May 26, 2018
The confirmation of the anticipated sale to Pakistan was made in the political manifesto that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) has released ahead of the general election scheduled for June. The manifesto states that “a very short while ago a contract for the sale of 30 attack helicopters was signed with Pakistan”.
Pakistan is known to have evaluated the Turkish-built version of the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta as part of an ongoing effort to procure a new attack helicopter for the country’s army. With the Pakistan Army having already ordered 12 US-built Bell AH-1Z Vipers, it had since 2014 been trialling the Chinese-built Z-10 and since 2016 the T129.
Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
AS532 "COUGAR" EJÉRCITO DE TIERRA
SH-3D "SEA KING" ARMADA ESPAÑOLA
Spanish Navy Flagship Aicraft Carrier 'Juan Carlos I', arrived in Kuwait carrying three CH-47D Chinook and two AS-532 Cougar in support of Operation "Inherent Resolve" in Iraq, according EMAD.
The unit will operate out from iraqi city of Taji, carrying out transport missions between, Bagdad, Besmayah and Taji and is under command of Gala Gallego, from Batallón de Helicópteros de Maniobra IV (Bhelma IV).
The Spanish Helicopters will support Spanish Forces deployed in Iraq, and another from International Coalition against Daesh.
Juan Carlos I, is being scorted by ESPS 'Blas de Lezo' Type F-100 frigate.
May 24, 2018
The aircraft are meant to help the German Air Force conduct airlift, air refueling and air drop missions as part of a French-German allied squadron based in Evreux, France. The C-130Js would provide crucial air refueling capability to German and French fighter and light transport aircraft, as well as helicopters, according to the annoucement.
The helicopters were offered to the Philippines sometime in 2017.
Jordan had initially offered to donate four helicopters to the southeast Asian country, although this was later reduced to two. Jordan had earlier donated at least three Cobra helicopter gunships to Kenya from its fleet of almost 50 Cobras, which include ex-U.S. Army helicopters acquired in 2001 and 15 more from neighboring Israel in 2015.
The AH-1F Cobras being donated to the Philippines are capable of utilizing guided anti-tank missiles. The country has already taken delivery of the Israeli Rafael Spike Extended Range missile for its Navy’s fast-attack craft and selected the Spike Non Line Of Sight for its Leonardo AW159 Wildcat naval helicopters,
As such, integrating the Spike, which is already being used on Israel’s Cobra helicopters, would appear to be the likely route for the Philippines when funding is available.
The Philippines has been battling insurgencies on several fronts, including a five-month-long battle with Islamic State-linked militants who seized control of the city of Marawi in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in May 2017.
The military took back the city after a protracted urban battle with the help of manned and unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft from the U.S. and Australia.
During the battle, the Philippine Air Force conducted airstrikes using fixed-wing aircraft along with Leonardo A109E utility and Hughes MD-520MG light-attack helicopters, although the use of unguided bombs, rockets and gunfire resulted in several instances of friendly fire casualties when troops were accidentally hit by airstrikes while in close contact with the militants.
Mike Yeo - defensenews
The drones are being stationed at Larisa under the aegis of an existing joint training order between the two nations.
May 20, 2018
The Norfolk air base will be the home of the Lightning Force – when the strike fighters are not embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales.
Two Royal Navy and two RAF pilots will be at the controls of the multi-million pound aircraft for the transatlantic flight; they are assigned to the newly-reformed – and legendary – 617 Squadron, the Dambusters.
May 9, 2018
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) flew its first operational mission with its recently acquired Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters on 7 May.
The mission, which was disclosed by the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, saw at least three helicopters fly in support of Afghan provincial elections.
The AAF is set to receive 159 Black Hawks by 2020 as the United States transitions the country’s armed forces over from its approximately 80 Russian-built Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ helicopters that are nearing the end of their service lives. To date, eight have been received over two batches in September 2017 and January 2018, with the first six pilots having graduated from training in November 2017.
Before entering into Afghan service, these former US Army aircraft first undergo a major refurbishment and upgrade.
May 5, 2018
The approval comes as the aircraft’s larger European competitor, Airbus Defence & Space’s A400M transport aircraft, has struggled with production issues and has ramped down its delivery rate. Germany is a launch customer for the A400M, along with European NATO nations Spain, Belgium, Britain, France, Luxembourg and Turkey.
Lockheed Martin’s potential sale includes three C-130J-30s, the stretch version of the aircraft, and three KC-130Js, the aerial refueling version of the aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force says bases in Missouri, South Dakota and Texas will receive the next-generation B-21 bomber to replace existing aircraft starting in the mid-2020s.
