January 04, 2023 Military Aviation News

French Air Force faces a shortage of Rafale, AESA radars and pilot training hours


General Stéphane Mille, Chief of Staff of the Armée de l’air et de l’espace [CEMAAE], testified on Rafale Aircraft shortages in the armed forces during his hearing in the Senate on the occasion of the end-of-year budget discussions, the report for which was just issued – two months later. CEMAAE forecasted that the number of active fighter aircraft would drop to a low point as a consequence of the retirement of the Mirage 2000C from active duty and the export of 24 Rafales.

US B-52 Stratofortress Bombers Conduct Three-Day Bomber Task Force Mission From Andersen AFB, Guam


The Two USAF B-52 Stratofortress bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, recently conducted a three-day bomber task force operating out of Andersen Air force Base, Guam. The mission was carried out within USINDOPACOM’s operational domain. The USAF bombers arrived at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on December 18, 2022.

New E-11A Communications Aircraft Handed Over to US Air Force


The US Air Force has received a new E-11A aircraft with a battlefield airborne communications node payload at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. The plane will be integrated into the air force’s 430th Expeditionary Electronic Communications Squadron, the “Black Wolves,” which supports combat communications. The BACN’s “WiFi in the sky” capability allows the E-11A to function similarly to a low-Earth satellite, maintaining aerial command and control capabilities for airborne and ground units.

Navy Buys 2 ‘Loyal Wingman’ XQ-58A Valkyrie Drones for $15.5M


The Navy is buying two stealth unmanned aerial systems – originally developed for the Air Force – that could operate with a manned fighter, as the service pursues the manned-unmanned teaming concept officials say is central to the future of naval aviation. The service issued a $15.5 million contract to Kratos for the XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aerial system, according to a Dec. 30 Defense Department contract announcement.

Pentagon should better study risks of swapping older fighter jets for new ones, watchdog finds


The Pentagon needs to do a better job managing the risks of replacing aging fighter jets and should share information with Congress so it can make better spending decisions and avoid gaps in air superiority, a top federal watchdog concluded in a recent report. Federal and independent analysts have determined some fixed-wing tactical attack aircraft are outliving their life spans and, in some cases, there aren’t planes to replace them yet, according to a study by the Government Accountability Off

Only 3 countries have managed to build 5th-generation fighters, but nearly a dozen are already working on 6th-gen jets


Some 20 years after their first appearance in the skies, fifth-generation fighters remain both the most advanced and rarest aircraft in service. Only four models from three countries — the US's F-22 and F-35, China's J-20, and Russia's Su-57 — have been officially introduced. But many other countries are determined to have their own next-generation models. At least nine countries are already developing sixth-generation aircraft, either on their own or in cooperation with other countries.

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