Air International 2018-04
News by countries
More than 100 Su-30SMs have been delivered to the RuASF and RNA with production set to continue until the early 2020s. The number of Su-35s taken on strength by early 2018 was 68.
Barely noticed by the public, the J-16 entered service with several front-line brigades. Known so far are the 9th, 66th, 98th and 172nd Brigades with the 40th said to be under conversion.
This image from February 2018 shows the PLAAF is introducing a medium-grey, low-visibility colour scheme with toned-down insignias and serial numbers - or this aircraft is the first for the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force.
The RVV-SD active radar-guided missile is officially in the Su-30SM's arsenal.
For the first time, Chinese media officially confirmed the operational use of Su-35 fighters during an exercise flown over the South China Sea.
A row of TH-57 Sea Ranger helicopters at Naval Air Station Whiting Field. During the advanced flight training phase of a two-year-long flight school course, future pilots train for 7-8 months in the TH-57, learning aircraft systems and avionics, routine and emergency procedures, flight planning, risk management techniques, and earning their instrument rating, which allows them to fly in clouds and restricted visibility.
HH-60H Seahawks assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 (HSC-85) conduct desert landing training near El Centro, California. HSC-85 provides dedicated rotary wing support to US Special Operations Command worldwide.
Operating from Amari Air Base, Estonia, an Aeronautica Militare Italiano F-2000A shadows a Russian Air and Space Force Il-18D Bison electronic intelligence surveillance aircraft on March 2, 2018.
Four Aeronautica Militare Italiano Eurofighter F-2000A Typhoons on the flight line at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California at the start of a two-month detachment for Blazing Shield 2018.
The Su-34 is the backbone of the RuASF frontal bomber force and deliveries of 122 production-standard aircraft are set to continue until 2019, with new orders likely by 2020.
Quite surprisingly, the PLAAF confirmed delivery of J-20 fighters assigned to a front-line unit. However, so far all aircraft shown in images released are from the 66th Brigade.
An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 137 (VFA-137) 'Kestrels' makes an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) when underway in the South China Sea.
An F/A-18C Hornet receives fuel from a KC-10 Extender. According to a March 6, 2018 report in the Navy Times, the US Navy is planning to strike 136 F/A-18A, F/A-18B, F/A-18C and F/A-18D Hornets from the inventory, and thereby save nearly $1 billion in maintenance costs between 2019 and 2023, and accelerate transition to Super Hornets. In addition, the Navy plans to use the retired aircraft as a spares source, and transfer the best remaining legacy Hornets to the US Marine Corps in a bid to improve its readiness. According to the report, four F/A-18-equipped squadrons will transition to newer aircraft by the end of 2019.
An Aeronautica Militare Italiano F-35A Lightning II in a purpose-built hangar at Amendola Air Base Italy.