The Air Force said Wednesday that Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri have been chosen as “reasonable alternatives ” to host the new B-21 bomber.
Officials are expected to make a final basing decision in 2019 after compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other regulations. The B-21 is to replace B-1 and B-2 aircraft.
Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Megan Schafer said the B-52s took off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, where they conducted a training mission in the vicinity of the South China Sea. The bombers then flew to the Okinawa, Japan, area to train with American F-15C Strike Eagles before returning to Guam.
The bombers were among six B-52s the Air Force deployed to Guam from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana in January.
The intercept involving the Russian Su-27 jet and a Navy P-8 Poseidon was considered safe, but unprofessional. Tuesday’s intercept follows a January incident, when a Su-27 flew within 5 feet of a EP-3 Aries spy plane flying in international airspace over the Black Sea, forcing the American aircraft to fly through the Russian jet’s flight wash.
May 1, 2018
Finland has requested bids from France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, all of which responded to the request for information that was issued in 2016.
Those bidding for the replacement of the Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fleet are Boeing with its upgraded F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; Dassault with the Rafale; Eurofighter with the Typhoon; Saab with the Gripen; and Lockheed Martin with the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
The government is seeking 64 aircraft with weapons and sensors, alongside support, training systems, and spares.
“To reduce the risk involved in the integration of different systems, the tenderers are requested to provide comprehensive solutions meeting the operational requirements,” the government said in a statement.
Finland will begin to phase out its Hornet fleet from 2025, and a selection of the replacement is expected to be made in 2021.
The next phase following the RfQ issue is to begin in the second half of 2019, when final offers will be negotiated with each of the bidders. The final quotations would be requested in 2020, the government said.
The bids will be assessed based on the ability to meet five military scenarios: counter-air; counter-land; counter-sea; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and long-range strike.
Apr 29, 2018
The ministry in April 2017 asked Japan Marine United Corp., a Tokyo-based company that built the vessel, to look into ways to improve the capabilities of the Izumo.
Japan Marine United submitted its report to the Defense Ministry in March and the ministry released details, with some bits blacked out, on April 27.
The report states that the Defense Ministry's precondition for the study was to look into how the Izumo could be used to provide rear-line support to the U.S. military.
The company was asked to provide estimates for the cost and construction schedule if changes were made to allow U.S. F-35B stealth fighter jets to land vertically on the deck and to use elevators to transport aircraft to their hangars.
Two P-1s are currently in Berlin, Germany, participating in the ILA 2018 air show, with Reuters, citing Japanese government sources, reporting that Japan has asked P-1 manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries, or KHI, to explore possible partnerships with France’s Dassault Aviation and Thales.
France and Germany are in the preliminary stages of a program to find a “European solution” to replace their respective anti-submarine maritime patrol aircraft. Their defense ministers are due to sign a letter of intent to formalize the plan at the air show, and a road map for the program is expected by June.
France wants to replace its Breguet Atlantique turboprop anti-submarine aircraft, and Germany is looking for a new platform to take over from the Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion it currently operates.
KHI will almost certainly face competition from Airbus for the Franco-German program. The European aerospace giant recently launched a military variant for its popular A320neo civil airliner, which it says can be customized for a wide variety of roles and missions depending on customer requirements.
Other potential contenders for the program include Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon multimission aircraft and possibly Saab’s Swordfish.
Apr 28, 2018
The medium-altitude, long-endurance aircraft rides on a twin-turboprop propulsion system and will come in a strike-capable configuration when it reaches the actual flying stage in the mid-2020s. Germany, France, Italy and Spain have a hand in the program, though only the first three are considered the principal main industry partners, with Germany’s Airbus in the lead.
Notably, companies are building the unmanned plane so it can operate immediately in the dense European airspace. Past practice of first acquiring a drone and later worrying about requisite certifications has proven to be problematic, especially for the Germans.
The mock-up is based on a vehicle configuration agreed by the partner nations in mid-2017.
The goal of the Franco-German alliance is to design and build a new fighter jet to eventually replace the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon. Other armed and unarmed aircraft will be integrated into that Future Combat Air System.
Apr 25, 2018
The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG-97), a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine and a P-8 Poseidon will be participating from the U.S. Navy. Participating assets from the RTN include helicopter carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet (CVH 911), Khamronsin-class corvette HTMS Long Lom (FS 533), Naresuan-class frigate HTMS Taksin (FFG 422) and HTMS Naresuan, and S-70B Seahawk helicopter.
Rota also hopes to replace Northwood as headquarters of Operation Atalanta, the EU naval mission that fights piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Apr 22, 2018
Air Force officials said in March 2017 that it was considering retiring its 236 F-15 C and D fighters and replacing them with F-16 Fighting Falcons.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, told Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during a Senate Armed Services air land forces subcommittee hearing Wednesday that the service is still studying its options with the F-15 ― especially as it brings the newest F-35 fighters on board.
