International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 08 Mar 2018 05:36

https://twitter.com/Tom_Antonov/status/ ... 9245241344 ---> From April to May, France is sending 12 Rafale M, 1 E2C Hawkeye, 350 sailors & naval aviators to deploy with the USS George H.W. Bush. The French aircrafts will at first fly with US airwings out of Naval Air Station Oceana, and then board Bush and operate as part of the air wing.

https://twitter.com/Tom_Antonov/status/ ... 5456150533 ---> The intent is to demonstrate the ability to integrate with US military services. Several qualifications or cross-deck operations in recent years (pics). US & France are the only 2 countries in the world that maintain an operational CATOBAR fixed-wing aircraft carrier capability.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Mar 2018 05:41

Boeing MQ-25 Tech. Demonstrator via Aviation Week :

Image

Image

Image

http://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-s ... 5-stingray
Last edited by brar_w on 08 Mar 2018 19:00, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Prasad » 08 Mar 2018 11:26

Paywall. Could you post specs please? :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Mar 2018 16:39

^^ The only spec worth noting for the program is that it must be capable of offloading around 7000 kg (min) of fuel at roughly 1,000 km from a carrier. Boeing actually built this demonstrator back in 2014 but kept it hidden until late last year (for why, refer to Kelly Johnson's 15th rule of management).

Here are some snippets from the article:

A video viewed by Aviation Week and labeled “competition sensitive” shows the huge drone taxiing around the runway during daylight hours on its own power. It stops, starts, moves forward and hooks into position behind the catapult, prepared for launch. But the long-wing aircraft has not yet flown; it is instead being used for carrier suitability trials, including a series of maneuvers to ensure the UAV can easily, reliably and safely move around the deck like any manned aviation platform.

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In an exclusive interview with Aviation Week, Boeing Phantom Works MQ-25 program director Don “BD” Gaddis revealed that the T-1 prototype now being tested at Boeing’s military aircraft plant in St. Louis was actually rolled out in November 2014 but was kept hidden from public view until now. The strange-looking creature first broke cover in December 2017, when Boeing released an obscure, front-on image via Twitter. Having started outdoor trials, the company knew it was only a matter of time before images started leaking online.

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“We’ve put together a good proposal against the requirements,” Gaddis says. “My boss [Leanne Caret, the head of Boeing Defense, Space & Security] sees MQ-25 as a franchise program for the company, and she wants to win it, as does my CEO [Dennis Muilenburg]. We are going to go out and win this thing.”

Boeing is so determined to win this program, it has backed two sides. Boeing Autonomous Systems, a newly created business unit responsible for most of the company’s unmanned programs, is aligned with GA-ASI for the competition and has been internally “firewalled” from the Phantom Works program. “I don’t know anything about what they’re doing because of the firewall,” Gaddis says of the dual teaming arrangement.

The clean-sheet T-1 aircraft dates to October 2012, when Boeing completed the initial design review. It was quietly rolled out two years later and is now supporting Boeing’s concept refinement and deck-handling demonstration work for the Navy, while also building up to first flight. Gaddis will not say exactly when the aircraft is due to fly, but it will likely happen sometime after the contract award in August.

The aircraft looks nothing like Boeing’s earlier Phantom Ray flying-wing design, which first flew in April 2011 and had been a candidate for the Uclass surveillance-and-strike role. What the company has come up with is a stretched-out wing-body-tail aircraft with a V-tail ruddervator and fold-up, high-aspect-ratio wings. When the first images were released, there was some misguided speculation about the purpose of the forward air intake and the nose camera. But Boeing confirms that the forward inlet simply supplies air to the environmental control system and the camera is being used to collect data during testing and does not feature in the actual MQ-25 design. The final versions will, however, carry an electro-optical sensor.

The aircraft has been compared with the Northrop Tacit Blue, a first-generation stealth technology demonstrator, but Gaddis confirms that the Boeing MQ-25 is not designed for low-observability or “stealth.” At most, the aircraft may employ some radar cross-section and infrared signature reduction techniques, such as the fuselage chine, top-mounted air intake, and heat-reducing exhaust vent. But with wings like an albatross, the long-haul UAV will show up on modern radars.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 08 Mar 2018 20:00

Pentagon faces major cost increase on F-35 Block 4 modernisation

Key Points

The Pentagon is facing a major potential F-35 Block 4/C2D2 cost increase
This could add between USD6.9 billion and USD12.5 billion more to the Pentagon’s most expensive platform

The Pentagon is facing a cost increase for what was known as Block 4 modernisation of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) ranging between USD6.9 billion and USD12.5 billion, according to a key lawmaker and a Defense Department official.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in August tabbed at over USD3.9 billion the research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) funding needed for F-35 Block 4 modernisation, now known as Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), through fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022). During a 7 March 2018 House Armed Services (HASC) tactical air and land forces subcommittee hearing, F-35 program executive officer Admiral Mat Winter said C2D2 would cost USD10.8 billion through FY 2024.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts said the total cost for C2D2 could reach USD16.4 billion through FY 2024 – USD11 billion for development and USD5.4 billion in procurement. Tsongas believed this figure greatly exceeded any cost figures previously provided to Congress.

