Boeing Delivers Final Peace Eye to Korea

Boeing has delivered the fourth and final 737 AEW&C aircraft to the Republic of Korea.

October 31: Boeing confirmed it delivered the fourth and final 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) on October 24, five weeks ahead of schedule.

“We delivered ahead of schedule thanks to the hard work, focus and close collaboration among the ROKAF, Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Boeing and our in-country suppliers,” said Rick Heerdt, Boeing vice president of Airborne Surveillance, Command and Control. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) modified and supported testing of three of the four 737-based Peace Eye aircraft at its facility in Sacheon. “Throughout the programme, KAI demonstrated its outstanding technical capability and modification experience in delivering this powerful airborne surveillance and battle management capability that enhances the security of the Korean peninsula,” Heerdt said.

The AEW&C team has delivered all ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance to ROKAF Base Gimhae, the Peace Eye fleet’s main operating base. Boeing is providing on-site technical support, training and spare parts as part of an interim support programme.

Youngest Boeing B-52 Stratofortress achieves 50 years of service

Boeing has marked 50 years since the company delivered its last B-52 Stratofortress to the US Air Force.

B-52H 61-040 was assigned to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on October 26, 1962 where it remains in active service. Boeing built 744 B-52s, in eight different models, from 1952 to 1962.

The air force fleet today comprises 76 H-models – two test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and 74 operational aircraft assigned to Minot and to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. All the H-models were built in Wichita.

The Boeing B-52 has been the backbone of the United States’ manned strategic bomber force for nearly 60 years. Modern engineering analyses show the B-52’s expected life span extending beyond 2040.

First Super Tucanos for Mauritania

Embraer Defense and Security delivered the first A-29 Super Tucano turboprops to the Air Force of Mauritania.

The aircraft will be used for border surveillance missions.

The model is being used by seven air forces in Latin America, Africa and Asia and has now surpassed 170,000 flight hours and 26,000 combat hours. The Super Tucano is capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, including light attack, surveillance, air-to-air interception, and counterinsurgency. The aircraft is equipped with advanced electronic, electro-optic, infrared, and laser system technologies, as well as secure radio systems with data links and unrivalled weapon capacity, which makes it highly reliable and allows for an excellent cost-benefit ratio for a wide range of military missions, even operating from unpaved runways and in hostile environments.

The A-29 Super Tucano handles more than 130 weapon configurations, including 70mm rocket launchers, air-to-air missiles and laser-guided bombs, totally integrated into the aircraft’s mission system, with a laser designator. These state-of-the-art smart weapons are employed in real operational missions carried out by the Super Tucano for more than five years.

Video: F-35A’s first AMRAAM release

Lockheed Martin’s F-35A has completed the type’s first aerial weapons release of an AIM-120 AMRAAM.

October 23: Hot on the heels of last week’s first JDAM drop, Lockheed Martin’s F-35A test aircraft AF-01 has completed the type’s first aerial weapons release of an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile).

US Air Force pilot Major Matthew Phillips completed the test on October 19 over the China Lake test range. This was the second in-flight weapons release in three days for AF-01 as it had completed the release of a 2,000lb (900kg) GBU-31 BLU-109 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) on October 16.

Second UK F-35 to Eglin

The second Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II for the UK has been delivered to Eglin Air Force Base.

On October 19 the second Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II for the UK, ZM136/ BK-16 was delivered to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida with Sqn Ldr Jim Schofield at the controls.

It joins ZM135 for operational test and evaluation with the multi-national 33rd Fighter Wing.

F-35A drops GBU-31 JDAM

An F-35A has completed the first in-flight weapons release of a GBU-31 BLU-109 JDAM.

October 17: A Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft completed the first in-flight weapons release of a 2,000lb (900kg) GBU-31 BLU-109 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) yesterday.

The flight was conducted by US Air Force Major Matthew Phillips. The aircraft, AF-01, jettisoned an instrumented GBU-31 over the China Lake test range from the left internal weapons bay. The F-35A is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000lb (8,200kg) using ten weapon stations including four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximise stealth capability. The CTOL aircraft has three external weapon stations per wing if required.

Gripen flies in Switzerland

The Saab Gripen E/F test aircraft will make its debut in the Swiss Alps next week.

October 5: Next week the Saab Gripen E/F test aircraft will make its debut in the Swiss Alps during the Axalp flight demonstration by the Swiss Air Force.

The aircraft arrived in Switzerland on Wednesday morning after a non-stop flight from Linköping in Sweden. On October 10-11 the aircraft will participate in the annual flight demonstration by the Swiss Air Force at Axalp-Ebenfluh air force firing range. It will be based at Emmen air base where the two-seater test aircraft will be flown by Swiss pilots from armasuisse and from the Swiss Air Force, with a Saab test pilot in the back seat.

“It is an honour for us to have been invited to participate in this high-profile event and to have the opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the next-generation Gripen to the Swiss Defence Forces as well as to the people in Switzerland”, said Richard Smith, Campaign Director Gripen Switzerland, Saab.

In addition to the Axalp flight demonstrations, the programme will include a presentation of the aircraft to the Swiss Defence Committees, both in the air and on the ground.