Grey Wolf first flight 2022
    Lt. Col. Mary Clark stepped out to the MH-139A Grey Wolf with confidence.

    Confidence gained from taking part in and leading in the developmental efforts of the Air Force’s first acquisitioned helicopter. Those early labors from concept to reality culminated as she climbed into one of the pilot seats for the MH-139A’s first flight under Air Force ownership at Eglin Air Force Base Aug. 17.
    “This milestone really represents the beginning of Air Force testing for the Grey Wolf,” said Clark, a former requirements officer with the Grey Wolf program, now at the 96th Operations Group. “We can now open up those test points for the military and push the envelope more to ensure we’re delivering that operational capability the units need out of the helicopter.”

    The Grey Wolf achieved this milestone after earning its military flight release Aug. 12. The new status allows Air Force-only aircrew to conduct testing on military capabilities of the MH-139A as the program moves forward. Prior to the military flight release, military and Boeing contractors shared the flight duties since the aircraft’s arrival here in December 2019.

    During that two-and-a-half-year period, the military testing fell to the 413th Flight Test Squadron and the Air Force Global Strike Command Detachment 7, in which Clark was a former commander. The 413th FLTS is the Air Force’s only rotary-wing developmental test unit.

    “We learned a lot over the last two years,” Clark said. “That experience allowed us to shape our test plans and ultimately save time. We already know some baseline foundational things we don’t have to re-establish in our own program.”

    The aircraft’s first flight under its new call sign, Lycan, meaning werewolf, took place above and around Duke Field, an auxiliary field north of Eglin AFB. The goal of that flight was to validate processes, checklists, maintenance, emergency procedures and aircrew communication and coordination.

    Tech. Sgt. Alexander Graves, an AFGSC Det. 7 special missions aviator, was part of both MH-139 first flights with Boeing in early 2020 and now the all-Air Force flight. The Airman said he hadn’t reflected on his place in Grey Wolf history as the first enlisted to fly in and instruct on one of the Air Force’s newest aircraft.
    “What an honor,” said Graves, a former C-130 Hercules loadmaster, who was chosen to be part of the Grey Wolf program. “I never thought in my career I’d be in a position to do something like this. It’s so rewarding to finally test the things we’ve been building up and to see that work we put in over the last two years pay off now.”

    The goal for the next 15 months of testing on the four MH-139As here will be to validate the safety of the aircraft and define the limits and maneuvers that can be performed. The developmental testing here will make sure the MH-139A meets AFGSC requirements for operational missions and define baseline operational capabilities upon which to build tactics, techniques, and procedures.
    Grey Wolf first flight 2022
    The MH-139A will replace the Air Force fleet of UH-1N aircraft, increasing capabilities in speed, range, endurance, payload, and survivability. The Air Force will acquire up to 80 helicopters, training devices, and associated support equipment. The aircraft will provide vertical airlift and support to four major commands and other operating agencies.

    From those humble beginnings in concept to feeling the MH-139A’s wheels leave the pavement, Clark said it was truly a magical moment.

    “It’s just extremely satisfying to now own and fly something we worked so hard to get,” she said. “Today the leash was off, and we could finally run with the Grey Wolf.”
    (U.S. Air Force photos by Samuel King Jr.)
    A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, takes off for a nighttime training flight in Swanton, Ohio, Aug. 22, 2022. The 180FW conducts training, rain or snow, day and night to enhance mission readiness to ensuring combat power can be delivered to combatant commanders, anytime, anywhere.
    (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kregg York)

    A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle takes flight during a training mission at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, August 22, 2022. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Hoskins)

    A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 6th Air Refueling Wing, takes off at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 22, 2022. Airmen from various career fields traveled alongside aircrew with the 91st and 50th Air Refueling Squadrons to participate in the Agile Combat Employment program’s capstone event. In order to successfully qualify, Airmen must demonstrate skills acquired from a year’s worth of tasks and objectives within 3 days while conducting 24-hour operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Tsoi)

    ESBJERG, Denmark - The first AH-64 Apache helicopter is discharged from the commercial cargo vessel, ARC Endurance, at the Port of Esbjerg, Denmark on Aug 22, 2022. The 598th Transportation Brigade (SDDC) and 21st Theater Sustainment Command work in conjunction to transport the 1st Armored Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas through the port to forward operating locations in Europe for Atlantic Resolve. (Photo Credit: Spc. William R. Thompson, 1st Armored Division, Combat Aviation Brigade, Public Affairs)

    A B-52H Stratofortress takes off from Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington during an Agile Combat Employment exercise Aug. 18, 2022. When using the ACE concept the B-52s can land at a non-bomber location, receive repairs, resupply and be back in the air within a few hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chase Sullivan)

  • A C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 6th Air Refueling Wing during the 6th ARW Agile Combat Employment capstone exercise, Aug. 23, 2022. The ACE concept addresses adversarial technological advances and capabilities by promoting the weaponization of pace, flexible maneuverability and of multi-capable Airmen. The capstone exercise simulated air refueling operations in a contested theater over a 72-hour duration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Hastings)
    135 Stratotanker Aircraft Assigned To The 6th Air Refueling Wing
    A U.S. Air Force MC-130 J Commando II aircraft assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing conducts search patterns overhead during open ocean personnel recovery training off of the east coast of England, Aug. 23, 2022. The Commando II flies a variety of low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters and aircraft, while also supporting infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Long)
    130 J Commando II Aircraft Assigned To The 352d Special Operations Wing
    U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Curtis Culver, 494th Fighter Squadron commander, puts on his helmet prior to launch during Point Blank 22-4 at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Aug. 25, 2022. Point Blank is a multilateral exercise that enhances professional relationships and improves overall coordination with NATO allies. (U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Cedrique Oldaker)

    U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft assigned to the 495th Fighter Squadron, prepare to launch in support of exercise Point Blank 22-4 at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Aug. 24, 2022. Point Blank is an exercise designed to increase tactical proficiency and interoperability with NATO allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Seleena Muhammad-Ali and bottom two courtesy of the RAF)
     24 2022
    A B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron flies in formation with several partner nations in a training exercise Aug. 24, 2022. U.S. Strategic Command forces are on watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week to deter and defeat strategic attack against the U.S. and our allies with our Nation’s arsenal. (U.S. Air Force photos by Senior Airman Caleb S. Kimmell)

    August 25, 2022
    Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force are continuing enhancements to the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber fleet providing new capability, including its first long-range stealth missile.

    The B-2 successfully released a Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER) during a flight test in December. The JASSM-ER further enhances the B-2’s ability to hit any target, anywhere. The integration of JASSM-ER enables the delivery of a low observable asset capable of traveling greater distances than its predecessor.

