Jul 29, 2018


An Airbus A400M from Spanish Air Force has landed at Yibuti for the first time, in support of Destacamento Orión, that operates an P-3 Orion in support of EUNAVFOR counter piracy Mission "Atalanta" in Indian Ocean.
A400M has brought back home members of 31º rotation or Destacamento Orión.

Jul 17, 2018

America’s next fighter designs

America is developing a pair of two new high-tech fighter aircraft, and you probably haven’t heard much about them.
Under the leadership of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the Pentagon has clamped down on talking about cutting-edge capabilities in development, citing concerns about giving potential foes too much information.
Nevertheless, some details have emerged about the ongoing programs, one each from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. And in light of European plans for new fighter designs, it is worth revisiting what is, and isn’t, known about the American efforts.
In 2016, the U.S. Air Force unveiled its “Air Superiority 2030” study, which posited that although the service would need a new air superiority fighter jet — called Penetrating Counter Air — as soon as the 2030s, it would be just as important that the new plane fit into a "family of systems” of space, cyber, electronic warfare and other enabling technologies.
The service then initiated an analysis of alternatives in 2017 to further drill down on Penetrating Counter Air concepts and to refine its requirements, but the service’s top uniformed officer sounds interested in a disaggregated mission aproach.

Jul 16, 2018

The Netherlands plan to sign Reaper drone deal this week

The Netherlands plans to sign an agreement to buy four unmanned Reaper drones this week.
A Letter of Agreement for the surveillance drones could have been signed at the Farnborough International Airshow.
The deal for the MQ-9 Reaper drones, made by California-based General Atomics, was first approved by the U.S. State Department back in 2015.
The Dutch government said the intent to purchase was announced in 2016 as part of the Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program. The deal was opposed by some Dutch lawmakers on July 5.

Saab readies to offer airborne early warning plane to UK

Saab is considering proposing an alternative to Boeing’s 737 Wedgetail for the United Kingdom’s future airborne early warning aircraft, but it isn’t ready to say which plane it will choose to host its radar if a program goes forward, the Swedish company’s top executive confirmed to Defense News on July 13.
“We are working with partners and others to try to find a solution,” Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe said during an interview at the Royal International Air Tattoo. “We are confident that we have a good system. … We are good in integration and could deliver according to time [constraints], probably much more affordably with better technology.”
Defense News was the first to report that Saab and Airbus specifically had discussed a partnership that would bring together Saab’s Erieye radar and an Airbus aircraft.
Buskhe declined to confirm whether the company was in talks with Airbus, instead saying more broadly that it was speaking to a number of platform providers.
“First of all our sensors and our system integration is fantastic. We can see stealth aircraft from hundreds and hundreds of kilometers and follow them and target them and the same mode for land, air, at the same time,” he said.
Its GlobalEye aircraft — a modified Bombardier Global 6000 business jet with a suite of integrated sensors including an extended-range version of the Erieye radar, and that’s one one option, but “we are also open if there would be other platforms," he added.
“We don’t compromise quality and efficiency,” he said. “From that, we are open to discussions to bring that technology for example into the U.K. and build them that.”
The United Kingdom is considering an order of new airborne early warning planes to replace its aging Boeing E-3D Sentry aircraft. In June, the Times newspaper reported that the U.K. government preferred to sole source the Wedgetail from Boeing.
One member of Parliament — Julian Lewis, who heads its Defence Committee — wrote an open letter to British Defence Procurement Minister Guto Bebb, urging the Ministry of Defence to open a wider competition, citing Boeing’s 2017 pursuit of tariffs against Bombardier that would have hurt a plant in Northern Ireland.
However, on July 12, Reuters reported that the MoD still leaned toward the sole-source plan and intended to award Boeing a contract for four to six Wedgetail aircraft in the coming weeks, valued at an estimated $1 billion.
If the United Kingdom does end up sole sourcing the Wedgetail, Buskhe said, Saab would “respect the government’s decision” and look for other potential business opportunities.

