Category Archives: Aerial Warfare

Royal Netherlands Air Force to Order Nine More F-35s for €1 Bn

Royal Netherlands Air Force to Order Nine More F-35s for €1 Bn

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence is buying an additional nine F-35 fighter aircraft. State Secretary Barbara Visser informed the House of Representatives by letter today. The total number of F-35s for the Air Force will increase to 46. By adding nine aircraft to the current order, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence organization is better able to perform constitutional tasks. In addition, with this latest purchase, the foundation is laid for a third F-35 squadron.

As one of the original nine partner nations for the F-35, and the second international partner to receive the F-35, the Netherlands continues to be a key contributor to the development, production and sustainment of the F-35 program. The Netherlands and Lockheed Martin have a long-standing partnership of working together since 1914 – with the Netherlands operating the Martin Model TA, Electra, Lodestar, P2V-5 Neptune, T-33 Shooting Star, F-104 Starfighter, P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, and F-16 Fighting Falcon and now, the development of the F-35.

Lt. Gen. Luyt, Royal Netherlands Air Force Commander, addresses the crowd at the ceremony. During his remarks, he spoke about the jet's advanced capabilities, Netherlands industrial participation and the coalition efforts the F-35 enables.

Lt. Gen. Luyt, Royal Netherlands Air Force Commander, addresses the crowd at the ceremony. During his remarks, he spoke about the jet’s advanced capabilities, Netherlands industrial participation and the coalition efforts the F-35 enables.


On 19 September 2013 the MOD announced that it will buy 35 additional F-35As between 2014–2023, bringing the total to 37, the maximum number fitting the original budget for F-16 replacement. First aircraft to enter service in 2019, last in 2023.The Dutch Parliament approved an order for eight Lockheed Martin F-35As in March 2015, confirming the aircraft as the official replacement for the F-16 for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. This lot of eight F-35s will be delivered in 2019. The current program of record for the Netherlands is for up to 37 aircraft.

Dutch Industry including 25 suppliers continues to benefit from the F-35 program with contracts awarded for high technology work. As estimated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the F-35 has already generated more than $1B in contracts for Netherlands Industry, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for this country over the next 30-40 years. As the Netherlands moves forward with the procurement of operational aircraft, contracts and jobs resulting from the F-35 will be sustained over the 30-plus years of production for the transformational 5th generation fighter.

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C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)

C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)

Canada’s dedicated search and rescue (SAR) crews regularly put their lives on the line, relying on aircraft to overcome the significant challenges presented by dangerous weather and terrain. The requirements for Canadian SAR aircraft have been well-documented – from demanding mountain contour search, Arctic and North Atlantic storms, to extreme temperatures, icing and precipitation. Airbus’ C295, which has been selected for the country’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program, is perfectly suited to these duties. The C295 variant that Canada is receiving is the latest version, equipped with winglets that make it capable of transporting more payload over larger distances, resulting in fuel savings as well as increased safety margins in mountainous regions.

Numerous enhancements are being introduced in the Canadian C295s, responding to the country’s specific search and rescue mission requirements. With the aircraft routinely operating in the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic, the C295s for Canada includes several improvement to guarantee crew safety, such as an advance avionics package compliant with the most demanding navigation regulations, reinforcements in the fuselage that improve ditching operations and a hatch to allow a rapid aircraft evacuation in case of a forced landing in the ocean.
Additionally, elements have been incorporated for aerodynamic drag reduction to improve time-on-station for the aircraft and increase the top speed during search and rescue missions. The C295 cabin interior is tailored to the Canadian Air Force’s operational, with such as a new wireless intercom system for crew communications, the increase of spaces for storing SAR equipment, additional lighting for medical evacuation duties and lighting compatible with the use of night vision systems.

