May, 2020 Military Aviation News

United States sends 1,200 Marines to Darwin in a show of military might as tensions escalate between China and Australia over who is to blame for the spread of COVID-19

05/26/2020

The United States will send 1,200 Marines to Australia in coming weeks amid increasing tensions between Western nations and China over COVID-19. The main force will begin arriving in Darwin in early June but an advance party of 54 Marines has been stationed in the Northern Territory for two months. The US and Australian governments postponed this year's deployment of Marine Rotational Force - Darwin in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sukhoi Su-35 set to join Egyptian Air Force as Russia begins production as per deal

05/26/2020

Sukhoi Su-35, the 4++ Generation supersonic multirole Russian fighter will soon join the Egyptian Air Force. Russian news agency TASS quoted a military-diplomatic source as saying that the production of Sukhoi Su-35 jets for Egypt have started.

IAF to operationalise second squadron of Tejas; IAF Chief to do it

05/26/2020

The Indian Air Force will operationalise a second squadron of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft this week. IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will operationalize the squadron at Sulur in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. The IAF’s Number 18 Squadron, “Flying Bullets”, will be raised with Tejas aircraft in the Final Operational Configuration. “The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, will operationalise No. 18 Squadron ‘Flying Bullets’ of the Indian Air Force on May 27.

The Italian Job: Italian Navy completes F-35B upgrade of Cavour aircraft carrier

05/25/2020

The Italian Navy has celebrated a major milestone in the life of its LHD/aircraft carrier hybrid, the Cavour, following a 16-month complex overhaul and modernisation that will allow the vessel to embark the fifth-generation F-35B, conduct complex combat operations, transport marines and conduct humanitarian support and assistance in a single platform package.

Su-25KM 'Scorpion': The Advanced Israeli-Georgian Attack Jet Built to Fight Russia

05/24/2020

As a Soviet successor state, the small Central Asian Republic of Georgia inherited a number of advanced Soviet made weapons systems following the USSR's collapse which continue to form the bulk of the country's inventory until today. Unlike other larger successor states such as Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Georgia's armed forces received few aerial warfare systems, with the only significant acquisition being approximately twenty Su-25 attack jets.

Will These Changes Dramatically Boost Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter?

05/24/2020

Moscow’s efforts to develop, test and procure its new Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter have long stalled, with numerous setbacks and delays. While progress has been made, ongoing issues appear to beleaguer aspects of this complex development process, especially following the high-profile crash of an Su-57 prototype during a test flight on December 24, 2019, in Khabarovsk region, in Russia’s Far East.

US Navy Makes Splashy Pivot Back to Contested South China Sea

05/23/2020

The U.S. Navy is sending an increasingly obvious number of ships into a disputed Asian sea to prove that COVID-19 won’t stop it from resisting China’s maritime expansion, observers say. U.S. Cold War foe China, which claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, never halted military activities in the resource-rich tropical sea, despite the disease outbreak in its own country. Washington now wants its Asian allies – smaller countries fearful of China’s reach – to know they have not been forgo

F-16 production takes off at Greenville facility with finalized contracts

05/23/2020

A little over a year since Greenville’s Lockheed Martin Corp. facility welcomed its first production line, the aerospace manufacturer remains on track to introduce South Carolina’s first F-16 Fighting Falcon within two years — with some potential new customers in the works.

The inside story of two supersonic flights that changed how America operates the F-35

05/23/2020

The F-35 pilot who flew the two infamous supersonic missions that inflicted damage to the jet’s stealth coating and tail wants to set the record straight. When pilots conduct supersonic intercepts or find themselves needing to race away from an enemy during combat, they will be able to take the F-35 to its furthest limits of speed and altitude — most likely without any permanent damage to the aircraft, he told Defense News in an exclusive interview.

Senior Russian Military Officials: Stealth Su-57 Has Met 'Performance Specifications'

05/22/2020

Senior Russian military officials have announced that the emerging Su-57 5th-generation stealth fighter recently met nearly all of its specified performance requirements during state testing, raising questions as to the actual state of its operational sophistication.