Jul 8, 2018

Czech Republic plans to procure two additional C-295s

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced it intends to move forward with the procurement of an additional two C-295 tactical transport aircraft to bolster its existing fleet of four aircraft currently in service with the air forces of the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) since 2010.
“We would like to take delivery of the aircraft by 2020 or shortly thereafter,” Brigadier General Petr Hromek, the recently appointed commander of the ACR air forces, told media on 18 June.
Brig Gen Hromek said the two C-295s would replace two obsolete Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-40 jet airliners currently in service with the ACR and used in the VIP transport role, and are scheduled for retirement by 2020 when their airframes reach the end of their service lives.
Jiri Kominek janes

RAF receives first ‘Centurion’ Typhoons ahead of Tornado retirement

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has received back into service the first of its Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to be provisioned for the Project Centurion weapons fit, BAE Systems told reporters on 5 July.
Speaking at the company’s Warton facility in northern England, a senior programme official said that the first Typhoons that have been modified to carry the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) and MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile have been returned to their operational units, ahead of the capability being officially cleared for use by 2019.
“There are 26 aircraft now at the first phase of the Project Centurion standard, and the pilots will start training in a few weeks’ time,” Eurofighter Delivery Director Andy Flynn said, adding, “We now have to go through the approval process, which should be complete by the end of the year.”
The Project Centurion configuration is intended to combine the already-delivered Raytheon Paveway IV precision-guided bomb, and the Storm Shadow, Meteor, and Brimstone on the Typhoon FGR4 in time for the retirement from RAF service of the Panavia Tornado GR4 in early 2019. The first phase aircraft that are being delivered have been fitted with the Typhoon Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) upgrade that comprises the Meteor and the Storm Shadow. Phase 2 of Project Centurion covers the Typhoon Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) upgrade of the Brimstone, and with trials now continuing this final Project Centurion configuration should also be ready for fielding by the end of 2018 .
The RAF fields 51 Tranche 1, 67 Tranche 2 and about 10 of its planned 40 Tranche 3 Typhoons. The 24 Tranche 1 Typhoons that are to be retained will be used in an air defence role only and will not receive the Project Centurion upgrade.
Gareth Jennings-janes

Italy says won't buy more F-35, will spent the money to boost welfare

Italy will not buy more Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and is considering whether to stick to the order to which it is already committed, Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta said on Friday.
Trenta comes from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement which has always been critical of NATO member Italy’s order for 90 of the planes, saying the money could be better spent to boost welfare and help the sluggish economy.
Some 5-Star officials said last year that Italy should cancel the order for the fighters.

Jul 7, 2018

Airbus Expects to sign sale contract for A400M this year

Airbus said on Friday it was optimistic it could sign a first export contract for its troubled multi-nation A400M military transport plane this year, and expressed growing confidence about prospects for European defense cooperation.
The company had been in negotiations with a potential buyer for the A400M with an undisclosed country.
Airbus expects to demonstrate by the end of the year the plane’s ability to refuel helicopters in mid-air, one of several features whose delivery has been delayed.

Morocco dedicates some of its F-16 to antiship missions, said to have bought 6 AGM-84s missiles

The Moroccan army has received 6 US anti-ship missiles AGM / RGM / UGM-84 Harpoon in 2017, according to the United Nations Register of Conventional Weapons UNROCA.
The Royal Moroccan Navy does not have launching platforms for this kind of missiles on its ships and has no land to sea vectors at all. All indications are that these six missiles will be used with the RMAF F16C for anti-ship missions.
The only ship theoretically capable of shooting Harpoons is the Descubierta corvette but which has not been delivered to Morocco with this capability. In addition Corvette Colonel Errahmani serves today as school boat for the Royal Fleet. The ship has recently been disarmed and only keeps her guns.
The F16 is currently the only vector that can carry this type of missile, each aircraft has the ability to take two missiles under its wings on the hard points 3 and 7.

