Aug 26, 2013

F-35 out of RoKAF FX-III competition

In a last-ditch effort to win South Korea's fighter jet project Lockheed Martin, selling its F-35 stealth jets through the foreign military sales (FMS) program, offered a price higher than Seoul's budget, effectively being eliminated from the race to win the country's largest arms procurement deal.

F-15Js and F-15Ks at RED FLAG-Alaska

Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K Slam Eagle and Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15 Eagle aircraft park prior to take off during RED FLAG-Alaska 13-3 Aug. 12, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

F-15SE sole candidate in South Korea after Eurofighter got disqualified

The Eurofighter Tranche 3 Typhoon by EADS has reportedly been eliminated from South Korea's project to buy new fighter jets, leaving Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle as the sole final candidate.
EADShas dropped out of the bidding due to problems with their documents lefting.
The South Korea National Procurement Agency said "flaws found in the bidding documents" as reasons of the elimination. It did not elaborate on what kind of document flaws was found.

Bow section of new Chinese Navy Carrier with ski jump emerges in Dalian, China

Pride of the Royal Navy fleet, hacked apart in a Turkish scrapyard: HMS Ark Royal cuts a sorry sight as it's reduced to tin cans and razor blades

She once ruled the waves. Now the 22,000-ton HMS Ark Royal is being ripped apart in a Turkish scrapyard, another victim of British defence cuts.
After a quarter of a century of service, Ark Royal – the fifth vessel to bear a name that dates back to victory over the Spanish Armada – will shortly be reduced to tin cans and razor blades.
This picture shows workers from Leyal Ship Recycling – which paid £2.9 million for the aircraft carrier – stripping out valuable scrap items before larger sections are torn away.
The seven-month dismantling process has already laid bare the crew’s former living quarters.
Above them is Ark Royal’s hangar, once home to 22 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters – Harriers, Merlins and Sea Kings – but now merely an empty reminder of operations past.
At the top are the ship’s flying deck and the exhaust of her gas turbine.
Former First Sea Lord Admiral Alan West said: ‘It is so sad to see Ark Royal in this sorry state and a tragedy that she was prematurely withdrawn from service.’
When she was towed from Portsmouth in May, former crew lined the quay in black armbands.
The Navy has ordered two new aircraft carriers at a total cost of more than £6 billion. The first is due to enter service in 2020.

Russian Air Force MiG-35 Deal ‘On Track’

Russia is not abandoning the purchase of MiG-35 fighter jets and could sign a deal next week at Moscow’s MAKS International Aviation and Space show, which will run from August 27 through September 1, while first deliveries could start in 2015-2016, he said.
Russian Air Force had postponed the purchase of 37 MiG-35’s until 2016 because the defense industry cannot fulfill the contract, and would buy 16 MiG-29SMT fighter jets instead.
The Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F) is a 4++ generation fighter jet and a modification of the MiG-29M. It is equipped with air-to-air and air-to-surface guided missiles, as well as the Zhuk-A radar system.

Wild Weasel” J-8G with YJ-91

F-35C first inflight refueling with KC-135

IAF's 3rd C-17 Headed For India


Aug 24, 2013

Uruguay eyes Chilean F-5Es again

The Uruguayan Air Force is again interested in buying a number of Chilean F-5E Tiger II fighters to fill a gap in high performance combat aircraft.
The only combat aircraft currently operated by Uruguay are small, subsonic Cessna A-37B Dragonfly ground attack platforms, and more capable aircraft are needed to support guard national airspace.
An attempt in 2009 to buy the Chilean aircraft failed due to a lack of funding.
The idea is to buy a batch of between four and six single-seat F-5Es; the Uruguayan Air Force would like to procure more of the aircraft but cannot because of funding limitations.

Russia agrees to sell attack helicopters to Sudan and is negotiating the sale of 18 Su-30 fighters

Sudan and Russia sealed two agreements since 2011 for the sale of two dozen Mi-24 attack helicopters and 14 MI-8 transport helicopters.
The first batch of the shipment was delivered in 2012 in accordance with a contract between two countries a year earlier and the second one was scheduled for delivery this year per a second agreement.
Conditions were attached by Russia to the sale including not using it in Sudan’s restive region of Darfur per United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions banning military flights there.
Russia has already informed the UN Sanctions Committee about the pending sale in a letter sent last February.
In a related issue, a source close to Russia’s agency for defense sales known as Rosoboronexport, said that Sudan is also negotiating the purchase of 18 former Indian Su-30K fighters that are stored in an aircraft repair plant in Belarus.

El Ejército del Aire podría tener aviones no tripulados para 2015

El ministro de Defensa de España, Pedro Morenés, espera que en 2015 el Gobierno pueda iniciar nuevos programas de armamento, entre los que deberían estar los aviones no tripulados aunque esta decisión va a depender de cómo queden al final los programas que ya está en marcha.
El ministro ha manifestado que el Ejército del Aire "indefectiblemente tiene que estar pensando en aviones no tripulados".

Russian Military to Buy 16 MiG-29SMT

The Russian Defense Ministry and the MiG aircraft corporation have agreed the purchase of 16 MiG-29SMT fighter jets until 2016. The agreement is part of the government’s effort to keep the struggling combat aircraft maker afloat following the announced delay of the contract on the purchase of 37 MiG-35 fighters until after 2016. The MiG corporation will have three years to perfect the design of its MiG-35 aircraft and prepare its smooth transition to mass production.

Russia sells Vietnam 12 Sukhoi-30

Russia has signed an agreement to sell Vietnam a dozen Sukhoi-30 multirole combat aircraft.
The fighters, will be delivered next year and in 2015. The purchase is the third by Vietnam of Sukhoi fighters.

Finmeccanica's AgustaWestland says Russia helicopter talks about AW139 still on

Italy's AgustaWestland is still negotiating an order with the Russian government for its AW139 helicopters, a spokesman said after speculation about the order falling through hit the shares of parent company Finmeccanica on Tuesday.
Russian news agency Itar-Tass had reported that Moscow would only consider buying 35 helicopters from AgustaWestland if the price came down.

Japan plans to buy at least one Global Hawk in FY2015

The government has decided to deploy the Global Hawk, an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, in fiscal 2015 to strengthen patrol and surveillance activities around Japan, government sources said.
The Defense Ministry will include ¥200 million in research and study expenses in its budget request for the next fiscal year, which will stipulate the introduction of the aircraft in fiscal 2015, the sources said.
The ministry is in the process of choosing a site to deploy the spy drone, with particular attention on the U.S. Air Force’s Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture.
The Japan News

USAF Planning Decade-Long Huey Extension

The US Air Force is close to finalizing a plan to extend the life of the UH-1N Huey helicopter for the next decadTe.
Exists a master plan that will provide a framework for how to sustain and modernize this aircraft for the next six to ten years.
The plan will lay what improvements can be made to reduce long-running capability gaps with the Huey, among the oldest platforms in the service. Unlike modern aircraft, the Huey is analog, lacking the digital displays that are commonplace on current platforms.

US moving naval forces closer to Syria

The Pentagon is moving naval forces closer to Syria in preparation for a possible decision by President Barack Obama to order military strikes, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel suggested on Friday.
Hagel declined to describe any specific movements of U.S. forces. He said Obama asked the Pentagon to prepare military options for Syria and that some of those options ‘‘requires positioning our forces.’’
U.S. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military action, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, as they did against Libya in 2011 as part of an international action that led to the overthrow of the Libyan government.

Chinese J-31 stealth fighter in flight

Aug 16, 2013

Aselsan To Develop Strategic Turkish Radar

Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense firm, said it signed a $103 million contract with the Turkish Govern­ment, to develop a multimission, phased array radar under a program dubbed CAFRAD Faz-1.

US Navy Moves Ahead To Develop Unmanned Carrier Aircraft

The US Navy has awarded four development contracts to develop designs to compete for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) Air Vehicle.
The contracts went to the Boeing Co., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.
According to the contract announcements, the preliminary design review assessment is to support UCLASS, a system “to enhance aircraft carrier/air wing operations by providing a responsive, world-wide presence via an organic, sea-based unmanned aerial system, with persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting, and strike capabilities.”

Final aircraft carrier installed on USS Gerald Ford carrier

Newport News Shipbuilding has installed the third and final aircraft elevator on the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford.
The elevator transports aircraft from the hangar deck to to the flight deck. The 120-ton structure is 85 feet long and 52 feet wide.
The Ford class is designed with three aircraft elevators, one less than the Nimitz class. The design provides greater flight deck area for increased sortie rates over the Nimitz-class design.

