Military Aviation News Archive

The military balance

04/19/2014

According to satellite pictures and military intelligence, some 50,000 Russian troops are massed along the border with Ukraine. The forces represent a substantial fraction of Russia’s 270,000-strong army, and they cannot indefinitely maintain the high state of readiness they have been in since early March, not least because it is now the time of year when conscripts at the end of their term have to be sent home, and new ones trained.

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Pentagon Moves to Block Russian Spy Plane in American Skies

04/19/2014

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military and American intelligence agencies have quietly pushed the White House in recent weeks to deny a new Russian surveillance plane the right to fly over U.S. territory. This week, the White House finally began consideration of the decision whether to certify the new Russian aircraft under the so-called “Open Skies Treaty.” And now the question becomes: Will the spies and generals get their way?

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Scorpion military jet completes 50 hours of flight time

04/19/2014

Textron AirLand’s new small military jet, the Scorpion, has completed more than 50 hours of flight time since flight testing began in December, the company said. “It’s performing extremely well – up to the design expectations and beyond in some cases,” said Textron spokesman David Sylvestre. “It’s right on schedule.”

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Sen. Corker calls for lethal aid to Ukrainian military

04/19/2014

The leading Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today called for the Obama administration to provide lethal weapons to the Ukrainian military and stop "holding their coat." "It's time for us to consider anti-tank weaponry, anti-aircraft weaponry," Corker said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

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Ukrainian militia rejects calls to leave buildings

04/19/2014

Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine's east who have been occupying government buildings in more than 10 cities said Friday they will only leave them if the interim government in Kiev resigns. Denis Pushilin, a spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk People's Republic, told reporters that the insurgents do not recognize the Ukrainian government as legitimate.

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Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East

04/18/2014

As the war in Afghanistan begins to wind down, the Air Force foresees its resources shifting to Africa. Col. Kelly Passmore of the 449th Air Expeditionary Group commander at Camp Lemonnier said he believes it’s already happening. “Our presence here in Djibouti is enduring and I think it is growing,” Col. Passmore told Stars and Stripes. “As DOD has capacity that is freed up from our transition out of Afghanistan, it gives us forces that are able to now focus on this region.”

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Two U.S. arms programs face live-or-die reviews after costs jump

04/18/2014

An unmanned U.S. Navy helicopter built by Northrop Grumman Corp and a precision ship-landing system built by Raytheon Co face mandatory reviews that could lead to their cancellation after quantity reductions drove unit costs sharply higher in 2013, the Pentagon announced on Thursday.

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US to send 'non-lethal' aid to Ukraine

04/18/2014

The United States will send helmets, medical supplies and other non-lethal military aid to Ukraine amid fears of another Russian incursion there, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says. Hagel said on Thursday he had informed Kiev that President Barack Obama "has approved additional non-lethal military assistance for health and welfare items and other supplies".

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Up to RM6bil for fighter jets?

04/18/2014

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), which is looking to replace its fleet of 18 Russian-made Mikoyan-29N Fulcrum jet fighters, will soon be accepting tenders for multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) from defence aviation companies.

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JSF Tests against Russian, Chinese Air Defenses

04/18/2014

Six Air Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft are currently at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to test the aircraft's stealth and sensor technologies against representations of Russian, Iranian and Chinese air-defenses. "The surface threat is a tough problem because it is a system of systems and the emerging threats that we have right now can see you hundreds of miles away.

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Jordanian Fighter Jets Attack Repel Terror Raid from Syria, Iraq?

04/18/2014

Jordanian military warplanes struck a convoy of vehicles as they were trying to enter Jordan from Syria, the Jordanian army said in a statement Wednesday. A Syrian military official acknowledged the vehicles did not belong to the Syrian army. According to the Associated Press, the statement did not say how many vehicles were in the convoy, nor did it offer casualty figures.

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International Debut for F-35 at Farnborough, Air Tattoo in July

04/18/2014

The F-35 Lightning II aircraft will make its international debut in July this summer, the British Defence Secretary has announced. The F-35 Lightning II will participate in the flight demonstration at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford (11-13 July, 2014). It will continue to the Farnborough International Air Show (14-20 July) where it will also participate in the aerial flight display.

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Canada Sends Fighter Jets To Eastern Europe

04/18/2014

Canada is deploying six CF-18 fighter jets to Eastern Europe as part of NATO’s response to the worsening crisis in Ukraine, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine was on the brink of civil war, stoking fears of outright Russian intervention.

