Oct 31, 2015

United States Delivers Four F-16 to Egypt

On October 29, US Ambassador in Cairo joined Egyptian military officials in a ceremony at the Cairo West Air Force Base to receive four F-16 delivered by the United States to the Egyptian Air Force. Welcoming the four U.S. Air Force pilots who made the 14 hour flight from the United States to Egypt.
The F-16 Block 52 were delivered under the “Peace Vector” program, which has provided F-16 fighter jets to Egypt for the last 30 years, and will be integrated immediately into the Egyptian Air Force fleet.

Marine Corps CH-53K King Stallion Heavy-Lift Helicopter Finishes First Flight

The CH-53K King Stallion, the Marine Corps' next-generation heavy-lift helicopter, took its first flight Tuesday at Sikorsky's test facility.
The entire flight test lasted about 55 minutes including taxiing on the runway, but the helicopter was in the air for about 30 minutes.

KC-390 resumes flight tests

The flight on 26 October at Embraer’s test centre in Gaviao Pexioto, Brazil, ends an eight-month hiatus caused by a fiscal crisis in Brasilia. As the Real currency has devalued by 50% since the beginning of the year, the government had slowed payments to Embraer on a host of projects, but none bigger than the KC-390.
Last July, Embraer announced signing an agreement with the Brazilian air force that extended the KC-390 development schedule by a year, with entry into service beginning in 2018.
The timing of the Brazilian economic crisis posed a severe test for the KC-390 programme. Embraer completed a 1.5h first flight in Gaviao Peixoto on 3 February, but never flew again until 26 October. In the interim, Embraer’s team moved forward with ground vibration testing, Curado says.
Embraer also has kicked off development of the F-39 Gripen fighter for the Brazilian air force with prime contractor Saab.

US denies South Korea T-50 Golden Eagle export permission to Uzbekistan

The US has refused to authorise a proposed South Korean export of 12 T-50 Golden Eagle advanced trainers to Uzbekistan.
The deal, may have been dependent on US approval thanks to the integration of Lockheed Martin technology on the platform during its co-development with KAI in South Korea.
US concerns are focused on the possibility that Uzbekistan could allow information on sensitive US technology, such as is used on the aircraft's avionics and engines, to be transferred to Russia, a close ally of Uzbekistan.

Northrop Grumman Wins USAF's Long Range Strike Bomber Contract

Northrop Grumman has won the contract to build the US Air Force’s next-generation Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B).
After US financial markets closed Tuesday evening, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Air Force leadership announced that Northrop beat out the team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin for the contract, which is expected to top $55 billion over the life of the program. It's the largest military aircraft contract since Lockheed Martin won the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) more than a decade ago.
Northrop now has the Pentagon's blessing to build a new fleet of aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging B-52s and B-1s. As builder of the B-2 stealth bomber, Northrop beat out a joint Lockheed Martin-Boeing team in a closely watched competition that has lasted months longer than anticipated.

Russian bombers buzz carrier USS Ronald Reagan amid exercise

The carrier Ronald Reagan scrambled four armed F/A-18 Hornets Tuesday to intercept two incoming Russian bombers in a startling low altitude pass by 7th Fleet's aircraft carrier.
The TU-142 Bear bombers barreled by at an altitude of 500 feet and within a mile of the flattop, then participating in exercises with the Republic of Korea.
Navy officials characterized the interactions as safe.
The Reagan Carrier Strike Group attempted to raise the bomber on the radio but the Russians made no answer. Bear bombers have a long-range and are used for reconnaissance, though they can be configured and loaded out with cruise missiles and anti-submarine weapons, among other things.
Close encounters between U.S. Navy forces and Russian reconnaissance flights were routine during the Cold War and have reemerged as Russia has reasserted its military might in the wake of the country's 2014 forcible annexation of Crimea. Nations in Europe and Asia have expressed increasing concerns over Russian incursions into their airspace.
The recent uptick in Russian surveillance flights is a signal to the West that they are back in the game after years of low activity, analysts say.

Oct 25, 2015

USAF deploys A-10s to Incirlik for Syria strikes

The United States has deployed 12 A-10C to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to support its strikes in Syria and Iraq.
The US Air Force (USAF) revealed the deployment on 22 October, although the aircraft arrived at Incirlik on 15 October.
The A-10s, from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, are reportedly replacing the six Lockheed Martin F-16Cs that the USAF deployed to Incerlik from Italy in August. The A-10s have already flown combat missions over Syria.
The deployment is not the first time A-10s have participated in Operation 'Inherent Resolve', as the US terms its strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In November 2014 the USAF deployed A-10s to Ahmed al-Jabr Air Base in Kuwait to support the operation.

