Military Aviation News Archive

Advanced tactical laser aircraft fires high-power laser in flight

06/23/2009

Members of the 413th Flight Test Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., and contractor Boeing recently successfully fired the high-power laser aboard the Advanced Tactical Laser aircraft for the first time in flight.

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Military Needs Flexibility to Handle Spectrum of Future Threats

06/23/2009

The U.S. military has to have flexibility across the spectrum of conflict to handle the threats of the future, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today.

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Russia buys 12 spy drones from Israel

06/22/2009

Russia has bought 12 unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel in a recent deal worth $53 million, a Russian government official said on Monday.

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Global Partners Building Global Security

06/21/2009

International participants in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II program have begun purchasing aircraft and making long-range commitments to integrate the fighter into their fleets, a Lockheed Martin executive said Wednesday at the Paris Air Show.

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Italy Orders M346 Jet Trainers

06/19/2009

At the 2009 Le Bourget air show, Alenia Aeronautica announced that Italy’s Air Force has signed a long-awaited contract to buy Alenia’s new M346 Master advanced trainer jet. This initial agreement covers 6 jets and an integrated training service, with an option for another 9 aircraft.

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The USMC’s H-1 Helicopter Program

06/18/2009

The US Marines’ helicopter force is aging on all levels, from CH-46 Sea Knights that are far older than their pilots, to the 1980s-era UH-1N Hueys and AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters that make up the Corps’ helicopter assault force. While the V-22 program has staggered along for almost 2 decades under accidents, technical delays, and cost issues, replacement of the USMC’s backbone helicopter assets has languished. Given the high-demand scenarios inherent in the current war, other efforts are clea

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Russian defense industry on track for arms contract

06/18/2009

The Russian Defense Ministry has received three strategic missiles, 20 combat aircraft, 20 tanks, three spacecraft and other military hardware since the beginning of the year under government defense contract, a senior military official said on Wednesday.

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Boeing Committed to Funding F-15 Silent Eagle Development

06/18/2009

The Boeing Company will dedicate funding to further development of the F-15 Silent Eagle program, with the goal of a flight demonstration in the third quarter of 2010. The announcement came at the Paris Air Show following meetings with potential customers and reaffirmed a commitment to the prototype program made by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems President and CEO Jim Albaugh at the air show on June 14.

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International demand for Russian combat aircraft growing

06/17/2009

“The demand for Russian aircraft and helicopters grows despite the ongoing global financial crunch. It makes us feel special obligations and responsibility both as a supplier, and as a reliable time-tested partner,” head of the Rosoboronexport delegation Alexander Mikheev emphasised. “We take every necessary measure and constantly revise every line of defence cooperation, which nowadays actively expands, among other things due to developing relations with NATO member-states.”

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E-2D Hawkeye: The Navy’s New AWACS

06/17/2009

Northrop Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye serves as the US Navy and French Navy’s carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft. Its primary role is advance warning of incoming aerial threats; ship-based radars are far larger and more powerful, but cannot scan below the angle of the horizon. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance, search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. E-2C Hawkeyes began replacing previous Hawkey

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BAE SYSTEMS WINS $33 MILLION CONTRACT FOR AIRBORNE COUNTERMEASURES

06/17/2009

BAE Systems has been awarded a $33.6 million low-rate initial production contract for the ALE-55. The AN/ALE-55 is part of the U.S. Navy’s Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) system that provides fighter aircraft with electronic defense against radar guided missiles.

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Boeing Completes Communications and Air Traffic Management Upgrade for US Air Force AWACS Fleet

06/17/2009

The Boeing Company announced today that it has completed satellite communications and air traffic management upgrades on the U.S. Air Force's 32 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance aircraft as part of the Integrated DAMA/GATM (IDG) program.

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Embraer Launches KC-390 Tactical Air Transport Program

06/16/2009

Global competition in the 20-ton air transport segment continues to intensify, with Brazil’s launch of its KC-390 program. Embraer figures reportedly place the global C-130 replacement market at around 700 aircraft. In response, it will develop a jet-powered rival to compete with Lockheed Martin’s C-130J, the larger Airbus A400M, Russia’s AN-12 and its Chinese copy the Yunshu-8, and the bi-national Irkut/HAL MRTA project. Smaller aircraft like the EADS-CASA C-295M and Alenia C-27J may also repre

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Medvedev makes sales pitch for Russian warplane

06/16/2009

Russia would like to expand sales of such warplanes as the Su-34 throughout the world, President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Chinese TV released on Monday.