Pair of U.S. B-1 bombers train with Swedish, Norwegian fighters over Scandinavia

05/22/2020

U.S. B-1B Lancers trained with Swedish Gripen fighter jets over Sweden Tuesday, a first in the bomber’s 35-year history, the Air Force said. A pair of the bombers flew from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., to integrate with the Swedish Armed Forces jets and conduct close-air support training with Swedish Joint Terminal Attack Controller ground teams at Vidsel Test Range, the Air Force said in a news release Thursday.

Mysterious MiG-29 Fighter Appears At Libyan Air Base Held By Russian-Backed Forces

05/22/2020

Satellite imagery has emerged showing at least one MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet at an air base in Libya under the control of forces aligned with rogue general Khalifa Haftar. This follows reports that six MiG-29s, as well as a pair of Su-24 Fencer combat jets, had recently arrived to join Haftar's Libyan National Army, or LNA.

Lockheed Martin wins $485m multi-country airborne sensor contract

05/22/2020

Lockheed Martin won a contract to sell its Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) and two other sensors to two dozen countries and US military services – a deal worth up to $485 million. The US Air Force (USAF) granted the company the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract (IDIQ), which has a $485 million ceiling, via the Foreign Military Sales process.

US Navy starts final tests of competing low-band jammers for EA-18G Growler

05/21/2020

The US Navy (USN) has started final tests of two systems competing to win the service’s Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGL-LB) competition, which aims to develop a jammer for Boeing EA-18G Growlers. Tests of systems developed by L3Harris and Northrop Grumman are part of that programme’s Demonstration of Existing Technologies phase. They are planned to run through summer at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said on 18 May.

Boeing picks STS for UK Wedgetail conversions

05/21/2020

Boeing Defence UK has named STS Aviation Services as its conversion partner for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) future fleet of five 737NG-based E-7A Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, after Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group withdrew from the project. Announcing the selection on 20 May, Boeing said the narrowbodies will be prepared for military service using a hangar at Birmingham airport which was previously occupied by Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL).

F-35 crashes at Eglin AFB, pilot successfully ejected and in stable condition. 2nd crash at base in four days

05/20/2020

For the second time in four days a fifth-generation fighter jet has crashed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron crashed upon landing around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eglin, according to a media release. The pilot successfully ejected and was transported to the 96th Medical Group Hospital at Eglin for evaluation and monitoring.

Aussies pitch in to fight the terror threat

05/20/2020

Operation Okra is the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the military intervention against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) terrorist threat. As part of Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East, the operation began in August 2014, and its initial stated aim was to combat ISIL threats in Iraq. Australia’s contribution is being closely coordinated with the Iraqi Government, Gulf nations and a broad coalition of international partners.

Breaking Down USAF’s 70-Percent Overall Mission Capable Rate

05/20/2020

The Air Force’s fleet in fiscal 2019 maintained an overall mission capable rate of 70.27 percent, a slight increase from the previous year. Although some key combat aircraft, such as the fifth-generation F-22 Raptor, sustained low capability rates, service officials say the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Lockheed Martin F-35 to miss 2020 production target due to coronavirus-caused parts shortage

05/20/2020

Lockheed Martin will likely miss its production target of 141 examples of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter in 2020. The company’s suppliers are not able to deliver parts on time, a disruption caused by the coronavirus. As a result, the number of F-35s produced this year could fall by 18 to 24 units below the 141 aircraft goal, Lockheed Martin says on 19 May.

German panel, industry, assess ethics of FCAS technology

05/20/2020

Germany has initiated an independent process to consider the ethical and legal implications of using autonomy and artificial intelligence (AI) as part of a multinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS), to enter use by around 2040.

Air Force Finally Has Plans to Test a Laser Weapon on Its AC-130J Gunship

05/20/2020

For the last five years, Air Force Special Operations Command has been working toward incorporating a high-energy laser weapon on its newest AC-130J gunship. It now plans to test-fire a 60-kilowatt laser in 2022, according to a program officer affiliated with the program.

