Military Aviation News Archive

Russian aircraft on rise

11/23/2014

Russia’s increased military presence in the Baltic Sea area, including its air force, has prompted some officials to compare it to the Cold War. Here’s a summary of the most serious incidents reported across the region.

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FIGHTING ISIS FROM THE AIR: THE LIGHT ATTACK ALTERNATIVE – ANALYSIS

11/23/2014

With procurement funds steadily shrinking, requirements are markedly informed by budgetary constraints rather than mandated by capability considerations. Consequently, innovative and cost-efficient solutions are increasingly sought and valued. This is particularly true for counterinsurgency operations in low-contested environments in which the enemy possesses only negligible air-defense assets.

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The new man at Nato who must stand up to Putin and his tanks

11/23/2014

Outside Nato’s headquarters in Brussels, the national flags of 28 member states fly in a proud circle. Even after decades of defence cuts, these countries still account for 58 per cent of global military spending, giving Nato more firepower than any other alliance on Earth. Yet, if Nato is a giant, it has often seemed a sleeping one — at least since the Cold War ended in a bloodless victory more than two decades ago.

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China building massive island big enough for airstrip, report says

11/23/2014

China appears to be flexing its considerable military muscle, building a massive island that could host an airstrip in an area of the South China Sea that has become a source of regional tension over disputed territorial claims. IHS Jane’s said satellite imagery it obtained showed that in the past three months Chinese dredges have created a land mass that is almost the entire length of Fiery Cross Reef in the contested Spratly Islands.

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US-Led Airstrikes Against Islamic State Kill Over 900 in Syria: Watchdog

11/23/2014

More than 900 people have been killed by US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) militant group in two months, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Saturday. "SOHR documented the death of 910 people since the U.S led coalition started its strikes on Syria in 23/Sep until last night. Including: 52 civilians (8 children, 5 women), killed by coalition air strikes on oil fields and refineries in al-Hasakah and Der-Ezzor countrysides, al-Raqqa, Around Menbej northeast of Aleppo,

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Russian Bombers Threaten Guam

11/22/2014

Two Russian strategic bombers circled the U.S. island of Guam last week in what U.S. defense officials say is the latest in a series of nuclear provocations by Moscow. The bombers were identified by air defenses as Tu-95 Bear H nuclear-capable aircraft that circumnavigated the strategic U.S. military outpost on Friday—amid heightened tensions with Moscow regarding a new buildup of Russian forces in and along the border of eastern Ukraine.

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Female Fighter Pilot Shares Tips on Getting to the Top

11/22/2014

Since she was a young girl, Carey D. Lohrenz had set her sights on becoming a U.S. Navy pilot. Getting there wasn't easy, but she did, making history as the first woman assigned to fly an F-14 Tomcat fighter. On Thursday, Lohrenz spoke at the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors fall seminar at the Hershey Lodge in Derry Township, where she shared her experiences as well as the lessons she learned during her career as a Navy fighter pilot.

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Japan Officially Selects Osprey, Global Hawk, E-2D

11/22/2014

Japan has officially decided to procure the V-22 Osprey for its military tilt-rotor requirement, as well as the Global Hawk unmanned surveillance system and E-2D Hawkeye command and control aircraft. The choice of the Osprey, while widely expected ever since the country laid out a requirement for 17 such aircraft in its National Defense Program Guidelines, released in April, may have political ramifications for the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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Obama Signs Secret Order Expanding US Combat Role In 2015: Report

11/22/2014

President Obama has signed a secret order authorizing an expanded combat role for U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2015, according to a report from the New York Times. The order, which was signed in the last few weeks, will allow U.S. forces to carry out combat missions against Taliban fighters who pose a threat to American military personnel or Afghanistan's government. It also allows American fighter jets, bomber aircraft and drones to be deployed in support of Afghan troops on combat missions.

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US report warns of cross-strait military imbalance

11/22/2014

Mainland China's ongoing military modernization has continued to shift Taiwan-China military balance in Beijing's favor despite warming cross-strait relations, a U.S. congressional commission report said Thursday. Despite the recent cross-strait rapprochement, “the core sovereignty and security issues between Taiwan and China remain unresolved,” according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission's (USCC) annual report to the U.S. Congress.

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CF-18 aircraft extension to 2025 will mean extra maintenance costs for RCAF

11/22/2014

I’ve had a number of references on Defence Watch to the CF-18 modernization, which the Conservative government says will keep the fighter aircraft flying until 2025. But a knowledgeable Defence Watch reader and former fighter pilot points out that the upgrade was never intended to expand the actual flying life (ELE) of the CF- 18. It will add various upgrades to the cockpit but it has nothing to extend the actual flying state of the plane. That instead will be done through increased maintenance

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Yola: Nigerian Air Force’s Graveyard?

11/22/2014

In less than three months, Nigeria’s military has lost three aircraft around Yola, northeastern part of the country in its war with Boko Haram. The first casualty was the disappearance of an Alpha Jet, with two missing crew members on September 12; followed by two helicopter accidents this month (November) alone. This high rate of accidents can be attributed to either of the two persistent, contributory factors in our military aviation: poorly trained pilots or poor aircraft maintenance.

