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A-10 escapes fresh cuts; Spartans divert

Fans of the awesome A-10 can rejoice (for now at least), as Washington’s recently-signed National Defense Authorisation Act has blocked the USAF from planning to retire any additional examples until at least the end of this calendar year. With NATO’s Afghanistan campaign due to end its combat phase in 2014, the Warthog would perhaps have […]

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Venezuela to get Dornier 228NG transports

The Venezuelan air force is to introduce a new type to its fixed-wing transport fleet, with its first of 10 Dornier 228s due to be delivered before the end of this year. That’s big news for Swiss-based Ruag Aviation, which is refurbishing the first two ex-commercial examples now, and then will manufacture eight aircraft in […]

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The Scorpion’s wind of change

Well done to Textron AirLand, which has completed the first flight of its (let’s be kind) “unique-looking” Scorpion light strike aircraft. Stephen Trimble’s report into the design’s 12 December debut reveals an expected unit cost of less than $20 million, discussions with at least two potential military customers, and the possibility of producing the aircraft […]

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Fighter rivals join forces for T-X

So it’s official. After persistent rumours which first surfaced earlier this year, Boeing and Saab have confirmed teaming up to pursue the US Air Force’s elusive T-X trainer requirement. But no, this isn’t some half-hearted rehash of the Swedish manufacturer’s Gripen, but an all-new, clean-sheet design. Why would they do this, you might ask? Boeing […]

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Lockheed’s SR-72: the need for speed

Lockheed Martin’s ever-secretive Skunk Works unit has broken cover, revealing its concept for a Mach 6-capable successor to the US Air Force’s long-retired SR-71 Blackbird, and claiming “speed is the new stealth”. Potentially to be ready to enter service by 2030, the proposed hypersonic – and unmanned – SR-72 “is the counter to counter-stealth”, Skunk […]

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‘We are not drones’: USAF RPA crews fight back

The US Air Force has come out with some great coverage this week about its remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operations, as the use of its General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper has broken through the 2 million flight hour barrier. First came an eye-catching article from official USAF magazine Airman, with the […]

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The future of army aviation?

Bell has released this image of a full-scale mock-up of its V-280 Valor tiltrotor, which will be on display at the AUSA show in Washington DC next week. We can expect the company to say a bit more about its offering there, although it has already confirmed that GE Aviation is to supply the proposed transport’s engines. […]

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USAF chief checks out J-10 fighter

Straight from the “now that’s something you don’t see every day” files, here’s an image showing US Air Force chief of staff Gen Mark Welsh sitting in the cockpit of a Chinese combat aircraft. Before any red phones start ringing hot, no, he hasn’t defected as a result of sequestration cuts or the government shutdown […]

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Could Gripen spawn USAF trainer?

We’re having to cope with something of an autumnal show spike here on The DEW Line, with Dave Majumdar currently at the AFA event in Washington DC and myself having covered the DSEi exhibition in London last week; hence the recent productivity drop on the blog. As expected, the US Air Force’s long-anticipated T-X trainer […]

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Canada’s F-35 procurement saga

Flight International’s Canada special was released today. Our cover story is about Canada’s military aircraft procurements and focuses on that nation’s quest to replace its ageing fleet of 78 Boeing CF-18 Hornet fighters with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Read the full story here. You actually will have to register for access to […]

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