• An F-15EX Eagle II lands on the flight line after a training operation at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Nov. 15, 2023. The aircraft is able to fly at a speed of Mach 2.5, constituting it as the world’s fastest fighter jet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Tan)

    U.S. Air Force Maj. Michael Tope, right, and Brig. Gen. Michael Rawls, taxi down the runway in a F-15EX Eagle II for a training operation at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Nov. 15, 2023. The EX is the most advanced variant of the F-15 aircraft family, with the capability to carry a great number of missiles in support of the F-35A Lightning II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Tan)

    An F-15EX Eagle II sits on the flightline at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Nov. 15, 2023. An upgraded version of the F-15 fourth-generation fighter jet, the F-15EX boasts a new electronic warfare system and an open mission systems architecture with advanced battle management systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Tan)

    Exactly ten years ago, on this day, the first of three RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft arrived at 51 Squadron, RAF Waddington. Their world-leading electronic surveillance capability has provided strategic and tactical intelligence to commanders, and supported coalition and NATO operations.

    In 2014, it deployed on Operation Herrick and soon after became the first RAF aircraft to fly on Operation Shader.
    Today, RAF Rivet Joint specialists work alongside their American partner squadrons and industry colleagues to develop, improve, integrate, and test the mission systems required for tomorrow’s battlespace.
    (Photo courtesy of the RAF)
    135 Rivet Joint OktGkj39TwG5QcZjQ2HTnH
    RAAF No. 77 Squadron joined No. 75 Squadron at RAAF Base Tindal for this year’s Exercise Arnhem Thunder.

    The two-week exercise involved the use of small-diameter bomb (SDB) glide test vehicles to measure flight characteristics of guided munitions, and aims to advance interoperability between the two squadrons.
    Operating throughout the Northern Territory and Western Australian airspace, the F-35A aircrews integrated seamlessly into high-end offensive counter air tactics, while maintenance, armament, logistics and support crews operated alongside one another, demonstrating the readiness of Air Combat Group squadrons.
    (Photos courtesy of the RAAF)

  • Gavião Peixoto, Brazil, November 23, 2023 - Embraer (NYSE: ERJ, B3: EMB3) has delivered to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) its fifth EMB 145 AEW&C aircraft, upgraded and designated as E-99M in the FAB. The aircraft has been updated to perform Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) functions, as well as participate in intelligence, surveillance, and airborne reconnaissance missions.

    "The delivery of the fifth E-99 is an important milestone for the E-99M project. This is the first aircraft delivered in FOC (Full Operational Capability) configuration, with systems fully certified for use by the Brazilian Air Force for protecting the country and its national sovereignty," says Bosco da Costa Junior, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. The executive further states, "The four aircraft previously delivered will be upgraded so that they can fully perform all the missions for which they were designed."

    Developed utilizing the platform established by the successful ERJ 145 regional jet, the FAB's E-99 is capable of detecting, tracking, and identifying targets in its coverage zone and transmit the information via Data Link. The aircraft conducts airspace surveillance, interception control and management, electronic intelligence, and border monitoring missions.

    The E-99M aircraft now features an updated Erieye Radar and Command & Control (C2) systems. The aircraft will also include a new Electronic Warfare (Non-Communication - NCOM) systems, a new IFF Transponder, seven software-defined V/UHF radios, a new Mission Audio system with VoIP technology, and a new Mission Audio and Data recorder, as well as a Data Link function adapted to a new architecture. The interior of the aircraft has also seen an update to improve crew comfort and expand the operating capacity with five consoles redesigned and optimized for more efficient use of the upgraded systems.

    The E-99M project is led by the Combat Aircraft Program Coordinating Committee (COPAC) together with Embraer and international suppliers such as SAAB, Aeroelectronica International (AELI), and Rohde & Schwarz. Atech, a subsidiary of Embraer, is participating in the project by developing part of the command-and-control system, as well as six mission planning and analysis stations which will provide training and development opportunities for the crews.
    About Embraer

    Embraer is a global aerospace company headquartered in Brazil. It manufactures aircraft for Commercial and Executive aviation, Defense & Security, and Agricultural customers. The company also provides after-sales services & support through a worldwide network of wholly owned entities and authorized agents.

