Military Aviation News Archive

Afghan Military to Receive A-29 Close Air Support Planes in December

03/06/2015

The Afghan military will be without its own fixed-wing close air support for another fighting season this summer against the Taliban, with the first of 20 A-29 Super Tucano turboprops expected to begin arriving in December. "This is a huge asset they're looking forward to getting inside Afghanistan," Army Gen. John Campbell told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, but "they won't have much for the next fighting season."

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Alaska watches as Russia plans to build its Arctic military presence

03/06/2015

During an Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the world is watching — allies and enemies — to see if our country continues to invest in its own defense, especially in the Arctic. Some of the people responsible for that defense are in Alaska. At Anchorage’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, dozens of plaques with red stars on them line a wall of an operations floor.

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Bulgaria to be offered JF-17 fighter by Pakistan

03/06/2015

Bulgaria is to be offered the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft, according to national media reports. The single-seat, single-engined fighter is to be offered by Pakistan as an alternative to the several Western aircraft types that are all vying to be selected by Bulgaria as it looks to replace its ageing MiG-29 'Fulcrum' and Sukhoi Su-25 'Frogfoot' platforms, the novinite.com Sofia News Agency reported on 4 March.

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This single Pentagon program is going to upend the combat jet industry

03/06/2015

For all the talk of shrinking global defense budgets and sequestration, the U.S. military’s three prime combat aircraft contractors—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman—have enjoyed a good run of late, with each company’s stock currently bumping up against its 52-week high. But don’t expect the smooth sailing to last, says one prominent industry analyst.

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Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion Wing Line Restarted

03/06/2015

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] restarted the wing production line for the P-3 Orion Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) program for Canada and Chile on March 4. The P-3 wing line was last in production in August 2014. The gap in production extended the opportunities for global operators to assess their fleet needs.

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Pentagon Announces U-turn on Use of Depleted Uranium Ammunition in Iraq and Syria

03/05/2015

The Pentagon has announced that depleted uranium (DU) munitions have not, and will not, be used by US aircraft in the conflict against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The policy U-turn contrasts with statements made over previous months, where Pentagon officials claimed that DU would be used if needed; the decision reflects a growing stigmatisation of the controversial weapons.

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USAF moves 18 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft to 'backup status'

03/05/2015

The US Air Force (USAF) has placed 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II close-combat support aircraft into the backup-aircraft inventory (BAI) status. Congress has authorised an increase a total of 36 A-10 aircraft into BAI status. The service, however mothballed a fewer number of aircraft to assess whether the action adequately balances ongoing requirements and the need for upgrade.

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Red Flag at 40: ISR, coalition integration at its best

03/05/2015

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Red Flag - the United States Air Force's premiere air-to-air combat training exercise. For the last four decades it's evolved and today it continues to hone the skills of its participants to meet current and future real world adversarial challenges.

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Russia Reportedly Ready to Build Aircraft Carrier Larger Than US Ships

03/05/2015

Though questions remain about how realistic the plans are, Moscow reportedly said Monday that it hopes to build its second aircraft carrier -- which would measure about 10 percent larger than the ones currently in the United States' Nimitz-class fleet. The National Interest, citing Itar-Tass News Agency, reported that the proposed carrier would be able to hold about 100 aircraft and would use a catapult take-off system.

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Russian combat jets conduct ‘mock’ attack runs on NATO warships

03/05/2015

RUSSIA says it has been conducting mock “attack runs” on NATO warships in the Black Sea as reports emerge of commercial airliners having to “dodge” prowling Russian bombers. As tensions continue to escalate over Russia’s barely concealed involvement in the Ukrainian civil war, it has adopted an increasingly aggressive posture towards its old Cold War enemies.

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Analysis - Iranian fighter programmes: Bona fide or bluff?

03/05/2015

Over recent years, Iran has made great play of its burgeoning domestic aerospace capabilities by revealing a number of 'new' combat aircraft types to the world. For about the last five years, state media has heralded a steady stream of new fighters and other types which, it claims, demonstrate the Islamic republic's ability to design, develop, and manufacture the latest generation of combat aviation.

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China Gives Military Budget Another Double Digit Raise

03/05/2015

The increase comes despite a slowing Chinese economy. State-run Xinhua news agency notes that it is a smaller increase than previous years. In 2014 the budget had increased by over 12% over 2013, and this year's would be the smallest increase in five years. The total military budget will rise to 886.9 billion yuan ($141.45 billion) which will still be a distant second to the US' more than $600 billion in military spending in 2013.

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India’s Defense Minister Says Unclear When Rafale Deal to Be Finalized

03/05/2015

Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said that it is yet unclear whether the deal on the deliveries of French Rafale fighter jets will be finalized before the April's visit of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to France.

