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  • A Hellenic air force (HAF) C-130 Hercules, carrying members from the 31st Fighter Wing, takes off from Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 6, 2021. The 31st FW is participating in INIOCHOS 21, a HAF-led, large force flying exercise focused on strengthening partnerships and interoperability at Andravida Air Base in Greece. (U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)
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    Four U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 510th Fighter Squadron prepare to take off to support exercise INIOCHOS 21, Aviano Air Base, Italy, April 6, 2021. INIOCHOS is an annual exercise in Greece that provides participants the opportunity to develop capabilities in planning and conducting complex air operations in a multinational joint forces environment. The exercise provides advanced and realistic aircrew training to strengthen interoperability of allied and partner air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ericka A. Woolever)

    A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 911th Airlift Wing prepares to land while conducting touch-and-go flight training at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, April 6, 2021. Touch-and-go training allows pilots to practice emergency landing and take-off procedures for situations they may encounter while flying a real-world mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

    BAY OF BENGAL (April 5, 2021) – A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) during La Perouse 2021. USS Somerset is part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group with embarked 15th MEU operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. La Perouse is an exercise during the annual French Navy midshipman deployment called Mission Jeanne d'Arc. The exercise is designed to conduct training, enhance cooperation in maritime surveillance, maritime interdiction operations, and air operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin)
    1Z Assigned To Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164
    SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 6, 2021) – An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) April 6, 2021. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication 3rd Class Dartañon D. De La Garza)
     Launches From The Flight Deck Of The Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt
    U.S. Air Force Capt. Keenyn Duncan, right, and 1st Lt. Lily Forlini, center, both 22nd Airlift Squadron C-5M Super Galaxy pilots, walk on the flight line April 1, 2021, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. An all-female crew assigned to Travis AFB flew the C-5M that delivered 120,000 pounds of cargo from JBLM to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell)
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    06.04.2021 .
    The crews of Su-25 attack aircraft of the Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan, in preparation for the all-army stage of the Aviadarts 2021 flight skill competition, launched air-to-surface missiles and bombed at a training ground in the Kurgan region.
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    In the course of training, attack pilots launched two types of air-to-surface missiles: short-range missiles and missiles designed to destroy particularly strong shelters. In addition, Russian pilots practiced the use of large aerial bombs with caliber 250 and 500 kilograms, as well as group flying, overcoming air defenсe systems using electronic warfare. Combat use was carried out from various types of maneuvers: diving from an altitude of about 1,500 meters and level flight at an altitude of no more than 300 meters. About 30 unique ground targets were prepared for the Aviadarts 2021 competition at the training ground in the Kurgan region. Military target system of five types, including tactical, shooting, bombing targets, was formed on the territory of the training ground.
    25 Attack Aircraft Of The Russian Military Base In Kyrgyzstan
    In the Central Military District, the crews of the Su-34 multifunctional fighter-bombers and the Su-25 assault aircraft, as well as the pilots of the Mi-8 AMTShV Terminators helicopters of the army aviation of the Central Military District, are preparing for the all-army stage of Aviadarts-2021 competition.
    (Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
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    SAN DIEGO – April 6, 2021 – Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) Firebird multi-sensor aircraft showcased the versatility of the optionally-manned autonomous system as it flew to various locations across the United States last month. The ability of Firebird to be flown manned through national airspace is a demonstration of its unique operational flexibility for self-deployment and its rapid relocation ability to adapt to specific user needs and operational requirements.

    The company flew Firebird almost 9,000 miles around the US with stops in Dayton, Ohio; Washington DC; Patuxent River, Maryland; as well as Tampa, Miami and Key West, Florida.

    “Our flights showcased one of its key differentiators – the ability to position the system in a manned configuration, then convert to autonomous operations for persistent ISR in under two hours,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. “At each stop, plane-side briefings provided customers the opportunity to see first-hand the operational versatility of the platform, its large sensor bay, and rapid configurability for changing mission needs.”

    Firebird is a medium altitude long endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that is designed for flexibility and affordability. Customers can install new payloads in as little as one day, and swap payloads in 30 minutes making the system suitable for numerous domains and missions.

    The flights concluded in Key West, Florida where the team conducted a series of manned maritime operational events that included a four-sensor package containing two high-definition EO/IR sensors; a maritime configured multi-spectral sensor for small target detection; and an AIS receiver.

    Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 97,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.
    Northrop Firebird
    April 06, 2021
    Bombardier is pleased to confirm that worldwide fleet operator VistaJet is the customer for a previously disclosed firm order for 10 Challenger 350 business jets. Bombardier announced the sale involving its best-selling Challenger platform on December 23. It was one of the largest biggest jet orders of 2020.

