January, 2021 Military Aviation News

Australia must be ready to fight its corner as Taiwan tensions rise

01/27/2021

US President Joe Biden’s first international crisis will likely be over the future of Taiwan. Beijing has been positioning for this outcome for months by steadily increasing military pressure against Taipei. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force on Saturday dispatched what the Global Times gloatingly called a ‘bomber swarm’ of 13 combat aircraft into Taiwanese airspace just south of the island. This was much larger than previous sorties and included eight long-range H-6K bombers.

Greece, France Finalize $2.8 Billion Fighter Jet Deal

01/27/2021

Greece and France have sealed a $2.8 billion deal for the purchase of 18 Rafale fighter jets for the Greek air force. The deal is part of a larger weapons purchase program that Greece is carrying out as it sits down to negotiate a solution to a growing dispute with Turkey over energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

£30-million injection for UK’s first uncrewed fighter aircraft

01/27/2021

The UK’s first fleet of uncrewed fighter aircraft is one step closer to reality following a £30-million contract to design and manufacture a prototype in a three-year deal supporting more than 100 jobs in Belfast.

Indian and Chinese soldiers clash at disputed Sikkim frontier

01/26/2021

Indian and Chinese soldiers have clashed along the countries' disputed border, Indian officials have confirmed, as a months-long standoff between the nations continues. The violence in the Naku La area of Sikkim came four days before the countries held another round of talks on Sunday in an attempt to end the tensions in the remote Ladakh region.

£30-million injection for UK’s first uncrewed fighter aircraft

01/26/2021

The uncrewed combat aircraft will be designed to fly at high-speed alongside fighter jets, armed with missiles, surveillance and electronic warfare technology to provide a battle-winning advantage over hostile forces. Known as a ‘loyal wingman’, these aircraft will be the UK’s first uncrewed platforms able to target and shoot down enemy aircraft and survive against surface to air missiles.

The RAAF and the F-35: Declaring IOC

01/25/2021

Just two years after the first two F-35As arrived in Australia, the RAAF now has 30 F-35As in service with 3SQN and 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) at Williamtown, and an additional three aircraft at Luke AFB in Arizona preparing to be ferried across the Pacific.

US urges China to halt Taiwan pressure

01/24/2021

US President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday urged China to stop placing military pressure on Taiwan, while calling on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in peaceful dialogue. The statement by the US Department of State was issued after 13 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said.

Taiwan reports large incursion by Chinese air force

01/24/2021

Eight Chinese bomber planes and four fighter jets entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Saturday, and Taiwan’s air force deployed missiles to “monitor” the incursion, the island’s defence ministry said. China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has conducted almost daily flights over the waters between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea in recent months.

Israeli warplanes fire missiles at targets in Syria, kill four

01/23/2021

Israeli warplanes fired several missiles toward central Syria early on Friday, killing a family of four — including two children — and wounding four other people, state media reported. Separately, the Israeli military said it downed a drone that had crossed into Israel from Lebanon. It did not say how the aircraft was brought down. There was no immediate word from the Lebanese side but the militant Hezbollah group has sent drones into Israel's airspace in the past.

China rises from Russian customer to competitor in arms industry

01/23/2021

In a flashy recruitment video released by China's People's Liberation Army Air Force last week, four J-20 fighters are seen soaring through stormy skies, deftly maneuvering between lightning strikes. Lost in the dramatic digital imagery was an important detail: For the first time ever, the Chinese jets will be powered by domestically made engines instead of Russian ones.

Air Force conducting Red Flag 21-1 starting next week

01/23/2021

Southern Nevada residents may notice increased noise from military aircraft as the Air Force conducts Red Flag 21-1 from Jan. 25 to Feb. 12. More than 80 aircraft are scheduled to depart Nellis Air Force Base twice a day and may remain in the air for up to five hours during Red Flag. There may be night launches as well to allow air crews to train for nighttime combat operations.

The US must invest and prepare for the threat of what is yet to come

01/23/2021

On Jan. 1, Congress overrode then-President Donald Trump’s veto of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. Much of the news was about the vote itself, but another important story is the 93 F-35 fighter jets that were included in the bill — 14 more than the Pentagon requested in its budget.