Oct 24, 2015

Flight trials of Australian Army CH-47D with HMAS Canberra

Australia is using an Army CH-47D Chinook to do First of Class Flight Trial with HMAS Canberra in Jervis Bay.

US, Russia Sign Memorandum on Flights Over Syria

The US and Russia have signed a memorandum of agreement about safe conduct while flying over Syria, but the ongoing mistrust between the two sides means the agreement may have little real-world impact.
The agreement, announced by the Pentagon's press secretary, Peter Cook, on Tuesday, includes a "series of protocols in place that effectively are intended to avoid any sort of risk of a midair incident between our aircrews and Russian aircrews.
"If they follow these protocols we should not have the risk of engagement of Russian aircrews over Syria," he said. "In the event there is an incident or engagement in the air, there are protocols they can follow and an ability to engage with each other in the air to make sure everyone is operating safely. As a back up to that, there is a separate line of communication that is available should communication in the air break down for some reason."
However, Cook said, the Russian government asked that the US not release the actual language of the agreement. Asked why the Russian government requested the details be kept secret, Cook said: "I know it was a request that was made and I'm not sure the full reason behind it."
As a result, details are scarce, with Cook largely dodging on specifics when asked by reporters.

USAF ‘Really, Really Close’ To Bomber Contract Award

The US Air Force is “really, really close” to announcing which industry team will build its next-generation bomber, according to top service officials.
Industry is still holding its breath for the contract announcement, which could come anytime in the next few weeks. The upcoming award pits three giants in the aerospace world against each other: Northrop Grumman, builder of the B-2 stealth bomber, is competing against a joint Boeing-Lockheed Martin team for the project.
Although the Air Force has repeatedly postponed the contract award, the program has not been delayed. Leadership is committed to making sure the source selection process is done right, he said.
The Air Force plans to buy 80 to 100 Long Range Strike Bombers to replace its aging B-52s and B-1s, which the service plans to retire in the mid-2040s. The target price is $550 million a copy in 2010 dollars. That unit cost is a key performance parameter for the program, meaning that a company can be disqualified if its price fails to reach that goal.
When the contract is awarded, it will come in two parts — a development contract that is cost-plus incentive fee, and an agreement on the first five low-rate initial production lots that is fixed-price incentive fee. Those first five lots will cover the production of 21 bombers.
LRSB is unusually mature for a program at this stage in its development, according to Lt. Gen. Arnie Bunch, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for acquisition. The program has completed preliminary design review and manufacturing readiness review, and the platform designs are “at the subsystem level,” he said during the briefing.
The teams have already built component prototypes and scale models of the designs for testing

Successfull F-16V With Advanced AESA Radar First Flight

Lockheed Martin’s has completed the maiden flight of the F-16V, a next generation configuration that leverages a common worldwide sustainment infrastructure and provides capability improvements to this fighters.
On October 16, the F-16V took to the skies over Texas, marking the first time an F-16 has flown with advanced APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR).
The F-16V "Viper" advanced avionics configuration also includes a new cockpit Center Pedestal Display, a modernized mission computer, a high-capacity Ethernet data bus, and several other mission system enhancements that add combat capabilities that address the threat environments coming forth in the next few decades.
APG-83 SABR AESA fire control radar provides air-to-air and air-to-ground radar capability. It also provides AESA radars for the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

Lockheed unveils MH-60R helicopter for Denmark Navy

Representatives from the U.S. Navy, Danish Royal Air Force and Sikorsky gathered at Lockheed Martin in Owego on Thursday to unveil the first MH-60R helicopter to be delivered to the Danish Royal Air Force.
The MH-60R's will replace Denmark's current fleet of maritime helicopters, which are used in the harsh elements of Greenland and the Baltic Seas for anti-piracy missions, search and rescue, trade regulation and surface combat missions.
The helicopter is one of nine MH-60R aircraft that will be delivered to the Danish Royal Air Force between now and the end of 2018.

Oct 20, 2015

Wings arrive for first Spanish A400M

Spain’s first of a contracted 27 A400M tactical transports is on track for delivery to the Spanish air force by mid-2016.
The wings for lead example MSN44 were recently delivered to the manufacturer’s San Pablo final-assembly line in Seville.
Spain's first completed A400M will be handed over in the second quarter of 2016.

