Archive | July, 2011

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Photo: Y-9 could be undergoing flight testing

The world faces a glut of medium-sized military transport.Aside from Lockheed Martin’s popular C-130J, there is Embraer’s KC390, India and Russia‘smulti-role transport aircraft, Japan‘s Kawasaki C-2, and China‘sdevelopmental Shaanxi Y-9. Last week a picture emerged on a Chinese military website(cnair.top81.cn) of what is apparently a prototype of the Y-9.Following this, an industry source told Flightglobbal that […]

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IAF shopping list: Mig-21 tyres, An-32 lugs, and IL-78 wheel hubs

That Indiais warming to western aircraft is well known. In the last few years the countryhas purchased Lockheed Martin C-130Js as well as Boeing P-8Is and C-17s. In thepast it has bought Mirage and Jaguar aircraft. Mainly, though, Indiahas bought Russian kit.  Anecdotally, Russian aircraft are difficult to maintain,particularly older types. Some idea of the challenges […]

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Could Singapore buy C-17s?

On 9 August Singapore‘sair force will conduct an air show over Marina Bayfor the national day parade. F-15SGs, F-16s, and perhaps Gulfstream 550airborne warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft will buzz the crowd. TwoApaches escorting a Chinook carrying the Singaporeflag – one way Singaporecompensates for its small size is possession of the world’s largest airborneflag – will […]

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Close quarters: RSAF details NDP11 flight plan

Singaporeis perhaps unique among major cities in the sheer amount of firepower oneroutinely sees overhead. From my home in the west I often see RSAF Apaches,Chinooks, and Hercules. With the Apaches I can’t help but wonder if the 30mmcannon is loaded. From the Flightglobal office in Changi Business Park I frequently seeF-16s rising out of […]

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India’s Mirage upgrade: a prelude to a Rafale MMRCA win?

It looks as if India is serious about upgradingits Dassault Mirage 2000Hs to Mirage 2000-9 standard. This is a major upgradethat will affect most systems in the aircraft. The bill, estimated at $2.2billion, is staggering, working out to about $43 million an aircraft. One wondersif Indiawould be better off buying new aircraft. In his MMRCA […]

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PICTURES: More WZ-19 images from China

More images of the apparent Harbin WZ-19 attack helicopterhave emerged, posted on the popular Alert 5 blog. The aircraft is a variant of the Z-9, an armed version ofwhich was shown at Air Show Chinain Zhuhai last November. 

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Firefox Down: stealing Russia’s fighter secrets

Craig Thomas’s 1977 novel Firefox sees American pilot ColonelMitchell Gant slipping into the USSRto steal the MiG-31 Firefox. Not the real MiG-31, but a 100% stealthy aircraftwith ramjet engines, Mach 4 speed, and a ceiling of 120,000 feet. The pilotcontrols the aircraft with thoughts, and cameras on the fuselage give completesituational awareness in all directions. […]

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That mysterious bulge on Taiwan’s IDF

Last week Taiwanannounced an upgrade to 71 of its 130 AIDC Ching Kuo Indigenous DefenseFighters (IDFs) – pictured above. The upgrade included colour screens in thecockpit, improved avionics, and the ability to carry four Tien Chien 2 (SkySword) missiles, up from two previously.   Despite its modest nature the upgrade was celebrated withmuch fanfare, including […]

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Japan’s F-X and F-XX: two separate aircraft?

At the recent Paris Air Show I tagged along to a presentation byBoeing about Japan‘sF-X requirement for 40-50 fighters to replace Japan Air Self Defense ForceMcDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms. The briefing provided an opportunity to ask aquestion that has nagged me for sometime: why did Boeing offer the F/A-18 E/FSuper Hornet as opposed to the […]

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