Military Aviation News Archive

F-35 may see combat in 2018

01/02/2018

After a very long and problematic development process, the F-35 Lightning II is about to serve on the front lines. The US Marine Corps is deploying the F-35B (the short takeoff and vertical landing variant) to ships in the Central and Pacific Command theaters in the spring and summer of 2018. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is traveling aboard the USS Essex, which is headed to the Middle East, while the 31st will be attached to the USS Wasp and might head to the coast of North Korea.

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The Gremlins are coming! US military to test 'flying aircraft carriers' that can launch swarms of tiny killer drones in 2019

01/02/2018

They were the mischievous creatures blamed for causing mechanical failures and faults on aircraft during World War Two - before starring in a hit film as destructive monsters. Now, the gremlins are back - as a new type of killer flying drone. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research arm is pitting Dynetics and General Atomics (maker of the Predator drone) against each other in a contest to make the craft.

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Trump in Palm Beach: F-16 fighter jets intercept private plane

01/01/2018

Two F-16 fighter jets intercepted a private plane on Sunday afternoon that was flying in air space prohibited during the president’s visits to Mar-a-Lago. According to a spokesman for NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the fighter jets from Homestead Air Reserve Base were already patrolling nearby airspace when they were alerted that a small private plane had violated airspace restrictions.

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SHAPING NEW COMBAT CON-OPS: F-35 AND F-22 CROSS LEARNING

12/30/2017

As we end 2017, the team at Second Line of Defense would like to note that we have focused for MANY years on the re-norming of airpower associated with the coming of the fifth generation aircraft. There have been many opponents along the way, and many of these folks still do not get it.

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Report: 5 Firms Apply to Bid on Polish Fighter Aircraft Program

12/30/2017

Five companies have formally submitted their interest to participate in the Polish defense ministry’s tender process for a fighter aircraft procurement effort, DefenseNews reported Thursday.

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Australian air force put on alert after Russian long-range bombers headed south

12/30/2017

An Australian air force base was put on alert while Russian strategic bombers conducted exercises in neutral waters off Indonesia, a move experts said showed Moscow was looking to extend its influence in the Pacific.

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USAF plans to buy seven armed AC-208s for Afghan military

12/30/2017

Orbital ATK would deliver seven armed Cessna AC-208 Caravan aircraft to the Afghan National Army under a pending US Air Force contract award, the US armed service says. An acquisition notice posted by the Air Force late on 27 December invites comments on a plan to award the contract to Orbital ATK without a competition.

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Israel Aerospace Industries chief to step down

12/30/2017

Israel Aerospace Industries has disclosed that its chief executive Joseph Weiss will step down once a replacement is identified and "an orderly succession process has taken place". Weiss has held managerial positions at IAI for two decades and became its chief in 2012. The manufacturer, which notes that he is now approaching retirement age, credits him with having "led the company to many accomplishments".

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Netanyahu vows Israeli air force strong enough to defeat any threats

12/28/2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel has the strongest air force against threats, with the ability to reach targets at all distances. "Israeli Air Force is at the prime of its capabilities, with the very best technological tools, aircraft, pilots, possessing defensive and offensive capabilities, with immense fire capabilities, which can reach near and far targets," said Netanyahu at a graduation ceremony for air force pilots at the Hatzerim Air Base in southern Is

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U.S. Marine Corps Planning F-35B Deployment to CENTCOM Area Of Responsibility To Get “First Taste Of Combat” In 2018

12/28/2017

The F-35B, the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Lightning II 5th generation aircraft is expected to deploy to the Pacific and Central Command theaters in 2018, the Marine Corps Times reported. According to Jeff Schogol, the F-35B, that can operate from amphibious assault ships, “is expected to deploy with two Marine expeditionary units to the Pacific and Central Command theaters in the spring and summer.

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Single engine failure damages five E-8C JSTARS

12/28/2017

An engine failure caused damage on 21 December to five E-8C JSTARS aircraft, or nearly one-third of the fleet of aerial ground surveillance aircraft, the US Air Force says. Three of the five damaged aircraft returned to flight status at Warner Robins AFB, Georgia within three days, and a fourth aircraft is expected to be repaired shortly after the New Year’s Day, says the 116th Air Control Wing.

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Qatar orders 36 F-15QAs to complete fighter shopping spree

12/28/2017

Qatar’s air force will receive 36 Boeing F-15QA fighters under a $6.17 billion deal announced by the US Department of Defense on 22 December. The order comes after the DOD notified Congress in November 2016 that Qatar could buy up to 72 F-15QAs and associated equipment worth $21 billion over the long-term.