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‘IAF upgrading its combat fleet’

11/22/2014

“The Indian Air Force (IAF) today, with a dedicated service to the nation, is a modern technology-intensive force distinguished by its commitment to excellence and professionalism. Keeping pace with the demands of contemporary advancements, the IAF continues to modernise in a phased manner and today it stands as a credible air power counted amongst the fore-most professional services in the world.”

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Russia Testing New Weapons in Compliance With International Obligations

11/22/2014

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Russian program of testing new types of weapons is in accordance with international obligations and Russia is not starting arms race.

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Four Nations to Integrate Captor E-Scan Radar onto Eurofighter Typhoon

11/21/2014

As the system integrator, the contract will represent an order value of £365 million to BAE Systems. This will give Eurofighter Typhoon one of the most advanced radar systems in the world providing a wider field of regard than any other combat aircraft. Other benefits include increased detection and tracking ranges, advanced air-to-surface capability and enhanced electronic protection measures.

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Navy Plans for Fighter to Replace the F/A-18 Hornet in 2030s

11/21/2014

The Navy is beginning to work on a a next-generation carrier-launched fighter jet to replace the existing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Growler aircraft by 2030 and supplement the F-35C the Pentagon is still developing, service officials said. The Navy effort, called the F/A-XX program, includes early work on the desired technological capabilities for the new aircraft. The idea is to have a new aircraft ready and producible by the time existing F/A-18s reach their end-of-service dates.

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India likely to order 106 more Pilatus aircraft to train pilots

11/21/2014

India is likely to go in for 106 more Swiss Pilatus PC-7 basic trainer aircraft (BTA), the bulk of which will be produced domestically, to help train rookie IAF pilots in a project worth around Rs 7,000 crore. This comes after defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics' attempt to develop its own BTA called HTT-40 failed to pass muster with the defence ministry.

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Why Is the US Military So Interested in Chad?

11/21/2014

Admit it. You don’t know where Chad is. You know it’s in Africa, of course. But beyond that? Maybe with a map of the continent and by some process of elimination you could come close. But you’d probably pick Sudan or maybe the Central African Republic. Here’s a tip. In the future, choose that vast, arid swath of land just below Libya.

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France Orders Airbus Tanker Planes in €3 Billion Deal

11/21/2014

Airbus Group NV on Thursday said the French government has agreed to place an order for 12 military airborne-refueling aircraft. Including related support services, the deal is valued at about €3 billion ($3.76 billion), the French government said. France is scheduled to get first of the planes in 2018, a second a year later and the rest at a rate of two a year, the Toulouse-based company said.

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Army names inactivating combat aviation brigade

11/21/2014

The Army will inactivate the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade this year, officials announced Thursday. The 159th CAB is the first of three aviation brigades expected to be cut as part of a five-year aviation restructuring initiative. The other two have not been announced. The 159th, which recently returned from Afghanistan, is one of two combat aviation brigades in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

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Viral video shows Ukrainian soldier launching drone in combat zone

11/21/2014

A new viral video appears to depict a Ukrainian soldier hurling a small drone aircraft into the air, providing a glimpse into how Kiev’s soldiers are using low-grade military technology against Russian-backed separatists. The footage has gone viral after being posted to YouTube on Monday and appears to show the drone under gunfire after it takes off. It isn’t clear what kind of aircraft it is, but the video shows the drone buzzing over fields riddled with craters and what looks like an airfield.

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50 Totally Stunning Combat Aircraft Photos Taken Around Alaska

11/21/2014

Wildlife is not the only thing that enjoys the vast empty expanses of America's northern-most state. There is so much room to train over Alaska's fully outfitted air combat ranges that there is really no other place in the world quite like it for military aircrews and weapons and tactics testers to push their hardware and skills to the limit.

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NATO Concerned Over France’s Possible Delivery of Mistral Ships to Russia

11/21/2014

NATO allies are concerned over France’s possible delivery of Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday at a press conference at a military air base close to Tallinn. Russia and France signed the €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) deal for the two Mistral-class ships in June 2011.

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Islamic State now hiring: Gunsmiths needed to maintain growing arsenal

11/20/2014

The Islamic State terrorist army, in its rapid arms buildup, is now searching for foreign technicians who can come to Syria and Iraq and show its fighters how to use and maintain their weapons. A U.S. military officer familiar with the Islamic State said that the Sunni extremist group is sending word through the arms trade’s secretive black market that it needs outside advisers — and is willing to pay.

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Coalition jets bomb ISIS underground fortress discovered during earlier strike

11/20/2014

Allied jets in Iraq Wednesday targeted a complex of bunkers and tunnels that was uncovered by chance in an earlier U.S. strike. The bunkers were found when Islamic State of Iraq & Al-Sham jihadists were seen withdrawing to the area, between the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk and ISIS-held Mosul, during a concerted attack by Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi government forces.

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