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Jul 9, 2017

Pentagon seeks increased P-8 ties with Norway, UK

The United States, United Kingdom and Norway have agreed in principal to create a trilateral coalition built around the P-8 maritime aircraft — though exactly what that means remains unclear.
The Pentagon announced June 29 that the three countries had established a “statement of intent to lay out guiding principles for a trilateral partnership with P-8A aircraft.” In addition, the announcement said the nations are working on a “framework for further cooperation in areas such as readiness, enhancing defense capability, and interoperability.”
defensenews




Austria set to replace Eurofighter Typhoons, Economically Unsustainable

Austria is set to replace the small fleet of fighter jets to patrol its airspace following an announcement today that the collection of Eurofighter Typhoons and Saab 105 OE aircraft would be phased out.
Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil's decision follows the advice of an expert commission that had studied options for securing the country's skies after 2020. At that time, the subsonic Saab planes would reach the end of their economic lives and would be retired anyway. And because the fleet of 15 Eurofighter Typhoons are of the early Tranche-1 generation, those aircraft also are considered militarily sub par in their current configuration and economically unsustainable.


Jul 2, 2017

Block 5 MQ-9 debuts in combat

The latest version of the MQ-9 Reaper, the Block 5 variant, flew its first successful combat mission June 23, 2017, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The aircrew flew a sortie of more than 16 hours with a full payload of weapons including GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. During the mission, the crew employed one GBU-38 and two Hellfires while providing hours of armed reconnaissance for supported ground forces
af.mil

Jul 1, 2017





Germany, Norway join European multinational MRTT program

NATO has taken an important step in improving its ability to refuel aircraft in mid-air, with two Allies joining a European programme to acquire and operate new tanker transport aircraft.
Defence Ministers from Germany and Norway joined a Memorandum of Understanding for a European multinational fleet of Airbus tanker transport aircraft, originally created by the lead-nation Netherlands and Luxembourg. The two countries launched the initiative in July 2016 by ordering two Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft, which are due to be delivered in 2020. With Germany and Norway joining the initiative, the fleet is expected to expand to up to seven aircraft.
This multinational fleet arrangement is a concrete step towards reducing the overall European shortage in air-to-air refueling and the over-reliance on U.S. capabilities. At today’s signing ceremony, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment Camille Grand stressed that “this initiative highlights the value of a multinational approach to capability development – working together provides cost-effective and flexible solutions.”
Belgium intends to join this programme in early 2018, and the initiative remains open to other new members. The procurement programme is another example of the increasingly close cooperation between NATO and the European Union.
nato





Boeing upgrades Saudi AWACS

Among the enhancements to improve radar capabilities and reduce repair time for the airborne surveillance fleet are systems that increase the original equipment’s radar sensitivity and expand the range for tracking targets," according to a Boeing news release.
The Radar System Improvement Program upgrades comprise a new radar computer, a radar control maintenance panel and electrical and mechanical software and hardware, Boeing said.
“The modernized software, multiple radar nodes and overall enhanced operation make this is [sic] the most significant upgrade to the AWACS radar since it was developed in the 1970s," said Keith Burns, Boeing's Saudi AWACS program manager.
c4isrnet

US approves sale of modified G550 wiit ISR Equipment for RAAF

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for Gulfstream G550 Aircraft with Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) mission systems. The estimated cost is $1.3 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on June 23, 2017.
The Government of Australia requested the possible sale of up to five (5) Gulfstream G-550 aircraft modified to integrate Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) mission systems, Global Positioning System (GPS) capability, secure communications, aircraft defensive systems; spares, including whole life costs of airborne and ground segments; aircraft modification and integration; ground systems for data processing and crew training; ground support equipment; publications and technical data; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; flight test and certification; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated program cost is $1.3 billion.
dsca

Jun 17, 2017

Qatar orders 36 F-15QA fighters

Qatar has signed a deal for 36 Boeing F-15QA fighter aircraft.
The deal is reportedly worth $12 billion, according to media reports quoting official Qatari sources.
The deal was finalised in Washington DC by Qatari defence minister Khalid Al Attiyah and US defence secretary Jim Mattis.
Attiyah says the deal reflects increased Qatari and US collaboration in the fight against terrorism. The aircraft will also increase interoperability between US and Qatari forces.
“We thank the Qatari and U.S. governments for moving forward with the F-15 agreement," says Boeing. "We are very grateful for their continued confidence in Boeing.”
In November 2016, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) expressed optimism that the deal would go through. The original number, however, was for 72 F-15QAs.
The F-15QA is an advanced variant of the two-seat F-15E Strike Eagle. Equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, it is effective in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
Qatar operates 12 Dassault Mirage 2000 aircraft with an average age of 19.1 years. It also has orders for 24 Rafale fighters.
flightglobal

