Military Aviation News Archive

UK starts controlling drones in Afghanistan from British soil

04/26/2013

RAF's unmanned Reaper aircraft had been operated from Creech airforce base in Nevada, but missions from Lincolnshire began this week. Remotely controlled armed drones used to target insurgents in Afghanistan have been operated from the UK for the first time, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.

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Israel says it shot down drone near Lebanon

04/26/2013

Israel said Thursday that it shot down an unmanned aircraft that had entered Israeli airspace off the northern coast near Haifa, the second such incident in nearly seven months. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said the drone was first detected as it was flying along the coast of Lebanon toward Israel. When it became clear that the aircraft was not going to stop or change course, Israel dispatched helicopters and F-16 warplanes to destroy it about five miles off the coast.

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Kazakhstan Grounds MiG Jets After Crash

04/26/2013

Kazakhstan's military authorities have grounded all the nation's MiG jet fighter aircraft following a crash earlier this week that killed the pilot and injured the navigator of a MiG-31 interceptor, Kazakhstan’s air force chief said on Thursday. The Kazakhstan Air Force Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptor crashed during a training flight in central Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The crew managed to eject from the plane before the crash, but the pilot died. A probe was opened into the accident.

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New T-50 Fighter Jet to Enter Service in 2016 – Putin

04/26/2013

Russia’s fifth-generation T-50 fighter jet will enter service with the country’s armed forces in 2016, and not 2015 as was previously announced, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “The T-50 fifth generation jet should go into serial production and enter service in 2016,” Putin said at a live Q&A session with the Russian public. The Defense Ministry had earlier said the jet would be ready in 2015.

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US Says Chemical Weapons Used in Syria

04/26/2013

The United States said Thursday it has evidence that chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian government in the civil war there, blaming the increasingly “desperate” regime of President Bashar al-Assad for crossing a “red line” that US President Barack Obama has said could lead to US intervention in the conflict.

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NATO Inspectors to Fly Over Russia

04/26/2013

Military inspectors from Canada and Hungary will carry out a joint monitoring mission over the Russian territory under the international Open Skies Treaty on April 26-30, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The NATO experts will fly on board a Hungarian Air Force’s Antonov An-26 plane using surveillance equipment certified internationally and approved by the Russian side.

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US drone pilots learn new art of war in desert

04/25/2013

The tide of war may be receding, as President Barack Obama is fond of saying, but US military demand for unmanned drones and their remote pilots is growing. Here in the New Mexico desert, the US Air Force has ramped up training of drone operators - even as the nation increasingly debates their use and US forces prepare to leave Afghanistan.

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Pakistan's Dream Navy?

04/25/2013

Beset with monetary woes and a tenuous relationship with the US, Pakistan’s naval modernization plans appear to be faltering with the hoped for acquisition of further surplus US equipment now unlikely. Former Australian defense attaché to Pakistan, Brian Cloughley, says Pakistan’s crippled economy means “the Navy will not receive as much as it needs for capital equipment,” increasing the importance of obtaining surplus equipment.

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Lockheed Martin nearing contract for next batch of F-35s

04/25/2013

Lockheed Martin may receive a U.S. order in June for as many as 60 F-35 jets, consolidating the sixth and seventh production contracts for the costliest weapons system, according to the Pentagon's program manager The contract may be valued at about $9 billion, according to a person familiar with negotiations between the Pentagon and Lockheed who declined to be named. The number of F-35s may rise to as many as 71 if orders from other nations are included.

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Game Changer: The F-35 and the Pacific

04/25/2013

It is difficult to discuss the F-35 without actually knowing what the aircraft is and how F-35 fleets will reshape combat. But this is precisely what the budding negative commentary on the F-35 is built on – a lack of knowledge. Even worse, the existing 5th generation aircraft is not well known either, because of its limited numbers and its condemnation by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President Barack Obama as a “Cold War” weapon.

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Russian Plane Maker to Develop New Pilot Trainer

04/25/2013

The Nizhny Novgorod-based Sokol aircraft manufacturer said on Wednesday it will develop a light aircraft for training air force pilots. The order for the development of a new training aircraft came from Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev earlier this year. The new aircraft will be a modernized two-seat version of the M-101T Gzhel utility turboprop aircraft, the company said.

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Ex-General Gets Suspended Sentence for Crashing Fighter

04/25/2013

A former Russian Air Force general was given a four-year suspended sentence and fined 5 million rubles ($160,000) by a court-martial on Wednesday for causing the crash of a Sukhoi Su-27UB fighter jet last year in Russia’s Karelia region. The court-martial Judge Vladislav Pisaryov found Maj. Gen. Kanamat Botashev guilty of breaking flight rules by flying aerobatics in the jet without proper training and authorization.

