its Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification (SFFOC) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar. VMFA-314 reached this milestone after working with the U.S. Navy’s F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125, which helped the Marines with the transition from the F/A-18A++ Hornet to the new F-35C Lightning II.

USAF Rebuilds Precision Munition Stockpiles

03/28/2020

After an intense period of restocking, Air Force precision weapon inventories are almost back to acceptable levels, Air Force leaders say. Now they are throttling back planned purchases for fiscal 2021.

Nukes, Trump, Russian Missiles: The Weird Reasons Germany May Buy Three Jet Fighter Types from Eurofighter and Boeing

03/28/2020

Germany’s Defense Ministry is likely to replace its Tornado jets by 2025 with three different types of jets—two of them built in the United States, German business paper Handelsblatt reported Thursday. For years, Germany’s Air Force, the Luftwaffe, has been bedeviled by atrociously low readiness levels in its fleet of combat aircraft. Currently, the service operates 141 modern Eurofighter Typhoon jets optimized for air-to-air combat, and 93 Panavia Tornados.

US Air Force wants to use private in-flight refuelling tankers in two years

03/28/2020

The US Air Force (USAF) aims to start using private in-flight refuelling tankers in two years. The service wants to contract 5,000 flight hours to support around 1,100 sorties annually, it says in an industry day brief that was released 3 March. The brief was a summary of an industry day held in December 2019.

Saab commences production of first Brazilian Gripen F

03/28/2020

Saab has cut metal on the first two-seat Gripen F for the Brazilian air force. The first part cut for the aircraft will form part of the jet’s air duct section, just behind the fighter’s cockpit, says Saab. “This milestone is important for the Gripen project because it demonstrates that the development phase is proceeding properly,” says Colonel Renato Leite, head of the Monitoring and Control Group (GAC-Saab) at the Brazilian Air Force.

ACC to Award ‘Red Air’ Contracts for Six Bases

03/26/2020

Air Combat Command plans to award multiple contracts for adversary air support at six bases as early as April. But the scope of the project, once anticipated to be worth up to $6 billion, will be much smaller than hoped.

US Army selects Bell and Sikorsky to build FARA prototypes

03/26/2020

The US Army has selected Bell and Sikorsky to design and test Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototypes. The two companies advanced to phase two where each is to complete a detailed design, build and test helicopters. The winner of the FARA contest will be selected in a fly-off competition no later than the fall of 2023.

Taiwan holds joint air drill featuring simulated air scramble

03/25/2020

Taiwan's Armed Forces held large-scale military exercises throughout the country on Tuesday, with eight F-16 fighter jets from Hualien Air Base conducting simulated long-range intercept missions above Taiwan. The drill was primarily held to test the military's combat readiness against an all-out Chinese aerial invasion, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said.

Naval Air: Italian Trainers Over The South China Sea

03/25/2020

In early 2020 the Philippines Air Force again assigned Italian made S211 jet trainers to maritime patrol duty. Only three of these elderly aircraft are still flyable and they will remain assigned to maritime patrol until they are no longer able to fly at all. This is not the first time these S211s were assigned to maritime patrol.

Why the US Marine Corps plans big downsizing, including some F-35s, MV-22s and all tanks

03/25/2020

The US Marine Corps (USMC) believes it needs to be leaner and meaner to defeat China in a hypothetical war in the Pacific Ocean. Over the next 10 years, the service plans to drastically downsize its force, cutting 12,000 personnel and reducing its number of aircraft, including a significant number of its bespoke Lockheed Martin F-35B stealth fighters, Bell Boeing MV-22 tiltrotors and Sikorsky CH-53 heavy lift helicopters.

First Marine F-35C Squadron Certified Safe for Flight

03/24/2020

The first Marine Corps F-35C carrier-variant Joint Strike Fighter squadron reached an important milestone, receiving a “safe for flight” operations certification that will allow them to train and operate independently of the Navy’s fleet replacement squadron. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 was certified on March 20, after working with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 over the last five months to train the squadron’s pilots and maintainers to work with the new aircraft.

Why the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet Is Still One Dangerous Fighter

03/24/2020

In February, the USN announced that it would cut production of the legacy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, to instead accelerate the development of the next-generation carrier-based fighter program. According to the service's newly revealed Fiscal Year 2021 budget request, next year's order of two dozen of the tactical aircraft would be the last in the program. This comes after Super Hornet maker Boeing won a $4-billion multi-year contract to build 78 of the strike attack aircraft through FY 2021.

The Shocking Resurrection of the F-15

03/24/2020

The Boeing F-15EX will be the latest and most capable variant of an airplane that has been in uninterrupted production since its first flight in 1972. It began life as an air-superiority fighter known as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and later morphed into a two-seat, multi-role ground pounder dubbed the F-15E Strike Eagle. Long after the Air Force took delivery of its final F-15E in 2004, the St. Louis plant continued to build F-15s for sales to allies ranging from Israel to South Korea.

Strategic policy expert calls for expanded air defence interceptor capability

03/23/2020

Dr Malcolm Davis of ASPI has called for greater Australian and allied consideration for the development of a highly capable air defence interceptor to counter the increasingly capable air combat, stand-off and long-range strike capability of the Chinese air force.

Russian Military Launches Humanitarian Air Bridge Sending Il-76 Airlifters To Help Italy Fight COVID-19

03/23/2020

Russian Aerospace Forces Il-76 transports loaded with medical supplies and medical specialists are flying to Pratica di Mare Airbase, near Rome, Italy, in the ongoing COVID-19 relief effort. Photos of the aircraft were published today on Russian media outlets, but have not yet been widely reported in western media.

China's Air Force Is Growing Fast, But It's Mostly Fly Old Planes

03/23/2020

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China and its sister branch, the PLA Naval Air Force, operate a huge fleet of around 1,700 combat aircraft—defined here as fighters, bombers and attack planes. This force is exceeded only by the 3,400 active combat aircraft of the U.S. military. Moreover, China operates a lot of different aircraft types that are not well known in the West.

U.S. Navy hoisted up the real aircraft for jammer pod developmental tests

03/22/2020

Enginers of the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command hoisted up the real EA-18G Growler carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft undergo testing of Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pod in the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility anechoic chamber at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

USAF Research Laboratory tests Gray Wolf low-cost turbojet for swarming cruise missiles

03/21/2020

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has tested its Grey Wolf low-cost turbojet engine. The TDI-J85 engine, and related low-cost cruise missile, were designed and built in partnership with Northrop Grumman and Technical Directions, says AFRL. The initial TDI-J85 test campaign involved multiple inflight engine starts and operation at high altitude.

Latest modernised Tu-22 strategic bomber takes flight

03/21/2020

Russia will shortly launch test flights with a second modernised Tupolev Tu-22M3M long-range strategic bomber, following the aircraft’s maiden sortie on 20 March. Performed from the Kazan Aviation Plant around 430 miles (700km) to the east of Moscow, the flight included evaluations of the jet’s take-off and landing characteristics, as well other system checks, says Rostec, which owns Tupolev and its United Aircraft parent.

China targeting U.S. Navy warships with electromagnetic weapons

03/20/2020

China has called for using electromagnetic attacks on U.S. warships transiting the South China Sea, according to a state-run Chinese outlet. The Communist Party-affiliated organ Global Times, quoting a military expert, said the use of nonlethal electromagnetic and laser weapons should be used by the People’s Liberation Army to expel American warships from the disputed sea.

The return of the interceptor

03/20/2020

Every year, the International Institute for Strategic Studies publishes a thorough assessment of the capabilities and defence economics of militaries around the globe. The 2020 edition of The military balance covers 171 countries and provides a disconcerting deep dive into Chinese military technology.

IAF to buy aerial fuses and twin-dome simulators for Hawk Mk32

03/20/2020

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given approval to procure equipment for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Hawk Mk32 jet trainer aircraft. The locally made defence equipment will cost Rs13bn ($174.5m) and includes aerial fuses and twin-dome simulators for the aircraft.

US Air Force looks to rent T-X contest losers to prepare for Boeing T-7A

03/20/2020

The US Air Force is looking to rent four to eight jet trainers to perfect its training regime and further refine capabilities needed on the winner of the T-X trainer contest, the Boeing T-7A Red Hawk. The service’s Air Combat Command (ACC) plans to contract Hillwood Aviation to provide the Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50A trainer, according to a sole-source notice posted online in January.

The F-35 Isn't Perfect, But It Has Successfully Taken The Aviation World By Storm

03/19/2020

The F-35 Lightning II is now the world’s most dominant multi-role fighter. Its detection range, geolocation, threat identification, and system response capabilities allow the jet to precisely fix and destroy the most advanced threats in the world including every layer of Russia’s latest SA-20 surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.

Meet the SEAD Typhoon: Germany's New Jet Fighter for Europe

03/19/2020

Airbus is offering Germany a version of the Typhoon multi-role fighter aircraft that can perform the suppression of enemy air-defenses, or SEAD, mission. The SEAD Typhoon would be a new variant of the twin-engine plane and would require extensive modification of the basic Typhoon design.

Projecting Airpower: JSTARS join aircraft utilizing PSAB to modernize employment for future

03/19/2020

Since its revitalization as a host for U.S. forces in 2019, Prince Sultan Air Base has evolved to provide needed operational depth in the Middle East. Led by the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing, PSAB has transformed into a major hub of support for U.S. Central Command’s projection of decisive airpower and deterrence throughout the region. In doing so, PSAB has supported a variety of combat aircraft including the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, and the F-35A Lightning II.

Defence ministry paves way for procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for IAF

03/19/2020

Consequent to the separation of duties between Department of Defence (DoD) and Department of Military Affairs (DMA), the first meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the chairmanship of defence minister Rajnath Singh was held with the acquisition wing being the Secretariat of the DAC.

Union warns Germany against Super Hornet selection

03/19/2020

One of Germany’s biggest aerospace employee unions has warned the country’s government that it risks jeopardising the entire European defence industry if it selects a US-built fighter to replace the Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado fleet. Berlin is currently weighing options for a successor aircraft, with a decision expected in early 2020; Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter are both in contention.

Peru eyes double-digit deals for C-27J and Mi-171

03/18/2020

Detailed by Spanish language publication defensa.com, the South American country’s shopping list includes additional Leonardo C-27J battlefield transports, heavy transport aircraft – including for in-flight refuelling – more Viking Aircraft DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otters, plus a substantial number of Mil Mi-17 helicopters.

Second UK arrival keeps RAF Poseidon fleet on target

03/18/2020

The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) second of an eventual nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft arrived at Kinloss in Scotland on 13 March. Newly arrived ZP802 followed the service’s lead example of the 737NG-derived type, which has been in the UK since 4 February to support training activities. The pair will remain at Kinloss until the Poseidon force is relocated to its permanent home at nearby RAF Lossiemouth later this year, following the completion of infrastructure work at th

L-39NG passes key fuselage strength test

03/18/2020

Aero Vodochody’s L-39NG has passed fuselage strength tests, as the company works towards certification of the advanced jet trainer. Using the fuselage of aircraft 7002, which is earmarked for static trials, the test saw the structure initially taken to the limit load, which corresponds to the maximum possible load during flight. Subsequently, this was increased to the ultimate load, or 150% of limit load. It was only at 110% of this higher level that a structural failure occurred.

Private Aggressor F-5 Fighter Force Is Flying With Helmet Mounted Displays

03/17/2020

TacAir, the Reno-based adversary support contractor that won a big Navy contract to augment training operations at nearby Naval Air Station Fallon, the home of Topgun, is now fulfilling that contract with its heavily enhanced F-5ATs. The aircraft are being overhauled from the ground-up for the adversary mission and morphing into the most advanced F-5s ever devised. The War Zone has learned that these enhancements now include the addition of a full-color helmet-mounted display.

US Army chooses Bell and Sikorsky-Boeing team for FLRAA competition

03/17/2020

The US Army has awarded Bell and a Sikorsky-Boeing team Competitive Demonstration and Risk Reduction contracts for the next stage of its Future Long Range Air Assault (FLRAA) programme. The service made the announcement on Twitter on 16 March and not disclose the value of the contracts.

AC-130W demonstrates maritime attack role

03/17/2020

The US military has demonstrated the use of a Lockheed Martin AC-130W Stinger II gunship in a new naval support role. The work took place from 8-9 March in the Arabian Gulf and involved AC-130Ws, a Boeing P-8A Poseidon, and a US Navy Cyclone class patrol vessel, says the US Navy. The P-8A and patrol vessel identified targets that simulated surface threats, which the AC-130Ws then engaged with live rounds.

US Air Force adds two AT-6 light attack aircraft to continued experiment

03/17/2020

The US Air Force (USAF) has purchased for $70.2 million two Textron Aviation Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft for its continued light attack experiment. The turboprops were purchased using an “Other Transaction Authority” – a faster and less bureaucratic process than the conventional Pentagon acquisition procedure – and will come with pilot training, engineering services and up to four years of contractor support for maintenance and spares, says Textron on 16 March.

Sweden's Gripen Fighter Is One Tough (And Cheap) Weapon of War

03/16/2020

The JAS-39 Gripen is the Swedish defense industry’s largest export, financially. The Gripen has seen considerable success replacing aging fighters in former Warsaw Pact countries, and has also seen sales in Africa, the Americas and Asia. But why is the Gripen successful on the export market? How does it stack up against other NATO products and Soviet jets?

Japan Is Already Making Strides Towards Its 6th Generation Mitsubishi F-3 FIghter

03/16/2020

Japan’s 2019 Mid-Term Defense review quietly revealed that after years of hesitation, Tokyo has decided to press ahead with development of its own domestically designed sixth-generation Mitsubishi F-3 air-superiority stealth fighter, rather than purchasing an additional foreign stealth design to supplement its growing fleet of F-35s.

After The S-400: Will Turkey Continue Buying Russian Military Platforms?

03/16/2020

The Russian S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile system has generated much media interest since its deployment within Russian borders and abroad. It boasts of an impressive capability against a range of aerial targets including aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles and has generated controversial international sales. Reputation notwithstanding, the S-400 has not yet been tested in combat.

Could China's J-10 Give America's Upgraded F-15 Eagle A Run For Its Money?

03/15/2020

The Air Force is revving up electronic warfare upgrades for its F-15 fighter as a way to better protect against enemy fire and electronic attacks, service officials said. Boeing has secured a $478 million deal to continue work on a new technology called with a system called the Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System, or EPAWSS.

Pentagon to reconsider Jedi $10bn cloud contract

03/14/2020

It comes in response to a court case brought by Amazon Web Services (AWS), claiming the decision was politically motivated. President Trump had previously expressed concern about Amazon's bid. In a court filing, the Pentagon said the U-turn was "in response to.... technical challenges presented by AWS".

CH-47 Chinook production be stretched to 2025 using foreign sales

03/14/2020

The US Army believes a combination of domestic and foreign sales will give the Boeing CH-47 production line in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the minimum demand needed to remain open until at least 2025. After speaking with Boeing, the service suspects the production line can be sustained at a rate of 18 helicopters annually, says Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the US Army for acquisition.

Meet the 1 Secret Super Power of the F-22 Raptor

03/13/2020

The F-22 can see things that other planes cannot. This gives its pilots a distinct advantage.Thirteen years after entering service with the U.S. Air Force, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter finally could gain the capability wordlessly to communicate with ships, ground forces and other planes.

