October, 2021 Military Aviation News

The Versatile MC-130 – A Special Operations Workhorse

10/23/2021

The C-130 Hercules is the absolute workhorse of the U.S. Air Force. The basic C-130, released into the wild in 1956, has been improved on and modified extensively throughout the years. The C-130J Super Hercules has hit the mainstream and is now parked on nearly every active C-130 ramp in the Air Force. The venerable Hercules is owned and operated by the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy, and the Air National Guard. It fills roles unique to each organization.

Why the F-35 is Crucial to U.S. Air Supremacy

10/23/2021

Amid all the debate and political sparring over funding, sustainment, per-aircraft cost, and long-term modernization, there is another pressing circumstance that tends to get obscured by the conceptual and budget-oriented turbulence surrounding the aircraft.

As Indian jets roar over Blue Flag, remembering Israel’s love for Mirage fighters

10/22/2021

On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, on a trip to Israel, visited an Indian Air Force contingent at an airbase in Israel. Five upgraded Mirage 2000 fighters of the Indian Air Force are in Israel to take part in the multilateral 'Blue Flag' exercise. The Indian Air Force had participated in Blue Flag in 2017, but the current edition of the exercise is the first to see the deployment of fighter jets.

India is Optimistic to Build an Indigenous Stealth Fighter

10/22/2021

The effort is being led by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program has its roots in an Indian effort to modernize the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) stock of older fighters, including the SEPECAT Jaguar and Dassault Mirage 2000. The AMCA project has undergone multiple iterations, but the core requirement is for a stealth, single-seat multi-role multirole fighter.

Iran: Air Force Holds War Game

10/22/2021

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) on Thursday started the main and operational phase of a large-scale military drill codenamed ‘Devotees of the Velayat Sanctuary’. Iranian Air Force Commander Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi said that on the first day of the military exercise, the force’s F-7 fighter aircraft targeted the hypothetical enemy’s positions with Yaseen-90 standoff bombs developed by local experts.

US Navy interested in 64 ‘Tactical Surrogate Aircraft’

10/22/2021

The US Navy (USN) is researching options for a “Tactical Surrogate Aircraft”. The aircraft would supplement flight time and training in frontline combat aircraft, provide adversary air support and serve as a flight lead aircraft for Fleet Replacement Squadrons, a unit that trains naval aviators on frontline combat aircraft, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35C and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

10/21/2021

China has for the first time showed off retired 1950s era fighter jets that have been converted to unmanned drones, with satellite photos of two of its east coast bases near Taiwan showing a large number of the jets on site. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command published the photos of two Shenyang J-6s on its Weibo social media account during a post about the ceremony marking the start of the training cycle for the second half of 2021 for a training brigade.

Singapore military aircraft that flew over Johor were taking part in exercise: Mindef

10/20/2021

Singapore military aircraft that flew over southern Johor earlier this month were taking part in a multilateral exercise and had obtained the requisite approvals to enter Malaysian territorial airspace, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Tuesday (Oct 19).

Right on Cue, North Korea Testing Ballistic Missiles, as Predicted by DIA

10/20/2021

No sooner had the Defense Intelligence Agency issued its North Korean Military Power report, in which it predicted Pyongyang would resume ballistic missile tests, than North Korea did exactly that, lofting a submarine-launched ballistic missile Oct. 19. The test, in which an SLBM launched from the port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan, was detected and characterized by South Korea, which said the missile attained an altitude of about 40 miles, traveling about 280 miles downrange.

Lockheed Martin to manufacture training system to help protect combat jet aircrews from radar-guided enemy missiles

10/20/2021

Radar experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. will build a mobile advanced radar system to help pilots of the F-35 joint strike fighter learn to operate safely in hostile areas guarded by modern radar-guided surface-to-air missiles.

