Archive | March, 2012

Why Norway wants the F-35

The Norwegian defence ministry is making a hard push to drive through its planned NKr60 billion ($10.5 billion) purchase of 52 Lockheed Martin F-35As, including four training examples. The proposed buy forms the centrepiece of Oslo’s new defence White Paper, which sets out its priorities for the period 2013 to 2016. While others (read Australia, […]

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Boom time: night-time first for F-35

Lockheed Martin has released images showing the first night-time inflight refuelling sortie involving an F-35, with the milestone having been achieved on 22 March using conventional take-off and landing aircraft AF-4.   Flown from Edwards AFB in California by US Air Force test pilot Lt Col Peter Vitt, the Lightning II is shown alongside the Boeing […]

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Making a splash: A400M lands in Chile

Airbus Military’s second A400M “Grizzly” development aircraft made a splash in Santiago on 23 March, when it touched down to make the design’s first appearance at Chile’s FIDAE show. Just in case the twin water cannon salute (Airbus Military images, below) didn’t provide enough of an entrance for aircraft MSN2, its arrival from performing high altitude testing […]

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Apache fail, US Army-style

For any aspiring attack helicopter pilots out there, view this YouTube footage as an example of how not to do it. The video purports to be of an accident in eastern Afghanistan which was declared by NATO’s International Security Assistance Force on 6 February. If so, then its comment of the time – that “initial […]

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MC-130J goes Commando

The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has changed the name of its new Lockheed Martin MC-130J from “Combat Shadow II” to “Commando II”, commander Lt Gen Eric Fiel has announced. “This name best reflects the multi-mission role of the aircraft and the units that will fly them,” he said during a 9 March […]

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Waiting for Watchkeeper

A month ago, Flightglobal published an article updating the status of the British Army’s Watchkeeper unmanned air system programme. Summarised in one sentence, our report said delayed operational field trials were set to start [these are now under way, according to an industry source] and that the first equipment would be deployed for use in […]

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Ship happens: HMS Illustrious comes home early

The UK Royal Navy helicopter assault ship HMS Illustrious sailed into Portsmouth harbour for repairs yesterday, after the service cut short her planned participation in NATO’s Exercise “Cold Response”. “Lusty” had been expected to host a 10-day programme of flying activities in support of the Royal Marines’ 42 Commando using an embarked flight of eight […]

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PICTURE: First flight of last F-22

We last saw Raptor 4195 on 13 December after it rolled off Lockheed Martin’s assembly line in Marietta, Georgia. The last of 195 F-22s ordered by the US Air Force then moved to finishings and pre-flight checks. Finally, as Flightglobal’s Dave Majumdar exclusively reported yesterday, the still-naked 4195 bird passed the first flight milestone. Lockheed  […]

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Northern Exposure for L-15?

Canadian industry is eyeing the nation’s long-term need to train its military pilots, and thinking outside the box as part of the process – particularly with the Lockheed Martin F-35 in mind. Like Chinese out of the box (read on). Two long-term partnered training systems are already in place: the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) […]

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Why is Russia’s new supersonic biz-jet concept painted camouflage?

Russia’s Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) — think NASA’s Langley Research Centre — is working on a new supersonic business jet. (See here for Russian-language news release issued earlier today.) Sukhoi and Tupolev of course have been working on this idea for decades, of course, but this one will be a little different. It’s supposed to […]

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