GAO said in August that Block 4 would be carried out in four increments – 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4. Block 4.1 is primarily software, as well as some new capabilities and correct deficiencies of nine capabilities carried over from the current development programme, such as the prognostics health management system down-link and communication capabilities. GAO said programme officials expected increments 4.1 and 4.3 to be primarily software updates while increments 4.2 and 4.4 would consist of more significant hardware changes.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Mar 2018 20:31



With all due respect to the author but this headline is BS and misleading. The block 4 modernization requirements were not even approved by the Secretary of Defense's ( JROC, DAB and AT&L) office till mid-late last year so how come the GAO came up with an accurate estimate in August when those actually doing the work did not know the scope of it?

The actual cost estimate the the program has provided was developed after they were given a complete, and approved (by international partners and the US OSD) set of requirements as to what they wanted block 4 to have in terms of capabilities. Once they received a set of approved requirements they took 3-4 months to develop a preliminary set of cost estimates that they then shared with the US Congress in January of this year. Final set of requirements will be developed and delivered this June. Jane's is likely confusing an older Follow on development plan (developed by the Obama administration) which, like practically all other programs has not been influenced by a new administration with its own set of requirements and schedules.

This is a capabilities based approach and the new administration has committed to seeking more capabilities, faster than the plans of the previous administration. As a result, all accounts have gotten a plus up. The Air-Dominance vector alone has increased by 50% to what Obama planned to spend, not due to cost overruns with R&D but because the new administration wants to move faster and spend more on developing the capability. No one, including the GAO can accurately provide a cost estimate for a set of modernization priorities until those have been clearly defined and a schedule for them provided. This is humanly not possible. Even now, they will take an additional 3-4 months to fully hash out and present a definitive cost target modernization given that they need to first get it past a few set of independent evaluators as per the established rules (program office can't simply throw pie in the sky cost and schedule estimates any more like they could in the past - they have to get one if not 2 independent evaluations done)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Cosmo_R » 08 Mar 2018 23:30

Interesting article (paywall) in the WSJ today:

"Lockheed Martin Corp. has a plan to cut the daunting cost of its F-35 combat jet.
But for that to happen, U.S. taxpayers would first have to pay more upfront to trim the price tag of the world’s most expensive military program.
The Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed wants to persuade lawmakers and the Pentagon to buy hundreds of the jets in a single, multiyear contract in the early 2020s to harvest economies of scale from increased production, said Jeff Babione, the Lockheed executive in charge of the F-35 program.
The plan, due to be unveiled later this month, comes as senior Pentagon leaders grow frustrated with efforts over the past three years to cut the cost of buying and flying a fleet of up to 2,400 of the radar-evading jets."

https://www.wsj.com/articles/lockheed-a ... 1520513498

If you look at the timelines, IF India wanted, it could commit now for a sizeable quantity under FMS for early 2020s delivery under full production series, driving down the cost to ~$85MM with engine. Doubt any other imported fighter including the Rafale is going to provide equivalent capability anywhere near that figure.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 09 Mar 2018 00:30

MYP is how US contracting normally works and this is how all long term systems are acquired. The F-35 cannot enter into an MYP, legally, until it has completed the Operational Test and Evaluation which will occur by next summer. International operators are already buying this aircraft starting with the current lot in a multi-year fashion but the US cannot based on its acquisition laws. The middle-ground was that the US Government will proceed Economic Order quantities whereby they will order long lead material along with international aircraft but each lot would be ordered via annual contracts until the program achieves Milestone-C and they can legally enter into a MYP. It is reasonable to begin floating the plans for a MYP now since it takes a good year to tow for them to be fully negotiated and by the time this occurs, IOTE would have concluded.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby sooraj » 13 Mar 2018 09:27

US Navy jet lock scope on UFO


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 13 Mar 2018 10:15

Remote controlled drone. Used to test radar autotrack and other tracking systems

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2018 15:12

A couple of more pics of Boeing's MQ-25 TD -

Image

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 14 Mar 2018 06:21

F-35 Parts Shortage Threatens To Hold Up Pilot Training

AW&ST

LUKE AFB, Arizona and WASHINGTON—When F-35 pilot Maj. Matt Strongin broke the plastic clip that connects his mask to his helmet, he was told that due to a backlog, it would take two weeks to ship a replacement clip from Texas.

In the meantime, Strongin, chief F-35 instructor at the 56th Training Squadron at Luke AFB, Arizona, was facing the prospect of two weeks on the ground.

The unit had a helmet to spare because one of the pilots was sick and out for two months. Couldn’t Strongin just take the clip from the sick pilot’s helmet and screw it onto his own until the new part came in?

No, that would be against policy, he was told.

Strongin did not let the issue drop. He sent his request up the chain to the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO), which issued an “exception” to the policy and updated the software of the Autonomic Logistics and Information System, which tracks each part of each aircraft worldwide, to reflect the change. Strongin was able to fly the next day.

Strongin’s specific problem was resolved quickly, but other pilots are not so lucky. The pilots at the U.S. Air Force’s two F-35 training hubs are now feeling the impact of a major problem that is emerging across the enterprise: a severe shortage of spare parts and limited capacity to repair those that are broken, leading to low readiness levels across the fleet. And as the Air Force battles another critical shortage—the pilots themselves—the training bases are arguably facing the most urgent challenge.

At the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida, the Air Force’s other F-35 training unit, maintainers are constantly battling for parts. At Eglin, the backlog is so severe that it is threatening to delay graduating pilots, said Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida during a March 7 hearing of the House Armed Services tactical air and land subcommittee.

