Saturday, 31 August 2019

Airbus pulls out of fighter-jet competition following complaints

Neil Bates

Airbus pulls out of fighter-jet competition following complaints | The Star

Airbus is the second company to pull its fighter jet from the competition after Dassault withdrew its Rafale last November.

OTTAWA—Canada’s multibillion-dollar effort to buy new fighter jets has taken another surprise turn with European aerospace giant Airbus announcing it has withdrawn from the high-stakes competition.

Airbus Defence and Space, in partnership with the British government, was one of four companies expected to bid on the $19-billion contract to build 88 new fighter jets. They’re to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s aging CF-18s.

But in a statement Friday, Airbus said it had notified the Canadian government of its decision to withdraw its Eurofighter Typhoon for two reasons — both of which it had raised before the competition was formally launched in July.

The first relates to a requirement that bidders show how they plan to ensure their planes can integrate with the top-secret Canada-U.S. intelligence network known as “Two Eyes,” which is used to co-ordinate the defence of North America.

Meeting the requirement continues to place “too significant of a cost” on non-U.S. aircraft, said Airbus, which would have been required to show how it planned to integrate the Typhoon into the Two-Eyes system without knowing the system’s full technical details.

The second factor was the government’s decision to change a long-standing policy that requires bidders on military contracts to legally commit to invest as much money in Canadian products and operations as they get out of contracts they win.

With the new process, bidders can instead establish “industrial targets,” lay out a plan for achieving those targets and sign non-binding agreements promising to make all efforts to achieve them. Such bids do suffer penalties when the bids are scored but are no longer rejected outright.

That change followed U.S. complaints the previous policy violated an agreement Canada signed in 2006 to become one of nine partner countries in developing the F-35. The agreement says companies in partner countries will compete for work.

After U.S. complaint, Canada to soften rules for jet competition to allow Lockheed Martin bid: source
Canada’s auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan with new probe
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Boeing is reportedly still planning to Compete In Canada's Fighter Contest
Canada to keep flying its F/A-18A Hornet fighters into the early 2030s
Boeing skips information session on Canada’s fighter-jet purchase
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It's Official, Canada Pens Formal Letter Of Interest For Surplus Aussie F/A-18 Hornets
Canada takes first official step to buying used fighter jets from Australia
US approves Super Hornet sale ahead of Canadian decision
Canada quietly paid another $30 million toward development of the F-35

Friday, 30 August 2019

The A-10 Warthog Is Sticking Around for At Least Another Decade

The A-10 Warthog Is Sticking Around for At Least Another Decade - Defense One

After years of trying to retire the much-in-demand attack jet, the Air Force is putting new wings on 112 more planes.

After years of trying to retire the Warthog, the U.S. Air Force is spending big to keep more of the attack jets flying for another decade.

Just weeks after the last of 173 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs received new wings, the Air Force on Wednesday awarded Boeing a $240 million contract to start installing new wings on 27 more aircraft — the first tranche of a project expected to re-wing a total of 112 aircraft for about $1 billion, according to a Pentagon contract announcement. The contract awarded on Wednesday runs through 2030.

“Boeing will team with Korean Aerospace Industries and other key suppliers to deliver the first wing sets to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah,” the company said.

The contract signals the Air Force will no longer try to retire the plane, known for its rapidfire 30-millimeter cannon. The Warthog was introduced in the 1970s to support troops on the ground, and has seen heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan since the U.S. invasions there. Yet over the past decade, the Air Force has several times called for retiring the plane and performing its close-air support mission with higher-flying planes like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or slower propeller-driven attack planes.

Earlier this month, a congressionally mandated Mitre Corp. report obtained by Air Force Magazine said the Air Force should retire A-10s as new F-35s are delivered. And the Air Force is buying planes like the Embraer Super Tucano and Beechcraft T-6 for special operations and training foreign air forces.

The Air Force started replacing the wings on 173 A-10s in 2011. That work finished earlier this month. 