U.S. Launches Retaliatory Strikes Against Iranian-Backed Militias in Iraq

03/13/2020

The United States launched retaliatory strikes against five weapons storage facilities across Iraq belonging to the Iranian-backed group Kataib Hezbollah, following the March 11 attack on Camp Taji that killed two Americans and one soldier from the United Kingdom. The Defense Department will not name the two Americans, or what service they were associated with, until their next of kin are notified. Initial reports said at least a dozen others were wounded, but that number has since risen to 14

RAF Typhoon fighter jets scramble to intercept two Russian planes north of Scotland for the third time in six days

03/13/2020

For the third time in a week, RAF Typhoons were scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft encroaching on UK airspace. Two jets were launched from RAF Lossiemouth just after 9am. The activity was first noted by Twitter account @MIL_Radar. A Voyager tanker plane was also launched from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, in case the Typhoons needed to refuel.

UK still in the game for Japan fighter partnership

03/13/2020

Tokyo has yet to decide on its future international partner for the country’s ambitious FX Future Fighter programme to replace the Mitsubishi F-2. “The [Japanese Ministry of Defense] is in discussion with the U.S. and the UK from the viewpoint of ensuring interoperability, cost effectiveness and technical reliability,” says Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA).

India ramping up defence exports to Africa

03/12/2020

According to Narendra Modi, the country is setting high defence production goals. In a few decades, it plans to join the ranks of leading exporters of equipment. The latter will primarily be sold to African nations. The pace of economic development on the continent has attracted many companies to the region, including Alpari Forex Broker in South Africa.

Navy Defends Cutting 36 Super Hornets from Budget Amid Strike Fighter Shortfall

03/12/2020

A top U.S. Navy modernization official on Tuesday had to justify to lawmakers the service's decision to kill plans to build 36 new F/A-18 Super Hornets in the midst of a strike fighter shortage. Modernization officials from the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army testified at a hearing Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee's Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee on aircraft and helicopter programs in the proposed fiscal 2021 defense budget.

RAF Typhoon pilot tells how he scrambled to intercept two Russian Bear bombers heading for UK airspace over the Shetland Islands

03/12/2020

RAF jets were scrambled to intercept Russian bombers in airspace above the Shetland Islands this morning. The RAF confirmed British QRA Typhoons with Voyager support from Lossiemouth were deployed to shadow the aircraft.

Boeing starts ‘Air Force One’ modifications of 747-8

03/12/2020

Boeing has begun modifications to the first of two commercial 747-8 airliners which are to be turned into US Air Force (USAF) VC-25B aircraft. Known by its “Air Force One” call sign when the US president flies aboard, two VC-25B are to operate as the USA’s top executive transports for the next 30 years. Modifications are being done at Boeing’s San Antonio, Texas facility, says the USAF.

Pakistan plane crash: Fighter jet crashes near Islamabad park

03/11/2020

In a statement, the PAF said the aircraft was carrying out rehearsals for the country's national day parade to be held on 23 March. Police and security forces have now cordoned off the site in the Shakarparian area, near several museums, golf clubs and Jinnah Stadium. The PAF said the pilot Wing Commander Noman Akram died in the crash.

The US Air Force is studying 2 bases to see which is best to handle the new B-21 bomber

03/11/2020

The Air Force is moving forward with assessments to determine where it can safely base its new B-21 Raider bomber. The service will soon start environmental impact studies to assess the effects of putting "Main Operating Base 1" for the new bomber at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, according to a notice published in the US federal register on Friday.

Israeli defense firm Elbit wins US Air Force contract worth up to $476 million

03/11/2020

Israeli defense firm Elbit said Monday that its US subsidiary, Elbit America, had won a US Air Force contract worth up to $471 million. The company will supply a missile warning system to F-16 fighter jets belonging to the US Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command.

U.S. F-22s, Canadian CF-18s Intercepted Two Tu-142 Aircraft in Alaskan ADIZ. And Here Are Some Cool Shots.

03/11/2020

Looks like Russian Naval Aviation is pretty active in these days with their Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance and ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) aircraft. As you will probably remember, on Mar. 7, 2020, two Tu-142s (a Tu-142MK ASW aircraft and a Tu-142MR VLF band comms relay aircraft) flew close to the NATO airspace in northern Europe and were intercepted by the RNoAF F-16s and F-35s (at their first intercept of Russian aircraft) and by the RAF Eurofighter Typhoons.

CENTCOM, AFRICOM Urge Lawmakers Not to Cut MQ-9, Combat Air Patrols

03/11/2020

The Air Force’s plan to cut MQ-9 Reaper production and some air patrols in its fiscal 2021 budget request would negatively impact the ability to conduct operations and provide enough overwatch in hotspots in the Middle East and Africa, the top officials responsible for those regions said March 10.

Elbit to install infrared missile warning systems on US National Guard and Reserve F-16s

03/11/2020

Elbit Systems of America has won a $472 million fixed-price contract to provide pylon-based infrared missile warning systems for US Air National Guard and US Air Force Reserve Command F-16 fighters. The infrared missile warning systems are to be installed on an undisclosed number of Lockheed Martin F-16s over the course of 10 years, with work to be finished by February 2030, Elbit says on 9 March. Installations will occur in Fort Worth, Texas.

Japanese RF-4E Phantoms Have Just Carried Out Their Last Flight

03/10/2020

On Mar. 9, 2020, the Japan Air Self Defense Force retired its RF-4E/J reconnaissance aircraft at Hyakuri Air Base, in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Assigned to the 501 Hikotai or Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, the “Photo Phantoms” made their last training sortie and all the unit’s Phantoms, with their peculiar sharkmouth, the unit’s woodpecker mark on the tail and the three camo schemes (European, Vietnam and Blue offshore camouflage) were eventually retired.

India’s HAL looks to boost profile in Asian markets

03/10/2020

India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is planning to establish facilities in several Asian markets to boost its international profile. In comments reported by the Press Trust of India (PTI) on 8 March, R Madhavan, HAL's chairman and managing director, said the company is looking at setting up "logistical bases" in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

What are Russian bombers doing in Irish airspace?

03/10/2020

The entry into Irish-controlled airspace by Russian air force Tupolev TU-95 “Bear” strategic bomber aircraft last week was unsurprising. We have been here many times before. In 2017 the Royal Air Force scrambled Typhoon combat aircraft from its Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) stations to respond to another sortie by Russian strategic bomber aircraft that skirted close to Irish sovereign airspace, which extends to 12 nautical miles off the Irish coast.

Red Flag 20-2: Maximizing combat readiness, capability, survivability between forces

03/10/2020

Deployed maintainers from all over the world flood the flight line turning wrenches to ensure their assigned aircraft are ready to take over the skies, this controlled chaos signifies Red Flag is back in session March 6-20, here. As one of the U.S. Air Force’s largest combat training exercises, this iteration includes participants from various services, including U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines as well as our allied forces from the Italian, German and Spanish air forces.

US Air Force buys two A-29 light attack aircraft for continued experiment

03/10/2020

Sierra Nevada Corporation has won a $23.2 million contract to supply two Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 light attack aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF). The award includes ground support equipment, pilot training, logistic support, aircraft sparing and sustainment, says Sierra Nevada on 3 March.

A-10 Warthog Pilots Reveals What It Is Like to Fly Into Battle

03/09/2020

Few aircraft have as die hard a following as the A-10 Thunderbolt II — from those serving overseas in combat zones, to military bases, and on numerousFacebook groups and “Save the A-10” pages. Its fans span the ranks from enlisted to officers, and across all fields. And of course, there are the pilots themselves, like Air Force Maj. Vince Sherer, who spent three combat tours flying Warthogs out of Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

France, Italy eye Bangladesh market

03/09/2020

France and Italy have expressed intent to export new generation combat aircraft to Bangladesh, according to diplomatic sources in Paris and Rome. French defence minister Florence Parly was scheduled to reach Dhaka early Monday on a short visit to seemingly move the proposal for selling Rafale, a twin-jet fighter aircraft, and unmanned combat air vehicle among other military hardware.

Russian MOD Video Shows RAF Typhoons And RNoAF F-16s, F-35s From Inside Russian Navy Tu-142 During Intercept

03/09/2020

The Russian MoD has just released an interesting video that provides additional details about the long-range mission flown in international airspace by a Tu-142MK ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) and maritime patrol aircraft and a Tu-142MR Bear-J VLF band radio communications relay platform escorted by at least one MiG-31 Foxhound (armed with R-33 missiles) that caused the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the RAF to scramble their interceptors on Mar. 7, 2020.

U.S. private contractor buys 46 Australian retired F/A-18 Hornet fighters

03/08/2020

Australian Government Department of Defense has reported that U.S. private contractor Air USA is buying up to 46 F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft. “Workers at RAAF Base Williamtown will service and prepare up to 46 retired F/A-18 Classic Hornet aircraft that will be sold to air combat training company Air USA,” said in the release.

How Israel's Derby missile can change the game for India's fighter Tejas

03/08/2020

The reason why India's defense establishment is tilting towards the Derby missile is because it can be integrated into different types of fighter aircraft and can also be used as a surface-to-air missile for the Spyder air defense system.

Russia's Bombers Have Been Doing Serious Damage All Over Syria

03/08/2020

As the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) already had several dozen tactical bombers and fighters based in western Syria, it was widely assumed that deploying big bombers on long-distance raids was purely for symbolic and combat testing purposes. But in fact, VKS tactical aviation elements in Syria could not quite surge the desired level of firepower for the retaliation strike, particularly against targets in eastern Syria.

All the Reasons Why the Air Force's F-16 Is Still a Deadly Plane

03/07/2020

The F-16 Fighting Falcon bears an unusual distinctions: it is one of the only top jet fighters in the world to also be cost efficient. Fast and extremely agile, the light fighter does have some shortcomings in range and payload compared to larger twin-engine fighters like the F-15 Eagle, but that was easy to forgive due to costing less than half as much—around $18 million in 1999 ($27 million in 2017 dollars).

Despite Bloody Week In Afghanistan, U.S. Pushes Taliban Peace Talks Forward

03/07/2020

With less than four days to go before peace talks are to begin in Afghanistan between that nation's authorities and the Taliban insurgency, things are not looking promising. Taliban fighters are stepping up attacks on Afghan security forces. American warplanes are counterattacking. And a prisoner exchange that was to take place before those intra-Afghan talks start is being rejected by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Helicopter-launched MBDA Sea Venom anti-ship missile hits target during test

03/07/2020

MBDA has successfully hit a target vessel with its Sea Venom anti-ship missile fired from a helicopter in a test. The first qualification firing trial of the medium-range weapon was done at DGA Essais de test site at Ile Du Levant in the Bay of Biscay, France on 20 February 2020, MBDA says on 6 March. The dummy target was a shipping container stacked on a large vessel at sea.

Northrop turns to Canberra to shore up Triton production

03/07/2020

Northrop Grumman says Australia should consider advancing its acquisition of the US Navy’s MQ-4C Triton UAV following the Trump administration’s proposal to pause production for the programme in FY2021 and FY2022. While pausing production, the administration wants instead to focus on the MQ-4C’s improved multi-intelligence configuration, designated IFC-4. The budget is subject to congressional approval.

Morocco Buys Israeli

03/06/2020

France finally delivered its three Harfang (Eagle) UAVs to Morocco in a $48 million sale that included ground support and maintenance equipment as well as extended tech support. Completing this sale took six years because Moroccan Islamic conservatives condemned the proposed deal because the Harfangs were actually an Israeli design renamed and modified somewhat for French service.

Is China About to Give Its Best Fighters Powerful New Jet Engines?

03/06/2020

Like its American counterpart the F-16 jet, the J-10—dubbed the Vigorous Dragon, or the Firebird by NATO—is a quite agile fourth-generation jet with an aerodynamically unstable airframe that has to be regulated by its flight control computer. But such maneuvers would have been impossible for a regular plane relying entirely upon conventional flight controls.

Not Again: China Is Building Another, Better Stealth Fighter

03/06/2020

China reportedly is developing a new stealth fighter. The new warplane, under development by the Shenyang Aircraft Design and Research Institute, could be a clean-sheet design. Or it might be a development of the company’s older FC-31, an export-optimized stealth fighter that has yet to secure a single order.

Weapon wing integration keeps Wildcat on target for carrier protection role

03/06/2020

The UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) Wildcat HMA2 rotorcraft will be ready to defend the service’s largest-ever warships from next year, with the integration of key new armaments proceeding on schedule, Leonardo Helicopters says.

Norway makes progress with NH90 ASW introduction

03/06/2020

Norway is making progress with the introduction of the NH Industries NH90 NFH maritime helicopter for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions, having taken delivery of the first aircraft in August last year. Although the Royal Norwegian Air Force previously operated the Westland Lynx from its navy’s frigate fleet, these were not deployed in an ASW capacity.

“Erdogan's army destroys Putin's high-tech weapons,” German daily Bild says

03/05/2020

A reporter from one of Germany’s highest-circulating dailies Bild, Julian Röpcke, has written an article on Turkey's drone capabilities. The piece, titled “Erdogan’s army destroys Putin’s high-tech weapons,” points to the success of the Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles in the battleground.

Australia To Sell Retired F/A-18 Hornet Fighters To Private Aggressor Firm Air USA

03/05/2020

Air USA, a private contractor that offers "red air" adversary support, is buying up to 46 soon-to-be-retired F/A-18A/B Hornets from the Royal Australian Air Force. Last year, the U.S. Air Force hired the company, along with six others, under a massive multi-billion dollar training support contract.

Goldfein Defends USAF Decision to Retire Legacy Aircraft

03/05/2020

Air Force leaders are urging members of Congress to participate in classified briefings in order to fully understand the thinking behind the service’s fiscal 2021 budget request, which once again attempts to retire a host of legacy platforms to free up funding for new technology.

Coronavirus fears to shut down Lockheed Martin F-35 production in Japan

03/05/2020

Lockheed Martin and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plan to shut down production at the F-35’s Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) facility in Nagoya, Japan the week of 9-13 March due to fears of coronavirus contagion. The number of coronavirus cases in Japan climbed past 1,000 on 4 March, according to the World Health Organization and local media reports. The country has the fifth highest number of confirmed cases worldwide, behind China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

Lockheed delivers 500th F-35

03/05/2020

Lockheed Martin has delivered the 500th F-35 fighter, with the fleet also surpassing the 250,000 flight hour mark. The 500th example delivered is an F-35A that will serve with the Vermont Air National Guard, says Lockheed. An image of the jet shows it bears the registration number AF5343.

Syrian L-39 Shot Down By Turkish Air Force F-16 Over Syria

03/04/2020

Both the Turkish Ministry of Defense and the Syrian News Agency SANA have confirmed that a Syrian L-39 Albatros was shot down in the Idlib region, around 12.03LT on Mar. 3, 2020. The downing of the advanced jet trainer (that the Syrian Arab Air Force has often been using in combat with an under fuselage gun pod and external stores since 2012, when the first images of SyAAF L-39s attacking rebel positions started appearing online).

Finns Analyzing Fighter Trials Data

03/04/2020

Finnish procurement officials say they expect all five contenders in the country’s HX Fighter competition to remain in the race until the end. The comments by the Finnish defense ministry’s head of strategic projects, Lauri Puranen, emerged following the conclusion of the HX Challenge. The challenge saw each of the aircraft types deployed to Finland in January and February for flight trials to confirm that the proposed aircraft have met the specifications promised by the manufacturers.

