Military Aviation News Archive

India Adopts Highways As Airstrips

05/28/2016

After testing the concept in 2015 India has decided to adopt the increasingly popular practice of training pilots and ground crews to use designated sections of highways as temporary air strips. This practice became popular during the Cold War, particularly in Europe where most countries either regularly used the practice or had the procedures available in case needed.

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Aurora test new capabilities for Marines

05/28/2016

The AACUS is an autonomy applique kit that enables operations of full-scale rotary-wing aircraft in and out of austere landing zones, tactically, with little human assistance. “We know how to make things fly, we’ve been doing it for over 100 years,” said Retired Brig. Gen. Frank Kelley, formerly the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Unmanned Systems.

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Russia’s Pacific Pivot: The Moscow-Beijing Shadow Boxing Continues

05/28/2016

Squeezed in Europe by U.S-led sanctions and robust NATO reactions in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea, Russia is now finding itself in a prime position to exploit the unfolding geopolitical dramas stirred up by China in East and Southeast Asia. Moscow has proactively demonstrated its determination to play a leading role in shaping the outcome of the highly explosive regional conflicts, at the expense of Beijing and potentially Washington as well.

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I Wore a $400,000 F-35 Helmet and It Blew My Mind

05/28/2016

Let me get this out of the way: the trillion dollar F-35 fighter jet program is an embarrassing mess. But it’s hard not to marvel at the very expensive technology’s promises. This conflict squeezed my brain this week, when the Air Force stopped by Gizmodo’s office with a $400,000 F-35 helmet in hand. They even let me wear it.

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The Navy has a shortage of fighter jets — will it hurt our ability to fight future wars?

05/28/2016

A Navy captain from Virginia Beach was testifying before Congress on Thursday about the shortage of flyable fighter jets at Oceana Naval Air Station. As he spoke, word came to military officials seated behind him: A pair of F/A-18F Super Hornets from Oceana had “a mid-air mishap” off the coast of North Carolina, forcing four aviators to eject and sending their $57 million aircraft hurtling into the Atlantic Ocean.

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Boeing and U.S. Air Force Adjust KC-46 Tanker Schedule

05/28/2016

“As detailed in its statement released today, the U.S. Air Force is moving its formal production decision on the KC-46 tanker program—known as Milestone C—from June 2016 to August 2016 to allow additional time to implement the solution to a refueling boom loads issue identified during flight testing earlier this year.

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GE Aviation to sell fighter-jet engines to S. Korea

05/27/2016

GE Aviation Thursday won major new business, as South Korea selected the GE F414 engine for its next-generation fighter jets. The Evendale-based arm of GE beat out Eurojet to be the preferred bidder for the South Koreans. The Korean KF-X fighters jets are expected to be deployed starting in the mid-2020s, according to Bloomberg News.

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Pentagon says China aircraft intercept violated 2015 agreement

05/27/2016

The Pentagon has concluded that an intercept of a U.S. military aircraft by Chinese fighter jets last week over the South China Sea violated an agreement the two governments signed last year, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday. The Pentagon findings contradict what the Chinese Defense Ministry said earlier in the day.

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US Navy Faces $848 Million Ops & Maintenance Shortfall

05/27/2016

US Navy leaders have made no secret the fleet’s maintenance accounts are underfunded. The situation – exacerbated by several years of sequestration-mandated budget cuts, a government shutdown, Congress’ chronic ability to pass a budget before the end of each fiscal year, a high operating tempo and the cumulative effects of all those problems – is affecting the readiness of ships, aircraft and sailors.

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USAF warms to F-22 Raptor revival proposal

05/27/2016

At a time when budget constraints are driving the US Air Force to divest fighter and attack aircraft faster than they can be replaced with the Lockheed Martin F-35, outgoing chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh says it would not be a “wild idea” to resume production of an improved version of the F-22 Raptor air superiority jet.

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Lockheed Martin Receives $321 Million to Continue LRASM Integration and Test Program

05/27/2016

Lockheed Martin has received a $321.8 million sole-source contract from the U.S. Navy for the continuation of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) integration and test phase. The integration and test contract funds continuation of LRASM flight testing and integration onto the U.S. Air Force B-1B and the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F aircraft. LRASM early operational capability for the U.S. Air Force and Navy is expected in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

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Beijing’s Armed Fighter Jet of the Future Filmed In-Flight

05/27/2016

The Hongdu Aviation Industries Group celebrated its 65th anniversary by unveiling an advanced L-15 Falcon trainer jet equipped with bombs and radar, thought to be a passive electronically scanned array (PSEA), that will help accuracy in airborne combat.

