Military Aviation

Military aviation news - April 2006

Jordan snaps up more surplus F-16s

Jordan has signed a letter of intent to acquire a further 20 secondhand Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM fighters from Belgium and the Netherlands, with deliveries expected during 2008. Belgium will supply 12 surplus aircraft under the proposed deal, with the Royal Netherlands Air Force – which last November sold an initial three two-seat F-16BMs to Jordan – to transfer five single-seat fighters and another three trainers. If confirmed, the sale will complete a Dutch programme to dispose of 29 redundant F-16s, with Chile having acquired 18 aircraft last December.


Posted: Tue, Apr 25, 2006 15:07 (CET)

Dutch target new F-16 upgrade

The Dutch defence ministry has launched a programme which will lead to the upgrade of many of its remaining Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM fighters to an M5 software standard in the 2009-10 timeframe.

The planned modifications are expected to enable the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s F-16s to continue operations until at least 2020, while development of the replacement Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues.

All the details at

Posted: Tue, Apr 25, 2006 15:05 (CET)

Pakistan shops for F-16s and J-10s

Pakistan has unveiled plans to acquire 18 new Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds and 26 used F-16A/Bs as part of a major expansion of its fighter fleet, which will also include Chinese Chengdu FC-1s and potentially Chengdu J-10s.

Industry sources say Islamabad is preparing a letter of request for 18 Block 52 F-16C/Ds plus 18 options. The document is expected to be sent to Washington within the next few weeks, with Congress to be notified of the pending deal by late May. Sources say a letter of agreement could be signed late this year for deliveries from 2009.

Full story at

Posted: Tue, Apr 25, 2006 14:58 (CET)

JSF team finishes F-35 structural testing early, begins ground-vibration testing

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter team successfully completed structural-coupling testing five days ahead of schedule on the first F-35, and moved on to the next scheduled series of ground tests. The F-35's first flight is planned for this fall.

Full story and photos at

Posted: Tue, Apr 18, 2006 13:44 (CET)

Pakistan's cabinet approves F-16 purchase

Pakistan's cabinet last night gave approval to the country's air force to begin negotiations for the acquisition of up to 77 F-16 jet fighters from the US.

It is not clear yet whether the supply itself will be made by the U.S. or if the F-16s will be acquired from a third country nor when the aircraft would be delivered.

In addition to old A and B versions the deal will also include some newer C and D versions of the F-16.

Full story over at

Posted: Sat, Apr 15, 2006 17:17 (CET)

EADS reveals details of Eurofighter Typhoon offer to Norway to replace JSF order

EADS Military Air Systems has confirmed that last last month in Oslo it presented a "tailored offer" for increased Norwegian industrial participation in the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft programme tied to the Nordic nation's potential purchase of the type.

EADS says its offer is the reply to a request for information from the Norwegian government and comes as Oslo is expressing serious reservations over its lack of industrial participation in the Lockheed martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme.

EADS says the offer "includes numerous opportunities for participation" tied to possible purchase the aircraft, including "tailored delivery and payment terms as well as a variety of options for active involvement of Norwegian industry in Eurofighter technologies and offset offers".

All the details at

Posted: Fri, Apr 7, 2006 15:03 (CET)

Turkey orders JSOW missiles for its F-16s

Turkey has ordered a batch of Raytheon's Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), the first international sale of the air-launched missile booked by the U.S. defense contractor.

Raytheon received a foreign military sales contract from the Naval Air Systems Command for procurement of JSOW AGM-154 A-1 with the BLU-111 warhead and JSOW AGM-154 C with the Broach warhead.

The JSOW will be deployed with the Turkish air force's F-16 fleet as a long-range weapon against enemy anti-aircraft installations and other hardened or soft targets.

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Posted: Fri, Apr 7, 2006 14:56 (CET)

Belgian Air Force buys eight Sniper XR targeting pods

Under an agreement with Lockheed Martin, the Belgian ministry of defence signed an agreement for the purchase of 8 Pantera targeting pods to boost up the existing supply of 8 Lantirn pods already in use with the Belgian Air Component.

Belgium is the second European country to select the Pantera pod for its F-16AM fleet as part of the ongoing MLU program, following Norway who acquired it in 2002.

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Posted: Fri, Apr 7, 2006 14:54 (CET)

Gripen targets Nordic JSF states

Swedes lobby Norway and Denmark to join Saab JAS39 industrial programme as discontent with F-35 grows.

Gripen takeoff
All Weather Fighter JAS-39 Gripen

Gripen International has proposed a common Nordic industrial programme for further development of the Swedish Saab JAS39 fighter as the centrepiece of its responses to tender requests from Denmark and Norway. Both countries are conducting formal competitions in the lead-up to decisions later this year on whether to commit to procurement of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or acquire alternative aircraft.

Norway is a key battleground for Lockheed as it tries to keep all eight international participants in JSF system development and demonstration (SDD) on board for the production, sustainment and follow-on development (PSFD) phase. Norwegian industry discontent with their participation has fuelled political opposition to the JSF.

For the full story go to

Posted: Mon, Apr 4, 2006 20:50 (CET)

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