All U.S. nuclear reactors vulnerable to terrorism, probe finds

All 107 nuclear reactors in the United States are inadequately protected from terrorist attacks, according to a Defense Department-commissioned report released Thursday.
The report, by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas, warns that the current security required of civilian-operated reactors fails to safeguard against airplane attacks, rocket-propelled grenades and more than a small handful of attackers.

U.S. military resumes HH-60 helicopter flights after accident

The U.S. military resumed flight operations of the HH-60 helicopter in Okinawa on Friday, saying they found no abnormalities in other choppers of the same type following a fatal accident last week.
The cause of the Aug. 5 crash, which occurred within the premises of Camp Hansen and killed one crew member, has yet to be identified and local governments and residents were quick to show their opposition to the resumption of the flights.

U.S. task force in Jordan to stay for years

A special U.S. task force designed to help Jordan cope with thousands of refugees and the threat of violence spilling over from neighboring Syria will probably remain here for "several years," the top U.S. commander said Thursday.

First USMC F-35B night landing at sea

A key milestone on the path to declaring F-35B initial operating capability for the U.S. Marine Corps is underway.
The F-35 Integrated Test Force from NAS Patuxent River embarked USS Wasp, Aug. 12, for the second at-sea test of the F-35B Lightning II, the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.
Developmental Test Phase Two is the second of three planned tests aimed at expanding the F-35B’s shipboard operating envelope for the U.S. Marine Corps. The first shipboard testing phase was successfully completed in October 2011.
During the 18-day long ship trials, two F-35Bs will conduct a series of tests to determine the aircraft’s suitability for sea-based operations. Pilots will expand the F-35Bs allowable wind envelope for launch and recovery, conduct first-ever night operations at sea, conduct initial mission systems evaluations at sea, evaluate the dynamic interface associated with aircraft operations on a moving flight deck, and further evaluate shipboard sustainment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Royal Australian Navy’s first MH-60R to be transferred in December

The Royal Australian Navy’s first MH-60R has arrived at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training in Owego where it will have the digital cockpit, integrated mission systems and sensors installed. It will be transferred to the RAN in December this year.

First image of a North Korean militarized, camouflaged Il-76 cargo plane

It looks like some of North Korea‘s Il-76 cargo planes have been militarized and given an interesting camouflaged color scheme.
The image showing the Il-76TD the military camo (the first and, probably, only so far), whose source is unclear, was posted on El Hangar de TJ website.
Since Air Koryo operates three of these Soviet-made aircraft to carry cargo in China and Russia (provided all the examples ordered at the beginning of the 1990s are still serviceable), it is safe to believe the one depicted in the photograph is a civilian one belonging to the state-owned national flag carrier airline of North Korea.
theaviationist via El Hangar de TJ

Australia will buy 10 Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft

Australia will buy 10 new Alenia C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft to replace the Vietnam-era Caribou aircraft retired from service in 2009.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) looked into this procurement following a complaint from opposition defence spokesman David Johnston.
He said other potential suppliers had provided information which raised questions about whether the Alenia deal would provide value for money.
ANAO concluded it did, on the basis that the C-27J would do everything defence required at the lowest cost.
This was a contentious procurement which pitted the C-27J against the Airbus C-295.
Defence favoured the C-27J on the basis that it could fly further and faster with a greater load capacity, in particular its ability to carry special operations vehicles.
For that reason, it opted for a direct procurement of C-27J aircraft through the US military as a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) deal rather than a full tender process.

Jordan Asks for Assistance in Securing Syrian Border

With no end in sight to the violence in Syria, which has already sent a half-million refugees into Jordan, authorities here appealed to the United States on Wednesday for surveillance airplanes and intelligence help to secure a border that is favored by arms smugglers.

Aug 14, 2013

Chile will upgrade its aging P-3 Orions patrol aircraft rather than buy new ones

The Chilean navy has dropped plans to replace old patrol aircraft and instead will upgrade them with the hope of flying them another 17 years.
Chilean President has been making budgetary adjustments amid increased demands for government spending on infrastructure, education and energy development. Protests over education inequities and alleged favoritism of the privileged few have threatened to destabilize Pinera's administration.

