Military Aviation News Archive

Chinese Army Gets Brand New Early Warning and Control Aircraft

03/31/2015

Capable of tracking nearly 100 vehicles at once, the Chinese military has launched its new airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C), taking to the skies with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

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Aviation is fast approaching the post-pilot era

03/30/2015

Every day, dozens of unmanned jet aircraft as big as private business jets take off from airports scattered around the globe. They fly for thousands of kilometres, staying aloft for as long as 36 hours, often changing course to cope with unexpected developments, before returning to land. To call them drones grossly understates the sophistication, safety and cost-effectiveness of autonomous and remotely piloted aircraft.

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Italian Military, Industry Eye Tilt-rotors

03/30/2015

In the time it took Boeing and the US Marines to develop and put into service the Osprey tilt-rotor helicopter, Italy's AgustaWestland has lingered over development of its own, smaller tilt-rotor, prompting questions about the fate of the program. Initially developed in partnership with Bell, the AW609 has racked up test flights and turned into an all-Italian program after the US firm went its separate way.

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Uncertain of Obama, Arab States Gear Up for War

03/30/2015

Few organizations boast a reputation of dysfunction comparable to the Arab League’s. Over seven decades the Arab League has distinguished itself through infighting and fecklessness. But now, with the Obama administration seen as missing in action in the Middle East, the alliance of 22 countries is undergoing a renaissance. Over the weekend, the Arab League met in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and endorsed the creation of an intervention force to fight terrorism in the Middle East.

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Japan Weighs Options To Boost ASW Skills

03/30/2015

Japan's growing need to improve its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities to counter quieter Chinese submarines in littoral waters could set off a three-way race between an upgraded indigenous platform against longer-term solutions, analysts said. Last August, the Defense Ministry decided to start replacing its aging fleet of 46 SH-60J and 39 SH-60K Seahawk helicopters, providing an initial ¥7 billion (US $57.6 million) as part of a ¥48.1 billion development project.

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Iraqi army weighs cost of U.S.-led strikes in Tikrit as militiamen leave

03/30/2015

In the makeshift Iraqi army command headquarters for the operation to clear Tikrit, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim reads out the coordinates for targets that planes from the U.S.-led coalition are to strike: the local council building, the teacher’s institute, a local mall. As he speaks, other planes find their mark, and the headquarters, a former chemical engineering building at the city’s university, shudders from the reverberations.

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Boosting Copter Capabilities

03/30/2015

The US Army's effort to improve the operational capabilities of its rotorcraft fleet through the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) is heading for preliminary design requests in May as it aims for a 2023 production goal. After the May requests, contracts are expected to be awarded to the two competitors in March 2016, a request for proposals issued for the engineering and manufacturing design phase in early 2017.

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Canadian pilots face unprecedented anti-aircraft risk in Syria

03/30/2015

How to avoid missile batteries and navigate defensive radar systems in Syria are among the issues preoccupying military planners as Parliament debates the merits of expanding and extending Canada’s Middle East mission. So far, the debate among MPs has revolved around the need for a broader military mission in Iraq and the legality of extending air strikes to include that country’s troubled neighbour.

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US, Ukrainian Inspectors to Fly Over Russia Under Open Skies Treaty

03/30/2015

American and Ukrainian specialists will fly over the territory of Russia and Belarus under the Treaty on Open Skies on March 30 — April 4, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center has announced. "Within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies a US mission with the participation of Ukrainian representatives plans to conduct an observation flight over the territory of a group of participating states.

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U.S. Navy rescues 2 Saudi pilots who ejected from F-15 aircraft

03/29/2015

The U.S. Navy rescued two Saudi Arabia air force pilots from the Gulf of Aden, a U.S. military official said Friday. The pilots had ejected from their F-15 aircraft after it suffered mechanical failure, Saudi officials told U.S. sources. The two were not seriously injured. The USS Sterett, a guided-missile destroyer, coordinated the search, while the USS New York looked for the men. A rescue helicopter flew from Djibouti to retrieve them on Thursday.

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Seaplane Could Advance Chinese SCS Claims

03/29/2015

A new Chinese-built seaplane could help seal Beijing's control over its claims in the South China Sea (SCS), say military specialists on China. The Jiaolong (Water Dragon) AG600, under construction by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), will be China's largest operational seaplane. CAIGA did not respond to inquiries after the company's announcement on March 17 that it had completed the front fuselage assembly for the prototype.

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RAAF completes Iraq mission rotation

03/29/2015

Australia's Iraq air task group has completed its first rotation with six Super Hornets heading home after seven months of operations. Their replacements have already started flying missions against Islamic State terrorists. Air task group commander Air Commodore Glen Braz says the new strike team has completed a comprehensive transition and is now engaged in combat air operations.

