January, 2020 Military Aviation News

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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