Japan’s Future F-3 Fighter Jet Leaked

05/19/2020

Information was leaked pertaining to the F-3 sixth-generation fighter jet. Japan is expected to start development of the F-3 in 2021. Currently, Japan needs to protect themselves from China. Japan always had tumultuous relations with China. Conflicts between Beijing and Tokyo go back centuries.

Saab to provide more Erieye AEW&C aircraft

05/19/2020

Saab announced on 18 May that it has received an order from an unnamed customer for its Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C solution, under a SEK1.55 billion ($158.37 million) contract. An undisclosed number of aircraft will be delivered between 2020 and 2023. Saab will carry out the work in Sweden at sites in Arboga, Gothenburg, Järfälla, Linköping and Luleå.

Maybe India Will Get Its Super F-16, After All

05/19/2020

Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, the head of the Indian Air Force, on May 18 contradicted Rawat. Bhadauria clarified that the Indian Air Force wants both the 114 foreign planes and the additional LCAs.

IAF to acquire 450 fighter aircraft in future: Air Force Chief

05/19/2020

In future, the Indian Air Force is planning to acquire 450 fighter aircraft for deployment on the northern and western frontiers of the country, Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Monday. The list of aircraft planned to be inducted by the Air Force include 36 Rafales, 114 Multirole Fighter Aircraft, 100 Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and over 200 variants of the Light Combat Aircraft.

US Navy receives its 100th P-8A Poseidon

05/19/2020

The US Navy (USN) has taken delivery of its 100th Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The company notes that this is the 94th mission capable aircraft, with six jets earmarked as test examples.

Canadian Forces Snowbirds

05/18/2020

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that one member of the CF Snowbirds team has died and one has sustained injuries. We can confirm that we have contacted all primary family members of those involved. More information will be communicated in the near future. Update: Our previous statement indicated that the surviving member of the crash suffered serious injuries, we can confirm that their injuries are not considered life threatening.

PURCHASE OF MILITARY JET COULD COST COUNTRY €10M

05/18/2020

File photo of a French fighter jet. The Government is looking at buying a military aircraft. reland is the only country within the European Union that does not own a military cargo plane and relies on deals with other countries when one is needed. It is reported it will cost in the region of €10m.

FAA investigating Detroit drone flight that came 'dangerously close' to Blue Angels

05/18/2020

A remotely piloted camera drone took footage of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels aircraft, over the city of Detroit, during the Tuesday, May 12 “America Strong” flyover of the metro area. According to an article by Tom Demerly, for the TheAviationist.com, the drone came "dangerously close" to the Blue Angels' aircraft and was “within feet” of a formation at one point.

Space Plane: Mysterious US military aircraft launches

05/18/2020

The rocket launched on Sunday from Cape Canaveral, a day after bad weather halted plans for a Saturday launch. The aircraft, also known as an Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), will deploy a satellite into orbit and also test power-beaming technology. It is the plane's sixth mission in space.

USS America (LHA-6) Sails The South China Sea With Some Teeth

05/18/2020

Tension are deescalating in mid-May 2020 in the South China Sea with the withdraw of Chinese and Malaysian ships over a maritime dispute regarding oceanic mineral and oil reserves claimed by Malaysia, China, and Vietnam. The U.S. Navy responded by sending warships in late April: the USS America (LHA-6) and its escorts USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) and USS Barry (DDG-52).

Canadian Snowbirds acrobatic jet crashes in residential area

05/18/2020

It is not clear if anyone was hurt. At least one pilot was able to eject before the crash, video shows. The plane hit the front garden of a house, setting it on fire. The team had been on a cross-Canada tour "to salute Canadians doing their part to fight the spread of Covid-19," according to the Snowbirds website.

Say Goodbye To India’s Super F-16

05/17/2020

Our chances of getting a new kind of F-16 just dramatically shrank. The Indian air force recently signaled it would cancel a tender for foreign-made warplanes. It was that contest that motivated American plane-maker Lockheed Martin LMT to develop a unique, highly-advanced F-16 variant the company called the “F-21.”

