Military Aviation News Archive

Army Details Future Controversial Helicopter Swap With the National Guard

12/19/2014

The U.S. Army is moving ahead with a controversial plan to shift helicopters between the active-duty and National Guard and buying new aircraft without competition, despite ongoing litigation trying to block it. Getting rid of military equipment is never easy. Over decades, planes, tanks and ships become engrained in military bases throughout the country, building vocal and powerful supporters in local communities, Congress and the defense industry.

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US-Led Coalition Eliminates Islamic State Senior Leaders: Pentagon

12/19/2014

Numerous senior leaders of the Islamic State (IS) have been destroyed during the US-led coalition airstrikes, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated. “I can confirm that since mid-November, targeted coalition airstrikes successfully killed multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” Kirby said in a statement published Thursday.

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PAF fighter pilots to undergo training in S. Korea

12/18/2014

Expecting initial delivery of FA-50 lead-in fighter jets late next year, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is sending its fighter pilots to South Korea for a six-month training in handling the brand-new supersonic aircraft. PAF’s Air Defense Wing chief Col. Ernesto Okol said that aside from three fighter pilots, they are also sending 32 support personnel to South Korea in March for the much-needed flight and maintenance transition training.

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Air Force Secretary Vows No More Layoffs in 2015

12/18/2014

The U.S. Air Force no longer plans another round of layoffs in fiscal 2015, the service's top civilian said. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James made the announcement on Tuesday during an online discussion with troops, marking a shift in personnel policy for the service, which had planned on involuntarily separating more airmen to further downsize the active-duty force.

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Australian chosen as regional JSF hub

12/18/2014

AUSTRALIA and Japan will both offer regional support hubs for Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region. Workers at Queensland and NSW air force bases will offer engine and airframe maintenance and upgrade work for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning advanced combat aircraft. That way they don't need to be sent all the way back to the United States.

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Russia to put more aircraft on duty in Belarus

12/18/2014

Russia intends to put more aircraft and helicopters on duty in Belarus, BelTA learned from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Belarus Alexander Surikov during the press conference in Minsk on 17 December. The diplomat reminded that Russian jet fighters have been on duty in Belarus since December 2013. “Plans have been made to increase the amount of hardware on duty up to 12 combat aircraft and two trainer aircraft.

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How ISIS and Boko Haram could change the way countries purchase air power

12/18/2014

Like spaceships and sports stadiums, military strike jets typically aren’t the kind of things that companies build—much less sell—off the shelf. Take the Pentagon’s new F-35, for instance: Two decades and $400 billion in the making, the F-35 had nine committed customers lined up to buy thousands of aircraft (at between $80 million and $110 million per copy) before Lockheed Martin ever started bending metal in earnest. Rarely does a contractor fully develop a military jet on spec.

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RAF commander CLUELESS on numbers of combat jets

12/18/2014

A top RAF commander doesn’t know how many combat planes the air force has, he admitted today. Air Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, made the embarrassing revelation during a grilling about Britain’s Top Gun jets. Asked to outline the numbers of Typhoon and Tornado combat squadrons, he replied: “At the moment we’ve got four Typhoon squadrons and three Tornado squadrons.”

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Russia surpassed U.S. in production of new combat planes, Russian United Aircraft Corporation says

12/18/2014

As reported by Russian media outlets, in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station, Vladislav Goncharenko, deputy head of the military aviation programmes department at UAC (the a Russian holding which encompasses Irkut, Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Tupolev, Beriev and Yakovlev), Moscow has surpassed the U.S. in the number of produced combat aircraft.

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Short-notice: A new way to exercise

12/17/2014

When 1st Lt. Matt Lavigne's phone rang late Dec. 10, he knew it was time to scramble into action. As a fighter pilot, preparedness is engraved into his DNA, but this was the first time he'd experienced something like this. In only a few hours, he'd be flying side by side with other F-16 Fighting Falcons bound for the Republic of Korea. That same day, thousands of others received a similar phone call, all with the same message: It's time to go.

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Russia Carried Out Large-Scale Military Drills In Kaliningrad Area

12/17/2014

General Andrei Kartapolov announced on Tuesday that Russia carried out surprise military drills to assess the readiness of troops in the Kaliningrad region between December 5 and 10. Kartopolov, who heads the Operations Department at the General Staff of the army said that the inspection was ordered by Russian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Vladimir Putin.

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Military Challenged to Maintain Decades-Old Aircraft

12/17/2014

The U.S. military operates fleets of Cold War-era aircraft that will not be replaced any time soon. For the Pentagon, this creates daunting challenges, experts warn. Airplanes will have to fly much longer than planned and, at a time of tight budgets, the cost of maintaining aging equipment is projected to soar.

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The A-10 jet carries out its first airstrikes against the Islamic State

12/17/2014

The A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jet has been carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State since late November on a near-daily basis, a U.S. military official said Tuesday. It marks the first time the use of the pugnacious plane against the militant group has been confirmed, although U.S. military officials disclosed last month that they had deployed the A-10 in support of the mission in Iraq and Syria.