“We’ve gotten report after report that the parts are not available to ensure that we’ve got capable aircraft to meet the training syllabus,” Gaetz said. “While we’ve not been late in graduating any pilots yet, I’ve been told that we are rapidly approaching the inability to accomplish the mission.”

Of course, it is not just the training bases that are affected. Overall from January through Aug. 7, 2017, F-35s were unable to fly because they were awaiting parts on average about 22% of the time—more than double the Pentagon’s goal of 10%, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Overall, the average availability rate for the fleet is 51%, although the reliability of the newer aircraft is drastically higher than the old jets (70-75% vs. 40-50%).

For the U.S. Marine Corps, the operational F-35 squadron that is based at Iwakuni, Japan, also has a big supply problem, according to Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, deputy commandant for aviation. The availability rate in Marine Attack Squadron 121 is in the mid-50%, he told the March 7 House subcommittee hearing. On the other hand, on “a good day” the F-35 availability at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma is 90%, he said.

Compounding the problem is the fact that the F-35 enterprise does not have enough capacity to repair components “in a timely manner,” because the establishment of repair capabilities at the military depots is six years behind schedule, GAO found.
These capabilities were planned to be completed by 2016, but some capabilities have now been delayed until 2022, according to the watchdog.

This creates a domino effect on parts availability, Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, told the subcommittee.

“We are late standing up our depots to actually turn and fix those parts, so we’ve been going back to the original equipment manufacturers to get new parts most of the time rather than fix them,” Harris said. “So those parts themselves are stacking up.”

The JPO hopes to fix the problem by accelerating the stand-up of an organic government depot repair capacity, primarily to fix subsystems like tires, wheels, and avionics, so the supply chain can focus on spare parts and new production parts, JPO chief Vice Adm. Mat Winter said. This capability will be established in fiscal 2018, he said.

The JPO also spent $1.4 billion in fiscal 2017 to increase spare part purchases, build up repair capacity and improve the speed of repairs, according to program spokesman Joe Dellavedova.

“If you can afford to buy something but you have to keep it in the parking lot because you can’t afford to own and operate it, then it doesn’t do you much good,” Winter said.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 16 Mar 2018 03:41

Qatar signs $3.7 billion deal for NH90 helicopters
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... ce=Twitter

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 17 Mar 2018 05:05

2 US Navy pilots dead after Super Hornet crash

AW&ST

The U.S. Navy has confirmed that the two crewmembers involved in a BoeingF/A-18F Super Hornet crash on March 14 in Key West, Florida, have died.

The aircraft was on final approach to Boca Chica Field at Naval Air Station Key West when it went down into the water about 1 mi. east of the runway.

The crash occurred at 4:30 p.m. local time. The aircraft belonged to the Black Lions of Strike Fighter Squadron 213 (VFA-213), which is garrisoned at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The service says the pilot and weapons systems officer of the twin-seat strike fighter were recovered from the water by local search-and-rescue crews. They were transported by ambulance to the Lower Keys Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.

“We are sad to report that both aviators have been declared deceased. Their families are in our prayers,” says U.S. Naval Air Forces, which is responsible for the training and readiness of naval aviation units.
...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 17 Mar 2018 05:10

WOW! :shock: What is the pilot seeing, that he knows where to land?


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Sid » 17 Mar 2018 06:10

brar_w wrote:A couple of more pics of Boeing's MQ-25 TD -

Image


I have two questions

1. Where are the air intakes? Is that on the top, and very unusual for a jet aircraft.
2. Why do they still have humans trying to guide that unmanned beast, there is no cockpit, and no one there to eyeball whatever he is trying to do?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2018 16:50

Sid wrote:1. Where are the air intakes? Is that on the top, and very unusual for a jet aircraft.


Yes, it is at the top like the Tacit Blue. Boeing developed this aircraft back in 2013-2014, using the requirements that likely existed in 2010ish time-frame which called for a multi-mission Strike/ISR aircraft. As these evolved into an ISR/Tanker mission they likely adjusted their design. Their actual solution for the MQ-25 may be a lot different now that they have in their hands a complete RFP to which they have responded. They will probably use this to de-risk there proposal. The most challenging requirements for the aircraft are to be able to offload 15,000 lb of fuel at 500 nm distance from a carrier and then fly back so whatever residual ISR capability may exist (SIGINT/ELINT, EO/IR) has to work around that.

Sid wrote:2. Why do they still have humans trying to guide that unmanned beast, there is no cockpit and no one there to eyeball whatever he is trying to do?


Because in this particular case, there likely is someone guiding it since they have cameras on the test aircraft for deck handling work. Additionally, even during actual carrier deck operations with an operational system, the US Navy is exploring whether to have Aircraft directors telling the UAS where to go using the same gestures they would use with pilots. Therefore NAVAIR has an interest in DIABLO (on-Deck Intelligent Aircraft Body Language Observer) which is a set of hardware and software based solutions that use modified standard issue wands and machine learning for gesture recognition.