    JASSM-ER is one of three new advanced capabilities being introduced to the B-2 to further modernize the platform. The B-2 fleet, capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear ordnance, is also integrating crypto modernization and a Radar Aided Targeting System (RATS). The latest system advancements are part of integrated functional capability (IFC) P6.4, which was certified last year by the Air Force. RATS will complete the latest phase of nuclear modernization of the B-2 Spirit.

    “The unrivaled capabilities of the B-2 make it the only long range, penetrating stealth bomber currently in the U.S. arsenal,” said Shaugnessy Reynolds, vice president and B-2 program manager, Northrop Grumman. “Committed to continued modernization of the B-2, we’re leveraging our company’s innovation in digital engineering and its decades of leadership in designing and maintaining low observable platforms to keep the B-2 Spirit mission ready.”

    The integration of RATS allows the B-2 to fully employ the B-61 mod 12 nuclear bomb. RATS is the key element of the nuclear modernization, as GPS may not be available during a bomber task force mission.

    Crypto modernization further improves the communications security of various high frequency transmissions. The B-2 may now securely utilize advanced communication devices in the future threat environment. Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman conducted a successful communications flight test with modern cryptology at its Oklahoma City Weapons System Support Center site.

    The capabilities of this IFC continue to position the B-2 fleet as a key component of the Department of Defense’s nuclear triad. It is also part of Northrop Grumman’s ongoing modernization efforts leveraging 21st century technology incorporating digital engineering.
    2 Spirit Modernization

  • MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Aug. 24, 2022) An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, prepares to launch from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Aug. 24, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jack Hoppe)
    MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Aug. 24, 2022) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, prepares to launch from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Aug. 24, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hunter Day)
    Jim Beasley Jr., Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation founding member/pilot, flies his P-51D Mustang at the 2022 Atlantic City Airshow at Atlantic City, New Jersey, Aug. 24, 2022. (New Jersey National Guard photo by Mark C. Olsen)

    An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron lands after a training sortie in support of surge operations at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 24, 2022. During the surge, the 44th FS flew up to 40 sorties a day, honing air-to-air tactics and advanced combat maneuvers, and strengthening the readiness capabilities needed to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)

    F-15C Eagles assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron receive hot-pit refueling during surge operations at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 24, 2022. During a hot-pit refuel, the pilot remains in the cockpit with engines running while maintenance crews perform safety checks and refuel the aircraft, cutting the time between sorties to less than 30 minutes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)

    An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron flies overhead in support of surge operations at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 23, 2022. Surge operations provide aircrew and support personnel the opportunity to train the skills necessary to maintain a ready force, capable of ensuring the collective defense of the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Roth)

    A U.S. Air Force F-16CJ Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, takes off from Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Aug. 24, 2022. The 79th EFS projects combat airpower across AFCENT’s area of responsibility, supporting personnel, improving force movement, and showing U.S. and partner nations resolve in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Noah J. Tancer)

    U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina, touch down and taxi back after conducting routine training flights at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, South Carolina, August 24, 2022. The 169th Fighter Wing is temporarily flying out of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport while the McEntire Joint National Guard Base runway undergoes construction. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Danielle Dawson)
    16 Fighter Jets Assigned To The 169th Fighter Wing From McEntire Joint National Guard Base South Carolina
    A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle from the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing lands at the McChord Field flightline at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Aug. 17, 2022. With the help of the Portland Air National Guard’s F-15 Eagle, the 627th Civil Engineering Squadron tested their aircraft arresting system, BAK-12. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Callie Norton)

    Typhoon fighter jets and a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker are taking part in Exercise Pitch Black in Australia. This major exercise will see up to 100 aircraft and around 2500 personnel from 17 nations train together for three weeks. The exercise is being conducted primarily from the Royal Australian Air Force bases at Darwin and Tindal in the Australian Northern Territory.
    Air Vice-Marshal Phil Robinson, CBE, DFC** the Air Officer Commanding No 11 Group commenting on the exercise said: “An event such as Pitch Black is extremely important to the RAF as it tests the ability to deploy air power at speed to any part of the world, in addition to the valuable training opportunity with key partners and allies.
    “The UK’s participation in such a significant exercise in the Indo Pacific highlights the importance placed on the region. The complexity of this exercise has also given the planning staff at 11 Group, together with the RAF personnel at the various Embassies and High Commissions, the opportunity to demonstrate the RAF’s ability to project and deliver combat power in the Indo Pacific”.

    The UK’s contribution to Exercise Pitch Black is designed to be a tangible demonstration of UK air power and highlights the UK’s ability to deploy rapidly at long range. It also illustrates the UK’s desire to build professionalism and enhance international military relationships for the safe and effective conduct of air operations with regional and partner nations.
    (Photos courtesy of the RAF)

  • An A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 122nd Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard flies alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft with the 434th Aerial Refueling Wing during the Indiana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Boss Lift August 26, 2022, in the skies over Indiana. The Indiana ESGR Boss Lift shows appreciation to civilian employers of Guard and Reserve members by giving them a behind-the-scenes look at the military operations performed by their employees. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Staff Sgt. Kathleen LaCorte)
    135 Stratotanker Aircraft With The 434th Aerial Refueling Wing
    A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon, with the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, flies away from the boom of a KC-135 Stratotanker with the 914th Air Refueling Wing, New York August 29, 2022 in the Indo-Pacific Command Area of Responsibility. The Poseidon is multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft, specializing in anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and search and rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tiffany A. Emery)
    135 Stratotanker With The 914th Air Refueling Wing New York August 29 2022
    Airmen with the 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit and 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron prepare a 23EBS B-52H Stratofortress for a Bomber Task Force mission to Sweden at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, Aug. 27, 2022. Bomber missions demonstrate the credibility of our forces to maintain the global security environment that is more diverse and uncertain than at any other time in our history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael A. Richmond)
     27 2022
    A Danish Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon escorts a U.S. Air Force 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-52H Stratofortress over the North Sea during a Bomber Task Force mission Aug. 27, 2022. B-52s from the 23EBS flew to Sweden to demonstrate their Global Strategic Bomber Presence as a part of the pre-planned Bomber Task Force Europe series of missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael A. Richmond)

    Two Swedish Air Force Saab JAS 39 Gripens escort a U.S. Air Force 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-52H Stratofortress over Sweden during a Bomber Task Force mission Aug. 27, 2022. The Swedish Gripens integrated with the B-52 enroute to the Swedish Air Show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael A. Richmond)

    BALTIC SEA (Aug. 24, 2022) A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier attached to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) flies past Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Tu N. Chau during flight operations aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Aug. 24, 2022. The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 22nd MEU, under the command and control of Task Force 61/2, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. 6th Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor Parker)
    Class Amphibious Assault Ship USS Kearsarge
    SEATTLE, Aug. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] today announced an order from UPS for eight more 767 Freighters. The incremental order will increase UPS's 767 Freighter fleet to 108 airplanes, enabling the global carrier to further modernize and sustainably grow its fleet.

