Aviation News Mega-Thread

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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:20 pm

Greece officially announced its intention to acquire 18 Dassault Rafales to equip its air force

On 12 September 2020, amidst tensions between Athens and Ankara, since the launch in August of a Turkish gas exploration campaign in a disputed area of ​​the eastern Mediterranean, Greece announced the intended procurement of eighteen Dasault Rafale fighter aircraft. Scramble Magazine reported on the possible acquisition of the Rafales on 5 September *).

Yesterday's announcement by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis illustrates the strength of the partnership that has linked the Polemikí Aeroporía (Hellenic Air Force) and Dassault Aviation for more than 45 years, and demonstrates the enduring strategic relationship between Greece and France. Speaking in Thessaloniki, the Greek PM Mitsotakis said that the defence of the country will also be boosted through the acquisition of Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, torpedoes, anti-tank and guided missiles and the modernisation of the Hydra-class frigates.

In the past Greece ordered 40 Mirage F1CG from Dassault Aviation in 1974, then 40 Mirage 2000BG/EG in 1985 and finally 15 Mirage 2000-5 in 2000. The latter contract also included the modernisation of 10 Mirage 2000 to the 2000-5 standard with a large contribution from the Greek industry.

Flying for the Hellenic Air Force, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions.
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:58 pm


We detail South Korea's indigenously-developed KF-X – a multi-role stealth fighter that will enter operational service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) by the end of the decade.


#avgeek #military #airforce #kai #kfx #southkorea #aviation #aerospace #defence #fighter #jet #future #korean #rokaf #aircraft #southkorean

Weapons contracts signed for Sudan and Laos

During the Russian Army-2020 international military-technical forum, the governments of Russia and Sudan signed several weapon contracts - without public revealed details - as late August the Russia Defence Ministry confirmed the signings. The ministry stated "the planned transfer of Russian armaments is aimed at the further development of friendly relations with foreign partners" (referring to Sudan and Laos).

It is remarkable to see that Sudan, after its Western backed military coup in April 2019, in which President Omar Al Bashir, a Russia and Chinese ally was toppled. Several pro-Western Sudanese politicians and military were placed in power over the country, and is was form that moment carefully expected that the post-coup government would swap its anti-Western course. Even in late August 2020, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo visited Sudan, strikingly on or around the moment the Army-2020 contract were signed…

Please have a look at our extensive and detailed Air Order of Battle at https://www.scramble.nl/planni…/orbats/ ... -air-force and https://www.scramble.nl/planning/orbats ... sudan-navy. It is known for several years that the Sudanese Ministry of Defense showed interest in Su-30 and Su-35 fighters and not that long ago they were a serious candidate for the purchase of former Indian Air Force Su-30s that eventually were sold to Angola. It is a given fact that most or even all aircraft of the Al Quwwat Al-Jawwiya As-Sudaniya (SAF, Sudanese Air Force) are becoming (very) obsolete, not only due to their age, but also because of the heavy use in the war over Darfur and partly also over South Sudan. The current SAF fleet exists out of transport aircraft (An-12/-26/-30/-32/-72/-74s, C-130H, Il-76) and fighter jets (A-5C, MiG-29s, Su-24Ms, Su-25K/UBs, K-8S). Some An-26s are used as bomber too. The fleet of training aircraft (Yak-52, K-8S and SAFAT-3) is in much better shape as these types were more recent additions to the SAF.

So it is expected that in the Army-2020 contracts indeed involve types like the Su-30SM/-35, MiG-35, Mi-28/-35 and Mi-171 or even the new Mi-38 and possibly Unmanned Aerial Systems. As Army-2020 also trades army weapons, battle-tanks, APC, rocket-launchers could be included too.

Please also have a look at our Air Order of Battle of Laos (https://www.scramble.nl/planning/orbats/laos/laos), here you can see an up-to-date review of the Laos People's Liberation Army Air Force (LPLAAF). Although it is a very small air force, it is currently quite well equipped with Russian manufactured aircraft like the Yak-130, Il-103, Ka-32 and Mi-17 variants as well as Chinese build MA60/600 transport aircraft, LE500 propeller training aircraft and Z9 helicopters. It is not known what aircraft types Laos is looking for right now.