Royal Navy receives first updated Merlin HC3

The Royal Navy has taken delivery of its first AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin HC3 helicopter with an initial package of upgrades to support maritime operations.
Modified under the Ministry of Defence’s 25-aircraft Merlin Life-Sustainment Programme, the rotorcraft is one of seven being adapted during a first-phase activity. This will cover for the retirement of the Commando Helicopter Force’s last Westland Sea King HC4s in March 2016 and the updated aircraft are due to reach initial operating capability status “in spring 2016”, AgustaWestland says.
Updates include a folding main rotor head and a revised main undercarriage, which, along with new deck lashing rings, will allow for operations from naval vessels, plus communication system updates.

Lockheed Martin details Plan to supply former US Navy S-3B Viking to the South Korean Navy.

The work would see 12 S-3B's removed from long-term storage in the Arizona desert and updated with new equipment.
Lockheed says the type has a number of attributes that make it suitable for a return to active service. The type was retired mainly owing to the absence of a submarine threat to US carrier battle groups with the end of the Cold War, as well as the navy's desire to narrow the number of aircraft types operating from carriers.
Lockheed estimates that the S-3B airframes in storage still have around 10-12,000hrs flying time remaining.
The aircraft's cockpits would not require upgrading, but that several systems would. The aircraft's metalic anomaly detector would need to be updated from analogue to digital technology. Other work would involve the aircraft's sonobuoys and ESM equipment. Given South Korea's interest in developing its aerospace capabilities, any work to upgrade the aircraft would all but certainly be undertaken in South Korea.
The aircraft would operate with a four man crew, and would be capable of carrying a mix of four torpedoes and/or anti-shipping missiles.
The initial requirement for the type appears to be 12 aircraft.
Although the S-3B no longer serves aboard US aircraft carriers, the US navy's VX-30 test and evaluation squadron still operates the type in support roles.

Oct 16, 2015

Canada's Navy In Talks To Rent Spanish Replenishment Ship 'Cantabria'

Spain and Canada are negotiating a mutual logistic arrangement (MLSA) to deploy a Spanish replenishment ship with the Canadian fleet in the North Atlantic.
The ship deployed "during some periods of 2016" could be the auxiliary oiler and replenishment ship (AOR) Cantabria or Patiño. The logistic arrangement is "to cover the Canadian navy's temporary need of logistic support vessels."
The Cantabria or Patiño would support training for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Atlantic fleet starting in January. "No end date for the use of that support ship has been established," said Royal Canadian Navy spokeswoman. Negotiations are still ongoing and the MLSA is not yet finalized.
But starting on Oct. 18, Royal Canadian Navy sailors will be serving on the Spanish Navy supply ship Cantabria. Twenty Eight canadian sailors will be on the ship to conduct training during NATO's Trident Juncture 15 exercise.
The Spanish AOR Cantabria deployed with the Royal Australian Navy in 2013. The government of Australia paid the expenses of that deployment during the year.

Oct 14, 2015

Bahrain and other Gulf States Set To Buy Iron Dome System

Bahrain and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are in negotiations to buy the Israeli-developed Iron Dome anti-missile system to defend against "a growing arsenal of Iranian missiles".
The Israeli weapon, which has reduced the effectiveness of rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel by about 90% would be bought through Raytheon and other American contractors who developed the Iron Dome with Israeli arms giant Rafael.
A deal for the whole of the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, would be worth tens, perhaps hundreds, of billions of dollars.
Bahrain's foreign minister said on a visit to London: "The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We'll have a much bigger one in the GCC."
The sale of Israeli-developed weapons to a Gulf state, or states, would have been controversial for both the Israelis and the buyers a few years ago.
But both now see one of the main threats to them as the growing military strength and ambitions of Iran.

Germany Suspends Eurofighter Deliveries

The German Air Force has temporarily suspended delivery of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets following the discovery of quality problems involving the connection between the vertical stabilizers and the body of the aircraft.
In a notification to the German Bundestag, the Ministry of Defence said that drillings and the removal of burr were not conducted according to specifications.
The Typhoon suffered a similar problem last year when Germany, Italy and Spain all halted deliveries of the jet after a number of drilled bolt holes in a different part of the rear fuselage were identified as having not been de-burred satisfactorily.
The Eurofighter consortium confirmed that it had now found a new manufacturing quality problem on the aircraft.
Consortium member BAE Systems is responsible for the manufacture of parts involved in last year's problem, as well as the current issue.
The German MoD stressed that while flight safety is not affected in the short run, long-time effects were possible.
All German Eurofighters in service are being closely monitored and operations of the German fleet are not expected to be affected, said the MoD.

