Mar 31, 2019

South Korea receives second A330 MRTT

South Korea has received the second of four Airbus Defence and Space (DS) A330-200 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft ordered in 2015, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul announced on 28 March.
The aircraft is expected to become operational with the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) within a month, the MND said, adding that the two remaining platforms are expected to be delivered in November and December this year. The RoKAF officially introduced its first A330 on 30 January.
The tanker-transport aircraft, which is known as the KC-330 Cygnus in RoKAF service, is expected to extend the reach of the RoKAF’s strike aircraft into North Korea and improve strategic operations beyond the Korean Peninsula.
Gabriel Dominguez-janes

India concludes price negotiations to acquire 62 C295 transport aircraft

India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has concluded price negotiations to acquire a total of 62 Airbus Defence and Space C295 medium transport aircraft (MTA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
The MoD's Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) concluded consultations with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) - which is in a joint venture (JV) with Airbus for the MTA programme - to procure the 62 platforms for around EUR2.8 billion (USD3.15 billion).
They said the aircraft deal - which would include 56 platforms for the IAF to replace the service's ageing fleet of Avro 748M transports, and six for the ICG - is expected to be signed after a new Indian government assumes office following general elections set to begin on 11 April.
The MTA programme envisages the direct import of 16 C295s and the local assembly/licence-building of the remaining 46 aircraft at a facility set up by the JV near Bangalore. In keeping with the 2013 MTA tender, 24 of these will be imported in kit form for local assembly and include a 30% indigenous content. The level of indigenous content is then expected to double to 60% in the remaining 22 platforms.
Delivery of the first locally assembled C295 is expected to begin within 60 months of the contract being signed, industry sources said.
Rahul Bedi janes


RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon fighter aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth, with an RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton, to monitor two Russian Blackjacks approaching UK airspace las 29th, March.
The RAF worked closely with NATO partners to monitor the Russian aircraft as they passed through a variety of international airspace before they were intercepted over the North Sea. The ighters escorted them from the UK’s area of interest and ensured that they did not enter UK sovereign airspace.

South Korea's first F-35A stealth jet fighters arrives Cheongju AB

The first two F-35 stealth fighter jets for South Korea arrived at 2:35 p.m. Friday at a military air base in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
The arrival came after the United States approved a plan to export Lockheed Martin's latest F-35 jets to South Korea. South Korea had agreed to buy 40 F-35A stealth jets. The complete delivery of the jets will be done by 2021. In 2014, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) clinched the deal, which has a value of 7.4 trillion won ($6.5 billion).
The first batch of the jets departed from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona on March 22 (local time). After maintenance and technical checks, the jets will go into operation in April or May, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
Eight more F-35As are expected to arrive in South Korea by the end of this year. The arrival of the stealth jets helped the country join the ranks of Asia's few radar-evading warplane operators that include China, Japan and Russia.

Mar 28, 2019

Morocco To Buy 25 F-16C/D Block 72, and upgrading existing fleet

The U.S. State Department has cleared Morocco for a major increase to its F-16 fleet, including both sales of new planes and upgrades to older models.
The two potential deals cover the purchase of 25 F-16C/D Block 72 fighters, estimated at $3.787 billion, as well as upgrades to the country’s existing 23 F‑16s to the more advanced F‑16V Block 52+ configuration, estimated at $985.2 million. Combined, the two sales could net American contractors roughly $4.8 billion.
The new F-16 request represents the single largest notification of fiscal 2019. It is also the second largest purchase requested by Morocco, which in November requested new Abrams tanks.
In addition to the 25 new jets, the larger package includes 29 Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines; 26 APG-83 active electronically scanned array radars; 26 modular mission computers; 26 Link 16 systems; 40 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems; 30 M61 Al Vulcan 20mm guns; 40 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles; 50 GBU-49 bombs; 60 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs; and assorted other equipment.
The upgrade package includes much of the same equipment, with similar quantities of AESA radars, Link 16 systems and weapons. The configuration improves the radars and avionics on the older jets.

Mar 23, 2019

Bolivian Air Force to upgrade UH-1H helicopters

The Bolivian government has authorised a budgetary increase of BOB47.7 million (USD6.8 million) to upgrade the air force’s Bell UH-1H ‘Huey’ helicopters for counter-narcotics operations.
The funding, which was approved on 19 March, is in addition to an initial BOB82.7 million that was granted in late 2018. Under the upgrade, 11 of the air force’s 15 helicopters are to be modernised to the Huey II standard that includes a more powerful engine, new dynamic parts (such as rotors, transmissions, and gearboxes), new wiring, and an optional ‘glass’ cockpit.

UK signs E-7 airborne early warning contract

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed plans to acquire five Boeing 737-based E-7 airborne early warning and control system aircraft, with the platforms to be modified by Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group.
The E-7 system – already operated by the Royal Australian Air Force, plus South Korea and Turkey – is based on the 737NG airframe, and powered by CFM International CFM56 engines. Its mission equipment includes a Mesa active electronically scanned array produced by Northrop Grumman, plus onboard operator stations.
Each E-7 will be flown with a crew of two pilots and 10 mission operators, according to the MoD. It describes the type as having an operating ceiling of 41,000ft, and a range of up to 3,500nm (6,470km). The type also will feature commonality with the RAF's future fleet of nine 737NG-based P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the first of which is scheduled for delivery later this year.