    VistaJet, a longtime Bombardier customer, has also taken delivery of its first two Global 7500 business jets. The flagship Global 7500 business jet elevates the passenger experience with the smoothest ride and a true four-zone cabin designed to be a home and office in the skies. Bombardier recently celebrated the milestone 50th delivery of this unparalleled aircraft, which has the longest range among business jets.

    Leading global business aviation company VistaJet said in a press release issued today that its firm order for 10 Challenger 350 business jets is in response to “a growing and urgent demand” in the super midsize segment. The best-selling Bombardier Challenger 350 aircraft represents the total package of performance and cabin experience. It is the ideal business jet to respond to a growing interest in private aviation amid a worldwide pandemic.

    Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier, said: "We are extremely proud of our long-standing partnership with VistaJet and are thrilled that they have again chosen Bombardier aircraft to support their fleet expansion plans. With unmatched performance and comfort, the Global 7500 and Challenger 350 are the perfect aircraft to support VistaJet’s rapid growth as more people turn to business aviation and the enhanced safety and reliability it provides.”

    Thomas Flohr, Founder and Chairman, VistaJet, said: “It is an incredibly exciting time as VistaJet transforms the architecture of how companies and individuals fly. We continue to see rapid acceleration in new Members, which is driven by corporate and executive demand for our business mobility offerings. Global private aviation networks will be even more vital to support businesses and the economy. The expansion of our worldwide fleet will guarantee our customers full confidence in a consistent flying experience anywhere in the world — offering the best value in the industry through our unique asset-light flight solutions. We remain committed to providing critical support to businesses in this new world — we kept our business steady during 2020 and we are already seeing much increased demand for VistaJet’s asset-free solutions in 2021 and beyond.”
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    About Bombardier

    Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game-changing planes. Our products and services provide world-class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

    Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of approximately 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.
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    Fort Worth, TX (Apr. 6, 2021) - Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced the delivery of a Bell 505 helicopter equipped with the Med-Pac Inc. LLC Emergency Medical Services Lite Interior to BAR Aviation. This marks the first Bell 505 in Uganda and the first Bell 505 designed to complete medical evacuation (medevac) missions in Africa.

    “We are elated that BAR Aviation has chosen the Bell 505 as its Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) platform and will operate the first medevac Bell 505 in Africa,” said Lynette Loosen, regional sales manager, Africa. “By leveraging the aircraft’s unique design, competitive cost and flexible kit installation, the platform enables our customers to provide safe and reliable medical services to its patients.”

    BAR Aviation is a Ugandan aviation company known for being the leading operator in the region. Among its many services, BAR provides air medical evacuation services to support communities and connect them to life-saving medical support. The Bell 505 will support the work of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Tourism, and the police.

    “We are proud to accept the delivery of the first Bell 505 in Uganda,” said Barak Orland, chief executive officer, BAR Aviation. “We saw the need and importance of having an evacuation helicopter in the country that helps give the citizens of Uganda the best chances of survival in the critical golden hour. The Bell 505 is an excellent aircraft for the job with state-of-the-art safety features and avionics that allow the pilots to reach their destinations quickly and safely.”

    The Med-Pac EMS Lite Interior offers a carbon fiber deck, back wall equipment rack, oxygen tank and medical supply bag. The stretcher system can be installed in less than 15 minutes with the 505’s easily removeable seats and flat floor. The Bell 505 is the only current production short light single-engine helicopter that can fit a stretcher system.

    “We congratulate BAR Aviation on the acquisition of its new Bell 505, which adds another Textron product to its growing fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters,” said Jim Evans, chief executive officer, Africair. “As one of Bell’s independent representatives for much of Africa, Africair has supported helicopter operators across the continent for over 40 years. Together with Bell, we will do everything possible to ensure that the 505 exceeds BAR Aviation’s expectations.”
    Bell 505 In Africa
     

  • WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) --
    The Air Force Research Laboratory successfully completed the XQ-58A Valkyrie’s sixth flight test and first release from its internal weapons bay, March 26 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.

    This test, conducted in partnership with Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Area-I, demonstrated the ability to launch an ALTIUS-600 small, unmanned aircraft system, or SUAS, from the internal weapons bay of the XQ-58A. Kratos, Area-I and AFRL designed and fabricated the SUAS carriage and developed software to enable release. After the successful release of the SUAS, the XQ-58A completed additional test points to expand its demonstrated operating envelope.