Boeing signs near $1 billion contract with US Air Force
USAF is getting ready for next A-10 re-winging contract - The Aviation Geek Club

Indian Air Force takes final C-17 delivery

Barcelona - El Prat Int'l ✈

PICTURE: ​Indian Air Force takes final C-17 delivery

The Indian Air Force has received its 11th and final Boeing C-17 strategic airlifter, in the last delivery of the type.

With the arrival of the last aircraft there are 275 C-17s in service globally, says Boeing.

Boeing's last C-17 (MSN IAF-11) departed from Long Beach, California in November 2015, with the company having ended production by building several "white tail" examples without confirmed customers. All of these aircraft have since been sold.

In 2017, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency proposed the deal, valuing it at $366 million.

The Indian Air Force's 11th, and final, C-17 - Boeing

Cirium fleets data shows that New Delhi is the second largest operator of the type with 11 examples, following the USAF with 222 examples in service.

"The C-17 fleet has been a vital part of the Indian Air Force’s strategic and combat airlift capability," says Boeing.

"The IAF C-17s have performed a wide range of operations in military missions, and provided peacekeeping support, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in India and internationally, since induction to the Sky Lords squadron in 2013."

Boeing is responsible for the Indian fleet's maintenance, field support, modifications, upgrades, technical manuals, and logistics. In addition, it has a simulator centre in India that has completed over 5,100hrs of training for aircrew and loadmasters.

The world's in-service C-17 fleet - Cirium Fleets Data

McDonnell Douglas, the original manufacturer of the airlifter, delivered the first first C-17 (MSN T-1) to the USAF on 15 September 1991. This aircraft was retired in 2011. The average age of the global in-service C-17 fleet is 14.4 years, with the oldest examples over 27 years old.

In September 2013 Boeing announced that it would shut down C-17 production owing to insufficient orders to keep the line going beyond 2015.

Defence pundits in India have opined that the Indian air force would have liked to buy more C-17s, but that the nation’s slow acquisition process was unable to produce orders in time to keep production going a while longer.

Barcelona - El Prat Int'l ✈
Published on Aug 28, 2019

Czech Air Force to buy 12 Bell helicopters

Czech Air Force to buy 12 Bell helicopters | Jane's 360

Key Points

  • The Czech Air Force will procure eight UH-1Y Venom utility and four AH-1Z Viper combat helicopters
  • The CZK14.6 billion (USD625 million) contract is expected to be concluded by the end of the year

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on 22 August announced that the Czech Air Force will procure 12 new helicopters from the United States. The Czech Republic has selected the Bell Helicopter programme - eight UH-1Y Venom utility and four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters - over the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky UH-60M option. The intergovernmental contract, worth a total of CZK14.6 billion (USD 625 million), excluding value-added tax, is expected to be approved by the Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) and government in the coming months. The Czech Air Force intends to operate all 12 helicopters from 2023.

"The H-1 system (combination of Venom and Viper helicopters) offers everything we requested," said General Aleš Opata, the chief of the general staff of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. The new helicopters will be used for combat support, troop transport, and medical evacutation. "We would like to conclude the contract by the end of year," Czech Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar said. The Czech Republic will be the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to operate UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters.

The helicopters will be armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and M197 20 mm machine guns. The US offer foresees co-operation with the Czech defence industry. Several Czech companies are interested in the contract, including Aero Vodochody, Ray Service, and LOM Praha.

Bell’s UH-1Y: Details
Bell AH-1Z Viper: Details

Royal Thai Army receives first batch of Stryker ICVs from US

The RTA has received a first batch of Stryker ICVs from the United States, according to a 29 August announcement by the JUSMAGTHAI. (Via JUSMAGTHAI)

Royal Thai Army receives first batch of Stryker ICVs from US | Jane's 360

The United States has delivered a first batch of General Dynamics Land Systems Stryker 8×8 infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) to the Royal Thai Army (RTA), the Joint US Military Advisory Group Thailand (JUSMAGTHAI) announced on 29 August on its Facebook page.

The advisory group also released images showing the ICVs at an undisclosed Thai airbase after being flown to the Southeast Asian country aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft. The photographs also show Thai and US officials present at the handover, including US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson, the commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).