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Iraqi Forces in No Hurry to Expel ISIS From Tikrit

03/29/2015

Here at the headquarters of Iraqi ground forces, after three days of American airstrikes that at times witnesses here described as “carpet bombing,” Iraq’s military seemed in no great hurry on Saturday to press its advantage. It also seemed to be moving very slowly on promises to withdraw Shiite militias from the battlefield.

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On the U.S. Navy’s wish list: More Boeing fighter jets

03/29/2015

As the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program continues to accrue criticism over cost and schedule overruns and missed milestones, the U.S. Navy is looking to an old standby—the Boeing-built F/A-18 Super Hornet—to plug potential holes in its airborne fleet.

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Malaysian Company Proposes MiG-29 Upgrade

03/29/2015

Despite no apparent movement on Malaysia's Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) program, this month's Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) show revealed a new player in the mix. Boeing, Dassault, Eurofighter and Saab have been the main contenders for the MRCA program, which will replace Royal Malaysian Air Force MiG-29N fighters, for a number of years now, with little detectable progress.

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Saudi-led Coalition Bombs Airport Runway in Hudaydah, Western Yemen

03/29/2015

Saudi-led international coalition launched another series of airstrikes Saturday destroying the airport runway in the western Yemeni city Hudaydah, a local source told Sputnik. Shiite Houthi rebel groups seized vast territories in Yemen forcing the elected authorities to resign. On Wednesday night, an international coalition of Arab. countries led by Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign targeting the positions of Houthi rebels in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

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Russia’s Increasing Presence In Latin America Worries The West

03/28/2015

Russia’s increasing presence in Latin America, frequent visits to the region by top-ranking Russian officials as well as widespread rumors of the sale of military aircraft to both Nicaragua and Argentina has attracted the attention of the West. Despite the pressure from a number of Western nations over Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has recently ended a four-nation (Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala and Nicaragua) tour in the region.

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US F-16 jets simulate air strikes in Estonia drills to combat Russian threat

03/28/2015

NATO was forced to scramble over 400 times in 2014, to intercept Russian military warplanes. This is NATO's answer to Russia's threat to the Baltics. 14 US Air Force F-16 fighter jets have simulated low altitude ground attacks, during exercises in Estonia this week. Pilots practiced communicating with ground forces, critical skills that would be needed during any future real-life operation.

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UK to deploy Sentinel surveillance aircraft to Iraq

03/28/2015

The UK is to deploy a pair of Raytheon Sentinel R.1 Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) surveillance aircraft to the Middle East to bolster its support of the international mission against the Islamic State in Iraq. The deployment, which was announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 26 March, will see the aircraft conduct wide-area airborne surveillance to provide pattern-of-life intelligence and to track the laying of improvised explosive devices.

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Florida Guard F-15 unit deploying to Europe

03/28/2015

The U.S. Air Force is sending another rotation of combat aircraft to Europe to bolster security in response to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, this time tapping into the Air National Guard to support strategic interests an ocean away. Twelve F-15 Eagle fighter jets and about 200 airmen from the 125th Fighter Wing, a Florida Air National Guard unit from Jacksonville, are en route to Europe, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-U.S. Air Forces Africa officials announced Friday.

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Why Putin’s Warplanes Are Penetrating European Airspace

03/28/2015

As a U.S. Army Stryker convoy crossed from Lithuania to Poland on March 24 —within about 12 miles of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad—nearby NATO warplanes scrambled to intercept Russian bombers and fighters over the Baltic Sea.

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Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as Saudi Arabia keeps up air strikes

03/27/2015

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi left his refuge in Aden for Saudi Arabia on Thursday as Houthi rebels battled with his forces on the outskirts of the southern port city. Throughout the day, warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck at the Shi'ite Houthis and allied army units, who have taken over much of the country and seek to oust Hadi.

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China Is the New Power Broker in the Persian Gulf

03/27/2015

For much of its history, China has made a point of steering clear of other countries’ internal affairs. But that changed late last year, when the Middle Kingdom entered into the international arena in a way it hadn’t before, offering both money and military might to fight the terrors of the Islamic State.

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he secret attempt to mothball the A-10 cannot stand

03/27/2015

Supporters of the famous A-10 "Warthog" attack aircraft — a club that includes U.S. ground troops stationed in dangerous places around the world — are getting a lesson in Defense Department appropriations politics. They are learning that there are ways to mothball a fleet of warplanes. When those ways run into serious opposition, there are… other ways.

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Iranians suffer embarrassing defeat in Iraq

03/27/2015

The Iranians have suffered a humiliating defeat. More than 20,000 fighters with Iranian-backed Shiite militias have withdrawn from the 3-week-old battle to oust Islamic State militants from the Iraqi city of Tikrit. And the Iraqis have turned back to the U.S. military for help. U.S. aircraft launched airstrikes in Tikrit on Wednesday for the first time since the battle began, providing vital military support that came only after the Iraqi government agreed to seize command and control of the fig

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