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France Cuts Price on Rafale Jets for India to $8.6Bln

05/26/2016

Paris has agreed to decrease the pricing of its long-awaited deal on Rafale fighter jets with New Delhi by some 7-8 percent, local media reported Wednesday. The countries have been in talks on Rafales since 2012 but disagreements on the pricing and India’s demands for additional guarantees have hindered the signing.

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New Navy Osprey Variant Brings Longer Range, New Radios

05/25/2016

The new Navy Osprey will have a longer range, improved radios and greater fuel carrying capacity than the existing Osprey. It will both hover like a helicopter and reach airplane speeds as fast as 280mph.

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Botswana seeking raft of new military hardware

05/25/2016

Following on reports of Botswana in discussions with Sweden over the purchase of eight Gripen C/D fighter jets, it has emerged that the southern African country is seeking to acquire armoured vehicles and air defence systems as well.

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Boeing Pushing For New Engines, Advanced Cockpit on Super Hornets, Growlers

05/25/2016

The Navy has plans to boost its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler capabilities in the coming years to match an evolving threat, but plane manufacturer Boeing is still pushing for conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system and a new engine that the company says would add even more range and warfighting capability.

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F-35 Block 3F test schedule slips as Lot 9-10 contracting drags on

05/25/2016

The Pentagon appears to be no closer to reaching an agreement with Lockheed Martin on contracts for the production of 151 F-35 Lightning II aircraft as part of low-rate production lots nine and 10.

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CAE proposes 16 Draken A-4 Skyhawks for RCAF fighter training

05/25/2016

Canadian training and simulation firm CAE has teamed with American warplane contractor Draken International to offer 16 Douglas A-4 Skyhawks as aggressors for Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 combat training.

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Venezuela’s Military in the Spotlight

05/25/2016

Venezuela’s military is ready for the looming invasion by the United States. That was the message President Nicolás Maduro seemed eager to convey over the weekend as he presided over a military exercise that put his country’s troops and weaponry center stage in the midst of a political crisis.

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ISIS destroys Russian helicopter base, aircraft in Syria

05/25/2016

Force protection is critical in a foreign military engagement. Russia, it seems, is learning this the hard way. At least four helicopters and 20 trucks were destroyed at the T4 airbase near Palmyra, most likely by Grad rockets fired by the Islamic State. This is a significant loss to Russian forces in theater.

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Rafale deal: France rejects bank guarantee, awaits India’s reply

05/25/2016

INDIA IS yet to respond, either verbally or in writing, to a letter sent to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on April 1 by his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, who made what is said to be the “best offer” his country can make in a government-to-government deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets, sources told The Indian Express.

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The LCA’s 33-year journey far from tejas

05/25/2016

The Tejas LCA, India's indigenously developed light combat aircraft, which continues to be under development for the last three decades, is a compromised aircraft and has only 35 per cent indigenous components. The induction schedule has been revised several times from the initial 1995 deadline.

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NATO Ready to Intervene in Situation in Libya if Requested by Unity Gov't

05/25/2016

NATO is ready to intervene in the situation in Libya if the country's Government of National Accord (GNA) files a corresponding request, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday.

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Sweden 'In Talks' With Botswana Over Gripen C/D Fighter Jets

05/24/2016

Sweden’s state-funded military materials procurement agency is denying that a deal has been struck to sell 12 Saab JAS Gripen C/D multirole fighters to Botswana. Försvarets Materielverk (FMV) confirmed that while the organization is "in talks" with Botswana, the number of aircraft under discussion is around eight and not 16.

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China plans base station for rescue operations in South China Sea

05/24/2016

A Chinese government bureau is planning a base station for an advanced rescue ship in the disputed Spratly Islands, state media reported on Monday, as China continues its push to develop civilian and military infrastructure in the contentious region. The ship, which would carry drones and underwater robots, is set to be deployed in the second half of the year, said Chen Xingguang, political commissar of the ship, which is under the South China Sea Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Transport.

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