Military Aviation News Archive

No Fly Zone Over Syria Difficult to Establish

06/06/2013

The suffering from the Syrian civil war is accelerating. António Guterres, United Nations high commissioner, reported to the U.N. Security Council last April that each time he makes a report, it is much worse than the previous report. He said that in December, refugees were fleeing Syria at a rate of about 3,000 per day. Since February, 8,000 persons on average have crossed Syria’s borders every day. Syria is becoming a monumental humanitarian crisis with no sign of abatement.

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Tejas set to get clearance by 2014-end

06/06/2013

India’s indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas appears to have got a new lease of life, with Defence Minister A. K. Antony stating that final operational clearance would be in place by the end of next year. The LCA programme is meant to boost the country’s aviation industry. Tejas was mooted way back in 1983, at a cost of Rs 560 crore, to replace the Indian Air Force's ageing MiG-21s.

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Moving Towards the “Unmanned War”

06/06/2013

On Tuesday May 14th, the US military succeeded in launching a drone from an aircraft carrier off the coast of Virginia, marking a historical first. The aircraft, an "X-47B" produced by Northrop Grumman, is considered to be the first unmanned aircraft that is able to be launched from a ship. The prototype had a successful flight of around 65 minutes, and ultimately landed at a base in Maryland.

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Russia’s Defence Minister presses hard on the military

06/06/2013

On 27 May, several thousand Russian soldiers were woken at 5:00 in the morning by a surprise alarm. The Russian Ministry of Defence staged the biggest drills in more than twenty years to test the country’s Aerospace Defence Forces, Long-Range and Military Transport Aviation, the Missile Defence Division in charge of defending the Central Industrial Region and Moscow, as well as the Western Military District’s 1st Air Army.

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Agusta's Western(land) Expansion: Philadelphia

06/05/2013

AgustaWestland is making its expectations for success in the North American market very clear. With opportunities in the U.S. government markets expected to top $20 billion over the next 15 years, according to AgustaWestland North America Chairman and CEO R. Scott Rettig, the company seems bullish in the face of sequestration issues and its own internal problems.

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Prime Minister Harper, Cabinet to decide on F-35 fighter jets without advice from Public Works Procurement Secretariat, say Public Works officials

06/05/2013

The Harper Cabinet has until mid-2014 to make a decision on the F-35 fighter jets, either to sign an initial contract for the first batch of four of the stealth fighters for delivery to Canada in 2017, or to delay it, or drop the plan entirely.

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US Sending Military Planners To Jordan For Possible Chemical Weapons Crisis

06/05/2013

The United States is sending 200 military planners from the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss to Jordan to assist in long-term planning with Jordanian forces in case a chemical weapons crisis erupts, or if a wide scale humanitarian relief mission is ordered.

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Marine Attack Squadron 513 set for deactivation after 69 years of service

06/05/2013

The storied “Nightmares” are set to deactivate this summer after 69 years of service during which the unit’s Marines saw combat in the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Formally designated Marine Attack Squadron 513, the unit which flies AV-8B Harriers out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., will be deactivated July 13, 2013 after their most recent deployment to Asia which concluded with their participation in Exercise Foal Eagle.

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Harrier Rescues The F-35B

06/05/2013

The U.S. Marine Corps is now preparing to upgrade many of their 140 AV-8B Harrier jet fighters to keep them in service, at least until 2030 (instead of 2027). This is because the replacement for the AV-8B, the F-35B, was supposed to begin replacing AV-8Bs this year, but that has been delayed at least two years. Extending the useful life of the AV-8Bs is possible largely because two years ago Britain sold all its Harrier jet fighters, spare parts, and ancillary gear to the marines.

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German Drone, Afghan Passenger Plane Near-Collision Shown In Terrfying Footage (VIDEO)

06/05/2013

Footage apparently recorded by a German drone shows what looks like a terrifying near-collision between the unmanned craft and an Afghan passenger plane. The video, which is nine years old and was recently rediscovered on YouTube, appears to show an Ariana Afghan Airline's Airbus A300 passenger plane carrying approximately 100 people, approaching the drone, writes English-language German news outlet The Local.

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French Air Force Receives First AESA-Equipped Rafale

06/05/2013

Dassault and Thales announced delivery of the first production Rafale to carry the Thales RBE2 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The companies noted that the aircraft, production number C137 for the French Air Force, is the first AESA-equipped European combat aircraft to enter service. The development was completed on time and budget, they added. Dassault has now delivered 111 Rafales to the French Air Force and Navy.

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Pilot Completes First F-35 Vertical Landing for Royal Air Force

06/05/2013

Squadron Leader Jim Schofield became the first Royal Air Force pilot to complete a vertical landing of a Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) Lightning II on May 28. Following the flight, Schofield commented on the F-35B’s handling capabilities.

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Russian Military Drones Inferior to Foreign Models - Minister

06/05/2013

Unmanned air vehicles (UAV), ground-based robotic systems and unmanned submersibles which Russian industry is developing for the Defense Ministry, are inferior to foreign analogs, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday. Military robotic systems are under development as part of the state weapons program for 2011-2020, Shoigu said at a ministry conference call on Monday.

