Aug 14, 2016
Aug 13, 2016
"The next [MRTT] is either [for] Singapore or France," Fernando Alonso, Head of Military Aircraft at Airbus DS, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur in early August.
"Australia has bought two additional ones. Those are something quite special as they are second-hand ones," he added, referring to the two former Qantas-operated A330 airliners that are being converted into MRTT platforms by Airbus DS. However, he did not provide exact time frames for the deliveries.
Aug 6, 2016
Buenos Aires requested 24 of the trainer aircraft, as well as spare engines, initial spare parts, support equipment, communications equipment, studies and surveys, contract logistics support and technical services, aircraft technical publications, aircraft ferry and support, life support equipment, initial maintenance training, initial pilot training, follow-on training, alternate mission equipment, Air Force Material Command services and travel, unclassified minor modifications and engineering change proposals, ground-based training system, operational flight trainer and operational flight trainer spare parts.
Jul 2, 2016
The Yaroslav Mudryy, a Project 1154 Neustrashimy-class frigate wearing pennant number 777 was, according to a US Navy report, conducting shadowing operations of the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group as the flattop was flying combat operations against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.
The Russian frigate closed on the cruiser San Jacinto, operating as the carrier’s air defense commander, in an action a Navy message characterized as “abnormal, [un]safe and unprofessional.”
Jun 11, 2016
It is yet to be determined when the A400M will fly to Subang airbase, the home of 22nd Skn, but based on previous two A400Ms, it is likely that the aircraft will make it home by July.
The 03 was supposed to be delivered in April but was delayed after engine and air-frame problems were in discovered in German and French A400ms.
RMAF had never officially confirmed whether its A400Ms were also affected by the problems but the first aircraft was seen in its hangar in early March with its engine panels opened.
The 22nd Skn currently operates two A400Ms, the first arrived in March, 2015 while the second in late December. The fourth and final aircraft is expected to be delivered by year end.
It is expected with the fourth A400M delivered, 22 Skn will ramped up its operational use of the air-lifters. Although the squadron had conducted test loading of Army vehicles, mostly 4X4s trucks, it had yet to conduct flights carrying them.
Currently, the two A400Ms of the 22 Skn mostly carry personnel and their belongings. The longest known trip so far is to Korat airbase in Thailand, in support of the Air-Thamal 2016, the annual exercise between RMAF and the Thai Air Force.
May 28, 2016
“The negotiations are being held through our Pakistani representative,” a TAI official said. “We are hopeful about an eventual deal in view of our excellent relations with PAF.”
If finalized the deal will involve upgrades on a batch of 74 PAF F-16 aircraft, including 14 fighters Pakistan will acquire from Jordan.
Gen. Mark Welsh's comments marked the first time since Congress floated the idea last month that Air Force leadership has acknowledged an F-22 restart as anything but pie in the sky.
The Pentagon findings contradict what the Chinese Defense Ministry said earlier in the day.
Last year, the United States and China announced an agreement establishing rules of behavior to govern air-to-air encounters and creating a military hotline.
May 27, 2016
The jets, made the journey from Edwards Air Force Base.
This appearance comes just weeks before Lockheed Martin's joint strike fighter is scheduled to make its international debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom
Due to ongoing issues with the KC-46’s refueling systems, Boeing will not be able to deliver the 18 certified tankers to the Air Force as planned by August 2017, a major contractual obligation known as Required Assets Available, or RAA.
It is unclear what impact this delay will have on Boeing's contract to replace the Air Force's aging KC-135s. Both company and service officials said they are continuing to assess the implications.
May 7, 2016
Washington also is dedicating more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to the campaign against the Islamist militants in the region and plans to provide additional training to Nigerian infantry forces.
The sale could offer Nigeria a more maneuverable aircraft that can stay aloft for extended periods to target Boko Haram formations.
Unlike recent announcements by the prime minister about building submarines and other ships in Australia, today’s decision to give the contract to Madrid-based Navantia was low key.
Defence minister Marise Payne confirmed Navantia as the preferred tenderer, beating South Korea’s Daewoo, for the two auxiliary oiler and replenishment (AOR) vessels in March.
Australia’s current supply ship, HMAS Success, launched in 1984, will reach its end of life in 2021, and needs to be replaced urgently.
The navy’s other supply ship, HMAS Sirius, is a former commercial oil tanker commissioned in 2006 and does not have the capability for other supplies. Navantia, which build the Royal Australian Navy’s two newest vessels, the landing helicopter dock ships, Canberra and Adelaide, will build two 19,500-tonne dual tanker and supply ships.
The contract stipulates that $130 million of the build will involve local industry for combat and communication systems, and elements of the onboard cranes. And an initial $250 million, five-year sustainment contract, also signed with Navantia, will be undertaken in Australia.
Apr 30, 2016
Output was slowed by several "administrative" factors. These included the process of transitioning between production lots and of getting acceptance for certain software. Lockheed's operational performance also suffered. Although sales were up, earnings dropped to USD794 million, down from USD878 million during the same quarter last year.