The idea is to use modified signalman wands on carriers that will use UASs so that the same set of hardware and procedures can be used for directing both manned and unmanned aircraft around the deck. This avoids introducing a completely new set of procedures for unmanned aircraft vs manned aircraft. On the Aircraft Carrier concept demo phase (X-47B), they used humans to guide the vehicle on deck and focused on autonomous takeoffs and landings only but when they operationalize these systems they have to nail down what solution they want as they integrate unmanned assets into the carrier deck and operations. Certainly, a solution that completely takes away the need to train deck crew seems a strong possibility.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Viv S » 17 Mar 2018 18:10

Rakesh wrote:WOW! :shock: What is the pilot seeing, that he knows where to land?

I believe what you’re seeing is the HUD video feed. The pilot himself likely has a set of NVGs equipped.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2018 18:12

Kartik wrote:Of course, it is not just the training bases that are affected. Overall from January through Aug. 7, 2017, F-35s were unable to fly because they were awaiting parts on average about 22% of the time—more than double the Pentagon’s goal of 10%, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Overall, the average availability rate for the fleet is 51%, although the reliability of the newer aircraft is drastically higher than the old jets (70-75% vs. 40-50%).

For the U.S. Marine Corps, the operational F-35 squadron that is based at Iwakuni, Japan, also has a big supply problem, according to Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, deputy commandant for aviation. The availability rate in Marine Attack Squadron 121 is in the mid-50%, he told the March 7 House subcommittee hearing. On the other hand, on “a good day” the F-35 availability at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma is 90%, he said.

Compounding the problem is the fact that the F-35 enterprise does not have enough capacity to repair components “in a timely manner,” because the establishment of repair capabilities at the military depots is six years behind schedule, GAO found.


Two main issues at play here. 1) Inadequate investment in timely organic depot capability because of numerous Continuing resolution and uncertain budgetary situation, pretty much since 2011-2012, which impacts O&S accounts, and the ability of the services to hire civilian workforce that largely runs these depots. The Congress has been buying aircraft using OCO funding as a top off but you cannot use that money to build depot capacity as it involves recurring investment which requires base budget funding.

2) Older aircraft are using computers and other hardware that is no longer in rate production as the program has shifted, first to 2B standard and since late 2017, is producing 3F aircraft. This means the components breaking down which use pre Tech-refresh hardware need to be kept in production despite them not feeding new built aircraft. This is a challenge given the program is ramped up from 40-50 aircraft a year, to 66 and will hit 90+ this year on its way to 140 a year or so from now. If they don't have the capability to increase organic depot capacity they have a huge pileup of parts that need to be turned around and the only way to increase capability rates is then to just order new ones which is not easy to deliver at a time the program is seeing aggressive ramp up.

In short, there is no short-term fix for this. Part 1 is being addressed by the current administration, under Jim Mattis, finally addressing O&S, but will take 2-3 years to show results as you cannot build O&S capacity overnight. Part-2 will show results earlier as more 3F aircraft are added to the US fleet, and quite rapidly, and their percentage of the total fleet rises boosting overall fleet availability and capability rates. Concurrent to this, the fleet modernization program is running in full swing now and it is bringing older generation aircraft (block 2 and early block 3I) to block-3F configuration at a rate of a few dozen aircraft a year. This will lead to the complete fleet being on the most modern standard (3F) by around 2020 which means that all their critical mission systems will be running the same generation hardware. This will change again a few years later as a part of the fleet, and new build aircraft, are modernized with yet another set of new computers but this is how the program will be throughout its life (a major hardware upgrade every decade and 2-3 software upgrades in between).

As far as the exact nature of availability and mission capability rates for individual blocks, see the graph below.

Image

You can expect the MC rates of the total fleet to be closer to 70-75% by 2020, which the operational fleet will likely achieve by late this year or next year. The USAF's only operational Unit in Utah is already hitting close to 70% number.

The 6-year delay that the GAO keeps bringing up in depot capacity was a policy decision of the previous administration. The Budget Control Act of 2011 triggered sequestration in US budgets around 2011, and as a result, faced with budget-growth and top-line uncertainty the Obama administration in consultation with the three services chose to trade some readiness away in order to protect modernization (i.e. absorb some short-term capacity shortfalls in order to ensure they can modernize their forces for the long term). Insufficient depot capacity and delays in depot capability upgrades plague all aviation assets including the US Navy fighters and US Army aviation as well. The current administration is addressing this but only through a budget increase on the back of the 2-year deal negotiated recently that funds both readiness improvement and modernization. But this will take time as there is a lead time involved.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 18 Mar 2018 14:02

Viv S wrote:
Rakesh wrote:WOW! :shock: What is the pilot seeing, that he knows where to land?

I believe what you’re seeing is the HUD video feed. The pilot himself likely has a set of NVGs equipped.


And probably with ICLS assistance

Still one of the most challenging and nerve racking things in aviation.. even more so when the gizmos fail

Check out the below video. Keep the pop-ups ON as they give a good idea of what's going on


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Philip » 18 Mar 2018 16:52

UK Sun paper 18th March claims the the missing MH-370 aircraft has been located using Google (pic shown) by an Oz researcher , Peter McMahon, just north off Round islet Mauritius, apparently riddled with bullet holes.A team of 4 Yanquis were sent to Oz to allegedly prevent the search at that spot and made them look elsewhere.This is a strong possibility given the debris from the aircraft found on Reunion island close to Mauritius.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Avtar Singh » 19 Mar 2018 05:58

Rakesh wrote:WOW! :shock: What is the pilot seeing, that he knows where to land?




a modern aircraft FMS can generate an artificial lateral and vertical flight path to bring you to touchdown point

see aircraft symbol at bottom of screen he is keeping it between the brackets all the way down

right at the end you will see the brackets line up exactly with touchdown zone and the
lighting in the touchdown zone. SIMPLES!

needless to say you could not do it with a mig21

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 19 Mar 2018 11:03

Luftwaffe chief dismissed over F-35 support

http://www.janes.com/article/78644/luft ... 35-support
The Chief of the Luftwaffe’s active support of the JSF clashes with current Ministry of Defence planning, which prefers a successor solution involving the Eurofighter Typhoon.


