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Blooding the Raptor

With a detachment of Lockheed Martin F-22s having been deployed in the Middle East region for quite a while now, it’s not that surprising to see that the Raptor has finally been given the chance to drop weapons in anger for the first time. There have been quite a lot of cynical comments out there […]

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B-2 downs raptor (the feathered kind)

Not one for the squeamish, perhaps, but a series of (literally) striking images has emerged from the current US Air Force detachment of two B-2 bombers to RAF Fairford in the UK. They show what happened when an unfortunate Buzzard (a bird of prey, or raptor) flew into the path of a B-2 as it […]

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Boeing defence prospects

The new issue of Flight International carries a couple of defence articles by our Asia editor Greg Waldron following the recent Shangri-La Dialogue event in Singapore: both concerning Boeing. Given the way that any manufacturer will talk up its prospects, it’s no surprise that Boeing Defense, Space & Security chief executive Chris Chadwick is on […]

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Can Canada can F-35 plan?

Things are hotting up in Canada over the nation’s F-18 replacement options, with the key question being whether Ottawa will go forward with previous plans to buy the F-35, or enter into a competitive process. Clearly worried by the prospect of the second option, the pro-F-35 ‘Canadian JSF Industry Group’ published an open letter ahead […]

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The next Marine One

Considering the massive level of past media interest around the US VXX presidential helicopter replacement programme (particularly when the last attempt got cancelled in 2009), confirmation of Sikorsky’s win this time around with an S-92 derivative might have passed many people by. In what was a pretty special week for Sikorsky, the US DoD on […]

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Osprey meets… erm, ‘Phantom Badger’

I have to admit that my first reaction on receiving a press release titled ‘Boeing Phantom Badger certified for V-22 transport’ made me think: “What the heck is a Phantom Badger?” That’s more down to my lack of knowledge about ground vehicles, but seriously – where did that name come from? Apparently this is good […]

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Use the force, Luke

The first F-35A Lightning II to be assigned to a training unit at the US Air Force’s Luke AFB in Arizona flew in earlier this month, accompanied by one of the types that it will replace; the F-16. Flown from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth site in Texas – and also the 100th F-35 to have […]

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Spy vs Spy; Hagel-style

Chuck Hagel’s announcement earlier this week of proposed platform cuts for the US Air Force and army will shake up Washington’s military machine in a big way – if the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2015 proposal survives first contact with Congress. We’ve reported before about how the ground-attack-specialised A-10 could be flying towards a […]

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F-35Bs pair up for STOVL test

Lockheed Martin issued a handful of nice images yesterday showing a first for the F-35 programme: a pair of STOVL-variant aircraft taking off and then transitioning back for landing while in close formation. Conducted from the US Navy’s Patuxent River test site in Maryland, “the mission measured the effects the aircraft had on each other […]

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Super Hornet fights for survival

Rejections by India and more recently Brazil – combined with the looming end to a multi-year procurement deal for the US Navy – mean that the pressure is mounting on Boeing to secure extra orders for its versatile Super Hornet. As things stand, the last F/A-18E/F or EA-18G Growler will roll off the line in […]

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