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Russian Military Unveils Revolutionary Electronic Warfare System

03/05/2015

Russia's new Richag-AV radar and sonar jamming system can be mounted on helicopters, ships and other military equipment to jam potential adversaries' weapons systems from distances of several hundred kilometers away; it has been hailed by developers as having no analogue anywhere in the world.

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UK details extent of combat activity over Iraq

03/03/2015

The UK Royal Air Force has conducted 159 air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq with Panavia Tornado GR4s since deploying the type to the region late last year, the Ministry of Defence has revealed. Details of the combat activity were disclosed during a visit to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus by defence secretary Michael Fallon on 1 March.

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Su-25: Old warrior is future of Russian attack aviation

03/03/2015

Forty years ago, an attack aircraft Su-25 (GrachRook) took off from an airfield in Moscow suburb Kubinka for its maiden flight. Time has not dimmed its lustre. This aircraft remains a fearsome fighting machine, and can be called the future of Russian attack aviation. At the beginning of 2015, there were 14 air assault squadrons, composed of 150 Su-25; 60 Su-25SM; 52 Su-25SM2 /SM3; and 15 Su-25UB. Of all these storm-troopers 80 more machines will be upgraded to the SM version by 2020.

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Massive Iraqi assault begins to retake Tikrit from Islamic State

03/03/2015

More than 25,000 Iraqi troops and militia fighters began a long-awaited operation Monday to retake the central Iraqi city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, from the Islamic State in what many see as a test of the central government’s ability to retake and hold much of the territory lost to the militant group last summer.

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Air Force to move A-10 jets into backup status despite congressional opposition

03/03/2015

The Air Force has begun moving A-10 attack jets into backup status, even as it continues to use the plane in airstrikes against the Islamic State. Air Force officials announced the move on Friday. Eighteen planes will be placed into “Backup-Aircraft Inventory” (BAI) status, with the possibility of 18 more being mothballed later this year. The designation means the Thunderbolt II planes are considered to be undergoing maintenance or otherwise unable to fly.

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US, Japan, Australia team up during air combat training

03/03/2015

Pilots from the U.S. Air Force, Japanese Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian air force conducted large force employment (LFE) training here Feb. 19-27, as part of exercise Cope North 2015. This year marks the 86th iteration of the multilateral training exercise, which is a long-standing, multinational event designed to increase interoperability and improve combat readiness and develop a synergistic disaster response capability between the countries involved.

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Clearing The Way: Lockheed Martin And Burns Engineering Focus On Improving Pilot Vision

03/03/2015

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and H. N. Burns Engineering Corp. have agreed to collaborate on technology that enhances military helicopter pilots’ ability to fly in low visibility conditions caused by weather, dust or other obstructions. Known as degraded visual environments (DVE), the blinding conditions are a primary cause of major helicopter accidents.

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Russia's Defense Ministry Removes An-70 From National Armament Program

03/03/2015

Russia's Ministry of Defense has removed the Antonov An-70 military transport aircraft, jointly developed by Russia and Ukraine, from its national armament program, the Izvestia newspaper said. The ministry could also request the return of 2.95 billion rubles (nearly $100 million at the 2010 exchange rate) transferred to Ukraine's Antonov design bureau in 2010, when both countries started research and development work on the project, initially launched in the early 1980s.

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Pakistan Re-equips Squadron With AEW&C Planes

03/02/2015

Pakistan's Air Force (PAF) Thursday stood up its unit of Chinese Karakorum Eagle AEW&C aircraft in a ceremony attended by the head of the PAF, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Though the exact location of the ceremony was not given, it is believed to have been held at PAF Base Masroor in Karachi as the prime minister was known to have been in the city that day.

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The Mysterious Air Force Of Ukraine's Pro-Russian Separatists

03/02/2015

At number 63 Karl Marx Street, the tinted glass facade of the Ministry of Defense of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) stands insolently among the scenery of shattered windows and crushed roads. On the snow-covered square in front of the church, a dozen of half-asleep men smoke cigarette after cigarette while they wait for the recruitment office to open. The fatigue, anxiety and cold make their legs shiver, but don’t dissuade them from joining the Luhansk people’s militia.

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Leadership: Japan Responds To The Chinese Threat

03/02/2015

For the third year in a row Japan has increased its defense budget, this time to $41 billion. Japan is also striving to generate enough popular support for changing the laws that govern the aggressive use of its military. The most recent motivator for this was the recent execution of two Japanese citizens by Islamic terrorists (ISIL in Syria). Longer term the Japanese are becoming more alarmed at increasing Chinese military activity in waters and air space around Japan.

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Spy plane trip to West PH Sea sign of US 'commitment' to Asian pivot

03/02/2015

One of the United States' most advanced aircraft was in Clark Air Base in February for a temporary rotational detachment that allowed Filipino pilots to join patrol missions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). The spy plane – a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft – that is under the operational control of the US Navy Patrol Squadron 45 based in Yokosuka, Japan shows the country's commitment to a strategic pivot to Asia.

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