Jul 31, 2013

Committee probes German ministry's drone debacle

An investigative committee in the German parliament is aiming to explain why the Euro Hawk drone, after years in the making and investments of more than 600 million euros, can't receive flight permission.

U.S. Sending Drones All Around Africa

Africa,will see an enormous increase in the sorties of unmanned aerial vehicles remotely piloted by U.S. airmen. The commander of U.S. forces in Africa has purportedly requested a “15-fold increase in surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering on the continent.”
Drone bases are going up all over Africa, so the multiplicity of missions will be easily accommodated.

Indian BrahMos missile air version to be tested before year-end

The aerial version of BrahMos cruise missile with reduced weight would be fitted with deep fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI to undergo the first flight trial before this year end.

WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding enemy, guilty of espionage

The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, found Manning guilty of most of the more than 20 crimes he was charged with, including several counts of violating the Espionage Act. She also acquitted him of one count of violating the Espionage Act that stemmed from his leak of a video that depicted a fatal U.S. military airstrike in Farah, Afghanistan.

Sea Kings could be retired sooner under proposal from US aircraft maker

Sikorsky has approached the Canadian government with a proposal to accept four CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters in its current configuration and gradually make them fully operational with incremental software updates.

Syrian army consolidating gains in key district in Homs

Syrian government forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants forged ahead with their assault on a key rebel district in the central city of Homs Sunday, activists said, as President Bashar Assad’s forces try to crush resistance in the few remaining opposition-held neighborhoods in the city known as the “capital of the revolution.”

US drone kills 3 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

A US drone strike killed three suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen at dawn on Tuesday in the second such attack in three days.

Despite Gains, Leader of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Says Troops Must Stay

Afghan forces are now leading the fight here. They managed an air assault last week, for example, and they may be winning the respect of the Afghan people. But the bottom line for Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. is simple: Afghanistan still needs the United States and will for years to come.

F-35 lands in San Diego MCAS Miramar for first time

A F-35B of VMFA-121, flew MCAS Miramar, San Diego, Cal., to test the jet’s ability to operate at a base without permanent F-35 testing or operational support.

The initial HAD/E Tiger assembled in Eurocopter Spain performs its first flight

Eurocopter’s Tiger combat helicopter program has reached an important new milestone with the maiden flight of the initial Tiger HAD/E variant assembled at Eurocopter's Spanish facilities in Albacete, Spain.

Jul 30, 2013

Jul 29, 2013

Spanish Air Force F-18 Hornet reaches 150.000 flight hours/ El EF-18 completa las 150.000 horas de vuelo en el Ala 15

"Marte 45, check gear down, wind calm, you're clear to land on runway 30R". Last July 17th, Spanish Air Force's EF-18 reached 150.000 flight hours. First Spanish Air Force Hornets arrived 27 years ago, on July 10th, 1986.

"Marte 45, check gear down, wind calm, you're clear to land on runway 30R". Eran las 08:57 del pasado miércoles 17 de julio, y el Ala 15 completaba de esta forma 150.000 horas de vuelo.
Han pasado 27 años desde que el 10 de julio de 1986, tomaran tierra en la Base Aérea de Zaragoza los 4 primeros C.15 en vuelo directo desde St. Louis (Estados Unidos).

Helicópteros del Ejército del aire toman en un buque de la Armada

Por primera vez en la historia reciente de las Fuerzas Armadas pilotos de Super Puma apontan en un buque de la Armada.
Durante esta semana, se ha llevado a cabo un ejercicio de habilitación de dos pilotos del 802 Escuadrón en tomas en Buques de la Armada. Se han realizado 8 tomas por piloto de Super Puma (un total de 16) en el Buque de Acción Marítima Tornado P-44.

Primer vuelo en Yibuti del avión D.4 del Ejército del Aire tras relevar al P.3M en el destacamento “Orion”

Tras relevar al avión P.3M “Orión” el día 22 de julio de 2013, el D.4 “VIGMA” del Ejército del Aire realizó el día 24 de julio su primer vuelo en la zona de operaciones del Cuerno de África. La misión se realizó sin novedad, cumpliéndose todos los objetivos marcados por el mando de la operación “Atalanta” de la Unión Europea.