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Now the Chinese Air Force is provoking Taiwan

12/27/2017

Taiwan is facing a new source of pressure from rival China as the communist government increasingly often sends military aircraft to skirt the island, a challenge to the local armed forces. Planes from China flew near Taiwan in November and December, raising concern last week at the presidential office in Taipei. Over the past two years, Chinese military units have sent planes 10 times just outside the Taiwanese air defense zone, former Taiwan defense minister Andrew Yang estimates.

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Syria says military jet downed in northern Hama, pilot killed – media (Video)

12/27/2017

Syria's armed forces said insurgents downed a military jet in northern Hama province on Tuesday, killing the pilot, according to Reuters. Militant group Tahrir al Sham – a fighting force dominated by members of Al Qaeda's former branch in Syria – said it hit the plane, Reuters reported. A source said the militants were searching for another pilot they believed had survived the crash.

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China upset at Japan’s plan to buy F-35B stealth fighter ‘jump jets’ for its helicopter carriers

12/27/2017

JAPAN can’t have aircraft carriers. And just to be sure, it officially declared several of its latest warships must be called “helicopter destroyers” — even though to all intents and purposes they look like aircraft carriers. They just don’t carry fixed-wing aircraft. Yet. They carry helicopters.

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Japan KC-46 acquisition moves forward

12/27/2017

The US Air Force has awarded Boeing a $279 million contract to produce Japan's first KC-46 tanker aircraft. The contract is a key step in Tokyo's development of a new tanker capability. The decision to obtain three KC-46s in the 2020 time frame was originally announced in 2015.

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New Delhi proceeds with deal for 83 Tejas fighters

12/27/2017

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has received a request for proposal (RFP) for 83 Tejas Mk-1A light combat aircraft from the Indian air force (IAF). On completion of negotiations, Hindustan Aeronautics is expected to receive a production order in late 2018. India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had cleared the procurement of 83 Tejas Mk-1A aircraft in November 2016.

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Block III Super Hornet upgrades to begin this spring

12/27/2017

The first US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to receive service life modification upgrades will arrive at Boeing’s St. Louis facility next April and will leave with an additional 3,000 flight hours of service life, Boeing’s vice president of F/A-18 programmes tells FlightGlobal.

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Boeing KC-46 receives 767 certification

12/24/2017

The Boeing has received an amended type certificate for the 767-2C that serves as the baseline aircraft for conversion into the US Air Force KC-46A tanker, the company says. Boeing expects to deliver the first KC-46 to the air force next year but first must receive two certifications from the US Federal Aviation Administration. In addition to the amended certification for the 767-2C, the programme is still working on qualifying for a supplemental type certification for the modifications required

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Boeing held talks with Embraer on takeover: WSJ report

12/24/2017

Boeing reportedly has held talks with Brazilian aircraft and defence services company Embraer to acquire an ownership stake, the Wall Street Journal reports on 21 December. Such a move would further reshape a regional jet market in flux since Boeing filed an anti-dumping and countervailing duty complaint against Bombardier with the US Department of Commerce last May.

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DARPA's next big project is an airplane-deployed drone swarm

12/20/2017

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency plans to demonstrate an ability to launch and recover small drones from an Air Force C-130 aircraft as part of its continued development of the Gremlins program — a technical effort designed to deploy groups of small drones carrying 60-pound sensor payloads up to ranges of 300 nautical miles.

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Yemen rebel missile fired at Riyadh 'bears hallmarks' of Iran

12/20/2017

A missile fired from Yemen at the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, bears the hallmarks of a weapon provided by Iran, the US ambassador to the UN has said. Nikki Haley said Iran's actions threatened to drag the world "deeper into a broadening regional conflict". The missile was shot down by Saudi Arabia's military on Tuesday. There were no reports of any damage.

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USAF details scope and schedule for B-52 re-engining

12/20/2017

A new US Air Force document released last week outlines the details, timeline and likely competitors for a plan to acquire at least 608 new turbofan engines to replace the eight Pratt & Whitney TF33s on each of 76 Boeing B-52H bombers in the US Air Force fleet.

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Bell Valor V-280 makes maiden flight

12/20/2017

A prototype Bell Helicopter tiltrotor called the V-280 Valor lifted vertically off the ground and hovered in ground effect for the first time this week. The V-280, which denotes the aircraft's 280kt top speed, performed basic handling tests in hover mode outside Bell's tiltrotor production site in Amarillo, Texas, including a rapid pedal turn.

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Boeing offers revealing sneak-peek of MQ-25 bid

12/20/2017

Boeing has revealed a narrow, nose-on view of the company’s bid to win a three-way competition to build the MQ-25 Stingray, a carrier-based unmanned air system (UAS) that the US Navy plans to use as an in-flight refueler to extend the range of manned fighters.

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