Saab partners with Canadian companies for fighter jet deal

03/04/2020

Saab has partnered with several Canadian aerospace companies for the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) deal. Known as the ‘Gripen for Canada Team’, the companies include IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, Peraton Canada and GE Aviation. The Saab-led team has been formed to provide a genuine ‘Made in Canada’ solution for the fighter capability project and help comply with the terms set out in the Canadian request for proposal.

US State Department approves sale of 8 Boeing KC-46A tankers to Israel

03/04/2020

The US State Department has approved the sale of eight Boeing KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tankers to Israel for an estimated $2.4 billion. The US Congress has been notified of the possible sale, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on 3 March.

US Navy F-16A aggressor jets receive structural upgrade

03/04/2020

The US Navy has completed update work on 10 Lockheed Martin F-16A fighters that are used in the aggressor role. The work was undertaken by the Specialized and Proven Aircraft Program office, says the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

Saab bids for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project

03/03/2020

Saab is bidding for the Canadian Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) which will see the replacement of the RCAF’s existing CF-18 Hornet fighter fleet. If successful, the bid will see 88 of Saab’s Gripen E aircraft being delivered which offers full NATO interoperability.

Tunisian AT-6C aircraft purchase approved

03/03/2020

The United States has approved a possible military sale to Tunisia of four AT-6C Wolverine light attack aircraft worth an estimated $325 million including associated equipment. The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the possible sale on 25 February after Tunisia requested four AT-6C aircraft.

Ten Spanish Typhoons Enroute To Nellis Air Force Base For Red Flag 20-2

03/03/2020

Ten Spanish Air Force EF2000 “Tifóns”, pooled from ALA11 and 14, split in two cells and supported by 2x RAF A330 Voyager tankers are currently on their way to Nellis AFB where they will take part in RF 20-2.

Singapore in 'final stages' of buying 4 F-35 fighter jets

03/03/2020

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is in the “final stages” of acquiring four F-35B Lighting II multi-role combat aircraft, with an option to buy eight more, after receiving approval from the US government and Congress. This was revealed by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament on Monday (2 March), during his ministry’s Committee of Supply (COS) debate.

Sorry, Elon, fighter pilots will fly and fight for a long time

03/03/2020

In a room packed full of U.S. Air Force personnel this past week, SpaceX founder Elon Musk issued a bold pronouncement: “The fighter jet era has passed. ... Locally autonomous drone warfare is where it’s at, where the future will be.” The reaction in the room was immediate — a collective pause.

Boeing resurrects effort to turn JDAM bomb into cheap cruise missile

03/03/2020

Boeing has resurrected and is showing off its Powered JDAM concept believing that the US Air Force (USAF) is keen to buy low-cost cruise missiles. The company has increased development work on the concept within the last 18 months, it says at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida on 28 February. The project was originally begun about eight years ago, but had been put on the back burner due to lukewarm interest from the service.

Turkey shoots down two Syrian fighter jets over Idlib

03/02/2020

Turkey's military shot down two Syrian government fighter jets over northwest Idlib, hours after forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad brought down a Turkish drone over the region. In a Twitter post on Sunday, Turkey's defence ministry said its forces struck two SU-24 aircraft in response to the downing of the drone.

General Atomics Wants To Give Aerial Tankers Their Own Missile-Laden Loyal Wingmen Drones

03/02/2020

General Atomics has revealed what appears to be a previously unknown unmanned aircraft concept, called Defender, that is capable of air-to-air combat and mid-air refueling. The company says that its primary mission would be to protect "high-value airborne assets," such as airborne early warning and control aircraft, standoff reconnaissance planes, and aerial refueling tankers.

Test War: How Russia's Air Force Brutally Used Syria for Target Practice

03/02/2020

In 2008, military observers within and outside of Russia noted the poor performance of the Russian Air Force (VVS) in the five-day Russo Georgian War. In the aftermath of the conflict, Moscow instituted a vigorous new round of military modernization and reforms. These reforms were put to the test when in September 2015 Putin committed the newly reorganized Aerospace Force (VKS) to its first expeditionary war, a bid to prop up the faltering regime of Bashar-al Assad in Syria.

Why India Might Fly French Dassault Rafales Over Lockheed's 'Super F-16s' In The Near Future

03/02/2020

Lockheed Martin is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes. But don’t count on the American firm’s “F-21” to win the contract. According to journalist Angad Singh, the likely winner is French company Dassault’s Rafale twin-engine fighter.

F-35 profitability could suffer after losing cheap manufacturing in Turkey

03/02/2020

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II’s profitability could suffer due to the programme losing access to less expensive parts suppliers in Turkey. Ankara was booted from the Joint Strike Fighter programme in July 2019 after the country decided to buy the Russian-made Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile battery. That weapon system is advertised as being anti-stealth, a capability the US Department of Defense takes seriously and wants the F-35 to avoid.

Triple Nickel completes historic deployment to AUAB

03/01/2020

More than 300 Airmen with the 555th Fighter Squadron, also known as the “world famous, highly-respected” Triple Nickel, completed the first leg of their deployment after departing Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar in late Feb. 2020. The Triple Nickel is an F-16 Fighting Falcon squadron that provides combat air power and performs air and space control and force application roles including air interdiction and close-air support in support of joint, NATO, and combined operations.

5 Ways China Has Turned Pakistan Into a Military Monster

03/01/2020

As Pakistan’s relationship has soured with the United States in the past two decades, Pakistan’s armed forces have largely looked towards Chinese suppliers for equipment. While China has long supplied Pakistan’s armed forces, the relationship has deepened in recent years, with Pakistan making major purchases of top-of-the-line Chinese export equipment.

Russian anti-sub aircraft on combat training further south in the GIUK gap than normal

03/01/2020

The two Tu-142 planes came south outside Norwegian air space on February 26th and 27th. Major Brynjar Stordal, press spokesperson with the Norwegian Armed Forces, said to the Barents Observer that “these Russian aircraft operates relatively routinely over the seas north of Norway,” but, he added “it is not common that they fly as far south as they did this week.”

Here's the Reason why Russian Aircraft Keep Dying In Syria

03/01/2020

Five years of relentless bombardment tilted the course of the war in Assad’s favor—and continues to do so today as heavy bombing paves the way for Assad’s forces to crush the last major rebel stronghold in Idlib province—if it doesn’t trigger Turkish intervention first. However, the air campaign has cost the Russian military at least nineteen manned aircraft (eleven helicopters and eight airplanes) between 2015–2018, leading to the deaths of twenty-three crew and thirty-seven passengers.

Why the US Air Force chose hypersonic ARRW over HCSW

03/01/2020

The US Air Force’s (USAF) decision to cancel the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) and proceed with Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) came down to size and shape of the missile, in addition to budgetary pressures and a desire to move toward production faster. The HCSW programme was cancelled several weeks ago. The ARRW programme passed its critical design review on 27 February.

Afghan conflict: US and Taliban sign deal to end 18-year war

02/29/2020

The US and the Taliban have signed an "agreement for bringing peace" to Afghanistan after more than 18 years of conflict. The US and Nato allies have agreed to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal. President Trump said it had been a "long and hard journey" in Afghanistan. "It's time after all these years to bring our people back home," he said.

Belarusian Air Force pilots take to skies in cutting-edge Russian fighter jets

02/29/2020

Belarusian Air Force pilots have made the first few flights in Su-30SM fighter jets. The pilots' experience had been limited to theoretical training before that, representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry told BelTA. Pilots of the Baranovichi airbase have experience of flying Su-27 aircraft, a predecessor of the Su-30 model. The two-seater Su-30SM can be used for combat missions and for training new pilots.

U.S. MUST THREATEN RUSSIA WITH MILITARY INTERVENTION IN IDLIB TO SECURE CEASEFIRE, FORMER ENVOY SAYS

02/29/2020

A former American special envoy to Syria has suggested that the U.S. should consider military intervention in the northwest of the country after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike there. The Turkish soldiers died Thursday when a Syrian airstrike hit a military base in the Behun area of Idlib province, where the Syrian regime—backed by its Russian and Iranian allies—is trying to crush the last significant area held by Turkish-backed rebels.

Azerbaijan strengthens its airspace with Italian aircraft

02/29/2020

Following President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Rome, Azerbaijan and Italy have reached a military agreement over Baku’s purchase of the 5th generation warplane Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master from Italy. A number of significant documents were also signed between countries during the visit that will strengthen the Azerbaijani Air Forces’ fleet.

‘The fighter jet era has passed’: Elon Musk

02/29/2020

Speaking in front of a crowd of fighter pilots for the US Air Force (USAF), technology entrepreneur Elon Musk pronounced the end to the manned fighter jet era. “The fighter jet era has passed,” says the founder of rocket builder SpaceX and artificial intelligence company OpenAI at the Air Force Association Air Warfare conference in Orlando, Florida on 28 February.

Safran works to correct Patroller UAV after December crash

02/29/2020

Safran believes it now understands the reasons behind the crash of a Patroller unmanned air vehicle (UAV) last December – an incident that took place shortly before the initial example was due to be delivered to the French army. The aircraft was destroyed when it came down near the town of Saint-Mitre-Les-Remparts on 6 December during an “industrial reception flight” from Istres air base in the south of the country.

F-35s for India: Is America About to Make a Big Stealth Sale?

02/28/2020

When the Times of India revealed that the Indian air force was revising its single-engine fighter competition to encompass twin-engine jet designs, a collective groan likely rang from New Delhi to Washington—and even Stockholm.

Dassault’s Trappier blames politics for demise of Anglo-French fighter project

02/28/2020

Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier regrets the breakdown of the UK-France defence partnership that would have seen his company team with BAE Systems on a next-generation fighter, saying a “political decision” was behind last year’s launch of the Franco-German Future Combat Air System initiative.

US government approves Tunisian AT-6C sale

02/28/2020

The US Government has cleared the sale of four Textron AT-6C Wolverine light attack aircraft to Tunisia in a deal worth $326 million. The approval of the potential Foreign Military Sale was announced in a Defense Security Cooperation Agency notification to Congress. In addition to the aircraft, the package will include a range of bombs, over 3,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) rockets, sensors, guns, training, technical support, and other products and services.

Tanker variant of China’s Y-20 set to emerge: report

02/28/2020

New variants of the Xian Y-20 strategic transport look set to make their public debut, as the four-engined type assists relief operations related to the Coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan. In addition to the transport variant, a tanker variant and an airborne early warning (AEW) variant are planned, according to a Global Times report citing Teng Hui, who commands an air force aviation regiment and is a Y-20 pilot.

Lockheed Martin’s hypersonic ARRW set to pass critical design review

02/28/2020

Lockheed Martin’s hypersonic Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) is wrapping its critical design review. ARRW wil officially pass the milestone on 27 February and the US Air Force (USAF) is pleased with the missile’s development progress, says John Varly, vice-president of hypersonics with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. ARRW development is being led by Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Orlando, Florida.

Exercise Cope North under way in Guam

02/27/2020

The Royal Australian Air Force has deployed aircraft to take part in Exercise Cope North in Guam. Thirteen aircraft in total - 11 F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets, an E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, and a KC-30A multirole tanker transport – are taking part in the exercise at Andersen Air Force Base.

Yes Turkey Is Trying to Build Its Own "F-35" Like Stealth Fighter

02/27/2020

Turkey’s recent ejection from the F-35 program has spawned a wave of speculation as to the fate of Ankara’s procurement plans. The Su-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Saab JAS 39 Gripen were advanced as prospective alternatives, with the former being seen as a particularly attractive option on the heels of the diplomatic goodwill generated by Turkey’s decision to import Russia’s S-400 system.

Pakistan considers Chinese attack helicopters on back of stalled AH-1Z, T129 deals

02/27/2020

Pakistan looks set to turn to China for its attack helicopter replacement needs after US embargoes halted sales of rival Bell and Turkish Aerospace products. Islamabad had in 2015 ordered 12 Bell AH-1Zs under the USA’s Foreign Military Sales process and then followed that in 2018 with a deal for 30 Turkish Aerospace T129s worth $1.5 billion.

France confirms interest in Chinook acquisition

02/27/2020

The French air force has finally confirmed a long-rumoured interest in acquiring Boeing CH-47F Chinooks for special forces missions and hopes to lease a pair of the tandem-rotor helicopters as a trial before making any purchase. In addition, the service hopes to shortly outline an upgrade package for its fleet of Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracals and is also working to define possible tri-service requirements for a next-generation rotorcraft post-2040.

India AH-64E, MH-60R deals sealed during Trump visit

02/26/2020

New Delhi has concluded purchase agreements for 24 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters for the navy and six Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters for the army. The deals were announced during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first state visit to India. Sikorsky is expected to conclude deliveries of all 24 MH-60Rs by 2023. AH-64E deliveries begin in 2023.

Leonardo to test manned-unmanned teaming with Wildcat helicopter

02/26/2020

Leonardo will in April begin a series of flight trials in the UK in which an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) will be controlled by the crew of Lynx Wildcat helicopter – so called Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T). To be carried out in conjunction with the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the tests will build on simulator work last year which confirmed the feasibility of the effort.

Amid political tumult, Kuala Lumpur edges towards maritime patrol aircraft RFP

02/26/2020

Kuala Lumpur is getting close to issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for a new maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), with conversion work pending to convert a pair of CN235 tactical transports to perform maritime surveillance. The RFP shows an intention to revisit a previous MPA acquisition that was abruptly terminated by the Pakatan Harapan coalition that took power in 2018.

A day in the life of an A-10 fighter pilot

02/25/2020

Spend a day flying with Capt. Mike Shufeldt, one of the Idaho National Guard’s A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots, and feel firsthand what it is like to be an A-10 fighter pilot.

Indian Air Force to Procure 83 Tejas Jets for ?39,000cr

02/25/2020

Earlier, HAL had demanded a staggering Rs 56, 500 crore ($8.1 billion) as the overall cost for the same project. The defence ministry and IAF were initially taken aback at the “exorbitant price” being demanded by HAL to produce the 83 Tejas Mk-1A jets along with the maintenance and infrastructure package.

Commanders of ACC, AFRC visit Hill AFB to celebrate F-35 success

02/25/2020

Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, and Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, commander of Air Force Reserve Command and chief of the Air Force Reserve, paid a visit to the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and reserve 419th Fighter Wing to help commemorate a key milestone in F-35A Lightning II operations. The Feb. 20 ceremony marked the 388th FW and 419th FW reaching “full warfighting capability,” which denotes success in three key areas: fully trained pilots and maintainers, a full complement

India Wants to Buy a Ton of Russian Weapons but There's 1 Big Problem

02/25/2020

While the IAF is mulling purchases of additional advanced Western jet fighter like the Dassault Rafale, Saab JAS 39 Gripen, the Lockheed F-21 or Boeing Super Hornet, it’s meanwhile turning to its long-running relationship with Moscow to patch up the growing gap in its air defenses—even if that means it risks running afoul of U.S. CAATSA sanctions imposed on countries that import Russian weapons..

Report: Russia Has Developed Prototype of Air-to-Ground Hypersonic Missile for Su-57

02/25/2020

Russia has developed a hypersonic air-to-ground missile for its Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft, the country’s first purported indigenously designed and built fifth-generation stealth fighter, according to Russian defense industry sources. The new weapon system can reportedly be fitted inside the Su-57s internal weapons bay.

