Military Aviation News Archive

US fighter aircraft to make European debut at Fairford Air Tattoo

04/18/2014

Aviation history will be made in the UK this summer when, in a major airshow first, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, makes its much-anticipated European debut. This hugely important multi-role combat aircraft, which has never before been seen outside of the US, will display at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford between July 11 and 13.

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Russian aircraft buzz US Navy destroyer: How big a deal?

04/17/2014

When Russian attack aircraft buzzed the USS Donald Cook in the international waters of the Black Sea, even as tensions in the region ratchet up, Pentagon officials decried the move as “provocative.” How big a deal are these “provocative” actions on the part of the Russian military – or were these just a couple of rogue Russian pilots out for a joy ride?

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Air Force General Backs A-10 Retention

04/17/2014

A top Air Force official had one word to describe the proposed cuts threatening to ground the A-10 fleet. "Heinous." Rep. Ron Barber relayed the comments from Gen. Michael Hostage, the commander of the Air Combat Command, shortly after the pair toured Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to discuss the fate of the iconic attack aircraft known as the Warthog.

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Special Operations Command Increases Technology Funding

04/17/2014

While the armed services are grappling with fewer dollars to spend on personnel, procurement, maintenance and operations accounts, Special Operations Command came out as one of the few winners of the fiscal year 2015 Defense Department budget request. Renowned for being the military’s most agile and cost-effective force, SOCOM’s overall budget is slated to increase in the upcoming fiscal year, allowing for more procurement and personnel funding.

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Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine

04/17/2014

The Obama administration has removed all operational combat tanks from Europe and key strike aircraft, limiting the options for a show of force to bolster eastern NATO allies as Russia contemplates invading Ukraine. Most analysts, and President Obama, say direct military aid to Kiev in the form of weapons, air power or ground troops is off the table.

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France deploying fighters, AWACs for NATO due to Ukraine crisis

04/17/2014

France intends to deploy fighter aircraft and AWAC air surveillance planes to NATO duty in eastern Europe because of the crisis in Ukraine and to reassure Alliance members in the east, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. "The Ukrainian crisis is the most serious since the end of the Cold War and the responsibility for this escalation is known to all--it belongs to Russia," Le Drian told the French parliament.

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Why the Eurofighter Typhoon Is the Best Fighter for Canada… Right Now

04/17/2014

While the Typhoon is not a “stealth” aircraft like the F-35, it was designed with a focus on reducing its radar cross section (RCS). Constructed of 80% composite material, the Typhoon is stealthier than the current CF-18, and roughly equivalent to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.31

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F-35 fighter jet to make first trans-Atlantic flight in July

04/17/2014

The U.S. Defense Department has approved the first trans-Atlantic flight of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet in July to take part in two international air shows near London, U.S. and British officials said Wednesday. The new warplane will make its international debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo, or RIAT, an annual military air show held outside London in July, followed by appearances at the show, held every other year, said the officials.

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Affordable air power

04/17/2014

The Defence Minister is entirely justified in refusing to sign a $20 billion contract with Dassault Aviation of France for 126 Rafale fighters while life cycle costs are still disputed; these costs are typically at least three times as much as the initial acquisition price over the three to five decades that combat aircraft often operate for. As we head for a new government in Delhi, it is appropriate to consider alternatives to this hugely expensive acquisition.

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The Killer Drone Goes Stealthy—Just in Time for a New Cold War

04/17/2014

The Predator drone has become the symbol for America’s unmanned war, zooming over the heads of low-tech foes like the Taliban. But the battles to come are likely to be against more sophisticated, better-equipped foes—especially with a newly-aggressive Russia on the march. And in those conflicts, the Predator would be all-but-useless. The drone is too easy for an advanced military to spot and shoot down.

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B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

04/16/2014

In order to keep the B-1B Lancer's capabilities ready to operate now and well into the fast-paced integrated battlefield of the future, the 419th Flight Test Squadron began testing Sustainment Block 16A (SB 16A) software upgrades here April 1, to work in conjunction with the long-range bomber's recently added glass cockpit configuration.

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Korean-made FA-50 fighters gaining popularity overseas

04/16/2014

Its original purpose was to serve as Korea's own light combat aircraft, but it's finding a home in the international market. The FA-50 is the light attack variant of the the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer operated by the South Korean Air Force. Co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin, the FA-50 is capable of combat action, with advanced radar and missile capabilities.