Northrop Grumman's MQ-8B Fire Scout Unmanned Helicopter Passes 5,000 Flight Hours Supporting Operations in Afghanistan

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter surpassed 5,000 flight hours while providing critical surveillance capabilities to field commanders in Afghanistan.
Since deploying to Afghanistan in 2011, the MQ-8 Fire Scout system has provided real-time airborne surveillance and targeting supporting counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), provided targeting support and delivered real-time video to military forces on the ground.

Massive Explosion Sinks Indian Submarine At Berth, Salvage On

A huge explosion inside Indian Navy Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhurakshak late last night sunk it in its berth at the Mumbai naval dockyard, with just a tiny portion visible. A major fire spread inside the submarine post the explosion. The navy put out a statement a short while ago to say that 18 personnel were on board when the explosion ripped through the submarine, but doesn't say yet if they've been rescued.
INS Sindhurakshak, inducted in 1997, suffered a fire in 2010 in which a sailore was killed. Three months after the fire, the submarine was sent to Russia for a major refit that lasted three years. All its major systems were overhauled and repaired, and it was given the new Club-S AShM and Porpoise radar, in addition to a modernisation of its cooling system.

Taiwan’s CSIST unveils first VTOL UAV

Taiwan’s Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology will unveil its first VTOL unmanned aircraft, dubbed Mystic Eye, at the 2013 Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition.

F-15SE close to matching future South Korea Fighter F-X III price ceiling

With the “final” bidding for Korea’s next-generation fighter program underway, the procurement price of 8.3 trillion won ($7.5 billion) is taking center stage, which puts Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle (SE) in the contender position.
However, military watchers say that a price-focused selection of 60 F-15 SEs may doom the Korean Air force's goal of boosting its strength due to lesser capabilities than those being hyped.
The F-15 is up against Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company’s (EADS) Eurofighter Tranche 3 Typhoon in the Air Force program to buy 60 combat planes to replace its obsolete fleet of F-4s and F-5s.


Airbus Military is conducting a renewed phase of trials examining the A400M´s performance on unpaved runways. The photo shows the second development aircraft – MSN2 – taking-off from the Ablitas test site near Zaragoza, Spain.

Aug 13, 2013

Pentagon Watchdog To Release Classified Audit on V-22 Osprey

The Pentagon’s internal watchdog is poised to publish a classified report scrutinizing how much time the military’s V-22 Osprey spends in maintenance and unprepared for flight.
The Defense Department inspector general’s audit will determine whether the Osprey’s performance “meets mission capability rate requirements, as well as how the frequency of repairs and the replacement of supply parts” affects its mission readiness, officials with the IG’s office wrote in their August newsletter.

Spying scandal sets back U.S. chances for fighter jet sale to Brazil

U.S. hopes of landing a coveted deal worth more than $4 billion to sell 36 fighter jets to Brazil have suffered a setback with recent revelations that the United States collected data on Brazilian Internet communications.

Arms Shipments Seen From Sudan to Syria Rebels

Syrian rebels, frustrated by the West’s reluctance to provide arms, have found a supplier in an unlikely source: Sudan, a country that has been under international arms embargoes and maintains close ties with a stalwart backer of the Syrian government, Iran.
In deals that have not been publicly acknowledged, Western officials and Syrian rebels say, Sudan’s government sold Sudanese- and Chinese-made arms to Qatar, which arranged delivery through Turkey to the rebels.

UN picks Falco UAS for Democratic Republic of Congo peacekeeping mission

Selex ES is to supply a Falco unmanned air system to support UN peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, under a potentially five-year deal.
The UN on 1 August confirmed that its Department of Peacekeeping Operations has selected the European supplier for a requirement to support the MONUSCO mission. "The deployment of the UAV is planned in coming weeks," the organisation says, while describing the activity as a "trial use".

Boeing, US Navy Demo New Targeting and Data Systems on EA-18G

The U.S. Navy recently flew Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft with sensor system upgrades and its newest data network, demonstrating how the enhanced technologies would allow aircrews to locate threats more quickly and accurately.
Ultimately, the secure, high-speed network will allow aircrews to share targeting data in real time. The technology will be incorporated into deployed Growler electronic attack aircraft in 2018, sooner than all Navy aircraft other than the E-2D Hawkeye surveillance airplane.