Kazakhstan Border Service places order for Airbus C295

The Border Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan has signed a firm order for one C295 medium transport aircraft.
Through this new agreement, which includes training, spares and ground support equipment, the overall C295 fleet operating in Kazakhstan will increase to nine aircraft.
The new C295, in transport configuration, will play a vital role in border control activities and homeland security operations due to its demonstrated reliability and cost efficiency in operation at low temperatures.
With this new order, the Border Service of Kazakhstan becomes the 31st operator of the C295 and brings the total number of orders up to 13 aircraft in the CIS.

Mar 20, 2019

Australia to obtain four G550s equipped for EW mission

Canberra will obtain four modified Gulfstream G550 business jets that will be modified for the electronic warfare (EW) mission in the USA.
The aircraft will be designated the MC-55A Peregrine.
"The Peregrine is a new airborne electronic warfare capability that will be integrated into Defence's joint warfighting networks, providing a critical link between platforms, including the [Lockheed Martin] F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, [Boeing] E-7A Wedgetail, EA-18G Growler, Navy’s surface combatants and amphibious assault ships and ground assets to support the warfighter,” says defence minister.

Mar 9, 2019

USAFE declares Polish Reaper detachment to be fully operational

The USAF in Europe (USAFE) has declared its Polish-based detachment of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be fully operational.
The announcement on 7 March came some 10 months after the USAFE began operating the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV out of Miroslawiec Air Base in northwestern Poland "as a visible expression of US efforts to enhance regional stability".
As noted by the USAFE, the declaration of full-operating capability (FOC) was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 52nd Expeditionary Operations Group (EOG) Detachment 2 at Miroslawiec (the 52nd EOG comes under the auspices of the 52nd Fighter Wing located at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany).
Gareth Jennings-janes

Diamond nine formation marks end for RAF Tornados

The UK Royal Air Force has drawn to a close 40 years of service by its Panavia Tornado strike aircraft, with a final formation flight involving nine GR4-model examples conducted from the service's Marham base in Norfolk on 28 February.
Now that operational activities with the Tornado GR4 have concluded, the last two units to have flown the type – 9 and 31 squadrons – will be formally disbanded in mid-March. These will subsequently be reformed, respectively equipped with the Eurofighter Typhoon and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Protector RG1 remotely piloted air system.
The RAF says its Tornado force logged a combined 185,603h on deployed operations between 1990 and the end of January, when its final combat sorties were performed in support of the coalition campaign over Iraq and Syria. This commitment is now being fulfilled by the service's Typhoons, as its first Lockheed Martin F-35Bs work towards achieving full operational capability status.
Having entered UK service in 1979, the Tornado GR1 was first used in combat by the RAF during the first Gulf War, in 1991, when 60 of its aircraft were forward-deployed for missions flown from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The type was also used during operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya.

Singapore to order four F-35s, with options for eight

Singapore plans to place a firm order for four Lockheed Martin F-35s, with options for an additional eight aircraft.
“We have announced our plans to replace our F-16s, which will face obsolescence post 2030, with the F-35s,” said defence minister.
“This will mean the RSAF fighter fleet will consist of F-35 and [Boeing] F-15SGs if plans come to fruition a decade or so from now.”
Singapore will issue a letter of request for four aircraft and options for eight. He stressed that the US congress must approve the sale, but the deal has the blessings of the both President Donald Trump and the US Department of Defense.
Singapore Defence Minister made no mention of which variant Singapore will obtain, although the country is believed to be interested in the F-35B short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant. He also did not say when the Republic of Singapore Air Force will receive the jets.

Israel to buy more F-15s and F-35s

In the coming months, IDF Chief of Staffwill face one of the most important decisions the Israeli defense establishment has ever made: how to spend $11 billion on buying dozens of new top-of-the-line aircraft that the Israel Air Force will use for many decades into the future from the US arms industry.
The arms procurement plan, one of Israel's largest ever, will tie up almost one quarter of US defense aid money in the coming decade. It includes a new squadron of attack planes, 5-7 cutting-edge aircraft for airborne refueling, and transportation helicopters to replace the Yasur (Sea Stallion) helicopters used by the air force for four decades. All of these will be accompanied by additional investment in new systems to be installed on the aircraft, development of special equipment, operating and maintenance infrastructure, etc.
The most important Israeli decision involves a choice between two attack planes: the F-35 Adir (stealth fighter) manufactured by Lockheed Martin and the new F-15 manufactured by Boeing. Lockheed Martin is offering Israel a third squadron of F-35s, plus new transportation helicopters and airborne refueling planes made by European company Airbus under a strategic cooperation agreement between the two companies. Boeing is offering Israel a no less attractive package: a squadron of 25 new F-15s, plus airborne refueling planes developed for the US Air Force and advanced transportation helicopters.
Israel has made three purchases of the F-35 in the past decade, 50 planes altogether, at $100-110 million per plane. Israel will have two squadrons of these planes by 2024. Lockheed Martin has supplied the air force with 14 of the places so far, and the planned rate of supply in the future is six planes per year.
The IDF and the Ministry of Defense estimate that the final decision will be made this summer. At the same time, defense sources say that they already detect signs that the general tendency is in favor of Boeing's offer, with the key work being mix: Israel needs both Lockheed Martin's stealth fighters and Boeing's bombers. If there were no budget constraints, the air force would probably choose both options.