A deep industrial and technical study is underway to find short- and long-term solutions, the company said. Negotiations with clients are continuing on a revised schedule for installing mission capabilities and delivery of the aircraft.
The four turboprop engines on the A400M are built by a European consortium comprising ITP of Spain, MTU of Germany, Rolls-Royce and Safran. Avio Aero, an Italian subsidiary of General Electric, builds the gearbox.
Apr 23, 2016
According to Admiral Chief of Naval Staff Jaime Muñoz-Delgado, "Our fleet of Harrier aircraft has a useful life until the period between 2025 and 2027. And there is only one short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) option on the market: Lockheed Martin's F-35B. This is the reality."
The Spanish naval chief registered the concern Tuesday during a meeting with reporters. The problem with this solution is a limited defense budget.
Nowadays the "Armada Española" has a fleet of 12 AV-8B Harrier II Plus attack planes that formed the core of the 9th Aircraft Squadron more than 30 years ago.
The Spanish Navy Harriers can carry out missions ashore or from the landing helicopter dock Juan Carlos I.
In November 2014, the Ministry of Defense extended the agreement to support the Harrier program after approving an investment of €47.6 million (US $54.1 million) between 2014 and 2024.
"There isn't an official plan or proposal to pursue the acquisition of F-35Bs but the problem will be there in 10 years," Muñoz-Delgado stressed.
He mentioned the possibility of a joint strategy with the Spanish Air Force, which in the 2020s will need to start thinking about replacing its F-18s.
The US Marine Corps' F-35B reached initial operational capability last July 31. The variant is also being delivered to the UK, and the Italian Air Force will also operate it.
Esteban Villarejo defensenews
The major command’s chief Gen Robin Rand said at the Air Warfare Symposium in February that America’s needs somewhere between “175 and 200” combined strategic and conventional bombers.
The command counts 159 bombers in its inventory today including the B-1B, B-52H and B-2A.
“AFGSC continues to analyse the required future bomber force structure which includes successfully fielding a minimum of 100 B-21s,” an AFGSC spokeswoman says in an email. “AFGSC is very focused on ensuring we are ready with properly trained operators and maintainers for the B-21. The minimum of 100 B-21s that we intend to field will fly with a mix of legacy bombers and the total number of bombers required is still being evaluated.”
The air force has moved forward with its $80 billion bomber acquisition after teammates Boeing and Lockheed Martin unsuccessfully challenged the selection of Northrop.
The secretive B-21 aircraft, powered by an undisclosed Pratt & Whitney engine, will enter service sometime in the mid-2020s. It will replace the B-1 and B-52, and eventually the Northrop B-2.
"On Monday, this iconic platform conducted its first mission against an [ISIS] weapons storage facility in Qayyarah" in northwestern Iraq south of Mosul, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman in Baghdad for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Earlier this month, the B-52s, flying out of the al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, replaced B-1 Lancer bombers in the Air Force inventory for precision-guided bomb attacks against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and for close-air support missions for local forces. The B-1s returned to the U.S. for maintenance and upgrades.
The Eisenhower-era B-52s last conducted airstrikes in the Mideast from a base in Saudi Arabia against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s. The aircraft also flew operational missions against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The milestone, which took place a day later than scheduled because of poor weather, saw the experimental aircraft depart from Nagoya Airport before conducting a series of flight characteristics trials. It landed at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's (JASDF's) Gifu Air Base, some 50 km to the north.
MHI has been developing the aircraft's airframe since 2009.
The joint exercise will involve simulated interdiction, attack, air superiority, defence suppression, airlift, air refueling and reconnaissance aircraft -- all profiles the IAF has proven to be formidable at in past Red Flags/Cope India/Thunder exercises.
Apr 17, 2016
Flying from Jordan the ATL2 with a forward air controller (FAC) on board the aircraft conducted 'buddy lasing' for a fighter aircraft striking an insurgent target in Iraq.
The aircraft is one of three French Navy Atlantiques equipped with an L-3 Wescam MX-20 digital electro-optical/infrared turret as part of an upgrade begun in 2013 to enable the aircraft to designate GBU-12 and GBU-51 Paveway 500 lb guided bombs.
Rehearsals on 13 April saw a Tupolev Tu-160M1 'Blackjack' bomber and three Tu-95MS 'Bear' bombers with external weapons pylons for the carriage of Kh-101/102 cruise missiles practising their overflights of the capital city ahead of the annual event
Apr 12, 2016
The contract is due to be completed on 28 February 2019.
The UH-60M is already in service with the Mexican Air Force, navy, and Federal Police, although this latest contract notification does not disclose an end user.
The UH-60M is the newest Black Hawk variant in service, and incorporates more powerful and reliable General Electric T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blades, and a fully digital 'glass' cockpit.
The Raptors deployed to RAF Lakenheath, England, from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and will continue training in Europe until May, EUCOM said. The exact number of fighter jets and airmen was not disclosed.
The multirole fighter aircraft will forward deploy from the United Kingdom to NATO bases to "maximize training opportunities, affirm enduring commitments to NATO allies, and deter any actions that destabilize regional security."
In August, the Air Force deployed four F-22s to Europe for the first time ever as part of the European Reassurance Initiative — a Pentagon effort designed to allay European partners' fears about Russian aggression in the region.
Apr 10, 2016
Mar 27, 2016
The most recent figures available put the IN's Sea Harrier strength at 10 or 11, with two of these two-seat.
IN officials told IHS Jane's that keeping the Sea Harriers operational for an air-defence role and/or training purposes would have been "logistically problematic and hugely expensive".
"Even readying ... six Harriers to participate in the IN's International fleet Review [IFR] in February in Visakhapatnam by cannibalising five other platforms was a major feat," said a senior naval officer. He added that keeping them functioning for longer would be impossible.
The surviving aircraft will probably be mothballed at INS Hansa, the navy's shore-based facility at Dabolim in Goa, before being dispatched to various naval stations around the country to serve as exhibits.
The IN originally acquired a total of 30 Harriers as the air arm of Viraat (ex-HMS Hermes ). But over the years 15 of them crashed, killing eight pilots. The last Harrier fatality occurred in August 2009 in the Arabian Sea off the Goa coast.
In 2008-09 India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) partially upgraded the Harriers by replacing their Sea Fox radars with Israeli ELTA EL/M-2032 multimode fire control radars and arming them with Rafael Derby beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles.
The fighter jet “remains immature and provides limited combat capability,” Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation, told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, adding that the F-35 has “many unresolved significant deficiencies.”
Gilmore reported that the F-35’s latest operating system has 931 open documented deficiencies, 158 of which are Category 1 – classified as those that could cause death, severe injury, or severe illness. He called the current testing and deployment schedule “unrealistic” and estimated that the software won’t be ready before late 2018.
Of particular concern is the fighter’s onboard computer, known as the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS). When the latest version of the software was delivered for testing last month, “it was so unstable that productive flight testing could not be accomplished,” Gilmore testified.
Three out of five F-35s currently considered operational have been grounded due to software problems. There are mechanical problems too – notably, the ejector seat that may kill pilots weighing less than 136 pounds (62 kg) and has “serious problems” with those weighing over 165 pounds (75 kg). For pilots weighing anywhere in between, about a quarter of all aviators, the evaluators estimated a 23 percent probability of death during ejection, and a 100-percent probability of neck injury.
Air Force Lieutenant-General Christopher Bogdan, the leading officer on the F-35 program, defended the troubled jet, arguing that developmental testing was “progressing steadily.” He gave the odds of pilots suffering a neck injury at 1 in 200,000.
A photograph taken at BAE Systems' Warton facility in the north of England on 23 March shows the aircraft (serial ZB101 while in the UK) performing the final phases of flights trials in the standard colours and markings of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), having previously only been seen in factory primer. The second aircraft, 2102 (ZB102), also flew.
The aircraft is the first of an initial batch of 22 Hawk AJTs that the RSAF ordered in 2012 to replace the Hawk Mk 65 and Mk 65A platforms currently in service. An order for a further 22 aircraft was first reported in February after it appeared in BAE Systems' preliminary annual report for 2015.
The Hawk AJTs are being acquired because their 'glass' cockpits more closely resemble those of the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F-15SA Eagles onto which the RSAF's student pilots will transition. Its acquisition is part of a wider revamp of the service's pilot training capabilities, which includes 55 new Pilatus PC-21s and 25 Cirrus SR22 primary training aircraft.
Mar 25, 2016
A Singapore-based F-15SG was seen carrying the markings of 142 'Gryphon' Squadron on its tail during a commemorative formation flight for Singapore's outgoing chief of the air force, while a photo taken at the multinational Exercise 'Cope Tiger' in Thailand and released by Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) showed RSAF F-15SG pilots wearing the squadron's insignia on their flight suits.
The squadron, a former A-4 Skyhawk unit that had been deactivated in 2005 with the ending of Singapore-based Skyhawk operations, was stood up in early March.
The formation of the RSAF's second locally based F-15SG squadron follows the reported retirement of Singapore's last Northrop F-5S/T Tiger II interceptors after 36 years of operations with the RSAF..
The RSAF's F-15SGs had been split between 149 'Shikra' Squadron, based at Paya Lebar in Singapore, and the 428th Fighter Squadron (FS), based at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 428th FS is a joint USAF-RSAF squadron that provides continuation training for RSAF F-15SG pilots under the Peace Carvin V programme.
Singapore is confirmed to be operating at least 32 F-15SGs, with 20 aircraft currently in Singapore and the remaining 12 at Mountain Home AFB. However, in August 2014 eight F-15SGs appeared on the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) civilian register, leading to speculation that Singapore has ordered eight more aircraft to give a total of 40.
The reason for the eight F-15SGs being on the FAA's civilian register is unknown.
The aircraft has been deployed since March 20 to conduct surveillance flights until March 23.