#aviation #avgeek #avaddict #avgeeks #aircraft #aviationenthusiast #planes #Sudan #SudanAirForce #Sudanmilitary #Laos #LaosAirForce #Su30 #Su35 Su 30 Sukhoi Su-35 ''The Last Flanker''
#militaryaviation #jetfighter #fighteraircraft #militaryaviationnews #aviationnews

Fortunate USAF Pegasus gets welcome windfalls

On 12 September 2020, Seymour Johnson's 916th Air Refueling Wing inventory doubled with the arrival of two Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers.

The third and fourth 916th ARW KC-46As, with serial numbers 17-46024 and 18-46052, arrived on a wet runway at Seymour Johnson AFB near Goldsboro (NC).

The duplication of these tankers comes very timely. The USAF is ramping up the possibility to refuel aircraft with the troubled KC-46A. On 3 September 2020, the first operational in-air refueling of Seymour Johnson co-based 336th Fighter Squadron "Rocketeers" F-15E Strike Eagles was done by a Pegasus from the 77th Air Refueling Squadron/916th Air Refueling Wing.

On 12 June 2020, Air Force Reserve Command's 916th ARW accepted its first of twelve KC-46A Pegasus aircraft. The following tankers are now flying from Seymour Johnson; 15-46011, 16-46014, 17-46024 and 18-46052.

French Transall farewell tour

The Armée de l'Air (AdlA, French Air Force) took the mighty C-160 Transall for the very last time to Africa. The AdlA used C-160R serial R211/64-GK (construction number 214) of escadre de transport 64 (ET64) based at Base Aerienne Evreux (BA105) for their last C-160 overseas operations. The aircraft flew among other locations in Central and West Africa to Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) (8-11 August 2020) during its African farewell tour.

On 31 July 2020, the ongoing AdlA C-160 deployments to Africa officially ended. On that date, an AdlA C-130J Hercules arrived at BAP Niamey (Niger) to take over responsibility for the detachment as part of the Group Transport Opérationnel (GTO). From now on, one C-130J Hercules will be permanently based with the GTO in support of the Barkhane mission in Africa.

The Transall unit, ET02.064 "Anjou", disbanded on 31 August 2020. It will reform on a later date as A400 unit. The unit will transfer three of its C-160Rs to EEA01.054 "Dunkerque", where they will be used as training aircraft.

Four Rockwell B-1B Lancer supersonic-capable strategic bombers deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, on September 10 as part of the USAF’s Bomber Task Force operations.

Read more here: https://www.key.aero/article/b-1b-lancers-return-guam

#avgeek #military #airforce #bomber #b1b #lancer #usaf #jet #supersonic #news #usa #unitedstates #american #defence #aircraft #aerospace #aviation

RAF Tutor new experimental colourscheme

The Royal Air Force (RAF) decided to test a new colour scheme for the Tutor T1 basic training aircraft. On 29 April 2020, G-BYXH returned to RAF Wittering from maintenance at Membury in this black/yellow c/s.

If these new colours will be implemented for the entire fleet depends on the outcome of the trials. Initially it was reported that two more aircraft will receive a similar paintjob for these trials, but no reports have reached us yet so it is unclear if this will take place or not.

If you would like to see G-BYXH in these colours, please do not travel to RAF Witting since the aircraft was passed on to Boscombe Down on 14 May 2020. It is being used there by 3AEF, Bristol UAS and Southampton UAS which operate a joint pool of Tutor aircraft.

Delivery of first Brazilian Air Force Saab 39 Gripen

The first Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB, Brazilian Air Force) Saab F-39E Gripen, serial 4100, is on its way to Brazil. The fighter aircraft is on board the merchant vessel Elke, which will arrive in the port town Itajaí (Santa Catarina, Brazil) on 20 September 2020.

The aircraft was loaded on board the merchant Vessel in Norrkoping (Sweden) late August and the vessel departed on 29 Augustus 2020. Just a week earlier, on 20 August 2020, the Gripen flew for the first time with Major Aviator Cristiano de Oliveira Peres, test pilot at the Brazilian Air Force, at the controls. Major Cristiano de Oliveira Peres flew the aircraft over the Baltic Sea for 49 minutes. Since January 2020, he has been located at Saab in Linköping (Sweden), where he has gone through various tests and flown both Gripen and in the simulators.

This first fighter aircraft will not yet be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force. The Gripen, an FTI (Flight Test Instrumentation) aircraft, will be taken to Embraer’s headquarters in Gavião Peixoto where the flight test programme will continue. Despite this, the aircraft will make a special presentation in the capital of Brazil on Aviator Day, on 23 October 2020.