France, Germany sign agreement to build sixth-generation fighter plane

02/25/2020

An agreement to advance construction of a joint advanced combat aircraft program was ceremonially signed by French and German defense ministers. A contract for the first phase of the program to build the main aircraft of the Future Combat Air System was awarded last week. It covers the plane's propulsion system, data architecture and simulation environment, the German Defense Ministry said. Airbus, MTU, Safran and Dassault are the lead contractors.

The Pentagon’s five principles for stopping artificial intelligence from running amok

02/25/2020

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has outlined five principles to help keep artificial intelligence (AI) technology from running amok. The principals, which the DoD released on 25 February, provide an ethical framework intended to guide the US defence industry’s development of AI, and the US military’s use of such emerging technologies.

Turkey Faces Major Idlib Dilemma

02/24/2020

Unsuccessful negotiations between Russian and Turkish diplomats, and the UN Security Council have doused all hope of easing tensions in Idlib, Syria. In anticipation, Ankara has asked the United States to deploy Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to the Turkey–Syrian border. The U.S. Embassy in Turkey has, however, declined to comment on the matter.

Iran’s Air Force Receives 8 Overhauled Military Aircraft

02/24/2020

American sanctions may have done some harsh damage to Iran’s economy, but that has not stopped the Iranian air force from seeing through a deal to overhaul eight military aircraft manufactured by foreign countries.

Azerbaijan Buys Cutting-Edge Trainer Jets From Italy’s Leonardo

02/24/2020

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has made a prolific visit to Italy this week, reaching more than a dozen agreements, including in the defense sector. A contract with Italy’s airplane manufacturer and defense corporation Leonardo was just one of the 17 agreements signed by representatives from Baku and Rome. Under the deal, Leonardo’s M-346 cutting-edge trainer jets are being purchased by Azerbaijan’s defense ministry.

China Says It Found A Silver Bullet For America's Stealth Fighter Jets

02/23/2020

China claims to have developed a special radar that can detect stealth aircraft. In addition, it also functions as a fire control radar that can guide missiles toward stealthy jets like the F-35. “Meter wave radar can be deployed on vehicles, on land and warships, creating a dense web that gives hostile stealth aircraft nowhere to hide,” said China’s Global Times.

France Tests NEURON Stealth Combat Drone With Rafale Jet, AWACS Aircraft

02/23/2020

The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and Dassault Aviation have tested a nEURON demonstrator along with five Rafale fighter jets and an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft, in multiple tactical configurations.

Sukhoi 30 may get AI in new cockpit design

02/23/2020

The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI may be the tip of the Indian military’s spear but with the aircraft’s systems rapidly showing their age, scientists and engineers are working on improvements. Among developments is a new Artificial Intelligence-infused cockpit being built by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on its own initiative which can execute commands based on the spoken word.

Norwegian F-35s Have Deployed To Iceland for NATO Air Policing Mission

02/22/2020

On Feb. 19, 2020, four RoNAF F-35A aircraft arrived in Iceland, where they have deployed to support NATO’s Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASIC IPPN) mission. The purpose of the NATO mission, initiated in 2008, after the withdrawal of US forces from the island, is to provide air surveillance and interception coverage over Iceland, in order to maintain the integrity of the NATO airspace.

Japan Needs More Fifth-Generation Jets

02/22/2020

Japan is grappling with a serious military modernization challenge that has broad operational and strategic implications for the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific theater. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) must soon decide how to replace its aging F-2 multirole fighter aircraft and how much it’s willing to pay to develop a replacement.

RAAF’s F/A-18A/B Hornets to support two exercises

02/22/2020

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has announced that its F/A-18A/B Hornets will support two exercises. Around seven fighter jets from No 75 Squadron have already arrived at RAAF’s Base Pearce. Starting 23 February, the Hornets will fly for two weeks in support of exercises Phoenix Black and Nigrum Pugio.

Airbus makes Tranche 3 Eurofighter offer to Colombia

02/22/2020

Airbus Defence & Space (DS) has formally offered the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to the Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Colombiana: FAC) to replace its ageing fleet of Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfirs.

New Delhi committee signs off on 24 MH-60Rs as Trump visit approaches

02/22/2020

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the purchase of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters for its navy at an estimated cost of US$2.6 Billion. A green light from the CCS is the final step before the inking of a formal contract under India’s procurement process.

Boeing Defence Australia to overhaul Malaysian Hornets

02/21/2020

Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) looks set to overhaul at least two, and as many as eight F/A-18D Hornets belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). Speaking at the Singapore 2020 Airshow last week, an RMAF source indicated that two Hornets would arrive at Williamtown in mid-April. They will be supported on their journey by an Airbus A400M transport aircraft, which also has air to air refuelling (AAR) capabilities.

China Goes All In On Stealth: New Bombers And Fighters Are Coming To Asia

02/21/2020

The Chinese air force is expanding its fleet of J-20 radar-evading stealth fighters while also preparing to field FC-31 stealth fighters and H-20 long-range stealth bombers, the U.S. Defense Department warned in the 2019 edition of its annual report on Chinese military developments.

Thai Air Force Lists Fighter Jet, Other Procurement Programs In White Paper 2020

02/21/2020

Replacement for F-16 fighter jets, L-39s trainers; upgrade of Saab Early Warning System; purchase of transport, VIP, helicopters and unmanned aircraft besides spy satellites figure in the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) White Paper 2020 released today.

Indonesia conducts maiden flight of upgraded F-16A

02/21/2020

The jet (TS-1610) underwent Lockheed’s Falcon Star mid-life upgrade, which extends its service life to 8,000h, from 4,000h. The air force says the upgrade also updated its avionics and radar.

U-2 spyplane fleet gets new high-powered camera

02/20/2020

The US Air Force (USAF) fleet of Lockheed Martin U-2 Dragon Lady spyplanes recently have completed flight testing and installation of the Collins Aerospace Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS-2C).

Dassault and HAL may workshare on possible additional Rafale orders

02/19/2020

French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation and state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are reportedly in discussions for workshare on possible additional Rafale orders. Sources close to the matter have been quoted by The Economic Times as saying that ‘detailed discussions have taken place on how HAL facilities and expertise could be used for the next round of localisation when more jets are ordered’.

Marte ER anti-ship missile on target for Eurofighter integration

02/19/2020

MBDA has performed a second test firing of its Marte ER anti-ship missile in support of the long-range weapon’s integration with the Eurofighter Typhoon. Conducted from a test range in Sardinia, the missile’s latest ground-launched firing “pushed its envelope to the limit”, MBDA says. “This firing confirmed the overall design and performance of the missile, marking a critical milestone in its development path,” the company adds.

US Air Force retires aircraft and looks to future war in $169bn budget proposal for 2021

02/19/2020

While the total is unchanged from years prior, the service is asking to increase research and development in order to meet upcoming threats from China and Russia by 2030, it says on 10 February. For example, the USAF is pushing forward the development of its Advanced Battle Management System, a sort of internet-of-things network that is supposed to enable faster and closer collaboration between aircraft, satellites, tanks and ships of the USAF, US Army and US Navy.

‘UNIDENTIFIED’ AIRCRAFT STRIKE IRANIAN PROXIES INSIDE SYRIA

02/18/2020

The Syrian capital of Damascus was rocked by airstrikes near the international airport, on early Friday morning, as Iranian-led proxy militias were hit by airstrikes. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that seven members of the militia were killed. On the Jordanian, Al-Hadath news, the attack was reported as having originated from the Golan Heights. The Israeli air force was identified as the attacker.

U.S. counters China's bomber incursions with B-52 flight near Taiwan

02/18/2020

The United States and China are escalating their military duel near Taiwan by flying strategic bombers near the island state in recent days. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) sent several H-6 bombers near Taiwan on Feb. 10, including one that provocatively crossed the middle dividing line between the mainland and Taiwan, prompting Taipei’s military to scramble F-16 jets to intercept and shadow the bomber. A day later, the U.S. Pacific Air Force flew two B-52 nuclear-capable bombers

Tiger in combat - the French Army experience

02/18/2020

While Australia’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance helicopters have been deployed overseas just twice in their 15-year operational history, their French Army equivalents have been continually deployed on combat operations for more than 10 years now.

Donald Trump India visit: F-16 and F-35 fighter jet maker Lockheed Martin’s new offer to IAF for Tejas

02/18/2020

India and the US have deepened their defence ties, especially since the time Donald Trump has assumed office. India was awarded the "Major Defence Partner" tag in 2016 which showed the rise of India’s stature as a strategic ally of the United States.

Is the Chinese fighter J-16 better than the Russian su-27

02/17/2020

Americans with fear watching as the new Chinese strike fighter J-16 in large numbers go on combat aircraft of China. Plus, these machines have significant potential for further improvement. Moreover, technological developments of the J-16 has helped Shenyang aircraft Corporation to create the fifth generation fighter Chengdu J-20 “Black eagle”. Meanwhile, J-16 is a modification – even revolutionary – a Russian su-27, and a contract for its sale is not allowed any changes.

Meet China's New JH-7A 'Flying Leopard' Supersonic Fighter Bomber

02/17/2020

On August 8, Chinese media reported that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force had unveiled a new variant of its JH-7A maritime strike jet at the Russian Aviadarts aviation competition. The new model, called the JH-7AII, was not visibly different from the base model, but is believed to possess improved radar and cockpit avionics.

Refueling the Deployed Mission

02/16/2020

After nearly five hours of flying above Afghanistan, the call finally came. “Alright guys, the first receivers are about 10 mikes out. Let’s get ready to do this,” announced the KC-135 Stratotanker pilot to his team. As aircraft quickly approach, the 28th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker’s aircrew carefully complete the necessary checklists to ensure they can accomplish their mission of delivering fuel to U.S. and coalition forces and, in turn, enabling war-winning airpo

India may have to wait for its indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant for two years

02/16/2020

The manufacturing of the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase three which involves setting to work of machinery and other equipment and it is likely to be commissioned by early 2022. The delivery deadline has been extended due to issues with the delivery of aviation equipment from Russia.

Boeing Chases An $18 Billion Deal In India For F-15EX Fighter Jets

02/16/2020

Even though its recent domestic issues with the 737 Max program have cast a shadow, U.S. Aerospace giant Boeing has continued to do well with its military programs particularly outside of the United States. There are a couple of substantial military contracts up for grabs in India, and Boeing stands poised to make a run for both of them. India is heavily considering two aircraft, the F/A-18 Hornet and F-15 EX.

Yemen war: Saudi-led coalition warplane crashes

02/15/2020

A coalition spokesman confirmed that a Saudi Tornado fighter jet had "fallen" while carrying out a support mission near Yemeni army units, according to Saudi Arabia's state news agency SPA. Yemen's Houthi rebels said they shot down the plane. The Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebel Houthi movement since 2015.

“Top Gun: Maverick” Special Painted F/A-18E Goes to Blue Angels for Super Hornet Transition

02/15/2020

One of the F/A-18 Super Hornets Used in “Top Gun: Maverick” Just Flew to Jacksonville, Florida for Repainting in Blue Angels Livery for 2021. Photos and video of the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet, no. 165667, flying out of Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado Island, California off San Diego that was used in the filming of the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” have surfaced on social media.

F-35 gets thumbs up from Singapore’s air chief

02/15/2020

Singapore’s Air Force chief has given his vote of confidence in the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet amid the country’s efforts to buy new fifth-generation aircraft. However, he acknowledged that challenges still remain in the acquisition process, particularly in regard to logistics.

US combat aviation reaches Norway's Arctic, alarms Russia

02/15/2020

Combat aircraft of U.S. Air Force visited an outpost of the Norwegian military in the Arctic. A wing of fighters came to an airbase located on Jan Mayen island. The U.S. delegation came there to test the runway for the purpose of landing of C-130J Super Hercules transport planes, Reuters reported.

USS Gerald R. Ford’s EMALS cleared for all aircraft

02/15/2020

The US Navy’s (USN) newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, has been cleared as operationally safe for launching and recovering all naval aircraft types using its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG).

Is Boeing Elbowing MiG Out Of India Carrier Jet Race?

02/14/2020

Boeing has announced plans to test its F/A-18 Super Hornet jet on a carrier ski-jump to make a pitch for India’s carrier-based aircraft procurement program even as Russia’s MiG is expecting an order to supply the MiG-29K jets for the same.

Why Boeing’s T-7 Red Hawk Trainer Is Shaping Up To Be A Breakthrough Success For The U.S. Air Force

02/14/2020

When the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing the contract for its next-generation training system in 2018, many observers were amazed at the low price. The service had estimated that it would cost nearly $20 billion to develop and produce 351 aircraft plus simulators and ground training aids, but Boeing agreed to do it for less than half that amount.

Lockheed Martin Says Ready To Help India On Combat Aircraft Projects

02/14/2020

U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has offered to help India in its multi-billion-dollar programme to develop a next-generation advanced multi-role combat aircraft and boost capability of the Tejas fighter jet. The offer by the U.S. aerospace firm comes ahead of President Donald Trump's maiden visit to India on Feb. 24-25 during which both strategic partners are expected to further expand defence and military cooperation.

Boeing sees P-8’s new capabilities expanding international market

02/14/2020

Boeing believes possible upgrades to its P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, including the integration of new anti-ship cruise missiles, bombs, sea mines and decoys, among other payloads, could help it increase international sales potential. The US Naval Air Systems Command solicited potential contractors on 28 January to integrate a variety of weapons on the aircraft via a request for information notice posted online.

France, Germany launch FCAS demonstrator phase

02/14/2020

A Franco-German future combat air system (FCAS) initiative formally launched at last year’s Paris air show has secured approval to move into its demonstrator phase. Finalised by Paris and Berlin on 12 February, the initial framework contract “covers a first period of 18 months and initiates work on developing the demonstrators and maturing cutting-edge technologies,” its industry partners say. The intention is for flight tests to begin “as soon as 2026”, they add.

Airbus takes hit as A400M faces export hurdles

02/14/2020

Detailing the development in a full-year results announcement on 13 February, Airbus says: “While the rebaselining of the A400M programme was completed and significant progress has been made on technical capabilities, the outlook is increasingly challenging on exports during the launch contract phase, also in light of the repeatedly extended German export ban to Saudi Arabia.”

Germany’s Bundestag approves funds for next-generation fighter jet

02/13/2020

German lawmakers on Wednesday, February 12 signed off on the first funds for a multi-nation project to develop a new fighter jet and reinvigorate an ambitious programme aimed at bringing together Europe’s disparate military forces. The stealthy Next-Generation Fighter jet is a crucial part of the Future Combat Air System, which will also include drones, missiles and so-called “remote carriers” that can be used to deliver munitions, attack communication networks or divert the attention of enemy

USAF demonstrates F-35A capabilities at Red Flag ’20

02/13/2020

The latest F-35A equipped squadron of the US Air Force, the 421st Fighter Squadron, is bringing the fifth-generation fighter to its first Red Flag exercise, revealing the seamless operation of pilot and machine. The exercise, which takes place from 27 January to 15 February, is meant to give at least 10 combat-representative sorties to younger pilots to better prepare them for real combat against very capable adversaries.

