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3/30/2015
Aviation is fast approaching the post-pilot era
Every day, dozens of unmanned jet aircraft as big as private business jets take off from airports scattered around the globe. They fly for thousands of kilometres, staying aloft for as long as 36 hours, often changing course to cope with unexpected developments, before returning to land. To call them drones grossly understates the sophistication, safety and cost-effectiveness of autonomous and remotely piloted aircraft.
3/30/2015
Italian Military, Industry Eye Tilt-rotors
In the time it took Boeing and the US Marines to develop and put into service the Osprey tilt-rotor helicopter, Italy's AgustaWestland has lingered over development of its own, smaller tilt-rotor, prompting questions about the fate of the program. Initially developed in partnership with Bell, the AW609 has racked up test flights and turned into an all-Italian program after the US firm went its separate way.
3/30/2015
Uncertain of Obama, Arab States Gear Up for War
Few organizations boast a reputation of dysfunction comparable to the Arab League’s. Over seven decades the Arab League has distinguished itself through infighting and fecklessness. But now, with the Obama administration seen as missing in action in the Middle East, the alliance of 22 countries is undergoing a renaissance. Over the weekend, the Arab League met in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and endorsed the creation of an intervention force to fight terrorism in the Middle East.
3/30/2015
Japan Weighs Options To Boost ASW Skills
Japan's growing need to improve its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities to counter quieter Chinese submarines in littoral waters could set off a three-way race between an upgraded indigenous platform against longer-term solutions, analysts said. Last August, the Defense Ministry decided to start replacing its aging fleet of 46 SH-60J and 39 SH-60K Seahawk helicopters, providing an initial ¥7 billion (US $57.6 million) as part of a ¥48.1 billion development project.
3/30/2015
Iraqi army weighs cost of U.S.-led strikes in Tikrit as militiamen leave
In the makeshift Iraqi army command headquarters for the operation to clear Tikrit, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim reads out the coordinates for targets that planes from the U.S.-led coalition are to strike: the local council building, the teacher’s institute, a local mall. As he speaks, other planes find their mark, and the headquarters, a former chemical engineering building at the city’s university, shudders from the reverberations.
3/30/2015
Boosting Copter Capabilities
The US Army's effort to improve the operational capabilities of its rotorcraft fleet through the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) is heading for preliminary design requests in May as it aims for a 2023 production goal. After the May requests, contracts are expected to be awarded to the two competitors in March 2016, a request for proposals issued for the engineering and manufacturing design phase in early 2017.
3/30/2015
Canadian pilots face unprecedented anti-aircraft risk in Syria
How to avoid missile batteries and navigate defensive radar systems in Syria are among the issues preoccupying military planners as Parliament debates the merits of expanding and extending Canada’s Middle East mission. So far, the debate among MPs has revolved around the need for a broader military mission in Iraq and the legality of extending air strikes to include that country’s troubled neighbour.
3/30/2015
US, Ukrainian Inspectors to Fly Over Russia Under Open Skies Treaty
American and Ukrainian specialists will fly over the territory of Russia and Belarus under the Treaty on Open Skies on March 30 — April 4, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center has announced. "Within the framework of the international Treaty on Open Skies a US mission with the participation of Ukrainian representatives plans to conduct an observation flight over the territory of a group of participating states.
3/29/2015
U.S. Navy rescues 2 Saudi pilots who ejected from F-15 aircraft
The U.S. Navy rescued two Saudi Arabia air force pilots from the Gulf of Aden, a U.S. military official said Friday. The pilots had ejected from their F-15 aircraft after it suffered mechanical failure, Saudi officials told U.S. sources. The two were not seriously injured. The USS Sterett, a guided-missile destroyer, coordinated the search, while the USS New York looked for the men. A rescue helicopter flew from Djibouti to retrieve them on Thursday.
3/29/2015
Seaplane Could Advance Chinese SCS Claims
A new Chinese-built seaplane could help seal Beijing's control over its claims in the South China Sea (SCS), say military specialists on China. The Jiaolong (Water Dragon) AG600, under construction by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), will be China's largest operational seaplane. CAIGA did not respond to inquiries after the company's announcement on March 17 that it had completed the front fuselage assembly for the prototype.
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