The JUSMAGTHAI did not diclose how many vehicles were delivered but Jane’s understands that up to 10 Strykers were part of the first batch, with more batches expected to follow, possibly in financial year 2020.

Wassana Nanuam

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Russian Su-35 jets allegedly forced Israeli warplanes to abandon 2nd attack


Russian Su-35 jets allegedly forced Israeli warplanes to abandon 2nd attack

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The Israeli Air Force carried out a powerful attack over the southwestern region of Syria last Saturday night.

This attack resulted in the destruction of an alleged Hezbollah compound that was located in the Aqraba region of the Damascus Governorate.

According to a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) source, at least five Hezbollah military personnel were killed as a result of this Israeli attack.

While Israel managed to hit one of its main targets, a Russian publication reported that the Israeli Air Force was forced out of Syrian airspace as it was preparing for a second wave of strikes.

According to the Russian publication Tsargrad.TV, a Russian Su-35 jet took off from the Hmeimim Airbase and made their way towards the Mediterranean as the Israeli Air Force was preparing a second attack.

As a result of this move by the Russian Air Force, the Israeli Air Force was unable to complete their second round of strikes, the Russian aviation website Avia.Pro added.

It is worth noting that one day before these strikes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Since this attack on Saturday evening, tensions between Israel and Iran have been at a month-long-high, as Lebanon’s Hezbollah has vowed to avenge their losses from the Israeli strikes.

Thailand to acquire 120 U.S. armored vehicles

Thailand to acquire 120 U.S. armored vehicles - Reuters

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s military plans to acquire 120 American-made armored vehicles by 2020, with the first batch of 10 arriving next month, a Thai defense ministry source told Reuters on Wednesday.

The United States curbed military aid to Thailand following a 2014 army coup, but ties are improving after disputed elections this year that officially restored civilian rule under a government led by former junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong told reporters that Thailand would receive 70 U.S. made armored infantry carrier vehicles by the end of the year and 50 more next year, but did not give the value of the deal.

“The first delivery will consist of 10 vehicles and by the end of the year there will be 70 vehicles,” Apirat said.

“There will be 50 vehicle in the next lot.”

He said the armored vehicles would be deployed at a base in Chachoengsao, south of the capital of Bangkok.

U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available to comment on the army chief’s remarks.

A defense ministry source told Reuters that Thailand paid for 47 vehicles and the U.S. would supply 23 free in this year’s purchase, while 50 more will be bought next year. The U.S. will also help the Thai army in the maintenance of the vehicles.

The source declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

In July, the U.S. State Department said it had approved a government-to-government Foreign Military Sales deal for 60 Stryker armored vehicles and equipment, at an estimated cost of $175 million.

Under junta rule, Thailand bought tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from China to replace old U.S. models, as well as planning to set up a joint center with China to produce and maintain military gear, as relations cooled between Washington and its oldest ally in Southeast Asia after the 2014 coup.

The United States remains an important ally for Thailand.

Next week, Thailand will host the opening of the first-ever maritime drill between the navies of the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 11th Indo-Pacific army chief conference on Sept 9.

Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

First Brazilian Gripen E Completes its First Flight


First Brazilian Gripen E Completes its First Flight

Saab today completed a successful first flight with the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft, 39-6001. At 2.41 pm CET on August 26, the Gripen E aircraft took off on its maiden flight flown by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg. The aircraft operated from Saab´s airfield in Linköping, Sweden.  

The duration of the flight was 65 minutes and included test points to verify basic handling and flying qualities at different altitudes and speeds. The main purpose was to verify that the aircraft behavior was according to expectations.

“This milestone is a testament to the great partnership between Sweden and Brazil. Less than five years since the contract was signed, the first Brazil Gripen has conducted her first flight,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.  

This aircraft is the first Brazilian production aircraft and will be used in the joint test program as a test aircraft. The main differences compared to the previous test aircraft are that 39-6001 has a totally new cockpit layout, with a large Wide Area Display (WAD), two small Head Down Displays (sHDD) and a new Head Up Display (HUD). Another major difference is an updated flight control system with updated control laws for Gripen E. It also includes modifications both in hardware and software.