Six companies bidding for RMAF LCA contract

10/19/2021

SIX companies are understood to have submitted bids to supply 18 light combat aircraft (LCA) to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in a tender that closed last week, sources say. While the details were not readily available, the contract for one squadron (18 planes) of LCA is said to be valued at around RM4 billion, with half of the amount, or RM2 billion, to be paid via counter trade involving crude palm oil or palm oil products.

Israel Requests Refueling Aircraft ASAP From Boeing

10/19/2021

In what appears to be a response to the growing tensions with Iran, Israel’s Ministry of Defense has requested the US hasten delivery of eight Boeing KC-46 refueling airplanes ordered earlier this year but expected to arrive only in two years.

Namibian F-7 fighter badly damaged in runway overshoot

10/19/2021

A Namibia Defence Force (NDF) F-7 fighter jet has been badly damaged in a runway excursion at Ondangwa’s Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Airport. The aircraft (0315) suffered the incident on 15 October. The Chief of the Namibia Defence Force, Air Marshal Martin Pinehas, told Informante that the aircraft had landed normally but its brake parachute failed to deploy, causing it to overshoot the runway. As Ondangwa is now a commercial airport, it does not have arresting systems, he said.

Air Force to start annual defense drills Monday

10/18/2021

The Air Force will hold its annual Tien Lung drills from Monday until Oct. 29, with the bulk of the exercises taking place in Jiadong, Pingtung County, according to military sources. The source told CNA that Air Force F-16Vs, Mirage-2000s, and Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs) will take part in the annual maneuvers, which will also include competitive testing of the Air Force's air-to-ground, air-to-sea, air-to-air, and land-based combat skills.

German military planes fly over Jerusalem for 1st time since WWI in show of ties

10/18/2021

Israeli Air Force and German Luftwaffe aircraft performed a flyby over the Knesset in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon as a display of the close cooperation between the two countries and their militaries, the Israel Defense Forces said. This was the first time that German aircraft have flown over Jerusalem since World War I.

Turkey 'continuing talks' with US over F-35 payment, F-16 purchase

10/18/2021

Negotiations between Turkey and the United States have been continuing on Ankara’s purchase of Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits to upgrade its existing warplanes, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday. The statements by the president came as a confirmation on earlier reports that claimed Turkey is set to acquire 40 new F-16V Block 70 aircraft and nearly 80 kits to modernize its F-16 fighters.

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle Back at Sea After A Hiatus

10/17/2021

The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, flagship of the Marine Nationale, returned to service late in September after completing a three-month-long maintenance period. The recent maintenance focused on the modernization of the carrier’s combat system. Living conditions for the crew were also improved. The vessel conducted sea trials in September.

Sukhoi Says More Than 70 Su-57 to be Delivered by 2027

10/17/2021

Moscow has touted the capabilities of its fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 multirole fighter for nearly a decade. While the development of the aircraft actually began in 2002, progress was slowed due to financial constraints in Russia and it wasn’t until January 2010 that the combat aircraft even made its maiden flight.

Air force to kick off multi-national Blue Flag drill over Israel next week

10/15/2021

The Israeli Air Force will host a massive, multi-national aerial exercise beginning next week and lasting through the end of the month, which will include fly-bys over Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the military said Thursday. Teams from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Greece and India will participate in the fifth biennial Blue Flag exercise, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Low-boom supersonic aircraft wins US Air Force funding

10/15/2021

The Direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract will fund the development of a supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator. Awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s AFWERX, the contract is in partnership with Air Combat Command and the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate.

Bangladesh Looks To Buy Eurofighter Typhoons, Sideline Rafale Fighter Jets Due To India Factor – Expert

10/15/2021

With its economy booming, Bangladesh is embarking on a modernization plan, which includes acquiring Western combat aircraft for the first time in its history. Eurofighter Typhoon is believed to be the front-runner while Dassault Rafale is seen as the second favorite, as per experts.

