Military Aviation News Archive

UK-led fighter program is still open-ish to paying partners

07/23/2024

The prospect of another nation joining the trilateral Global Combat Air Program remains on the table, but an expansion would require additional work on an already demanding timeline, officials involved in the sixth-generation fighter effort said. Representatives from the Italian, British and Japanese GCAP lead companies showcased a new concept model of their proposed aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow here, which featured a large wingspan for increased aerodynamics.

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More than a Mirage: UAE combat aircraft in China

07/23/2024

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) began Falcon Shield, their second exercise in China, on 10 July 2024. China’s Ministry of National Defense said the joint air exercise was again being held in Xinjiang province but did not identify the air base hosting it. Satellite imagery, however, shows that Hotan Airport in Xinjiang is being used for the exercise; it was also the location for the event in 2023.

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German, French and Spanish fighter aircraft arrive in Japan for joint drills

07/20/2024

A contingent of more than 30 military aircraft from Germany, France and Spain arrived in Japan on Friday to conduct a series of training exercises with the Air Self-Defense Force, marking these countries’ first-ever trilateral air force deployment to the Indo-Pacific.

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Russian military receive upgraded MiG-31BM jets

07/19/2024

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has delivered the first batch of MiG-31BM fighter jets to the Russian Ministry of Defense as part of this year’s state defense order, the company announced. As noted by the company, these aircraft, which have undergone extensive repairs and modernization, have been transferred to their permanent bases following comprehensive ground and flight tests.

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The J-10C and J-16 fighter jets of the Chinese Air Force are operating alongside the Mirage 2000 jets of the UAE as part of Exercise Falcon Shield 2024

07/19/2024

Yesterday, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) of China and the United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAE AF) commenced Exercise Falcon Shield 2024 in the Xinjiang region, located in northwest China. According to officially released information, over the coming days, aerial exercises are planned involving various aircraft participating in the activities, including UAE Mirage 2000 fighters and Chinese J-10C and J-16 combat aircraft.

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Türkiye Eyes 40 Eurofighter Multirole Combat Aircraft to Boost Air Power Capabilities.

07/19/2024

According to Bloomberg, Türkiye is on the verge of concluding a deal with the Eurofighter consortium to acquire 40 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets. This strategic negotiation reportedly took place on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington, which was held from July 9 to 11, 2024. The agreement aims to modernize the Turkish Air Force by incorporating the Typhoons, with the leaders of the four member countries of the consortium directly involved in the discussions.

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Paraguay in talks with Brazil to buy six Embraer combat planes

07/19/2024

Paraguay is negotiating with Brazil to buy six Embraer (EMBR3.SA), opens new tab Super Tucano A-29 fighter planes for $96 million as part of its efforts to fight drug trafficking, Defense Minister Oscar Gonzalez said on Thursday. The deal is part of a $500 million package the South American nation's government is allocating to defense and security projects, Gonzalez told reporters.

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Romania Prepares to Modernize Its Fleet with $6.5 Billion F-35 Deal

07/18/2024

Romania is poised to sign a government-to-government agreement with the United States to purchase latest-generation F-35 fighter jets as early as this fall, the country’s Ministry of Defence Angel Tilvar said in a briefing on Jul. 16, 2024. In September, Romania announced plans to buy 32 F-35s from Lockheed Martin for $6.5 billion. This deal would include logistics, training services, flight simulators, and weapons.

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Italy boosts F-35 fighter jet arsenal as NATO increases defense spending

07/18/2024

Italy is planning to improve weaponry aboard some of its F-35 fighter jets, a defense ministry document showed, in what analysts see as a move to secure well-stocked, up-to-date arsenals in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The document, which parliament must review by the middle of August, envisages 682 million euros ($746 million) of purchases over a 14-year period on armaments including guided bombs, missiles and 25 mm cannon rounds.

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The Block 4 F-35 Fighter Has the Makings of a 'Stealth' Classic

07/18/2024

The F-35 Lightning II is set for significant improvements with the Block 4 upgrade, enhancing its electronic hardware, software, and core processor as part of Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3). Though TR-3 faced delays, a "truncated" version has now been approved, allowing F-35 deliveries to resume. Additionally, Pratt & Whitney's F135 Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) promises increased durability and performance for all F-35 variants, aiming for a $40 billion lifecycle cost saving.

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LM’s F-16 and Saab’s Gripen compete for Thailand’s fighter jet deal

07/18/2024

With Thailand’s defence procurement process heating up, Lockheed Martin‘s industrial participation proposals for the F-16 fighter jet challenge Saab‘s Gripen offering, highlighting the importance of economic value in military contracts.

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Swedish and Finnish Fighter Aircraft Escort Russian Jets Over Baltic Sea

07/18/2024

Fighter aircraft from Sweden and Finland flew to escort Russian fighters flying over neutral Baltic waters. This was reported on the official website of the NATO Air Command. The escort of the Russian fighter aircraft took place on July 15, after NATO’s Joint Air Operations Center in Ouedem, Germany, reported two Russian fighter jets flying from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia.

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France strictly complies with commitments regarding Mirage fighter jet supplies - ambassador

07/16/2024

France clearly adheres to its obligations regarding military support to Ukraine, in particular the transfer of Mirage 2000-5 aircraft. Crew training will last several months. That’s according to French Ambassador to Ukraine Gaël Veyssière, who spoke at a briefing on July 14, commenting on the implementation of the security agreement signed with Ukraine five months ago, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

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Negotiations for Swedish Gripen jets continue, Ukraine confirms

07/16/2024

Ukraine continues negotiations with Sweden for the transfer of Gripen fighter jets, according to Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the President’s Office. This statement contradicts earlier reports suggesting Ukraine had declined the offer. Zhovkva emphasized that President Zelenskyy consistently raises this issue with Swedish leadership, as before Sweden’s NATO membership, as now after the country has finalized its accession.

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US Navy ‘Calls Back’ F/A-18 Super Hornets From Japan; Replaces Them With F-35C Jets Amid China Tensions

07/16/2024

The United States Navy has announced the deployment of F-35C Lightning II fighters and CMV-22B Osprey aircraft to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni in Japan. This decision, detailed in a press release on July 15, aims to replace the aging squadrons of F/A-18 Super Hornets and C-2A Greyhound transports currently stationed at the base.

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German Opposition Supports Combat Aircraft Deliveries to Ukraine

07/16/2024

Friedrich Merz, leader of the German opposition Christian Democratic Union, supports the call to deliver combat aircraft to Ukraine to help it “restore sovereignty over its own airspace” in light of continuing Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. Merz, speaking on German television on Sunday, July 14, said the situation “cannot be taken under control only from the ground,” and that “Germans cannot stand aside” as Kyiv’s other Western allies have already reached a consensus on fighter de

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-31 Stealth Fighter: Pakistan May Become 1st Customer Of China’s 5th-Gen Jet; Is IAF Ready For F-35 Gamble

07/16/2024

On July 8, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV released a promotional video of China’s J-31B stealth fighter jet, produced by the state-owned Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. The footage suggests that the aircraft can carry two missiles in its side weapon bays—a feature that differentiates it from the USA’s F-22 and China’s own J-20. Moreover, the main weapons bay can carry four PL-12 medium-range air-to-air missiles similar to those used on the J-20.

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France Sells Last KC-135s to U.S. Commercial Refueling Company Metrea

07/15/2024

On July 11, 2024, it was announced that the French Air Force had sold the last of their KC-135 Stratotanker fleet to commercial air refueling operator Metrea, raising their fleet of the type from four to eighteen aircraft. “Metrea has agreed to acquire all fourteen of the FASF C-135 tankers, including both the KC-/C-135FR and KC-/C-135RG variants,” says the official public release. The first eleven KC-135FR jets were delivered to the company in June.

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Taiwan tracks 16 Chinese military aircraft, 9 naval ships around nation

07/15/2024

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 16 Chinese military aircraft and nine naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Saturday (July 13) and 6 a.m. on Sunday (July 14). Of the 16 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 14 crossed the Taiwan Strait median line in the northern, southwestern, and southeastern sectors of the country’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND.

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Taiwan tracks 30 Chinese military aircraft, 7 naval ships around nation

07/14/2024

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 30 Chinese military aircraft and seven naval vessels around Taiwan between 6 a.m. on Friday (July 12) and 6 a.m. on Saturday (July 13). Of the 30 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 20 crossed the Taiwan Strait median line in the northern, southwestern, and southeastern portions of the country’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), according to the MND.

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Why Turkey Is Cutting Back It Massive F-16 Fighter Jet Deal

07/13/2024

Turkey is reducing its planned $23 billion acquisition of forty Block-70 F-16 Fighting Falcons and 79 upgrade kits to cut domestic spending, potentially saving billions. This decision follows the recent approval from the U.S. after Turkey agreed to Sweden's NATO membership. Lockheed Martin remains confident in the F-16's benefits for Turkey. However, Turkey's focus appears to be shifting towards its domestically-developed TAI KAAN (TF) fighter, which had its maiden flight in February.

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Boeing promises ‘Raptor-like’ F-15 Advanced Eagle displays at RIAT and Farnborough

07/13/2024

Boeing will, in fact, be sending four F-15QA jets from its St Louis facility to the UK: two to conduct aerobatic displays, one to go on static display and one aircraft as a spare. They will initially fly into RAF Lakenheath, home of the US Air Forces in Europe’s F-35/F-15 fighter wing, to prepare for the flight displays at RIAT and Farnborough. After the shows have ended the four F-15QAs will be ferried on to their new home at Al Udeid Air Base by pilots of the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).

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Questions on possible Turkish military aircraft sale to Russia

07/13/2024

At the recent NATO leaders summit in Washington, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea were described as the “hostile camp” to the Alliance in harsher terms than ever before, sharpening fault lines. The decision to hold the 2026 NATO Leaders Summit in Türkiye was perhaps the most important decision for us. The joint statement also referred to the 1936 Montreux Convention, emphasizing freedom of navigation towards the Black Sea.

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Oregon's 142nd Wing unveils new F-15EX Eagle fighter jet, first mission-ready unit in USA

07/13/2024

The 142nd Wing out of the Portland Air National Guard Base is officially unveiling its new F-15EX Eagle II fighter jet - which will also be the first model in America to be used in real-world missions! The F-15EX is a replacement for the 142nd Wing's F-15C/D fleet, which was built in the 1980s. While the new jet might look similar, pilots tell KATU that everything on the inside is new and improved.

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Forget the F-15 or F-16: This Might Be the U.S. Military's Most Important Plane

07/13/2024

Often overshadowed by fast fighter jets and stealth bombers, the C-130 Hercules, designed by Lockheed Martin, stands out as one of the most versatile and long-serving military aircraft ever. First flown in 1956, the C-130 is still in production today, serving in various roles for over 60 countries.

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