“For me as a pilot it has been a great honour to fly the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft as I know how much this means for the Brazilian Air Force and everyone at Saab and our Brazilian partners. The flight was smooth and the aircraft behaved just as we have seen in the rigs and simulators. This was also the first time we flew with the Wide Area Display in the cockpit, and I am happy to say that my expectations were confirmed,” says Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg. 

39-6001 will now join the test programme for further envelope expansion as well as testing of tactical system and sensors.

39-6001 will be designated F-39 in the Brazilian Air Force and will have the tail number 4100. 

Published on Aug 27, 2019

Assembly of first Brazilian Gripen NG advances
The highlights of the Brazilian Gripen Programme in 2018
AEL Sistemas presenting the first Wide Area Display for Gripen NG for Brazil
Brazilian Navy makes moves towards potential new Gripen maritime fighters

Saab Gripen E: Details

Putin, Erdogan say ready to expand military cooperation on Su-35 and possibly the Su-57 jets

Putin, Erdogan say ready to expand military cooperation -

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that the two countries are ready to expand cooperation in the military sphere.

"We have used the opportunity of Mr. Erdogan's visit to discuss promising joint projects not only in aviation but also in other sectors of military-technical cooperation," Putin said at a press conference after their talks on the sidelines of the International Aviation and Space Salon, also known as MAKS.

Russia is ready to offer flights on Su-30SM fighters to Turkish pilots, Putin said, adding that he and Erdogan also discussed "cooperation on Su-35 and possible work on new Su-57" jets, but did not provide details.

Russia began on Tuesday the delivery of a second batch of S-400 air defense missile systems to Turkey, Putin said.

He said Russia has demonstrated new weapons and new radio-electronic warfare systems to Turkey and there are many possibilities.

"In my opinion there have been many things that aroused the interest of our Turkish colleagues, not only from the point of view of purchase but also from the point of view of joint production," Putin said.

Erdogan said that Turkey is willing to expand cooperation with Russia in various sectors of the defense industry, including warplanes and missiles.

Earlier on Tuesday, Putin and Erdogan talked with the Russian crew on the International Space Station via a teleconference during their visit to the MAKS-2019 exhibition that opened in a suburb of Moscow.

Turkey to consider procurement of Russian Su-35 jets
Russia ready to deliver Su-35 fighter jets to Turkey
Turkey considers Russian Su-57, Chinese J-31 jets to replace F-35s - Yeni Şafak
US Denying Turkey F-35s Could Give Russia the Chance It Needs to Export Su-57
Turkey can buy Su-35s from Moscow if US doesn’t ship promised F-35s – military analyst
Turkey turning to Russia for Su-57 jets a nightmare for NATO - analysis

Su-35S Flanker-E: Details
Sukhoi Su-57: Details

Egypt signs $2bn deal for 50 fighter jets from Russia


Egypt signs $2bn deal for 50 fighter jets from Russia – Middle East Monitor

Egyptian Air Force has signed a military agreement to buy 50 MiG-35 warplanes from Russia the US’ National Interest reported on Saturday.

The $2 billion deal, the largest in the post-Soviet era, was signed between Cairo and Moscow in April 2015, under which Egypt will receive the warplanes by 2020. It comes following joint negotiations that took place between the two countries in November 2013 over Egypt’s purchase of 24 MiG-29M fighter jets from Russia.

MiG-35 is a revision of the basic MiG-29. The aircraft features a more robust multi-role capability with enhanced use of air-to-air and air-to-ground high-precision weapons. Also, it has an increased combat range owing to an increase in its internal fuel capacity.

Mutual cooperation between the two countries developed after Al-Sisi was sworn into office on June 2014, particularly at the level of military aid, however, relations strained after a Russian passenger jet crashed over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015.

The resumption of Russian air traffic to the Egyptian capital of Cairo last year played a significant role in mitigating relations between the two countries.