    Since it was founded in 1969, Embraer has delivered more than 8,000 aircraft. On average, about every 10 seconds an aircraft manufactured by Embraer takes off somewhere in the world, transporting over 145 million passengers a year.

    Embraer is the leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats and is the main exporter of high value-added goods in Brazil. The company maintains industrial units, offices, service and parts distribution centers across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
    F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the Gulf of Mexico during exercise Checkered Flag 24-1, Nov. 7, 2023. The 325th Fighter Wing recently transitioned missions, progressing towards a combat-ready F-35 mission with more than 70 aircraft projected to call Tyndall AFB home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Betty R. Chevalier)

  • PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 25, 2023) An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the "Wolf Pack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Nov. 25, 2023. Theodore Roosevelt, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 9 (CSG 9), is conducting integrated training exercises in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John A. Miller)
    Class Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt
    A C-5M Super Galaxy sits on the flightline at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Nov. 11, 2023. The C-5M Super Galaxy is the largest aircraft in the United States Air Force and is used primarily to transport unique and oversized cargo and personnel for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett)

    Madrid -Airbus has successfully tested a new simplified human machine interface (HMI) along with advanced autonomous features through a project code-named Vertex. These technologies, developed by Airbus UpNext, are controlled by a touchscreen tablet and aim to simplify mission preparation and management, reduce helicopter pilot workload, and further increase safety.

    The Airbus Helicopters’ FlightLab flew fully automated from lift-off, taxi, takeoff, cruise, approach and then landing during a one hour test flight by following a predefined route. During this flight, the pilot monitored the system which is able to detect unforeseen obstacles and automatically recalculate a safe flight path. Whenever necessary the pilot can easily override the controls through the tablet and resume the mission afterwards. The flight test period ran from the 27th of October through to the 22nd of November at the Airbus Helicopters’ facility in Marignane, France.

    “This successful demonstration of a fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing is a great step towards the reduced pilot workload and simplified HMI that the Airbus Urban Air Mobility team intends to implement on CityAirbus NextGen. It could also have immediate applications for helicopters in low level flights close to obstacles thanks to the information provided by the lidars* on board,” said Michael Augello, CEO of Airbus UpNext.

    Airbus Helicopters will continue to mature the different technologies that comprise Vertex: vision based sensors and algorithms for situational awareness and obstacle detection; fly-by-wire for enhanced auto-pilot; and an advanced human-machine-interface - in the form of a touchscreen and head worn display for inflight monitoring and control.
    Fort Worth, TX (27 November 2023) Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has been selected to compete for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane program. The SPRINT program intends to design, build, and fly an X-Plane, an experimental aircraft to demonstrate enabling technologies and integrated concepts necessary for a transformational combination of aircraft speed and runway independence for the next generation of air mobility platforms. Phase 1A includes conceptual design, culminating in a formal Conceptual Design Review.

    “Bell is honored to be selected for SPRINT and thrilled to support another X-plane, which will bring unprecedented speed to vertical lift aircraft,” said Jason Hurst, executive vice president, Engineering, Bell. “In our rich 85-year history, Bell has produced memorable X-planes, such as the Bell X-1 and XV-15, and expanded our VTOL aircraft capabilities. This contract award is a testament to Bell's ability to build on past successful high-speed aircraft programs while investing in new research to validate HSVTOL technology.”

    Bell plans to leverage its extensive investment in High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) technology to demonstrate advanced performance capabilities. Bell is currently conducting risk reduction testing at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico to demonstrate its folding rotor, integrated propulsion, and flight control technologies using a dedicated test article.

    Bell’s HSVTOL technology blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed (400+ kts), range, and survivability of jet aircraft. Bell has developed high-speed vertical lift technology for more than 85 years, pioneering innovative VTOL configurations like the X-14, X-22, XV-3 and XV-15 for NASA, the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and continues to build on its proven history of fast flight from the Bell X-1.