Boeing to install upgraded infrared search and track sensors aboard Air Force F-15 jet fighter aircraft

01/23/2021

U.S. Air Force air combat experts are asking electro-optics engineers at the Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. to upgrade infrared search and track (IRST) sensors for the Air Force F-15C jet fighter aircraft to enable the aircraft to detect, track, and attack enemy aircraft in a stealthy way without making its presence known.

U.S. Air Force seriously discusses F-16 order

01/22/2021

Last week, U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a 10-year contract for the maintenance of F-16 fighter aircraft but later some sources reported that the service also is considering buying new fourth-generation fighter aircraft.

First Upgraded F-16V Fighter For Greece Takes Flight

01/22/2021

The first of 84 Greek Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to be upgraded to the F-16V Viper standard took to the skies for the first time on January 17. Greece’s minister for national defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, announced the news on Twitter, noting that the maiden flight was conducted with “absolute success”, and that the upgrade program “continues at an intensive pace.”

UAE to purchase F-35 jets and armed drones from US

01/22/2021

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly agreed to a deal to buy Lockheed Martin-built F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft from the US. Sources familiar with the matter were cited by Reuters as saying that two countries have signed agreements. It involves the procurement of 50 F-35 aircraft and was approved by the US State Department through the foreign military sale (FMS) programme. It was notified by Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in November 2020.

South Africa’s military strength ranked in 2021

01/19/2021

Military website, Global Firepower, has published its military strength ranking for 2021 featuring 138 countries, with the ranking utilising more than 50 different factors to determine a given nation’s PowerIndex. However, the ranking does not simply rely on the total number of weapons available to any one country, but rather focuses on weapon diversity to provide a better balance of firepower available.

Three Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwan's ADIZ

01/19/2021

Three Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday, the eighth consecutive day there have been incursions, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND). The aircraft, a Y-8 tactical reconnaissance plane, a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a Y-8 electronic warfare plane, entered airspace southwest of Taiwan, between Taiwan and the Dongsha (Pratas) Islands in the South China Sea, according to a chart provided by the MND.

Lockheed Martin’s local chief says Australia has skills needed for high-tech defence landscape

01/19/2021

If you need cutting-edge skills and technology—high-tech gears for satellite systems, top-level secure communication systems or a deep knowledge of artificial intelligence and machine learning—you can find them in Australia. ‘What this country has is amazing’, says Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Joe North. ‘But you’ve got to go and find it, that’s the challenge.’

Miramar Marines Pepare for ‘Winter Fury’ Exercise Across Southern California

01/18/2021

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Miramar announced it is preparing for a major exercise next week known as Winter Fury. The exercise will be conducted from Jan. 19 to Feb, 19 at training locations across Southern California, Arizona, and the coastal islands.

Chinese military plane enters Taiwan's ADIZ for 7th straight day

01/18/2021

A Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday, the seventh consecutive day there has been such an incursion, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND). The aircraft, an electronic warfare version of China's Y-8 transport plane, entered the airspace southwest of Taiwan between Taiwan and the Dongsha (Pratas) Islands in the South China Sea, according to a chart provided by the MND.

Man vs. Machine: The Military Is Discussing Adding AI to Its Jet Fighters

01/18/2021

China’s move to introduce a two-seat variant of its J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighter raises what could be called one of the defining discussions or debates of our time, regarding the scope, utility, or limits of artificial intelligence.

Iranian missiles land 100 miles from US aircraft carrier strike group in Indian Ocean

01/17/2021

Long-range Iranian missiles rained down dangerously close to a commercial ship in the Indian Ocean on Saturday and 100 miles from the US Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group, Fox News reported. US officials, who wished to remain anonymous, said that at least one of the missiles landed 20 miles from the commercial vessel.

Ethiopia denies its military aircraft crossed border into Sudan

01/17/2021

Ethiopia has denied a Sudanese allegation that an Ethiopian military aircraft crossed the border into Sudan. Sudan said on Wednesday that the aircraft entered its airspace in a “dangerous and unjustified escalation” that “could have dangerous consequences, and cause more tension in the border areas”.