C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)

C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)


The C295’s 41-ft.-long cabin is the largest in its class, providing ample space for both sensors and mission systems, as well as crew rest and preparation areas. The aircraft’s key capabilities include:
Search Radar
Multi-mode radar for detection, localisation, classification, and tracking of targets over water and land – all weather, day or night
Maximum range of 200 nm, tracking 100+ surface targets while scanning
Detects:
– Ocean-going fishing vessels or merchant ships between 80-200 nm
– Small craft or inflatable boats up to 35 nm
– SAR mode provides the capability of distinguishing and recognising ground contacts

Electro-Optical/Infrared sensors
Stabilized, high magnification imaging sensors greatly extend detection, recognition, and identification range
Multi-spectral imaging (daylight, low light, and thermal) enables search operations under sub-optimal conditions, such as overcast, dusk, and even complete darkness
Target geo-location eases handoff to ground personnel
EO/IR sensors lend themselves to search automation
Search operations are more efficient and economical, with better outcomes”

Automatic Identification System (AIS)
Capability to identify and locate ships, aircraft, land bases and navigational aids equipped with AIS transponders
Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS)
Ship data provided: position, dimensions, destination, ship name, MMSI and call sign
TX/RX text messages capability

NASAMS medium-range air defence system

Lithuanian Air Force experts begin testing NASAMS medium-range air defence system

In the end of September specialists of the Lithuanian Air Force began tests of the NASAMS medium-range air defence system made for the Lithuanian Air Force at the Kongsberg factory in Norway. Components of the weaponry system produced specifically for the Lithuanian Air Force will be first tested at the factor and then put to field trials when the air defence systems are brought to Lithuania. The trials will assess technical and tactical conformity of NASAMS components to the determined weaponry specification. The tests will run until February 2020 and test all the NASAMS components – missile launchers, radars, electro-optical sensors, components of integration with the RBS70 short-range air defence systems, communication, and control components, and vehicles.

NASAMS medium-range air defence system

NASAMS medium-range air defence system


The NASAMS medium-range air defence system is planned to be delivered to Lithuania by the end of 2020. Once the systems are delivered, specialist operator training will begin at the Lithuanian Air Force Air Defence Battalion.The contract for procuring the NSAMS mid-range air defence system for the Lithuanian Air Force was signed by the Ministry of National Defence and Norway’s Kongsberg NASAMS manufacturer on 26 October 2017. For the sum of EUR 110 million, equipment for two air defence batteries and logistical maintenance package, as well as training for operators and maintenance personnel of the system are bought from Norwegian NASAMS manufacturer Kongsberg. Upon the completion of the project, Lithuania will have acquired a complete and integrated medium range air defence capability.
NASAMS medium-range air defence system

NASAMS medium-range air defence system


The system procured by Lithuania is new, except for the launchers that are pre-used by the Norwegian Armed Forces and currently upgraded to manufacturer’s parameters. The systems procured from Norway use U.S.-made AMRAAM aircraft defence missiles capable of destroying aircraft and missiles of an adversary several tens of kilometres away. All the equipment is planned to be fully delivered to Lithuania, personnel trained, and all the components integrated into a system capable of completing air defence tasks: monitor and control air space, issue warning to ground-based units about air threats, and to destroy targets if necessary. The MoD Work Group analysed mid-range air defence systems available on the market to implement the NASAMS procurement project. Potential procurements were assessed according to such criteria as efficiency, compatibility with systems of NATO allies, maintenance and repair cost, times of delivery, etc. NASAMS was selected as the closest choice to the requirement and criteria formulated.
NASAMS medium-range air defence system

NASAMS medium-range air defence system

Elbit Systems Awarded $153 Million Contract to Provide a Networked Multi-Layered UAS Array to an Army in Southeast Asia

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced today that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $153 million to supply an Army of a country in Southeast Asia with a comprehensive, multi-layered array of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The contract will be performed over a 22-month period. Under the contract, Elbit Systems will supply a networked multi-layered UAS solution, including more than a thousand THOR Multi-Rotor Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) mini-UAS, scores of Skylark LEX, Skylark 3 and Hermes 450 tactical UAS as well as Universal Ground Control Stations.

Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, Elbit Systems President & CEO, commented: “This contract award underlines our competitive edge as armies increasingly view multi-layered UAS solutions as key to providing superior intelligence while maintaining a high level of operational flexibility.”

THOR vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)

THOR vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)


Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land, and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (“C4ISR”), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems and munitions. The Company also focuses on the upgrading of existing platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.
Hermes 900 next-generation multi-role MALE UAS

Hermes 900 next-generation multi-role MALE UAS

Indian Air Force Plans to Upgrade Su-30MKIs, Buy More MiG-29s

Indian Air Force Plans to Upgrade Su-30MKIs, Buy More MiG-29s

India plans to upgrade its fleet of Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets with more advanced avionics, radars and weapons to further bolster their combat capabilities, with detailed talks currently under way with Russia for the project.
The IAF is also finalising with Russia the procurement of 12 more Sukhois to replace the ones lost in crashes, which will be built by defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics, as well as 21 additional MiG-29 jets that will cost around Rs 230 crore each.