    “This is the sixth flight of the Valkyrie and the first time the payload bay doors have been opened in flight,” said Alyson Turri, demonstration program manager. “In addition to this first SUAS separation demonstration, the XQ-58A flew higher and faster than previous flights.”

    This test further demonstrates the utility of affordable, high performance unmanned air vehicles.
    (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)
     2021
    A B-1B Lancer takes off in support of a Bomber Task Force mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 6, 2021. Bomber Task Force missions allow the U.S., to routinely and visibly demonstrate commitment to our Allies and partners through the global employment of our military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Bennett)

    An F-16 Viper flies above the flightline during Red Flag 21-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, March 10, 2021. Red Flag 21-2 featured two fighter squadrons from the 20th Fighter Wing, one to escort aircraft in and out of the airfield and one to perform the suppression of enemy air defenses. The F-16 is a multi-role airframe, used in a variety of mission sets in situations requiring both air-to-air and air-to-ground conflict. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Destinee Sweeney)

    06.04.2021.
    At the airfield of the assault aviation regiment, based in the Krasnodar territory, the second qualifying stage of the competition of professional skills of flight crews Aviadarts-2021 of the Army International Games of 2021 is being held.
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    The competition is attended by the crews of army and tactical aviation units and military units based in the Rostov, Volgograd regions, Stavropol and Krasnodar territories, Su-25SM attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters, Su-34 fighter-bombers, Ka-52 Alligator, Mi-28N and Mi-35M attack helicopters, as well as Mi-8AMTSh Terminator transport and combat helicopters.
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    During the contest, the crews need to go through a predetermined route about 150 km long, at the specified time to reach three turning points, and also to overcome the air defence system.
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    When performing flight missions, military personnel launch unguided missiles, drop aerial bombs, and fire from a 30-mm aircraft gun at ground targets that imitate military equipment and manpower of a mock enemy.
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    In total, more than 40 SMD best aviation crews take part in the competition.
    (Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
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    FORT WORTH, Texas, April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Danish and American officials celebrated the rollout of the first F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) today at Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) in Fort Worth, Texas. This major F-35 program milestone strengthens national defense and global partnerships between the United States, Denmark and other F-35 partner and buying nations.

    "The security situation around the world is increasingly complex," said Trine Bramsen, Danish Minister of Defense. "Being able to defend yourself and your allies is crucial. For peace. For stability. For freedom and democracy. With the new F-35 fighter jets we will increase our ability to protect Denmark. Our region. And wherever necessary as we have done before - side by side with the U.S. and other allies. The F-35s will be at the absolute center for the Danish Defense in the coming decades."

    Like the F-16 before it, the F-35 is spearheading NATO's air power and ensuring strategic integration of allied combat airpower. The vital interoperability of the 5th Generation F-35 binds 13 allies and partners with the United States in air dominance and enabling critical joint capabilities. The F-35 will serve as a force multiplier for Denmark, allowing the Royal Danish Air Force to train and fight alongside NATO allies and create a strong deterrent.

    "The F-35 will ensure Denmark's sovereignty and air dominance, enhance its multidomain and network-based coalition operations, and play a pivotal role in keeping the Arctic a secure and stable region," said Greg Ulmer, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "This game-changing capability would not be possible without the unwavering support of the Danish government and the innovative contributions of Danish industry."

    Senior government and military leaders from Denmark and the United States attended the ceremony. A replay of the event is available here.

    Danish industry serves as a critical partner with the F-35 Lightning II program through high technology work, ensuring competitiveness and defense industry viability in Denmark. Two Danish companies, Terma A/S and Multicut A/S, are currently making parts such as pylons, advanced composites, software solutions, radar components and horizontal tail edges for every F-35 delivered.

    Denmark's F-35 program of record calls for 27 F-35A aircraft, each of which will be built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. The first aircraft will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, later this month where Danish pilots and maintainers will begin training.

    With stealth technology, supersonic speed, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and increased range, the F-35 is the most advanced, survivable and connected aircraft in the world. More than a fighter jet, the F-35's ability to collect, analyze and share data, is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace enabling men and women in uniform to execute their mission and return home safely. To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 625 F-35s, trained more than 1,300 pilots and 10,380 maintainers, and the F-35 fleet has flown nearly 370,000 cumulative flight hours.
    Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Denmark F35 Delivery LR
    6 Apr 2021
    BAE Systems has received an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract from the U.S. Air Force with a value of up to $600 million to supply the international fleet of F-16 aircraft with support equipment. The 10-year contract includes training, engineering support, specialized test equipment, and more than 1,200 support equipment items to ensure the availability of the F-16 fleet, one of the most versatile multi-role fighter jets.

