Tag: Fighter

Arctic Fighter Meet 2017

The Swedish air force is hosting the 2017 Arctic Fighter Meet at the Flygvapnet air-base at Luleå, in the North of Sweden.

The meet is scheduled to take place from 21 to 25 August.

Swedish air Force Gripen fighters and F-16 fighters of the Norwegian air force will be joined by six F/A-18 Hornets and three Hawk-Jet training aircraft of the Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force). Cross Border Training (CBT) between Finland and Norway will take place during the exercise, to hone the skills of the pilots and test the air defence systems of the participating nations.

The aim of the exercise is to fly in accordance with the training programmes of the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish Air Forces, increase reaction times through airspace incursion drills, as well as to educate newly qualified pilots in Joint-training missions and mission interoperability.

Similar exercises have been held since 2003. The aim is to strengthen defence cooperation in the Nordic countries (NORDEFCO) and to develop the international interoperability. The exercise promotes cooperation between the Nordic nations of NORDEFCO and NATO and is designed to integrate the training programmes of the participating countries and increase operational effectiveness.

For more information, contact the Chief of staff of the Lapland flight detachment Juri Kurttila, p. 0299 800 (vaihde).

 

Ilmavoimat

US fighter jet crash lands at Bahrain International Airport

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A U.S. F/A-18 fighter jet suffering an engine problem crash landed Saturday at Bahrain International Airport and its pilot ejected from the aircraft after it ran off the runway, authorities said. The pilot escaped unharmed.

The crash disrupted flights to and from the island nation off the coast of Saudi Arabia that’s home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. Images on social media showed the grey fighter jet’s nose tipped into the air but largely intact after what the Navy described as an “uncontrollable” landing.

The F/A-18 took off from the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier now in the Persian Gulf, said Cmdr. Bill Urban, a fleet spokesman. While in flight, the plane suffered an engine malfunction, forcing the pilot to divert, Urban said.

The pilot initially tried to land at Sheikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain, but instead ended up at the island’s commercial airport, Urban said.

“Due to the malfunction, the aircraft could not be stopped on the runway and the pilot ejected from the aircraft as it departed the runway,” the commander said in a statement.

Naval officials began an investigation into the crash and were trying to help the airport resume operations, Urban said. Bahrain’s Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry called the crash landing a “minor incident” in a statement and said flights resumed at the airport several hours later.

Bahrain hosts 8,000 U.S. troops, mostly sailors attached to a sprawling base called the Naval Support Activity. Officials at that facility oversee some 20 U.S. and coalition naval vessels in the Gulf providing security and others running anti-piracy patrols.

Bahrain is also home to an under-construction British naval base.

 

Navy Looks at Accelerating Super Hornet Transitions

Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy is looking at ways to accelerate the phase-out of F/A-18C “Classic” Hornet strike fighters from its carrier air wings and replacing the last few squadrons with F/A-18E Super Hornets, a Navy spokeswoman said.

“As we balance operational requirements and our initiatives to build the most capable and ready forward-deployed force, we are identifying the most efficient and effective way to safely transition the last four Navy operational Hornet squadrons to Super Hornets,” Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld, public affairs officer for commander, Naval Air Forces, said in an e-mail to Seapower.

“In order to provide our most capable warfighting force forward, the Navy began the first of the final transitions of our four operational F/A-18C Hornet squadrons to F/A-18E Super Hornet squadrons in July, with an expected completion in [fiscal] ’19. Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, was the first of the four squadrons to begin the transition last month.”

The other three F/A-18C squadrons, all based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., are VFA-34, VFA-37 and VFA-83.

“Accelerating the transition to Super Hornets will allow cost savings and reduce depot maintenance workload,” Groeneveld said. “As the Navy approaches the end of the extended service life for Hornets, the cost per flight hour continues to increase. Additionally, there are shortages in the Department of the Navy’s spare parts and supply system that have contributed to flight line readiness challenges, as well as our ability to extend the service lives of these airframes.”

She also said the transitions give the Navy the opportunity to select its best-condition Hornets for use by the Marine Corps and by Navy support and reserve units, such as Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Fighter Composite Squadron 12, Reserve squadron VFA-204 and the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

The Navy is confident it will be able to continue to support all operational requirements as it completes transition of the Hornet fleet to Super Hornets,” she said.

Congress has supported the Navy’s requirements for increased Super Hornet procurement to bridge the gap to the fleet introduction of the F-35C Lightning II strike fighter. The first fleet squadron to make the transition to the F-35C will be VFA-147 in 2018.