  • Italian air force Lt. Col. Stefano Vit, 313th Aerobatic Group “Frecce Tricolori” outgoing commander, taxis on the runway during the group’s change of command at Rivolto Air Force Base, Italy, Nov. 28, 2023. During the change of command, the Frecce Tricolori performed an “in-flight handover” where the previous commander broke away from the formation, leaving the new commander in charge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hannah Stubblefield)
    Frecce Tricolori
    A C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 374th Airlift Wing sits on a flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 27, 2023. The aircraft prepares to depart in support of Operation Christmas Drop 2023 (OCD 23). During OCD, a portion of the wing is activated as the 36th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron to flatten communication and promote flexible self-sustainment throughout the operation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)
     27 2023
    A U.S. Marine holds a fuel hose being secured during defueling operations on a downed U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon in waters just off the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Nov. 26, 2023. The successful defueling of the downed P-8A was critical to the execution of the aircraft salvage plan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brandon Aultman)

    PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 26, 2023) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, approaches the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Nov. 26, 2023. Theodore Roosevelt, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG 9), is conducting integrated training exercises in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adina Phebus)
    Class Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt
    Madrid -Airbus Helicopters and ÖAMTC Air Rescue announced a new contract for two H135s during the third edition of European Rotors. The announcement follows an initial contract for five H135s signed at the end of 2020.

    “It's a matter of course for us to constantly develop and improve our fleet so that we can provide our patients with comprehensive care at the highest possible level of quality and safety," said Marco Trefanitz, CEO of ÖAMTC Air Rescue. "The H135 with Helionix is perfectly tailored to our needs and proves itself day after day and night after night in operations throughout Austria. The significantly more powerful helicopter, which is certified for instrument flight and has an autopilot, brings us a decisive step closer to our vision of being able to help anywhere, at any time and in any weather.”

    "We are proud to have been a partner of ÖAMTC Air Rescue for more than 40 years with our helicopters and services," said Thomas Hein, Head of Europe Region at Airbus Helicopters. "I would like to thank ÖAMTC Air Rescue for their continued confidence in our H135 helicopters. We're looking forward to many more years of successful cooperation.”

    ÖAMTC Air Rescue operates 31 H135 helicopters from 17 permanent bases and 4 additional winter bases in Austria. Last year, the operator flew more than 20,000 missions, with an average of 52 missions per day. The operator began providing air rescue services in Austria in 1983 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

    The H135 is the helicopter of reference for helicopter emergency medical service operators worldwide. It combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with excellent performance, range and payload capacity, as well as low sound levels. The oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable fast loading/unloading of patients, with additional safety during ground operations provided by Airbus’ signature shrouded Fenestron tail rotor. The H135 is the global market leader for helicopter emergency medical services with more than 700 helicopters all around the world being used for life-saving missions.

    Airbus’ light, twin-engine H135 incorporates the most advanced technologies available, including Airbus Helicopters' Helionix avionics suite, which, in addition to the 4-axis autopilot, offers an innovative cockpit layout to enhance situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays, the H135’s cockpit is night vision goggle compatible and includes a First Limit Indicator, which highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator.

    To date, more than 1,500 helicopters of the H135 family have been delivered worldwide, clocking in more than 7 million flight hours.
     AMTC Air Rescue
    RAF personnel currently on a multinational exercise in Spain had the honour of meeting the Spanish Monarch, His Majesty King Felipe VI, at Los Llanos Air Base, Albacete.
    During the visit, His Majesty was given a tour of the facilities and met British and French pilots who had just returned from a training mission.

    The RAF personnel from 29 Squadron at Royal Air Force Coningsby are currently deployed for three weeks on the Tactical Leadership Programme exercise with counterparts from Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The course is part of a long-running initiative to improve the interoperability and effectiveness of Allied air forces. The crews are instructed on the planning, briefing, and execution of tactical air operations. This includes acting as mission commanders to lead multinational training sorties involving formations of different types of fighter aircraft.
    (Photos courtesy of the RAF)
    Tactical Leadership Programme

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