    “BAE Systems is a world leader in developing specialized test system products for the F-16. We also manage the full complement of support equipment required to ensure availability of the aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and allied forces,” said Meg Redlin, director of Mission Systems at BAE Systems. “Our test product and support team ensures that all variants of this critical fighter are maintained through its lifecycle, optimizing operations.”

    The contract will ensure support equipment for the fleet of F-16 aircraft in more than 25 countries through 2031. From Boresighting avionics testing and vehicle management system tests to aircraft power, hydraulics, and electrical systems support, BAE Systems’ comprehensive approach is a key enabler for F-16 sustainment worldwide. The company will enhance aircraft supportability, reduce the logistics footprint, and minimize life cycle cost through the contract, which includes obsolescence management, logistics and sustainment, and on-base support and depot development.

    BAE Systems also provides the I-level avionics test systems and supports the USM-464/638 for the U.S. Air Force and F-16 international users. The support equipment development and management will be operated out of the company’s Fort Worth, Texas location. In all, the company has delivered more than 100,000 support equipment and test systems.
    (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Tristan McIntire)

    Aircraft from the Royal Air Force, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the United States Air Force based in the UK and Europe, are taking part in Exercise Point Blank over the North Sea.
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    RAF Typhoons drawn from 3 (Fighter), XI (Fighter), 29 and 41 Squadrons are being supported by Voyager tankers. The RAF Voyagers will operate in formation to allow up to four fighters to refuel simultaneously.

    The US 48th Fighter Wing will be joined by F-16s; refuelled by KC-135 meaning they do not need to land in the UK.
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    The Royal Netherlands Air Force will fly F-16s and F35As.In total over 50 aircraft are committed to the Exercise flying missions for four days.
    The Exercise follows on from Exercise Cobra Warrior and demonstrates the reach of Allied air power, whilst increasing interoperability and the collective readiness on NATO allies to deter potential adversaries.
    (Photos courtesy of the MOD and the Koninklijke Luchtmacht)
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  • EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) --

    Today marks the unveiling of the name and the official role of the Air Force’s newest fighter, the F-15EX Eagle ll.

    Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics military deputy, presented the F-15EX during an unveiling and naming ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, April 7.

    “Undefeated in aerial combat, the F-15 Eagle epitomized air superiority in the minds of our enemies, allies, and the American people for over 45 years, but it was not meant to fly forever. We heard the demand signal from our warfighters,” Richardson said. “I’m pleased to say we’ve responded boldly and decisively, with a proven platform that’s modernized and optimized to maintain air superiority now and into the future.”

    The ceremony celebrated the historic arrival of the dynamic new fighter aircraft. This process began several years ago, as a combined Air Force effort to bring the best in response capability.
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    “Team Eglin and the 96th Test Wing are proud to be a part of the rich history of this legendary aircraft,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, 96th Test Wing commander.

    The EX provides a unique opportunity for the test enterprise as it is the first Air Force aircraft to be completely tested and fielded through combined developmental and operational test efforts.

    The official role of the EX is to meet capacity requirements while bringing diverse technology ensuring the platform's relevance for decades to come.

    The 96th TW and the 53rd Wing are set to begin test and evaluation efforts. The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron will work closely with the 40th Flight Test Squadron to integrate testing, from start to finish.

    The Air Force will procure up to 144 F-15EXs from Boeing, to replace F-15C/D models. The goal is to increase the F-15 fleet fighter readiness.

    The 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, Oregon is in line to become the first F-15EX formal training unit in 2024. The first operational F-15EX squadron will function in the Oregon ANG for critical homeland defense alert missions.

    “Since 1985 the F-15 has had a home in the Guard and Guard Airmen have flown these amazing aircraft both in the defense of the homeland and in every major international conflict since the first Gulf War in 1991,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, ANG director. “Now that is the battle-tested legacy of Guard F-15s – first to the fight, always ready and always there.”
    (U.S. Air Force photos by Samuel King Jr.)
    15EX Eagle II
    U.S. Airmen land a C-130 Hercules aircraft at Grand Bara, Djibouti, April 7, 2021. The 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron participated in a low-level landing exercise in an effort to maintain readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Davis)

    Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers, from Marine Attack Squadron 223, Cherry Point, North Carolina, arrive at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, April 7, 2021. VMA-223 is conducting training operations with the 124th Fighter Wing and 190th Fighter Squadron during their stay. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Joshua C. Allmaras)
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    Twenty-five F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 354th Fighter Wing prepare to launch during Arctic Gold 21-2 April 7, 2021, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Arctic Gold 21-2 is a Phase I and Phase II readiness exercise designed to test the 354th Fighter Wing’s ability to rapidly generate and deploy F-35A Lightning II aircraft, cargo and supporting personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)
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    An F-16 assigned to the 416th Flight Test Squadron flies into position over the Precision Impact Range Area on Edwards Air Force Base, California, Feb. 26. The successful drop test was in support of the Korea F-16 Update Program. The ROKAF currently operates 133 KF-16C/D Block 50/52 fighter aircraft, all of which will undergo extensive modernization and upgrades as part of the comprehensive improvement program. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.2 billion contract to retrofit the 133 KF-16s and upgrade them to the advanced F-16V configuration, which is the latest technologically and most advanced version of the fourth generation fighter jet. This modification includes AESA Radar, Modular Mission Computer, MIDS-JTRS, JHMCS II and ALR-56M Upgrade, APX-126 and a Center Pedestal Display. (Air Force photos by Ethan Wagner)


    An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, banks left after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 97th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, April 2, 2021, over an undisclosed location. The mission of the 97th EARS is to provide an aerial refueling capability to allied and coalition partner aircraft, who help provide stability to the region. (U.S. Air Force photos by Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook)
    15E Strike Eagle Assigned To The 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron
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    GULF OF ADEN (April 7, 2021) An F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to the "Fighting Swordsmen" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Gulf of Aden, April 7, 2021. The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jacob Hilgendorf)
     Eisenhower
    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (April 2, 2021) A U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft with Strike Fighter Squadron 115 takes off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, during a joint training evolution with Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force assets, April 2, 2021. The training enables joint force training in counter air operations and strengthens relationships between U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force units in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tyler Harmon)
     Japan
    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (April 2, 2021) A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 242 lands at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, during a joint training evolution with Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force assets, April 2, 2021. The training enables joint force training in counter air operations and strengthens relationships between U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force units in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tyler Harmon)
     Japan
    Taipei, 8 April 2021 – Tigerair Taiwan, the low cost subsidiary of China Airlines, has taken delivery of its first A320neo. This is the first of 15 A320neo Family aircraft to join the airline’s fleet.

    The aircraft is also the first A320neo to be introduced in Taiwan, and will be the optimal platform for Tigerair Taiwan to increase capacity and open new routes across the Asia region. The A320neo has a range of up to 3,200nm, enabling flights of up seven hours from Taipei.

    With the A320neo Tigerair Taiwan will benefit from the lowest operating costs and highest comfort levels in the single-aisle segment, while maintaining a high degree of commonality with the A320ceo.

    Tigerair Taiwan’s A320neos are powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines and configured in a single class layout with 180 seats.

    The A320neo Family offers the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky and incorporates the latest technologies, including new generation engines and Sharklets, delivering a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption.

    At the end of March 2021, the A320neo Family had won nearly 7,400 firm orders from 120 customers worldwide.
    (Photo courtesy of H,Gousse)
    A320neo Tigerair Taiwan MSN 10682 Ferry Flight 007
    In an operation lasting 10 days during March, RAF Typhoons working in support of the Iraqi Security Forces ground troops have cleared Daesh terrorists from the Makhmur Mountain region, south-west of Erbil.
    Typhoons Working In Support Of The Iraqi Security Forces
    The operation began when Daesh extremists were confirmed to be based in a network of caves and concluded on 22 March. Three RAF Typhoons conducted an attack using Storm Shadow missiles. The area was checked to ensure no civilians would be placed at risk.
    In a separate operation on 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria and struck the target successfully and with no collateral damage.

    A Typhoon FGR4 pilot who was involved in the operation said: "I feel incredibly proud to have been able to support the recent Coalition operation. We were removing Daesh from the region and denying them a critical safe haven from which to continue their operations in Iraq and Syria."
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    Operation Shader is essential to dismantling Daesh's networks and reducing the terrorist group's global ambitions. It is estimated there are 10,000 Daesh terrorists still at large across the region. The Global Coalition consists of 82 partner nations.

