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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Pictures of the JSF (F-35) 

Can be found here.

Though unfortunately they're rather small pics..wouldn't mind one for my desktop background.

The price of upgrading. 

"TAXPAYERS will foot the $230 million bill to extend the life of the air force's 75-strong fleet of F/A-18 Hornet fighters.

Another $60 million will be spent on three flight simulators for the frontline fighters based at Tindal in the Northern Territory and Williamtown in NSW"


Full story

It also points out that... "Earlier this month, RAAF chief Air Marshal Angus Houston said there would be no "gap" in Australia's air defence before the arrival of the next generation Joint Strike Fighter. " in regards to the retirement of the F-111's.

Addition: Australia has picked up some more contracts on the JSF program. Read here.

Australia has always bought aircraft from other countries for fighter/bomber/defence etc (apart from Wirraway and Boomerang?). We have also modified the aircraft we have bought, even improving on the original, ie the CA-27 Sabre (version of the US F-86 Sabre). Would we be doing that to the JSF? Obviousley, we'll test and use the radar, missiles, counter measures etc that the Air Force/Department of Defence chooses, but seeing something Australian designed, built on Australian shores, from Australian material would be fantastic. The French Mirage was our first supersonic fighter. From the third Mirage, the aircraft were made in Australia using French parts. The RAAF decided on the F-16 or the F/A-18 to replace our Mirage III's, in the 1970s and the F/A-18-A was chosen, and the first two were built at McDonnell-Douglas' St. Louis factory. We received them in May 1985, after flying from California to Williamstown (with air to air refuelling on the way). The rest of the RAAF F/A-18 aircraft were built in Australia by the GAF and/or CAC.
Upgrades even started before some were delivered, bringing them up to the standards of the C's and D's. Our F-111s were ordered for delivery in 1967. We didnt receive these until 1973, during which time we used US F4 Phantoms.

On the subject of new aircraft.... 

Picked up info of two new Chinese planes being designed/developed, via SinoDefence.com.

The J-XX (which is probably designed to match/better the F-22) and J-7MF

J-XX: "Stealth and thrust vectoring are two must-have features in all aircraft being designed in the 21st century. If is not clear that how much progress Chinese designers have made in these areas, and Chinese aircraft industry may have to take Western/Israeli/Russian helps to make the J-XX truly fouth-generation (or fifth-generation using the Russian standards). Once introduced, the J-12's immediate rival will be U.S. F/A-22, JSF and India's MCA (Medium Combat Aircraft)."

J-7MF: "On the 2000 Zhuhai Air Show, Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) revealed the latest variant of its famous J-7/F-7 family: F-7MF (M: export, F: developed). It is estimated that development of the F-7MF is still in its early stages. The F-7MF is aiming at the export market, especially those third-world air forces, which are desperate for a low-cost fighter, with relatively high performance and decent avionics and weapon systems, to replace their aging F-5s and MiG-21s."

Pictures & Information of the JF-17. 

Been searching around for info and pictures on the JF-17.

Pictures (Defence Talk).

Information from Sinodefence.com

"Initially it was anticipated that the Super-7/FC-1 would be a high-performance, low-cost fighter plane to replace outdated F-5s and MiG-21s in many third-world air forces. But with the participation of MASPG, the Russians are using the Super-7/FC-1 as a continuation of the MiG-33 (R33) programme developed in the 1980s. Like the MiG-33, the Super-7/FC-1 uses the RD-93 turbofans, though the Super-7/FC-1 features air inlets on the lateral sides of the fuselage rather than the ventral inlets of the MiG-33. With Russian technical assistance the redesigned Super-7/FC-1 has improved climb out performance and steering capabilities along with a stronger fuselage."

Video of Pakistani-Chinese fighter jet. 

Found a rather nice video of the testing of the Pakistani-Chinese JF-17.

Formal Test flight Of FC-1/JF-17 "Thunder" Video On Sept. 03, 2003

Saturday, November 29, 2003

F-84F for strike fighters has been released. 

http://oldsite.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards/bbs/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=55;t=007385

Can be downloaded from Check-Six and ACFC.

India deal to buy Russian carrier, with a matching set of aircraft, soon to be finalised 

Deal between India and Russia for India to buy aircraft carrier 'Gorshkov' and some Mig-29K A/C is soon to be finalised

"Russia has offered the ship "free" to India but wants $750 million to "retrofit" it. Besides, the deal would involve the supply of 24 Russian MiG-29K aircraft for $1.5 billion for being operated from the carrier."

Times of India

There's also an interesting debate about this on KeyPublishing forum.

And heres an interesting article on Russia's MiG's.

"....the impressive looking MiG-29 constantly losses sales to more expensive Western aircraft. While designed as a "two engine F-16", the MiG-29 is part of a family of aircraft that have a dismal combat record versus American warplanes."

Can't find the right gift for a loved one? 

