Air International 2019-03
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A KC-135 Stratotanker boom plugged into an F-15C Eagle during aerial refuelling on a mission from Kadena Air Base, Japan. This particular F-15C, serial number 81-0035, was built over 35 years ago. It’s an old jet and would be very costly, if not ineffective, to upgrade. Replacement with a new F-15X may well be the solution to re-arm the US Air Force with a fleet of new air dominance fighters.
Airmen perform post flight checks on an F-15C Eagle at Amendola Air Base, Italy during NATO's Tactical Leadership Programme course 18-4. Could the US Air Force buy new F-15X Eagles to plug its air dominance gap?
According to the accident report, the collision and subsequent crash of ALAT Gazelles 4209 and 4212 in 2018 identified several causes that led to the accident, killing five experienced pilots.
Besides a permanent deployment in Jordan, French Rafales have carried out three long-distance deployments since last September: Australia and South-East Asia, Reunion and French Guiana.
The first Airbus Defence and Space CN235 modified by ATK and the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau as an AC-235 light gunship has been delivered to Jordan. It is armed with a side-mounted M230LF link-fed 30mm chain gun plus AGM-114M/K Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and 2.75in rockets carried on stub-wings on the main landing gear fairing. An electro-optical targeting system, laser designator, synthetic aperture radar and self-defence suite (AN/AAR-47 and AN/ALE-47) have been integrated on the former Ejercito del Aire (Spanish Air Force) transports. Handover of the first AC-235 was announced by ATK on May 1, 2014 and the aircraft debuted at the 10th Special Operations Conference and Exhibition in Amman, Jordan, five days later.
The MIG-35 is set to undergo a slow start in both production and introduction to RuASF service. Only six aircraft are expected to have entered service by the end of 2019; 14 more are expected be ordered in 2020, deemed enough to equip the first front-line squadron.
THE FIRST of four Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports was delivered to the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) in January 2019 and local media reports suggest that the first of the country's Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning Ils will follow in March 2019.
Textron Aviation's AT-6 Wolverine is one of two contenders in the yet-to-be-launched Light Attack System programme.
Maintenance of the ALAT Fennec fleet will be outsourced to Heli Dax.
The Orion UAV's test and evaluation programme went fairly smoothly and the new system is expected to enter experimental service in 2019. Fielding of the armed derivative is believed to be a few years away.
One of two contenders in the yet-to-be-launched Light Attack System programme, is the Embraer-Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano.
The first KC-46A Pegasus tanker lands at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas on January 25, 2019.