Images show Myanmar Air Force JF-17/FC-1 conducting flight tests in China

Images have emerged on Chinese online forums showing what appears to be one of the first Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (PAC/CAC) JF-17 Thunder/FC-1 Xiaolong multirole combat aircraft on order for the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) conducting test flights in China.
Released around 13 June the images show a single-seat JF-17/FC-1 with the standard camouflage and tail insignia of the MAF being flight-tested at what appears to be CAC's airfield in Chengdu.
janes

SAAB JAS-39 Gripen E makes maiden flight

The Saab Gripen E combat aircraft made its maiden flight from the company's Linköping production facility on 15 June.
The flight lasted for 40 minutes, during which the pilot "carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear," Saab said, adding that the aircraft performed as expected.
This milestone was slightly delayed from the original date of late 2016, as the company decided to finalise all of the software development ahead of commencing the flight trials process to reduce risk to the programme.
With 39-8 being used mainly for airframe and general flight control tests, a second prototype (39-9) will be used as a tactical systems testbed, while the third and final single-seat prototype (39-10) will fly as a production-standard airframe. The twin-seat Gripen NG demonstrator (39-7) that provided much of the risk mitigation for the Gripen E will continue to serve as a general test platform throughout the flight trials effort.
As previously highlighted by Saab, the Gripen E's enhancements over the earlier C/D models can be categorised in terms of survivability, sensors, general systems, payload, communications, performance, range, avionics, and human-machine interface/sensor fusion.
Sweden is due to receive the first of 60 Gripen Es (perhaps rising to 70, depending on a governmental decision that is to come) in 2019, with deliveries running through to 2026. In anticipation, the Swedish Air Force (SwAF) has already begun developing the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that it will employ for the type.
Speaking to reporters at the home of the service's Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) squadron at Malmen Airbase in southern Sweden, Major Johan Jeppsson, director of operations for the unit, said in late May that, "We see what new tactics might be needed, and we then introduce those to the operational squadrons.
janes

May 6, 2017

Japan seeks to give P-3 patrol planes to Malaysia

Japan is looking to donate retired military patrol aircraft to Malaysia, letting that Southeast Asian country keep closer watch over the South China Sea to rein in China's maritime expansion.
Parliament is currently weighing revisions to the foundational law of the Ministry of Defense that would allow equipment to be given to other nations at no cost. Currently, some form of compensation is legally required for any national asset. Malaysia will likely be the first beneficiary once that change is made, receiving P-3C patrol aircraft previously used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
nikkei

Italy rolls out first F-35B assembled outside US

The first F-35B to be assembled outside the U.S. was rolled out in Italy on Friday at a ceremony at the country’s assembly line.
The aircraft, BL-1, will fly for the first time in late August and is due to be delivered to the Italian ministry of defense in November, Lockheed Martin said in a statement. An Italian pilot will then fly the jet in early 2018 to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, for “Electromagnetic Environmental Effects certification,” Lockheed Martin said.
It will also take a role in pilot training in the U.S., an Italian source added.
The next Italian F-35B aircraft is scheduled for delivery in November 2018.
Italy has already delivered seven F-35A aircraft from its Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri in northern Italy, three of which are now flying from the Italian Air Force’s Amendola Air Force base in southern Italy. The other four are participating in pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.The three now in operation have flown more than 100 hours from the base, including tanking with the Italian Air Force’s B767 tankers and sorties alongside Italian Eurofighters, M-346 jet trainers and the Air Force’s new Gulfstream Airborne Early Warning aircraft.
Two more F-35As are expected to be delivered from Cameri to Amendola this year, one in July, and the other in the fourth quarter. Another milestone: an F-35A assembled at Cameri made the type’s first transatlantic crossing in February last year.
defensenews

US F-22s intercept Russian bombers escorted by fighters near Alaska

Two Russian bombers, flanked by a pair of fighter jets, were intercepted by stealth US F-22 aircraft off the coast of Alaska on Wednesday, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The Russian TU-95 Bear bombers and their SU-35 fighter jet escorts stayed in international airspace but did fly as close to 50 miles from Point Hope, Alaska.
In the U.S. Air Force fleet
This is the first time Russian bombers have been accompanied by fighters in these types of flights since 2015, a US official told CNN.
A Russian A-50 Mainstay surveillance plane also later flew into the area but remained in international air space and was not intercepted.
The US military sees these flights as routine and pose no concern, according to the US official.
cnn.com

May 1, 2017

USAF Deployed Eight F-16 aircraft and more than 200 Airmen to Albacete, Spain

ALBACETE AIR BASE, Spain – Eight F-16 aircraft and more than 200 Airmen from the active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Air Force Reserve 419th FW from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, are currently at Albacete Air Base, Spain, to participate in the NATO Tactical Leadership Programme through May 19.
TLP is an annual NATO Mission Commander’s School training program and is designed to provide joint training to increase NATO air defense with participating allies.
“The Tactical Leadership Program is a good opportunity for all the participating nations to work together,” said Master Sgt. Daniel LaBrake, Combined Aerospace Logistics Coordinator and the only enlisted member from the U.S. Air Force stationed at the Spanish air base.
Hill’s fighter wings will participate in training with NATO allied air forces from ten other countries.
“This is excellent training with some intense air operations and top of the line NATO jets from our coalition allies,” said Lt. Col. Surya Frickel, 466th Fighter Squadron commander.
During the large force exercise, the Hill AFB pilots will fly alongside 20-30 allied aircraft daily and against as many adversaries. Part of the learning that goes on is how to operate safely with the different aircraft and unfamiliar environments, as well as different languages and procedures.
“This exercise is a good example of the United States’ cooperation and long-lasting commitment to the security of Europe and maintaining readiness with our NATO allies,” Frickel said.
Though the wings have been on several training deployments together, this is the first time Utah’s 419th and 388th FWs are participating in TLP.
“Traditionally, squadrons stationed in Europe participate in TLP,” LaBrake said. “So it has been a new challenge to coordinate all of the moving parts so these Airmen can come overseas and get this experience.”
The deployment marks the last time the iconic multi-role fighter is scheduled to deploy from Hill AFB. F-16 aircraft from Hill's fighter wings have been flying over the skies of northern Utah for nearly 40 years.
“This is the last time the F-16 will deploy with the Hill designator ‘HL’ painted on its tail,” said Col. Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group commander. “We are extremely proud of the job we have done with the F-16 and we must do our best here at TLP to preserve the memory of the aircraft that is so dear to our hearts.”
Hill’s fleet of F-16s is being replaced by the Air Force’s newest fighter jet, the F-35 Lightning II. The first operational F-35As arrived at Hill AFB in October 2015. Hill currently has 20 F-35As and will eventually be home to 78 aircraft and three operational squadrons by the end of 2019. The 388th and 419th FWs fly and maintain the aircraft in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.
hill.af.mil

Apr 29, 2017

New Zealand requests 4 P-8A Patrol Aircraft

New Zealand has requested the potential sale of up to four (4) P-8A Patrol Aircraft. Each includes: commercial engines, Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS), Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) MX-20HD, AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System, AN/APY-10 Radar, ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures. Also included are eight (8) Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS); five (5) Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA) for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; five (5) System Processors for AN/AAQ-24(V)N; thirty (30) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors for the AN/AAQ-24(V)N; ten (10) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs); support equipment; operation support systems; maintenance trainer/classrooms; publications; software, engineering, and logistics technical assistance; foreign Liaison officer support, contractor engineering technical services; repair and return; transportation; aircraft ferry; and other associated training, support equipment and services. The total estimated cost is $1.46 billion.
dsca

Greece Requests 5 CH-47D Chinook From US Army

The Government of Greece requested the possible sale of five (5) CH-47D helicopters, seven (7) Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (one (1) for each aircraft plus two (2) spares), and twelve (12) T55-GA-714A turbine engines (two (2) for each aircraft plus two (2) spares). Also included are mission equipment, communications and navigation equipment, ground support equipment, special tools and test equipment, spares, publications, Maintenance Work Order/Engineering Change Proposals (MWO/ECPs), technical support, and training, and other associated support equipment and services. The total estimated cost is $80 million.
dsca

