February, 2020 Military Aviation News

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.

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