Home Exercises and reports Aircraft Countries Air Show News Publications Contact
Military aviation news: January 2016
Jan 30:

After the weekly ministerial meeting the Dutch government announced yesterday that the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s currently conducting anti ISIL operations over Iraq will extend their operations over Eastern Syria. The decision was welcomed by the US Dept. of Defence who together with France requested an extension of the current RNLAF operations. The detachment comprised of six F-16s (four to fly the missions and two spare aircraft) and operated under the name Task Force Middle East will conduct air strike until June 30. From July 1st they will be succeeded by Belgian Air Component F-16s with TFME returning home. The second half of 2016 will be spend on maintenance and training and a work-up period to be ready to start the Baltic Air Policing missions from January 2017.

F-16AM 322 squadron at Schiphol Jan. 26

Jan 29:

Boeing received another converting an option to an order for 13 US Navy and 4 Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidons. Australia ordered eight aircraft with an option for four. The US Navy plans to order a total of 117 aircraft.

Jan 28:

Three Rafale DM aircraft would be delivered to the Air Force of Egypt. These will follow the three aircraft delivered on July 21, 2015. Egypt ordered 24 Rafale aircraft split in six Rafale EM (single seat) and 18 Rafale DM (duel seat).

An Egyptian Air Force F-16 crashed during a training flight.

Jan 24:

The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus conducted the first Air-to-Air refuelling flight over the skies of the state of Washington. The receiving aircraft was a F-16 from the test wing based at Edwards AFB. The flight took 5 hour and 43 minutes making multiple contacts. Air refuelling testing will now continue with refuelling which will included the C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft, A-10C Warthog, F/A-18 (Super) Hornet and the AV-8B Harrier. The fleet of Boeing test aircraft is comprised of:

EMD-1: B-767-2C flown over 260 test flights since December 2014.
EMD-2: KC-46A used for the first AAR test flight.
EMD-3: To enter the flight test program later in 2016.
EMD-4: To enter the flight test program later in 2016.

179 KC-46A's are planned to be build for the USAF. Currently one export order has been placed by Japan for three aircraft.

Jan 23:

Reported by Aeroaustraliamag (www.aeroaustraliamag.com) Australia purchased two Gulfstream G550s. Both are new aircraft to be delivered by Gulfstream after which they will enter a modification process to become ISREW (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare) platforms.

Jan 22:

A F-16 assigned to the 56th FW based at Luke AFB, Arizona crashed yesterday.

Jan 19:

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. recieved a contract to build the second MQ-9 Reaper system.

Jan 15:

On January 11th the last three S-3B Vikings were withdrawn from use. The aircraft were operated by test unit VX-30 at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu in California. In 2011 the Viking was decommissioned from active US navy service.

Jan 14:

Boeing received a contract for ten years ($855 million) to maintain and support the USAF fleet of Northrop T-38 trainer aircraft. The contract will see 456 aircraft covers work on avionics, cockpit displays, control panels and communications systems.

Boeing teamed with Swedish company Saab for the trainer replacement contract known as T-X pilot training system. The T-X will eventually replace the T-38s.

Jan 13:

The Boeing company delivered six enhanced internal weapons bay launchers to the USAF B-52H fleet. The launchers are expendable between the bombers and can carry eight Joint Direct Attack Munitions. The capacity to launch Joint Air-to-Surface Stand Off Missiles and Miniature Air Launched Decoys will be added in another modification.

Jan 10:

The first F-35A Lightning II for the Israeli Defence Force began the final assembly process at Ft. Worth. The aircraft are designated "Adir" within Israeli Air Force. AS-1 is expected to roll-off the production line in June and to be delivered later in the year. 33 Adirs are contracted through the FMS program.