    "The additional 767s will help us continue to deliver what matters to UPS customers around the world. This is a very versatile aircraft that we operate across every region of the globe," said UPS Executive Vice President and President U.S. Nando Cesarone. "With these aircraft, our fleet will continue to be among the most modern in our industry, meeting our customers' needs while improving our efficiency, sustainability and reliability."

    Air cargo continues to play a crucial role in global trade, from supporting supply chains to expanding e-commerce. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has estimated that global air cargo revenue in 2021 was more than double the revenue in pre-pandemic 2019.

    "This repeat order from UPS is a testament to the outstanding cargo capabilities of the 767 Freighter and further demonstrates Boeing's market leadership in the freighter segment," said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. "UPS will operate more than 100 767 Freighters with this order and will build its fleet of Boeing and Boeing-heritage airplanes to more than 260 airplanes. We are honored to play an important role in UPS's efforts to operate a more sustainable, more efficient fleet."

    UPS will begin taking delivery of these new airplanes in 2025, with an additional 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) entering service in late 2023. This purchase builds on UPS's order for 19 767 Freighters in December 2021.

    Based on the 767-300ER (Extended Range) passenger jet, the 767 Freighter carries up to 52.4 tonnes of revenue cargo with intercontinental range, serving as a flexible platform for long-haul, regional and feeder markets. UPS was the launch customer for the 767 Freighter in 1995 and has purchased a total of 108 of the model. The carrier currently operates 238 Boeing freighters including the 747, 757, 767 and MD-11.

    According to Boeing's 2022 Commercial Market Outlook forecast, carriers will require 2,795 more dedicated freighters over the next 20 years, including 940 new widebodies, 555 widebody converted freighters and 1,300 standard body conversions. The global freighter fleet will grow to 3,610 airplanes by 2041, up from 2,250 today. Today, Boeing freighters account for 90% of the world's freighter capacity, flying millions of tonnes of goods around the globe.

    As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at
    UPS 767
    29 August 2022.
    When you need an aircraft capable of performing a wide variety of missions under challenging weather conditions, having advanced technology and unmatched reliability are essential. For the energy industry, that aircraft is the Bell 525 Relentless. During our month-long demonstration tour in the U.S., Bell captured the attention of more than 500 prospective customers who had the opportunity to experience the Bell 525. The Bell team hosted more than 50 demonstrations to showcase its advanced operating capabilities to eager prospective customers.

    “The Bell 525 is a phenomenally unique flying experience. It is incredibly smooth and intuitive, simple to operate, and blends complex advancements into an impressive pilot and passenger experience. Bell raised the bar with next-generation technology, and the 525 stands poised to usher in a new era in vertical lift,” said James Maner, chief pilot, PHI Americas.

    Visiting rotorcraft facilities in Houston, TX; Mobile, AL; Bristol, TN; Lafyette, LA; and Washington, D.C., the tour attracted customers in the oil and gas, military, and search and rescue (SAR) industries for its reliability, generous seating for up to 16 passengers, and ability to successfully navigate during offshore operations.

    No matter what type of challenging environment, the Bell 525 allows operators to safely perform any mission with its best-in-class design technologies. This 21st century aircraft is on its way to becoming the first certified commercial fly-by-wire (FBW) helicopter in the global marketplace. Groundbreaking FBW technologies allow operators to tackle their toughest missions with ease.

    “I was really excited to fly in the Bell 525 Relentless. It was so stable, smooth and quiet. As a passenger, it felt more like riding in an airliner,” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director, Vertical Flight Society, after participating in one of the demonstrations.

    The Bell 525 mockup will be on display for the first time at the 2022 ONS Conference and Exhibit in Stavanger, Norway from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2. Show attendees will be able to tour the aircraft configured with an oil and gas interior set-up, ideal for customers in the oil and gas transport industry.

  • A Finnish PC-12NG and C-295M aircraft assigned to the Satakunta Air Command taxis before taking off during the 2022 Finnish Airlift Tactical Exercise (ATEX), in Oulu, Finland, Aug 24, 2022. ATEX is the Satakunta Air Command’s most important transport and communication aircraft annual exercise. The Finnish Air Force hosted members from multiple partner nations to participate in ATEX, enhancing readiness across the European Theater. Training with our partner nations reinforces NATO members’ commitment to preserving regional stability. (U.S. Air Force photos by Staff Sgt. Izabella Workman)

    U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors from the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrive at the Slovak International Air Fest at Malacky Air Base, Slovakia, Aug. 27, 2022. The Raptor’s arrival marks the first-ever showcase of U.S. Air Force F-22s at the Slovak International Air Fest and reinforces the U.S.’s steadfast commitment and support to our NATO Allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Claire Waldo)

    POINT MUGU, Calif. (Aug 23, 2022) – An EA-18G Growler assigned to the "Dust Devils" of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 launches from Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu. VX-31 is based at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif. and charged with conducting safe, effective, and efficient flight testing and evaluation of aircraft and weapon systems in direct support of the United States Naval Aviation Fleet. NBVC is the home of the Pacific Seabees, West Coast E-2C Hawkeyes, 3 warfare centers and 80 tenants. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Drew Verbis/Released)

    An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron taxis on the runway before flight during a training event at Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 18, 2022. During the training, the 36th FS conducted multiple mission sorties in a simulated combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dwane R. Young)

    An A-10C Thunderbolt II assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron taxis on the flight line after landing during a training sortie at Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 18, 2022. During the training, the 25th FS conducted multiple mission sorties in a simulated combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dwane R. Young)

    U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to Shaw Air Force Base and Joint Base Charleston, S.C., perform an integrated combat turn during exercise Iron Hand 22-09 at North Auxiliary Airfield, S.C., Aug. 23, 2022. The integrated combat turn is one of many concepts during Iron Hand 22-09 that were implemented with the ability to generate out of areas with unknown levels of capacity, infrastructure and support while being operationally variable. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Jacob Gutierrez)
    Team Shaw Accelerates ACE Abilities
    30 August 2022.
    Saab recently conducted the first test firing with the advanced Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) on Gripen E with a successful end-to-end result on the target.

    The Meteor missile was launched from Gripen E at an altitude of approximately 16500 ft above the Vidsel test range in northern Sweden.