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Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker reportedly shot down during special operation against separatists

04/16/2014

krainian armed forces launched a special operation to recapture the airport near the town of Kramatorsk, in the Russian speaking east, taken by pro-Moscow separatists. The operation involved several Ukrainian troops disembarked from helicopters and supported from the air by at least four combat planes: two Su-27 Flanker fighter jets and Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes.

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Saab pitches Gripen FIGHTER JETS to Malaysia

04/16/2014

Sweden’s Saab Group, which makes the Gripen Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA), has proposed to lease its fighter jets to the Malaysian government with full warfare capabilities and no restriction. Saab’s vice-president and head of Saab Malaysia, Thomas Linden, said the leasing solution is the latest development and it has made similar proposals to Brazil and Switzerland.

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Light Combat Aircraft Navy goes super sonic

04/16/2014

Just days before the second anniversary of its maiden flight the naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft-LCA Navy (NP-1) has successfully completed its first super sonic flight signaling that the aircraft is now able to fly faster than the speed of sound. The Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) the nodal agency for the development of the LCA said that this feat was achieved in the month of March.

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F-35 Fleet Surpasses 15,000 Flying Hours

04/16/2014

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program. “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is even more impressive is the fact that operational F-35s accounted for more than half of those flight hours,” said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification.

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NATO Chief Says Military Response to Situation in Ukraine Not Discussed

04/16/2014

NATO is not discussing a military response to the situation in Ukraine and is counting on political and diplomatic decisions to resolve the crisis, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday. "We are not discussing military options. We do believe that the right way forward is to find a political diplomatic solution. However, we're focused militarily on strengthening defense of our allies. That's our core task," Rasmussen said before a meeting with EU defense ministers.

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Russian Air Force to Receive 16 New MiG Fighters

04/16/2014

The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a $470 million contract with the MiG corporation for the delivery of 16 advanced MiG-29 SMT fighters, the ministry said Tuesday. The company had earlier confirmed the deal in an interview with RIA Novosti, but did not specify its value.

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Australia Looking To Buy 58 More F-35s

04/15/2014

Australia is likely to commit to buying 58 more Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightnings this month, setting aside the alternative of consolidating its combat aircraft squadrons on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The decision will increase the country's total commitment to 72 F-35s and expand the Royal Australian Air Force's fast-jet fleet, counting a separate order for 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft as additional to, not part of, the fighter force renewal.

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GAO: Boeing tanker program ‘generally on track’

04/15/2014

Boeing’s development of a new aerial-refueling tanker for the U.S. Air Force is “generally on track,” according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as it starts a fast-paced flight testing schedule with little margin for delays or other problems. However, the airplane maker could have to pay for projected cost overruns, which the Air Force estimated to be as much as $787 million, according to the report, which was released last week.

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Israel set to launch production of wing assemblies for F-35

04/15/2014

Israel has been preparing to produce the first components for the U.S.-origin Joint Strike Fighter. The state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries is working on production lines for the wing assembly of the F-35 fighter-jet. The wing assembly was awarded by Lockheed Martin as part of Israel’s order of 19 fifth-generation combat aircraft over the next four years.

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Ukraine crisis: UN meeting told Russia is massing 40,000 troops on the border

04/15/2014

The United Nations Security Council has held an emergency session to discuss the escalating crisis in Ukraine, just hours before a deadline by Kiev for pro-Russian separatists to disarm by Monday morning or face a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" by its armed forces.The Council began meeting at 8pm (0000 GMT on Monday) at Russia's request after Moscow called Kiev's plans to mobilise the army to put down a rebellion by pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine "criminal."

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The Year Of The MQ-47C

04/15/2014

Not surprisingly, 2014 will be another big year for the U.S. Navy’s X-47B UCAV (unmanned combat air vehicle). During the last few years this unmanned combat aircraft has successfully carried out numerous tests aboard aircraft carriers. There are two X-47Bs available for this and both are being used. The X-47B made its first catapult launch from an aircraft carrier on May 14th 2013.

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US sees 'obvious Russian hand' in Ukraine standoff as militias fortify cities

04/15/2014

Pro-Russian protesters cemented their control of administrative buildings in at least nine cities in the east of Ukraine on Monday, refusing to abide by an order from the central government in Kiev to leave or face being forced out by an “anti-terrorist operation”.

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We still can’t afford the F-35

04/15/2014

The troubled F-35 combat aircraft program has turned a corner. At least that’s what program advocates claimed last Tuesday at a hearing before the Airland Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Program head Lt. Col. Christopher Bogdan asserted that “the program is making slow and steady progress on all fronts.”

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