April, 2021 Military Aviation News

Italian Aircraft Carrier ITS Cavour Departs Norfolk, Completing F-35B Certification

04/20/2021

The Italian Navy flagship, the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), departed Naval Station Norfolk Apr. 16 after Joint Force operations with U.S. military forces in the Atlantic Ocean. ITS Cavour participated in a sequence of operations with U.S. assets and the F-35 Joint Program Office has delivered a flight clearance recommendation to the Italian Navy for the safe operation of fifth generation F-35B fighter aircraft.

Japan-Based USAF F-16s Flew South China Sea Mission Fully Loaded With Live Air-To-Air Missiles

04/20/2021

The four U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets that recently flew a mission over the highly contested South China Sea were photographed landing at their home base, Yokota Air Base in Japan, at the end of their return flight. The images confirm that these jets were armed for counter-air operations with a heavy load of live air-to-air missiles.

Israel, Greece Sign Record Defense Deal

04/19/2021

Israel and Greece have signed their biggest ever defense procurement deal, which Israel said Sunday would strengthen political and economic ties between the two countries as their air forces launched a joint exercise. The agreement includes a $1.65 billion contract for the establishment and operation of a training center for the Hellenic Air Force by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems over 22 years, Israel's defense ministry said.

Multiple rockets hit Iraqi airbase, wounding two soldiers

04/19/2021

At least five rockets hit the Iraqi military airbase at Balad north of Baghdad, wounding two Iraqi soldiers, the Iraqi military said in a statement. Security officials had said earlier that the Katyusha rockets had fallen on the area of the base that houses US contractors, and that no casualties had been reported.

Air Force participates in a joint exercise in Greece

04/19/2021

IAF fighter jets were set to take part in the “Iniohos” exercise starting on Sunday in Greece. The exercise will include dozens of aircraft, in which the IAF will participate alongside several other partnering nations, the military said in a statement on Sunday. It said that they will simulate scenarios of air-to-air combat, air superiority, and advanced surface-to-air missile threats above enemy territory.

Israeli air strikes target Gaza again after rocket attack

04/18/2021

The Israeli military has carried out air attacks against what it says were targets in the Gaza Strip following a rocket attack from the Palestinian enclave, the second such exchange in recent days. Saturday’s attacks hit what the military described as “terror targets” operated by Gaza’s ruling faction Hamas.

China sends yet another aircraft into Taiwan's ADIZ: defense ministry

04/18/2021

The Chinese military sent yet another aircraft into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that day. The Chinese J-16 multirole fighter conducted a sortie in airspace southwest of Taiwan, between Taiwan and the Taiwanese-held Pratas Islands, according to the MND.

Six More Rafale Jets To Arrive From France In April, Will Raise Number Of Rafales Available With Indian Air Force To 20

04/17/2021

Setting the stage for creation of the second Rafale squadron at Hasimara in West Bengal, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria will flag off six Rafale fighter jets from Merignac-Bordeaux airbase in south-western France on 21 April. The arrival of these six Rafale jets will raise the number of these fourth-generation-plus fighter jets with the Indian Air Force (IAF) to 20.

Kazakhstan’s Su-30 fighter crashes over Balkhash

04/17/2021

“During routine training mission at the landing approach at the training aviation center of the city of Balkhash, the Su-30SM multi-role fighter jet crashed,” the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan reported. A statement from the press service confirmed that both the pilots of the aircraft ejected safely and [have] been rescued.

Interview: Commander Air, HMS Queen Elizabeth

04/16/2021

In September 2020, the USMC Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) embarked ten F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters onboard the UK’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, joining British platforms of the same aircraft type. The deployment underlined the interoperability benefits of acquiring an aircraft such as the F-35B, as well as its role in projecting the UK’s carrier strike capability, according to Cdr Edward Phillips, HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commander Air.