The German MOD seems to have the balls to fire the Air chief and opt for indiginous solution when the Chief wanted to Import F-35

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Mar 2018 14:38

Besides the fact that the Typhoon is a rather poor replacement for the Tornado, while the F-35 nearly checks all the boxes for a strike fighter acquisition to replace the Tornado just as it is likely to do in Italy and the UK. Not to mention that unlike the Typhoon, the F-35 would not need conversion in order for it to support the nuclear mission as it is going to possess that capability from the start.

One would also have to wonder how a Typhoon would perform the ECR mission?. Something the German Tornado crews have been actually tasked in during combat. The aircraft lacks a suitable modern ARM in addition to other SEAD/DEAD specific sensors. Perhaps this is why they are still keeping the Growler in the mix even though they are unlikely to be able to afford a mixed fleet. The F-35 on the other hand would have been capable of carrying the Extended-Range AARGM around the time the German Air Force expects to acquire its new aircraft.

Image

The AIr-Cheif had a clear preference for a survivable strike fighter from an operational requirement perspective given that he was tasked to look at the 2025/30-2070 operational period as they intend on begin buying new aircraft in 2025 (IOC) and induct all in 2030 (FOC). This would mean either the F-35, or the Airbus Next Gen. aircraft, which is currently in the PPT phase.

But I do agree, the politicos and the German taxpayers have the full right to demand (despite of the operator wishes) that a "more indigenous(nearly 70% of the Typhoon content would still be imported)" solution be considered, for the sake of jobs, even though it may require engineering and development expenditure to meet the new requirements. They should have been able to however, overrule the air-chief without having to fire him imo.
Last edited by brar_w on 19 Mar 2018 15:21, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 19 Mar 2018 15:04

he stepped way out of line there. must be a import pasand munna.

of the original EF consortium/partners - UK and Italy is going with JSF as the next manned fighter. which leaves spain and germany.

spain has hornet and typhoon
germany has tornado and typhoon

spain has no stomach for a 5th gen new fighter - they will buy the advanced hornet and JSF in lieu of the typhoon and defer this purchase as long as they can. its easy because they purchased just 48 typhoon.

this leaves germany alone holding the bag, so they need to hook up with france as the only holdouts who can together create a 5th gen, and pull in british(RR), italy(alenia) and spain(hispano suiza) components as needed......methinks they wont go for a manned fighter, their public has no stomach to fund it ... they will build a small neuron ucav and use that for DPSA instead. there is hardly any conventional threat from russia.... they could use sopwith camels and piper moths to drop munitions on africa and afpak.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Mar 2018 15:11

You have to consider fleet replacement needs and the mission requirement as these are things that are going to be primary drivers as far as the operator is concerned (and they should be). The political class has to balance that with other considerations so has a broader mandate. The operators must put their 2 cents into the hat given that there perspective is unique and therefore cannot be had from elsewhere. That the political class has purged dissenting voices isn't all that new..It is widely believed that the USAF Air Chief and even the Secretary of the Air Force were asked to get in line or leave, by the then Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates, vis-a-vis the decision to finally kill the F-22 (The AF was adamant on a minimum of 243).

The UK at best will replace the Harriers and Tornados with perhaps a mix F-35Bs and As (instead of an all STOVL fleet). Italy will replace the Tornados with the F-35As and buy Bs for naval ops. Both will keep a sizable fleet of Typhoons for some time until those need to be replaced which is a different acquisition cycle further out into the future. Spain will also strongly consider the F-35 for its Hornet and Harrier replacement for a combined Air-Force and Navy purchase. There is really no financial upside to a partner only vested in low double digit percentage program participation on the Typhoon (as Spain is) given the potential to get the same or more work as an offset on a much larger program.

The UK will likely roll its Next Gen. combat aircraft requirements into one or multiple FCAS offshoots and Italy will likely latch on to one of the other European projects that will emerge over the years. A "new 5th generation aircraft" is not really an option as anything that starts now, will take at least 2 decades if not more to come to fruition given the developmental and political lead time. It would not show up in time for a Tornado replacement which is a 2025 need but could possibly show up for the Typhoon replacement cycle a few decades down the road. So they would need something much superior (a half generation to a generational leap in capability) but there will be tremendous political, financial and technical hurdles even before something like that gets going as was the case when they decided to pursue a joint project the last time around before France walked out and began working on the Rafale. One could argue that the German politicians have masterfully made this about the Air-Force boss when those who control their purse strings should really also be concerning themselves with why, a suitable indegenous Tornado replacement was not developed in a timely fashion forcing the only semi-indigenous option being the acquisition of an air-superiority fighter aircraft with residual multi-role capability.