Canada requests seven additional Australian Hornets

Canada has requested an additional seven surplus F/A-18 A/B Hornets from Australia.
In February, Ottawa requested seven examples for use in non-flying activities such as software testing, static training, and spares, says Australia’s Department of Defence.
The deal is subject to US export controls. If approved, it will bring to 25 the number of former RAAF Hornets sold to Ottawa. Should export approvals be received, negotiations would determine delivery timings.
In December 2017, Canberra confirmed that it will sell Ottawa 18 F/A-18 A/B Hornets for an undisclosed sum.
The first two “classic” Hornets will be delivered to Canada in 2019, at which point the Royal Australian Air Force’s transition to the Lockheed Martin F-35 will be well underway.
The Royal Canadian Air Force requires airframes to fill a capability gap during a pending process to obtain 88 new combat aircraft to replace its 85 Boeing CF-18 A/B fighters.
In February 2018, Ottawa announced that five bidders – Boeing, Dassault, Eurofighter, Lockheed Martin, and Saab – are eligible to replace the CF-18s.
Canada’s previous Harper government had selected the F-35 to replace the CF-18 fleet in 2009, but in 2015 the incoming Trudeau government cancelled this. Initially, the RCAF announced plans to buy 24 F/A-18E/Fs as an interim solution, then select a permanent CF-18 replacement in the early 2020s.
The Boeing deal fell through, however, amid Boeing’s (ultimately unsuccessful) trade complaint with the US Commerce Department against Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier over allegedly unfair pricing on a sale of CSeries aircraft to Delta Air Lines. The Canadian government reacted strongly against Boeing, cancelling the interim fighter deal.
The RAAF operates 55 single seat F/A-18As and 16 two-seat F/A-18Bs that were acquired in the 1980s. This fleet will be retired by 2022 in favour of the F-35A, of which Canberra has committed to 72 examples.

Jul 1, 2018



German air force in dire straits - chief of staff

NATO member Germany’s air force is in dire straits and funds are urgently needed to modernise its weaponry and systems, the air force chief of staff said on Wednesday.
“The Luftwaffe is at a low point,” Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, who took over as chief of staff of the air force about a month ago, told 200 industry executives, military officers and lawmakers at an event in Berlin on Wednesday evening.
Gerhartz said his assessment followed visits to various air force sites and discussions with troops that revealed serious deficits in the readiness of aircraft and other equipment.
“Aircraft are grounded due to a lack of spare parts, or they aren’t even on site since they’re off for maintenance by the industry,” he said. He said a 400-hour inspection of the Eurofighter combat jets now took a total of 14 months, twice as long as planned, and this was unacceptable.
His comments followed recent reports by the defence ministry and the German parliament’s military ombudsman that revealed significant gaps in military equipment and personnel.
A February ministry report showed only 39 of 128 Eurofighter jets were available for training and combat use last year on average, and just 26 of 93 older-model Tornado fighter jets.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are finalising budget plans for 2019, but Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, from the SPD, has been resisting moves to accelerate increases in military spending.
Merkel this month forecast steady increases in German military spending in coming years, in line with Berlin’s pledge to meet a NATO target of moving towards spending 2 percent of economic output by 2024, but she gave no details.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been pressing for increased spending after Scholz’s previous longer-term plan called for military outlays to edge lower after reaching 1.3 percent of economic output in 2019, up from 1.2 percent now.
Von der Leyen has pledged that German military spending will reach 1.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2025.
Gerhartz urged lawmakers at the Wednesday event to back a more sustainable spending plan that would allow the air force to rebuild its equipment and improve planning for new weapons and upgrades to existing systems.
af.reuters Sabine Siebold Writing by Andrea Shalal

A400M nations qualify aircraft for air-to-air refuelling

European air forces procuring the A400M are qualifying the transport aircraft for air-to-air refuelling.
The Luftwaffe reported on 25 June that an A400M of its Lufttransportgeschwader (Air Transport Squadron) 62 has conducted aerial refuelling of Spanish Air Force EF-18s to demonstrate the German aircraft’s capabilities to do so.
The German A400M recently flew from its base at Wunstorf to Zaragoza, from where it took off the next day to dispense 14 tonnes of fuel to a total of 10 EF-18s through air-to-air refuelling pods mounted on its wings tips. After a second day of testing, the German A400M’s aerial refuelling capability was proven, according to the Luftwaffe.
Earlier in June, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, reported that its flight trials unit had conducted a campaign demonstrating a French Air Force A400M’s capability to refuel Rafale combat aircraft. This included tests simulating a failure of the A400M’s engine and flight controls, in the dark with night-vision goggles, and with the Rafale in various configurations.

Spain cleared to buy Aegis systems for new F-110 frigates

The US State Department has approved a potential sale of five Aegis shipsets for the Spanish Navy’s new F-110 frigates.
A contract for the construction of five frigates is expected to be awarded this year and Navantia is already working on some elements of the ships’ systems and design.
The potential sale of US military equipment to Spain is worth an estimated $860.4 million and includes five MK7 Aegis weapon systems with computing infrastructure, fire control systems, baseline VII MK 41 vertical launching systems.