    In addition to air strikes the RAF is also conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions; Air-to-Air Refuelling and Air Transport sorties using Reaper, Voyager, C130 and A400M aircraft.
    (Photos courtesy of the MOD)
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  • A French air force Rafale aircraft taxis on the runway at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 7, 2021. The French air force arrived in Greece to participate in INIOCHOS 21. In addition to enhancing combat readiness and strengthening bonds, INIOCHOS provides participants the opportunity for developing capabilities in planning and conducting complex air operations in a multinational joint forces environment, leading to an advanced level of training for all participants. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

    A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 510th Fighter Squadron taxis on the flightline at Andravida Air Base, Greece, April 7, 2021. F-16s from the 31st FW arrived in Greece to participate in INIOCHOS 21, a Hellenic air force-led, large force flying exercise focused on strengthening partnerships and interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

    An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron flies overhead during exercise Point Blank 21-2 at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 7, 2021. Exercises like Point Blank demonstrate the Liberty Wing’s ability to seamlessly integrate with allies and partners, strengthening the collective ability to deter aggression and maintain stability in the European theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte)

    FALLON, Nev. (Apr. 8, 2021)
    An MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter assigned to the “Longhorns” of Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) Squadron, practices confined area landings during a mountain flying SAR training event. The Navy currently has six dedicated "Station SAR" units located around the US. Lemoore SAR CA, Fallon SAR NV, Whidbey Island SAR WA, China Lake SAR (VX-31) CA, Pax River SAR MD, and Key West SAR FL. Their primary mission is to provide search and rescue and first responder support for Fleet flight training operations for the jets in their designated areas of responsibilities. Secondary to that, station SARs also work closely with local agencies to be a first responder to anyone in legitimate danger. Other missions may include RT&D support, HELITACK aerial firefighting, and general utility helicopter operations. Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis, with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements.
    (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe/Released)
    60S Knighthawk Helicopter Assigned To The Longhorns Of Helicopter Search And Rescue
    A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 out of MCAS Iwakuni, Japan descends after being refueled, April 2, 2021 during Exercise WestPac Rumrunner. The National Defense Strategy (NDS) directs us to be more lethal, improve relationships with allies and partners, and encourage institutional reform; the 18th Wing supports this NDS by developing and continuing new training exercises like WestPac Rumrunner. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
     Japan Descends After Being Refueled
    A U.S. Navy E/A-18 G Growler aircraft with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 based out of MCAS Iwakuni, Japan descends after being refueled, April 2, 2021 during Exercise WestPac Rumrunner. The National Defense Strategy (NDS) directs us to be more lethal, improve relationships with allies and partners, and encourage institutional reform; the 18th Wing supports this NDS by developing and continuing new training exercises like WestPac Rumrunner. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros)
     Japan
    A crew chief assigned to the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron marshals a B-1B Lancer onto the apron upon return from a Bomber Task Force Mission at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 7, 2021. The B-1B is a long-range, multi-role bomber that carries the largest payload of precision guided and unguided munitions in the Air Force inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin Marx)
     

  • An AH-64E Apache helicopter sits on the flight line at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, Apr. 12. Pilots assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, conducted familiarization training on the aircraft as the until transitions to the newer E model from the older D model. The AH-64E Apache is designed to increase power margins and reliability which increases unit readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army photos by Spc. Savannah Roy, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division)
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    FALLON, Nev. (Apr. 9, 2021)
    An MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter assigned to the “Longhorns” of Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) Squadron, hovers during a training evolution. The Navy currently has six dedicated "Station SAR" units located around the US. Lemoore SAR CA, Fallon SAR NV, Whidbey Island SAR WA, China Lake SAR (VX-31) CA, Pax River SAR MD, and Key West SAR FL. Their primary mission is to provide search and rescue and first responder support for Fleet flight training operations for the jets in their designated areas of responsibilities. Secondary to that, station SARs also work closely with local agencies to be a first responder to anyone in legitimate danger. Other missions may include RT&D support, HELITACK aerial firefighting, and general utility helicopter operations. Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis, with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements.
    (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe/Released)

    A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing to receive fuel during a Bomber Task Force mission off the Scottish Coast, April 12, 2021. Strategic bomber missions familiarize aircrew with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant commands’ areas of operation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)
    135 Stratotanker Aircraft Assigned To The 100th Air Refueling Wing
    A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing departs from a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing after receiving fuel during a Bomber Task Force mission off the Scottish Coast, April 12, 2021. U.S. bomber aircraft contribute to European regional security with the support of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s only permanent air refueling wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emerson Nuñez)
    135 Stratotanker Aircraft Assigned To The 100th Air Refueling Wing
    U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles take off at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore., March 24, 2021. Kingsley Field’s mission is to train F-15 pilots, support combat operations, and serve Oregon. (Oregon Air National Guard photos by Senior Airman Emily Copeland)
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    A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft flies over the U.S. Air Force Central Command area of responsibility at sunrise during a mission supporting Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, April 5, 2021. The F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft is a compact, multirole fighter aircraft that delivers airpower to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. CJTF-OIR enables its partners to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and sets conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride)
     Air Force Central Command
    Two U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fly over the U.S. Air Force Central Command area of responsibility at sunrise during a mission supporting Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, April 5, 2021. The F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft is a compact, multirole fighter aircraft that delivers airpower to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. CJTF-OIR enables its partners to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and sets conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride)

