14 January 2022
by Gareth Jennings
The last of 24 F-35As arriving at Leeuwarden Air Base on 12 January. At the same time, the first aircraft began arriving at Volkel Air Base as the Royal Netherlands Air Force began the process of populating its second F-35 location and unit. (Royal Netherlands Air Force)
The Netherlands has begun populating its second unit for operating the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), with the news that the first aircraft had arrived at Volkel Air Base.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) announced on 12 January that, with the last of 24 F-35As now delivered to 322 Squadron at Leeuwarden Air Base, the first aircraft for 313 Squadron have now begun arriving at Volkel Air Base also.
The RNLAF is to procure at least 46 F-35As (of which 37 are on order) to replace its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcons. In October 2019 the Dutch Ministry of Defence announced it would stand up a third operating squadron for the F-35A, although it did not give its planned location.
08 June 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
Chinese and Russian bombers conducted a joint air patrol on 6 June. The Russian bombers subsequently landed at an unidentified airbase in China. (Japan MoD/Janes)
Russian and Chinese strategic bombers concluded a major joint patrol with fighter aircraft over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea.
According to information published by the Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD), several Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fighter aircraft participated in the joint air patrol at various legs of the operation.
The joint patrol was split into two phases, according to the Japan MoD. Phase one of the patrol was conducted on 6 June. During this phase, two Xi'an Aircraft Company (XAC) H-6K bombers of the PLA rendezvoused with two Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the Japan MoD said.
However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) placed the number of aircraft in the joint patrol as four Chinese and four Russian aircraft.
08 June 2023
by Gareth Jennings
First showcased at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2016, the armed Black Hawk is now being considered by the Polish army. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)
Lockheed Martin expects Poland to order approximately 32 armed S-70 Black Hawk helicopters as part of a wider revamp of the country's rotary-winged capabilities.
Speaking at the PZL Mielec facility in southern Poland on 7 June, Marek Chojecki, sales and business development manager at Lockheed Martin's Polish subsidiary, said that discussions had been held with the Polish Ministry of National Defence (MND). He added that it is the company's expectation that an order for the armed variant of the S-70i/S-70M helicopter that is built at the site will be forthcoming (as noted by company officials, the S-70i and the S-70M are essentially identical platforms, with the difference being one of certification depending on the customer's requirements).
08 June 2023
by Yaakov Lappin
An F-16C from Israel's 101 Squadron at Paphos International Airport during Exercise ‘Blue Sun'. (Israeli Air Force)
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) used an exercise in Cyprus in May to simulate combat against Lebanese militant group Hizbullah, as well as operating F-16 fighter aircraft from an unfamiliar airfield.
Held with the Cypriot National Guard from 7 to 11 May, Exercise ‘Blue Sun' involved Super King Air intelligence-gathering aircraft from the IAF's 100 Squadron, F-16s from two different squadrons, and Apache attack helicopters deploying to Cyprus, as well as visits by C-130 transports carrying members of the elite Maglan unit, a part of the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF's) Commando Brigade.
First Lieutenant Y (name withheld), a 100 Squadron pilot who headed the exercise, told Janes that Cyprus's forested mountains provided unfamiliar terrain that served as a good backdrop for an exercise simulating conflict in a “northern arena” – a term the IDF uses to describe Lebanon.
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