 

Russia’s 5th-generation fighter jet named as Su-57

Sukhoi Su-57 Russian Fifth Generation Fighter

Russia’s T-50 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter jet has received the serial index of Su-57, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the website of Zvezda TV Channel on Friday.

“The decision has been made and the plane has got its name like a child after the birth. Su-57 is how we now call it,” Bondarev said.

Media reports earlier said citing sources in the aircraft-building industry that the T-50 fighter would be named as the Su-57.

The PAK FA (Perspective Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation) took to the skies for the first time in 2010. As was reported earlier, the experimental design work on the cutting-edge fighter jet should be completed in 2019 and its deliveries to the troops should begin at that time. As United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yuri Slyusar said, the pre-production batch will consist of 12 such planes.

It was reported that the T-50 with the advanced (main) engine would perform its debut flight in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Currently, the so-called first stage engine 117S is mounted on the Russian fighter. A new engine has not yet received its name and is conventionally designated as the second stage engine.

 

 

 

Marine drills involving over 2,000 troops take place in Russia’s West

Vladimir Rodionov/TASS

KALININGRAD, August 10. /TASS/. More than 2,000 marine troops participated in tactical drills involving a marine brigade and the 11th Army Corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet, which were held at the Khmelyovka training range in the Kaliningrad region, Fleet Spokesman Roman Martov told TASS.

“The drills were aimed at training the skills of seizing coastal areas and driving the enemy forces out of them,” he said. According to the fleet spokesman, the exercises involved more than 2,000 troops, as well as over 100 pieces of military hardware, including 20 warships, boats and supply vessels, 12 planes and helicopters from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aircraft units.”

The Russian Federation enclave of Kaliningrad

Besides, tanks, the Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers, Grad multiple launch rocket systems and Shilka self-propelled antiaircraft guns, as well as other military hardware, was also used during the marine drills. At the same time, the Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft and Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters performed missile attacks on the simulated enemy’s positions. A Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters delivered a marine assault group to the drills site, while an air assault group arrived in an Antonov An-26 transport aircraft.

Baltic Fleet Su-24M/MRs from the 4th Independent Naval Assault Aviation Regiment – Chernyakhovsk Air Base contribute to the amphibious landings.

“During the exercises, ships carrying marine assault groups trained to suppress the simulated enemy’s coastal strongpoints and honed the tactics of military activities behind enemy’s lines, which particularly involve marine assault groups.

To create an environment close to that of an actual military operation, more than five tonnes of various simulated munitions were used.

 

 

 

 

US may deploy 7 fighter-jets in Lithuania during Zapad drills – president

Pilots with the 13th and 14th Fighter Squadrons fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Deana Heitzman)

VILNIUS, Jul 31, BNS – The United States may station seven fighter-jets in Lithuania for the time of the large-scale Russian-Belarusian war games Zapad 2017 this fall, President Dalia Grybauskaite said in Tallinn on Monday.

“We expect as many as seven jets, almost double in the nearest future,” Grybauskaite told Lithuanian journalists during the meeting of her Baltic counterparts with US Vice-President Mike Pence in the Estonian capital.

US fighter-jets should arrive in Lithuania in late August or early September for the NATO air-policing mission.

The NATO air-policing mission is currently conducted from Lithuania and Estonia by four fighter-jets in each country.

Grybauskaite said the Baltic states were happy with the US guarantees that go beyond words.
In her words, more US troops and equipment will be deployed in Lithuania during Zapad 2017.

Officials in Lithuania are mainly concerned over the actual number of troops involved in the exercise and the scenario or training.

The US already increased the presence of its air-policing jets in Lithuania in early 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

 

Special Report: On Board USS George HW Bush

British sailors who will serve on board HMS Queen Elizabeth are cutting their teeth on the crowded flight deck of a US Nimitz class aircraft carrier.

The USS George HW Bush has arrived in the Solent ahead of a joint exercise with the Royal Navy.
As the Queen Elizabeth continues sea trials ahead getting its first F35B stealth fighters in 2018, its a chance to gain crucial hands on experience on a flight deck of the same size.

5000 US Navy sailors call the USS George H W Bush home.

The ship entered service in 2009 and recently spent several months working on operation inherent resolve in the Mediterranean.
Bombing missions against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq being launched from her four-acre flight deck.
The ship is in the Solent ahead of Exercise Saxon Warrior – a multi-national exercise, all about operating as part of a carrier strike group.