The Portuguese Air Force will deploy four F-16M fighter jets from Air Base No 5 Monte Real to Šiauliai, Lithuania, for the fourth time to provide Air Policing capabilities to safeguard the skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The 90-strong detachment of pilots, ground crews and support personnel will take over the lead of NATO Allied Air Command’s Air Policing mission from Denmark on May 2 during a ceremony at Šiauliai Air Base.
French Air Force Mirage 2000-5 fighters and Spanish Eurofighter jets will augment the peacetime mission of Air Policing in the Baltics that started with the accession Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to NATO in 2004.
The French detachment will be based at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, and bring four Mirage 2000-5 from 01.002 wing "Cigognes” and approx. 100 personnel from their home base at Luxeuil in the east of France. This is the seventh time French fighters conduct the NATO mission in the Baltics.
The Spanish Eurofighter detachment comprised of six jets and approx. 130 personnel from 11th Wing at Morón Air Base will be deployed at Šiauliai, too. Spain led the BAP mission in 2006 and 2016 and augmented it out of Ämari in 2015 and 2017, making this the fifth tour to the Baltics.
The Government of Mexico has requested to buy eight (8) MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters, equipped with: twenty (20) T-700 GE 401 C engines (16 installed and 4 spares); sixteen (16) APS-153(V) Multi-Mode radars (8 installed, 8 spares); ten (10) Airborne Low Frequency Systems (ALFS) (8 installed and 2 spares); fourteen (14) AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe transponders (8 installed and 6 spares); twelve (12) AN/AAS-44C Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems Forward Looking Infrared Systems (8 installed, 4 spares); twenty (20) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (16 installed and 4 spares); thirty (30) AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Devices; one thousand (1,000) AN/SSQ-36/53/62 Sonobuoys; ten (10) AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; five (5) AGM-114 M36-E9 Captive Air Training missiles; four (4) AGM-114Q Hellfire training missiles; thirty eight (38) Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) II rockets; thirty (30) Mk -54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedoes (LHTs); twelve (12) M-240D machine guns; twelve (12) GAU-21 Machine Guns.
Apr 21, 2018
Lockheed has discussed the idea with Japanese defense ministry officials and will make a formal proposal in response to a Japanese request for information (RFI) after it receives permission from the U.S. government to offer the sensitive military technology.
The decision on whether to release parts of the highly classified aircraft designs and software to help Japan stay ahead of Chinese advances will test President Donald Trump’s promise to overhaul his country’s arms export policy.
The proposed aircraft “would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them,” said one of the sources.
Japan, which is already buying the radar-evading F-35 to modernize its inventory, also wants to introduce a separate air superiority fighter in the decade starting 2030 to deter intrusions into its airspace by Chinese and Russian jets.
The country’s air force currently flies the F-15J, based on the Boeing F-15; and the F-2, based on the Lockheed Martin F-16.
The bomber is now on its way to critical design review, said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., the military deputy of the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition.
Citing the “nature of the work,” Bunch declined to go into further detail about how the Air Force planned to spend the $2.3 billion it requested for the bomber program for fiscal year 2019 when asked by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). However, he said the program was “continuing engineering manufacturing development” and “some of those risk reduction areas.”
SAMANTHA MASUNAGA | The Los Angeles Times (Tribune News Service)stripes
When a plastic bumper for a landing-gear door wore out this month on an F-35B Lightning II embarked on the amphibious assault ship, a 3-D printer was used to whip up a new one.
The Iwakuni-based jet from Fighter Attack Squadron 121 later flew successfully with the new part, a Marine statement said.
Called “additive manufacturing,” the process from Naval Air Systems Command allowed the Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 31 to create the new bumper and get it approved for use within days, the statement said. Otherwise, they would have had to replace the entire door assembly, which is expensive and time consuming.
Apr 15, 2018
Continuing aircraft reductions in the tri-national program, which also includes Italy, have led to “significant technical, logistical and financial risk” in maintaining the 1980s-era fighter-bombers, officials have told lawmakers in a confidential report seen by Defense News.
While the prospect of Britain’s exit from the aircraft program has been known since November 2016, there is “no sufficient and comprehensive planning in place” for sustaining the remaining German planes, the report warns.
German defense leaders decided in 2016 to extend the life of the Tornado through 2035, with an assessment planned this summer of implementation plans to that end. Berlin originally purchased 357 aircraft; 93 are still in the inventory today, 88 of which belong to the Luftwaffe, according to the defense ministry.