Hence Germany was and still is only looking at options that are currently in production and as I stated in my previous post, any Typhoon variant created to replace the Tornado would have to be significantly modified in order to meet mission needs (or have those needs degraded to justify less EMD funding and lead time). One can go down the list of missions and capabilities the German Tornado squadrons field for their air-force and NATO and see how the Typhoon,as it currently stands, is unable to meet them. Going through that retiring capability will also allow one to understand where he was coming from given that his main job in this context is to provide expert opinion on what capability should be brought in in order to replace something that will leave the fleet starting middle of next decade. It is not like he can completely do away with either the strategic mission or the ECR role as his predecessors demanded it, and the government at the time funded upgrades to the Tornado (ASSTA2/3) to modernize those and other capabilities.

One is left wondering as to how the Germans will modify the Typhoon over a relatively short period of time in order to take over those missions at a time that they cannot even pursue an aggressive modernization strategy for their existing Typhoons. It is quite likely that they will let at least some of that capability atrophy in order to save money and keep schedule so the ability of the Air-Force to do ECR, SEAD etc will take a dramatic hit (this is probably the reason why there was pushback from the Air Chief)..The new Air Cheif would likely be asked to get in line and develop requirements that can be more easily met with the Typhoon. For reference, the Belgians published (publicly) their RFI for their strike fighter replacement needs and if the Germans put a set of requirements that were similar, there would be no way that the Typhoon could have come out on top which appears to be the result the politicians want to see.

But, they will get an aircraft that will have at least 30% German content so that constituency would be kept happy.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 21 Mar 2018 17:13

Within a week if which China will claim to have successfully tested their own fighter lasers.. which will lead to much dhoti shivering in our media.. only to realize after a few months that the Chinese were referring to lighter razors :((

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 23 Mar 2018 06:31

ArjunPandit wrote:^^quote from the above page


I have in the past, posted about the F-20. In fact, the entire SAAB campaign for the Gripen-C is a direct leaf out of the Northrop marketing book from way back if one digs up some of print and other marketing material from that effort -




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 23 Mar 2018 08:09

Posted by BRF Member Nishn
----------------------------------
For comparison sake, long before the Gripen came along, there was a gem that unfortunately didn't go into production. The F-20 Tiger Shark, potential successor to the F-5 and main opponent to the Mig-21 in the South East Asia region.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_F-20_Tigershark#/media/File:F-20_Tigershark_launching_AGM-65_Maverick.jpg
And the specs
Crew: 1 pilot
Length: 47 ft 4 in (14.4 m)
Wingspan: 27 ft 11.9 in / 8.53 m; with wingtip missiles (26 ft 8 in/ 8.13 m; without wingtip missiles)
Height: 13 ft 10 in (4.20 m)
Wing area: 200 ft² (18.6 m²)
Empty weight: 13,150 lb (5,964 kg)
Loaded weight: 15,480 lb (7,021 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 27,500 lb (12,474 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F404-GE-100 turbofan, 17,000 lbf (76 kN)
Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 2, 1320 mph, 2,124 kmh
Combat radius: 320 nmi in air superiority mission with 2x AIM-9 and 5 minutes air combat
150 nmi radius in close air support with 2x AIM-9 + 7x Mk-82 + 2x 330 gallon drop tanks
300 nmi radius in combat air patrol with 2x AIM-9 + 2x 330 gallon drop tanks and 138 minutes on station
550 nmi radius for hi-lo-hi interdiction with 2x AIM-9 + 5x Mk-82 + 2x 330 gallon drop tanks[83] ()

Ferry range: 1,490 nmi (1715 mi, 2759 km) ; with 3 × 330 US gal (1,250 L) drop tanks
Service ceiling: 55,000 ft (16,800 m)
Rate of climb: 52,800 ft/min (255 m/s)
Wing loading: 81.0 lb/ft² (395 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight: 1.1
Armament

Guns: 2× 20 mm (0.79 in) Pontiac M39A2 cannons in the nose, 280 rounds each
Hardpoints: 5 external hardpoints with a capacity of 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) of bombs, missiles, rockets and up to 3 drop tanks for extended range
Rockets: 2 × CRV7 rocket pods Or
2 × LAU-10 rocket pods with 4 × Zuni 5 in (127 mm) rockets each Or
2 × Matra rocket pods with 18 × SNEB 68 mm rockets each
Missiles: 2 × AIM-9 Sidewinders on wingtip launch rails (similar to F-16 and F/A-18)
Up to 4 x AIM-7 Sparrows on underwing launch rails
AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles on hardpoints
Bombs: Various air-to-ground ordnance such as Mark 80 series of unguided iron bombs (including 3 kg and 14 kg practice bombs), CBU-24/49/52/58 cluster bomb munitions, M129 Leaflet bomb
Avionics
General Electric AN/APG-67

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 23 Mar 2018 08:11

Posted by BRF Member ArjunPandit
----------------------------------
^^quote from the above page
In April 1984, after the Congressional hearings, the USAF was directed to promote FX actively. Several potential customers were briefed during May and June 1984 on the performance and cost of both the F-20 and F-16/79.[57] The Air Force published an internal report on FX in late June 1984. The F-20 was characterized as having outstanding performance against viable threats; and seen as a candidate for the Air Force's aggressor requirement. The report additionally stated that the F-20 had been contractor-funded, totaling over $750 million, compared to $60 million on the F-16/79. However, the report concluded that it had little or no market to sell to.[58] The USAF had a vested interest to encourage F-16 sales; larger production numbers would drive down the cost per unit.[59] Gregg Easterbrook noted that F-20 may have cast the Air Force in a bad light, as an aircraft developed independent of their input,[60] authors such as Donald Pattillo shared this conclusion.[61] In contrast, the F-16 was heavily involved in the USAF hierarchy, originating from a group of officers known as the "fighter mafia".[62] By March 1985, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of State were reconsidering the policy. Despite some calls to support Northrop, FX was abandoned.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby SiddharthS » 23 Mar 2018 16:54

