Chinese Army simulates massive amphibious assault on Hainan Island, Taiwan replica

The Chinese island of Hainan, with its 34.000 km2 and its 1.500 km of coastline, is in itself a province of the country which is home to 8 million inhabitants and has numerous defense infrastructures, in particular the nuclear submarine base of Longpo next to the city of Yulin, is in many aspects, a life-size replica of the island of Taiwan, with its 36.000 km2 and its 1550 km of coastline. Obviously, the thing did not escape the strategists of the People's Liberation Army, who organized, this weekend, a huge naval and amphibious exercise, taking place precisely on...

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Lockheed-Martin and Airbus to face Boeing for new US Air Force tanker contract

In 2008, Airbus, then EADS, and the American Northrop Grumman, won the KC-X competition to provide a new tanker aircraft to the US Air Force, with an aircraft designated KC-45A derived from the A330 MRTT. But following legal protests from Boeing, which offered its KC-46, the decision was taken to cancel the competition to make a new one. Faced with intense lobbying from the American firm, and the withdrawal of Northrop Grumman from the partnership with EADS, the Seattle aircraft manufacturer finally won the new competition in 2011, on the basis of a Boeing B-767 adapted to the needs of the 'US Air Force, and designated KC-46A. An order of 179…

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Logistics, tankers, ammunition: the Pentagon "concrete" the fundamentals

After years of budgetary wandering and reckless spending, the Pentagon's budget is today the subject of all the attention, as much by the General Staffs as the executive and the Congress, as the needs observed are so great, while the budget remains fixed or constrained to slow growth. If it is true that when he arrived at the White House, Donald Trump gave priority to the Pentagon budget, with an increase of nearly 15% between 2016 and 2018, planned US defense spending is expected to stagnate in 2020 and 2021, then to grow by “only” 3 to 5% per…

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The vulnerability of tankers worries the US Air Force

There are no hunters without supply ships! This phrase “No fighters Without Tankers” alone sums up one of the main doctrines of the US Air Force over the past 60 years. Indeed, with the Vietnam War, the United States, and in particular the US Air Force, understood the decisive role of these devices, but also of electronic intelligence aircraft or air surveillance aircraft, to use the most effectively possible an air force. Today, the US Air Force alone operates 614 aircraft specially dedicated to aerial refueling, representing 77% of all aircraft of this type in the world. But for…

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Boeing restarts KC-46 and P-8 production after three weeks of shutdown

On March 25, Boeing announced that it was ceasing production of airliners at its various production sites in the Puget Sound region, near Seattle. The state of Washington has indeed been seriously affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, forcing the closure of the main businesses in the region. For Boeing, this meant ceasing production of civilian aircraft, but also military aircraft derived from them, such as the KC-46 Pegasus tanker and the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. After three weeks of closure, the Pegasus line in Everett and the Poseidon in Renton were relaunched this morning, with sanitary measures…

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KC-46: more bad news for Boeing

Since the launch of the USAF KC-46 Pegasus tanker program, technical problems, delays and additional costs have accumulated, to such an extent that the thirty or so aircraft already delivered today are unable to carry out combat missions. The main technical problem encountered by the Boeing tanker still seems to concern the Remote Vision System (RVS), a system of cameras and sensors allowing an operator to remotely guide the Pegasus' refueling pole. A few days ago, an agreement would have finally been reached between Boeing and the USAF in order to solve the problems once and for all...

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KC-46 Pegasus faces new technical problems, further increasing pressure on Boeing

For Boeing, the setbacks of the KC-46 Pegasus program look more and more like a never-ending story. While the purchase of 179 new tankers is essential for US Air Force projection operations, the new aircraft has been accumulating delays and additional costs for years. While Boeing promises to increase its efforts to quickly correct the most problematic technical issues, it seems that a new Category 1 problem has recently appeared. Indeed, the USAF would have continued to report serious fuel leaks requiring this technical problem to be upgraded to the rank of critical technical defects. The category…

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Boeing suspends production of P-19 Poseidon and KC-8 Pegasus aircraft due to Covid-46

Since the day before yesterday, Boeing factories in the state of Washington (in the North-West of the United States) began to drastically slow down their activity after the state of emergency was declared in this state. Indeed, the Seattle region is today one of the most affected by the coronavirus epidemic in the USA. As a result, as of today March 25, Boeing's production should be completely halted for a period of two weeks. For the defense sector, this mainly concerns mission aircraft based on civil airframes, in this case the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft, respectively…

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The US Air Force will decide this month if it will outsource part of its aerial refueling missions.

With more than 500 refueling planes online, the US Air Force alone has more than 70% of the world's air fleet specialized in this field. But a large part of its fleet, in particular the nearly 400 KC-135s still in service, are reaching the end of their age, and must be replaced by the new KC-46 Pegasus, an aircraft costing more than $150 million each. $250 million taking into account R&D and additional costs related to development difficulties. In order to cushion the budgetary shock of such an acquisition, but also to have greater flexibility for the withdrawal of the KC-135s in the face of delays...

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What really happened to the F-35s deployed in Finland?

In a previous article, we returned to the remarks of the Finnish HX Program Manager, Lauri Puranen, who commented on the problems encountered by the F-35 within the framework of the operational evaluation carried out by the Finnish air force within the framework of the HX-Fighters competition. He then confirmed what many observers and “spotters” had revealed: four aircraft were expected at Pirkkala air base, but only two arrived. Worse still, one of these two aircraft would have suffered an undetailed damage preventing it from carrying out its test flights, the plane being repaired only in time for its return trip to the USA. Difficult on this...

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