    “It feels very good that we have now completed the first test firing with Meteor from Gripen E. It is a very important milestone both for the programme and for Saab. It shows that the weapon capability of Gripen is at the absolute forefront,” says Mikael Olsson, Head of Flight Test & Verification, Saab.

    Meteor from MBDA is an unmatched BVRAAM that can operate in in the most contested environments. It can successfully engage a wide variety of targets, from fighter aircraft to small unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles at unrivalled ranges.
    Grippen Meteor
    “This success is a great demonstration of the close partnership between MBDA and Saab, which after many years of active co-operation continues to go from strength to strength. This trial also excellently shows off our joint ability to rapidly integrate weapon capabilities onto the all new Gripen E,” says Jim Price, MBDA Vice President Europe.

    The focus of the flight test program for Gripen E is on continued development and testing of primarily the tactical systems and as well as integration of a variation of weapons, for example Meteor.

    The Meteor programme is one of Europe’s most successful defence collaborations and has seen the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden join together to create this game-changing missile for air combat. Saab is a partner in the Meteor programme in conjunction with prime contractor MBDA UK.
    SEATTLE, Aug. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the Lufthansa Group today celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner, a 787-9, to Europe's largest airline group at Paine Field, Everett, Wash.

    The Lufthansa Group has 32 firm orders for the 787 and joins nearly 50 customers worldwide in operating the industry's most fuel efficient and capable airplane. Boeing designed the 787 family with superior efficiency, which allows airlines to profitably open new routes and fly people directly where they want to go in exceptional comfort.

    Using 25% less fuel and creating 25% fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace, the 787 family has avoided more than 125 billion pounds of carbon emissions since entering service in 2011.

    "With the Boeing 787, we are introducing another modern aircraft type that is one of the most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft in our fleet," said Jens Ritter, CEO Lufthansa Airlines. "This will allow us to significantly further improve the average CO2 balance. This aircraft is sustainable and offers customers a premium flying experience."

    Since revenue service began in 2011, the 787 family has launched more than 325 new nonstop routes around the world, including approximately 50 routes opened since 2020. The 787-9 can fly 296 passengers up to 7,565 nautical miles (14,010 km) in a typical two-class configuration.

    "Today's delivery to the Lufthansa Group is a significant milestone for both companies as we resume European 787 deliveries and Lufthansa receives its first 787. I am delighted to see Lufthansa join a growing set of airlines worldwide operating the industry's most capable twin-engine airplane," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "With unmatched fuel efficiency and huge passenger appeal, the 787 will play an integral role in the Lufthansa Group's long-haul network."

    In addition to 32 787 Dreamliners on order, the Lufthansa Group has firm orders for 20 777-9 passenger airplanes and recently placed a firm order for seven of the new 777-8 Freighter.

    As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at
    Lufthansa Dreamliner
    30 August 22.
    A RNZAF Boeing 757 aircraft has taken flight, transporting New Zealand Army personnel to the United Kingdom where they will train Ukrainian infantry recruits.
    (Photos courtesy of the RNZAF)
    757 RNZAF

  • SOUTH CHINA SEA (Aug. 30, 2022) – An F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) lands aboard amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7), Aug. 30, 2022. Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart)
    35B Lightning II Aircraft Assigned To Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron
    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 30, 2022) Sailors taxi an EA-18G Growler, attached to the “Rooks” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137, across the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Aug. 30, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony Robledo)
    Service members from the Peace Vanguard Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Arizona Army National Guard trained together July 21 through August 29, 2022 at the Idaho National Guard’s Orchard Combat Training Center, completing day and night AH-64 Apache aerial gunnery operations. While at the OCTC, Peace Vanguard pilots and crews trained on several ranges for air-to-ground and air-to-air qualifications, including the Digital Air Ground Integrated Range. The DAGIR is one of three in the U.S. Army and allows air and ground units to train together while receiving accurate and real-time feedback on their performance. (U.S. National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur)
    64 Peace Vanguard Republic Of Singapore Air Force And The Arizona Army National Guard Trained Together July 21 Through August 29 2022
    An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing, departs after receiving fuel from a
    KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 91st Air Refueling Squadron over the Northeastern U.S. Aug. 24, 2022. The F-15E is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with an array of avionics and electronics systems that give it the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night and in all weather. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hiram Martinez)
    15E Strike Eagle Assigned To The 4th Fighter Wing Departs After Receiving Fuel From A

    Members of the Air Combat Command Federal Laboratory, test pilots at Edwards Air Force Base, and software developers from the 309th Software Engineering Group achieved several milestones on an in-flight F-22 Raptor, Aug. 24.

    The achievement is the first instance of third-party software running on a fifth-generation fighter and the first in-flight use of open-source container orchestration software on any fighter aircraft.

    Fifth-generation fighter aircraft are historically unavailable to third-party software integration. To fix this problem and lower the barriers to entry, the team built and flight-tested their new Open Systems Enclave, or OSE, consisting of a government-owned software architecture with existing on-board hardware. This new enclave proved it can rapidly integrate new technologies from first line of code to flight in less than 60 days. In recognition of this value proposition, there is now a formal requirement for the establishment of OSE on F-22 at the direction of the chief of F-22 requirements.

    “This breakthrough fundamentally changes how we can deliver combat capability to the warfighter,” said Maj. Allen Black, F-22 test pilot and project co-lead. “We’ve proven the ability to rapidly evaluate and integrate next-generation technologies developed by experts in government, industry, and academia at a lower cost with software portability across defense platforms.”

    Established in 2018, the ACC Federal Laboratory functions under the Office of the Chief Scientist and operates with a vision to summon and coalesce a “Confluence of Warfighters, Developers, and Acquirers” while bridging advanced technologies with fielded weapon systems. The result is an inspired defense industrial base with intellectual property protection and increased safeguards to mission critical systems.

    This confluence model quickly proved its worth in 2020 by achieving a Defense Department first in artificial intelligence when human-AI teaming was flown with an AI copilot, “Artuµ.”

    The lab changed public policy in 2021 and established the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s 20th Laboratory Accreditation Program known as Federal Warfare Systems. NIST accreditation standardizes the competence, impartiality, and operational consistency of Federal Laboratories of this type in the DoD, providing senior leaders with published policy to sanction and underwrite this activity.

    The ACC Federal Laboratory is uniquely positioned to leverage the space left of formal requirements, where technologies vital to all air power systems can be matured, verified and validated in comparable technical and operational environments.

    “The complimentary position of the ACC Fed Lab. within the acquisitions process allows the government to fly before they buy,” said Maj. Ray Tierney, ACC Federal Laboratory founder and director. “This increases modernization throughput, decouples software development from Operational Flight Program cycles, and allows the delivery of advanced capability to assure dominance in strategically competitive environments – creating cost offsets previously believed to be impossible.”