Russia's Tu-22M3M Strategic Bomber Is Getting a New Weapon: Hypersonic Missiles

05/17/2020

The Russian Air Force has recently conducted testing of a new hypersonic aircraft missile for a modified version of the Tu-22M3M aircraft. According to Russian state media, the work on the new missile began several years ago and its testing was completed simultaneously with the work on the upgraded bomber.

Turkey’s new aircraft carrier will transform its navy - Forbes

05/17/2020

Turkey’s new light aircraft carrier, TCG Anadolu, is set to become operational this year and will transform the country’s naval power, Forbes said. The carrier has a large helicopter landing deck and un-crewed combat air vehicle capacity, as well as amphibious capabilities, which will boost the ability of Turkey’s military to conduct overseas operations. Turkey is currently involved in military operations in Libya and Syria.

US Navy begins search for next jet trainer to replace T-45 Goshawk

05/16/2020

The US Navy (USN) has begun its search for a new jet trainer to replace its Boeing T-45 Goshawk fleet. As part of its new Undergraduate Jet Training System programme, the service wants a nondevelopmental, land-based jet trainer aircraft capable of field carrier landing practice and nuclear aircraft carrier touch-and-go landings by 2028 or sooner, according to a request for information posted online on 14 May.

Boeing Lands Major Missile Contracts

05/16/2020

Boeing received two contacts on May 13 covering two variants from the AGM-84 missile family. Combined with a related, previously announced order, the contracts have a combined value of $3.1 billion. Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity for the orders, which answer the requirements of a number of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.

South China Sea crisis: China scrambles military aircraft reef amid increased US activity

05/16/2020

CHINA has deployed an early warning aircraft and anti-submarine aircraft on the Yongshu Reef in the South China Sea following increased US military activities in the area. According to recent satellite imagery, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed the two military warfare aircraft on a permanent based on the reef. Chinese experts claim the Communist state has the right to leave defensive weapons there.

Durban born Klyde Naidoo is SA's first fighter pilot of Indian origin

05/16/2020

CAPTAIN Klyde Ross Naidoo’s love for the sky began at the age of 2, when his parents hosted an aeroplane-themed birthday party for him. Twenty years later, in December 2014, his childhood dream came true when he graduated as a pilot in the SA Air Force (SAAF). And last Tuesday, he completed his first solo flight in a Gripen fighter aircraft, making him South Africa’s first fighter pilot of Indian origin.

In remote Alaska, changes are coming in how the Air Force prepares for war

05/16/2020

Lt. Col. Jason Monaco soared six miles above lush wilderness, his fighter jet streaking across the icy blue sky. He banked his two-seat F-16D to the right, shooting around an eight-jet formation maneuvering against him and his fellow pilots. Gazing through a dark visor, he glimpsed his adversary's jet for the first time. Then, bad news. "Well," he said, "we just died."

F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter Crashes During Training Flight In Florida (Updated)

05/16/2020

Details are still limited, but an Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet has crashed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and the pilot is now at a local hospital in stable condition. The aircraft was flying a routine training sortie at the time and was not involved in a flyover earlier in the day that was part of a larger nation-wide salute healthcare workers and first responders on the frontlines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as some outlets initially reported.

China deploys AEW, anti-submarine aircraft on South China Sea's Yongshu Reef: report

05/15/2020

Recent foreign satellite images suggest that China has deployed early warning aircraft and anti-submarine aircraft on the Yongshu Reef in the South China Sea amid increased US military activities in the region, as Chinese experts said on Thursday that China has the right to deploy defensive weapons there according to military threats China is facing.

World on alert: Satellite images catch China in major military move

05/15/2020

CHINA'S military aircraft have been spotted landing on one of its manmade islands in the disputed South China Sea as tensions in the region continue to escalate. Satellite images show a PLANAF at the Fiery Cross Reef on the strategically located Islands situated north of the South China Sea. Jane's Information Group, a defence intelligence group, warned the sighting could be further signs the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force is starting to use it as a base of operations.