“The Sukhois will be upgraded in near future to further enhance their operational capabilities,” said IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria. The IAF has so far inducted over 250 of the 272 Sukhois originally contracted in batches from Russia for well over $12 billion, with the bulk of them being licensed-produced by HAL.

Indian Air Force Plans to Upgrade Su-30MKIs, Buy More MiG-29s

Indian Air Force Plans to Upgrade Su-30MKIs, Buy More MiG-29s


The Sukhoi upgrade project will include the latest avionics, a much more powerful radar “almost as good as an AESA (active electronically scanned array) one”, state-of-the-art electronic warfare systems and the like. “There will be new computer systems for greater weapon control and integration of new missiles and PGMs (precision-guided munitions),” said a source. Forty-two of the twin-seat Sukhois, which have a cruising of 3,200 km or a combat radius of about 1,500 km without mid-air refuelling, are also to be armed with the supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles to constitute a deadly package of precision-strike capability from long or “stand-off distances”.

The IAF has based the fourth-generation “air dominance” Sukhois on both the western and eastern fronts, from Halwara, Jodhpur and Sirsa to Bareilly, Tezpur and Chabua, to cater for Pakistan and China. Along with the Mirage-2000s, the Sukhois are the most potent fighters in the country’s air combat fleet till the 36 Rafales get inducted under the Rs 59,000 crore deal inked with France in 2016.

IRIS-T SLS Handed Over to Swedish Air Defence Regiment

IRIS-T SLS Handed Over to Swedish Air Defence Regiment

The IRIS-T SLS firing units from Diehl Defence were handed over by the Swedish procurement agency FMV to the Air Defence Regiment in Halmstad in August 2019.

The highly agile IRIS-T guided missiles are to protect soldiers and infrastructure against missile, aircraft and attack helicopters. Thus, Sweden is the first country to benefit from the open system design of the newly developed GBAD* family IRIS-T SLM/SLS, combining and integrating system elements (sensors/radars, command and control systems, communications systems) from various manufacturers into a single powerful weapon system.

IRIS-T SLS Handed Over to Swedish Air Defence Regiment

IRIS-T SLS Handed Over to Swedish Air Defence Regiment


Another advantage results from the multi-role capability of the IRIS-T missile, which was developed with Swedish participation and has been used for many years as superior air-to-air weapon on Gripen aircraft.

In the development of the IRIS-T SLM/SLS ground based air defence systems, Diehl succeeded in setting new standards in open system architecture, thus allowing maximum flexibility in the procurement of new weapon systems as well as modernization/upgrading of existing systems.

Through delivery of highly advanced equipment within the agreed cost and time frame, Diehl has made a notable contribution to the renewal of Swedish air defence.

Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight

Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight

The last Navy F/A-18C Hornet, aircraft number 300, made its official final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oceana, Oct. 2.

Assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 at Cecil Field, Florida, aircraft number 300 completed its first Navy acceptance check flight Oct. 14, 1988. Lt. Andrew Jalali, who piloted the Hornet for its final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oceana, was also born in 1988.

“Today marked the final United States Navy F/A-18C Operational Hornet flight,” said the Commodore, Command Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, Capt. Brian Becker.

The aircraft has remained with the Gladiators for its entire 31-years of service. The aircraft took off from NAS Oceana accompanied by three F/A-18F Super Hornets for a one-and-a-half hour flight and return to Oceana where it will be officially stricken from the inventory, stripped of all its usable parts and be scrapped.

Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight

Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight


Becker said the F/A-18C aircraft has served admirably for over 30 years and highlighted its history in naval aviation.

“Its technological innovation was continued on the F/A-18 E/F/G aircraft and helped the U.S. Navy transition from 4th to 5th generation aircraft,” said Becker.

During the last year, VFA-106 has transferred over 50 F/A-18 Hornets to various Navy Reserve and U.S. Marine aviation commands, as well as, being placed in preservation for future use if needed.

Both the F/A-18A and F/A-18C Hornet variants have been replaced by the updated F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

VFA-106 is the Navy’s East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron, which trains naval aviators to fly the F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight

Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight