Archive | November, 2012


How many Raptors does the USAF have left?

The weekend is almost upon us, so I’ll leave you all with a question to ponder. Just how many Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors does the US Air Force have? What we know for sure: There were a total of 195 aircraft built. 187 production jets and eight test articles–the last of which I personally saw […]

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US Navy completes first shore-based catapult launch of X-47B

The US Navy has completed the first ever catapult launch of the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) aircraft at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, earlier today. Apparently it went very well, the Navy sent over this video of the launch earlier this evening. The catapult shot is a crucial step towards the […]

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Defence – by a nose

Flightglobal and Flight International have been running a controversial Airbus advert this week, in which the company accuses rival airframer Boeing of “stretching the truth” in a bitter marketing war over their competing A320neo/737 Max and A380/747 products. Do we care, you might be asking? Well, perhaps unusually for The DEW Line, yes we do, as […]

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British Army eyes Apache upgrade

The US Army will be withdrawing support for sustaining the AH-64D Apache Longbow’s Block I standard by 2017, which poses a bit of an issue for the UK. It’s less than a decade since the British Army’s Westland-completed Apache AH1s entered use (initial operating capability came in October 2004), but the service needs to act […]

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Israel developing secret unmanned aircraft

Israel is working on a new classified unmanned aircraft, my colleague Zack Rosenberg has confirmed. While we don’t know too much about this aircraft, which is being developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, we are quite confident that it exists. It’s apparently “fairly large” and from what we’ve gleaned about the aircraft’s systems, it’s almost certainly […]

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Video: Hitler explains sequestration

Sequestration… It takes effect on January 2nd 2013, just after the New Year, and automatically chops about $500 billion from the US Defense Department’s budget.  That is unless the Congress and executive branch can come to an agreement to stop it. What is sequestration? And what might happen if it actually goes into effect? It’s […]

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X-47B loaded onto the USS Harry S Truman

The US Navy has loaded up the first Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator onto the USS Harry S Truman. The aircraft will be tested aboard the giant 100, 000 ton ship for about three weeks. Basically, it’ll be doing air-ship integration trials. The X-47B is slated to fly off the Truman next […]

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How far can simulations go versus live flying?

Faced with declining budgets, the Pentagon is looking at expanding the use of flight simulators in order to save on airframe life and operating costs. Simulators have their advantages in replicating large air campaigns with hundreds of aircraft–in the virtual arena, missile fly-out distances and probability of kill can be simulated with far greater fidelity […]

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Canada might be issuing RFIs for F-35 alternative soon

Canada’s National Post is reporting that the country’s Conservative–or Tory if you prefer–government will soon issue requests for information (RFI) to Boeing, Eurofighter and possibly Dassault for a potential alternative to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The move is designed to signal that the Harper government is serious about considering alternatives to the […]

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China’s first carrier conducts flight trials with J-15 Flying Shark fighters

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) appears to havetaken a major step forward with conducting flight operations on its firstaircraft carrier, the Liaoning. More photos here According to Chinese media reports, over the course of thepast two weeks or so, the refitted former Soviet ship has been conducting seatrials with Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark fighters […]

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