Archive | January, 2013


What’s the operational impact of reducing the F-35′s performance specs?

The US Department of Defense has decided to lower some ofthe performance requirements for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter(JSF), particularly with regard to transonic acceleration (with the Navy’sC-model taking the hardest hit) and sustained g-forces, as was revealed in thePentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) 2012 report.   Based on the […]

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Spartan finds room for new-look SF-260 trainer

Alenia Aermacchi has issued fresh information about its revamped SF-260TP primary/basic trainer, along with some great images of the type being loaded into its C-27J Spartan tactical transport. The words “tight” and “fit” spring to mind, but it looks a great way of moving a light strike asset if you chose to arm the type […]

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Upgrading the Aggressors

Assuming the US Air Force can secure the funding it needs (not a sure thing in this budget environment), the service hopes to upgrade its Aggressor F-16 fleet with  new center displays, Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) and electronic attack pods to better replicate enemy threats. As it stands right now, the Aggressors under-replicate […]

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F-35 durability testing overview

This brief produced by Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office highlights the trial and error process of the jet’s durability testing. A lot of the problems identified are particular to the US Marine Corps’ F-35B, which is perhaps not unexpected. But the other versions have some issues too. None of the problems are […]

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China flies Xian Y-20 transport for the first time

China has flown its Xian Y-20 airlifter for the first time,reports Chinese state news agency Xinhua. Footage of the first flight was alsoshown on Chinese state television. “The successful maiden flight of Yun-20 is significant inpromoting China’s economic and national defense buildup as well as betteringits emergency handling such as disaster relief and humanitarian aid,” […]

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Russia not selling Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers to China

Despite rumors to the contrary, Russia has not sold 36 Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire supersonic bombers to China, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reports.   “There are no negotiations on this issue with China that have taken place,” says Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for Rosoboronexport. Another Russian source tells TASS, “The supply of Tu-22M3 to foreign countries […]

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Seville says Adios to last C212

Interesting to see that Airbus Military has delivered the last ever C212 to have been assembled at its San Pablo site in Seville, with all future examples to be completed in Indonesia. Greg Waldron from our Singapore office filed on the milestone event, which involved the last of three -400 examples produced for Vietnam’s coastguard. […]

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RAF Typhoon FGR4s arrive to train with 1st FW F-22 Raptors

A squadron of British Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s has arrivedat Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, in preparation for their participationin Exercise Western Zephyr. Before the exercise begins, the Royal Air Force’sXI Squadron will work on integrating with the 1st Fighter Wing’s(FW) Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors, based locally at Langley. “The Raptor is a fifth-generation low observableaircraft and […]

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Lockheed hopes to “definitize” LRIP 6 & 7 contracts in the first half of 2013

Lockheed Martin held its first quarter earnings call earlier today. Top company officials hope to “definitize” the LRIP 6 and 7 contracts in the first half of 2013. They’re also hoping to secure some cash to start buying long-lead items for LRIP 8–which is expected to consist of 48 jets. A good chunk of those […]

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Swedish Gripens fly at Red Flag

Saab JAS-39C/D Gripen fighters from the Swedish air force’s 172nd Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron are participating in Red Flag 13-2 at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The US Air Force released these photos earlier today. I’m always amazed by how small these aircraft are. Now if only someone would let me fly one…

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