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India must develop a dozen critical technologies, suggests military panel

12/17/2014

A high-powered military committee has said India should get down to developing at least a dozen critical technologies to ensure that foreign powers cannot manipulate country's aerospace capabilities in future. The committee submitted its report to the UPA government a few weeks before the Congress-led coalition was routed in the national elections. TOI on Monday reported several recommendations of the committee, headed by Air Marshal M Matheswaran.

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BAE completes first full trial fit of Brimstone missile on Typhoon

12/16/2014

BAE Systems has completed the first full trial fit of Brimstone air-to-surface missile onto a Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. Undertaken at an undisclosed location, the trial fit marks a significant milestone in demonstrating integration of the missile with the aircraft, and are expected to pave the way for Brimstone 2 integration for the UK's Royal Air Force (RAF) by 2018.

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Saab contracted for Gripen lease extension in Czech Republic

12/16/2014

Saab has been awarded a contract to extend the lease of JAS 39 Gripen C/D multi-role combat aircraft in the Czech Republic. Awarded by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), the SEK576m ($76.4m) contract covers the provision of continuing support and upgrade of the Czech Gripens for an additional 12 years.

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Best of 2014: Russian military innovations

12/16/2014

For the Russian defense industry, 2014 has been a complicated year. Yet despite numerous difficulties, some examples of military technology successfully underwent state testing and were transferred to the armed forces for future use. RBTH presents five additions to the armed forces that went into service in 2014 – the newest innovations of the defense industry.

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The U.S. Navy’s 5 Most Lethal Weapons of War

12/16/2014

The United States Navy is the largest and most advanced navy in the world, fielding everything from aircraft carriers and maritime patrol aircraft to submarines, destroyers and unmanned helicopters. So when your editor asks you to choose the Navy’s five most lethal weapons systems, your most difficult challenge is trying to narrow it down to just five selections.

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India’s $19 Billion Weapons Blitz Wooing Global Companies

12/16/2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared $19 billion of arms procurement proposals since taking power in May, almost double India’s spending on weapons in the last fiscal year as he tries to modernize the country’s military. The blitz of 41 approvals spans heavy guns to submarines as Modi seeks to counter China’s rising military heft and take a firmer stance on border disputes with Pakistan.

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RAF's £150million stealth fighter jet could 'shut down' after overheating fears

12/16/2014

The disclosure is another embarrassing setback in the development of what is supposed to be the world’s most sophisticated fighter given that the aircraft is likely to fly most of its combat missions in hot climates. The problem emerged last week at Luke airforce base in the United States where the F-35 Lightning 11 aircraft is being tested. The F-35, the most expensive aircraft ever produced, is designed to use its fuel as a cooling agent.

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A Desert War on ISIS, Fought From a Floating City

12/16/2014

More than a dozen Navy F/A-18 warplanes roar off this aircraft carrier every day to attack Islamic State targets in support of Iraqi troops battling to regain ground lost to the militants in June. These Navy pilots face an array of lethal risks during their six-hour round-trip missions. Surface-to-air missiles and other enemy fire lurk below, as the downing of an Iraqi military helicopter late Friday underscored.

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Anti-Islamic State Coalition Continues Strikes Against Militants: CENTCOM

12/16/2014

US and international coalition forces have conducted 18 airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria over the past three days, continuing an air campaign to push the terrorist group back, the US Central Command reports. “US and partner nation military forces continued to attack ISIL [IS] terrorists in Syria December 13-15 using fighter and bomber aircraft to conduct nine airstrikes,” the US Central Command, which oversees military operation in Iraq and Syria.

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Boeing Israel Chief Touts Laser Weapon as Alternative to Iron Dome Anti-missile Defense System (VIDEO)

12/15/2014

After the US Navy’s successful battle laser tests, a former Israeli air force chief says the system may be a more potent, faster, and less costly alternative to anti-missile arsenals like Iron Dome, Israel Defense reported. “Laser is a multirole system – like a fighter aircraft. You can deploy it on the ground, on board an aircraft, on a Jeep or on an armored vehicle. It can intercept aircraft, missiles, artillery shells and UAVs,” according to Maj.-Gen. (res.) David Ivry, who has headed Boeing

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AMERICA'S MILITARY: The crushing deployment tempo

12/15/2014

The Navy chief trudged home to his wife with bad news — and he knew it would not go over well. After four deployments in five years, he was making one more. The chief had been on four deployments with his last two commands, which included the heavily deployed aircraft carrier Carl Vinson. Now he was assigned for a year to a cruiser out of San Diego, a short tour that his detailer and the boat's top enlisted leader had assured him would not include another deployment.

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The key to winning a dogfight? Focus

12/15/2014

On May 10, 1972, Bill Driscoll was flying his 170th combat mission over North Vietnam, a radar intercept officer in the back seat of an U.S. F-4 Phantom jet fighter. He and his crew were providing cover near the Gulf of Tonkin for 18 essentially defenceless aircraft and things were going smoothly – too smoothly, as it turned out.

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