While i do not support importing weapons; including Rafale, FGFA, SEF, Gregorovich, Armata and F-35. And Firmly believe that India can not show Indian power through foreign weapons. And believe in the only way to establish Indian MIC is through iterative development, completely cutting off the imports and Giving DRDO massive funds and manpower to do the real R&D. If we start now we'll get to the desired point in 10 years and the longer we wait, the longer its going to take.

Now that being said, all the noise generated around the F-35 being a 'turkey' seems to have subsided.
Lt col David Berke politely explains how the hyperbole of Sprey is a 'turkey'.



Here he explains what the Fifth Generation is all about.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Neshant » 26 Mar 2018 10:31


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 26 Mar 2018 19:10

^ Neshant ji, thanks for posting this interesting video

Could you please post it in the UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech thread, as well. Thanks.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 27 Mar 2018 17:03

New good photos of MiG-23 and MiG-25 fighters from the airbase in Misurata Libya

Image
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https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3137044.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby VinodTK » 27 Mar 2018 22:25

Trump Defense Budget Gives Boeing's Super Hornet Fighter A Big Boost
It seems the U.S. Navy can't get enough of Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters. The sea service is leveraging a big increase in military funding from the Trump administration to launch a multifaceted modernization of Super Hornet -- which already dominates flight decks on the service's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

One facet of the modernization plan is to upgrade technology on all new Super Hornets coming off the Boeing production line in Missouri beginning next year. A second facet involves installing the same new technology on Super Hornets already in the fleet, so that all F/A-18s eventually are modernized to what the Navy calls a "Block III" configuration. A third facet will extend the usable life of Super Hornets in the fleet from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours -- a 50% gain signaling naval aviators will be relying on the plane for decades to come.
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According to Lara Seligman of Aviation Week & Space Technology, the Navy will buy 24 new Super Hornets in the fiscal year commencing October 1, and an additional 110 in the following five years. All of these planes will be built to the Block III standard, meaning they will be able to reach targets over 500 miles away without refueling.

That's an important gain in terms of addressing all the likely targets in future conflicts while keeping carriers far away from hostile players. As countries like China invest more heavily in long-range antiship missiles, the Navy needs to avoid putting its carriers in harm’s way. The Navy's supercarriers seldom stop moving when deployed and are nearly impossible to sink with anything smaller than a nuclear weapon but increasing the reach of Super Hornets expands the maneuver options for carriers and their escort warships.

More range is just the beginning of what the Block III upgrades will deliver. Super Hornets will also receive an advanced infrared search and tracking system built around the latest Lockheed Martin sensor enabling them to detect and identify distant targets based on their heat emissions. Relying on both the active radio-frequency signals of radar and the passive collection capabilities of infrared sensors will enhance the situational awareness of Super Hornet pilots and the survivability of their planes in combat.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 30 Mar 2018 02:14

Croatia to buy ex-Israeli surplus F-16 C/D Barak jets

LONDON—Croatia will purchase ex-Israeli air force F-16 Fighting Falcons as its next-generation fighter.

The tiny Balkan country will purchase 12 F-16C/Ds from Israel that will undergo a life-extension program prior to delivery, giving Croatia 3,000 hr. of life on each aircraft, equivalent to 25 years operational life, the Croatian defense ministry announced March 29.

The Israeli F-16 offer, valued at 3 billion Croatian kuna ($500 million), was selected unanimously by the Defense Committee of the Croatian Parliament and prevailed over similar offers for second-hand F-16s from Greece and the U.S. as well as Sweden’s Saab JAS 39C/D Gripen. The South Korean KAI F/A-50 Golden Eagle also had been tendered, but was withdrawn in October because it could not meet all the Croatian requirements.


The procurement is the largest defense purchase in Croatia’s history. Israel’s bid was judged best, officials say, because it was the most “comprehensive” and contains the largest number of elements in terms of a “total package of services.”

The Croatian government also recognized that the aircraft is already being extensively used by other European air forces.
Israel also offered “strategic co-operation between the governments of the two countries,” the Croatian defense ministry said.

“The decision to procure a multi-purpose combat aircraft is a strategic decision that will strengthen the capabilities of the Croatian Army to be a more respected member of NATO and the European Union. Israel and the United States,” said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

Since it gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatia has been dependent on aging Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s for air defense and policing. Zagreb grew the MiG-21 fleet in 2013 with additional refurbished aircraft sourced from Ukraine, reportedly including some former Yemeni air force aircraft.

However, the MiGs are expected to come to the end of their operational lives by 2024.

The Israeli offer includes 10 single-seat F-16Cs and two F-16Ds and a flight simulator as well as pilot training in Israel. The aircraft will also come with an initial package of spares and weapons. The Croatian defense ministry notes that the Israeli F-16s come with the ability to carry Israeli developed weaponry such as Spice precision-guided bombs as well as Python and Derby air-to-air missiles. It is unclear whether indigenous Israeli weaponry will be included in the weapon package, however.


