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America’s security challenges change much faster than new technologies can be conceived, designed, approved, built and deployed


The aircraft arrayed around the spacious lawn of Maxwell Air Force Base, home of the Air University, mostly represent long-retired types. The largest, however, is a glistening B-52 bomber, which represents a still-employed component of the Air Force’s aging fleet: The youngest B-52 entered service in 1962. Sons have flown the same plane their fathers and grandfathers flew.

But, then, the average age of all the Air Force aircraft is 27 years; fighters, more than 30 years; bombers and helicopters, more than 40 years; re-fuelling tankers more than 50 years. America’s security challenges change much faster — think of the Soviet Union’s demise and the Islamic State’s rise — than new technologies can be conceived, designed, approved, built and deployed. The F/A-18 and the F-16 were designed about 45 years ago.



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Later this year, the U.S. Air Force will select a company to build a new jet trainer designated T-X to replace the aging T-38 Talon. Although not a large procurement, the Air Force plans to acquire just 350 aircraft, it is an important one. The Air Force’s fleets of fifth generation fighters, the F-22 and F-35, do not include two-seat trainer variants. The next-generation trainer will provide means for new pilots to transition from basic flight training to operating the most sophisticated jet aircraft in the world. Thus, the new trainer must include advanced performance features, modern avionics and sufficient speed to provide trainees with the necessary skills to move into the cockpit of a fifth-generation fighter.

Three companies have submitted final proposals for the T-X. Boeing, teamed with Saab, is proposing a clean sheet design. Lockheed Martin is offering a variant of the Korea Aerospace Industries T-50. DRS Technologies, supported by its parent company, Leonardo, is proposing the T-100, a modified version of the M-346. In addition to the aircraft, the three companies are including a full pilot training system including state-of-the-art simulators and ground-based training aides.



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The Mikoyan Gurevich MIG-35 is Russia’s latest fighter jet, and going by reports, it is also their most advanced 4++ generation fighter jet yet. The aircraft, on which development has almost been completed, demonstrated its capabilities at the recently concluded Mezhdunarodnyj aviatsionno-kosmicheskij salon (MAKS) 2017 air show in Russia. At MAKS 2017, The MiG-35 grabbed the attention of onlookers as well as competitors as it took to the skies and enthralled the audience with breathtaking manoeuvres like the tail slide, barrel roll and the nesterov loop.

At the sidelines of the aerospace exhibition came some important information about this aircraft, which would immensely increase the capabilities of the Indian Air Force, and possibly strike fear into the hearts of India’s adversaries, if put into action.


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While the helicopter was on its way, district officials informed that one of the women had already delivered twins and needed to be airlifted immediately.

The Indian Air Force, on Sunday, safely evacuated a woman and her new-born twins along with another pregnant woman from Nana Matra village in Vinchia tehsil of Rajkot district of Gujarat which was flooded due to heavy rains

The village had been cut off from rest of the district due to the floods.

As soon as a message about need to evacaute two women who were in critical condition and ‘about to deliver’ was received at 4.30 pm, a Chetak helicopter was sent from Jamnagar, said Defence spokesperson Abhishek Matiman in a release.



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Scott Air Force Base has a new commander.

In a ceremony Monday morning at the base, Colonel Laura Lenderman turned over command to Colonel John Howard.

Howard now oversees more than 2,900 personnel at the base and assets totaling more than $4 billion.

He has a daughter in college and will live on the base with his wife and young son.

Lenderman said for her the command was a dream come true.

“As a ten-year-old girl I remember watching the change of command ceremonies and this parade field,” she said. “I remember it being very hot but more importantly, remember filled with such pride but even at that young age I knew that I wanted to serve in our Air Force one day.”



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One of the aircraft now preparing for a live-fly experiment to be the Air Forces’ new Light Attack aircraft may soon be sent to perform missions in a live combat scenario as part of the evaluation process, senior service leaders said.

The emerging OA-X Light Attack aircraft is envisioned as a low-cost, commercially-built, combat-capable plane able to perform a wide range of missions in a less challenging or more permissive environment where the US Air Force already has air supremacy.