In December 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Egypt, during which he agreed to build Egypt’s Al-Dabaa nuclear power plant. He also visited the North African country in February 2015 to attend the signing of several deals between Cairo and Moscow.

MiG-35/35D Fulcrum-F: Details

U.S. to Deliver Armored Vehicles to Thailand Next Month

U.S. to Deliver Armored Vehicles to Thailand Next Month - BNN Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Thailand will receive a batch of U.S.-made armored vehicles next month, as ties between the two countries warm following the end of military rule in the Southeast Asian nation.

The Strykers -- eight-wheeled vehicles designed to move infantry -- will be deployed at a base near Bangkok, Army Chief Apirat Kongsompong told reporters on Tuesday.

Apirat said Thailand will receive 70 of the combat vehicles by year-end under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. He didn’t give a value for the deal.

Read More -- U.S. Ready to Boost Thai Arms Sales After Vote, Countering China

The U.S. is a key supplier of weapons to treaty ally Thailand. For instance, Lockheed Martin Corp. F-16 fighter jets and Black Hawk helicopters are among U.S. products used by the Southeast Asian nation.

Ties cooled while Thailand was ruled by a junta, a period during which the country stepped up purchases of materiel from China. A civilian administration was sworn in last month after a disputed general election in March.

To contact the reporter on this story: Siraphob Thanthong-Knight in Bangkok at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sunil Jagtiani at, Subramaniam Sharma

US infantry carriers set for delivery: Thai army
The State Department has approved a possible FMS to Thailand of 60 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles
US-Thailand Alliance in the Spotlight with New Combat Vehicle Deal

M1126 Stryker Combat Vehicle: Details

Monday, 26 August 2019

France set to offer Nuclear Submarines to India

Ministry of Defense

Defence News, Air Force, Navy, Army France set to offer Nuclear Submarines to India

France is seeking to break fresh ground in advancing its strategic partnership with India by putting, for the first time, nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) on offer. Sources privy to the agenda for the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Macron slated for August 22 evening in Paris ahead of the G-7 Summit disclosed that the French are also set to offer 36 follow-on Rafale fighters and F21 heavy weight torpedoes for Indian Navy Scorpene submarines in Government-to-Government deals.

India has an ambitious programme to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines at an approximate cost of over 100,000 Crore. The French are likely to offer partnership in designing and building these submarines in India. France’s Naval Group is currently building the Barracuda class SSNs for the French Navy.

India has an ambitious programme to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines at an approximate cost of over 100,000 Crore. The French are likely to offer partnership in designing and building these submarines in India. France’s Naval Group is currently building the Barracuda class SSNs for the French Navy.

So far, the only two SSNs operated by rest of article

SSN Barracuda: Details

Russian Su-35 intercepted two Turkish F-16s, forcing them to flee

Российские Су-35 перехватили два турецких F-16, заставив их сбежать

Translated by google

Turkish F-16 fled from the Russian Su-35.

The Turkish Air Force fighters were alerted and sent to the southern part of the Syrian province of Idlib, however, according to a number of sources, two Russian Su-35 fighters were lifted to intercept Turkish fighters from the Khmeimim air base, which were able to drive Turkish military aircraft out of the air Syrian space in just a few minutes.

Any details on this subject are not disclosed, however. according to unconfirmed reports, Turkish fighters were forced to leave Syrian airspace after having covered a distance of 30-40 kilometers, which, obviously, indicates either the receipt of a warning from the VKS, or the discovery of Russian combat aircraft on radars.

Later, a pair of Russian Su-35 fighters was spotted directly in the vicinity of the city of Khan Sheikhun.

The Su-35 fighters escort and guard the Syrian Air Force when attacking in the sky over Khan Sheikhun after threats from Turkey ,” the Telegram community reports.

Experts do not exclude that Turkey will take all measures in the near future to strike at the positions of the Syrian military near Khan Sheikhun, since otherwise the Turkish military and militants will be encircled.

Sukhoi Su-35: Details
F-16 Fighting Falcon: Details