Boeing mulls F-15EX offer to India

02/13/2020

Boeing is contemplating pitching the F-15EX to New Delhi for one of the country’s long-running fighter procurements - a contest in which its F/A-18E/F is already competing. The airframer confirms that it has requested US government clearance to offer the twin-engined type for an Indian air force requirement for 110 fighters.

Boeing markets T-7A trainer in Asia, as it eyes first export deal

02/13/2020

Boeing is pitching its T-7A Red Hawk to Asian militaries for the first time at the Singapore air show, as it seeks a first export deal for the advanced jet trainer. The airframer is on contract to build as many as 351 examples for the US Air Force (USAF), with the first aircraft scheduled for delivery in in 2023.

US Air Force wants commoditised F-16 for easier Foreign Military Sales

02/13/2020

The US Air Force wants to develop a commoditised Lockheed Martin F-16 to make it easier for US allies and foreign partners to buy the combat aircraft. The service is eyeing a fighter as its next project after creating a commoditised MQ-9 Reaper unmanned air vehicle (UAV) in coordination with manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, says Kelli Seybolt, deputy under secretary of the US Air Force (USAF) for international affairs, at the Singapore air show.

Precision Attack Sniper IPT wins DOD level award

02/12/2020

When most U.S. Air Force fighter and bomber aircraft need to strike a target, they rely on the Sniper Pod, which provides long-range detection/identification of targets, as well as surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground troops. The Precision Attack Sniper Integrated Product Team, part of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Agile Combat Support Directorate, ensures the Sniper Pod operates as designed.

Singapore Airshow 2020: Military aircraft procurement set to rise

02/12/2020

As exhibitors prepare for the opening day of the Singapore Airshow, many will be eyeing opportunities in the Asia-Pacific fixed-wing aircraft market that is forecast to total $150 billion over the coming decade. Analysis from Defence Insight has found that much of the military aircraft spending across the region is being fuelled by an ever-more assertive China, which is investing heavily in advanced manned fighter aircraft.

China says Taiwan drills are meant to hone combat capabilities

02/12/2020

A second day of drills by China's military close to Taiwan were aimed at improving combat capabilities, the People's Liberation Army said after Taiwan's air force scrambled to intercept Chinese jets that briefly crossed into its airspace. Tensions have spiked between China and the self-ruled island since Sunday when Taiwan F-16s shadowed Chinese fighters and bombers which flew around the island. Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory.

USAF trials pre-positioning war materiel across Pacific region

02/12/2020

Caught between a growing US government fiscal deficit and a growing military threat from China, the US Pacific Air Forces command is looking for inexpensive ways to pre-position war materiel on islands across the Pacific Ocean.

Bye-Bye to BRRRRT: Air Force Wants to Retire 44 A-10 Warthogs

02/11/2020

Despite multiple efforts to push the iconic A-10 Warthog's retirement date further into the future, the U.S. Air Force is now slated to shelve dozens of the Cold War-era ground-attack planes in the upcoming fiscal year, according to the service's budget request.

The B-1 Bomber Is Not Done Serving the US Air Force

02/11/2020

The B-1 remains a combat-proven airframe capable of meeting today's combatant commanders' needs, and it will be a necessity as the Air Force modernizes its entire bomber force, including the B-21 Raider.

388th, 419th Fighter Wings serve as core wing at Red Flag 20-1

02/11/2020

Airmen from the 388th Fighter Wing, alongside reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing, are currently deployed for combat training with the F-35A Lightning II during exercise Red Flag 20-1. They are also performing the “core wing” function at what is known as the Air Force’s premier large force exercise.

USAF looks to beef up Asia-Pacific partnerships

02/11/2020

The US Air Force is placing a high priority on developing partnerships with regional air forces in the areas of procurement, training, and support. Kelli Seybolt, deputy under secretary of the Air Force for international affairs, plays a prominent role in working with the USA’s international partners.

Australia approved to buy 200 Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles for F/A-18F Super Hornet

02/11/2020

Australia’s prospective purchase of 200 Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LSRAMs) to equip its fleet of Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets has been cleared by the USA. Approved by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on 7 February, the deal, under the Foreign Military Sales process, is worth $900 million.

Experts Question Whether Boeing's Board of Directors is Capable of Righting the Company Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Share

02/10/2020

In December, when Boeing's board of directors fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg, some corporate governance experts and investment analysts wondered what took so long. By then, the aerospace company's latest iteration of its best-selling airplane, the 737 MAX, had been grounded worldwide for more than nine months following two crashes that killed 346 people.

Taiwan scrambles jets as Chinese air force flies round island

02/10/2020

Taiwan's air force scrambled on Sunday (Feb 9) to intercept Chinese jets that flew around the island claimed by Beijing as its own, in a move denounced by Taiwan's Defence Ministry as a threat to regional peace and stability. China has been flying what it calls "island encirclement" drills on-off since 2016 when Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen first took office.

First UK night flights land in HMS Queen Elizabeth

02/09/2020

Exercise Lightning Fury training over the North Sea is aimed at ensuring 207 Squadron achieves essential carrier flying and Landing Signals Officer (LSO) supervisory qualifications. The exercise builds on successful trials completed on last year’s ‘WESTLANT 19’ Carrier Strike Group deployment off the East Coast of the USA.

PLAAF Senior Pilot Reveals Poor Performance in Joint Exercise With RTAF

02/09/2020

An early December 2019 report from inside of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) reveals previously unreleased technical details of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Russian-built Su-27s losing a majority of engagements in a November 2015 joint exercise with the 701 Fighter Squadron of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). This Thai unit operates eight Saab JAS-39C and four JAS-39D Gripens.

Saab's Gripen E And GlobalEye Complete Finnish Flight Evaluation

02/09/2020

Saab has completed its participation with Gripen E and GlobalEye AEW&C in the Finnish HX Challenge, the Finnish Air Force testing and evaluation event at Pirkkala Air Base in Finland. The flight evaluation is part of the capability assessment in the on-going HX programme, the procurement of new fighter aircraft to equip the Finnish Air Force. The HX Challenge was carried out in Finland with tests performed under Finnish winter conditions, with the purpose to verify the data previously reported

Stealth fighters combine airpower in new fighter exercise

02/09/2020

More than 600 U.S. Air Force guardsmen, reservists and active duty Airmen completed a new fighter exercise Feb. 7, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, featuring the integration of the world’s most advanced, fifth-generation airframes. This first iteration of Pacific Raptor began on Jan. 23, and entailed twice-daily takeoffs of F-22 Raptors and F-35A Lightening IIs, followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons, which took on the notional role as adversaries during each training mission.

DOD Acquisition Boss Pulls Out of Singapore Airshow, USAF Presence Stays

02/09/2020

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer and several aerospace corporations have pulled out of the Singapore Air Show as concerns about the new coronavirus spread, though U.S. Air Force demonstration teams, Airmen, and other aircraft will still attend.

PAF Mirage Aircraft on Routine Training Mission Crashes in Punjab

02/08/2020

An accident with a Mirage combat jet has taken place during a training flight near Shorkot city, Punjab province, according to Pakistan news website Arynews. A Pakistan Air Force Mirage aircraft has crashed near Shorkot during a routine training mission, local media reported. The Air Headquarters has formed a committee to investigate the causes behind the crash, Pakistan news website Arynews reports.

F-22 Stealth Fighters Make History with Extreme Cold-Weather Remote Refueling

02/08/2020

Pilots typically never like to see an aircraft's fuel gauge tick down to almost empty -- especially if they are flying one of the most expensive fifth-generation stealth fighters in the world. Recently, F-22 Raptor pilots from the Pacific Air Forces' 3rd Wing simulated refueling in a remote location -- a necessary ability should they ever need to touch down and fill up before returning to battle. And special tactics airmen made it possible.

Russia says plane 'almost hit' by anti-aircraft fire in Syria

02/08/2020

According to a statement quoted by Russian media, the plane was about to land in Damascus when Syrian anti-aircraft fire responded to an alleged Israeli attack early on Thursday. The Airbus 320 then diverted to the Russian airbase of Hmeimim in north-western Syria, the ministry said. More than 172 people were on board.

Why fighter contenders must keep cool in Finnish HX battle

02/08/2020

Buying a new fleet of fighters is a huge decision for any nation: not only due to the high capital cost of making such an acquisition, but also because of the heavy responsibility of selecting the right type to defend its citizens for 30 years or more.

F-35 still worth the investment, Air Force Technology survey finds

02/07/2020

The poll comes as last week Poland signed a contract with Lockheed Martin worth $4.6bn to procure 32 F-35 combat aircraft in a move that will significantly upgrade its air power and marks the first Eastern European country to sign up to the programme.

India Prepares For New Fighter Tender

02/07/2020

While it is hard to believe, next year will mark almost 15 years since the Indian Air Force (IAF) embarked on a process to procure a new fighter. It will also be eight years since the force selected the Dassault Rafale for its Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) program—a selection that was eventually not carried through to a license-production run as originally planned.

Boeing delivers first F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with 1,500h service life extension

02/07/2020

Boeing delivered the first F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with a 1,500h service-life extension to the US Navy (USN) on 21 January. The US manufacturer plans to deliver the second service-life-extended Super Hornet by the end of February, with a third to be handed to the service in April, it says on 6 February.

Kenya takes C-27J pair

02/07/2020

Kenya has received its first pair of Leonardo C-27J tactical transports from a KSh20 billion ($200 million) order for three examples for the country’s air force. Leonardo says that the two aircraft landed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on 30 January. No details on the delivery timeline for the third aircraft were available, although Cirium fleets data lists it as the sole current order for the C-27J.

Singapore Airshow 2020: Viper and Gripen dogfight for Manila deal

02/06/2020

Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana confirmed in December 2019 that his country had downselected the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 Viper and Saab JAS 39 GripenC/D as candidates for its Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) programme, setting the ball rolling for the final phase of evaluations.

Russia signs contracts for Tupolev future strategic bomber PAK-DA

02/06/2020

Three days after the United States Air Force shared new visuals of its upcoming B-21 Raider, the Russian Defense Ministry announced it signed the contracts regarding the production of its own future long-range strategic bomber, the PAK-DA.

Singapore Airshow 2020: Malaysian air force grapples with fighter shortages

02/06/2020

Gen Ackbal Samad assumed command of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) on 3 January, making him the fifth chief who will have to grapple with the much-delayed Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA).

BARP Offers Services for New and Older Russian Fighters

02/06/2020

One of the most well-known defense enterprises in the former Soviet Republic of Belarus is the Baranovichi Aircraft Repair Plant (BARP) No. 558. The facility specializes in upgrading front-line fighter aircraft originally developed in the former USSR, and it is moving into new markets for its own electronic warfare (EW) products.

US Special Operations plans to buy 75 light attack aircraft for Armed Overwatch

02/06/2020

The US Special Operations Command plans on buying 75 fixed-wing aircraft for its just-announced Armed Overwatch programme. The aircraft are intended for close air support of special operations troops, according to a notice announcing an upcoming industry day posted online 3 February.

Finland’s HX contest heats up, as evaluations advance

02/06/2020

Finland has reached the mid-way point in its HX Challenge process: an in-country evaluation of the five types on offer to meet its future fighter requirement. Candidate number three – Saab’s Gripen E – late last month arrived at the Finnish air force’s Pirkkala air base, before Helsinki received updated request for proposal responses from the Swedish firm and its rivals on 31 January. The deployment marked the first overseas commitment made using the new-generation model.

Kuwait Prepares for Typhoon EIS in 2020

02/05/2020

Final assembly of the first batch of Eurofighter Typhoons for Kuwait was formally launched in a ceremony at Turin-Caselle on October 15. The Italian final assembly line was bedecked with Kuwaiti and Italian flags for the closed event, with a backdrop provided by the fuselage of the first Kuwaiti two-seater (KT001) in an assembly jig, waiting for its tailfin to be fitted.

US Navy plans to arm P-8A with cruise missiles, bombs, sea mines and decoys

02/05/2020

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is soliciting potential contractors to integrate the Boeing P-8A Poseidon with Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles, as well as several other weapons. NAVAIR is also interested in outfitting the maritime patrol aircraft with 500lb to 2,000lb-class bombs fitted with Joint Direct Attack Munition guidance kits, Mk62/63/65 Quickstrike sea mines, Raytheon’s gliding Small Diameter Bomb, as well as Miniature Air Launched Decoys.

RAF welcomes first Poseidon to Kinloss base

02/05/2020

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has moved a step closer towards reinstating its lapsed dedicated maritime patrol aircraft capability, with a first Boeing P-8A Poseidon having touched down at its Kinloss base in Scotland on 4 February. The newly arrived aircraft, ZP801, had been supporting personnel training activities at the US Navy’s NAS Jacksonville site in Florida since last November, prior to making its first transatlantic crossing.

T-38 wing deal gives IAI fresh lift

02/05/2020

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) a potentially $240 million contract to produce further replacement wing sets for its Northrop T-38C jet trainer fleet. “Work will be performed in Lod, Israel, and is expected to be complete by January 2023,” the US Department of Defense says in a 30 January notification of the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity deal. Approved funding in fiscal year 2020 values $34.4 million, it adds.

US Navy flies two EA-18G Growlers autonomously; third Growler used as controller

02/05/2020

The US Navy (USN) flew two Boeing EA-18G Growlers as autonomous unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), using a third Growler as a flight controller. In total, four flights were conducted at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, with tests starting in September 2019, says manufacturer Boeing on 4 February. The aircraft demonstrated 21 missions during flights that took place toward the end of 2019, says Boeing. The type of missions were not disclosed.

Eurofighter updates HX programme proposal

02/04/2020

Eurofighter has updated its proposal for Finland’s HX fighter acquisition programme, BAE Systems announced on 31 January. The proposal has been submitted by the UK government with the support of the governments of Germany, Italy and Spain - the nations which are currently represented in the Eurofighter industry consortium.

New B-21 image shows subtle changes from B-2A design

02/04/2020

A new rendering released by the US Air Force (USAF) of the top-secret Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider shows subtle differences compared to its stealth bomber predecessor, the Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit. An artist rendering released by the service on 31 January depicts the bomber parked in hangars on several US air bases expected to host the flying wing aircraft in the future.

Additional military presence in Mideast delivers message of deterrence to Iran, says top US Central Command leader

02/03/2020

Nearly a month after Iran launched a rare direct military attack against United States forces in Iraq, an uneasy quiet has settled across the Mideast. Watching fighter jets roar off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, the top U.S. commander for the region believes he is surrounded by one of the reasons that Iran has dialed back its combat stance, at least for now.

Japan’s next-gen fighter progress responds to China’s fifth-gen evolution

02/03/2020

It has been a long road. Japan’s Ministry of Defense has revealed that progress was gathering pace on the nation’s next-generation air dominance fighter program as Asia’s rising superpower, China, continues to enhance its own next-generation air dominance capabilities.

IAF needs 200 new fighters but Modi govt has cut funds in Budget 2020

02/02/2020

The Indian Air Force (IAF), which plans to acquire 200 fighter aircraft amid its depleting strength, saw a drop in capital funds allocation in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Union Budget 2020-21 against revised estimates for the current fiscal. While Sitharaman had allocated Rs 39,302.64 crore for the IAF capital expenditure in her last budget in July 2019, it was increased to Rs 44,869.14 crore in the revised estimates for 2019-20.