According to the FAB schedule, the first operational Gripen will be delivered in 2021. The Brazilian Air Force decided to designate it as F-39E Gripen and the two-seater model as F-39F. Brazil ordered 36 aircraft, 28 of which are single-seater and eight two-seater models. The 1st Air Defense Group (1st GDA), based in Anápolis will be the first Brazilian squadron to fly with the new fighter jet.
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:04 pm

First upgraded Bulgarian Su-25 seen in digital colourscheme!

In November 2018, the Bulgarski Voenno Vzdushnu Sili (BVVS, Bulgarian Air Force) signed a USD 85.5 million contract for the major overhaul of fourteen Su-25s by the 558th Aviation Repair Plant in Baranovichi (Belarus). Unfortunately, the contract was downgraded from fourteen to eight aircraft (six single seat and two double seat). Only after the overhaul of the eight aircraft is completed, the Bulgarian Air Force will consider if they will send six more aircraft to Belarus for major overhaul. The overhaul costs for the eight aircraft is calculated at USD 49 million.

Because of the strong regulations against Belarus with regards of the supply of weapons it took longer before the Su-25s could leave Bezmer by Il-76 to Baranovichi. The first one left Bezmer on 28 August 2019 and the last one on 7 October 2019. The first two upgraded Su-25s should arrive back at Bezmer on 23 September 2020 by Il-76.

Known serials with Scramble Magazine are Su-25UBK 002 and Su-25K 246 and 254. The latter two feature in these pictures.

First of two new helicopters delivered to the Montenegro Air Force

On 15 September 2020, Bell Textron Inc. announced that the Vojska Crne Gora (VCG, Montenegro Armed Forces) accepted their first Bell 505. The technical acceptance already occurred in July 2020 at Bell Prague. The second Bell 505 is expected to be delivered January 2021.

The 505s will be used to train the Montenegrin military in the area. Bell provided training for three pilots, a job done by HeliDeal, a Certified Training Facility for 505 pilot training located in Southern France.

Both VCG Bell 505s are manufactured by Bell Textron Canada at its facility in Mirabel, Quebec.

On 14 September 2020, Royal Air Force Typhoons were SCRAMBLE'd from their temporary duty (TDY) location RAF Leuchars (United Kingdom) in response to two Russian Federation - Aerospace Forces (RF VKS) Tu-160 Blackjack that were operating in international airspace over the North Sea.

The Typhoons relieved Norwegian F-16s that were SCRAMBLE'd to to the Russian strategic bomber duo after they flew towards UK airspace

A day earlier, on 13 September, a Quick Reaction Alert was also launched from Leuchars to intercept two Russian Federation - Naval Aviation (AVMF-RF) Tu-142MR maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft that flew into direction of the Scottish coast. These Bear-Fs entered the UK Flight Information Region (FIR) but stayed outside the twelve miles territorial airspace.

A small number of Typhoons have temporarily relocated to Leuchars from home base RAF Lossiemouth to cover Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) during a runway maintenance period at Lossie. The maintenance is done in support of the arrival of the new P-8A Poseidons that will be homed at Lossiemouth from mid-October 2020.
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:33 pm

First French Stratotanker retired

Serial 475/93-CF (ex FMS serial 63-8475 and in use since June 1964), will be recorded in the history books as the first C-135FR that will be retired from the Armée de l'Air de l'Espace (AdlAdlE, French Air Force and Space Command). The aircraft will cease operations on 7 October 2020.

The AdlAdlE started to use twelve Boeing C-135FRs from 1964 onwards. The dozen aircraft were assigned to the French Strategic Air Forces and mainly in use to support the nuclear capable Mirage IVA. That nuclear deterrence mission was later fulfilled by the Mirage 2000N and now the Rafale B. Of course, other fighter jets of the AdlAdlE as well as their allies were supported by the dozen C-135FRs.

Unfortunately, one C-135FR crashed in Polynesia during a deployment on 30 June 1972. The remaining eleven Stratotankers were re-engined with CFM56 engines in the late 1980s. Three former US Air Force KC-135Rs were added to the fleet in 1997.

The C-135FRs are equipped with one centreline mounted flyable boom. A boom drogue adapter (BDA) can be set for probe equipped aircraft. Also, it is fitted with two wing mounted FRLMk32B air refuelling pods.