Apr 14, 2017

US Air Force F-35s making first operational deployment to Europe this weekend

The U.S. Air Force’s F-35A is deploying internationally for the first time this weekend, heading to Europe to conduct training exercises with NATO allies, the Pentagon announced Friday.
The Defense Department offered sparse details about the event, which will involve deploying a “small number” of F-35As from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to an undisclosed location in Europe.
The joint strike fighters will take off sometime this weekend. After landing, they will then spend several weeks in the region as part of the European Reassurance Initiative, the department’s effort to strengthen military ties with European allies to help deter Russian aggression on the continent.
“This training deployment signifies an important milestone and natural progression of the F-35 program, allowing the Air Force to further demonstrate the operational capabilities of the fifth generation fighter aircraft,” the Defense Department said in a news release. “It also assists in refining requirements for eventually basing the F-35A in Europe, which is scheduled to receive the aircraft in the early 2020s.”
In December, former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James hinted that the service would go to Europe this summer.
“Now that the F-35 has been declared combat capable, we will deploy our newest fighter to Europe in the not too distant future,” she said then during a speech at the Atlantic Council. “Matter of fact, if I were a betting woman, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the F-35 didn’t make an appearance, perhaps, next summer. The unique combination of stealth, situational and sensor fusion will play an important role in reassuring allies and providing deterrence.”
defensenews

Mar 26, 2017

China says U.S. should respect China's air defense zone after B-1B flight over ADIZ

China said on Thursday the United States should respect its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), after Chinese officials warned a U.S. bomber it was illegally flying inside China's self-declared zone in the East China Sea.
The Pentagon rejected the Chinese call and said it would continue its flight operations in the region.
China declared the zone, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, in the East China Sea in 2013, which the United States and Japan have refused to recognize.
CNN, citing the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said a B-1 bomber was flying near South Korea on Sunday, and that its pilots responded to Chinese air traffic controllers by saying they were carrying out routine operations in international airspace. The aircraft did not deviate from its flight path.
reuters

Mar 25, 2017

India to Begin Contract Negotiations to Acquire at least 56 Airbus C-295

The IAF is set to begin negotiations contract negotiations for acquiring 56 Airbus C-295, to replace its ageing fleet of HS-748 Aircraft. The Border Security Force is also looking at four C-295 for movement of its troopers within the country. The aircraft is to be made in India by TATA in partnership with Airbus. Airbus will supply 16 from its final assembly line in Spain in fly away condition. The following 40 aircraft will be manufactured by TATA.
economictimes.indiatimes

Mar 22, 2017

Russia Supplies to Myanmar First Three Yak-130 Combat Trainers

Russia has completed the delivery of the first batch of Yak-130 combat trainer aircraft to Myanmar, the contract will be fully executed in 2017.
ussia plans to deliver additional Yak-130 combat trainer aircraft to Myanmar next year.
sputniknews

Mar 18, 2017

Israel continues talks over additional F-15s

Negotiations about a possible follow-on purchase of advanced Boeing F-15s for the Israeli air force are continuing, as the nation’s cabinet seeks a possible alternative to acquiring additional Lockheed Martin F-35s.
In November 2016, the Israeli government approved the purchase of another 17 F-35Is, bringing to 50 the number of “Adir” strike aircraft planned for its air force.
The service has been evaluating a purchase of more F-15Is to maintain its desired mix of strike aircraft with the F-35 to satisfy future operational needs. Its initial requirement was identified as for 75 F-35s, but the need to replace the oldest examples of its Boeing-built fighter has become a high priority issue. Israel has operated the twin-engined type since 1976.
It has been decided that an evaluation of an advanced version of the F-15 should be completed before any additional F-35s are purchased. Israeli sources say ongoing talks with the US Department of Defense are related to a potentially 20- to 25-aircraft deal.
Details have not been disclosed about the aircraft standard being sought, but sources indicate that this would be capable of carrying more missiles, in common with Boeing’s suggested 2040 upgrade configuration for the F-15.
Meanwhile, the Israeli air force in early March opened a dedicated maintenance training centre for the F-35I at Nevatim air base.
The first such facility to be established outside the USA, this will support personnel training related to 25 different technical professions, the air force says.
Israel requires line- and depot-level maintenance for the new type to be performed in-country, with only subsystems to be sent for support and repair overseas. Its air force took delivery of its first pair of Adirs last December.
flightglobal

Iraq has taken delivery of T-50IQ

Iraq received on Thursday a first batch of 24 South Korea-made T50 fighter jets, said the commander of the air forces.
Anwar Hamma did not mention the number of fighters included in the delivery, but said they were accompanied with all supplementary equipment as well as the a first batch of Iraqi pilots and maintenance technicians trained in Korea on conducting and maintaining the fighters.
Iraq and South Korea clinched the deal for the aircraft delivery in 2013, initially slating it for April 2016 before postponing to the first quarter of 2017.
Hamma said the fighter jets would go into service sooner to engage in airstrikes targeting Islamic State militants.
iraqinews