There are more than 60 Royal Navy personnel on board which gives the personnel a superb chance to prepare for the Queen Elizabeth class carrier – the deck of which is the same size of the Bush.

Lt Cdr James Capps is one of them and says the experience is “awe inspiring”.

The USS George HW Bush is well used to working with the Royal Navy, the ships first ever deployment saw her join exercise Saxon Warrior for its 2011 iteration.

The ships will remain in the Solent for the next few days – many of the crew will enjoy up to 5 days shore leave, before heading back to be part of the exercise.

Source: Forces Network.

Lockheed Martin receives contract for work on Israeli F-35s

Lockheed Martin is receiving an $8 million contract modification for logistical support of Israel’s F-35A Lightning II fighters.

The contract falls under the U.S. Department of Defense’s foreign military sales program and provides for maintenance, sustainment operations, supply chain management, work on the Automated Logistics Information system and training.

The work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., Greenville, N.C. and Fort Worth, Texas, with a projected completion date of Dec. 2017. Eight million dollars from the Foreign Military Sales program will be obligated.

Israel currently has five F-35s in service. Three fighters were delivered in April. Orders for 28 more have already been placed, with further procurement expected. They are not yet considered fully operational despite unconfirmed reports of their use in combat missions in Syria.

Israel was the first country under the Foreign Military Sales program to purchase the F-35. It is the first 5th generation stealth fighter to see service with the Israeli Air Force and is expected to form the backbone of their air superiority forces for the next 40 years.

The Israeli model of the F-35A is referred to as the Adir and has some features tailored for Israeli use. It is expected to replace much of Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighter fleets and provide a deep-strike option against heavy air defenses without the massive support needed by more conventional aircraft.

Source: UPI.

Pentagon: Chinese fighters intercepted US Navy spy plane

Two Chinese fighter jets performed a dangerous intercept of an American spy plane Sunday over the East China Sea, forcing the Navy EP-3 reconnaissance jet to maneuver to avoid a mid-air collision, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.

The American pilots deemed the interaction with the Chinese J-10 jets “unsafe and unprofessional” after one of the fighters flew underneath the American plane at a high rate of speed before slowing down and pulling up into the EP-3’s flight path, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. The Navy aircraft’s collision detection warning sounded and the pilot took “evasive action” to avoid the Chinese jet.

PLAAF Chengdu J-10A

The incident occurred late in the morning Sunday in international airspace, about 90 miles south of Qingdao, a Chinese port city north of Shanghai, Davis said.

The J-10 that performed the unsafe maneuver, essentially “cutting off” the American plane, flew within about 300 feet of the EP-3, a U.S. defense official said on condition of anonymity.

Davis said interactions with Chinese military aircraft are rarely unsafe.

“There are intercepts that occur in international airspace regularly,” Davis told reporters at the Pentagon. “The vast majority of them are conducted in a safe manner. This was the exception, not the norm.”

The incident followed two similar intercepts of American military aircraft by Chinese fighter jets in May.

Two Chinese J-10s performed an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of a Navy P-3 Orion over the South China Sea on May 24. One of the fighters maneuvered within 100 feet of the American plane off the coast of Hong Kong in that incident, the Pentagon said.

On May 18, Two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets intercepted an Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix, known as a “nuclear sniffer” plane, over the East China Sea. In that incident, one of the planes maneuvered with about 150 feet of the American plane, flying inverted above the WC-135, Pentagon officials said.

Source: Stars and Stripes.

 

Sweden can build a next generation fighter jet but Canada?

Defence Watch recently noted that Saab’s Gripen E, the next generation of that fighter jet, made its first flight on June 15. That is a major development for the plane. Deliveries are set for 2019.

Sweden and Brazil have purchased the Gripen E.

Sixty E models will be acquired by Sweden’s Air Force, while Brazil is buying 36 jets, including eight of the twin-seat F versions.

Ever since that item was published, I had been receiving the occasional email from some readers wondering why a country of Canada’s standing in the global aerospace industry (5th largest) can’t design and manufacture its own advanced fighter jet?

“How can Sweden with a population of fewer than 10 million people manage to design, build and sell a world-class fighter jet while Canada cannot?,” asked one reader.

An interesting question for sure.

 

Photo above: Gripen E in flight. Photo courtesy of Saab.

Source: Ottawa Citizen.