First Tranche 3 Typhoon Is On the Move

The first Tranche 3 Typhoon, BS116, has been transferred from final assembly to the paint shop facility where it spent two weeks getting a makeover – check out the video and learn more about the painting process.

Russian Air Force to upgrade 3 Tu-160 Bombers

Russia's Defense Ministry has signed a 3.4 billion ruble ($103 million) contract with the Tupolev design bureau and Kazan Aircraft Plant to upgrade three Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers.

Netherlands takes delivery of first F-35A

The first of two Dutch F-35 test aircraft were moved to the Netherlands Ministry of Defense from the U.S. Likewise, it is the first CTOL transferred to a partner overseas in the program.

12 more Osprey due to arrive at Iwakuni, Japan, on Tuesday

The U.S. will bring a second squadron of 12 tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey aircraft to Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Tuesday. The 12 Ospreys will arrive at the U.S. Marine base aboard a ship from San Diego.

Indian Air Force wants to order another 106 PC-7 Mark II trainers

Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne has assailed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd  which builds most of the fighter aircraft the IAF flies. Writing directly to Defence Minister  in the first week of July, Browne has savaged HAL's proposal to design and build a basic trainer aircraft (BTA) for rookie IAF pilots. Rejecting the proposal, Browne has urged Antony to import 106 PC-7 Mark II trainers from Swiss company Pilatus. These will be over and above the 75 trainers already contracted for $640 million.

Jul 26, 2013

Raytheon in final talks to sell air-defense system to Oman

Raytheon is in final negotiations to sell an air-defense system to Oman.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Oman in May for Raytheon’s signing of an arms deal to purchase a ground-based air defense system that would help protect against cruise missile, drone or fighter aircraft attacks.
The Oman sale is valued at around $1.5 billion.

Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod Achieves Operational Flight Status on U.S. Air Force B-52 Bombers

Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) has achieved operational flight status on the B-52 bomber.
With the addition of the B-52, Sniper ATP is the only targeting pod operational across six U.S. Air Force fighter and bomber aircraft platforms. Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force completed Sniper ATP B-52 site activation at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Iraq -Bell 412 EP Helicopters

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq of 12 Bell 412 EP helicopters and associated equipment, parts, training
and logistical support for an estimated cost of $300 million.
The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of 12 Bell 412 EP helicopters equipped with Star SAFIRE III EO/IR systems, PT6T-3DF engines, KDM-706 Distance Measuring Equipment, KNR 634 VOR/LOC with MB/HSI, MST67A Transponder, Artex C406-1HM Emergency Locator Transmitter, Wulfsberg FlexComm II C5000 System with Synthesized Guard, KTR-908 Very High FrequencyRadios, NAT AA-95 Audio System, 660 Weather Radar, AAI Radome, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) Compatible Cockpit Lighting, SX-16 Nightsun, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and
training equipment, site surveys, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of program and logistics support.

India Rafale deal unlikely before September

There is some dispiriting news for French Defence Minister as he arrives in New Delhi to push the 126 fighter Rafale aircraft deal, said to be India’s biggest-ever military tender.
Given the state of play in the Defence Ministry, the deal is unlikely to be finalised before the end of September. By then the election season would have set in and no bureaucrat would want to sign the deal. In such an eventuality, the deal is likely to be decided by the next government.

Jul 25, 2013

Airbus Military C-295MPA likely new Aircraft for Polish Navy

The Polish Navy is analyzing the possibility of purchasing three maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), first reported by local news site The military planes, which would also have anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, are to be acquired by 2030.
The ministry said it is “carrying out an initial evaluation” of the acquisition of the EADS CASA C-295 MPA/ASW aircraft for the Polish Navy.
The Polish military operates 14 CASA C-295M aircraft. The planes are produced by Airbus Military.

South Korea Extends Bidding for Fighter Jets

South Korea said Thursday it would re-open bidding on a $7.4 billion fighter jet deal next month, citing high prices presented by three aviation giants vying for its largest defense contract to date.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the decision, after initial bidding procedures were temporarily suspended.
The project to buy 60 advanced planes was launched to replace an aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets introduced decades ago.
It has been delayed for months because of South Korea’s position that the price should not exceed the 8.3 trillion won (US $7.4 billion) approved by parliament.