U.S. helicopters conduct unique training with Greek military

01/17/2021

The U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), together with Hellenic Armed Forces, executed Eddie’s Odyssey, a first of its kind, joint training mission on Velopoula Island and over the Aegean Sea, Jan. 13-14.

Two Chinese military aircraft intrude into Taiwan’s ADIZ

01/16/2021

Two Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (Jan. 14), marking the 11th such intrusion this month. A People’s Liberation Army Air Force Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft and a Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, the Taiwanese military scrambled fighter jets, broadcast radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the tw

Aviano F-16s Practice ‘All-Domain Targeting’ Near Black Sea

01/16/2021

F-16 fighter jets from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, practiced combat cooperation with the Romanian Air Force while conducting “all-domain targeting operations” in a Jan. 14 bilateral exercise in the Black Sea region, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa release.

How British Tornados Used A Special Weapon To Ravage Saddam’s Airfields In Daring Desert Storm Raids

01/16/2021

“With just a few seconds to run to the target, we got a red autopilot caption and the Tornado yawed violently after a massive bang on the left-hand side. I shouted to Paul, “We’ve been hit, we’ve been hit,” and he came back, “mark is good, continue.” So I stuffed the nose down, and re-engaged the terrain-following radar [TFR] — we were right at the point of weapon release. As we flew into a wall of tracer fire, Paul said “Committing.” I already had my “commit” button depressed

Lockheed Martin and F-35 JPO sign LANCE contract for UK’s Lightning fleet

01/16/2021

Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) have signed the Lightning Air System National Availability Enterprise (LANCE) contract to support the UK’s Lightning fleet. The aircraft support contract is valued at approximately £76m ($101m) and will ensure and enhance the UK F-35 fleet’s availability and capability to conduct combat missions worldwide.

Indian Government Approves More Light Combat Aircraft

01/16/2021

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security—chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi—met on January 13 to approve the purchase of the Mk1A version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Funding of Rs 45.696 Crore ($6.4 billion) covers the acquisition of 73 LCA Mk1A single-seaters and 10 LCA-T Mk1A two-seaters. An amount of Rs 1,202 Crore was also approved for the design and development of associated infrastructure. Mk1A production is slated to start in 2022.

Agile Combat Employment: the future of the 48th Fighter Wing

01/15/2021

The 492nd Fighter Squadron completed a three-day Agile Combat Employment exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 13, 2020. Four F-15E Strike Eagles and a 14-Airmen maintenance team with limited support equipment participated in a simulated deployment to a forward-operating base on the north side of the RAF Lakenheath airfield. Airmen and aircrew underwent cross-discipline training, learning new skill sets from their peers in other career fields.

Boeing Wins $1.7B Deal to Support KC-46 Aircraft Program

01/15/2021

The Boeing Company recently won a modification contract involving the production of KC-46 aircraft. The deal was awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH. Valued at $1.69 billion, the contract is scheduled to be completed by Apr 30, 2023. Through the latest contract modification, Boeing will offer 12 KC-46 aircraft, data, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file in addition to those being produced under the basic contract.

The Gripen Aims to Be the iPhone of Fighter Aircraft

01/15/2021

Johan Segertoft, head of the Gripen E program at the Swedish aerospace company Saab, speaks about the new E version in terms that might seem more suited to computers than to military hardware: He talks about software upgrades and data layers, coding and multicore processors. “Our job is to let the pilot make decisions faster than the other pilot,” Segertoft says, and, over the years, Gripen pilots have out-maneuvered a few other hotshot fighters in international exercises.

Govt clears purchase of 83 indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft

01/14/2021

Clearing the way for inducting another four squadrons of the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) into the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Union Cabinet, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sanctioned the procurement of 83 fighters on Wednesday.

Syria war: Suspected Israeli strikes on Iran-linked targets 'kill dozens'

01/13/2021

The Syrian state news agency Sana said Israeli aircraft attacked the eastern Deir al-Zour and Albu Kamal regions. It did not mention any casualties, but the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine Syrian soldiers and 31 militia fighters were killed.

Israel attacks expose Syrian air defense weakness

01/13/2021

Israel has repeatedly bombed positions within Syrian territory amid Syrian air defenses’ failure to intercept, respond, or stop its missiles, which targeted military posts and bases for the Syrian regime, the Lebanese Hezbollah, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and local and foreign militias.

Boeing Awarded Contract for 12 More KC-46 Tankers

01/13/2021

This week the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $1.7 billion contract for 12 KC-46A tanker aircraft. With this sixth production lot, Boeing is now on contract for 79 KC-46A tankers. The company delivered the first KC-46A to the Air Force in January 2019. Since then, Boeing has delivered 42 tankers to four different bases. The next-generation KC-46 brings new capabilities and operational flexibility to the U.S. Air Force and international customers.

Three Chinese military planes enter Taiwan's ADIZ

01/13/2021

Three Chinese military aircraft entered the southwest corner of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND). The planes involved were a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, a Y-8 electronic warfare plane and a Y-8 tactical reconnaissance plane, the ministry said.

BAE Systems to Support U.S. AV-8B Harrier II Fleet to 2029

01/13/2021

BAE Systems and Vertex Aerospace have signed a nine-year agreement to enhance availability of the U.S. Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II fleet, the company said in a Jan. 12 release. The U.S. Department of the Navy awarded Vertex Aerospace LLC the $123 million contracted maintenance, modification, aircrew and related services (CMMARS) task order in July 2020 to provide aircraft maintenance and contractor logistics support services for the U.S. Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier fleet.

Chinese military reconnaissance plane enters Taiwan’s ADIZ

01/12/2021

A Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday (Jan. 11), marking the 8th such intrusion this month. A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, the Taiwanese military scrambled fighter jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the plane.

Does Japan Need to Develop a New Fighter Aircraft?

01/12/2021

The Japanese archipelago lies in a volatile region rife with historical tensions and territorial disputes. China’s defense spending has increased at a double-digit rate annually for much of the past three decades. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has drastically modernized its air capabilities with development of the J-20 fighter and the upcoming FC-31, and has demonstrated consistently assertive behavior, including airspace violations and military buildups in the South China Sea.

UK Backs Turkey’s Fifth-Generation TF-X Stealth Fighter Project Amid Tensions With Greece – Greek Media

01/12/2021

Reports suggest, Britain, after its exit from the European Union, is seeking to claim its role in world affairs. It is now supporting Ankara’s efforts of building the TF-X fighter, which is likely to pose a threat to its Mediterranean neighbor Greece. The situation in the eastern Mediterranean has been tense with Turkey and Greece involved in a dispute over energy exploration rights and maritime boundaries in the area.

Russia’s modernized air force is smaller but more capable — Here’s what it’s procuring next

01/12/2021

Twelve years after Moscow began a major modernization campaign for its armed forces, a new report published by the Center for Naval Analysis highlights the improved capability of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) and naval aviation. According to the report’s author, analyst Leonid Nersisyan, between 2009 and 2020 Russia’s armed forces received roughly 460 brand-new fixed-wing combat aircraft, 110 Yak-130 jet trainers and 360 attack helicopters.

Daily Low Flying Israeli Jets Over Lebanon Spreading Jitters

01/11/2021

Israeli military jets carried out several low flying flights over Beirut as reconnaissance drones also buzzed overhead Sunday in what has become a daily occurrence. Israel regularly violates Lebanon airspace, often to carry out strikes in neighboring Syria. On Christmas Eve, Israeli jets flew low late into the night, terrorizing Beirut residents who are no strangers to such flights. They were followed by reported Israeli strikes in Syria.

F-35B STOVL fighter conduct flight operations from US Navy USS America LHA 6 amphibious assault ship

01/11/2021

US Navy USS America, the lead ship of the America Amphibious Ready Group, along with the 31st MEU, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Russian Navy arms its MiG-31 fighters with Kh-47M hypersonic missiles

01/11/2021

According to the report, the 98th mixed regiment as part of the Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula and the 317th Pacific Regiment in Kamchatkawil, receive the new version of Long-range MiG-31 fighters with K index that will be armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missile. The Kinzhal is the latest Russian air-launched system that consists of a MiG-31K combat aircraft as a delivery vehicle and a Kh-47M hypersonic missile.

China wants to modify the engines on its J-20 stealth fighter to match the US's F-22

01/11/2021

China will cease using the Russian engine currently fitted on China's new generation J-20 stealth fighter jet, replacing it with an upgraded home-grown engine. A military insider told the South China Morning Post Chinese aircraft engineers found their domestically built WS-10C, the modified version of the WS-10 engine, to be as good as the Russian AL-31F engines.

U.S. Army discloses ways to protect Army aircraft from missiles

01/10/2021

On 7 January, the Picatinny Arsenal press release said that the U.S. Army strives to increase aircraft survivability through the design, development and production support of countermeasures such as decoys, chaff, and flares that divert enemy missiles.

The United Kingdom’s F-35 Jets are About to Become Even More Deadly

01/10/2021

The United Kingdom’s F-35s will be equipped with a small but powerful new surface-to-ground missile in the near future: the Spear 3 missile, manufactured by MBDA, a European arms manufacturer, stands for Selective Precision Effects At Range and hints at the missile’s unique capabilities.

China To Power Its J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets With Home-Grown Tech; Dumps Russian AL-31F Engines

01/10/2021

According to a military insider, Chinese aircraft engineers found the indigenously built WS-10C engines to be as capable as the Russian-made AL-31F ones. The Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter is a single-seat, twinjet, all-weather multirole fighter, which currently stands as the most advanced indigenously built aircraft in the ranks of the Chinese military.

First Upgraded Mirage 2000D Fighter Delivered

01/10/2021

Dassault Aviation, in conjunction with the Clermont-Ferrand facility of l’Atelier Industriel de l’Aéronautique (AIA, the French air force’s maintenance organization), this week delivered the first Mirage 2000D to undergo a major mid-life update (MLU) program to the Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (AAE, France’s air and space force). The fighter was ferried to AAE's Base Aérienne (BA, air base) 118 at Mont-de-Marsan on January 7.

Pentagon’s Counter Small Drone Strategy

01/09/2021

The exponential growth of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) creates new risks for the Department of Defense (DoD). Technology trends are dramatically transforming legitimate applications of sUAS while simultaneously making them increasingly capable weapons in the hands of state actors, non-state actors, and criminals. Small UAS may also pose hazards to DoD operations in the air, land, and maritime domains when controlled by negligent or reckless operators.

NATO scrambled around 350 times for Russian jets in 2020

01/09/2021

NATO says that Russian military activity near the alliance's airspace increased slightly this year as its jets across Europe scrambled more than 400 times to escort or shadow unknown aircraft. In a statement released Monday, NATO said almost 90%, or about 350 of these missions, were connected to flights by Russian military aircraft.

British F-35 fighters to get miniature cruise missiles

01/09/2021

Missile specialist MBDA has received a contract valued at $746 million for the production of the SPEAR missile system from the Royal Air Force. SPEAR (known in UK service as SPEAR3) is a 1.8 meters long, cruise missile system that has a range of more than 140-kilometres.

Egypt fighter deal still ruffling American feathers

01/09/2021

The first Sukhoi Su-35SKs were delivered to Egypt on August 5, after the signing a $2 billion contract for 24 of the Russian-made fighters in March 2019. The Su-35SKs followed a similar number of Dassault Rafales and 46 MiG-29M/M2 fighters. The deal attracted the ire of the US, with threats of sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) regulation.

General Atomics’ Avenger to be used as Skyborg testbed

01/08/2021

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems received a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to modify two of its company-owned Avenger unmanned air vehicles (UAV) with Skyborg autonomy technology. The modifications will include upgraded datalinks, the core Skyborg system design agent software, and other undisclosed payloads, says General Atomics on 6 January.

Several AF fighter jets, combat helicopters to be overhauled to boost air power

01/08/2021

The Sri Lanka Air Force is to increase its air capability including combat aircraft within the year and it has already sent a number of aircraft including fighter jets Kfir and MI-17 for overhaul purposes overseas, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana said yesterday.

China’s next-gen J-20 stealth fighter jettisons Russian engine in favour of home-grown technology

01/08/2021

China will cease using the Russian engine currently fitted on China’s new generation J-20 stealth fighter jet, replacing it with an upgraded home-grown engine. A military insider told the South China Morning Post Chinese aircraft engineers found their domestically built WS-10C, the modified version of the WS-10 engine, to be as good as the Russian AL-31F engines.

US approves smart bombs sale to Saudi Arabia

01/07/2021

Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) to Saudi Arabia, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced last week. The proposed sale comprises 3,000 air-launched SDB I munitions, as well as spares and support, for an estimated USD290 million.

Why Taiwan Will Be at the Center of the China-US Rivalry

01/07/2021

Geopolitics is the study of how a nation's geography and geology shape its domestic and international politics. Thus, the U.S., which is shielded by oceans on both its east and west coasts, evolved differently from, say, Germany, which was surrounded by potential enemies.

China Is Increasing Taiwan Airspace Incursions

01/07/2021

The number of Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s airspace last year was the highest since 1996, which experts say is worsening the risk for conflict without drawing international headlines. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flew about 380 sorties into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) last year, a defense ministry statement said last week.

QinetiQ wins Typhoon combat aircraft contract

01/07/2021

QinetiQ has secured a new five-year contract from the UK MOD, through the Engineering Delivery Partner framework, to provide engineering services for the Typhoon combat aircraft. The new £127 million contract will see QinetiQ delivering a wide range of services in support of the multi-role fighter from planning and acceptance through to regulatory assurance and trials support, as well as initiatives to optimize the in-service capabilities of the aircraft.

Russia’s Modernized Air Force Is Smaller But More Capable—Here’s What It’s Procuring Next

01/07/2021

Twelve years after Moscow began a major modernization campaign for its armed forces, a new report published by the Center for Naval Analysis highlights the improved capability of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) and naval aviation. According to the report’s author, analyst Leonid Nersisyan, between 2009 and 2020 Russia’s armed forces received roughly 460 brand-new fixed-wing combat aircraft, 110 Yak-130 jet trainers and 360 attack helicopters.

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group concludes US military withdrawal from Somalia

01/06/2021

The United States’ Nimitz carrier strike group has left Somalia after assisting the US military withdrawal from the Horn of Africa nation. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group arrived to support operations in Somalia on 21 December and provided operational and close air support to Joint Task Force – Quartz (JTF-Q) and Operation Octave Quartz (OOQ).

MiG 21 Bison crashes in Rajasthan's Suratgarh, pilot safe

01/06/2021

MiG 21 Bison aircraft has crashed in Rajasthan's Suratgarh. The MiG crashed while landing. As per initial reports, the pilot of the aircraft has survived the crash and there has been no damage to property. The MiG-21 Bison fighter plane crashed at Suratgarh airbase of Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan, where the pilot is safe and the administration has reached the spot. The fighter plane was on a regular practice flight. The villagers informed the administration after the blast.

Greece Joins Forces With Israel To Revamp Its Fighter Pilot Training Program

01/06/2021

Pilots of Greece’s Hellenic Air Force, who in the near future could be flying both F-35 and Rafale multirole fighters, are set to be trained at a new flight academy, equipped with a complement of 10 new M-346 advanced jet trainers, which Israeli company Elbit Systems has now been hired to establish and operate. Worth approximately $1.68 billion, this is the biggest defense deal between the two countries and also includes upgrades for Greece’s T-6 Texan II turboprop trainer aircraft.

Australia Set to Acquire Two More P-8A Aircraft to Boost Maritime Patrol Capability

01/05/2021

The Royal Australian Air Force’s maritime patrol capability will be boosted with Australia set to acquire two more P-8A Poseidon surveillance and response aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 14, the Australian Department of Defence said in a Jan. 4 release. The government has also approved sustainment funding for the current approved fleet of three MQ-4C Triton aircraft.