Report to Congress on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program

05/15/2020

The largest procurement program in the Department of Defense (DOD), the F-35 Lightning II is a strike fighter aircraft being procured in different versions for the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. Current DOD plans call for acquiring a total of 2,456 F-35s. Allies are expected to purchase hundreds of additional F-35s, and eight nations are cost-sharing partners in the program with the United States.

Air Force confirms it ceased T-38 formation landings after fatal 2019 crash at Vance AFB

05/15/2020

The Air Force has ceased formation landings as part of its undergraduate pilot training after a November 2019 crash of two T-38C aircraft at Vance Air Force Base claimed two lives. The Air Force's Air Education and Training Command (AETC) confirmed the decision Wednesday morning.

India seeks local warplanes as overseas purchase plan stalls

05/15/2020

India plans to switch to locally made fighter jets, two years after asking global companies to submit proposals to supply 114 combat aircraft in the world's biggest warplane contract. The country's air force is finalizing plans to induct indigenously made Light Combat Aircraft called Tejas to boost the capability of its aging combat aircraft fleet, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said in an interview in New Delhi. It will buy an additional 83 jets, apart from an earlier deal for 40 aircraft,

Light Attack Providers Get Second Shot with SOCOM

05/14/2020

Multiple companies who faced off in the Air Force’s light attack experiment will again compete for a similar contract from U.S. Special Operations Command. Sierra Nevada Corp., Textron Aviation, Air Tractor, and Leidos are offering aircraft for a three-phase armed overwatch competition that ends with live-fly demonstrations in November. That demo follows the Air Force’s nearly three-year light attack effort that ultimately fell short of a full-fledged buy.

Tactical Texans fit Tunisia to a T

05/12/2020

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale on October 10 last year. It said that the proposed sale was intended to provide a replacement for “Tunisia’s aging trainer fleet” and explained that it would allow the country to continue to train pilots for counter-terrorism and border security missions.

DAAA certifies Leonardo’s M-345 trainer aircraft

05/12/2020

The Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness (DAAA) has approved and certified the new M-345 trainer aircraft which has been designed and manufactured by Leonardo. Certification by the DAAA (an agency within the Italian MoD) is the result of more than 200 flights with in-flight and on-ground tests carried out in collaboration with the Italian Air Force.

Pakistan steps up fighter aircraft activity close to Indian territory

05/11/2020

Pakistani Air Force Aircraft have been flying patrols close to the Indian territory inside their space together with their F-16, JF-17 and Mirage III fighter planes. Indian airbases have been additionally on alert in view of the heightened actions of the Pakistan Air Force. A high authorities official revealed that Pakistan has heightened fighter aircraft activity after the killing of Indian Army Colonel Ashutosh Sharma in an encounter with Pakistani terrorists within the Handwara forests.

Russia’s mightiest military aircraft buzz over Moscow to mark 75th anniversary of Nazi defeat (PHOTO, VIDEO)

05/10/2020

Defying clouds in the sky and Covid-19 on the ground, Russia’s deadliest bombers, nimblest fighter jets and strongest transport aircraft flew over the capital in celebration of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany 75 years ago. V-Day is one of the most important national holidays in Russia, and this year was supposed to have seen massive celebrations throughout the country. But Covid-19 and its lockdowns threw a wrench into the plans, forcing the postponement of most festivities.

India will have the 3rd most Powerful Navy in the world by 2030

05/10/2020

The most powerful navies in 2030 will be a reflection of the broader state of the world. Some countries are invested in preserving the current international order, and see naval power as a means to maintain it. Other emerging countries are building navies commensurate with their newfound sense of status, often with an eye towards challenging that order.

Mosaic Warfare: Redefining future battlefield

05/10/2020

Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the SpaceX Corporation as well as Tesla Motors, proclaimed at the United States Air Force (USAF) Air Warfare Symposium in February 2020 that the days of the fighter aircraft are over. Unprecedented technological advances over the last half a decade or so portend an imminent transformation of warfighting. Many current warfare concepts are likely to become obsolete.