Mobility Airmen exercise ACE, joint force integration in Indo-Pacific

04/16/2021

As part of an effort to maximize Mobility Air Forces and Combat Air Forces integration as well as enhance agile combat employment capabilities in the Indo-Pacific theater, a contingent of Airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing participated in an off-station training exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, March 29 – April 7.

Can Smaller Countries Produce Competitive Fighters?

04/16/2021

South Korea has rolled out the prototype of its new indigenous fighter, the KF-21 Boramae. The new jet will complement the country’s mostly American-made fleet, fitting between its older F-15 and F-16 fighters and complementing its brand-new, fifth-generation F-35s.

Myanmar junta taps Russian air power to bomb ethnic rebels

04/15/2021

The skies above Myanmar's hinterlands have thundered from Russian-made jets over the past three weeks as they bomb strongholds of ethnic rebels along the country's borders with China and Thailand. On other nights, witnesses say, Russian-made attack helicopters shattered the silence and lit up the sky.

First Danish F-35 fighter jet debuts at Lockheed Martin plant

04/15/2021

This major F-35 programme milestone strengthens national defence and global partnerships between the United States, Denmark and other F-35 partner and buying nations. “The security situation around the world is increasingly complex,” said Trine Bramsen, Danish minister of defence. “Being able to defend yourself and your allies is crucial. For peace. For stability. For freedom and democracy. With the new F-35 fighter jets we will increase our ability to protect Denmark.

A US F-15C fighter jet recently fired the longest air-to-air missile 'kill' shot in Air Force history

04/15/2021

A US Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter fired the longest known air-to-air "kill" shot to date in a recent test, the service said Wednesday. The fighter fired an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) at a BQ-167 target drone and scored a "kill" from the farthest distance ever recorded during testing at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida in March, the 53rd Wing said in a statement.

Nigeria To Receive Six Super Tucanos Combat Aircraft In Mid-July – Presidency

04/14/2021

According to presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, 14 Nigerian pilots are currently training with the aircraft at the Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Mr. Garba posted a video of what appeared to be test-flight operations on his verified Twitter handle. The video was credited to the Sierra Nevada Corporation, a private American aerospace firm.

China sends 25 warplanes into Taiwan's air defense zone, Taipei says

04/14/2021

China sent 25 warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone on Monday, the largest breach of that space since the island began regularly reporting such activity in September, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said. The Chinese flights came a day after the US secretary of state warned Beijing that Washington was committed to the defense of the democratic, self-governed island, which China considers part of its sovereign territory.

Ukraine Turns To West For Fighters; Plans To Drop MiG Fleet

04/14/2021

Ukraine, faced with Russian troops on two fronts, has gone public with plans to buy combat aircraft that are not Russian-made. The vulnerable NATO partner plans to become independent of Vladimir Putin’s military in a crucial domain.

Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter Is Now For Sale

04/13/2021

The Su-57 project will occupy a sizable chunk of Russian defense spending. The Kremlin is keen to offset as much of these costs as possible through a series of high-profile export contracts.

Taiwan reports largest incursion yet by Chinese air force

04/13/2021

Twenty-five Chinese air force aircraft including fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday, the island’s government said, the largest reported incursion to date.

US Air Force's new F-15EX fighter aircraft finally has a name

04/13/2021

The Air Force officially rolled out its newest fighter jet on Wednesday at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where the service finally announced its name. The F-15EX will be called the "Eagle II," following the naming tradition of the F-15C Eagle and the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Taiwan Reports New Incursion by Chinese Jets into Defense Zone

04/06/2021

Taiwan's Defense Ministry on Monday reported a new incursion by China's air force into the island's air defense identification zone, made up of eight fighter jets and two other aircraft, one of which flew through the strategic Bashi Channel. Chinese-claimed Taiwan has complained over the last few months of repeated missions by China's air force near the island, concentrated in the southwestern part its air defense zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

The F-16 Fighter Jet Is Getting a New 'Shield'

04/06/2021

The F-16 multirole fighter aircraft, now made by Lockheed Martin, is getting a new shield system. L3Harris Technologies, a Florida-based firm, announced in late March that it had received a contract from Lockheed to develop “a new advanced electronic warfare system to protect the international F-16 jet against emerging radar and electronic threats.”

