Category Archives: Aerial Warfare

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

In aerial combat, victory depends on the launch! The pilots of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) Eurofighter Typhoon fire live missiles, specifically AMRAAM: an active-radar missile for combat beyond visual range of the target. The jets take off from Scottish air base Lossiemouth, firing their missiles at drones over the Atlantic. Alongside their buddies from the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft, the German Air Force pilots test the missile’s target accuracy.

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM


On 4 August 2003, the German Air Force accepted their initial first series production Eurofighter (30+03) starting the replacement process of the Mikoyan MiG-29s inherited from the East German Air Force in 1990. The first Luftwaffe Wing to accept the Eurofighter was Jagdgeschwader 73 “Steinhoff” on 30 April 2004 at Rostock–Laage Airport. The second Wing was Jagdgeschwader 74 (JG74) on 25 July 2006, with four Eurofighters arriving at Neuburg Air Base, beginning the replacement of JG74’s McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom IIs. The Luftwaffe assigned their Eurofighter Typhoons to QRA on 3 June 2008, taking over from the F-4F Phantom II.
Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM

Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon fire live AMRAAM


The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard–delta wing, multirole fighter.[6][7] The Typhoon was designed originally as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH formed in 1986. NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency manages the project and is the prime customer. The aircraft’s development effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaboration among the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

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Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters

Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters

On 15 January 2013, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced the selection of the AW159 to fulfill a requirement of the Republic of Korea Navy for a maritime helicopter, winning out against the MH-60R Seahawk. The batch of eight aircraft were chosen to perform search-and-rescue missions, anti-submarine warfare and surveillance. In January 2014, DAPA announced it will equip its Wildcat helicopters with Spike NLOS missiles to provide a stand-off attack capability for engaging targets such as ground artillery and small vessels.

Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters

Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters


In April 2015, the South Korean government was considering ordering a further 12 Wildcats to further strengthen the Navy’s anti-submarine capabilities; alternative options include the MH-60 Seahawk and the domestically produced KAI KUH-1 Surion helicopter. On 13 June 2016, the Republic of Korea Navy took delivery of four Wildcats, after some unspecified initial delays. The helicopters operate from the Navy’s Incheon-class guided missile/coastal defense frigates. The remaining four were delivered in late November 2016.
Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters

Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters


Republic of Korea Navy Wildcats are fitted with a Seaspray 7400E radar offering 360-degree coverage. The first four AW159s were operational by February 2017. Its AESA radar and electro-optic thermal sensor are capable of detecting surface contacts out to 360 km (220 mi; 190 nmi). For anti-submarine duties, the helicopter can operate for over three hours when equipped with the Thales FLASH dipping sonar, two hours with the sonar and one Blue Shark torpedo, and an hour or more with the sonar and two torpedoes; it can also drop sonobuoys.
Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters

Republic of Korea Navy AW-159 Wildcat ASW Helicopters


The AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat (previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat) is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter designed to serve in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles. In British service, common variants are being operated by both the Royal Navy and British Army, having replaced their Lynx Mk.7/8/9 predecessors. The AW159 has also been offered to several export customers, and has been ordered by the Republic of Korea Navy and the Philippine Navy.

Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)

Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)

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.

Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)

Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)


Canada’s no. 1 C295 is proceeding through its final assembly process, and once all assembly phases are finished – including painting and tests – the milestone aircraft will be inspected by authorities from the Spanish Ministry of Defence (DGAM), with its delivery scheduled for the end of 2019. The roll out is carried out when all the functional tests have been successfully passed and then the aircraft leaves the final assembly line to be parked into the flight line. Traditionally the roll out has been considered an important milestone in the development and delivery of a new aircraft and it’s the reliable proof of the aircraft readiness and design maturity.
Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)

Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)


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.
Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)

Canadian C295 FWSAR (Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue)


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.

BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System

BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System

The BAMSE SRSAM system is one of few systems in the world today that is developed and optimised as a de­dicated Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) missile system. The RBS 23, designated BAMSE, is a Swedish medium range, all-weather capable air defense system developed by Bofors and Ericsson Microwave Systems (now both in the Saab group). BAMSE SRSAM is designed for flexible usage both for stand-alone operation as well as in networks with other sensors and weapon systems. The philosophy is to optimise system effect by having a number of fully co-ordinated firing units that together create a ground coverage for the system of more than 2,100 km2 and an effective altitude coverage of 15,000 m. The BAMSE SRSAM system has excellent built-in ECCM capabilities both in the GIRAFFE AMB surveillance radar and the unique monopulse Fire Control Radar (FCR) Automatic Command to Line Of Sight (ACLOS) missile guidance function.

BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System

BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System


The BAMSE system is a state of the art system with several unique capabilities. The system has been developed for a conscript Army with the strong requirement for easy operation and maintenance. The BAMSE system has extensive Built in Test Equipment (BITE), which minimises the need for special test equipment. The BAMSE system is also developed to have high redundancy where every single missile launcher has the capability to combat targets without any connection to an external information source or higher command.The BAMSE system has unique high altitude coverage and is effective with maintained high missile manoeuvrability at 15,000 m altitude. Every single missile launcher has C2 capabilities. BAMSE has high survivability with ballistic protection on every missile launcher and outstanding ECCM capabilities. The BAMSE system has the possibility to have integrated IFF on every missile launcher in order to further strengthen the possibility to act as autonomous units, if necessary. The system has been specially developed to combat small and fast targets as well as low flying cruise missiles and UAVs.
BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System

BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System


The system consists of a Surveillance and Control Centre (SCC) and two to four Missile Control Centers (MCC). The missile control center trailers are located up to 20 km away from the SCC and interconnected via a cable or radio communications (up to 15 km). The SCC is operated by a crew of one or two. It comprises an Ericsson GIRAFFE Radar 3D surveillance radar with an antenna mast of 8 to 13 meters. It is used for threat evaluation, combat coordination, with target acquisition, identification, tracking and prioritisation. The SCC can coordinate up to four missile control centres. The system has a built-in simulation capability to carry out training. The missile control center trailer depends on transportation vehicles which also carry additional missiles for reloading operations. The center is protected against fragments and nuclear, biological and chemical threats. It has two computer stations and is operated by one or two persons. It comprises a Ka-band fire control radar with an 8 meters mast, IRST (infrared sensor for surveillance and tracking), IFF system, six ready-to-fire BAMSE missiles, and weather sensors. The MCC can be deployed in 10 minutes and complete reload of a MCC takes less than 4 minutes. The missile used by the RBS 23 system is based on the RBS 70, but unlike its predecessor (which is laser beam rider) it is a radar command control ACLOS missile, which means that the missile itself and the target have to be tracked by the fire control radar until impact. A booster has been added also. The missile is claimed to have high acceleration and high manoeuvrability. It is equipped with a fragmentation and shaped charge warhead and with both a proximity fuse and an impact fuse. Range is 20 km.
BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System

BAMSE SRSAM Ground Based Missile System


To successfully meet threat scenarios, the BAMSE system has been provided with all vital capabilities for defeating the present threat and that of the foreseeable future with the following unique capabilities:

  • Optimised situational awarenes
  • A large number of SHORADS can be connected
  • Freedom of deployment due to elevated platforms
    Short deployment time; a complete battery is combat- ready in less than lOmin
  • Short reloading time; all six missiles in less than 5 min
    Flexible system, several MCCs controlled by one GIRAFFE AMB
  • Embedded simulator in every unit
  • Maintenance-free missiles
  • Extensive BITE for every unit and a simplified maintenance concept
  • Long servicable life and Low Life Cycle Cost (LCC)
  • Optional C-RAM warning capability
CH-53E Super Stallion Successfully Recovers AH-1Z Viper

CH-53E Super Stallion Successfully Recovers AH-1Z Viper

A CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465, a UH-1Y Venom aircraft with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 and Marines from the 3rd Marine Logistics Group execute a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel Mission, recovering an AH-1Z Viper helicopter from W-174 Joint Okinawa Training Range Complex on Feb. 11, 2019. The complex is located on Idesuna Jima, an uninhabited island off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

CH-53E Super Stallion Successfully Recovers AH-1Z Viper

CH-53E Super Stallion Successfully Recovers AH-1Z Viper


TRAP, a unique capability of the Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion, demonstrates 1st Marine Aircraft Wing’s ability to provide a relevant, robust, and flexible capability when conducting personnel and aircraft recovery. A Marine Corps mission performed by an assigned and briefed aircrew for the specific purpose of the recovery of personnel, equipment, and/or aircraft when the tactical situation precludes search and rescue assets from responding and when survivors and their location have been confirmed.
CH-53E Super Stallion Successfully Recovers AH-1Z Viper

CH-53E Super Stallion Successfully Recovers AH-1Z Viper


Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 (HMH-465) is a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron consisting of CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters. The squadron, known as “Warhorse”, is based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 16 (MAG-16) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW).

(U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Alexia Lythos and Cpl. Dakota Heathwarr)
Interviews in order of appearance: Capt. Valerie Smith, CH-53E pilot, Sgt. Joseph Desmond, CH-53E crew chief and Capt. Sean Charvet, CH-53E Pilot, all with HMH-465.

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is an American high-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under development for the United States Navy as a surveillance aircraft. In tandem with its associated ground control station, it is considered an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program, the system is intended to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Triton builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk; changes include reinforcements to the air frame and wing, de-icing systems, and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suites allow ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location, and classification.