Croatia has been taking steps to beef up its armed forces. Last year it took delivery of 16 ex-U.S. Army Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors fitted with the Hellfire missile.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 31 Mar 2018 08:53

From the AIAA Paper " F-35 High Angle of Attack Testing " > https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2014-2057

VII. Flight Test

The testing began on October 29, 2012 with a trim and push over from 26° and 30° AoA to ensure the aircraft had
the control power to begin testing at 26° AoA. After that, the team was able to explore the lateral directional
maneuvers, knowing that if AoA limiter could not hold the jet during a maneuver, the control power to push the
nose down and recover was available.

As the team moved up the AoA blocks, one of the coordinated maneuvers exceeded the FTCC for the delta
between predicted DHS deflection and actual deflection. With the continuation criteria exceeded, generally the team
cannot continue on with testing along the same path. However, the team knew that from the push over the aircraft
had more than enough control power in the horizontal tails to move up safely in AoA. As such, that test flight was
able to continue, moving up in AoA while holding off on the coordinated maneuvers until the data could be
reviewed. After the flight, coordination with the Flying Qualities Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) using the flight test
data allowed the team to open up the FTCC for coordinated maneuvers. Smartly making use of the information in
the control room allowed the team to quickly and safely work up to the aircraft limit in four sorties, reaching 50°
AoA on November 1st, 2012.


While the jet remained in its pneumatic envelope, the aircraft response matched predictions fairly well. Once the
angle of attack crossed into the inertial envelope, sensitivity to the errors between the true sideslip on the jet and the
inertial value used began to show itself in the behavior of maneuvers and even trims. On one of the coordinated
maneuvers, the yaw rate passed the trip level for anti-spin engagement. As the team wasn’t expecting to see antispin
until the dedicated test block after intentional upright departures, testing was terminated for data review and a
path forward was coordinated with the SMEs.

When the aircraft’s air data system went inertial, the winds were latched so they could be used to calculate the
angle-of-attack and beta. It was determined that these errors caused the CLAW to incorrectly know how much
control power to use to reach the intended yaw rate, resulting in an overshoot of command and an anti-spin
engagement.
The team quickly learned that the winds could be “gamed” in a way to minimize the beta error
generated as the F-35 fell through the wind gradient. Instead, the wind error appeared in angle-of-attack where the
sensitivity to that error was much less. While this works for testing where a control room is available to give
headings and altitudes for high angle-of-attack maneuvering, it would not work in an operational setting: the pilot
could potentially have to maneuver at high angle-of-attack in many different wind gradients and through many
different altitudes. The solution, however, arose from the data gathered from flight testing: the probes and flush
ports were still usable in calculating pneumatic sideslip throughout the flight envelope.

With the envelope expanded up to 50° AoA, the next phase of testing could begin: intentional departures. Trim
settings were used to put the tails at fixed tail deflections to see what angle of attack the aircraft trimmed at. For the
first exploration into the departure region, the aircraft center of gravity was set so there would be no deep stall
condition, eventually building up to that case. The same was true for inverted departures. Exploration into the
upright departure region went smoothly, with the aircraft settling out at the predicted AoA for set tail positions.
However, once the team moved into the inverted departures, a roadblock was hit.

During the first inverted departure, a flow phenomenon over the air data probes caused a significant change in the
static pressure being used to calculate air speed, which, in turn, feeds into the recovery logic. In this situation, MPR
disabled because the reported airspeed exceeded the maximum allowable value for this mode. Fortunately, the jet
was able to recover naturally because the forward CG ensured there was no deep stall. While in the previous sideslip
problem the team was able to come up with a workaround, this issue halted departure testing due to the potential for
more aft CGs to get into an out of control situation with an incorrect airspeed reading, disabling all recovery logic.

Then, the only solution would be to use the SRC. An operational pilot will not have the same luxury, highlighting
the importance of thorough testing. A software update was quickly developed and delivered, allowing the team to
continue intentional departures.

Along with intentional departures, the recovery logic was tested. At the most aft CG conditions, the APR system
was used as the recovery method rather than MPR. APR recovered the jet every time, and pilots called the system,
“brisk” and “confidence inspiring.” Similarly, the anti-spin logic was deliberately tested using a flight test aid that
disabled the anti-spin logic. The pilot could then generate a yaw rate to exceed the anti-spin logic limit before
disengaging the flight test aid, thereby engaging anti-spin. Intentional departure testing culminated with vertical
climbs, driving the aircraft straight up until it runs out of airspeed. At this point, the low airspeeds could cause the
jet to depart upright, inverted, or allow the nose to slice off. No matter the direction, the jet recovered with no issue.

With intentional departure testing wrapped up, the team will soon move into departure resistance and plan to
remove the SRC now that these systems have been verified. In this phase of testing, the jet will test the CLAW
limiters with much higher energy and rates than previous testing, fleshing out and correcting areas that may be
departure prone. Lastly, select operational maneuvers, such as a slow down turn and a Split-S, will be used to gather
handling qualities data on high AoA maneuvers. With the completion of this phase, the F-35 will be released for
initial operational capability in the high AoA region.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 31 Mar 2018 13:02

Fiftieth anniversary of the Air Force of Singapore



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