The first retirement of the C-135FR is inevitable as the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) "Phenix" within the AdlAdlE slowly takes office. The first of fifteen Phenix' was introduced in the AdlAdlE in September 2018. Three of these modern MRTTs are delivered to l'Escadron de Ravitaillement en Vol et de Transport Stratégiques (ERVTS) 01.031 "Bretagne" so far. The ERVTS is a French abbreviation of the Air Refuelling and Strategic Airlift Squadron.

The C-135FRs are assigned to the ERV04.031 "Sologne" based at Istres-Le Tubé (Base Aerienne 125). The aircraft are often deployed in support of the ongoing Operation Barkhane in Africa and can be found at locations as N'Djamena-Hassan Djamous (Chad) and Niamey-Diori Hamani (Niger). The tankers are also used within the anti-ISIS Operation Chammal, operating out of Abu Dhabi-Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates.

French Air Force renamed

On 11 September 2020, the Armée de l'Air (AdlA, French Air Force) was renamed into Armée de l'Air & de l'Espace (AdlAdlE, French Air and Space Force).

The name change is a result of a process that started in July 2019, when President Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of a space command.

The new logo of the AdlAdlE was revealed on 11 September as well. The grey rounded line represents earth, while the well-known stylised sparrow-hawk is overwatching that earth. On 3 September 2019, space was defined as being “a major stake” for France's strategic independence, so the Commandement de l’Espace (CDE, Space Command, headquartered in Toulouse, France) was then created and now integrated in the air force. It is expected that the CDE is fully operational in 2025.

In November 2020, a major and first European military space exercise is planned l, named AstérX. Multiple allies of France will participate in this exercise.

#aviation #avgeek #avaddict #avgeeks #aircraft #aviationenthusiast #planes #France #Armeedelair #Armeedelairandelespace #SpaceCommand #CommandementdelEspace #FrenchAirForce #FrenchAirForceandSpaceCommand
#militaryaviation #jetfighter #fighteraircraft #militaryaviationnews #aviationnews Avgeekery.com Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace

Icarus Aerospace announced on September 17 that it has joined forces with CAE Defence & Security to provide a submarine detection and tracking capability for the Wasp-M.

Read more here: https://www.key.aero/…/icarus-wasp-m-em ... -submarin…

#avgeek #military #tav #icarusaerospace #cae #canada #tacticalairvehicle #asw #news #aircraft #defence #airplane #plane #pilot #aerospace #aviation

Sweden has suspended its search for a successor platform to its ageing Saab Sk 60A/B jet trainer fleet, the Swedish Defense Materiel Agency (FMV) announced on September 14.

Read more here: https://www.key.aero/…/sweden-cancels-s ... raining-a…

#avgeek #military #saab #aircraft #sk60 #saab105 #defence #training #jet #plane #airplane #news #sweden #swedish #airforce #trainer

The US Navy revealed plans about the future configuration of its Carrier Air Wings.

On 11 September 2020, the director of the Air Warfare in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations specified to some degree the numbers and types of aircraft in a CVW envisioned by the end of the 2020s.

The wing would include 44 strike fighters, consisted out of a mix of one squadron of sixteen F-35C Lightning IIs (Block 4) and three squadrons of total 28 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (Block III).

The director also reported five-to-seven EA-18G Growlers, five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes , six-to-ten MH-60R/S Seahawks, three CMV-22B Ospreys, and five-to-nine MQ-25 Stingrays.

Apparently, things have changed as earlier plans showed ten F-35Cs and 34 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

In 2021, USS Carl Vinson will deploy with ten F-35Cs squadron of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 "Argonauts" on the stealth fighters first carrier deployment. The ship also will carry two CMV-22Bs, two ten aircraft F/A-18E squadrons and one fourteen aircraft F/A-18F squadron as Seapower reports.

The second carrier deployment of the F-35C is scheduled in 2022 by Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314. "Black Knights".
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Post by n33d4sp33d_85 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:58 pm

Northrop Grumman Corporation has revealed unmanned aircraft system (UAS) concepts of long unrefuelled ranges, mission endurances greater than 24hrs, robust mission systems, a weapons capacity, open mission systems architectures and a vision vehicle image.

https://www.key.aero/artic…/northrop-fl ... t-concepts

#avgeek #military #mqnext #uas #uav #northropgrumman #usa #usaf #airforce #defence #future #concept #america #unitedstates #news #drone

Military VIP jet for the Netherlands

The Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu, Royal Netherlands Air Force) announced it will decide which secondhand Gulfstream 650 they will buy as a replacement of their venerable Gulfstream IV (serial V-11) by 29 January 2021 as Menno Swart found out.