Chinese military transport plane enters Taiwanese airspace

05/09/2020

A Chinese Shaanxi Y-8 military transport plane entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) Friday (May 8), leading a jet from the island’s Air Force to broadcast a warning. According to the Ministry of National Defense, the Chinese military plane had been training off Taiwan’s southwest coast around noon before it briefly encroached on Taiwan’s ADIZ, CNA reported.

First V-22 Osprey aircraft arrives in Japan

05/09/2020

The first two V-22 Osprey aircraft bound for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) units arrived in Japan at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, according to a recent Marine Corps news release. “The V-22 off-load marked the first time JGSDF V-22s arrived on Japanese soil,” said in a statement. Japan ordered the first five Ospreys aircraft for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in July 2015 for $332 million.

Indian Air Force's MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashes in Punjab

05/09/2020

An Indian Air Force fighter aircraft has crashed in Punjab. "A MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed today near Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. The pilot managed to eject safely," IAF officials said. The pilot was rescued by a helicopter.

The JH-XX Stealth Bomber Is China's Worst Kept Military Secret

05/08/2020

Why build one stealth bomber when two would be better? That is likely the thinking behind China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s current strategy. It has released a bit of information on its Xian H-20 stealth bomber, which seems to be similar to the U.S. Air Force’s B-2 Spirit in form and function—and resembles the iconic “flying wing” that one almost expects with stealth aircraft.

US pulls Patriot missiles, fighter aircraft from Saudi Arabia amid dispute

05/08/2020

The U.S. is pulling two Patriot missile batteries and some fighter aircraft out of Saudi Arabia, an American official said Thursday, amid tensions between the kingdom and the Trump administration over oil production. The official said the decision removes two batteries that were guarding oil facilities in Saudi Arabia but leaves two Patriot batteries at Prince Sultan Air Base in the Saudi desert, along with other air defense systems and jet fighters.

RAF Typhoons conduct more air strikes in Iraq

05/08/2020

A pair of RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft conducted air strikes against Daesh targets in north-east Iraq on the night of 28 April. The jets, operating out of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus were also accompanied by a Voyager A330 MRTT aerial refuelling tanker and additional fighter aircraft involved with the multinational coalition against Daesh.

Federal government issues another extension for fighter replacement proposals

05/08/2020

The 30-day extension is a response to the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted business operations globally, especially in the aerospace sector. “The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting numerous challenges for businesses and their workforce, including the eligible suppliers for the Future Fighter Capability Project,” said a spokesperson for the department in a statement on May 6.

Dynetics secures DARPA Air Combat Evolution (ACE) phase 1 programme

05/08/2020

Leidos subsidiary Dynetics has won a $12.3m valued phase 1 of the Air Combat Evolution (ACE) programme, Technical Area 3 (TA3). The ACE TA3 (Alpha Mosaic) contract was awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO). As an initial challenge scenario, the programme uses aerial dogfighting for implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into high-intensity air conflicts, which increases the soldier’s trust in combat autonomy.

U.S. Air Force conducts training bombing close to Russia’s western flank

05/08/2020

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bombers, after a transatlantic flight, conducted training bombing at the Tapa training ground in Estonia, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. According to a 28th Bomb Wing press release, the flight, which lasted more than 25 hours, included integration and interoperability training with Danish F-16s overflying Bornholm Island in the Baltic Sea. The B-1s also worked with Estonian Joint Terminal Air Controllers to provide training with inert devices at Tapa Ra

Leonardo's M-346FA Combat Aircraft Selects RAFAEL Electro-Optical Pods

05/07/2020

Israeli RAFAEL will supply Litening-5 and RecceLite systems to equip Leonardo's M-346FA light combat aircraft. This is the first integration of 5th generation EO pods to Leonardo's M-346FA platform. The M-346FA is the multi-role combat variant of the M-346 advanced jet trainer.