First of new Royal Navy's Merlin anti-submarine helicopters delivered to RNAS Culdrose

The first of the UK’s fleet of next generation anti-submarine maritime patrol Merlin helicopters have been handed to the Royal Navy at Culdrose.
The delivery of the five helicopters, which have been upgraded as part of a £800 million Lockheed Martin contract, to the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm marks a significant milestone.
Fitted with a state-of-the-art glass cockpit and improved aircrew console and avionics, the Merlin Mk 2 will have advanced touch screen displays, and an improved ability to detect and track submarines and share data with other aircraft and ships while airborne.

General Dynamics to Make More Upgrades on USS Eisenhower

General Dynamics, was awarded an $82.5 million modification to an undefinitized contract to perform maintenance and upgrade work on the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) while it is in dry dock. General Dynamics is expected to complete work on this contract by November 2014.
Originally built by Northrop Grumman -- now Huntington Ingalls -- the Eisenhower first launched in October 1975, was commissioned in 1977, and is expected to remain in service through at least 2025.

Russia Begins Construction of New Anti-Missile Radar

The construction of an advanced early missile warning radar will begin on Tuesday in central Russia to enhance the capabilities of the country’s missile defenses.
The new Voronezh-class radar will be built near the town of Orsk in the Orenburg region as part of the comprehensive missile early warning network to be completed in Russia by 2020.
In addition to the Orenburg radar, the preparations for construction of new-generation radars are underway in the Krasnoyarsk and the Altai territories.

A return to the Air Force for the sleek Blackbird?

Nearly 50 years after its first flight — and 15 years after its last — the SR-71 Blackbird still looks like the spy plane of the future.
During its Cold War heyday, the sleek rocket-plane could skim along the atmosphere at Mach 3, twice as high and more than three times as fast as commercial jet aircraft.
It could shoot high-quality photographs of secret sites from an altitude that no Soviet fighter could reach.

Northrop Grumman Awarded $617 Million for Full-Rate Production E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $617 million contract for five full-rate production Lot 1 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Moving from low-rate production into full-rate production is a significant milestone for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program.

For the first time, Iron Dome intercepts missile fired at Eilat

A missile shoot at Eilat shortly before 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, triggering an air raid siren and activating the Iron Dome anti-rocket battery, which is stationed at the Red Sea city.
The Iron Dome system intercepted at least one missile, according to initial IDF assessments. The incident marked the first time that Iron Dome has ever intercepted a rocket fired at Eilat.

Russia S-300 Missiles for Syria Already Built, Delivery Postponed

Several of advanced Russia’s S-300 missile systems ordered by Syria have been built. However the delivery was postponed till the year 2014.
Citing arms industry sources, Vedomosti daily reported Friday that several of thes-300S-300s have already been built, while the production of the others has been postponed.
The daily said that a batch of the systems was due to be sent to Syria this spring, according to the Russian arms export agency's contract with Damascus, but the systems are now apparently due for delivery no earlier than the summer of 2014.

NAVAIR teams test anti-jamming device

The Navy's Communications and GPS Navigation Program Office (PMW/A 170) mounted a Small Antenna System on an Aerostar unmanned aircraft then placed it in a room lined with signal-absorbent material, where it was subjected to GPS jamming signals at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Part of an initiative to protect GPS technologies on small unmanned aerial vehicles, the Navy conducted the tests in July to demonstrate how miniaturized GPS protection devices can prevent interruption of the mission-critical global positioning data.

Indian Nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile successfully tested

Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Armed Forces on Monday successfully test-fired Nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore district, Odisha.
The launch was carried out at 9.20 a.m., as part of a regular training exercise.


The first production Airbus Military A400M  for the Turkish Air Force  has made its maiden flight. The aircraft, known as MSN9, took off from Seville, Spain, at 13:56 local time on 9 August and landed back in Seville 5 hours and 30 minutes later. The A400M programme for the Turkey is also making good progress at the Airbus Military International Training Centre at Seville, where Turkey Air Forces, loadmasters, and maintenance technicians have already begun their training.
Turkey has ordered 10 A400Ms.

Aug 12, 2013

Russian Air Force to Get 60 Mi-28UB Helicopters by 2020

The Russian Defense Ministry will procure up to 60 Mi-28UB helicopters to improve the training of pilots for Mi-28N gunships.