    ARABIAN SEA (April 9, 2021) An F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet, attached to the "Wildcats" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, prepares to launch from the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Arabian Sea. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jacob Hilgendorf)
     Eisenhower
    ARABIAN SEA (April 9, 2021) An E/A-18G Growler, attached to the "Zappers" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, prepares to launch from the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Arabian Sea. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jacob Hilgendorf)
     Eisenhower
    11.04.2021
    The aviation aerobatics group Berkuts was formed on April 11, 1992 on the basis of the 344 center for combat use and retraining of army aviation flight personnel in Torzhok.
    Berkuts Celebrates Its 29th Anniversary
    The uniqueness of the Berkuts is that it is the only aerobatic team in the world that performs complex group aerobatics on combat helicopters. The total weight of the group of six helicopters is about 70 tons.

    Almost immediately after its formation, the Berkuts group demonstrated its aerobatics at several air festivals, including the Mosaeroshow-92, the Moscow Aerospace Salons MAKS-93, MAKS-95, MAKS-97; MAKS-2013, MAKS-2015; the air parade on Poklonnaya Gora in honor of the 50th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War (1995); the air festival dedicated to the 850th anniversary of the city of Moscow (1997), a regular participant in the air parades on Red Square in honor of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War since 2010.
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    The group's pilots demonstrated their high flying skills at air sports festivals in the cities of Vladimir, Samara, Tver, Tula, Syzran, Rzhev, Ostashkov, and Khotilovo. At the air shows in the city of Gelendzhik, during the International Army Games in Voronezh, Ryazan and the Crimea.
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    Currently, the aerobatic team performs flights on Mi-28n combat helicopters with high maneuverability and fire capabilities, which occupy a leading place among helicopters around the world.

    Helicopter aerobatics are performed at a much lower altitude than on airplanes, pilots pilot the machines at intervals and distances of 10-15 meters, and small turn radii allow all changes to be made directly over the airfield.
    (Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
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    ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. – April 12, 2021 – The U.S. Navy recently awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) a $115 million production contract for U.S. Department of the Navy’s Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (DoN LAIRCM) systems. Northrop Grumman was also awarded additional contracts recently including integration, sustainment and support of the DoN LAIRCM systems.

    Northrop Grumman will integrate the latest version of the DoN LAIRCM system onto U.S. aircraft. The DoN LAIRCM is currently in service on both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. Additionally, Northrop Grumman will install DoN LAIRCM systems on aircraft owned by allied governments.

    “The DoN LAIRCM award signifies Naval Air System Command’s continued confidence in Northrop Grumman’s 50 years of expertise in missile warning and infrared countermeasures systems,” said Bob Gough, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman. “We remain fully committed to delivering this life-saving capability to our warfighters.”

    Under this latest task order, Northrop Grumman will continue to provide support and maintenance for the battle-proven DoN LAIRCM systems that are currently installed on U.S. military aircraft. One of the most advanced aircraft survivability equipment available, Northrop Grumman's LAIRCM system provides maximum aircraft and aircrew survivability. The DoN LAIRCM system defends aircraft against surface-to-air infrared missile threats. The system automatically counters advanced infrared missile systems by detecting, tracking and jamming the threat with a high-intensity laser beam.

    Northrop Grumman’s Infrared Countermeasures (IRCM) systems are installed on more than 1,500 aircraft of more than 80 different platform types worldwide and are the frontline defense system for U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps platforms.

    Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 97,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

    RENTON, Washington, April 12, 2021 – The first P-8A Poseidon fuselage for Norway arrived today at Boeing [NYSA: BA] facilities in Renton, Washington, from Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, marking a major milestone in the production of the first of five Poseidons for the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

    A derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation commercial aircraft, the P-8 is first assembled at Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ 737 production line, where the fuselage receives additional wiring and systems needed to support military components, equipment and operation. The aircraft is then delivered to Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security unit for the installation of military systems, testing and delivery to military customers.