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Pilot Killed in Kazakh MiG-31 Crash

04/25/2013

A Kazakhstan Air Force Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptor crashed during a training flight in central Kazakhstan last night, killing the pilot and injuring the navigator, Kazakhstan military prosecutors said on Wednesday. The crash occurred near the village of Prostornoye in the Karaganda Region at 10.45 p.m. local time (4.45 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday. “The crew ejected from the plane before the crash," the Military Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

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Northrop Grumman launches third annual Innovation Challenge Flying Competition for Emirati Students

04/25/2013

Northrop Grumman is the industry sponsor of this competition, which is held in coordination with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The flying competition, which was open to the public as spectators, took place at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, April 23-24.

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Saudi Tornados back in action after upgrades

04/25/2013

The upgrading of the Royal Saudi Air Force Tornados has been completed. The final aircraft being returned being photographed at Malta on its route back to the Kingdom. The BAE Systems end of year investor presentation confirmed that “Under the Saudi British Defence Co-operation Programme (SBDCP), orders totalling £3.4bn were awarded for support through to 2016, including the provision of manpower, logistics and training to the RSAF.

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Russian T-50 Fighter Jet to Start State Flight Test in 2014

04/24/2013

Russia will start state flight tests of its fifth-generation T-50 fighter jet in 2014, United Aircraft Corporation's President Mikhail Pogosyan told reporters on Tuesday. “In 2013 we are expected to wrap up its preliminary tests and start operational testing. In 2014, we are planning to start official state tests,” Pogosyan said on Tuesday, adding "the first stage of the state trials should be complete by 2015."

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Korean Crisis Reaching Face-To-Face Stage – Analysis

04/24/2013

North Korea’s deployment of two additional short-range scud ballistic missile launchers in its eastern coast has strengthened speculations in the South that Pyongyang might launch a missile on April 25, the anniversary of North Korean army. According to South Korean media, the latest deployment was in addition to the seven mobile missile launchers already in place on the coast.

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Defense Technologists Advocate ‘Early Prototyping’ of Future Weapons

04/24/2013

It took the Air Force about a quarter-century to bring the F-22 air-superiority fighter from the drawing board to reality. Most of the Pentagon’s major weapon systems have gone through similar protracted development. At this rate, it won’t be long before the U.S. military falls way behind the technology curve, lamented Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities.

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The U.S. and the Philippines: A Vital Partnership

04/24/2013

The armed forces of the United States and the Philippines conducted the 29th annual Balikatan joint military exercises April 5 through April 17. These military exercises are the largest and most significant joint military operations between the U.S. and Filipino militaries. The exercises are “a signature element” of the “two nations’ robust treaty alliance relationship.” The war games help the U.S. military and Filipino military operate more effectively together.

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AF TEST PILOT SCHOOL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

04/24/2013

The following information was released by Buckley Air Force Base: The next annual U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School Selection Board will convene June 23-26 at the Air Force Personnel Center. Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. June 3. The USAF Test Pilot School is the world's pre-eminent fixed-wing test pilot school. TPS graduates are future senior leaders who will be in high demand in an era of increasing combat technological advancements.

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State of Unreadiness

04/24/2013

My colleague Timothy Whiteman at Liberty Unyielding highlighted recently the number of Air Force squadrons that will have to cease training later this year because the Air Force doesn’t have funds for the flying hours.This is real, and it is astounding. It will mean that, at a certain point in the near future, as early as this fall, if no additional funds become available, the cost of mounting an operation big enough to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons-related installations is likely too high.

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Banner shoot prepares pilots for combat

04/24/2013

F-22 pilots from the 302nd, 525th and 90th fighter squadrons tested their aim during a banner shoot, April 22 to 25. Banner shoots are a way for pilots to be comfortable in air-to-air combat. Pilots demonstrate the effectiveness of doing exercises like these by practicing their aim in the air. "A banner shoot is a system that we use to increase pilot proficiency," said Air Force Master Sgt. Richie Bill, weapons section chief from the 90th Fighter Squadron.

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UN Treaty Could Hurt Indian Arms Deals

04/24/2013

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty adopted April 3 has sent shockwaves through India’s Defence Ministry as several ongoing projects could be affected. While no MoD official would comment on whether the treaty could impact weapon imports, an MoD source said planners are extremely concerned over the fate of some ongoing contracts and future purchases.

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Kerry Tells NATO to Prepare for Syrian Chemical Weapons

04/24/2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday called on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to prepare for the possible use of chemical weapons by Syria in the ongoing civil war there. "We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat," Kerry told a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

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Russia to Deploy Fighter Jets in Belarus - Defense Minister

04/24/2013

Russia plans to base fighter jets at a military airbase in Belarus, with a first wing due to arrive there later this year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. “In 2013 we will establish a military commandant’s office and provide a wing of combat fighters on alert duty,” he said, adding more jets could be based there later. “We hope that an Air Force regiment will be here by 2015 to protect our borders,” he said.

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