    As a Total Force Integration entity, the ACC Federal Laboratory is comprised of active duty, Guard, Reserve, civilian and contractor personnel. “We have had overwhelming interest from government, industry, and academic partners to make our platforms more capable – and more lethal,” said Lt. Col. Raven LeClair, test pilot and project co-lead. “Most notable, however, has been the reciprocated interest by warfighters within the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, as well as U.S. Space Force and U.S. Navy.”

    “I speak for the entire team when I say that we are very fortunate and thankful to receive early and continuous support from warfighters, leaders, and commanders within the 412th Test Wing, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 1st Fighter Wing, ISR/SOF Program Executive Office, F-22 Program Office, Air Force Materiel Command, and Air Combat Command,” said Dr. John Matyjas, ACC’s chief scientist and senior executive to the ACC Fed Lab. “This backing has meaningfully empowered today’s achievement – and harnesses a cross-platform approach to software-based capability development in costs and timelines relevant to the warfighter.”

    Ultimately, this milestone shines a bright future for software acquisition in the DoD, one where apps are rapidly developed, matured and delivered to the warfighter at the push of a button. Initially working with F-22 Program Office as an early adopter of OSE, the team is evaluating and integrating several candidate combat capabilities as cross-platform solutions.

    “We must build an enduring advantage for our force,” said Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command. “This ‘bring the future faster’ initiative allows us to rapidly discover and iterate on combat capabilities and stay relevant with cutting-edge technology and affordably accelerate change in delivering combat Air Force capabilities as an enterprise.”
    (Air Force photos by Giancarlo Casem and Chase Kohler)

    A U.S. Air Force 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-52H Stratofortress flies over RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, after completing a Bomber Task Force mission over France Aug. 31, 2022. “We’re providing advanced capabilities and readiness enhancing activities across the Euro-Atlantic Area while creating flexible and agile operations for bombers should they need to respond to any changes in the operational environment,” said General James B. Hecker, Commander, NATO Allied Air Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa, describing the 23 EBS’ BTF Europe mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael A. Richmond)

    SOUTH CHINA SEA (Aug. 30, 2022) Sailors prepare to chock and chain an F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA 7), Aug. 30, 2022. Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart)
    35B Lightning II Aircraft Assigned To Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 Aboard The Amphibious Assault Ship USS Tripoli
    Planning and executing a “first” in the history of the German Air Force

    12,800 kilometres in 24 hours from Germany to Singapore, deployment of 6 Eurofighter, 4 A400M and three A330 MRTT and 250 service members to Australia.

    These impressive facts and figures stand for Operation Rapid Pacific 2022 of the German Air Force – the first-ever deployment with an “all Airbus” fleet of aircraft to participate in a large-scale military exercise with Australia and other international partner nations.

    The journey was and is split into several parts: Part one, being the Luftwaffe’s core objective, was to demonstrate global deployability to a region of strategic importance, the Indo-Pacific.

    On 15 August, six Eurofighter jets departed Neuburg Air Base in the south of Germany, escorted by three A330 MRTT aircraft of the Multinational Multirole Tanker Transport Unit, a joint unit from Eindhoven, Netherlands and Cologne, Germany, pooling and sharing aerial refueling, air transport and, in the near future, strategic aeromedical evacuation capabilities for several members of the Atlantic Alliance.

    Less than 24 hours later, five Eurofighter jets and the three A330 MRTT reached Singapore. A sixth one had to temporarily stay in Abu Dhabi for repairs due to problems with its hydraulic systems.

    Nevertheless, the Luftwaffe had accomplished its mission: “We are here. We made it to Asia within 24 hours and that, for the first time, with this amount of aircraft”, a proud and relieved LtGen Ingo Gerhartz, German Air Force chief, told media representatives upon arrival of the crews in Singapore.

    Col. Gordon Schnitger, Commander of the 74th Fighter Wing in Neuburg, who deployed the bulk of people and material for the fighter jet component of Rapid Pacific, echoed this sentiment.

    “The moment we realised that all the planning and hard work of the last months, at least for that stage of the deployment, had paid off was when the five jets landed in Singapore.”

    Mastering that challenge wasn't a walk in the park for the 74th since it was only a few months ago that Neuburg had completed an exhausting NATO Air Policing mission in Romania.

    “Looking at what we accomplished this year so far, my hat’s off to my men and women in Neuburg, but also to those units like the A330MRTT and A400M crews who supported us all the way here. Their determination shows what we can achieve together when we pull on the same string.”

    The hot phase of the planning on key working levels, said Schnittger, began roughly six months ago with regular alignment meetings. Two months ahead of the deployment, weekly calls followed which eventually turned into daily calls towards the very end.

    Mapping the Game Plan, Aligning all Stakeholders

    In Abu Dhabi, just as the deployment had reached its first destination, LtCol. Lorenz S., callsign “Enzo”, was mapping out the game plan for the second leg to Singapore.

    “My main concern was about the personal fitness of each and every individual for this long flight from Abu Dhabi to Singapore”, said “Enzo”, Squadron Commander of the 741st Fighter Squadron and one of the flight leaders on this 7-hour trip. “Obviously, we had gotten to Abu Dhabi only shortly before and you then have to deal with a time difference compared to home. So we tried, as best as we could, to prepare for that scenario at home, for instance by going to bed a bit earlier in order to be in the best shape possible.”

    Rapid Pacific is his fourth largest deployment in his 24-year career in the German Air Force, said the experienced fighter pilot who has accumulated 3,300 flight hours in aircraft such as the Eurofighter, Tornado and the F-16.

    And it wasn't the easiest one.

    “We basically had thunderstorms all the way which made the flight quite a challenge. We flew over a country as huge as India without ever having seen the ground. Here, I really have to say kudos to the A330MRTT crew for a job very well done”, said “Enzo”. “They navigated us well around all those thunderstorms. One hour before Singapore, the weather finally started to improve which was a bit of a relief.”

    The LtCol. hailed the cooperation with professionalism of the tanker crews from the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Unit (MMU) in Eindhoven.

    “We sat down with them shortly before the mission to explain some of the limits we have and it was quite obvious they had given careful consideration to all those requirements. I felt very confident the entire time that we could fulfill our objectives”, said “Enzo”.

    Rapid Pacific – the baptism of fire for the A330 MMU

    In that regard, Rapid Pacific 2022 was also the first large-scale deployment of the MMU with their new A330MRTTs.

    From the three A330MRTT, two aircraft flew in formation with a distance of half a mile and 500 feet vertical separation.