Pilot lost control of wobbling F-22 that spiraled to the ground in secretive crash last year

10/14/2021

Newly obtained documents offer a clearer picture of an F-22 Raptor’s demise in Florida last year when it crashed near Eglin Air Force Base during training with other fighter jets. The F-22 grew increasingly wobbly upon takeoff, refused to turn left and shortly barrel-rolled into the ground after its pilot safely ejected, according to the Air Force’s investigation into the May 15, 2020, incident that was not previously made public.

New Air Force Trainer Jet Supports ‘Reforge’ Concept

10/14/2021

The Air Force’s just-announced program to buy a new jet trainer is meant to support the “Reforge” overhaul of the fighter training enterprise put forward by Air Combat Command last year, but the program is in its earliest stage, and no timing for acquiring the airplane has been set, according to ACC.

Israel Air Force asks to swap four KC-46 tanker aircraft instead of two

10/13/2021

The Israeli Air Force has asked the US Air Force to advance the acquisition of four out of eight tankers that are required for long-range missions, with two of them asked to be delivered immediately. The US State Department approved the possible sale of up to eight KC-46 tanker aircraft and related equipment to Israel for an estimated cost of $2.4 billion last March, marking the first time that Washington has allowed Jerusalem to buy new tankers.

Biden administration reportedly backs Turkey’s $6B F-16 deal request

10/13/2021

Turkey’s request for Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits to upgrade its existing warplanes is valued at $6 billion (TL 54.02 billion), according to Turkish sources who spoke to two different media organizations Tuesday. Considering U.S. Congress' opposition to Ankara purchasing arms due to several lingering issues, it was thought that it would be difficult to win approval for the deal, however, reports have said that the new U.S. administration supports it.

LMXT: The Future of the U.S. Air Force and Nightmare for China?

10/13/2021

Harry J. Kazianis, Senior Director at the Center for the National Interest and Executive Editor of the National Interest, spoke with Ken Moss, LMXT Capture Manager at Lockheed Martin, on the new LMXT program. Here is a lightly edited version of the conversation:

Air Force Wants Up to 400 Advanced Fighter Trainers Like T-7s

10/13/2021

The Air Force is seeking “at least 100” and as many as 400 Advanced Tactical Trainer aircraft both to train fighter pilots and to serve as adversary aircraft in training, a role similar to that now performed by the AT-38. While the Air Force seems likely to be looking at adding to the role of the T-7A, the service did not mention that airplane or its maker, Boeing, in the request for information published Oct. 12.

A Tale of 2 Navies: India and China’s Carrier Airwing Development

10/12/2021

Despite the Indian Navy’s head start in the 1990s, China’s carrier capabilities and virtually all carrier-relevant industries have overtaken India’s in scale and sophistication.

India’s $18B Aircraft Deal: Did US Offer Its F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets To Indian Air Force For Dumping Russian S-400s?

10/12/2021

The IAF had in April 2019 issued a Request for Information (RFI) to acquire 114 jets at an estimated cost of $18 billion. The contract was promoted as one of the world’s biggest military procurement programs. The speculation about Washington’s desire to sell its fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to India for both the Airforce and Navy took rounds on the internet and became an instant topic of discussion among military analysts in 2018.

Three Times The Speed Of Sound, How India’s Trisonic Fighter Aircraft Left Pakistan’s F-16s, Chinese Defenses ‘High & Dry’

10/11/2021

But an equally glorious, intriguing, and daring mission happened 24 years ago when an IAF reconnaissance aircraft made its presence heard over Islamabad, the capital of neighboring Pakistan, by unleashing a sonic boom in broad daylight.

China fumes over reports of U.S. Special Ops training force in Taiwan

10/09/2021

New reports that the U.S. has secretly sent teams of special operations soldiers and Marines to Taiwan to train military forces there has added fresh fuel to rising tensions with an increasingly bellicose China. About two dozen troops have been conducting training missions with Taiwan‘s ground forces for at least a year, in an effort to shore up the island’s defenses against a possible invasion by Beijing, according to a report this week from The Wall Street Journal.