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U.S. to send Patriot missile battery, fighter jets to Jordan as part of exercise

06/04/2013

The decision to deploy a Patriot missile battery and F-16 aircraft to Jordan was made late Friday at a meeting with top military and civilian Defense Department officials to bolster U.S. military support for Jordan - a crucial ally in the Middle East - as the violence from the Syrian civil war spreads, according to a senior U.S. official, CNN has learned.

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NATO’s nightmare: S-300 missile system

06/04/2013

In the late 1960s, the Soviet Union began developing a new 100 km-range surface-to-air system in view of the growing potential of air assault weapons, particularly after the air-launched cruise missile ALKM was introduced in the USSR approximately at the same time the West was working on the design of its Patriot SAM complex. The new weapon, named the S-300, was devised as a universal antiaircraft and antimissile system.

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International ISR: Israel tackles the last frontier of UAV technology

06/04/2013

It was an ordinary spring day on the southeast coast of Spain when an Israeli-built maritime Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicle took off at 11 a.m. from San Javier Air Base in Murcia. Partly cloudy. A slight breeze. Nothing unusual — apart from the presence of the Spanish Air Force chief of staff, representatives from the European Space Agency, the European Defense Agency and more than a dozen industry executives from seven countries gathered to witness the April 24 flight.

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More than 60 countries sign arms trade treaty

06/04/2013

More than 60 countries on Monday signed a landmark conventional arms trade treaty, but the United States held back from joining the first wave of signatories, while Russia and China are expected to stay out of the accord. The U.N.-brokered treaty is the first covering weaponry of any kind for more than a decade and aims to bring transparency and protection of human rights into the often dubious $85 billion-a-year global trade.

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Tejas will not be ready for war before end-2015

06/04/2013

Defence minister A K Antony last week expressed the hope that the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft would finally get the final operational clearance (FOC) next year. But a hard-nosed ``internal assessment'' shows Antony's dream will be shattered. The single-engine Tejas, already 30 years in the making, will not become fully combat-worthy anytime before end-2015.

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Russia’s military undergoes combat readiness test

06/04/2013

On May 27, several thousand Russian soldiers were woken up at 5:00 in the morning by a surprise alarm. The Russian Ministry of Defence staged the biggest drills in more than twenty years to test the country’s Aerospace Defence Forces, Long-Range and Military Transport Aviation, the Missile Defence Division in charge of defending the Central Industrial Region and Moscow, as well as the Western Military District’s 1st Air Army.

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X-47B combat drone launches from aircraft carrier in milestone maritime UAV demonstration

06/04/2013

The X-47B unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) launched last month from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia in an important test to demonstrate the viability of future carrier-based unmanned fighter-bomber aircraft. Launch of the combat drone occurred at 11:18 a.m. eastern time on 14 May while the carrier was underway off the coast of Virginia, say officials of X-47B designer Northrop Grumman Corp.

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Lockheed Martin Salutes South African Air Force For 50 Years Of C-130 Hercules Operations

06/04/2013

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] officials joined members of the South African Air Force (SAAF) in commemorating 50 years of continuous C-130 Hercules transport operations during an event near Pretoria, South Africa on June 1. In 1963, a new era of transport operations began in South Africa with the arrival of the original fleet of seven SAAF C-130B Hercules aircraft.

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Poland to Spend $40Bln on Defense Modernization

06/04/2013

Poland is committed to modernizing its armed forces despite prolonged economic woes and will invest about $40 billion in its military within the next decade, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Monday. The modernization program’s priorities include the purchase of guided missiles for F-16 fighters, the development of special purpose forces and the naval missile division on the Baltic Sea, and the provision of a sufficient number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the military, Tusk said.

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War In Syria Highlights Why U.S. Needs Fifth-Gen Fighters

06/04/2013

The possibility that America and its allies might impose a no-fly zone over Syria just as they did during previous conflicts in Libya and Iraq is highlighting the importance of having survivable fifth-generation fighters in friendly air forces. Right now those forces consist mainly of older, non-stealthy fighters that Syrian surface-to-air missiles could shoot down in any battle for control of local airspace.

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Study recommends F-16 transfer from Eielson to Elmendorf-Richardson

06/03/2013

A draft Environmental Impact Study released by the U.S. Air Force recommends moving forward with a proposal to transfer a F-16 fighter jet squadron at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The study released Friday also recommends keeping Eielson as a temporary base for the aircraft several times per year for training exercises, the Fairbanks Daily New Miner reported.

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Russian Aircraft Carrier To Redeploy to the Mediterranean

06/03/2013

The Russian Navy plans to deploy its single aircraft carrier in support of its newly formed Mediterranean task force, Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said, a declaration that could further escalate rhetorics over the Syrian conflict. The carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” will be ready to join the naval task force by the end of 2013. Defense-Update reports.

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