Italian Eurofighter Typhoons deployed to Iceland on NATO air mission

From March 16 to mid-April 2017 the Italian Air Force is going to deploy six of its Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft and a detachment of approx. 140 personnel to Iceland. The Italian detachment will be based at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, and fly its fighter jets in support of NATO’s mission that provide Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs.
This is the second time after 2013 for the Italian Air Force to execute this mission in Iceland.
eurofighter

Mar 14, 2017

Romania looks to buy 20 more F-16s

Romania is looking to increase the size of its fighter fleet after the government decided to apportion 2% of GDP for defence in 2017. The Parliament and Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) have approved the decision.
"My intention is to finalise this year the decision to have another 20 F-16 fighters. The Romanian Air Force has nine now and there will be 12 by the end of the year, but we need more to strengthen our air force capability. As a matter of principle Romania intends to buy these 20 F-16 fighters from the United States. All further details will be announced [in due course", Defence Minister Beniamin Les told the Romanian parliament on 13 February.
Romania bought 12 F-16s from Portugal in September 2013. These include nine F-16AM single-seaters and three F-16BM two-seaters and were bought via C N Romtehnica under the Peace Carpathian programme, with third-party transfer authorisation coming from the US government.
janes

Mar 11, 2017

Portugal envisages acquisition of KC-390 aircraft

The Portuguese Ministry of National Defence (MoND) currently considers the Embraer KC-390 multipurpose transport aircraft as an adequate solution to progressively replace the country's Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules aircraft, it told Jane's on 9 March.
No contract has yet been placed, but up to six aircraft are expected to be purchased. Portugal made an information request to Embraer last October and is currently analysing the information provided, the MoND told Jane's .
The aircraft would conduct troop and cargo transport, firefighting, and air-to-air refuelling missions in the Portuguese Air Force service, the MoND said.
Several Portuguese companies, including OGMA-Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal (partially owned by Embraer), Embraer Metálicas, Embraer Compósitos, and CEiiA, are involved with the KC-390 programme, which Jane's understands favours a potential buy of the type.
janes

Israel is likely to buy a squadron of Boeing's upgraded F-15

The IDF is preparing for two major deals with the US, including the procurement of aircraft designed to renew its stock of warplanes and transportation helicopters. It has been decided to purchase two air force squadrons, following the establishment of a squadron of F-35 Adir fighters, the world's most advanced stealth aircraft. The IDF received its first F-35s in December.
Most of the money for the procurement will come from $3.33 billion US aid money allocated for the F-35 projects and missile inventory. The exact budget for buying the planes will become clear only after the budget is divided in the framework of the Gideon multi-year plan and the beginning of implementation of the new aid agreement in 2018.
Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman yesterday met with US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense Gen (res.) James Mattis. He is expected to meet with other administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and it cannot be ruled out that the subject of air force procurement deals will be raised at these meetings.
For a long time, the air force has wanted to replace its F-15s, manufactured by Boeing, with a better version of the aircraft equipped with an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system. This aircraft does not have stealth capabilities, but it can carry larger payloads, has advanced attack capabilities, and is operated by a two-man crew, which is an advantage in complex missions. The twin-engine warplane can continue operating even when one of the engines is disabled.
The new F-15s cost $100 million a plane. They are more advanced than the F-15s purchased from the US by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in recent years. Israel insisted that the US refrain from selling the new version to Qatar in order to maintain the Israeli air force's superiority in the Middle East, but former President Barack Obama disagreed, saying that Qatar felt threatened by Iran, and approved the sale of 72 of the aircraft just before he left office.
globes

Israel’s newly received F-35A Adir stealth fighters have already seen combat-Source

