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US defence act budgets nearly $40bn for 413 new aircraft
President Donald Trump signed the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act into law on 13 August, budgeting $39.5 billion for the purchase of 413 new aircraft. The largest appropriation for a single aircraft type is $7.6 billion to procure 77 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters; $4.2 billion to procure 48 F-35As for the US Air Force; $2.3 billion to procure 20 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps; and $1.1 billion to procure nine F-35Cs for the US Navy.
Singapore joins ranks of A330 MRTT operators
The Singapore air force’s first Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) has arrived in the country. Images posted on social media show the aircraft landing at Changi International Airport, adjacent to the Changi West air base where the nation's Boeing KC-135R tankers are stationed.
The F-35 Is One of the Deadliest Fighter Jets on the Planet (And Now One of the Safest)
The Air Force will soon operate F-35s with fast-evolving collision-avoidance technology able to help fighter jets avoid ground collisions by using computer automation to redirect an aircraft in the event that a pilot is injured or incapacitated.
Dogfight: Russia's 'Stealth' Su-57 vs. Su-35 (Who Wins?)
The Russians seem to recognize that the initial version of the Su-57 will not offer a particularly more useful capability than the Su-35. Moscow only plans to purchase a dozen of the initial AL-41F1-powered version of the Su-57.
UK Unveils New Unmanned Fighter Aircraft For Future Warfare
Britain has recently showcased their latest creation which aims to dominate the skies in the future. The fighter jet is named The Tempest, and it is co-developed by British aerospace companies BAE Systems Plc, Rolls Royce Holdings, MBDA UK and Anglo-Italian firm Leonardo SpA.
Boeing to convert F/A-18 E/Fs into Blue Angels
Boeing was awarded $17 million to convert nine F/A-18E and two F/A-18F aircraft into Blue Angel demonstration aircraft. The Super Hornets are to replace the squadron’s McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets, which have been in use since 1986. The retrofit work will be done in St. Louis, Missouri and is expected to be finished in December 2021, according to the notice posted online 13 August.
Air Force Research Lab developing anti-laser glasses and visors for pilots
The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) granted a $49.1 million contract to UES Inc. to help research and develop technologies to counter laser attacks on aircraft. Laser attacks are rising this year as China’s military forces have allegedly used beams to blind and harass US military pilots flying near Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea and a military base in Djibouti, according to the Department of Defense.
Black Hawk deal could lift Latvian military
Latvia could advance its armed forces modernisation programme via a four-aircraft purchase of Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, after the US Department of State gave its approval to a potential deal.
The RAAF’s Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) deployment to the Middle East under Operation Okra has marked 100 million pounds (over 45,000 metric tonnes) of fuel offloaded during air-to-air refuelling operations. Since September 2014, the RAAF had maintained a single KC-30A from Amberley-based 33SQN in the Persian Gulf region to support an RAAF Air Task Group and coalition aircraft on combat operations up into Iraq and Syria.
F-15Cs Intercept Stolen DASH-8 Airliner out of Seattle Tacoma Airport Before Crash.
In a bizarre incident originating from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state an Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 twin-engine turboprop commuter airliner was commandeered by a lone male, reported to be an airport maintenance worker, and crashed into the ground on Ketron Island, which is southwest of Tacoma, in south Puget Sound. There were no passengers on board the aircraft. Ketron Island has only about 20 year-round residents according to news outlets.
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