Give them a MiG-21! Or buy it for yourself..only a cool $10, 000 (but expect that price to rise).

eBay-MiG-21 for sale
via KeyPublishing forum

"This jet is in fine state, including all original details, instruments and engine. The main power wire has been cut due to international regulations, therefore the jet cannot fly.

The jet originates from the polish airforce and has been used as eye catcher for a company in The Netherlands for the last two years. It is being auctioned on eBay now because the company needs the space to build extra offices. "

New Su-37 to be built 

" "The Su-37 fighter is supposed to become a transitional model to the fifth generation fighter. It maintains design continuity with the Su-30MK fighter with the introduction into its design of several solutions worked out on the Su-47 experimental fighter with the forward swept wing," Yu. Chervakov said. "

Full story-Key publishing forums

Some pictures. 

Some nice pictures from the Belgian Navy/Army/Air Force open day.

via Zap 16

New hypersonic bomber plans  

"The robotic bomber would streak eight times the speed of sound and have a 20,000-mile (32,200-kilometer) range, putting the entire globe within its deadly reach."

Full Story

Debate over the F-22 

Not as good as it seems?

"Either the F/A-22 Raptor is the hottest and deadliest jet fighter that the Air Force has ever rocketed into the sky - or it's a relic of a Cold War machine that's too costly and too full of testosterone for current military needs in the worldwide war on terrorism."

Full Story

Huzzah! More on the Ju-52!! 

Apparently this happened on October 4th, yet hardly anyone knows about it until now?
Found some more info after finding it on Wilbur's blog.

"Nicknamed Tante (Auntie) Ju by German fliers, the three-engined plane first flew in 1931 and was widely used by the German air force in WWII operations, including the air-launched capture of Crete in 1941. Seven of the nearly 5,000 aircraft built are still in flying condition."

Greek News Story

Friday, November 28, 2003

Yet more upgrades 

"...(Australian) navy to get increased satellite communications capability..."

More..

M-113 Upgrade 

"Australia is upgrading 350 of its M113A1 APCs to M113AS4 standards, which they hope will then see another 30 years of service. Two demonstration models have been produced. The $500 million M113AS4 upgrade by Tenix will add two feet in length to 171 of the vehicles, along with new armor, machinegun turrets and armored external fuel tanks. Due to enter service in 2006, Cosgrove believes the upgraded APCs will be ready on time and on budget. - Adam Geibel

Tenix product description online at: http://www.tenix.com/Main.asp?ID=437

Australian Army M113 background information, online at:
http://www.thunderandsteel.co.uk/m113.html"

From Strategy World

New Israeli F-16's 

"The long-awaited Israeli F-16I Sufa ('Storm') rolled off Lockheed Martin's production line in Texas.It is the first of 102 ordered by Israel in 1997. The estimated $4.5 billion dollar F-16I deal will be financed by the annual U.S. military aid package and concludes the largest Israeli military purchase in history.

The F-16I is a heavily modified two seat version of the F-16D Block 50/52. In addition to the new and more powerful Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine, the F-16I boasts numerous internal and external advancements and modifications.The Sufa has for example been customized with new avionic technologies, internally mounted FLIR (forward looking infrared) viewers, and cutting edge weapon system hardware provided by the Israeli defense company Lahav - a division of Israel Aircraft Industries. "


Full Story.

The Israeli's give each aircraft a good thorough working don't they?

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Upgrading the military. 

"The Federal Government (of Australia) has announced that as part of the Defence Capability Review, Army's ageing Leopard 1 main battle tanks are to be replaced. Although a choice has not been made, the Government says the decision will be between the US M1A2 Abrams, the German Leopard 2 and the British Challenger 2."
Full Story

One would hope we'd stick with the Leopard series, failing that, buy British.

This also coincides with the scrapping of our ageing F-111's, upgrading of the F/A-18's and joining in the JSF program.

Personally, I think its about time we replaced the F-111's. Great planes, but they're going to get too old, unsafe and costly to keep in the air.
However, Dr Carlo Kopp has a different opinion.

JF-17 

Looks as though the Pakistani's and Chinese are going to make a new fighter jet.

"A spokesman of the Chinese Foreign office Kong Quan hoped that the sale of JF17, a multi-purpose fighter aircraft jointly manufactured by Pakistan and China will draw wide attraction home and abroad."

Should be interesting...I always love seeing new aircraft designed, doesn't matter who by.

Falcon 

The F-16 has reached another milestone...

"Over the past 25-years, 4,092 F-16s have been built in 123 different versions on production lines in five countries SABCA in Belgium, Korean Aircraft Industries in South Korea, Fokker in the Netherlands, Turkish Aircraft Industries in Turkey and at its home - Fort Worth, Texas in the United States."

Story-Airforces Monthly

Dawning of a new error. 

Ah, welcome, to what shall be a rather....plain experience. I don't plan to update much..and it will be mainly Aviation related topics-no politics from me!

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