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US fighter aircraft to make European debut at Fairford Air Tattoo

04/18/2014

Aviation history will be made in the UK this summer when, in a major airshow first, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, makes its much-anticipated European debut. This hugely important multi-role combat aircraft, which has never before been seen outside of the US, will display at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford between July 11 and 13.

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Russian aircraft buzz US Navy destroyer: How big a deal?

04/17/2014

When Russian attack aircraft buzzed the USS Donald Cook in the international waters of the Black Sea, even as tensions in the region ratchet up, Pentagon officials decried the move as “provocative.” How big a deal are these “provocative” actions on the part of the Russian military – or were these just a couple of rogue Russian pilots out for a joy ride?

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Air Force General Backs A-10 Retention

04/17/2014

A top Air Force official had one word to describe the proposed cuts threatening to ground the A-10 fleet. "Heinous." Rep. Ron Barber relayed the comments from Gen. Michael Hostage, the commander of the Air Combat Command, shortly after the pair toured Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to discuss the fate of the iconic attack aircraft known as the Warthog.

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Special Operations Command Increases Technology Funding

04/17/2014

While the armed services are grappling with fewer dollars to spend on personnel, procurement, maintenance and operations accounts, Special Operations Command came out as one of the few winners of the fiscal year 2015 Defense Department budget request. Renowned for being the military’s most agile and cost-effective force, SOCOM’s overall budget is slated to increase in the upcoming fiscal year, allowing for more procurement and personnel funding.

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Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine

04/17/2014

The Obama administration has removed all operational combat tanks from Europe and key strike aircraft, limiting the options for a show of force to bolster eastern NATO allies as Russia contemplates invading Ukraine. Most analysts, and President Obama, say direct military aid to Kiev in the form of weapons, air power or ground troops is off the table.

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France deploying fighters, AWACs for NATO due to Ukraine crisis

04/17/2014

France intends to deploy fighter aircraft and AWAC air surveillance planes to NATO duty in eastern Europe because of the crisis in Ukraine and to reassure Alliance members in the east, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. "The Ukrainian crisis is the most serious since the end of the Cold War and the responsibility for this escalation is known to all--it belongs to Russia," Le Drian told the French parliament.

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Why the Eurofighter Typhoon Is the Best Fighter for Canada… Right Now

04/17/2014

While the Typhoon is not a “stealth” aircraft like the F-35, it was designed with a focus on reducing its radar cross section (RCS). Constructed of 80% composite material, the Typhoon is stealthier than the current CF-18, and roughly equivalent to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.31

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F-35 fighter jet to make first trans-Atlantic flight in July

04/17/2014

The U.S. Defense Department has approved the first trans-Atlantic flight of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet in July to take part in two international air shows near London, U.S. and British officials said Wednesday. The new warplane will make its international debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo, or RIAT, an annual military air show held outside London in July, followed by appearances at the show, held every other year, said the officials.

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Affordable air power

04/17/2014

The Defence Minister is entirely justified in refusing to sign a $20 billion contract with Dassault Aviation of France for 126 Rafale fighters while life cycle costs are still disputed; these costs are typically at least three times as much as the initial acquisition price over the three to five decades that combat aircraft often operate for. As we head for a new government in Delhi, it is appropriate to consider alternatives to this hugely expensive acquisition.

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The Killer Drone Goes Stealthy—Just in Time for a New Cold War

04/17/2014

The Predator drone has become the symbol for America’s unmanned war, zooming over the heads of low-tech foes like the Taliban. But the battles to come are likely to be against more sophisticated, better-equipped foes—especially with a newly-aggressive Russia on the march. And in those conflicts, the Predator would be all-but-useless. The drone is too easy for an advanced military to spot and shoot down.

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B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

04/16/2014

In order to keep the B-1B Lancer's capabilities ready to operate now and well into the fast-paced integrated battlefield of the future, the 419th Flight Test Squadron began testing Sustainment Block 16A (SB 16A) software upgrades here April 1, to work in conjunction with the long-range bomber's recently added glass cockpit configuration.

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Korean-made FA-50 fighters gaining popularity overseas

04/16/2014

Its original purpose was to serve as Korea's own light combat aircraft, but it's finding a home in the international market. The FA-50 is the light attack variant of the the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer operated by the South Korean Air Force. Co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin, the FA-50 is capable of combat action, with advanced radar and missile capabilities.

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