Alenia Delivers First ATR 72-600 to Turkish Navy

Alenia Aermacchi has delivered the first ATR 72-600 maritime utility aircraft to the Turkish Navy, the first of eight planes. Turkey’s order consists of two maritime utility aircraft and six maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft.

Images show NKorea launch-pad halt

An eight-month construction standstill at a North Korean site meant to launch bigger and better long-range rockets may signal Pyongyang is slowing or even stopping development of larger rockets, according to a new analysis of recent satellite imagery.

New Push to Block Purchases of Russian Helicopters

With a bipartisan group of lawmakers beginning a new push to block the Pentagon from buying Russian helicopters for the Afghan army, a new report from a human-rights organization has called on Congress to force the Defense Department to cancel its orders.

US Navy hopes to increase AIM-9X range by 60%

The US Navy is hoping to increase the range of the new Raytheon AIM-9X Block III by some 60% over current Sidewinder variants due to the unique needs of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) says. The new weapon is scheduled to become operational in 2022.

India starts first training course with new PC-7 Mk II fleet

The Indian air force has commenced training with the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II, marking the recommencement of basic training for future air force pilots.
The resumption of training involves more than 80 cadets and follows delivery of the air force's 14th PC-7 Mk II in June 2013. Pilatus has already provided training to Indian instructor pilots and maintainers on the type, which will operate from the Indian air force academy at Dundigal, Hyderabad. It also has "delivered a complete logistics support package".

Italy opens F-35 assembly line, as political opposition grows

On 18 July, without a formal ceremony and in a state of political turmoil, Italy launched assembly activities on its first Lockheed Martin F-35A combat aircraft.
The new, €800 million ($1 billion) final assembly and check-out (FACO) facility inside Cameri air base, near Milan "was established in a compressed period and is running on schedule and budget," General Chief Inspector Domenico Esposito, head of Aeronautics Armament Procurement, said in a recent interview released by the Italian defence ministry.

Israel's Defense Ministry looking to sell surplus planes, tanks and boats to 'friendly nations

A list of hardware being sold off by the Defense Ministry reveals the inventory of planes, tanks and other items that have been taken out of service by the Israel Defense Forces and delivered to the ministry for overseas sales. Included in the list of army surplus are 25 Kfir warplanes, eight Cobra helicopters, and 18 fighter-interceptor F-16 Hawks.

Philippines Air Force says purchase of 8 Sokol choppers from Poland is last

”Of what use is a combat helicopter if you cannot use its machine gun?” President Aquino asked in his State of the Nation Address on Monday.
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the purchase of eight Sokol helicopters from Poland would be the last by the Department of National Defense (DND) since they could not be used in combat, after all.

SAAF to sell planes?

The South African National Defense Force is reportedly considering selling off its Gripen fighter planes and its Agusta A109 helicopters as it has no money to operate them.

Japan scrambles jets after China plane flies by southern islands

Japan scrambled fighter jets on Wednesday after a Chinese military aircraft flew for the first time through international airspace near its southern islands out over the Pacific, in a move seen by Japan as underlining China's maritime expansion.

Airbus still resolving issues with Australia's KC-30′s boom

Airbus has yet to resolve performance issues with its military refueling plane, more than two years after the first examples were delivered, according to the Royal Australian Air Force, the model’s lead customer.
The KC-30A tanker and troop transport has been on the Australian defense department’s Projects of Concern list since 2010.

U.S., in Sign of Displeasure, Halts F-16 Delivery to Egypt

President Obama, in his first punitive response to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt, has halted the delivery of four F-16 fighter planes to the Egyptian Air Force.

