SU-35 fighter: Russia is to install communications systems for China as part of the $2 billion sale of Su-35 fighters. The deal includes the delivery and installation of the NKVS-27 communications system which will begin in 2016. The delivery of the 24 fighters will follow in 2017. It has been speculated that the Chinese may attempt to reverse engineer and copy the design of the aircraft as it did Su-27SK and could include the communications system. The NKVS-27 is designed to ensure information interaction between CPs and crews of any aircraft. Interaction may be by means of conversations through voice communications radio networks as well as data exchange through data exchange radio networks. More »
JF-17 Thunder: Pakistan is to keep using the the Russian made RD-93 engine for its series of JF-17 fighters. The confirmation comes after hints made by Chinese officials that Pakistan would revert back to an original arrangement with China but Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officials are happy with the Russian engine. PAF officials have said that improvements to the JF-17 along with the reliability of the RD-93 engine has resulted in a number of interested parties. Russia on the other hand will be happy to see product solidarity due to economic sanctions over Ukraine closing many export markets.
Rapid Fire | Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 00:20 UTC ()
One of two Lockheed Martin X-56A Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has crashed during testing in California. According to a US Air Force statement, the UAV crashed shortly after take off and sustained significant damage. The aircraft had already made 16 successful test flights and spent a total of 6 hours in the air prior to the accident, since its first flight in July 2013. Testing will continue with the USAF’s second X-56A.
The Mexican Navy has completed an Airbus C295W flight from Mexico to Bolivia. Landing in El Alto airport in La Paz, the flight was aimed at demonstrating the aircraft’s ability to operate in extremely hot and high conditions. With La Paz located at over 4,000 meters above sea-level, the ability to operate in such conditions is important for missions in several countries in the region, and has been hailed as quite the success by both Airbus and the Mexican Navy.
Middle East North Africa
Vladimir Putin has called the downing of one of its fighters by Turkey (in Syria) a “stab in the back.” Turkey defended the decision to down the Su-24 after repeated warnings that the Russians had violated Turkish airspace on the Syrian border. The shooting of the plane is the first time a NATO member has downed a Russian or Soviet aircraft since the 1950s. World stock markets fell as a result, as investors worried that tensions could escalate, and as a growing cast of characters continue maneuvers, air strikes and missile launches in the skies of Syria.
The US Army has begun the second phase of its training and equipping mission in the Ukraine. The $265 million “Operation Fearless Guardian” aims to allow Ukrainian forces to operate more safely and effectively in the field and to monitor and secure its borders. At present, there are 300 US troops in western Ukraine facilitating the mission along with other NATO members and other US personnel. Escalating conflict in the eastern Donbass region has gone mostly unnoticed by a media focused on Russian and NATO intervention in Syria. Since violence erupted last year, over 6,000 people have been killed in the Donbass region alone with many more either internally displaced or having fled to Russia.
Russia is to install communications systems for China as part of the $2 billion sale of Su-35 fighters. The deal includes the delivery and installation of the NKVS-27 communications system which will begin in 2016. The delivery of the 24 fighters will follow in 2017. It has been speculated that the Chinese may attempt to reverse engineer and copy the design of the aircraft as it did Su-27SK and could include the communications system. The NKVS-27 is designed to ensure information interaction between CPs and crews of any aircraft. Interaction may be by means of conversations through voice communications radio networks as well as data exchange through data exchange radio networks.
A Pakistani Air Force (PAF) pilot has died during a training flight. Muarium Mukhtiar died after her FT-7PG crashed due to an unspecified in-flight emergency. Muhtiar was one of 20 female pilots in the PAF since females were allowed combat roles in 2006. The accident has been one in a series of crashes of PAF aircraft this year which included another fighter in September, and two military helicopters in August and May. Pakistan is currently revamping its older aircraft in service and co-developing new fighters with China to reduce dependence on western companies.
Indonesia has announced plans to purchase a new AW101 in 2016. The helicopter will replace the air force’s aging AS332 Super Puma and will be used as presidential transport as well as for other VVIPs. The purchase will be followed by the sale of two more AW101s in 2017, replacing the remaining Super Pumas which have been in service for the last 25 years. Its nice to see President Widodo treating himself to a new luxury aircraft.
According to the Iranian Ambassador to Russia, the delivery of the S-300 missile defense system has begun. The first of five shipments of the system comes months ahead of schedule and in advance of the lifting of some economic sanctions against Iran. An expansive interpretation of the July agreement between Iran and six other nations over its nuclear program paved the way for the $600 million sale earlier this month. Russia had previously and repeatedly used the prospect of selling the system to Iran as a bargaining chip on other matters over the past three years.
The commencement of sorties from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft
| The US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship Class (LCS) program is picking up speed as two more of the ships were launched over the last few days. November 20 saw the USS Omaha enter the water in Mobile, Alabama and the USS Milwawkee was commissioned the following day by the Mayor of Milwawkee. There are now five LCS class ships operational and they are being completed at an average of four per year. It is hoped that by 2018, 38 of the ships will have undergone construction in only 13 years and will be operating in shallow and coastal waters throughout the world. More »
| A deal has been signed between between Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and the Indonesian government as part of South Korea's KF-X fighter program. The agreement includes details of shared costs of the joint engineering and development phase of the fighter. Indonesian contributions to the costs amount to $1.5 billion, about 20% of the costs. KAI was announced as preferred in March by the South Korean Defence Acquisition Production Administration (DAPA) and will collaborate with Indonesia with design and some part production. Planned production of the indigenous fighter will commence in 2025 with Indonesia as one of the first customers as export. Indonesia hopes the collaboration will help their own indigenous development capabilities in future. More »
| US Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work has suggested that Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter will take part in Canada's latest jet selection competition. The announcement comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he would not be purchasing the jet as part of Canada's replacement of older CF-18s. Work's comments appear contrary to the Canadian administration but seems to be coming across as part of US efforts to rescue Canadian participation in the program.
While rumours continue over the fate of Canada and the F-35 program, Denmark is expected to confirm an order for the aircraft this December. It was reported last year that the order would be for 30 of the aircraft and would be replace the F-16s that are currently in service in the Royal Danish Air Force. Other European countries expected to make purchases include Norway and the Netherlands. More »
| The Swiss Air Force have banned the use of their jets by civilians in the wake of a crash last month. The crash of the F-18 Hornet during training exercises in eastern France had no civilians on board and the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft. According to Swiss television station SRF, a number of civilians have ridden in military jets over the last number of years. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. More »
| Japan is to receive three RQ-4 Block 30 (I) UAVs after the sale was cleared by the US State Department on Friday. The deal will also include associated parts, equipment and training costing $1.2 billion in total. The purchase comes at a time when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been beefing up his country's defense spending to counter Chinese influence. It was announced earlier this year that Japan is planning its largest ever defence budget which, if approved, will be in the region of $41 billion. More »
| The long awaited death of India's indigenous Nishat UAV program has come to pass. The final of four UAVs in use by the Army has crashed less than a week after the program was officially cancelled. The final nail in the program's coffin occurred earlier this month after a third UAV crashed amid technical problems cited by the Indian Army. However, these claims have been refuted by the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), who claim army incompetence and poor handling by the army. While the blame game continues, we do know that we won't be seeing any more Nishats in the Indian sky. More »