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton


The MQ-4C can remain aloft more than 30 hours at 55,000 ft (17,000 m) at speeds of up to 330 knots (380 mph; 610 km/h). Its surveillance sensor is the AN/ZPY-3 Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) X-band AESA radar with a 360-degree field-of-regard, capable of surveying 2,700,000 sq mi (7,000,000 km2) of sea (as well as shoreline or land) in a 24 hour period, or 2,000 sq mi (5,200 km2) in a single sweep. Using the radar in inverse synthetic aperture mode, the MFAS can identify a target in all weather conditions. It can take high definition radar pictures, then use the advanced image and radar return recognition software of the onboard Automatic Identification System (AIS) to classify it without the intervention of aircraft operators. The Triton is semi-autonomous to conserve manpower, so operators only need to choose an operating area for the aircraft, and set speed, altitude, and objective rather than operating controls. One thing the Triton was designed to do (that the Global Hawk cannot) is rapidly descend to lower altitudes. It is built with a more robust lower fuselage to withstand hail, bird, and lightning strikes. It is equipped with anti-icing systems on its wings. At low altitude, the Triton would use its Raytheon MTS-B multi-spectral EO/IR sensor (also used on the MQ-9 Reaper) which is equipped with additional laser designator, pointer, and range finding abilities capable of automatically tracking what the MFAS detects. The optical suite can stream live video to ground forces.
Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton


The Triton is equipped with a modular electronic support measures (ESM) suite, similar to the one used on the Lockheed EP-3, to passively detect and classify faint radar signals. It is able to triangulate and geo-locate these signals, allowing mission planners to create an enemy “electronic order of battle” profile, or keep the aircraft and others outside the range of enemy radars and air defenses. Detecting and locating the source of radar signals would also be useful for locating military vessels at sea for potential targeting. Low- and high-band signals receivers to give it a multi-INT (SIGINT) capability will be fielded in 2021 as part of an integrated functional capability (IFC) 4 configuration; further changes are planned for IFC 5 upgrade in 2024. Another aspect of the MQ-4C is its ability to act as a network relay and data fusion center, able to receive and transmit messages from around a theater of operations between various sources not within line-of-sight of each other. It can take what ships, planes, and land sensors are seeing and broadcasting through various data-links and fuse that information together to create a common “picture” of the battlespace, which it can rebroadcast. This capability greatly increases interoperability, situational awareness, targeting efficiency, and sensor picture clarity, while providing an alternative to satellite-based communications systems.
Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

The U.S. Navy began considering in September 2014 cutting the number of Tritons it plans to buy. The intention has been to have twenty operational MQ-4C aircraft operational at any one time, with the rest of the sixty-eight-plane order force being spares. Due to the improved reliability of the aircraft, budget pressures may require the Navy to trim the numbers of aircraft it will order. In September 2015, the DoD Inspector General found the seventy-aircraft force requirement justified, based on available attrition rate estimates of four per 100,000 hours. The Navy intends to begin operation of one operating location every year starting in 2018 until there are five. Four Tritons will be operational at each base to maintain continuous flight, with the rest produced for testing, training, and loss replacement; the entire order is to be completed in 2032. Australia has considered the MQ-4, both as a military platform and as customs enforcement platform; senior customs officials have doubted the effectiveness of the planned seven MQ-4C to detect small boats in the country’s northern waters, especially through cloud cover. On 26 June 2018, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the purchase of the first of six MQ-4C Tritons with consideration being given to purchase a seventh. In January 2015, the German Luftwaffe and Bundeswehr began considering the Triton to fill their signals intelligence (SIGINT) needs as a continuation of the cancelled Global Hawk-based EuroHawk program. The German Defence Ministry confirmed in March 2017 that it had decided to buy the MQ-4C to replace the EuroHawk program, with deliveries occurring after 2025. Northrop Grumman has also proposed the MQ-4C to India; the Indian Navy have considered the UAV in a complementary role to the twelve Boeing P-8I Poseidons maritime patrol aircraft it has on order.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two.[1][4] The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500-pound class (230 kg) Mk 82 JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400-pound (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit


Development started under the “Advanced Technology Bomber” (ATB) project during the Carter administration; its expected performance was one of his reasons for the cancellation of the supersonic B-1A bomber. The ATB project continued during the Reagan administration, but worries about delays in its introduction led to the reinstatement of the B-1 program. Program costs rose throughout development. Designed and manufactured by Northrop, later Northrop Grumman, the cost of each aircraft averaged US$737 million (in 1997 dollars). Total procurement costs averaged $929 million per aircraft, which includes spare parts, equipment, retrofitting, and software support. The total program cost, which included development, engineering and testing, averaged $2.1 billion per aircraft in 1997.

Because of its considerable capital and operating costs, the project was controversial in the U.S. Congress. The winding-down of the Cold War in the latter portion of the 1980s dramatically reduced the need for the aircraft, which was designed with the intention of penetrating Soviet airspace and attacking high-value targets. During the late 1980s and 1990s, Congress slashed plans to purchase 132 bombers to 21. In 2008, a B-2 was destroyed in a crash shortly after takeoff, though the crew ejected safely. Twenty B-2s are in service with the United States Air Force, which plans to operate them until 2032.

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit


The B-2 is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000 feet (15,000 m), with a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles (6,900 mi; 11,000 km) on internal fuel and over 10,000 nautical miles (12,000 mi; 19,000 km) with one midair refueling. It entered service in 1997 as the second aircraft designed to have advanced stealth technology after the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk attack aircraft. Though designed originally as primarily a nuclear bomber, the B-2 was first used in combat dropping conventional, non-nuclear ordnance in the Kosovo War in 1999. It later served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.