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Turkey to buy Russian Night Hunters

06/16/2009

A Turkish military delegation has come to Russia to discuss the possible acquisition of Mi-28 attack helicopters. This is not the first time the two countries have discussed cooperation.

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Bell Boeing Team Awarded Contract for Next Phase of V-22 Osprey Support

06/15/2009

The Bell Boeing Program Office announced today that it has been awarded Phase 1.5 of a two-phase Joint Performance Based Logistics (PBL) contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to support the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for the Marine Corps (MV-22), and Air Force Special Operations Command (CV-22).

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Saudis take delivery of first Eurofighter Typhoon Jets

06/15/2009

Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Defence and Aviation Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan received the Kingdom’s first two Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft at a ceremony hosted by BAE Systems at its Warton plant near Preston on June 10.

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US Military Orders More King Air 350ER Aircraft

06/15/2009

Despite all of the high-tech fighter hours flown in theater, Hawker Beechcraft’s twin-propeller King Air 350 continues to gain traction as an affordable, long-endurance option for light cargo delivery in remote areas – and effective manned battlefield surveillance and attack. Iraq’s Air Force was the first to order them, and an initial 6-plane order from the US Marines/Navy followed in July 2008.

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P-3 Orion’s SMIP Program Keeps on Rolling

06/13/2009

The P-3 Orion remains the USA’s main maritime patrol aircraft, and is also finding use in overland surveillance roles despite the fleet’s age. Earlier DID articles have noted the extra effort required to preserve the USA’s P-3C Orion maritime surveillance & patrol aircraft, along with radar and weapons upgrades. Lockheed has even opened a new production line for the international fleet to cover wings that have to be replaced.

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BAE Acquires UAV Maker ACR for $14.7M

06/13/2009

BAE Systems recently completed its $14.7 million acquisition of Advanced Ceramics Research, a Tucson, AZ-based maker of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ceramic materials for military and commercial application. The initial agreement was originally announced on March 12/09; this latest step represents its finalization and approval. The company will now become part of BAE Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rockville, MD.

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Brazil Buys UH-60L Black Hawks

06/12/2009

Brazil has now made a pair of requests for UH-60Ls to fulfill its strategic commitments for search and rescue, air mobility, “and provide for the defense of vital installations and close air support for ground forces.”

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Germany and France Delay Decision on Airbus Military Transport

06/12/2009

France and Germany said Thursday that they were giving themselves another six months to decide whether to proceed with Airbus’s troubled A400M military transport plane, prolonging the agony — and the costs — for the European aircraft manufacturer, which is already grappling with the worst industry downturn in decades.

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Switzerland Replacing its F-5s?

06/11/2009

The F-5E/F Tiger II was a follow-on upgrade to the wildly successful F-5 Freedom Fighter, a low-budget aircraft designed to capture the lower tier of the non-Soviet global fighter market in the 1960s and 1970s. A number of countries still operate F-5s, but the airframes are very old. The Swiss bought 72 F-5E/F fighters in 1976, and another 38 in 1981, for a total of 110 (98 single-seat F5E, 12 two-seat F-5F). Switzerland currently flies about 54 F-5s; A squadron of 12 were leased to Austria whil

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Boeing Receives US Air Force A-10 Sustainment and Integration Contract

06/11/2009

The Boeing Company has been awarded a four-year U.S. Air Force contract to sustain the A-10 Thunderbolt II weapon system and integrate current and future upgrades into the aircraft’s avionics, mechanical and structural systems. Boeing is one of three contractors that will fulfill A-10 Thunderbolt Life-Cycle Program Support (TLPS) task and delivery orders for the Air Force. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity TLPS contract will allow the Air Force to authorize up to $1.6 billion of aircra

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Boeing Team Delivers 1st Block II Super Hornet Flight Trainers to US Navy

06/11/2009

Boeing and teammate L-3 have delivered four Block II F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Tactical Operation Flight Trainers (TOFT) to the U.S. Navy and declared them “Ready for Training.” Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Va., has two of the trainers, and two are located at NAS Lemoore, Calif.

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