US Air Force receives prototype combat laser for ground attack aircraft

10/09/2021

Lockheed Martin has delivered to the US Air Force an airborne high-energy laser prototype called AHEL, which will be tested next year on a ground-attack aircraft, the military technology manufacturer reported in release. The laser must first be integrated with other systems for ground testing and later the complete weapons system can be incorporated into an AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft to evaluate its performance in the air.

Taiwan Air Force releases defiant video after Chinese incursions

10/08/2021

As China began to send large numbers of aircraft into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the country's Air Force on Saturday (Oct. 2) released a patriotic video meant to showcase its military capabilities and determination to defend the nation.

Finland tweaks 2022 budget to accommodate HX fighter purchase

10/08/2021

The Finnish government has approved an expansion to its defense procurement budget for 2022 that takes into account preliminary costs associated with the €10 billion (U.S. $12 billion) HX Fighter Program and the acquisition of new multirole aircraft. The proposal for new budgetary measures was presented to Finland’s national parliament, the Eduskunta, on Sept. 27. It is now included in the preliminary defense budget for 2022.

Reimagining the Reaper

10/08/2021

Faced with an inventory full of aging equipment, the Air Force is proposing to slash legacy aircraft it believes cannot survive in a high-end fight. The aim is to divert dollars needed to support these legacy platforms to modernization programs. While this approach has not succeeded in the past, leaders still feel it is the last card they have to play, given a cultural unwillingness to demand a greater share of the defense budget pie.

Korea expected to face reduced military capability: lawmaker

10/07/2021

A serious shortfall in Korea's military capability is expected in the near future, as the country's plan to secure new assets to replace aging military aircraft and warships remains insufficient, a lawmaker said, Wednesday.

Russia's S-70 Unmanned Combat Craft Is Nearing the Prototype Stage

10/07/2021

Russia's forthcoming unmanned combat air vehicle is about to enter its prototype stage, making its debut on the country's Ministry of Defense television station, TV Zvezda. The video (included below) is also the most in-depth analysis of the new aircraft, called the Sukhoi S-79 Okhotnik UCAV, to ever reach the public. The forthcoming Russian Okhotnik means "Hunter" in English, and it's huge.

New Compass Call Electronic Warfare Plane Takes To The Skies

10/07/2021

The first new EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft recently made its inaugural flight, L3Harris announced Wednesday. Unlike a typical military aircraft procurement program, the US Air Force intends to modernize its aging Compass Call fleet by stripping sophisticated electronic warfare systems out of its legacy EC-130H aircraft and incorporating them onboard new Gulfstream G550 business jets.

The Stealthy F-35 Fighter Jet Is One Step Closer to Carrying Nuclear Weapons

10/06/2021

A pair of F-35s from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada released dummy nuclear bombs at a nearby test range this month, moving the advanced stealth fighter closer to carrying the world’s most powerful weapons into combat, the Air Force said Monday.

VIDEO: Japan’s Largest Warship Launches U.S. Marine F-35s; First Fighters to Fly from Japanese Ship Since WWII

10/06/2021

Two Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters took off and landed on Japan’s largest warship, on Oct.3, marking the first time that fixed-wing aircraft have operated off a Japanese warship since World War II. The two F-35Bs from the “Bats” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 242 flew from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, to operate on Izumo to test modifications to the big deck warship so the short takeoff, vertical landing version of the F-35 can operate from the ship.

India offers LCA Tejas for RAAF trainer requirement

10/05/2021

RAAF had floated a tender in June 2020 for a new advanced jet trainer to replace its age-old BAE Systems Hawk 127 LIFT aircraft. “We have responded to a request for information (RFI) from Australian DoD for the Air 6002 Phase 1 requirement , which was issued on June 1, 2020, by offering our LCA as LIFT configuration,” says an HAL official.

China flies record 56 warplanes toward self-ruled Taiwan

10/05/2021

China flew 56 fighter planes toward Taiwan on Monday in the largest show of force on record, continuing the three days of sustained military harassment against the self-ruled island. The first sortie of 52 planes included 34 J-16 fighter jets and 12 H-6 bombers, among other aircraft, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense. Later, four more Chinese J-16s flew toward the southwestern part of Taiwan's air defense identification zone — a buffer outside a country’s airspace.