A handful of German Tornados packed with reconnaissance equipment are currently deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, flying missions over Iraq and Syria.
The defense ministry’s March 2018 report leaves open the question of how, and if, the UK would retain some kind of role in the program. Last November, the document states, there was talk about introducing a new, fixed scheme for financial contributions, abandoning the practice of going by the number of airframes used in each nation.
The British plan to use the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35 to absorb missions flown by Tornados. In Germany, the Typhoon appears to be the defense ministry’s preference for a follow-on aircraft, though there are also voices advocating for the F-35. Officials have requested information on both planes from the manufacturers, plus data from the maker of the F-18 and the F-15.
The Israeli company's offers a concept that it claims can bring fighter aircraft to a an advanced 4.5 generation standard by upgrading the different systems.
The concept is being evaluated by the Indian Air Force for its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) fighter aircraft.
The upgrade suit that according to Rafael can enhance the fighter aircraft's capabilities to a 4.5 generation standard includes the Rafael BNET which is an advanced IP Mobile Ad-hoc Network Software Defined Radio (SDR) for tactical operations. According to Rafael It offers unique high spectrum efficiency, as well as cognitive capabilities.
The upgrade package may also include two types of Israeli developed air-air missiles - the IR Python 5 and the I-Derby ER radar-guided 100 km range missile.
The South African Air Force’s Gripens are already equipped with the Rafael Litening 3 targeting pod. The upgrade proposed by Rafael includes enhancing the Litening to its 4.1 version.
Rafael has been working closely with the Swedish manufacturer Saab to offer the upgrade package to users of the Gripen.
The Tornado is UK's primary ground attack jet and has been used to carry out numerous air strikes in Syria and Iraq in recent years.
Set to be retired from service next year after almost four decades on operations, the Tornado, with a maximum speed of Mach 1.3, has also seen action in Libya and Afghanistan.
The main Tornado squadrons are based at RAF Marham in Norfolk, which will become the new home of the cutting-edge of the F-35 Lightning stealth fighter jets.
There are currently six of the jets based at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, a location some 315 miles (510km) from Syria.
Apr 11, 2018
Draken International Signs Agreement with Paramount Aerospace Systems to Regenerate 22 Mirage F1M Aircraft Ex Spanish Air Force
Draken acquired 22 Mirage F1M and F1B fighter jets in an effort to enhance adversary services for its US Department of Defense and allied nation customers. The Mirage F1Ms were predominantly flown by the Spanish Air Force and received a full radar and avionics suite modernization in the late 1990s. This acquisition along with the most recent purchase of twelve supersonic radar equipped South African Denel Cheetah fighter jets increased Draken’s fleet size to over 150 fighter aircraft.
With the completion of the procurement phase, the Mirage F1Ms will now undergo reassembly, restoration and airworthiness certification by Paramount Aerospace Systems at Draken’s Lakeland, FL maintenance facility. Paramount Aerospace specializes in the modernization of fixed wing platforms including leading the previous modernization of the Mirage F1M while still in Spanish Air Force military service. Paramount possesses extensive capabilities on the Mirage F1 with full airframe and engine overhaul capability, as well as the ability to upgrade and modernize avionics and mission systems.
Apr 7, 2018
The IAF released a 73-page request for information to six companies to supply 110 single- and twin-seat fighters over a maximum of 12 years.
Facing a 3 July deadline, responses are expected from the Boeing F/A-18E/F Block III, Dassault Rafale F3R, EurofighterTyphoon, Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70, United Aircraft Corp MiG-35 and Saab Gripen E.
It will be a familiar competition for the six bidding teams. The same teams squared off in 2009 for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract for 126 fighters. India selected the Rafale, but cancelled the contract seven years later.
Instead, the IAF awarded Dassault a contract to deliver 36 Rafales in 2016, and launched a competition for a contract to build 114 single-engine fighters, which limited the field to the F-16 and Gripen.
The IAF scrapped that contest two months ago under pressure from the Indian Congress to consider single- and twin-engined fighters.
The new RFI re-opens the competition to twin-engined fighters made in the USA, Western Europe and Russia.
The RFI sets no standards for the number of engines in the IAF’s future fighter, and repeatedly references the singular or plural term, “engine/s”, in requests for data about the propulsion system.
About 82 of the 110 fighters should be single-seat aircraft and the rest should be two-seat versions, the RFI says.
A maximum of about 16 or 17 fighters can be built outside the country, but the rest must be built within India by local companies or an Indian production agency, the document shows.
As expected, technology transfer and “Made in India” will be priorities in the IAF’s bid evaluations. The bidders must describe in their responses to the RFI how they will use Indian companies as suppliers for systems and aircraft production.