Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) are conducting extensive testing toward the program's main milestone - declaring Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VFMA-121) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma - the first Marine Corps F-35 unit 'operational ready' by the end of July 2015. Although only the USMC unit flying F-35B is due for this clearance, some of the testings are done on the Air Force's F-35A and Navy F-35Cs, since many of elements of the different variants, particularly the software versions - are identical. This procedure was recently highlighted by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) in his annual report.
The Colombian Air Force (FAC) has reportedly grounded its entire fleet of Kfir C-10 jet fighters following a crash of one of the aircraft. According to Colombian sources, the J79-GE J1EQD engines powering the Kfir are believed to have caused four accidents involving the Kfir TC12/C10, in a series of accidents that claimed the life of one pilot.
The Japan Ministry of Defense has selected the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, both produced by Northrop Grumman. According to the Japanese multi-year defense plan, the four E-2D will replace the E-2Cs currently operational, providing aerial surveillance for the Japanese military.
After 32 years of frustrating development, Hindustan Aeronautics yesterday delivered the initial, semi-operational, Tejas – the first modern, light combat aircraft designed and built (almost) entirely in India.
France and Egypt are ‘close to agreement’ on a large scale arms deal that could cost 5-6 billion Euros and include naval vessels and fighter aircraft, La Tribune reports. The French proposal includes two FREMM multi-mission frigates worth 1.8 billion Euro, to be built by DCNS, and 20 Rafale combat aircraft from Dassault, worth 3.6 billion Euro. Both platforms will be armed with missile systems manufactured by MBDA.
The tri-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program returns to the Polish air defense arena, positioned as a candidate for the Polish for Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) requirement. MEADS is now positioned to fulfill three European programs, in Germany, Italy and Poland.
Elbit Systems Ltd. announced today that it was awarded an approximately $100 million contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) to procure six new AT-802F firefighting aircraft and operate the firefighting squadron, which will consist of a total of 14 aircraft.