    “Boeing uses a proven in-line production process to efficiently build the aircraft,” said Christian Thomsen, P-8A Europe program manager. “Implementing established best practices and common, commercial production-system tools enables the team to reduce flow time and cost while ensuring quality and on-time delivery to our customers.”

    Norway is expected to receive its first P-8 later this year. In total, five P-8s will eventually replace Norway’s current fleet of six P-3 Orions and three DA-20 Jet Falcons and will provide advanced capabilities to maintain situational awareness in neighboring waters on and below the surface of the ocean.

    To date, Boeing has delivered 104 P-8 aircraft to the U.S. Navy and customers in Australia, India and the United Kingdom.
    P8Norway
    Jakarta, 12 April 2021 – Airbus Helicopters has secured an H160 order from Derazona Helicopters in Indonesia, launching this new rotorcraft in the country’s oil and gas sector. The multi-mission H160 will play an important role in the expansion plans of the Indonesian operator for oil and gas, off-shore, utility and commercial passenger transportation.

    “This new order is a timely welcome as our company embarks on a transformation journey to grow our business. We are very impressed by the performance of the H160, and excited at the opportunities that this state-of-the-art helicopter will bring to our operations,” said Ramadi Widyardiono, Business Development Manager of Derazona Helicopters.

    “We are greatly honoured by Derazona’s vote of confidence, becoming not just the country’s first H160 operator, but our oil and gas launch customer in the Asia Pacific region,” said Vincent Dubrule, Head of Asia Pacific of Airbus Helicopters. “The H160 is a game-changer, setting new standards for safety, performance, comfort and design. We trust that it will be a valuable asset to our customer as they bolster their operations with this versatile workhorse,” he added.

    With 68 patents, the innovative H160 is the world’s most technologically advanced helicopter designed with passenger’s safety and comfort in mind. The design features an unprecedented suite of pilot aids delivered through its Helionix avionics which substantially reduces crew workload and decreases the risk of pilot error.

    The aircraft has been designed from the very beginning to comply with the demanding conditions of oil and gas operations. The aircraft’s compact size will be an added advantage to landing on oil platforms. Powered by Safran Helicopter Engines’ latest Arrano engines, the H160 enjoys a 15% reduction in fuel burn, contributing immediately to reducing emissions. The Blue Edge blades and the largest shrouded Fenestron tail rotor ensure low sounds levels and deliver high end performance at the same time.

    Designed as a multi-mission helicopter capable of addressing key missions from offshore transportation, private and business aviation, aeromedical services, search and rescue, as well as other public service missions, the inherent flexibility of the H160 will suit all kinds of operations around the world.
    H160 Derazona
    AMARILLO, Texas (Apr. 12, 2021) – Bell hosted a delegation from the Kingdom of Bahrain to mark the start of production of AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters built as part of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Delegates toured the Bell Amarillo production facility to observe the production line and ceremoniously sign the aircraft’s frame destined to join the Bahrain Air Force.

    “We are honored to host the Kingdom of Bahrain and share this milestone in production for the AH-1Z,” said Mike Deslatte, Bell H-1 Vice President and Program Director. “Today’s ceremony marks a new milestone in bringing the advanced capabilities of the Viper a step closer to the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

    Bell designed the AH-1Z Viper to meet the modern battlefield’s expeditionary requirements across the full spectrum of military operations. The Viper routinely maintains a high operational tempo from forward operating facilities by minimizing its logistical footprint without losing warfighting capabilities.

    “Today also signifies the dedication of thousands of Bell and Team Viper employees around the world who are proud to support our international partner,” said Deslatte.

    The Department of Defense awarded Bell a contract to manufacture and deliver 12 Lot-16 AH-1Z aircraft to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Bell projects production deliveries to begin in late-2021.

    Photo caption: Brigadier General Faisal Al Kaabi, Bahrain Ambassador to U.S. - H.E. Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa, Bell Executive Vice President Military Business - Vince Tobin, Bell Vice President and H-1 Program Director - Michael Deslatte, and Bahrain Defense Attaché to U.S. - Commodore Admiral Jasim Al Jowder pose in front of an AH-1Z Viper during an aircraft frame signing ceremony at Bell’s Amarillo assembly center on 31 March 2021.
    (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin)
    1Z Viper Assigned To Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164
    From April 12 to 22, Exercise Iniochos in Greece, organized by Hellenic Air Force will take place. Some sixty aircraft of seven nationalities will train on complex and realistic scenarios with phases of aerial combat and simulation of air strikes in a multinational setting.
    (Photos courtesy of Julian Fechter / Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace)
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    Exercise Iniochos
     

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