According to a French journalist, Israel’s newly received F-35A Adir stealth fighters have already seen combat. Reportedly, a first air strike was flown against targets in Syria in January – less than a month after the jets first touched down in Israel.
Georges Malbrunot, who writes for French newspaper Le Figaro, cited French intelligence sources. He posted on Twitter that examples of the Israeli F-35 took part in a raid over Syrian territory on the night of January 12-13. The mission saw them strike objectives around the capital, Damascus.
According to Malbrunot, the F-35s targeted warehouses containing Russian-made Pantsir-S1 mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems that Israel feared could be delivered from Syria to Hezbollah forces operating in Lebanon.
During the same attack, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) also reportedly destroyed an S-300 SAM battery deployed near the Syrian presidential palace, on Mount Qassioun. According to the same unnamed French intelligence source quoted by Malbrunot, the F-35 aircraft finally overflew the palace of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, before returning to Israel.
Malbrunot provided a final quote from an unnamed soldier, explaining that: ‘With the Pantsir, Hezbollah ensures that the Israeli Air Force is almost totally unable to operate over Lebanon.’
Providing the account is true, it seems unlikely that Israel would admit the use of F-35s at this stage. However, in the past the IAF has been quick to put new assets into combat if required for specific missions – and the continued effort to prevent advanced weapons landing in Hezbollah hands may fit that remit.
Certainly, there was an air strike against Mezzeh airfield on the date specified. At the time, Syrian authorities put the blame for the attack on the Israel Defense Forces.
The first two F-35 Adirs for the IAF arrived at Nevatim air base on December 12 last year. The first two aircraft — AS-1 (serial 901) and AS-2 (serial 902) — received their Star of David national markings in an official ceremony after landing. The aircraft will equip 140 ‘Golden Eagle’ Squadron, previously an F-16A/B operator.
The first F-35, AS-1, performed a maiden flight at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, on July 25, 2016. The second jet, AS-2, followed it into the air on August 8.
The two F-35s flew to Nevatim via Lajes in the Azores and Cameri in Italy, but their arrival in Israel was delayed by around 24 hours due to heavy fog in Italy and the need to recognise American safety protocols.
To date, Israel has ordered 50 F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft via the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) channels. The first 19 F-35s were ordered in 2010, at a cost of $2.7 billion. This includes the first two F-35s that are part of the eighth batch of low-rate initial production aircraft. Delivery of the first 19 aircraft is due to be completed by the end of 2018.
In November 2014 Israel authorised the purchase of another 14 F-35s, to which were added 17 options, in a deal valued at around $2.8 billion. The 14 aircraft in the second batch include a single test example and 13 intended to populate a second front-line squadron. Deliveries of the second batch of aircraft will take place between 2019 and 2021.
With a view to acquiring the full 50 aircraft required to field its first two 24-aircraft Adir squadrons, Israel approved the purchase of its 17 options in November 2016. This deal is likely to cost over $2.5 billion.

Beyond the 50 F-35s currently contracted, the US administration has approved Israel’s purchase of as many as 75 F-35s.
thedrive
airforcesmonthly

China J-20 stealth jet enters service

China has put into service its new generation J-20 stealth fighter, a warplane it hopes will narrow the military gap with the United States, as senior naval officers said the country was building a "first class" navy and developing a marine corps.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing a sweeping modernization of the country's armed forces, the largest in the world, including anti-satellite missiles and advanced submarines, seeking to project power far from its shores.
In a report late on Thursday, state television's military channel confirmed that the J-20 had now entered service, though it gave no other details.
The aircraft was shown in public for the first time in November at the Zhuhai airshow and was first glimpsed by Chinese planespotters in 2010.
However questions remain whether the new Chinese fighter can match the radar-evading properties of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air-to-air combat jet, or the latest strike jet in the U.S. arsenal, Lockheed's F-35. The F-22, developed for the U.S. Air Force, is the J-20's closest lookalike.
China showed off another stealth fighter it's developing, the J-31, at the last Zhuhai airshow in 2014, a show of muscle that coincided with a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama for an Asia-Pacific summit.
China hopes the J-31, still in development, will compete with the U.S.-made F-35 stealth aircraft in the international market.

Mar 4, 2017

Airbus Dispatches A400M to Indonesia in Showcase of Platform's Capabilities

Airbus is currently in the process of flying out an A400M Atlas multirole aircraft to Indonesia in a showcase of the platform's capabilities, sources within the Indonesian Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia: TNI) has confirmed with Jane's on 1 March.
The aircraft will be landing at the Indonesian Air Force's (TNI-AU's) Halim Perdanakusuma base near South Jakarta, where guided tours of the platform's features will be given to senior military and government officials on 6 March.
The A400M is currently a front runner in Jakarta's bid to improve its military airlift capabilities. Jane's first reported in January 2017 that the Indonesian House of Representatives' commission on defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs (Komisi I) had approved a sum of USD2 billion to procure up to five A400M platforms, although a contract for the acquisition has yet to materialise.
The funding has been allocated with the condition that the final three airframes undergo final fit-out at state-owned PT Dirgantara's facilities in Bandung, in a bid to transfer expertise to local aerospace industry players. Once a contract materialises, the A400M is expected to be ordered in the transport and utility configuration.
defense-studies