Lockheed Martin F-35 has 873 deficiencies

02/02/2020

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has 873 unresolved deficiencies and new problems are being discovered regularly, making reducing the number of issues with the aircraft difficult. That’s the conclusion of the latest scathing assessment of the stealth fighter from the Annual Report for the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of the Director of Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), released to the US Congress on 30 January.

Poland signs F-35 contract worth $4.6bn

02/02/2020

Poland has signed a $4.6 billion contract to purchase 32 Lockheed Martin F-35As, with deliveries to start in 2024. Signed on 31 January at the Polish air force academy in Deblin, the deal also includes a training package and logistics support services.

Spain signs for new PC-21 trainer fleet

02/02/2020

Spain has officially signed for the acquisition of 24 Pilatus PC-21 trainers, confirming its pre-Christmas selection of the Swiss-built turboprops. Madrid will use the new aircraft to replace its fleet of elderly CASA C-101 jet trainers, which have been in service since 1980.

Could F-35s be flying into Selfridge in Macomb County? President Trump is considering it

01/31/2020

After a failed push to get F-35 planes at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County, they could be headed there. While speaking at Dana Incorporated in Warren on Thursday, President Donald Trump said his administration is strongly considering putting the planes at the Michigan National Guard base.

Lockheed Martin sees F-35 production rising to 180 units per year, despite high flying costs

01/31/2020

Lockheed Martin is projecting annual production of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter could rise to as high as 180 examples by 2024.mmThe company sees continued sales to US military services as well as potential wins in international fighter procurement competitions, such as in Finland, Switzerland and Canada, steadily boosting production of the combat aircraft.

Cyber security risks in $17bn F-35 system

01/30/2020

Defence has acknowledged that a logistics system in the 72 Joint Strike Fighters being purchased by Australia for $17bn could create a “risk of cyber intrusion and data loss”. In answers to questions from Labor senator Kimberley Kitching, the department said the Autonomic Logistics Information Systems had “several ­developmental challenges” but the cyber risks were being ­managed.

WATCH: Swedish Gripens arrive for winter weather combat tests

01/30/2020

Two Gripen-E fighter jets built by Swedish manufacturer Saab have arrived at Pirkkala Air Force Base to start two weeks of intensive testing and evaluation. They’re the third of five aircraft types coming to Finland through the end of February, as the Air Force weighs up the pros and cons of each in the process to determine which company will win the €10 billion contract to replace the country’s ageing fleet of Hornet jets.

F-15EX is a win-win for US military on cost and effectiveness

01/30/2020

Keeping our country safe is something Americans expect from their government. When it can serve that purpose in a cost-conscious way, all the better. That’s why upgrading our fighter fleet to the modernized and cost-effective F-15EX is a no-brainer.

Vietnam Orders $350M Combat Training Jets From Russia – Vedomosti

01/30/2020

Vietnam has signed a $350 million deal last year to buy a dozen combat training aircraft from Russia, the Vedomosti business daily reported Wednesday. Russia is the biggest arms supplier to Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s fleet deploys Russian-made fighters jets, surface ships and submarines, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

RAAF welcomes first PC-21 trainer aircraft

01/29/2020

Taking training to new heights, Air Force Number 4 Squadron based at RAAF Base Williamtown has welcomed its first three Pilatus PC-21 aircraft to their new home. Regarded as “the world’s most advanced pilot training aircraft”, the PC-21’s arrival on Friday, 24 January, at 4SQN demonstrated the platform’s training versatility – with the aircraft being engaged and immersed in a different but still highly significant training role.

Remotely Piloted Aircraft: Implications for Future Warfare

01/29/2020

When an MQ-1 Predator fired an AGM-114 Hellfire missile in the opening stage of Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan, the world discovered a new form of power projection: kinetic force delivered from unmanned, remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). That proof of concept drove exponential growth in RPA usage, with combat air patrols (CAPs) swelling from just four in 2004 to 65 simultaneous, worldwide CAPs every day in 2014.

The US Air Force private jet that crashed in Afghanistan has been called 'as essential to mission success as bullets'

01/29/2020

The US Air Force confirmed on Monday that one of its aircraft had crashed in Afghanistan, killing all on board. The aircraft was a Bombardier E-11A, the military version of the popular Bombardier Global Express aircraft family used by the world's elite for long-range travel. Though the Taliban has taken credit, Air Force officials have denied that it was shot down.

The Hilarious and Totally Real Reason the F-22 Can't Be Hacked

01/29/2020

“Star Trek” would be a lot less interesting if we found out the Enterprise didn't run on an advanced isolinear computing system but instead ran on something like MS-DOS. We might laugh at how incredulous that work of science fiction would be. But in today's U.S. Air Force, the F-22 – one of the most advanced fighters ever made – runs on a similar disparity.

First USN MQ-4Cs arrive in Asia-Pacific

01/29/2020

The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton UAS has started its first deployment, joining a US Navy (USN) squadron at Andersen AFB in Guam. A pair of MQ-4Cs reached Guam on 26 January, and will be operated as part of an early operational capability (EOC), says the USN. The EOC will inform a concept of operations for the type.

U.S. Plans Creation of Afghan CH-47 Fleet

01/28/2020

Poland will sign on Friday a contract with Lockheed Martin worth USD 4.6 bln for the purchase of F-35 combat aircraft, Minister of Defence Mariusz Blaszczak tweeted on Monday. Blaszczak wrote that he would sign the deal to buy 32 state-of-the-art fifth generation Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters in Deblin, eastern Poland, on Friday afternoon.

Poland to sign contract for purchase of F-35 combat aircraft - MoD

01/28/2020

Poland will sign on Friday a contract with Lockheed Martin worth USD 4.6 bln for the purchase of F-35 combat aircraft, Minister of Defence Mariusz Blaszczak tweeted on Monday. Blaszczak wrote that he would sign the deal to buy 32 state-of-the-art fifth generation Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters in Deblin, eastern Poland, on Friday afternoon.

Total-force aviators take flight during Sentry Aloha 20-1

01/28/2020

More than 1,000 personnel from the U.S. Air Force’s active, national guard and reserve components participated in the decade’s first Sentry Aloha exercise Jan. 8-22, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The air-to-air combat exercise, designated as Sentry Aloha 20-1, is hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard and designed to train Airmen from around the country in a joint and interoperable venue on a large scale.

US jet comes down in Taliban territory

01/27/2020

Officials told the media there were no indications it had been brought down by enemy activity. The aircraft crashed in Deh Yak district, Ghazni province, an area with a strong Taliban presence. Afghan authorities initially said it belonged to state-owned airline Ariana, but the company issued a denial, saying all its planes were accounted for. The Pentagon has not released further details and it is unclear how many people were on board.

Turkey’s Strive to Achieve Military Nuclear Power

01/27/2020

The warming ties between Iran and Turkey add another factor to the new direction Turkey has taken in its defense policy. In recent months, Turkey has taken a few steps that made the question of whether it can still be a member of NATO a very acute one. The surprising fact is that the organization has not reacted and has not taken any action to try and stop the process. That further puts a question mark on its real value as an organization that may be called for combined military operations.

Military range in the Gulf at risk

01/27/2020

A vital military range is at risk from Big Oil – and the clock is ticking. The eastern Gulf of Mexico is a military range essential to our military’s success and critical to delivering the required combat capabilities to our men and women deployed overseas – and the oil industry wants to drill for oil there.

Republic Day 2020: A Look at the Fighter Jet Fleet of the IAF: Rafale, Tejas, Sukhoi and More

01/27/2020

India is celebrating its 71st Republic Day and like every year, IAF is hosting a a spectacular air display at the Republic Day Parade that includes attack and transport aircrafts of the IAF. Here’s a list of all the active fighter jets also called the multi-role fighters and strike aircraft owned by the Indian Air Force, from Sukhoi Su30MKI to the Tejas LCA.

Navy MH-60S Helicopter Crashes in the Philippine Sea off Okinawa, Crew Rescued

01/26/2020

Five sailors are in stable condition following the crash of their MH-60S helicopter in the Philippine Sea, U.S. 7th Fleet said on Saturday. The MH-60S was operating from 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) when it went down about 5:15 p.m. local time, read a statement from the Navy. “Three aircrew were recovered by a Japan Air Self-Defense Force UH-60 search and rescue helicopter, and the other two were recovered by a USS Blue Ridge MH-60S helicopter,” read the statement.

Warning signs of a South China Sea clash

01/26/2020

The spectre of China is looming ever larger over Asia. Now international relations experts are sounding alarms at the risks of an armed clash. There are always tensions between states, says the ANU's Professor John Blaxland, "but there is a gnawing sense that this decade may see us get closer to the brink than in generations".

Afghanistan- U.S. to Provide CH-47 Chinook Helicopters to Afghan Special Mission Wing

01/26/2020

The United States has approved a plan to provide Ch-47 Chinook helicopters to the Special Mission Wing of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The Department of Defense informed regarding the planned delivery of the helicopters in its semiannual report which it recently provided to the U.S. Congress, covering events during the period of June 1 to November 30, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Uses Russian Mi-24 Hind Gunships in Training at Davis-Monthan AFB.

01/25/2020

Russian-built Mi-24 ‘Hind’ attack helicopters are no strangers to U.S. airshow venues like Nellis AFB for previous editions of Aviation Nation, but official mention of the aircraft being used in active training with the USAF is much less common. Last week, the Air Force’s 355th Wing Public Affairs unit officially released a story about the USAF 55th Rescue Squadron of the Air Combat Command training with two Russian Mi-24 attack helicopters at Davis-Monthan AFB outside Tucson, Arizona.

JF-17 Thunder Block-III: Upgrades that bring it at the Top

01/25/2020

JF-17 Thunder Block-III 4+ Generation made its maiden flight back in December 2019 and Pak-China jointly built fighter jet proved its might and air superiority all over again. At Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group’s (CAIG) facilities, the first ever powered up prototype was flown in a test flight hailing some major upgrades and technologies from China’s top of the line J-20 fighter jet.

F-21 Fighter Jet to Take Centrestage at DefExpo 2020

01/25/2020

In its pursuit to sell F-21 multi-role fighter jets to Indian Air Force, US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin will exhibit its cutting-edge technology including aircraft platforms, precision weapons and missile systems at the Defence Expo-2020 (DefExpo), scheduled to be held in Lucknow from 5 to 8 February.

Poland to buy F-35 stealth fighters from the US

01/25/2020

Poland’s defense minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced that Warsaw’s deal to buy dozens of fifth-generation F-35 stealth aircrafts from the US will be signed next week. “We’ve basically finalized the negotiations, with only minor procedural issues still pending. I’m convinced that in January we will sign an agreement with the United States for the purchase of 32 F-35 planes, the most modern aircraft in the world,” Blaszczak said in an interview.

US Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter upgrades start full-rate production

01/25/2020

The US Coast Guard’s MH-65D Dolphin helicopter upgrade programme began full-rate production on 21 November. Full-rate production means the US Coast Guard plans to convert 22 examples of the Eurocopter MH-65D per year into the “E” configuration, says the service on 16 January.

General Atomics to demo MQ-1C Gray Eagle as tactical ballistic missile spotter

01/25/2020

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems started a series of internally funded demonstration flights on 19 November 2019 with the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range unmanned air vehicle (UAV) serving as a tactical ballistic missile spotter.

BOEING SAYS BANGLADESH IS CONSIDERING AH-64E APACHE ATTACK HELICOPTERS

01/24/2020

Boeing confirmed to reports that its AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter was “down-selected” for a potential acquisition program with the Bangladeshi armed forces. Terry Jamison, the director of international vertical lift sales at Boeing, stated that Bangladesh is actively considering the Apache on both cost and capability grounds.

MoD: First Polish F-35 Jets Expected in 2024. Agreement to be Signed Next Week

01/24/2020

First F-35 fighter aircraft that Poland is planning to order would be “ready in 2024”, Head of the Polish Ministry of Defence, Mariusz Blaszczak said. He also confirmed the fact that conclusion of a relevant agreement on that matter (actual delivery of the aircraft) is planned to happen next week.

F-35 sensors help ground interceptors engage “air-breathing” targets

01/24/2020

The Lockheed Martin F-35 has demonstrated has demonstrated a capability to downlink targeting data about multiple “air-breathing threats” to ground forces. The work took place at White Sands Missile Range in December 2019, according to Lockheed Martin.

Saab commences production for T-7A Red Hawk programme

01/24/2020

Saab has commenced assembly production for the Boeing T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer. The Swedish company says it is producing seven aft fuselage sections in Linköping, Sweden which will then undergo final assembly at Boeing’s factory in St. Louis, Missouri.

U.S. Air Force shows off ten A-10 Warthogs in massive ‘elephant walk’ exercise

01/23/2020

The U.S Air Force on Jan. 21 conducted a massive elephant walk at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, launching ten A-10 Thunderbolt II, or the more affectionate A-10 Warthogs, in a row. “A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter aircraft flown here by pilots of the 107th Fighter Squadron, perform an, “Elephant Walk,” on the runway as they deploy for Snowbird January 21, 2020,” according to a news release issued by the 127th Wing Public Affairs.

China is behind on production of its most advanced fighter jet

01/22/2020

China will need to speed up the production of its most advanced Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jets, with the supply of the "Powerful Dragons" well behind demand, military analysts said.

Meet the TF-X: Turkey's Wanna-Be F-22 Stealth Fighter

01/22/2020

Turkish Aerospace Industries revealed a mockup of a new stealth fighter at the Paris Air Show on June 17, 2019. Don’t get excited. The mockup of the TF-X fighter bears a resemblance to the U.S. Air Force’s own F-22. But whereas the F-22 is a real, front-line warplane with an actual combat record, the TF-X is unlikely to even get built.

US Navy’s Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey completes first flight

01/22/2020

The US Navy CMV-22B Osprey made its initial flight at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas. The Bell Boeing CMV-22’s first flight comes ahead of its manufacturers’ plan to deliver the tiltrotor to the Naval Air Systems Command’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 21 in early 2020 for developmental testing, Bell and Boeing say on 21 January.

USMC Aviation: Looking Back to the 2010s and Forward to the 2020s

01/21/2020

The significant change in USMC aviation since the introduction of the Osprey has set in motion fundamental changes overall in USMC capabilities and concepts of operations. In the past decade, the Osprey has matured as a combat platform and fostered significant change in concepts of operations. No less than the virtual end of the ARG-MEU and the shaping of a new approach to amphibious warfare and shaping new concepts of operations for dealing with peer competitors is underway.

Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter aircraft equipped with BrahMos to be deployed in northern sector as per threat analysis, says Air Force Chief

01/21/2020

Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft, equipped with ' BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, was inducted at Thanjavur airbase on Monday. The missile can hit targets at around 300 kilometers with precision. Bhadauria said that the decision to deploy the Su-30 MKI at Thanjavur was taken due to its strategic location.

BAE launches $2.2bn bid for Collins, Raytheon units

01/21/2020

BAE Systems intends to acquire two parts of the Collins Aerospace and Raytheon portfolios which were mandated for sale as part of regulatory requirements enabling the US companies’ pending merger. Announcing the formal asset purchase agreements on 20 January, BAE values its proposed acquisition of Collins’ military GPS business at over $1.9 billion, and says obtaining Raytheon’s airborne tactical radios unit will cost $275 million.