The idea is to save mission time for more expensive and capable fighter jets, such as an F-15 or F-22, when an alternative can perform needed air-ground attack missions – such as the current attacks on ISIS.

The Air Force is poised to begin a competitive live-fly experiment later this summer of four different industry Light Attack offerings.



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BAE Systems has secured a contract modification to provide new electronic warfare (EW) systems for the US Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) fleet of AC/MC-130J aircraft.

Under the terms of the latest $67m deal, the company will upgrade the aircraft’s survivability equipment with the capability to detect, identify, locate, deny, degrade, disrupt, and defeat various threats that aircrews encounter in hostile and challenging environments.

The deal is a modification of a competitively awarded contract, whose total value is expected to exceed $300m.

BAE Systems Electronic Combat Solutions vice-president and general manager Brian Walters said: “With our all-digital system, we’re leveraging the latest, most advanced EW technology to create a highly mission-customised solution so that SOCOM’s fleet remains capable and protected in the harshest of environments.



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INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNS) — The darkness of a desert night surrounds his aircraft. The wind rushes past his cockpit.

As the target approaches, nervousness builds deep within his core and his heart races at extraordinary speeds.

Locking in on the tasks at hand, the pilot’s eyes glow as he focuses through night vision goggles to locate targets below. Muscle memory from years of training takes over with subconscious adjustments on the controls.

Then with the target in his sights, he deploys the carefully selected weapon system onto an enemy position.

This is how Lt. Col. Ben Rudolphi, the 407th Expeditionary Operation Support Squadron commander, describes flying combat missions in the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

“You’re constantly locating the target, checking, rechecking and adjusting for your pass,” Rudolphi said. “The Joint Terminal Attack Controller is communicating with me; I’m responding back and relaying information to my wingman. My heart is beating out of my chest at this point as I’m waiting for the JTAC to say, ‘cleared hot.’ Once I hear those words my nerves go away. I roll in, make my pass and then we are on to the next target.”

Even as an experienced A-10 pilot, Rudolphi still feels his nerves standing on edge each time he goes out on a mission.

“My mind is going a hundred miles per hour before I make my first pass on a mission,” Rudolphi said. “All I’m thinking about is ‘Don’t mess this up!’ At the same time, I‘m pushing buttons, twisting knobs, speeding up or slowing down, and continually checking where my target is without even thinking about it. All I know is that I need to make a direct hit to help our troops on the ground.”

Originally tasked to deploy as an A-10 pilot in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Rudolphi saw his mission change before even leaving the U.S.




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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has established two new commands and a branch as part of its restructuring efforts to enhance effective and efficient projection of Air Power.

A statement on Tuesday by the spokesman of NAF, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya said the two new Commands established are the Air Training Command (ATC) with Headquarters in Kaduna and Ground Training Command (GTC) with Headquarters in Enugu.

He said these new commands were excised from the now defunct Training Command (TC) thereby bringing the total number of Commands in the NAF to six.

He added that the ATC will be responsible for the implementation of policies on flying and air operations while the GTC will be responsible for the implementation of local ground training.



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Teal Wicks and Jenn Gambatese will help showcase the score of Sweetwater at Feinstein’s/54 Below.

The score of Sweetwater, a new musical about “the unsung female pilots of World War II” will be sung indeed in a 9:30 PM July 17 showcase at Feinstein’s/54 Below cabaret in New York City.

The 9:30 PM show will tell the story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (known as WASPs), more than a thousand women who flew missions for the U.S. Air Force during WWII.

The show has music by Sean Mahoney, and book and lyrics by Patricia Noonan. Teal Wicks (Wicked, Finding Neverland) will play Jackie Cochran, the pilot who founded the WASPs and fought for their military status. Also performing the score will be Jenn Gambatese (Tarzan, School of Rock), Ally Bonino, Hannah Elless, Alexandra Ferrara, Jessica Fontana, Tamika Lawrence, Alyse Alan Louis, Jillian Louis, Eric William Morris, Christopher Nolan, Patricia Noonan, Allie Scherich, Nathan Scherich, and Pearl Sun under the direction of Gina Rattan and musical direction of Vadim Feichtner.



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