USAF commits nearly USD11 billion to future F-22 upgrades
08 November 2021
by Gareth Jennings
The US Air Force has earmarked close to USD11 billion to future upgrades for its fleet of 186 F-22 Raptor aircraft over the coming decade. (US Air Force)
The US Air Force (USAF) has committed nearly USD11 billion to future upgrades for the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor combat aircraft.
The service awarded the original equipment manufacturer USD10.863 million on 5 November for Advanced Raptor Enhancement and Sustainment for the F-22 Program Office.
“This [indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity] contract vehicle provides support for the necessary supplies and services to sustain and modernise the F-22 Raptor, including modernisation hardware kit procurement and services such as upgrades, enhancements, and fixes, as well as performance-based logistics services,” the contract notification said.
The location of performance is Fort Worth, Texas, and if all options are utilised, work is expected to be completed by 31 October 2031.
The USAF fields 186 F-22s, with the ‘fifth generation' type's all-aspect stealth making it difficult to detect for all but the most advanced of systems and dedicated of operators. It is employed in both the air-to-air and air-to-ground roles.
PLA says J-20 tracking foreign military aircraft in East China Sea ADIZ
17 August 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
Beijing has acknowledged at least one sortie by a Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter into China's ADIZ to identify and track foreign military aircraft. China's ADIZ is controversial as it overlaps the ADIZs of other neighbouring countries, especially Japan. (Janes)
China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has announced that it has dispatched a Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter into China's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) to ‘track' foreign military aircraft. This includes potential stealth aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
The PLA Daily announced on 15 August that a PLA Air Force pilot, Yang Chunlei, had flown a J-20 into the ADIZ in July. This is the first tacit acknowledgement by Beijing that it is conducting J-20s sorties into the ADIZ with the purpose of monitoring military aircraft from other countries. The Chinese state-owned website, China Daily, suggested that the J-20 is being used to detectLockheed Martin F-35s operated by the United States, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), and the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) in the region.
The last helicopter hangar at the French base in Gao is taken down (a photograph released on 7 August). (Armée Française - Opération Barkhane)
The French military announced on 15 August that it has completed its withdrawal from Mali, saying the last unit from its main base at Gao had crossed into Niger earlier that day.
It said that the “major logistical challenge” was completed in less than six months after it was ordered by President Emmanuel Macron on 17 February and stressed that it remained committed to fighting terrorism in the Sahel in close co-ordination with its African partners.
The decision to withdraw from Mali was prompted by successive coups in Bamako in 2020 and 2021 and the resulting military-led transitional government's decision to turn to Russia for support. Meanwhile, there has been growing popular resentment of the French military presence and the perceived lack of progress it had made against the various militant groups operating in Mali since the intervention to stabilise the country in 2013.
Australia plans to drop PC-21 from attack controller training
16 August 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
RAAF Pilatus PC-21 aircraft from No 4 Squadron are working with the Royal New Zealand Air Force to enhance New Zealand's Joint Terminal Attack Controller training. However, Australia is likely to drop the PC-21 from future JTAC training because of the aircraft's limitations. (LACW Catherine Kelly/Commonwealth of Australia)
Australia is “developing options” to better meet Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training.
The country's JTAC training programme is being sustained by 49 Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft serving with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). However, Australia's Department of Defence (DoD) told Janes that the PC-21 is only able to “satisfy up to 80% of JTAC training system live-fly requirements”.
“It does not have the ability to provide the live weapons passes needed to complete initial, currency, and proficiency training,” the DoD added.
The need for another option appears to have been highlighted amid the RAAF's deployment of a detachment of PC-21s from No 4 Squadron to New Zealand. The aircraft are participating in a combined training exercise with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) from 8 to 19 August.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we speak with Neil Spencer on the value of OSINT in the commercial sector.
Neil Spencer is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for LifeRaft. He has more than twenty years of security indust...