The KLu already openly set a requirement for technical (type) training courses for the maintenance crew for the duration of two years. The crew needs to be trained (B1 and B2 type training) so they are able and certified to maintain the new G650 when it will be operational by the end of 2021.

The current sole Dutch Gulf is operated by 334 squadron based at Eindhoven air base (The Netherlands). It is expected that the new aircraft will be assigned to this squadron too.

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWENTY TWO received their first MQ-8C Firescout.

On 15 September 2020, HSC-22 "Sea Knights" ('AM-xx'), based at NS Norfolk (VA), aka Chambers Field, marks the first East Coast squadron to operate all three systems to include the MH-60S Knighthawk, MQ-8B Firescout, and MQ-8C Firescout.

The commanding officer of the Sea Knights said “Incorporating the MQ-8C will represent a significant improvement in our Unmanned Air Vehicle mission capability. The ‘Charlie’ is bigger, faster, can carry more mission equipment, and remain airborne over twice as long as our already-proven MQ-8B’s.”

tHE MQ-8B and C Firescout variants in combination with the MH-60R are designed to extend the forces capability to support Distributed Maritime Operations providing integrated, over-the-horizon intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting, and combat logistics support.

While the majority of the flight software in the MQ-8C Firescout is similar to the MQ-8B Firescout variant, the aircrews must adapt to the new capabilities of upgraded Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to include obtaining additional qualifications required for the maintenance team.

An Israel Aerospace Industries-produced Heron unmanned aerial system made history on September 16, when it became the first UAS to land at a major international airport.

Read more here: https://www.key.aero/…/uas-makes-histor ... nding-int…

#avgeek #military #aviation #israel #iai #israeli #airport #uav #uas #drone #heron #aerospace #news #aircraft

Third Super Hercules for Bangladesh

On 17 September 2020, the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) received its third C-130J Super Hercules via Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Cambridge (UK).

The delivery ceremony took place at Bangabandhu airbase in Dhaka after the aircraft arrived from the United Kingdom with fuel/crew rest stops and Cairo (Egypt) and Muscat (Oman).

As reported earlier by Scramble Facebook News, the BAF has signed contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence to procure five former Royal Air Force C-130J/Hercules C5). The aircraft were given a complete overhaul and received some modifications before delivery, like Medical Evacuations mods, avionic upgrades and the provision of a Passenger Transport Configuration.

The first BAF C-130J was delivered in August 2019 (serial 99-5479/S3-AGE (ex RAF ZH881), the second in May 2020 (serial 99-5482/S3-AGF, ex ZH884) and now this third (serial 99-5480/S3-AGG, ex ZH882). Two to go!

Morocco, the Netherlands, the UAE and India are to receive AN/APG-78 Longbow Fire Control Radar (FCR) systems for their Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters under four contracts worth $164.6m announced in September.

Read more here: https://www.key.aero/…/apache-longbow-r ... export-or…

#avgeek #apache #ah64 #attackhelicopter #helicopter #news #aviation #military #defence #aircraft #aerospace #boeing

Japan’s First Boeing KC-46

On 17 September 2020, the first KC-46 Pegasus, destined for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), has rolled out of Boeing’s paint shop facility at Everett (WA). Serial 14-3611 was applied indicating a planned delivery in 2021.

Boeing received an order from the JASDF for one KC-46A in December 2017, and their government took option for a second one in December 2018. In the FY2020 budget Japan is stating it is procuring four aircraft. Japan is the first export customer for the troubled aircraft.

NASA H135s

Following our Scramble Facebook News item of 30 January 2020 (*), about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) order of three H135s with Airbus Helicopters, the NASA now announced it has signed a USD 15 million additional contract with Airbus Helicopters, Inc. covering initially two years with the option to extend up to ten years, that provides the entire spectrum of support needs for NASA’s fleet of the trio (so operational availability, spare parts, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and the manufacturer will be responsible for the helicopter flight operations by stationing two pilots, two mechanics and one program manager at location).

The first two deliveries are expected late September 2020, while the third one is expected early 2021. The H135s will be based at Cape Canaveral AFS Skid Strip Cocoa Beach (FL), also known as Kennedy Space Center.

NASA will operate their new fleet of H135, purchased as part of a UH-1H fleet renewal initiative, at Cape Canaveral for a variety of missions including security around rocket launches, emergency medical services, and qualified personnel transport.
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