Oct 12, 2015

India eyes Russian S-400 Triumf

In what could be a game-changing arms acquisition, India is planning to acquire the new-generation Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems that can destroy incoming hostile aircrafts, missiles and drones at ranges of up to 400-km.
The project is at an initial stage.

US Begins Removing Patriot Missiles from Turkey

The United States has started pulling its Patriot missiles stationed on Turkish soil.
"We do not think this is the best time to withdraw these batteries," said one seniorTurkish diplomat. "This is a delicate time for our border with Syria."
On Oct. 3 and 4, Russian warplanes twice violated Turkish airspace during Moscow's bombing campaign in Syria aimed at bolstering the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Then on Oct. 7, the Turkish military said that Syria-based missile systems harassed Turkey's warplanes while eight F-16 jets were on patrol along the Syria border. Turkey also said an unidentified MiG-29 harassed its jets Oct. 6, prompting the Foreign Ministry to summon the Russian ambassador three times in protest.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that an Su-30 warplane entered Turkish airspace "for a few seconds" Oct. 3 — "a mistake caused by bad weather" — but NATO on Oct. 6 rejected Moscow's explanation.
US Patriot missiles were deployed at the Gaziantep 5th Armored Brigade Command in southeastern Turkey after the country appealed to its NATO allies to guard against any missile threat from Syria.
In August, Germany said it would end its contribution to the anti-missile mission in Turkey. It was followed by a US announcement that said Washington informed Ankara that it would not renew the Patriot mission due to end in October. Earlier, the Netherlands said it would pull its Patriot systems from Turkey.
The US withdrawal of the Patriot systems started when the batteries were brought to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Iskenderun.
The pull out was initiated despite an Oct. 8 appeal by Turkey to its NATO allies.
The US move also coincided with NATO statements that the alliance was prepared to send ground forces to defend its member state.

Oct 11, 2015

KC-46A deploys boom and drogues for first time

The KC-46A Pegasus notched another success this week when the systems at the heart of aerial refueling were demonstrated on EMD-2 with the deployment of both drogue systems and the boom.
On Thursday, EMD-2 successfully extended the drogue refueling baskets from both the Centerline Drogue System, located on the belly of the fuselage, and from the Wing Aerial Refueling Pods, located on the wing tips, for probe receiver aircraft. On Friday, EMD-2 extended the boom, the telescoping tube which an operator on the tanker aircraft extends to receptacle-equipped receiver aircraft.

Oct 10, 2015

Norway reconfirms plans to acquire 52 F-35s

Norway's defence ministry has used a strategic defence review to underline its continued commitment to acquiring 52 F-35s, as well as outlining plans to acquire different types of manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft.
Presented by defence chief Adm Haakon Bruun-Hanssen on 1 October, the review will help inform a new long-term plan for the Norwegian armed forces expected to be released in 2016.
Speculation had suggested that Oslo was prepared to scale back its F-35 acquisition. However, Bruun-Hanssen notes that he is “required to keep the minimum of F-35s, due to [its] importance as the future backbone of the Norwegian armed forces”.
Of the 52 required, 28 will be operational by 2020 and the other 34 by 2024 - the first F-35A for Norway, which will be based in the USA for training, was unveiled on 23 September.

Egypt interested in A400M

The board of directors of Airbus Group met last week at the plant in San Pablo in Seville and the visit of the leadership of the company has transcended information of great significance for the future of its main program in Spain and Andalusia, the the A400M military transport plane. Executive vice president of operations Defense & Space Airbus, the subsidiary that groups all Airbus military affairs, told the staff St. Paul in a speech that Egypt has asked the company to have the A400M as soon as possible.
Has not disclosed the number of units that the African country has requested, but what matters is that would be the first state seeking to buy these aircraft since the program was launched by the customer nations (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Turkey, Belgium and Malaysia, which joined in 2005). And even more relevant because last May 9 one of the planes that was by testing before delivery to the Turkish army fell shortly after takeoff in Seville. The accident is therefore not taking effect on the export potential of the device.
Egypt is the first customer of another Airbus military aircraft that is assembled in Seville, the C295, which runs 24 aircraft, the largest fleet in the world

Video of Russian Su-34 on a bombing mission over Syria

Hawaiian ANG F-22s deploy To Middle East

Two F-22 Raptor squadrons and two maintenance squadrons from Hawaii have joined forces to create a combined unit with more than 200 active-duty and Air National Guard airmen that has arrived in the Middle East for a six-month deployment.
The F-22 pilots come from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighters Squadron and the active-duty 19th Fighter Squadron, a news release from the Hawaii National Guard says. The maintainers and other support personnel are from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing and the active-duty 15th Wing.
The planes and most of the airmen left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, on Sept. 26, according to the news release, which did not include the name of the base downrange from which the F-22s and airmen will operate.
This is the first operational deployment for the Hawaiian Raptors.

Egypt, France In Discussions Over NH90 Helicopter Buy

Negotiations were at an advanced stage as of October 1 between France, and Egypt for the sale of a significant number of NH90 medium helicopters. The order would be a follow-on to recent sales of French armament to the Arab country, especially corvettes, frigates and landing ships—all compatible with the NH90.
Egypt has not issued any formal request for proposals for the multi-role helicopter.
Saudi Arabia is believed to be funding Egypt’s latest weapons purchases.
Egypt may choose between the tactical transport (TTH) and naval (NFH) versions of the NH90, or a mix of the two. The NFH can operate from Gowind-class corvettes or FREMM frigates, and both variants can be based on a Mistral-class landing ship.
Russian candidates like the Kamov Ka-27/29 and the Mi-17 are seen as relatively old technology or not fit for operations aboard ships. Egypt recently ordered Ka-52 attack helicopters, also believed to be intended for use on landing ships. In addition to protecting the Suez Canal, the newly purchased helicopters may help the country support Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen.
Late last month, the French Navy took delivery of its 15th NH90 naval variant, the first to be delivered in final radar configuration.

Over Syria, U.S. diverts F-16s to avoid Russian jet

Two U.S. aircraft had to be diverted over Syria in order to keep a safe distance from a Russian fighter plane, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday, the first time such an incident has taken place since Russia began military operations in the country last month.
The episode took place sometime over the last few days, and the military is "taking action to ensure" planes keep a safe distance. A senior defense official told CNN the U.S. planes were F-16s that took off from Turkey's Incirlik air base and were headed to an area near Raqqa. U.S. pilots have been ordered to change their flight path if a Russian plane is within 20 nautical miles, the official said, since there is no agreement with the Russians on mutual flight safety rules and practices. The F-16 pilots were unable to complete their mission.

Russian jets 'intercept' US Predator drones over Syria

Russian fighter jets shadowed U.S. predator drones on at least three separate occasions high above Syria since the start of Russia’s air campaign last week.
Meanwhile, U.S. Navy Captain Jeff Davis told reporters a U.S. aircraft flying over Syria had to be rerouted to avoid a Russian fighter jet at least once.
“We have taken action to maintain safe separation,” Davis said, adding that the U.S. aircraft "changed path a little bit." He did not disclose which type of U.S. aircraft was involved.
The drone encounters took place over ISIS-controlled Syria, including its de facto headquarters in Raqqa, as well as along the Turkish-Syrian border near Korbani. Another occurred in the northwest, near the highly contested city of Aleppo.
“The first time it happened, we thought the Russians got lucky. Then it happened two more times,” said one official.
The U.S. military's MQ-1 Predator drone is not a stealth aircraft.
"It is easy to see a predator on radar," said one official.
The Russians have not attempted to shoot down any of the U.S. drones, but instead have flown "intercept tracks," a doctrinal term meaning the Russians flew close enough to make their presence felt, according to one official.
One other official said, “the Russians flew very close, but did not impede the drone flight.”
“The first time it happened, we thought the Russians got lucky. Then it happened two more times."

Oct 7, 2015

U.S. F-16s were about 20 miles away from Russian Su-34s in Syria

Russian aircraft had their closest run-in yet with American war planes over Syria.
U.S. pilots flying F-16s out of Turkey first picked up the Russian planes on radar. The Russians closed to within 20 miles, at which point the American pilots could visually identify them on their targeting cameras.