As HAL Scouts For Potential Buyers, Here Are Five Allies Where India’s Tejas Remains A Big ‘No Go’

10/05/2021

Earlier this year, India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) received a Rs 48,000-crore order from the country’s Defense Ministry for the supply of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to the Indian Air Force. Buoyed by this mega-deal, HAL has been actively looking for foreign buyers, but may not be able to pitch its fighters to many countries due to certain export restrictions.

French military aircraft banned from Algerian airspace amid diplomatic row

10/04/2021

The French military says its planes have been banned from Algerian airspace amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries. "This morning, while filing flight plans for two of our planes, we learned that the Algerians were closing the overflight of their territory to all French military planes," Colonel Pascal Ianni, spokesman for the French military, told CNN Sunday.

US condemns Chinese activities near Taiwan

10/04/2021

The United States urged China to stop its "provocative" military activities near Taiwan after the island's forces scrambled jets to warn away close to 100 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defence zone over a three-day period. Taiwan, a democratically governed island that is claimed by China, has complained for more than a year of repeated missions near it by China's air force, often in the southwestern part of its air defence zone close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.

Taiwan deploys combat aircraft to meet China’s largest ever ‘military aggression’

10/03/2021

China has infuriated Taiwan by marking the founding of the People’s Republic of China with the largest ever incursion by the Chinese air force into the island’s air defence zone. Taiwanese fighters scrambled against 38 Chinese aircraft in two waves on Friday, the Taiwan Defence Ministry said. It said Taiwan sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them.

Saab delivers third T-7A rear fuselage section to Boeing

10/02/2021

Saab delivered to Boeing its third aft fuselage section for use in the T-7A Red Hawk flight test program for the U.S. Air Force. The production and shipment of this aft fuselage section is the latest milestone in Saab’s (Sweden) contribution to the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the T-7A Red Hawk trainer for the U.S. Air Force. Upon completion of the EMD phase, Saab’s new plant in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, will take over the production of the aft fuselage sections.

North Korea fires new anti-aircraft missile in latest test, state media says

10/02/2021

North Korea fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile on Thursday, state media KCNA reported on Friday, the latest in its recent series of weapons tests amid deadlocked denuclearization talks with the United States. It was North Korea's second known weapons test this week after launching a previously unseen hypersonic missile on Tuesday. It has also fired ballistic missiles, and a cruise missile with potential nuclear capabilities in recent weeks.

Crews of reconnaissance aircraft and fighter jets conduct exercises over Crimea

10/02/2021

The crews of the aircraft of a separate naval assault regiment from the naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet conducted combat exercises at a practice range in the Crimea, the Fleet’s press office reported on Wednesday. "According to the scenario, a Su-24MP tactical bomber while performing reconnaissance tasks, detects objects of a conventional enemy in a mountainous area. Su-24M fighter jets and Su-30SM multirole fighters took to the sky to eliminate the "enemy", the press service noted.

JF-17 Row: Has Argentina Put Thunder Fighter Jets On Backburner As It Negotiates Exclusive Military Deal With Russia?

10/02/2021

Argentina’s search for a budget-friendly fighter jet initially took it to narrow down on five sellers: China, Israel, Russia, South Korea, and the US. Despite the prominent view being that China / Pakistan’s JF-17 was the frontrunner, there is are indications that Argentina could ink a military deal with Russia.

Taiwan says it scrambled jets again after Chinese ‘air incursion’

10/02/2021

Taiwan has said it scrambled its combat aircraft after 25 Chinese fighter jets entered its defence zone on a day Beijing marked the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The latest Chinese incursion – its biggest in weeks – involved 18 J-16 and four Su-30 fighters, two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, and an anti-submarine aircraft, the Taiwan ministry said on Friday.

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