Military aviation news - November 2005
Jordan buys three Dutch F-16B MLUs
Jordan's prince Feisal bin AL-Hussein and Dutch secretary of state Van der Knaap signed a letter of intent this morning for the sale of three Dutch F-16s to the Royal Jordanian Air Force. Full story at F-16.net.
Posted: Tue, Nov 21, 2005 6:25 PM (CET)
18 November 2005 - Eurofighter Typhoon Achieves First 5,000 Hours in Operational Flying
The Eurofighter fleet in the four Partner Air Forces has surpassed the 5,000 flying hour mark early November 2005. The nations had started taking delivery of aircraft at the end of 2003. With production running up during 2004, the air forces introduced Eurofighter Typhoon into service in spring 2004. At the end of 2004 they operated 30 aircraft.
At this very early operational flying phase the air forces focused on evaluation of procedures in ground and flying operation, logistic processes and most importantly training of air and ground crew. Some of the aircraft were and still are used for maintenance training.
Today 59 production aircraft have been delivered to the four air forces directly. Five Instrumented Production Aircraft, owned by the nations, have been delivered but are operated by industry for the development Eurofighter Typhoon’s future capabilities together with six Development Aircraft. This fleet of test aircraft has achieved a total of more than 4,000 flying hours also by the end of October 2005.
Thus the international Eurofighter fleet is now approaching the first 10,000 flying hour mark.
The four air forces plan to go operational with armed aircraft flying in 2006. The Italian Air Force plans to go to QRA in the beginning of next year, the German Air Force, the Royal Air Force and the Spanish Air Force to follow in summer.
The Royal Air Force has already fired ASRAAM missiles and carried AMRAAM
Source and further info at www.eurofighter.com
Posted: Tue, Nov 18, 2005 6:29 PM (CET)
Delivery of Taurus Systems KEPD 350 cruise missiles this month
The German air force will receive its first of 600 Taurus Systems KEPD 350 cruise missiles this month, following successful flight testing in South Africa. The weapons will initially equip Germany’s Panavia Tornado strike aircraft. Spain has signed a contract for 43 KEPD 350s.
The KEPD 350 stand-off weapon system is a joint venture between LFK GmbH (LFK) and Saab Bofors Dynamics AB (SBD). The company TAURUS Systems GmbH (TSG) was registered 1998 and is owned to 67% by LFK and 33% by SBD.
TSG is together with its owner companies developing the KEPD 350 under contract with the German MoD. The TAURUS KEPD 350 is a high precision stand-off weapon system designed to penetrate dense air-defences and neutralise high-value stationary and semi-stationary targets.
Posted: Thu, Nov 17, 2005 5:46 PM (CET)
Norwegian F-16s for ISAF in Afghanistan
Norway is to send 3 to 4 F-16 aircraft to Afghanistan for a period of three months in spring 2006. The aircraft will be under the command of ISAF and will be stationed in Kabul.
The Norwegian contribution will form part of the F-16 cooperation agreed between a number of European countries. Full story at F-16.net.
Posted: Wed, Nov 16, 2005 10:15 PM (CET)
New air-to-air missiles for the Royal Norwegian Air Force
It's 25 years since Norway purchased F-16 fighter jets. With its young age the planes are as potent as they can be. The IRIS-T missile is on its way as a replacement for the outdated Sidewinder missile.
The Norwegian fighter aircraft will be greatly improved in the air-to-air role with this new IRIS-T missile. The new missile and the helmet-mounted-sight has a cost limit of about 1.4 billion norwegian kroner (~ $209 million). The upgrade will be a big improvement for the pilots and Norway's capability to maintain airspace supervision. The missile is scheduled for operational deployment in August 2006. Full story here.
Posted: Sat, Nov 05, 2005 1:23 AM (CET)
Pakistan will postpone the purchase of F-16s
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf says he will postpone the purchase of F-16. He said Pakistan needs to focus on reconstruction in the wake of the quake that killed more than 70,000 people. Full story at F-16.net
Posted: Fri, Nov 04, 2005 8:49 PM (CET)
Gripens march on
South Africa’s more than $2.2 billion air force modernisation process made a significant advance late last month, with the roll-out of the country’s first of 28 Saab Gripen C/D multirole fighters. To undertake its first flight in mid-November, the aircraft will initially remain at Saab’s Linköping facility to support test activities in Sweden and South Africa until late 2007. The manufacturer expects to complete assembly of the South African Air Force’s second Gripen in March 2007 and start deliveries in March 2008. Full story at Flight International.com