Jan 9:

Taktischen Luftwaffengruppe „Richthofen“ (TaktLwGrp "R") will become an indepent wing on July 1st. The former Jagdgeschwader 71 (JG 71) became part of Luftwaffengeschwader 31 (TLG 31) based at Norvenich after it said goodbye to its F-4F Phantom II. TLG 31 provided Eurofighter EF-2000s to the „Richthofen“ unit based at Wittmund in Northern Germany. Currently 10 EF-2000s are on strenght and this will be raised to 20 aircraft.

TaktLwGrp "R"EF-2000 returning at Leeuwarden AB after a Frision Flag
2014 mission.

Jan 8:

NHIndustries (NHI) announced the purchase of another six NH90-TTH by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA). with the additional order the French Army will receive 74 NH90-TTHs. For a complete overview please visit the NH90 page.

Jan 7:

With a ceremony the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission took place. The BAP missions are conducted from Ämari Air Base, Estonia and Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania.

In Lithuania the Spanish Air Force from Ala 14 based at Albacate Air Base and equipped with the Eurofighter EF-2000s relieved their Hungarian Air Force colleagues from the 59th Dezső Szentgyörgyi (59th Wing) based at Kecskemét operating the Saab JAS-39 Gripen.
At the same time in Estonia the German Air Force Luftwaffengeschwader 31 with the EF-2000 was replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-16AMs from Belgian Air Components 10 Wing based at Kleine-Brogel.

Belgium: fifth BAP mission 2004 (first country providing aircraft at the start of the BAP missions in March 2004). In 2006 and 2013 the Belgian Air Component also executed the mission while in 2014 they took on an extended mission of seven months operation from Malbork Air Base in Poland.

Germany: Completed its fifth BAP mission with the second from Ämari.

Hungary: Succesfully completed its first BAP mission.

Spain: Third BAP mission and during the 2016-1 rotation the lead nation.
Incoming: 10 Wing Belgian Air Component F-16AM. Incoming: EF-2000 Ala 14 Spanish Air Force.
Outgoing: TLG 31 EF-2000 German Air Force. Outgoing: 59th “Dezső Szentgyörgyi JAS-39C.

Two German Air Force wings, Luftwaffengeschwader 33 (TLG 33) based at Buchel and Luftwaffengeschwader51 (TLG 51) based at Schleswig-Jagel deployed four Tornado to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The four aircraft followed to Tornadoes already deployed to the base in December 2015. On January 12 another two aircraft are expected to arrive in Turkey. The detachment will provide reconnaissance (Recce) mission for coalition partners. The Tornado is fielded in two version to the German Air Force: IDS (Interdiction and Strike, equipped with two board canons) and ECR (Electronic Combat and Reconnaisance, without board canon). TLG 33 is equipped with the Tornado IDS while TLG 51 has both versions on strenght. All Tornadoes are able to perform Recce missions as they can carry the 'RecceLite' (Reconnaissance Litening Pod). The RecceLite pod is available since 2009.
Except the Tornado the German Air Force deployed also one of its A310MRTT from the BMVg based at Cologne to Incirlik. The A310MRTT will provide Air-to-Air refuelling to German and coalition aircraft capable of using the drogue and hose system.

A310MRTT BMVg. Tornado IDS TLG 33. Tornado ECR TLG 51.

Jan 2:

Two helicopter types were withdrawn from service. In the Netherlands the Alouette III was taken off duty after 51 years of service. The four survivors are now stored at its homebase Gilze-Rijen pending a decision about their future by the Defense Material Organisation.

Alouette II during the Farewell ceremony Dec. 15, 2015.

In the United Kingdom the Royal Navy said goodby to its Search and Rescue Sea King. The SAR role being transfered to a civil party. Earlier in 2015 the Royal Air Force stood down its Sea King SAR operations. 771 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Culdrose stood down on January 1st, 2016. A day earlier during its final day it was called on a rescue mission but stood down while enroute.
RAF Sea King HAR5 Royal Navy Sea King HAS6
Copyright 2005 - 2016. All rights reserved.
M. Jaarsma - Phantomaviation.nl