New F4 Rafale Fighter Jets To Have Advanced Stealth & EWS; Is India A Potential Customer?

04/06/2021

The F4 generation of the Dassault Rafale is backed by an investment of $2.3 billion by the French defense ministry, announced in January 2019. The latest F4 version will see the incorporation of new generation technologies, especially enhanced aircraft connectivity, through software-defined radio, new links, and satellite communications.

South Korea to develop military transport aircraft

04/05/2021

Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI), South Korea's sole aircraft manufacturer, said Sunday it aims to develop its own transport and multipurpose aircraft for the military. KAI has reached a consensus with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on the need to develop transport and multipurpose aircraft to meet domestic demand for the planes, the company's Executive Vice President Ryu Kwang-su told Yonhap News Agency on the sidelines of a press conference.

Israeli air force debuts new spy aircraft

04/05/2021

Israel's air force received on Sunday a new intelligence aircraft that will provide the military with "unprecedented" reconnaissance capabilities, the Defense Ministry said. The so-called "Oron" airplane landed on Sunday in the Nevatim airbase in southern Israel after more than nine years of developments by the Defense Ministry, the Israeli Air Force, the Intelligence Directorate, the Israeli Navy, and the Israel Aerospace Industries, according to a statement issued by the Defense Ministry.

Chinese aircraft carrier and 5 ships pass Okinawa on way to Pacific

04/05/2021

The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and five escort vessels have passed through a key waterway off Japan on their way to the Pacific Ocean, the Joint Staff Office of the Japanese Defense Ministry said Sunday. The carrier group was spotted around 8 a.m. Saturday roughly 470 km southwest of Nagasaki Prefecture's Danjo Islands, the joint staff said. The convoy then passed through the Miyako Strait, the 250 km-wide waterway between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island.

Powerful Jets With One Weakness: Pakistani JF-17 Pilot Recalls Clash With Indian Su-30MKIs

04/05/2021

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had deployed as many as 24 fighter jets, including the JF-17, in response to India’s airstrike on Balakot terrorist camps on February 26, 2019. Several of these jets managed to cross the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto India-Pakistan border, releasing precision-guided glide bombs on Indian military installations in the Rajouri sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

US Navy places order for more 11 additional Boeing P-8A Poseidon submarine hunters aircraft to patrol the globe

04/04/2021

The U.S. Navy today awarded Boeinga $1.6 billion production contract for the next 11 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Nine aircraft will join the U.S. Navy fleet and two will go to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), a cooperative partner in the P-8A joint program since 2009. The contract brings the total number of U.S. Navy P-8A aircraft under contract to 128 and the RAAF total to 14.

Chinese anti-submarine plane intrudes into Taiwan's ADIZ

04/04/2021

A Chinese military Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, but left the area after Taiwan scrambled fighter jets in response to the intrusion, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The aircraft flew into the airspace between Taiwan and the Dongsha Islands in the South China Sea, which are controlled by Taiwan, according to a chart provided by the MND.

Eisenhower Strike Group Joins Anti-ISIS Effort

04/03/2021

The Norfolk-based USS Dwight D. Eisenhower strike group started flight operations this week to support the continuing campaign against Islamic State remnants in Syria and Iraq. Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 3, based at Naval Air Station Oceana, began flying March 31 in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve to demonstrate U.S. commitment to security in the region.

'We hope to get our pilots alive,' Nigerian air force says, as military plane disappears from radar

04/03/2021

The Nigerian air force says it has yet to establish the whereabouts of a military plane that disappeared off the radar Wednesday evening near Borno -- an insurgency troubled state in the country's northeast region. A Nigerian air force spokesman told CNN Thursday afternoon that the fighter jet had been deployed to provide air support to ground troops, who were under fire from Boko Haram fighters before radar contact was lost.