In Reversal, Pentagon Announces Aircraft Carrier Nimitz Will Remain in Middle East

01/05/2021

The Pentagon said on Sunday that it had ordered the aircraft carrier Nimitz to remain in the Middle East because of Iranian threats against President Trump and other American officials, just three days after sending the warship home as a signal to de-escalate rising tensions with Tehran.

4 Chinese military planes intrude into Taiwan’s ADIZ

01/05/2021

Four Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday (Dec. 4), marking the third intrusion this month. One People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Y-8 electronic warfare plane, a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, a Y-8 reconnaissance plane, and a Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft intruded into the ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

Israel hoping for last-minute F-35s from Trump administration

01/05/2021

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday said his government hopes to purchase a third squadron of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft from the United States before President Donald Trump leaves office on Jan. 20. “Without a doubt, we need to expand the F-35 array,” Gantz told Israel’s YNet television. “Right now, we have two squadrons. I reckon we will expand that. That is what I requested of the Americans,” he said.

Up Close And Personal With The Mi-24D “Hind” Gunship Helicopter Used As Threat Simulation Aircraft For U.S. Forces

01/04/2021

The Mi-24D is a variant of the Mi-24 “Hind”, a pretty famous attack helicopter that gained notoriety during the Soviet-era war with Afghanistan. During that conflict, the threat posed by the durable and heavily-armed Soviet gunships was recognized by U.S. intelligence agencies which supported Taliban guerillas with Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) such as the FIM-92 Stinger missiles provided through several cover organizations to the insurgents in November 1987 through January 1988.

Japan's military unit to make pilot-less fighter planes to counter China

01/03/2021

With eye on China and visualising the future of warfare, Japan has begun to develop a remote-controlled fighter aircraft which will be ready for deployment in 2035. Nikkei Asia is reporting that the 15-year project has acquired urgency to counter China's cascading advancement of hi-tech weaponry.

J-20 fighter jet: game changer to control sky

01/03/2021

The debate over inducting latest fighter jets to control skies intensified in Pakistan and India right after the latter received Rafale fighter jets from France. However, the vigorous debate has now shifted to the Chinese-made J-20 stealth fighter jet because defence analysts say that it will be the real game changer in the region.

4 French air force jets to come for wargames with IAF’s Rafale jets from 19 Jan

01/02/2021

Four Rafale fighters of the French Air Force will land in India this month to participate in joint exercises with the Indian Air Force’s Golden Arrows Squadron that was resurrected in September last with the induction of the Rafale fighter jets. The exercises have been scheduled between 19 and 25 January in the skies over the deserts of Rajasthan, people familiar with the matter said.

Chinese warplane intrudes into Taiwan’s ADIZ on first day of 2021

01/02/2021

China showed no sign of ending its campaign to send warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), despite a conciliatory New Year’s address by President Tsai Ing-wen Friday (Jan. 1). For several months, aircraft and ships from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been approaching Taiwan in what has generally been considered a campaign of intimidation against the island’s independence-minded government.

Moon inspects combat readiness on Peace Eye aircraft

01/02/2021

President Moon Jae-in flew on a Peace Eye military aircraft early Friday and inspected South Korea's combat readiness in a show of commitment to national defense on New Year's Day, the presidential office said. It is the first time that a South Korean president has flown on the airborne early warning and control aircraft regarded as a core part of the South Korean Air Force, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Pentagon Keeps $398 Billion F-35’s Full-Rate Production on Hold

01/01/2021

The Pentagon has put a decision on approving full-rate production of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 on indefinite hold, as officials remain unable to say when the fighter jet will be ready for combat testing that’s been delayed repeatedly since 2017.

Russia delivers Su-30 fighters with French-made advanced avionics to Belarus

01/01/2021

Multiple news outlets reported that Belarus has received new Su-30SM twin-seat fighter aircraft equipped with an advanced Man-Machine-Interface system developed by the Thales. The fighter jets were designed by Sukhoi Design Bureau on order from the Ministry of the Republic of Belarus based on the upgraded export version of the Su-30. A contract for delivery was signed in 2017.

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