Leidos-led team pitches Bronco II to SOCOM

05/06/2020

American defence and aviation giant Leidos announced on 4 May that the company has teamed up with Paramount Group US and Vertex Aerospace to deliver the Bronco II, a new purpose-built, multi-mission aircraft. The aircraft will provide support to the Armed Overwatch Prototype Program, run by US Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

31st MEU maintains presence in South China Sea

05/06/2020

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) full mission profile rehearsals, aerial reconnaissance, and simulated close-air support (CAS) while maintaining a presence in the South China Sea aboard amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), April 17-24, 2020.

US B-1 bombers rehearse cooperation with forward observers in Estonian airspace

05/06/2020

B-1 Lancer strategic bombers of the United States on Tuesday rehearsed cooperation with forward observers of the Estonian defense forces and NATO allies at the Estonian defense forces' central training grounds as part of the Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) military exercise. "For NATO, and specifically for our region, training exercises of US strategic bombers in our airspace are an important sign of how serious the Americans are about their role in protecting the Baltic countries.

Bell Boeing awarded $10.2M for V-22 Osprey repairs

05/06/2020

Bell Boeing received a $10.2 million contract modification Tuesday for repairs of the V-22 Osprey multirole combat aircraft for the Navy, the Pentagon announced. The deal modifies a previously awarded contract for production of V-22 aircraft to include additional repairs and non-recurring engineering for a drive tube engineering change proposal.

Boeing rolls out Australia’s first ‘Loyal Wingman’ combat drone

05/06/2020

Boeing is set to roll out the first “Loyal Wingman” drone for the Royal Australian Air Force during a Tuesday morning ceremony, putting the RAAF high on the list of countries experimenting with autonomous aircraft. “This a truly historic moment for our country and for Australian defense innovation,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “The Loyal Wingman will be pivotal to exploring the critical capabilities our Air Force needs to protect our nation and its allies into the future.”

Armed F-15 fighter jet diverted from Trump protection mission after in-flight emergency

05/05/2020

An armed F-15 fighter jet ran off the runway at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday, having diverted there after a sudden in-flight emergency while flying a mission to help protect President Donald Trump at Camp David, two US defense officials told CNN. The military did not specifically say what type of in-flight emergency forced the pilot to divert to Andrews, located in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.

Beyond the F-22 or F-35: Meet Japan's F-3 6th Generation Stealth Fighter

05/04/2020

Through April and March 2020, the choice of who Japan would partner with for their “F-3” next generation fighter jet has been reported on constantly, with seemingly contradictory headlines on who the partner would be. This may give the impression that Japan is waffling on their choice of partners in the project. However a deeper reading of the articles shows that Japan’s policy has been rather consistent, and recent developments are a simple narrowing down of options.

America’s F-16V vs. China’s J-10C: Which Lightweight Single Engine Fighter Would Prevail in an Air War

05/04/2020

Entering service in 2017 and 2018 respectively, the American F-16V and Chinese J-10C represent two of the most capable lightweight fighter jets in production today and considerable improvements over older baseline fourth generation designs. With each weighing approximately 13,000kg, deploying similarly sized radars, similar single engine configurations and similar weapons payloads, the aircraft are in many ways highly comparable.

Turkish defense firm HAVELSAN to cooperate with TAI for homegrown fighter jet

05/04/2020

New cooperation has been initiated for Turkey's TF-X National Combat Aircraft (MMU), a joint project of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), between the TAI and leading defense company HAVELSAN, SSB Chairman Ismail Demir said Saturday.

Spain, France and UK Work the Next Round of Baltic Air Policing

05/03/2020

Spain, France and the United Kingdom will take up NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission starting in May, guarding the skies over the Baltic region for the next four months. The three NATO Allies are replacing air force detachments from Belgium and Poland which have protected the airspace of NATO’s three Baltic Allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since January. The Spanish and British air force contingents will operate out of Siauliai airbase in Lithuania, while the French air force will fly from

China's Purchase Of Russia's Su-35 Fighter Shows It Isn't Ready For Great Power Status

05/03/2020

Given Beijing’s pride in its growing military and economic strength, and its ability to develop advanced weapons such as stealth fighters, it seems surprising that China must import warplanes, jet engines, anti-aircraft missiles and other equipment. For now, it may indeed make sense for China to buy fighters from Russia: the two nations, which once fought a border war and vied for supremacy in the Communist bloc, now enjoy friendly – but wary – relations.