    “The aim was to have this separation in height due to safety considerations when you’re refueling the jets. It’s important to keep situational awareness of what is going on when the jets depart from the hose”, said Capt. Benedikt V. A., one of the co-pilots and a former C-160 Transall pilot.

    The third A330 MRTT was trailing around 5 miles behind the two others and 4,000 feet higher.

    “That was our ‘airborne spare’ aircraft since we wanted to have an alternative in case we needed it”, said Capt. Benedikt V. A.

    The baseline plan for the trip foresaw a total fuel consumption of 400 kilograms per minute, he said. At a minimum level of 2.5 tonnes, the Eurofighter jets refueled and received between four and five tonnes of kerosene.

    “That meant they were attached to the hose and drogue for around 8 minutes each time”, said LtCol. Marcel N., one of the aircraft commanders on the flight from Neuburg to Abu Dhabi and a former A310 Tanker pilot.

    On their way from Neuburg to Abu Dhabi, the Eurofighter jets refueled four times; from Abu Dhabi to Singapore six times and three times on the final stretch from Singapore to Darwin.

    Both tanker pilots said that Air Traffic Control played a central part in the mission’s success.

    “The support we received from the controllers in Abu Dhabi, Singapore and also Australia was exceptional. They really helped us to find the best routes in order to fulfill our mission objective. Especially on the leg between Singapore and Australia, you realise that ATC seems to be in contact with tanker crews more often since they were really knowledgeable with respect to our requirements”, said LtCol. Marcel N.

    Pitch Black and Kakadu exercises

    After successful repair, the sixth jet with the “Air Ambassador” special livery rejoined the formation only a few days later in Darwin, Australia, where part 2 of the journey is currently taking place.

    There, the Luftwaffe and the MMU are part of Exercise Pitch Black 2022, a biennial three-week multinational large force employment exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

    According to information provided by the RAAF, some 100 aircraft and 2,500 service personnel from the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, UK, the Philippines, Thailand, UAE, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand and the MMU will participate in Pitch Black.

    After the first days of flying during exercise Rapid Pacific, Col. Schnitger said he's thankful that he has all six jets available and that training operations have started.

    “The Australians are very professional as hosts and very eager to support us in any way possible with what we need. I just completed my first orientation ride here and have to say it`s amazing. The environment here is so different to what we are used to in Germany so we`re all looking forward to the next two weeks to train together with our partners.”

    Upon conclusion of Exercise Pitch Black, the Luftwaffe contingent, as well as the MMU, will further participate in Exercise Kakadu 2022 in September, an exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy.

    Once the exercises down under have concluded, the Luftwaffe and MMU contingent will return to Singapore where the team will – after some flying with the local contenders - split into two parts. One group will fly several Eurofighter jets, a formation led by Lt.Gen. Gerhartz, to Japan with the support of one A330 MRTT, while another group will embark on a journey with an A400M to the Republic of South Korea.

    In early October, the team will bid farewell to the Indo-Pacific and return to their home bases - hopefully, with a logbook filled with many firsts and successful achievements.
    From here --
    Gavião Peixoto – Brazil, September 1st, 2022 – Embraer continues to advance in the test campaign of the first KC-390 aircraft for the Portuguese Air Force (FAP). Currently, the activities carried out at the Embraer unit in Gavião Peixoto, in the São Paulo State, are focused on flight tests that meet the specific requirements of the Portuguese State, and are certified by Brazilian authorities, including the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and the Institute for Industrial Development and Coordination (IFI).
    This phase precedes the aircraft's departure to Portugal, where NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) standard equipment will be integrated and certified by the National Aeronautical Authority (AAN) of Portugal and with the involvement of OGMA, a subsidiary of Embraer in Portugal. All activities are being monitored by FAP, with the first deliveries scheduled to begin in 2023.

    In August of 2019, the Government of Portugal signed a contract with Embraer for the acquisition of five KC0390 Millennium aircraft, as part of FAP’s process to modernize capabilities and increase readiness for public interest missions. The contract also includes services and support, as well as a flight simulator.
    The KC-390 aircraft meets all FAP requirements capable of performing various civilian missions, including humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and wildfire fighting, adding superior transport and launch capabilities for cargo and troops and in-flight refueling.

    Portugal is the largest international partner of the KC-390 program, and its participation in the development and production of the aircraft is recognized for having a positive economic impact on the generation of jobs, new investments, increased exports and technological advances.
    The C-390 Millennium and its aerial refueling configuration, the KC-390, are the new generation of multi-mission military transport aircraft that offer unparalleled mobility and payload capacity, rapid reconfiguration, high availability, enhanced comfort, and flight safety, as well as optimized management of reduced operational costs throughout its lifecycle, all on a single platform.

  • F-15C Eagles taxi on the runway at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2022. F-15C Eagles help Kadena maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, defending the interests of the U.S. and our allies alike. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephen Pulter)

    An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, descends after receiving air refueling support from a KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Aug. 31, 2022. The vision of the 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central), is in concert with partners, deliver dominant coalition combat power and integrated command and control to secure and stabilize the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shannon Bowman)
    10 Extender Assigned To The 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron
    U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Phillip T. Ash, the commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223, flies an AV-8B Harrier II jet over Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Aug. 31, 2022. AV-8B Harrier II jets assigned to VMA-223 were loaded with AIM-120A missiles and ADM-141A Tactical Air-Launched Decoys for the pilots to practice air-to-air combat. VMA-223 is a subordinate unit of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, the aviation combat element of II Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Elias E. Pimentel III)

    U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Philip Cortellucci, an AV-8B Harrier II jet pilot with Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223, flies an AV-8B Harrier II jet over Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Aug. 31, 2022. AV-8B Harrier II jets assigned to VMA-223 were loaded with AIM-120A missiles and ADM-141A Tactical Air-Launched Decoys for the pilots to practice air-to-air combat. VMA-223 is a subordinate unit of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, the aviation combat element of II Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Elias E. Pimentel III)
    120A Missiles

  • A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber aircraft assigned to the 23rd Bomb Squadron from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, currently operating out of Royal Air Force Fairford, England, conducts a low-approach over the Airpower 22 air show in Zeltweg, Austria, Sept. 3, 2022. Given the inherent speed, flexibility, and range of strategic bombers, bomber task force missions highlight U.S. capabilities and commitment to work closely with our allies and partners to deter any potential adversary from aggressive actions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Long)
    52 Stratofortress Strategic Bomber Aircraft Assigned To The 23rd Bomb Squadron From Minot Air Force Base North Dakota Currently Operating Out Of Royal Air Force Fairford England
    A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress, assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, approaches a KC-10 Extender assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for air refueling support, during a Bomber Task Force mission, over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Sept. 4, 2022. During the BTF, two B-52H Stratofortresses, along with other U.S. aircraft, conducted theater integration training with a variety of coalition and partner ally aircraft to demonstrate readiness and strengthen ties within the USCENTCOM AOR. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shannon Bowman)
    10 Extender Assigned To The 908th
    U.S. Air Force Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, runs through a preflight check in a F-22 Raptor prior to departure from Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal, Northern Territory, Australia, Sept. 5, 2022. Wilsbach visited Australia to bolster partnerships through the Enhanced Air Cooperation Agreement. EAC increases interoperability and allow for more productive regional partnerships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

    ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sep. 5, 2022) E-2D Hawkeye's, attached to the "Seahawks" of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 126, launche from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), during a Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 flyoff, Sep. 5, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interest. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jack Hoppe)
    SOUTH CHINA SEA (Sept. 6, 2022) – An F-35B Lighting II aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) prepares to land aboard amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7) Sept. 6, 2022. Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Sypert)
    35B Lighting II Aircraft Assigned To Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 Prepares To Land Aboard Amphibious Assault Carrier USS Tripoli
    A Colombian Air Force KFIR fighter jet taxies on the runway while participating in Relampago VII, an exercise in Barranquilla, Colombia, Aug. 30, 2022. The purpose of this exercise is to provide the Colombian Air Force with requested realistic interoperability training as allied countries, under NATO standards. The U.S. is providing provide eight F-16s and two KC-135s to support this training. South Carolina is Colombia’s State Partner in the State Partnership Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Carl Clegg, 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
     30 2022
    ST. LOUIS, Sept. 6, 2022 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] has digitally demonstrated a new open autonomy architecture for MQ-25 that will allow the U.S. Navy to increase mission effectiveness by integrating manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability at speed and scale.

    The non-proprietary architecture, based on the government-owned Open Mission System specification, is the foundation for advanced MUM-T. A Boeing-led team virtually demonstrated how other aircraft can use MQ-25’s architecture and task it to conduct tanking and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions – all within the mission airspace and without traditional communications with the ship-based ground control station.

    Boeing’s MUM-T demonstration included Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye command and control aircraft, Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft and Boeing’s F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet fighter jet. Using their existing operational flight program software and data links, the aircraft safely and efficiently tasked four virtual, autonomous MQ-25s to conduct ISR missions. The F/A-18 also used its advanced tactical data links and Boeing’s conceptual “Project Black Ice” crew vehicle interface, which significantly reduced aircrew workload.
    “Large swaths of ocean could be surveilled, identified and targeted when MQ-25 is teamed with carrier-based assets such as the E-2D or the land-based P-8A patrol aircraft,” said Don “BD” Gaddis, director, MQ-25 Advanced Design. “Through this demonstration, our customers saw how this digital, open approach to MUM-T is key to fielding critical warfighting capability at much lower cost and with greater speed and agility.”

    For example, the demonstration showed how both the P-8A and E-2D could easily task an MQ-25 teammate with an ISR mission specifying only the search area and no-fly zones. Using an onboard autonomy framework developed by Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, the MQ-25 autonomously did the rest – including validating the command against its operational constraints, planning its route and conducting its search pattern, among many other tasks.

    Aurora also created and demonstrated a prototype platform abstraction layer – a software boundary that decouples MQ-25’s flight safety and flight critical components from mission software and sensor hardware. This commercial best practice allows third-party “app” integration on MQ-25. Using an Aurora-provided software development kit, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division created a new radar search application for MQ-25 that was successfully used during the demonstration.

    “Aurora's robust software development kit enables our Navy teammates to rapidly integrate new capabilities,” said Graham Drozeski, vice president of Government Programs for Aurora Flight Sciences. “The platform abstraction demonstration met test objectives for resource sharing between multiple onboard systems and supervisors, and these efforts will greatly reduce government test and certification costs as new capabilities are added over time.”

    The demonstration was aligned to the future warfighting capabilities in the Navy’s Unmanned Campaign Framework. Boeing will continue to refine the autonomy, sensors, interface exchanges and crew vehicle interfaces required for MUM-T.

    As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity. Join our team and find your purpose at
    Gavião Peixoto, Brazil – September 5th, 2022 – Embraer has successfully completed the flight test of the certification campaign for the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS II), which provides the C-390 Millennium with the required capability to perform firefighting missions. The tests, carried out at the Embraer facility in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo State, in Brazil, represent an important advancement in the certification campaign of this capacity by the Brazilian Military Certification Authority (IFI). After certification, the firefighting capability will be available to aircraft's operators.

    The MAFFS II is a firefighting system capable of deploying up to 3,000 gallons of water (approximately 11,300 liters), both with and without fire retardant, according to the standard ground cover level criteria and in various types of terrain.
    Designed to interface with the aircraft’s Cargo Handling System (CHS), the MAFFS II is rapidly installed on the cargo compartment of the airplane, using only its own trailer. The system requires only aircraft power to operate.

    The conclusion of these tests, which included several in-flight water-drop, proved the system's ability to integrate with the aircraft, and demonstrated excellent aspects of flight quality and maneuverability, which are extremely necessary for this type of operation at low speeds.

    The C-390 Millennium and its air-to-air refueling configuration, the KC-390, are the new generation of multi-mission military transport aircraft delivering unrivaled mobility and cargo capacity, rapid re-configuration, high availability, improved comfort, as well as optimal management of reduced operational costs through its life cycle, all in a single platform.
    Royal Air Force personnel participating in Exercise Pitch Black are not limited to those aviators who have deployed to Australia with Typhoon and Voyager. Others embedded within the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) are also taking part with the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.
    7a Wedgetail
    Ahead of the delivery of the first RAF Wedgetail, a Seedcorn programme has been established with the RAAF which sees RAF maintainers, technicians, and aircrew embedding within 2 Squadron. The symbiotic relationship assists the RAAF with the delivery of E-7 capability and will provide a core of experienced personnel to operate Wedgetail at RAF Lossiemouth.