Japan Is About To Waste Its F-35s Shadowing Chinese Planes

04/03/2021

The Japanese air force is assigning its new F-35 stealth fighters to alert duty, meaning that any day now the radar-evading jets could take off on short notice in order to intercept and shadow Chinese warplanes probing Japan’s air-defense zone. But if Tokyo had its way, the F-35 would sit out this dull, labor-intensive work. The stealth fighter is too expensive, too unreliable and too valuable for other missions to waste it on boring up-and-down flights.

ACC to align fighter squadron operations, maintenance

04/03/2021

Air Combat Command is changing the aircraft maintenance organizational structure to improve synchronization between maintenance and fighter squadrons. This new structure, called Combat Oriented Maintenance Organization, or COMO, flattens the maintenance organizational structure and transitions aircraft maintenance units into fighter generation squadrons.

China manoeuvres near Taiwan fuel concerns of potential attack

04/02/2021

China has stepped up its military posturing around Taiwan over the past week, a trend that is set to fuel growing concerns that Beijing might move closer to attacking the island. Taiwan and Japan on Monday both reported incursions into their respective air defence identification zones, the first simultaneous announcement from Taipei and Tokyo.

Canada on track to pick new fighter jet next year despite COVID-19

04/02/2021

Canada's top military procurement official says he is optimistic the federal government will finally end its decade-long search for a new fighter jet for the Royal Canadian Air Force next year despite challenges and delays from the pandemic. Three fighter-jet makers submitted their bids last summer to provide the military with 88 new aircraft to replace the Air Force's aging CF-18s, and government evaluators are now busily assessing those proposals to determine which best fits Canada's needs.

The U.S. system created the world’s most advanced military. Can it maintain an edge?

04/02/2021

As they conduct bombing and surveillance missions around the globe, today's U.S. military pilots rely on aerial refueling aircraft built as early as 1957, when the Soviet Union dominated American security fears, the average home cost $12,000 and "I Love Lucy" was debuting new episodes. The cost of keeping those aging jets in the air has grown sharply while the military awaits a next-generation refueling plane whose rollout has been repeatedly delayed by design and production issues.

Ukraine’s Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant delivers MiG-29UB to UAF

04/02/2021

Ukraine’s Lviv State Aircraft Repair Plant (LSARP) has repaired and handed over a MiG-29UB trainer aircraft to the Ukrainian Air Force (UAF). LSARP is part of state-owned defence industrial group Ukroboronprom and is the only enterprise in the country that repairs the MiG-29.

South China Sea: Philippine military vows to continue aerial patrols after plane warned off by Chinese vessels near disputed reef

04/01/2021

A Philippine military plane with local journalists on board ignored repeated radio warnings to “stay away” and “leave immediately” on Tuesday as it flew low over contested reefs near where Chinese vessels were moored in the South China Sea. The incident occurred as hundreds of Chinese vessels believed to be manned by militias in the South China Sea have spread to a wider area, the Philippines said on Wednesday, defying its demand for the flotilla to be withdrawn immediately.

US Army enters final phase of development before kicking off Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program

04/01/2021

The U.S. Army has awarded contracts to both Bell and a Sikorsky-Boeing team to continue into a second phase of competitive development and risk reduction as the service prepares to begin its formal program to acquire a future long-range assault aircraft, or FLRAA, by 2030.

China's Military Preparing for U.S. Intervention in Taiwan Strait

04/01/2021

China is readying itself for American and Japanese involvement in any Taiwan Strait conflict, with recent warplane exercises around the island aimed at displaying its ability to isolate Taiwan from potential support, according to analysts in Beijing and Taipei.

Future RAF will mix crewed fighters, UAVs and swarming drones: CDS

04/01/2021

Speaking at an International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) virtual event, the head of the UK’s Armed Forces Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) General Sir Nick Carter said that by 2030 a Royal Air Force(RAF) tactical formation could be made of up two Typhoon Fighter Jets, ten Mosquito uncrewed fighter aircraft and 100 Alvino swarming uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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