South Africa sells several planeloads of military equipment to Turkey, potentially flouting Covid-19 lockdown rules

05/03/2020

On Thursday an A400M military transport plane, carrying a donation of medical supplies arrived in Cape Town. A second arrived later that day while a third and fourth aircraft on Saturday. At least one more aircraft is expected in the next day or two to pick up what Turkish ambassador Elif Ülgen explained was “some kind of military ammunition” purchased from Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM). Only the first arrived with medical supplies on board.

What military equipment did Russia sell last year, and who to?

05/03/2020

Russia ranks second in the list of global arms exporters. Last year even a NATO member bought its most formidable weaponry. In early April, Russian President Vladimir Putin summed up the results of the country’s international sales of military hardware. As he reported, in 2019 Moscow supplied partners with arms and equipment to the tune of around $15 billion. As of April 2020, the total order portfolio stands at more than $55 billion, with approximately 100 partner countries.

Watchdog: Afghan Air Force Faces Drop in Flying Hours, Available Aircraft

05/02/2020

So far this year, the AAF is flying 26 percent less than last year due to the reduction-in-violence period with the Taliban that led to a decrease in strike missions, along with winter weather impeding flight operations and restrictions related to the new coronavirus outbreak. To limit COVID-19 exposure, the AAF is only flying combat sorties, temporarily pausing training sorties, according to the report.

AH-64E versus AH-1Z competition in Philippines brews with US sale approval

05/02/2020

The US government has approved the sale of six Boeing AH-64E Apache and six Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Manila. The sale package is not finalised, as it is subject to customer acceptance, says the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on 30 April. The Philippines plans to choose one of the two types of attack helicopters.

Iran's Old Air Force Could Be On Its Last Legs

05/02/2020

After the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran had a brief opportunity to revamp its air force. Tehran briefly contemplated buying modern Mirage 2000 fighters from France but ultimately decided against it, logically concluding it was more familiar with American and Russian equipment.

India-Russia Defense Ties Amid COVID-19

05/02/2020

The pandemic appears not to have had much impact on India-Russia relations. The relationship was showing signs of strain even before to the pandemic, mainly because both countries are drifting toward different sides in the emerging competition between the United States and China.

Russia's Su-35 Is A Top Dogfighter, But Can It Survive A Ranged Stealth Battle?

05/02/2020

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

RAF chief condemns Russia over intercepted planes near Scotland

05/01/2020

The chief of Britain's air force has condemned its Russian counterpart after two of its maritime patrol bombers were intercepted north-east of Scotland. RAF Typhoon fighters were deployed from the Lossiemouth base in Moray as the Russian Tu-142 "Bear-F" aircraft approached on Wednesday. The Russian aircraft stayed in international airspace over the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea. However, the RAF said they were flying within the UK's "area of interest".

Tunisia Goes Texan

05/01/2020

Tunisia is joining other Middle Eastern nations like Iraq, Israel and Morocco and buying the U.S. AT-6C "Texan II" trainer/attack/reconnaissance aircraft. Tunisia wants to buy twelve but budget problems means the initial purchase is only four. In addition a 512 bombs, all but 48 500 pounders 250 pounders (113 kg). These bombs are mostly being used with guidance kits that turn bombs into GPS guided bombs. There are also 3,290 70mm APKWS laser guided missiles.

Marine F/A-18 Hornets Fly Armed With Live Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles In Japan

05/01/2020

A number of U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C/D Hornet fighter jets forward-deployed to Japan recently conducted an exercise while carrying a pair of live AGM-84D Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The Corps says that the training event focused on its ability to contribute to sea control and area denial missions, capabilities the service wants to enhance and expand as part of a radical restructuring of its forces that it first publicly announced last month.

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