The Israeli Air Force Has Inaugurated Its Second F-35I Adir Squadron

01/20/2020

The 116th Squadron “Lions of the South”, based at Nevatim in southern Israel, is the second Israeli Air Force unit to be equipped with the “Adir”. On Jan. 16, 2020, the IAF officially reopened the 116th (“Lions Of The South”) squadron. The unit joins the 140th “Golden Eagle” squadron, becoming the second to operate the “Adir” (as the Israeli Lightning II stealth aircraft are dubbed).

WHY IS THE PAKISTAN AIR FORCE PROCURING 26 JF-17B FIGHTERS?

01/20/2020

The PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS), revealed the PAF’s plans to procure 26 JF-17Bs in an interview in May 2019.[1] According to the CAS, the primary purpose of inducting the JF-17B was to train new pilots on the JF-17 “without first putting them through the F-16, Mirage or F-7P/PG” as they are currently. In other words, as the JF-17 becomes the PAF’s most numerous aircraft, the PAF is adding twin-seat variants to convert pilots with limited experience in JF-17.

Here Comes the New F-16 Fighter: Thanks to F-22 and F-35

01/20/2020

The latest version of the F-16, officially dubbed the F-16 Block 70, is a thoroughly modern fighter jet. The original F-16 was introduced in the 1970s, but the new jet is a different beast thanks to advanced avionics. F-16 Block 70 fighter jet can be deployed in suppression of enemy air defences missions, air-to-ground and air-to-air combat, and deep interdiction and maritime interdiction missions.

Israel's F-35i 'Adir' Stealth Fighter Is a Beast (And Now A Second Squadron Is Ready)

01/19/2020

Israel unveiled its second F-35i squadron to coincide with the new year at its Nevatim Airbase where its F-35s are based. This is a milestone for Israel which received its first F-35s in 2016 and declared its first squadron operation in December 2017. Israel’s F-35i is a modified version with unique features. Israel is expected to acquire at least 50 of the Lockheed Martin jets amid rising tension with Iran. It fulfills Israel’s desire to have a qualitative military edge over adversaries thro

The B-52 Will No Longer Carry Certain Nuclear Weapons. Here's Why

01/19/2020

The B-52 Stratofortress will no longer carry the B61-7 and B83-1 nuclear gravity bombs as it prepares to carry the new long-range standoff weapon, known as LRSO. Following reports that the bomb variants had been removed from the Cold War-era aircraft's inventory, officials at Air Force Global Strike Command confirmed the move is in line with the bomber's transition into an era of modern warfare.

The Soviet's War In Afghanistan Had Russian Pilots Fighting Pakistani F-16s

01/19/2020

Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Washington found that Zia’s policies dovetailed conveniently with getting Pakistani assistance in supporting Mujahideen insurgents fighting Communist forces. Thus, Pakistani and U.S. agents collaborated in organizing and arming militants proliferating in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan.

Why Russia Doesn't Like (Or Have) Many Aircraft Carriers

01/19/2020

Historically a land power, the Soviet Union grappled with the idea of a large naval aviation arm for most of its history, eventually settling on a series of hybrid aircraft carriers. Big plans for additional ships died with the Soviet collapse, but Russia inherited one large aircraft carrier at the end of the Cold War—that remains in service today.

USS Ford begins key flight deck training in bid to become combat-ready

01/18/2020

For the first time ever, an E-2D Hawkeye came in for a landing, testing the USS Gerald R. Ford's Advanced Arresting Gear, a system that is unique to the Navy's new Ford-class aircraft carrier. It was part of what's called "A.C.T." - Aircraft Compatibility Testing. The "trap" was successful, and that's a good thing, after several years of seemingly endless technological difficulties for the $12.9 billion Ford.

Israel's F-35I Adir Is Taking America's Stealth Fighter To A Whole Other Level

01/18/2020

On May 22, 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—this nonetheless apparently confirmed the first combat operations undertaken by any variant.

New Russian Lightweight Air-Launched Missile Revealed

01/18/2020

The Russian Navy displayed a model of a new small missile during a Jan. 9 meeting in Sevastopol attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Joint Small-sized Modular Aviation Weapon, (Mezhvidovoye Malogabaritnoye Modulnoye Aviatsionnoye Sredstvo Porazheniya, or MMM ASP), according to the descriptive plate on the model, is being made to defeat “fuel depots, manpower, various naval surface targets, strongholds, aircraft and helicopters at the base site.”

New vertical lift capabilities take flight during demo

01/18/2020

The Army secretary along with senior Army officials joined industry leaders last week to get a closer look at cutting-edge capabilities for future vertical lift ahead of the fiscal year 2030 goal to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk. Developers from Bell Textron, a Texas-based aerospace manufacturer, demoed their part-aircraft, part-helicopter - Bell V-280 Valor - to leaders who will ultimately choose the force's newest chopper.

Lockheed Martin Awarded $32.9 Million Pentagon Contract for Taiwan’s F-16 Upgrade Program

01/18/2020

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin has won a $32.9 million contract modification for logistics support to the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) F-16 Peace Phoenix Rising program, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced on January 14. “This modification provides for contractor logistics support, repair and return and diminishing manufacturing source management services for Taiwan F-16s Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar,” the DoD stated.

BrahMos with Su-30s to boost firepower to combat Chinese threat in Indian Ocean Region

01/18/2020

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to enhance its strike capabilities in the Indian Ocean Region keeping an eye on the increasing Chinese presence to augment the Indian Navy's strength by inducting Sukhoi fighter jets armed with lethal BrahMos missile in the newly set up squadron based in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The new squadron will initially have five to six fighter jets but gradually it will operate with full strength. Each squadron has 18 aircraft. The induction will happen on January 20

The 1 Downside to Building Fake Islands China Didn't See Coming

01/18/2020

During World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually. Moreover, over time the islands became a strategic liability, as Japan struggled to keep them supplied with food, fuel and equipment. The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do they really represent an asset to China’s military? The answer is yes, but in an actual conflict the value would dwindle quickly.

Sierra Technical unveils ‘faster’ and ‘more manoeuvrable’ stealth UAV

01/17/2020

Sierra Technical Services recently completed several ground tests, including an engine test run, on its Fifth Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) aircraft. The aircraft, which is powered by two General Electric J85 engines salvaged from retired Northrop T-38 Talon trainer jets, is intended to be used as a stealth target drone for the US Air Force (USAF) to shoot down.

X-60A hypersonic test vehicle completes rocket hot firings

01/17/2020

The US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) X-60A rocket recently completed test firings of its engine while on the ground at Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, Florida. The X-60A is an air-launched, single-stage rocket designed to reach hypersonic speeds so that the AFRL can routinely test hypersonic technologies, such as air-breathing propulsion, advanced materials, and hypersonic vehicle subsystems. The system is designed to reach speeds above Mach 5.

Military aircraft crashes, pilot dies during trainings: Military spox

01/16/2020

A military aircraft crashed on Tuesday during the training of the Air Forces and its pilot was announced dead,according to military spokesperson Colonel Tamer al-Rifai. Rifai added in his statement that the military craft crashed in one of the training locations, and that they are still figuring out the reason behind the crash.

US Navy flies F/A-18F Super Hornet with Infrared Search & Track Block II pod

01/16/2020

The US Navy (USN) for the first time in late 2019 flew an F/A-18F Super Hornet carrying an Infrared Search & Track (IRST) Block II pod under the centerline of its undercarriage. The IRST Block II is in the risk reduction phase of development, says Boeing on 15 January. Flights at Boeing’s facilities in the St. Louis, Missouri area are to be used to collect data on how the hardware is performing.

Dassault, Thales to provide France with SIGINT Falcon 8X

01/16/2020

Paris has tapped Dassault and Thales to provide three signals intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft based on the Falcon 8X business jet under its ARCHANGE requirement. The project will see the Thales CUGE system installed on two aircraft initially, with a third to follow, say the two companies.

The 'Super-Charged' F-15EX Fighter: Why This Combat Pilot Loves It

01/15/2020

By modifying an existing, proven airframe – with an undefeated air-to-air combat record - the Air Force can take advantage of an existing manufacturing process and ground support infrastructure without the need for extensive pilot-re-training. This will allow the military to deploy the F-15EX quickly with little added cost to the American taxpayer – saving valuable funds for F-35 production.

India’s LCA makes arrested landing, as twin-engined fighter planned

01/15/2020

The Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Light Combat Aircraft technology demonstrator has successfully performed an arrested landing on board the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, followed by a maiden ski jump take-off. The fighter is undergoing additional carrier trials, following which it will return to the Shore Base Test Facility (SBTF) at Goa. The flight represented a historic moment for Indian aviation, being the first time a locally-produced jet has arrested aboard a carrier.

Egypt demonstrates aerial refuelling for combat aircraft

01/15/2020

Egypt now has the capability to aerial refuel combat aircraft, with an official video released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) showing 'buddy-buddy' systems fitted to air force MiG-29M 'Fulcrum' fighters. The video, which was released on 13 January to highlight the capabilities of the Egyptian armed forces, shows a pair of MiG-29Ms equipped with centreline hose-and-drogue units preparing to offload fuel to two Dassault Rafale combat aircraft.

Multiple failures led to iran's accidental attack on Ukrainian jetliner

01/14/2020

Details about why Iran air defense forces mistook a Ukrainian airliner for a cruise missile remain murky, but one thing is clear: Safeguards for operating surface-to-air missiles are supposed to prevent that kind of mistaken identity and all of them failed. The error, which killed all 176 people aboard the plane on Wednesday, is probably the result of multiple layers of failure that extend into high levels of the government and military, said Steven Zaloga, senior analyst for missile systems at

RAF to launch swarming drone squadron in April

01/14/2020

The UK Royal Air Force in April is set to stand up a new squadron to bring swarming drones into service and assess their capabilities. The technology, originally announced by former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, was due to be in service by the end of 2019; however, the capabilities will now be brought into service in April.

Lockheed Martin to deliver up to 50 C-130J Super Hercules to US military

01/14/2020

Lockheed Martin has won a $3 billion multiyear contract to deliver up to 50 C-130J Super Hercules to the US Air Force (USAF), US Marine Corps (USMC) and US Coast Guard. The Department of Defense awarded $1.5 billion for the first tranche of 21 C-130Js on 27 December, the company says on 13 January.

US Adding Firepower and Outreach in Pacific to Counter China

01/13/2020

While America's attention was firmly fixed on Iran, China had a large fishing fleet operating illegally in Indonesia's exclusive economic zone protected by China's coast guard, said Rear Adm. Ken Whitesell, deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet. Indonesia deployed fighter jets and warships to "drive out the foreign vessels, " News Corp Australia reported.

4 Iraqi Servicemen Wounded by Rocket Attack on Air Base

01/13/2020

Four members of Iraq's military were wounded Sunday in a rocket attack targeting an air base just north of Baghdad where American trainers are present, Iraqi security officials said. The attack by at least six rockets came just days after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq that house U.S. forces, causing no casualties.

India to acquire 200 fighter jets for Air Force: Defence secretary Ajay Kumar

01/13/2020

The government is in the process of acquiring around 200 aircraft to cope with the depleting aerial inventories of the Indian Air Force, defence secretary Ajay Kumar said here on Sunday. The contract for HAL-manufactured 83 LCA Tejas Mark 1 A advanced fighter jets are in the final stages, he said. Apart from these, Expression of Interest (EOI) has been floated for another 110 aircraft, based on which Request for Proposal (RFP) will be floated, Kumar said.

USAF F-16 aggressors from 18th AGRS fly south for mobile training

01/12/2020

The 18th Aggressor Squadron departed Eielson this week to participate in exercise Sentry Aloha 20-1, which is scheduled to take place Jan. 8-22 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawai, hosted by Hawaii Air National Guard. For more than 20 years, Sentry Aloha exercises have provided tailored, cost-effective and realistic combat training for the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and other military personnel.

Burkina Faso Super Tucano conducts first joint air op with French Mirage 2000 jets

01/12/2020

Burkina Faso’s air force conducted its first joint air operation with France, when an Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano worked alongside French Mirage 2000D fighter jets near Arbinda in December, the French Armed Forces Ministry said in a release.

Purchase of Military Fighter Jets Delayed Again?

01/12/2020

On 10 January 2019 the Director-General of the Israeli Defence Ministry, Udi Adam, confirmed officially in Zagreb that Israel could not sell Croatia its F-16 Barak jets as it could not obtain Washington's approval for the deal. A year later, by all accounts, Croatia is further away from buying a new generation of combat aircraft than it was a year ago, says the daily.

Why Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter Crashed

01/12/2020

On December 24, 2019, a sleek-looking Su-57 stealth fighter designated Blue 01 took to the skies for an engine test flight from Dzemgi airport in eastern Russia. Manufacturer Sukhoi had already built ten T-50 prototype aircraft for Russia’s PAK FA stealth fighter program, and had even twice deployed them to Syria for combat tests.

Naval Light Combat Aircraft makes its first successful landing on aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya

01/12/2020

The Naval Light Combat Aircraft made its first successful landing on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Saturday. The Defence Research and Development Organisation-developed fighter aircraft is expected to attempt its maiden take off from the carrier soon. The indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (N) Mk1 made the successful arrested landing on the India's biggest warship INS Vikramaditya on Saturday.

In Germany, gridlock over nuclear-capable fighter jet

01/11/2020

Germany's Air Force has a special mission: deliver American nukes in the case of a nuclear strike. But its Tornado fleet is rapidly nearing the end of its shelf life. So why has Germany yet to decide on a replacement?

Experts detail factors that may have led Iranian missile crews to down Ukrainian 737

01/11/2020

Though the cause of the Ukraine International Airlines crash remains unconfirmed, defence experts suspect high stress and poor civilian-military coordination led ill-trained missile units to mistakenly shoot down the Boeing 737-800. US and Canadian officials have already said they believe Iranian surface-to-air-missiles (SAMs), possibly fired by accident, downed flight PS752 on 8 January, killing 176 people.

US Air Force requests information on new anti-radiation missile for F-35A

01/11/2020

The US Air Force (USAF) is requesting information for modifications to the US Navy’s (USN) Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) programme that would make that weapon suitable for its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter.

Pakistan Completes Production of First Batch of JF-17B Fighter Aircraft

01/10/2020

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra completed production of the first batch of eight twin-seat Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17B Thunder for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in late December.

USA approves Singapore to buy up to 12 F-35B stealth fighters

01/10/2020

The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of up to 12 Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters to Singapore for an estimated $2.75 billion. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency says that it notified the US Congress on 9 January.

First Air National Guard F-16 receives AESA radar

01/10/2020

An Air National Guard F-16 recently received the fleet’s first active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The US Air Force (USAF) installed the Northrop Grumman-made AN/APG-83 SABR radar on an undisclosed recent date, says Northrop Grumman on 9 January. The recipient aircraft will be used as part of the service’s effort to declare initial operational capability of the AESA radars on the Air National Guard’s F-16 fleet.

Finland launches HX fighter evaluation work

01/10/2020

Finland has launched the latest stage of its HX fighter contest, with a first candidate type now involved in flight evaluation from the nation’s Pirkkala air base. Detailing the new phase in a blog post, Finnish defence ministry programme manager Lauri Puranen describes it as a “testing and verification event for HX candidates”. Intended to evaluate aircraft performance against the responses submitted following Helsinki’s earlier invitation to tender.

