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Military aviation news: October 2015
 
Oct 30:

The Sierra Nevada Corp. received an FMS contract for six A-29 aircraft to be delivered to Lebanon. Order includes support equipment.

Oct 28:

Another milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A (Airbus D&S A330MRTT). The tanker is equipped with both a boom and drogue & hose refuelling systems. During a coalliton operation over Iraq last week it used its boom for the first time to refuel a E-7A Wedgetail (Boeing B-737AEW) aircraft.

Oct 27:

The US Department of Defense announced that the contract for the new Long Range Stealth Bomber (LRS-B) was awarded to Northrop Grumman. The LRS-B is designed to replace the B-52H and the B-2A. Contract is divided into 2 parts: an EMD (Engineering and Manufacturing Development) phase with the second part consisting of five production lots. These production lots will produce 21 bombers. Ultimately the USAF plans to order 100 bombers.
Northrop Grumman won the contract from its competitors Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon who teamed to submit its bid for the LRS-B program.

While conduction a mission over the North Sea a F-16AM of the Danish Air Force crashed. The pilot just his ejection seat and was rescue and taken to a hospital. The loss of the F-16 is the tenth of the type: six F-16A, three F-16B and the F-16AM.

Lockheed Martin delivered amother two MC-130J's. One will be based at Kadena AB, Japan with the other one being based in Europa at RAF Mildenhall, UK.

The CH-53K King Stallion manufactured by Sikorsky made a succesful first flight. Four helicopters will be used for the flight test program with 2.000 flight hours to be made and lasting three years. EMD-1 (Engineering Development Model-1) flew the first 30 minutes conducting hover, foreward, rearward and sideward flight. The new CH-53K which externally look the same but will offer a higher payload but internally will receive a glass cockpit, fly-by-wire and other upgrades. The King Stallion will be delivered to the US Marine Corps with an expected initial operational capability in 2019. In total ten squadrons are planned to be equipped with the CH-53K consisting of eight active duties units and the remaing two divivided between a training reserve unit squadron. 200 helicopters are expected to enter service.

Oct 24:

The Netherlands is reviewing its participation in the EU operation countering piracy near Somalia. The current end date for the Dutch operation is at the end of 2015. New request will be closely reviewed due to the high demand on the Royal Netherlands Navy. Ocean patrol vessel Zr. Ms. Groningen is currently deployed with 98 crewmembers. Deployed with the ship is one NH90-NHF from 860 Squadron Defence Helicopter Command.

Oct 23:

A Spanish Air Force AS.332 Super Puma crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, 800km from Gran Canaria, while enroute from Senegal to the Canary Islands. The helicopter refuelled in Mauritania before continuining its journey. The three person crew onboard were rescues by a ship of the Royal Moroccan Gendarmarie.

Update Oct 30: The reported rescue turned out to be a mistake. All three crewmembers were found in the wreckage after it was located.

Oct 22:

The first MH-60R for Denmark has been delivered to the US Navy by Lockheed Martin. The helicopter will commence a serie of test flights to validate the Danish configuration. In the second quarter of 2016 it will be delivered to Denmark with all nine aircraft delivered in 2018.

Oct 21 :

Just after take-off from RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom a F/A-18C Hornet from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232) crashed. VMFA-232 is based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California and completed its deployment in the Middle East. The aircraft was part of a cell of six aircraft with the other five diverting into RAF Lossiemouth Scotland after the crash. The pilot didn't survive the accident.

Oct 20:


New fighter competition for Canada after elections. The conservative government intend a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II purchase which the liberal party, election winnars, promised to cancel stating stealth first-strike capability to defend Canada is not needed. A new (immediate) competition will be opened.

A USAF F-16 had to jettison its fuel tanks and munition after being hit by enemy fire during a mission in Eastern Afghanistan. The incident took place on Tuesday October 13. The aircraft safely returned to its base.

Oct 15:

The Spanish Air Force is scheduled to receive its first Airbus D&S A400M in the second quarter of 2016. Spain will become the six country to operate the transport aircraft with Belgium and Luxembourg to receive their first aircraft in 2018. Construction number MSN44 is assigned to Spain and its wings arrived on October 14 at Airbus D&S Sevilla plant aftere being shipped from the UK to France and from there airfreighted by a companies Beluga to Sevilla. MSN44 will shortly enter final assembly followed by test flights to prepare the aircraft for delivery to the Spanish Air Force.

Oct 14:

A F/A-18D Hornet of the Swiss Air Force crashed during a training sortie with F-5s in France. The sole pilot survived. Eight two-seat Hornets were purchased by Switzerland. Today's crash is the third F/A-18D loss.

Oct 12:

A RAF Puma HC2 crashed while landing in Afghanistan. Five people, including two RAF personnel, were killed with another five persons injured.

Oct 09:

The RAF fleet of Airbus D&S Atlas C1 (A400M) operated by LXX Squadron celebrated 1.000 flight hours. Currently five Atlas C1 (22 ordered) have been delivered to RAF Brize-Norton home to the RAF transport and AAR aircraft.

Oct 7:

The US State department approved the sale of four MQ-9 (Block 5) Reapers to Spain. After approval from the US Congress the deal can be concluded which will include associated equipment, spares etc. The Spanish Air Force intends to use the MQ-9s for homeland security, peacekeeping, peace enforcement, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism operations.

Oct 6:


Turkey reports another violation orgination from Syria. F-16s are flying Combat Air Patrol (CAP) missions to protect Turkey. One or more have been threathend by a Mig-29 Fulcrum. The Syrian Air Force operates Fulcrums, the Russian Air Force also has the Mig-29 on strenght but the type has not been deployed to Syria. Apart from the Air-to-Air thread the Turkish F-16s were also engaged by a ground based air defence unit. Since the weekend of October 3 /4 the Turkish government reports violations of its airspace or locks by air of ground units from Syria.

Oct 5:


Turkish Air Force F-16s were scrambled to intercept a Russian aircraft violeting Turkish air space. The Russian Air Force deployed Su-24, Su-25 and Su-34 fighter/bombers to Latakia in Syria to attack terrorist organisations.
Turkish F-16C 192 Filo.

The F-35C Lightning II development aircraft assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX 23), nicknamed Salty Dogs, deployed to the US Navy aircraft USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. The deployment is made for further testing of the aircraft during carrier operations.


Oct 3:

The Royal Air Force received its fifth Atlas C1 (Airbus D&S A400M) yesterday. Aircraft ZM406 was delivered by 206 (R) Squadron to RAF Brize-Norton.

Oct 02:

An USAF C-130J crashed in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan near Jalalabad airport killing eleven persons onboard. Four airman, two pilots and two loadmasters, were assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron / 317th Airlift Group based at Dyess AFB Texas. The other two airman were assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron based at Hanscom AFB Massachusetts. Five civilians also didn't survive the crash. The airman and Hercules assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. The cause of the crash is being investigated. (Note: cause of the accident is unknown at the time but not believed to be a result of enemy fire (source CNN news).
 
It's the second Super Hercules (C-130J and variants) crash for the USAF, the first loss occured on May 19th, 2013 and involved a C-130J-30.

More then 300 Super Hercules have been delivered. Including the crash on October 2 six aircraft haven been lost (India, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom 1 and the United States 2).
C-130J.30 USAFE (unit not involved in the crash.
 
 
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