    The E-7A, which will be known as the Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning Mk1 in RAF service, provides long-range air surveillance and control of an area of operations. Sergeant Stew Harris, a Senior Surveillance and Control Officer, said: “On this exercise we’re here as the sole tactical command and control unit, operating with ground units and up to 60 aircraft every day including multiple air-air refuelling aircraft.”
    (Photos courtesy of the RAF)

  • U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, assigned to the 335th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, fly alongside Saudi Arabian Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles during an agile combat employment exercise Agile Spartan within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Sep. 5, 2022. Joint training enhances international partnership and interoperability in the interest of regional security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christian Sullivan)
    15E Strike Eagles
    Royal Australian Air Force Indigenous Youth Program members gather around a U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, Sept. 6, 2022. Local youths had the opportunity to learn about the aircraft and Exercise Pitch Black 2022 operations from U.S. Air Force pilots, maintainers and security forces members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Savannah L. Waters)

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Sept. 5, 2022) A Navy officer assigned to the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81, disembarks from a F/A-18E Super Hornet during a homecoming onboard Naval Air Station Oceana. VFA 81, attached to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, completed a nine-month deployment onboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and securityt. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Michael Botts/Released)
     VFA 81 Attached To Carrier Air Wing
    Two Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 Eagles escort a U.S. Air Force 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-52H Stratofortress over Saudi Arabia in support of a Bomber Task Force mission, Sep. 4, 2022. During the 22 and a half hour non-stop BTF mission, the B-52s were escorted by regional partner nations, enhancing regional stability and security through a show of combined strength and capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael A. Richmond)

    ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. – Sept. 7, 2022 – Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) LITENING advanced targeting pod has successfully completed its first test flights on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet. The Navy selected LITENING to replace the legacy targeting pods on the F/A-18 fleet in early 2022.

    “This first flight demonstrated LITENING’s ability to rapidly add modern, upgradeable mission capabilities to the Super Hornet,” said James Conroy, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman. “The pod’s digital video, autonomous target tracking, and laser sensors will give Naval aviators an entirely new set of capabilities for operations over land and sea today, and the growth capabilities built into LITENING’s modular design ensure that the pod can evolve to meet changing requirements.”

    During the flight, pilots executed maneuvers and operations representative of combat missions, including ground moving target tracking, air-to-air tracking and target designation. The pilots also engaged the eye-safe training laser mode that allows the pod to be used for realistic training with combat controllers on the ground. The pilots were able to carry out these operations without advance training, showing the ease of use that has been made possible by close collaboration with the aviation community.

    LITENING is currently in service with the Marine Corps, Air Force, Air National Guard and international customers. Northrop Grumman has delivered more than 900 LITENING pods.
    Northrop Grumman LITENING Targeting Pod Makes First Navy Super Hornet Flight
    Marignane, French helicopter operator HeliDax and Airbus Helicopters have signed the first-ever HCare Classics support contract to optimise the availability of HeliDax’s H120 fleet. HCare Classics is Airbus’ new support package entirely dedicated to meeting the support needs of the company’s out-of-production legacy helicopters.

    An H120 operator since 2008, HeliDax relies on its fleet of 36 H120s to provide basic and advanced training to the French and Belgian armed forces and the French Gendarmerie. Since the beginning of this partnership with the French government 14 years ago, HeliDax has maintained an availability level of 100% and has accumulated 246,000 hours of H120 flight time, training multiple generations of helicopter pilots. This translates to as many as 22,000 flight hours per year.

    HeliDax’s fleet is the largest in-service H120 fleet in the world today. With eight years remaining in the pilot training programme contract, HeliDax selected HCare Classics to benefit from the OEM’s guaranteed support performance.

    “To continue guaranteeing our fleet and service availability until the end of our contract with the government in 2030, it is essential to have a strong commitment from our major partner, Airbus Helicopters, in terms of support and obsolescence monitoring,” says Christian Prigentt, director of HeliDax. “The HCare Classics contract secures our supply chain and replaces our acquisition of safety stocks, whose quantities are based on estimates only without taking into account future logistical supply chain risks. In this respect, and thanks to its service, which is paid per flight hour, this contract will contribute directly to our management of maintenance costs, until the end of our agreement with the French government.”

    “HeliDax is a great example of the many customers who continue to operate legacy helicopters to perform essential missions, and we’re honored to extend our relationship with them via this support contract. Through HCare Classics, Airbus Helicopters secures the supply chain and ensures sufficient provision of spare parts, as well as other support options specifically tailored to meet the needs of these unique operators,” says Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “One example of how we approach the supply chain is by parting out aircraft as a means to inject parts into the pool, thus adding an important lever for sustainable life-cycle management of our fleet.”

    Today there are more than 2,000 legacy Airbus helicopters in service with approximately 750 operators around the world. These out-of-production aircraft include the H120, Dauphin, Puma and Gazelle and account for 15% of the flight hours generated by the entire Airbus Helicopters fleet.

    HCare Classics is a multi-service offering created to meet the customer’s operational needs. Customers choose the services they need, ranging from obsolescence monitoring and management to spare parts support and maintenance planning.

    HeliDax is based within the French Army Aviation’s school in Dax, France and is a full subsidiary of DCI Group
    7th Sept 2022
    BAE Systems has received a contract from Boeing to produce additional Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability Systems (EPAWSS) for U.S. F-15E and F-15EX Eagle aircraft – providing state-of-the-art situational awareness and self-defense capabilities. This contract brings the total contract value for EPAWSS production to $351 million.

    The Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) lot 2 contracts will initiate the production of additional EPAWSS systems and spares and the delivery of units for test and development. Under the contract, Boeing will continue to install EPAWSS on new F-15EXs and existing F-15Es – providing the jets with critical electromagnetic capabilities.

    “EPAWSS production is growing as the Department of Defense signals the long-term importance of F-15s to the strategic fleet,” said Bridget McDermott, EPAWSS LRIP program director at BAE Systems. “These aircraft bring speed, maneuverability, and payload to the fight, and now with EPAWSS, they can better detect and protect against modern threats.”

    LRIP lot 2 production follows BAE Systems’ successful delivery of the latest EPAWSS flight bundle software package, underscoring the company’s ability to rapidly update EPAWSS in the field and quickly deliver new capabilities to address new threats. The company’s test team has also demonstrated excellent radar-warning, geolocation, and countermeasure performance at large-force exercises, field demonstrations, and in laboratory settings where EPAWSS exceeded expectations in unique signal-dense environments.

    In July, after multiple successful test flights, exercises, and software updates, Boeing started EPAWSS modifications on two operational U.S. Air Force F-15Es. This achievement is a major milestone for the Air Force, Boeing, and BAE Systems, and significantly improves the survivability and combat effectiveness of the F-15 against advanced air defense systems in contested environments.

    EPAWSS is a pillar of BAE Systems’ EWX Extreme Electronic Warfare 2.0 strategy. The system’s development work supports the company’s broader EW portfolio of products, including its innovative Storm EW™ Modules, which accelerate the delivery of EW capabilities to the global fleet.

Moderator(s): Boelcke, Buhli, cheruskerarmin, Cpt_Farrel, Duggy, Graf, Gumpy, Hayate, HBPencil, HEERDT, Jarink, Jaypack44, Juri_JS, kristorf, mapal, MarcoPegase44, monguse, PatCartier, PIPS, RAF_Loke, Rudi_Jaeger, Tailhook, Tomi_099, US_Grant