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How will the UK fill its MPA gap?

A few interesting snippets have emerged about the UK’s work to retain core skills in the operation of maritime patrol aircraft, while it doesn’t actually have any of its own. I’ve been writing about Project “Seedcorn” – which has placed a little over 30 personnel with allied air forces operating types like the P-3 Orion […]

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Black Hawk town, Sweden

Sweden found itself in a tricky situation at the start of this decade, when it became clear that its delayed fleet of NH90s was going to be incapable of meeting requirements in Afghanistan for some more years, and no swift solution was seen to remedying the European type’s development difficulties. With doing nothing considered politically […]

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Ta-ra to “Timmy”

The Royal Air Force’s tanker/transport fleet transition took another big step earlier this week, when the last operational sorties were performed with its Lockheed L-1011 TriStars. These included providing tanker support for a detachment of Eurofighter Typhoons returning from an exercise commitment in the USA, and supporting training activities involving the same type and the […]

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Lovely Lavi

Well done to Alenia Aermacchi, for rolling out its first of 30 M-346 advanced jet trainers for Israel on 20 March. As shown in this company-sourced image, the Israeli air force has gone for a nice grey and black colour scheme for its aircraft – for which it has revived the name “Lavi”. As our […]

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Fighter Friday, part 2: Gripen E

As if bringing you one major European fighter programme update within a week wasn’t enough, two full days at Saab’s Linköping site on Monday and Tuesday allowed me to also get a full update on the status of the developmental Gripen E. If you are of the view that the design which won selection in Sweden, Switzerland […]

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Fighter Friday, part 1: Typhoon

I’d been planning to prompt some discussion on The DEW Line earlier in the week about the Eurofighter programme, to coincide with a feature article of mine which appeared as the cover story for the latest issue of Flight International, but a four-day trip to Sweden means it’s now a Friday Fighter topic instead. Our […]

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Singapore to join the MRTT club

We reported yesterday on Singapore’s confirmation of plans to buy the Airbus Defence & Space A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT); a story we had been hoping to cover at the air show there last month. The announcement was part of a long-term defence presentation given to parliament by defence minister Ng Eng Hen. In this, […]

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Australia details P-8 introduction plan

Australia has confirmed a plan to buy eight 737-based P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft from Boeing, following the US and Indian navies in ordering the type (US Navy image below). The fact that Canberra has approved the roughly A$4 billion ($3.6 billion) transaction isn’t a surprise – it has been involved in the P-8 and precursor […]

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Swiss set clocks for Gripen vote

Democracy’s a wonderful thing for those of us lucky enough to have it, but it can also be a little bit bonkers, to the casual observer. Switzerland’s ongoing efforts to buy 22 new fighters provides today’s example. The nation’s parliament late last year gave its approval to the proposed deal with Saab (company-sourced image below), […]

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New trainers for New Zealand

Don’t get too excited, folks, but New Zealand has just ordered its first ejection seat-equipped aircraft since the government of the day controversially scrapped its air combat fleet back in 2001. This type isn’t quite in the same category as the Douglas A-4 Skyhawks or even the Alenia Aermacchi MB-339s that the Royal New Zealand […]

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