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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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Don’t fear the Reaper

After many months of asking, I finally got the chance to visit the Royal Air Force’s 13 Sqn at Waddington in Lincolnshire on 15 January, and to see its UK-based ground control station for the General Atomics Reaper. The UK’s only armed remotely piloted air system, the Reaper has been in RAF service since late […]

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Rafale gets next development deal

We’ve written recently about the latest packages of enhancements for the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, and now it’s the turn of the Dassault Rafale. Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (pictured below in Rex Features-sourced image) visited Dassault’s Mérignac final assembly site on 10 January, where details of the F3 R-standard deal were announced. Agreed by the […]

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Voyager’s big year

One story which fell between the cracks as a result of my lengthy festive break was the UK Royal Air Force’s introduction of the Airbus A330 Voyager in supporting the service’s vital “airbridge” with Afghanistan. The first such flight was performed between RAF Brize Norton and Camp Bastion on 8 December, with two aircraft now […]

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Reporting on a Pave Hawk down

It’s been a bad week for the US military rotorcraft community, with a combined six crew members having died in separate crashes at home and in Europe. My Washington DC-based colleague Stephen Trimble yesterday pointed to the cruel coincidence in the loss of an air force HH-60G Pave Hawk in Norfolk, the UK, and a […]

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A400M goes operational/2014 deliveries

We’re playing a bit of news catch-up on Flightglobal after an extended festive break, and top of my list was to provide an update on the A400M programme. What should we call the aircraft now that EADS has become the Airbus Group; how has the French air force been using its first two aircraft; and […]

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Is Scotland asking for the right fighter?

Our recent and admittedly parochial look at the Scottish National Party’s vision of what an independent Scottish air force might look like (I’m not sure that we’d do the same if Quebec launched a breakaway campaign) drew some interesting reader feedback in the latest issue of Flight International. “Extreme political bias”, and “vitriolic and rather […]

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Nations hold firm on A400M numbers

“Build it and they will come”, the old maxim states. It’s a phrase that European airframer Airbus Military also hopes will ring true in the tactical/strategic transport sector, because export buyers are urgently needed for its recently-delivered A400M. An earlier contractual crisis saw the company’s confirmed order book for the type trimmed from 180 to […]

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