“Iran Likely Shot Down Ukrainian Airliner Near Tehran” US Defense Officials Say

01/10/2020

According to various U.S. media outlets, Pentagon has intelligence suggesting Iran may have mistakenly fired two surface-to-air missiles at the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed shortly after take-off from Iran’s Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran early in the morning on Jan. 8, 2020. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, registration UR-PSR, was flying with 176 people on board, to Kyiv as flight PS752. No one survived the crash.

MILITARY AIRCRAFT, RUNWAY AMONG DAMAGE AT IRAQI BASE STRUCK BY IRAN MISSILES

01/09/2020

Iran's missile attack on two large military bases in Iraq damaged installations housing U.S. service members and battered an airplane hangar, aircraft, buildings and runways. Preliminary reports from American and Iraqi military officials reported that Iran fired 22 missiles at both Al Asad Airbase in western Iraq and at the airbase near Erbil in the north. Two Defense Department officials told Newsweek that 18 ballistic missiles struck Al Asad Airbase alone.

Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter Is Getting a Brand New Missile

01/09/2020

Russia appears to be developing a new, small air-to-air missile that could arm the Su-57 stealth fighter. The United States also is working on smaller air-to-air missiles to arm its own growing force of radar-evading warplanes. The new missile appeared in a display at munitions-maker Vympel NPO's I. I. Toropov design facility in Moscow on Nov. 18, 2019, The War Zone reporter Joe Trevithick noted.

Potential Next Generation US Assault Aircraft V-280 Valor Unveiled In Arlington

01/09/2020

The U.S. military is looking for a new, modern aircraft that could replace the outdated Black Hawk helicopter fleet across all branches. On Wednesday, North Texas-based, Bell held a demonstration event for their offering, the V-280 Valor. In attendance was U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy who took the opportunity to comment on the tension with Iran.

Marshall lands KC-130J support deal with Kuwait

01/09/2020

The UK’s Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group will provide in-service support services for a trio of Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker/transports for the Kuwait air force, after securing the business via the US government. Announcing its contract receipt on 6 January, Marshall said it will perform “planned maintenance interval inspections, full aircraft repainting and specific overhaul tasks this year” for the customer.

Half of US Navy’s $380 billion aviation spending in next 30 years to be fighters

01/09/2020

The cost to buy new aircraft to maintain the US Navy’s (USN) current fleet size is projected to be about $380 billion over the next 30 years. The replacement of fighter and attack aircraft, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet would represent the largest overall costs between 2020 and 2050, totaling about $190 billion, according to a projection by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), released on 6 January.

First Two Of Six B-52 Bombers Deploying To Diego Garcia Amid Growing Tensions With Iran

01/08/2020

The strategic bombers and their support tankers could be tracked online as they moved from Barksdale Air Force Base to the American outpost in the Indian Ocean as part of the U.S. build up in the region.

USDA, Michigan Air Guard program cuts risk of bird collisions

01/08/2020

The flightline at Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center is a busy place.As the year-round host for training events like Northern Strike – the Defense Department's largest joint reserve-component exercise – it's not uncommon to see more than 60 aircraft on Alpena's tarmac. During exercise Northern Strike 19, more than 450 flights launched from the airfield over two weeks.

Iran attack: US troops targeted with ballistic missiles

01/08/2020

Iranian state TV says the attack is a retaliation after the country's top commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike in Baghdad, on the orders of US President Donald Trump. The Pentagon says at least two sites were attacked, in Irbil and Al-Asad. It is unclear if there have been any casualties.

Poland to float Seasprite replacement plan

01/08/2020

Warsaw intends to buy between four and eight new helicopters to replace its navy’s Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite maritime rotorcraft, which are to be withdrawn from use due to a lack of technical support. Cirium fleets data shows that the Polish navy has an active fleet of four SH-2Gs, each aged at almost 30 years.

Trump overstates military spending and readiness in face of Iran conflict

01/07/2020

President Trump has made numerous claims in recent days that he has completely updated the U.S. military’s equipment and suggested it is well-prepared for a major conflict with Iran. But his comments grossly overstate spending decisions and mask an aging fleet of planes. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that “The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment” and that if necessary he would use it to hit Iran “very fast and very hard.”

Hill Air Force Base flyers demonstrate combat readiness, power

01/07/2020

In a show of military might, jet after jet took off from Hill Air Force Base on Monday in a scheduled exercise meant to keep the fleet ready at a moment’s notice. While the effort has been in the works for some time, it came against a backdrop of political and military tensions in the Middle East following the U.S. strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Lockheed Martin signs $1.9bn sustainment contract for F-35

01/07/2020

The F-35 Joint Program Office awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.9 billion contract to sustain and support the worldwide fleet of F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters in 2020. The contract will also fund increasing maintenance capacity for future deliveries of the F-35, says Lockheed Martin. To meet the needs of the growing F-35 fleet, the contract funds hiring industry sustainment experts for base and depot maintenance, pilot and maintainer training, and sustainment engineering efforts, says the compa

Erdogan Announces First Turkish Troops Are Heading to Libya

01/06/2020

Turkey has started deploying troops to Libya, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday evening in a live television interview, keeping his promise to support the fragile government in Tripoli even as Western states have warned against escalating a conflict between the government and rebel forces.

US service member, DoD contractors killed after jihadi attack on base in Kenya

01/06/2020

A U.S. service member and two Department of Defense contractors died Sunday following an attack from al-Shabab militants in Manda Bay, Kenya, according to U.S. Africa Command. Two other Defense Department members were also injured in the attack, but remain in stable condition.

Netanyahu, in apparent stumble, calls Israel 'nuclear power'

01/06/2020

In an apparent slip of the tongue on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Israel as a nuclear power before correcting himself with a bashful nod and an embarrassed smile. Israel is widely believed to have an atomic arsenal but has never confirmed or denied that it has nuclear weapons, maintaining a so-called policy of ambiguity on the issue for decades.

Germany seeks talks with Iran to ease tensions

01/06/2020

Germany's foreign minister said Saturday he is hoping for direct talks with Iran, in addition to the country's European partners and the United Nations, as a way of de-escalating tensions in the Middle East following the US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

US military aircraft, vehicles destroyed in Kenya attack linked to al-Shabab extremists; 5 attackers arrested, 4 dead

01/06/2020

The U.S. military said the security situation was "fluid" at a Kenyan airfield used by U.S. forces after a pre-dawn attack Sunday by the al-Shabab extremist group. The attack destroyed U.S. aircraft and vehicles, Kenyan authorities said, and at least four attackers were killed. It was not yet clear whether any U.S. or Kenyan forces were killed. A U.S. Africa Command statement said "an accountability of personnel assessment is underway."

Indonesia beefs up patrols after China fishing boat spat 6 hours ago

01/05/2020

Indonesia is stepping up sea and aerial patrols of islands near the disputed South China Sea, an official said on Saturday, following a diplomatic spat over "trespassing" Chinese vessels. Military aircraft and three warships with some 600 navy, army and air force personnel have been deployed to waters around the Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea.

Qasem Soleimani: How strong is Iran's military?

01/05/2020

"Severe revenge awaits" those behind the attack on General Qasem Soleimani, said Iran's Supreme Leader. So what do we know about Iran's military capabilities?

Turkey All But Gives Up On F-35 Jet Deal, Seeks Alternatives

01/05/2020

Turkey has all but given up on rescuing its deal for 100 F-35 fighter jets with the United States, and instead is seeking alternatives to the American jets besides improving its defensive capabilities. With the new U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in effect, it is highly likely that Turkey will not be able to receive its fifth-gen F-35 multirole stealth aircraft in the foreseeable future, according to an article by Dr. Can Kasapoglu of EDAM, an Istanbul based think tank.

Air Force sets foundation for energy optimization, lethality

01/05/2020

With 2020 here and the Air Force prepares to take on the challenges of the next decade, we must also review our successes and lessons learned from the last year. For Air Force Operational Energy, 2019 was a year for laying the foundation to build a more optimized and lethal force in the years to come.

RMAF seeking drones, aircraft and missiles

01/05/2020

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is diligently pursuing the acquisition of three major assets to bolster its maritime surveillance capabilities. Newly-appointed RMAF chief General Datuk Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad said the assets comprised unmanned aircraft systems, maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and ground-based radars. “These are vital elements to shore up the air force which needs such requirements to meet the challenges ahead.

Iran’s F-14 Tomcats Take to the Skies: Air Force’s Elite Scrambled to Patrol Western Borders After U.S. Attack Kills Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani

01/04/2020

Following a U.S. airstrike on the convoy of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps General Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport, which claimed the life of the senior commander and two dozen others, Tehran has vowed to respond with a "crushing revenge" sparking a rise in tensions across the Middle East.

Here's How Iran's Aging Air Force Would Take On America's F-22 Stealth Fighters

01/04/2020

With the United States withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal with Iran, a war with Tehran seems to be a distinct possibility. In the event of a military conflict between Washington and Tehran, there is also the ever growing possibility that the White House might seek regime change in Iran.

Here's Why Iran Is Obsessed With Upgrading Its Older Air Force Jets

01/04/2020

The Iranian air force on paper is one of the biggest air arms in the world. Its order of battle includes around 350 fighters, more than twice as many as the Royal Air Force possesses. But most of Iran’s fighters are old and outdated. The ones that aren’t old are just new copies of old designs. The air force’s squadrons fly American-made F-14s, F-5s and F-4s dating from the 1970s, some 1980s-vintage MiG-29s and Sukhoi fighter-bombers and a few J-7s that the Islamic Republic bought from China.

Lockheed Martin delivers 134 F-35 stealth fighters in 2019

01/04/2020

Lockheed Martin delivered 134 examples of its F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter in 2019 to the US military services, international development partners and Foreign Military Sales customers. The total was three more than the 131 aircraft it expected to deliver in 2019, the company said on 30 December 2019.

Lockheed Martin awarded $7bn contract to maintain F-22 fleet

01/04/2020

Lockheed Martin was awarded a five-year contract worth $7 billion for maintenance of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. The contract is an option exercised by the US Air Force (USAF) from its ongoing sustainment deal with Lockheed Martin, the Department of Defense says in an online notice on 20 December. This additional five-year contract will extend the service’s contract work with Lockheed Martin through 31 December 2032.

Boeing KC-46A to resume cargo and passenger flights after cargo lock fixes

01/04/2020

The US Air Force is again allowing Boeing KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tankers to carry passengers and cargo, lifting a ban after accepting Boeing’s cargo-lock retrofit. The USAF announced in September that during test flights multiple cargo-floor restraint locks malfunctioned and came unlocked. At the time, in-service KC-46As were transporting cargo. The service suspended cargo and passenger flights as a precaution.

Indonesia rolls out indigenous MALE UAV

01/04/2020

Indonesian Aerospace has rolled out the first prototype of a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV for which it sees a number of domestic missions. The aircraft was unveiled on 30 December 2019 at Indonesian Aerospace’s Bandung factory, says the company, also known as PTDI.

Pilot shortages could ground China’s plans to develop combat-ready carrier fleet

01/03/2020

A shortage of naval pilots is holding back Beijing’s ambitions to develop a truly combat-ready fleet, military analysts have said. China officially commissioned its second aircraft carrier the Shandong last week, which means it will need at least 70 pilots, along with more supporting flight officers.

Israel-Iran conflict to be major Middle East issue in 2020

01/03/2020

Neither Iran or Israel may seek war. But a diplomatic breakdown after the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, strategic errors and a military buildup make a direct conflict — even an inadvertent one — more likely. Tensions between Israel and Iran have increased since President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action— the 2015 accord to wind back Iran's nuclear program in return for sanctions relief — in 2018.

Upgraded version of fighter jet developed jointly by China, Pakistan makes maiden flight

01/03/2020

An upgraded version of a fighter jet being jointly developed by China and Pakistan has made its maiden flight in the Chinese city of Chengdu, official media reported on Thursday. The JF-17 Thunder, earlier named as FC-1 Xiaolong, was a single-engine multi-role light fighter jet jointly produced by the two countries for several years with engines supplied by Russia. The upgraded version features the technologies of China's stealth fighter J-20.

Boeing’s Autonomous Fighter Jet Will Fly Over the Australian Outback

01/03/2020

If you drive along the main northern road through South Australia with a good set of binoculars, you may soon be able to catch a glimpse of a strange, windowless jet, one that is about to embark on its maiden flight. It’s a prototype of the next big thing in aerial combat: a self-piloted warplane designed to work together with human-piloted aircraft.

Beijing celebrates new year with JF-17, J-20 progress

01/03/2020

The Block III version of the Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 fighter has conducted its maiden flight, and China appears to be making progress with indigenous engines for the J-20 stealth fighter. Social media accounts covering Chinese defence aerospace developments were busy over the holidays, with two notable developments.

Israel Now Has a Second Squadron of Deadly F-35I Stealth Fighters

01/02/2020

The first public photograph has appeared depicting an F-35 stealth fighter in the livery of Israel’s second squadron of the radar-evading jets. The Israeli air arm in late December 2019 released a photo of an F-35 wearing the tail markings of 116 Squadron.

‘We are losing control’: China’s ‘dangerous’ South China Sea plan almost complete

01/02/2020

The battle for the South China Sea is heating up. Vietnam. Malaysia. The Philippines. All have drawn lines in the sandbars against China. But it may already be too late. This past year, Vietnam stood its ground over the right to deploy an oil rig within its UN-mandated waters. Malaysia complained publicly of interference by the Chinese coastguard. The Philippines moved to secure its Scarborough Shoal islands.

Argentina Is Getting Four Ex-U.S. Navy P-3C Patrol Planes

01/02/2020

The U.S. State Department has signed off on Argentina’s proposed purchase of four ex-U.S. Navy P-3C patrol planes. The $78-million acquisition, should Buenos Aires follow through on it, would continue the slow regeneration of Argentina’s air power.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Saw Record Production, Big Hurdles in 2019

01/02/2020

Lockheed Martin Corp. says it delivered 134 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters worldwide in 2019, surpassing its goal of 131. The milestone marks a "47% increase from 2018 and nearly a 200% production increase from 2016," the company said in a news release Monday. "Next year, Lockheed Martin plans to deliver 141 F-35s and is prepared to increase production volume year-over-year to hit peak production in 2023."

Here's How The Deadly F-22 Got A Little Deadlier

01/01/2020

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin have now “validated” several new weapons on the F-22 Raptor to equip the 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.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s Pretty Good Year

01/01/2020

2019 has been a pretty good year for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. In October DoD announced a fairly dramatic rise in readiness rates, and yesterday Lockheed Martin announced it had exceeded its year-end delivery goal of 131 aircraft, pushing the per-unit price tag down to below the 2016 target of $80 million, a year earlier than planned.

The German Air Force Could Soon Get Lots of Eurofighter Typhoon Fighters

01/01/2020

The German air force just received the last Eurofighter Typhoon fighter from its initial order for 143 of the planes. The German air force in late 2019 operates 141 surviving Typhoons plus 74 Tornado fighter-bombers and 30 Tornado ECRs, the latter equipped with special weapons and sensors for the dangerous suppression-of-enemy-air-defenses, or SEAD, mission.

Lockheed Martin nabs $2.35B in contracts for F-35

01/01/2020

Lockheed Martin closed out the calendar year with $2.35 billion in five new contracts for the F-35 program. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter -- a single-engine stealth multirole combat aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps -- is considered the most advanced fighter aircraft in the sky, as well as a notable driver of the Pentagon's budget.

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