Potential Foreign Military Sale of 4 MQ-9s to Spain

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Spain for MQ-9 Block 5 aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $243 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on October 5, 2015.
The Government of Spain requested a possible sale of:
Major Defense Equipment (MDE):
Four (4) MQ-9 Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft
Twenty (20) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Guidance Unit (EGI) (3 per aircraft, and 8 spares)
Two (2) Mobile Ground Control Stations (MGCS)
Five (5) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (MTS-B) (1 per aircraft, 1 spare)
Five (5) Synthetic Aperture Radar, Lynx AN/APY-8 (1 per aircraft, 1 spare)

Oct 4, 2015

F-35C Kick off Second Phase of At Sea Development Testing

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) accomplished its first arrested landing of an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, Oct. 2.
The arrested landing is part of the second phase of at-sea Developmental Testing (DT-II) for the F-35C, which is expected to last two weeks. These test phases ensure aircraft meet specifications and identify mission critical issues sufficiently early in the test phase to deliver fully capable aircraft in time for their scheduled initial operating capability (IOC).
The purpose of DT-II is to test the suitability and integration of the F-35C in an at-sea environment. The F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) will run through a series of tests designed to increase the aircraft's operability at sea. The Ike crew partnered with the Patuxent River ITF test team to ensure the ship was prepared to receive the aircraft.

F-35C Conducts First External Weapons Release with Four 500-pound Bombs

For the first time an F-35 released an external weapon from its wings, not once, but four times during an external weapons separation test on 23 September 2015.
The aircraft, CF-2, released four 500-pound GBU-12 laser guided inert bombs from its wings’ pylons during consecutive test runs over the Atlantic Test Range. The F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force conducted the flight and noted all four weapon separations were successful and confirmed the accuracy of the predicted release trajectory. The ability to do quadruple separation tests during a single flight demonstrates the program’s ability to efficiently test, and advances the F-35’s future capability to release multiple weapons on a single pass.

Oct 3, 2015

US Navy retires T-2 Buckeye

The US Navy (USN) on 22 August retired its North American T-2 Buckeye training fleet at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, the navy said in an announcement on 29 September.
NAS Pensacola Training Air Wing Six's VT-86 was the last training squadron in the USN to use the aircraft. The wing has trained approximately 450 US and international weapon systems officers, naval flight officers, and electronic countermeasure officers annually.
Most of the remaining Buckeyes will be placed in 'the boneyard', a long-term preservation facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.

Malaysia To Receive Second A400M in December

Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief said the second A400M will be received in early December.
This is the second of four aircraft bought in December 2005. The first was received on March 9.

Oct 2, 2015

RAAF KC-30A refuels F-35A for first time

In a first for the Royal Australian Air Force, an Airbus KC-30A MRTT aircraft has conducted refuelling contacts with a Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter.
The four hour sortie took place from Edwards AFB in California, and saw the KC-30A perform 59 boom contacts. Of these, five contacts were “wet” and included the transfer of 43,200lb of fuel to the USAF F-35A.

Italy's first AEW-roled G550 nears delivery

The Italian air force’s first of two Gulfstream G550 business jets to undergo modification to an airborne early warning and control system configuration, appears set for delivery to the service.
Pictured during a stop at Shannon airport in Ireland on 30 September, the aircraft – which carries a temporary US registration – had been flown from Gulfstream’s Savannah facility in Georgia, and later departed for Tel Aviv. Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta Systems business unit is responsible for the integration of its AEW radars and other mission equipment.
The Italian air force is to follow Israel and Singapore in operating the AEW-adapted G550. Lead is scheduled for delivery on 15 October.

Bulgaria To Allow NATO To Patrol Its Airspace

Bulgaria will amend its legislation to allow military aircraft of other NATO member states to conduct policing of the country’s air space jointly with the Bulgarian Air Force.
The planned changes will be made in such a way as to guarantee that Bulgaria won’t relinquish sovereignty of its air space to other countries.
The projected amendments are being called for by a need to enhance NATO’s capabilities to police the air space of the countries on its eastern flank, including Bulgaria, as recommended by the Alliance’s Summit in Wales last year.
Six Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 fighter jets will have their engines overhauled in Poland. The agreement drew fire from the Russian producer of the aircraft RSK MiG who said that Poland has no licence or documentation whatsoever to repair MiG-29s.
Bulgaria needs to have at least one fighter squadron of 12 aircraft in order to maintain high level of combat readiness as a NATO member state. Currently, there are four flight-worthy MiG-29s with enough flying capacity in the Bulgarian Air Force.
Only two MiG-29s could remain flight-worthy and with enough flying capacity after the middle of next year unless the engines of other MiG-29 are repaired.