Tag Archives: Fighter aircraft

​US to deliver F-35 jets to Israel to maintain military edge

Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

US Vice President Joe Biden said that Israel will be getting a shipment of the United States’ new F-35 fighter jet so that its military can retain its “qualitative edge” in the Middle East.

Biden made the announcement in Washington, DC while giving a speech during a celebration of Israel’s Independence Day, Reuters reported. The relationship between Israel and the US has been strained over the past few years due to disagreements about Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories and Iran’s nuclear program, but the two nations continue to maintain strong military ties.

“Next year we will deliver to Israel the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, our finest, making Israel the only country in the Middle East to have this fifth-generation aircraft,” Biden said.

According to Haaretz, the deal involves Israel purchasing 14 F-35 jets for $110 million each. That is in addition to a previous agreement in 2010 that saw Israel agree to buy 19 jets. The first two planes are set to arrive in Israel in 2016, with the others making their way into the country by 2021.

While the US has invested a lot of time and money into the high-tech, high-powered F-35, questions remain about its effectiveness. The trillion-dollar program has suffered numerous setbacks over the years and issues continue to crop up.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives’ Armed Services Committee learned that the jet’s software maintenance system gives false-positive readings 80 percent of the time. The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is meant to flag issues with the plane so that maintenance teams can repair them, but Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told lawmakers it still “has a long way to go.”

“We have taken steps in the last two years to change fundamentally the way we develop ALIS, but it takes time to realize those results,” Bogdan said, though he added that the software is not a central part of the plane. A smaller version is being developed that should be ready in July.

Before that, news reports stated that a computer glitch kept the aircraft’s four-barreled rotary cannon from firing, potentially delaying the jet from being fully operational until 2019.

Last year, the vice president of the Super Hornet and Growler programs at Boeing – a rival of Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F-35 – questioned the stealth capabilities of the jet, arguing that it’s not as effective against Chinese and Russian air defense systems as other aircraft are.

 

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UK scrambles jets to intercept Russian planes in intl airspace over Baltic

Royal Air Force Typhoons

Typhoon fighter jets from the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) were launched to intercept a number of Russian aircraft which were carrying out a routine training mission, as part of NATO’s ongoing mission to police Baltic airspace.

On Tuesday the British jets identified a number of Russian aircraft, including four Sukhoi Su27 fighters, a Tupolev 22 bomber, a Beriev A50 early warning aircraft and an Antonov An26 transport aircraft, the RAF reported.

The Russian aircraft appeared to be carrying out routine training.

Wing Commander Ian Townsend said that this was also a routine deployment for his aircraft.

“We regularly intercept Russian and civilian aircraft from UK Quick Reaction Alert and so this type of mission is core business for us and exactly what we were sent to the Baltic region by NATO to do,” he said as quoted by the Royal Air Force website.

Flight Lieutenant Mark Long, one of the pilots of the Typhoons also remarked that there was nothing unusual about the interception.

“Todays’ interception of the Russian Flankers [SU27 fighters] is all in a day’s work for an RAF fighter pilot,” he said.

The increased military activity in the Baltic region comes after 10 NATO countries launched Sabre Strike, along with Baltic Host 2014 and Baltops 2014 naval drills. Up to 4,700 troops and 800 military vehicles are taking part.

READ ALSO: Tanks, troops, jets: NATO countries launch full-scale war games in Baltic

In response, Russia, which sees NATO as a threat, ordered military exercise in the Kaliningrad region, which are comparable in size to the NATO war games.

Confirmed: Ukrainian air force fired over 150 missiles at Lugansk, bombed admin HQ

Kiev has admitted showering the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets “fired more than 150 missiles” in Monday’s military action.

DEATH TOLL: 181 people killed, 293 injured in Kiev military op

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also confirmed on Tuesday that the deadly explosion at the city’s administrative building was indeed an airstrike. Kiev has so far denied the responsibility for the incident, saying its forces “do not target” civilian areas.

The OSCE Ukrainian mission’s daily report stated that “on June 2, around 15:00 local time missiles hit the building of the regional government administration. According to the observers’ data, the strike was carried out with non-guided missiles launched from an aircraft.”

According to an earlier statement by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the intense bombing in Lugansk area was meant to “support the Ukrainian Border Guards,” which the local militia have been trying to take under control.

“All in all, for fulfilling the combat support of the Ukrainian border guards the army aviators fired more than 150 missiles, carried out three jet sorties and five helicopter sorties,” the statement says.

The air support was backed by fighter jets launching decoy flares to prevent the attacking aircraft from being targeted from the ground.

According to the ministry, two self-defense checkpoints were destroyed in the attack.

Not all the Monday fighting was on the outskirts of Lugansk, apparently, as one Ukrainian missile hit the occupied Lugansk administration building, killing at least eight civilians inside and nearby. Some Kiev politicians have laid the blame on the self-defense forces for the “blast,” which has undoubtedly been confirmed as an airstrike by the accounts of witnesses and the CCTV footage from the scene.

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UK jets scrambled to see off two ‘Russian bombers’ near Scotland

Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers

Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers

The UK on Wednesday scrambled several Typhoon fighter jets to see off two “unidentified aircraft flying near the north of Scotland,” a UK Defense Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters.

The agency said Britain’s Royal Air Force later identified the aircraft as Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers, commonly known by their NATO reporting name “Bear.

” The planes “were flying in international airspace at all times, they didn’t go into UK sovereign airspace,” the spokeswoman said, adding that there had been eight similar incidents in 2013.

Local media reports claimed that two Russian bombers turned away and flew towards Scandinavia after being contacted by the British jets.

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