KAI Publishes Small KF-X Concept

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has published a drawing of a moderately stealthy fighter concept based on its T-50 series of supersonic trainers and light-attack aircraft. The concept aircraft is far smaller and less ambitious than the all-new, twin-engine KF-X designs promoted by the Agency for Defense Development, the leading proponent of building an indigenous South Korea fighter

Jul 24, 2013

MC-27J partners set sights on Dubai air show appearance

Alenia Aermacchi and ATK have provided further details about their development work on a gunship and multi-mission payload fit for the C-27J Spartan tactical transport, and revealed plans to take the MC-27J derivative to the Dubai air show in November.

Rafael eyes Litening adaptation for stealth aircraft

Rafael is considering adapting its Litening targeting pod for use on platforms like the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which require such equipment and weapons to be carried internally to maintain their stealth performance.
The Israeli company will not elaborate on the effort, but says it is an "expected evolution" for the proven Litening design, more than 1,400 of which have been sold by it and its US partner Northrop Grumman.

Indian Air Force Accepts 2nd C-17


A330 Voyager nears tanker milestone with Typhoon

The UK Royal Air Force is close to securing full release to service (RTS) clearance for its Airbus A330 Voyagers to provide in-flight refuelling for its Eurofighter Typhoons, with the combination already working together under a temporary exemption.

Airbus Military steps up C295 MPA offer to UK

The UK's lack of a dedicated maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) fleet is continuing to draw the attention of companies eyeing a potential need to acquire successors for the Royal Air Force's Nimrod MR2s, the last of which were retired from use in March 2010.
Industry sources say a UK air ISTAR [intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance] optimisation study is set to soon enter a second phase, following an analysis of initial engagement between potential bidders and the Ministry of Defence. If progressed, this could lead to the latter seeking to establish a funding line by April 2014 to conduct work leading to a possible future purchase.

Several senior RAF officers were given a tour of a Portuguese air force Airbus Military C295 multimission aircraft at the 20-21 July Royal International Air Tattoo. Operated by the service's 502 Sqn from Montijo air base, the adapted transport was on static display in its MPA configuration, which includes onboard operator workstations, an electro-optical infrared camera and a maritime search radar.
Portugal operates 12 C295s, with five equipped with the pallet-based MPA fit at any one time. This configuration includes fuselage-mounted side-looking airborne radar sensors, used for tasks including pollution detection. with a 200-mile [range] radar which can track up to 1,000 targets,.

Airbus Military has already discussed potential co-operation with local equipment suppliers for a potential UK competition. The company, which he says "has a slick solution, with some winning ideas", displayed a model of a torpedo-equipped C295 in RAF markings in its chalet at RIAT.

The manufacturer has already cleared a similar combination for the Chilean navy, and recently performed airborne separation tests using MBDA's Marte Mk2 anti-ship missile.


First Five Merlin Mk 2 Helicopters Delivered to Royal Navy

AgustaWestland announced that the first five AW101 Merlin HM Mk 2 helicopters have been delivered to the Royal Navy. A ceremony was held at RNAS Culdrose to celebrate the formation of the Navy's first Merlin HM Mk.2 equipped squadron.

Jul 23, 2013

German Defense Ministry Denies Report on A400M Delivery Threa

The German Defense Ministry denied a report in Der Spiegel magazine that delivery of the Airbus Military A400M transport plane could be delayed because of a mistake in the ministry’s certification procedures.

Armed Forces of Malta Sign Contract for One AW139 Plus Two Options

AgustaWestland announces that the Armed Forces of Malta has signed a contract for one intermediate twin AW139 helicopter plus two options, to perform maritime border patrol and SAR missions. The plan foresees the acquisition of a total of three aircrafts by 2015 including an Integrated Logistic Support package and the training of 10 pilots – including four ab-initio students – as well as 20 technicians. The first helicopter will be delivered within June 2014.

Combined EUCOM-IDF 'Juniper Stallion 13' Aerial Exercise Underway

The U.S. European Command and the Israel Defense Forces have begun Juniper Stallion 13, a bilateral aerial exercise held between the U.S. and Israeli air forces. The exercise will last approximately two weeks, and is part of the regularly scheduled training between the two nations.
Juniper Stallion 13 is a combined, bilateral F-15/F-16 air-to-air exercise designed to improve the interoperability and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli air forces. JS13 is an annual training event which has been in planning for more than a year.