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    US Air Force: Discussion and News

    George1
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    Post  George1 Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:43 am

    U.S. Air Force receives first F-15EX fighter

    March 12th, 23:34
    The U.S. Air Force reported that the first built new Boeing F-15EX (military number 20-0001, serial number EX-1) arrived at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on March 11, 2021, and was officially transferred to the U.S. Air Force the day before. Boeing's St. Louis facility after completion of factory flight tests. This aircraft, which is the first flight prototype of the latest modification of the famous fourth-generation fighter F-15 Eagle, made its first flight in St. Louis on February 2, 2021.

    The aircraft entered Eglin Air Force Base with the 40th Flight Test Squadron of the 96th US Air Force Test Wing and will be used for testing. By the end of March, the second F-15EX aircraft is to be transferred to the 40th ekadrilya.

    Recall that on July 13, 2020, the US Department of the Air Force issued Boeing a contract worth $ 1.192 billion for the production and delivery of the US Air Force's first eight new fighters of the new F-15EX modification, the so-called Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP). Their purchase was previously authorized in the US defense budget for fiscal 2020.

    Thus, the US Air Force returned to purchasing fourth-generation fighters 15 years after the termination of their supply - the last F-15E fighter was delivered to the US Air Force in 2001, and the last Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters in 2005.

    The US military budget for fiscal 2021 has allocated funds for the purchase of the next 12 F-15EX fighters, with an additional 72 aircraft planned for the next four fiscal years. In general, the framework contract issued by Boeing on July 13, 2020 is set at $ 22.89 billion, and apparently covers the cost of 144 F-15EX aircraft, which the US Air Force previously intended to purchase in total, with the continuation of the F-15EX purchases for at least Fiscal year 2030. Later, there were reports that the US Air Force was planning to purchase a total of 200 F-15EX fighters.

    Of the eight first F-15EX fighters ordered, the first two are due to be handed over to the US Air Force by the end of the first quarter of 2021 (and the first was delivered on time), and the remaining six by FY2023. All eight of these aircraft will be delivered to Eglin AFB as part of the 40th Test Squadron and will be used for testing. Delivery of production F-15EX aircraft is due to begin in fiscal 2023, with the 123rd Fighter Squadron of the 142nd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air Force, based at Portland AFB, the first to receive them.

    The US Air Force plans to replace some of the Boeing F-15C / D Eagle fighters with F-15EX fighters. The F-15EX is a two-seat fighter (contrary to Boeing's original single-seat F-15X) and should be equipped with modern avionics based on the digital highway concept and Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture, including the Raytheon AN / APG-82 series radar. with AFAR. The F-15EX is said to be capable of carrying up to 22 air-to-air guided missiles or "hypersonic weapons up to 22 feet long and weighing up to 7,000 pounds." The aircraft will be equipped with conformal tanks.

    On February 28, 2021, the US government officially authorized Boeing to offer the F-15EX fighter jet as a candidate for an endless tender for the purchase of 144 new fighters for the Indian Air Force. It is reported that a number of countries are showing interest in acquiring the F-15EX.

    The first new Boeing F-15EX multifunctional fighter received by the US Air Force (military number 20-0001, serial number EX-1) during the flight to the base at Eglin Air Force Base (Florida), 03/11/2021 (c) US Air Force On the flight to the base to Eglin airbase (Florida)
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    The first new Boeing F-15EX (military number 20-0001, serial number EX-1) received by the United States Air Force was met by other F-15 fighters from the same 40th Eglin Test Squadron - including the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bomber (military number 86-0184) and F-15C Eagle fighter (military number 82-033), 03/11/2021. The last two images show the first F-15EX and F-15E (military number 86-0184) together (c) US Air Force

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    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/4273173.html

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    Hole
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    Post  Hole Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:28 pm

    The only time that thing will carry 22 AAM´s is for PR stunts.
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    Post  Backman Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:02 am

    Popular Mechanics https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a35865601/f-36-kingsnake-air-force-next-fighter-jet-concept/

    This Is the F-36 Kingsnake. It Could Be the Air Force's Next Fighter Jet.

    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 Kingsnake-profile-1-1616010612

    Meet the new, "non-stealthy" fighter that may replace the F-16.

    The U.S. Air Force has expressed interest in a new, non-stealthy fighter jet to replace the F-16.

    Several aviation experts have banded together and invented a new jet out of thin air.

    The result, the F-36 Kingsnake, would use the F-22’s engines, place less of an emphasis on stealth, and use digital engineering.

    The Kingsnake is equipped with an AN/APG-83 advanced electronically scanned array radar— the same one used in the latest version of the F-16—and an infrared sensor system derived from the Legion electro-optical targeting pod.

    A “Luddite Czar” would prevent new technologies from creeping into the jet, drawing out the jet’s development time and increasing the likelihood Kingsnake would fall behind. Like the F-16 it would replace, the Kingsnake would be a multi-role fighter jet capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The jet would carry missiles and guided bombs in internal bays, but as a non-stealthy plane, it would pack both on wing-mounted external hard points. The Kingsnake would also a gun, making it capable of strafing attacks against enemy ground forces.

    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 Kingsnake-plan-2-1616010572

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    Post  LMFS Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:04 am

    They designed it at Hush-kit, sadly they don't give many technical parameters and worst, they don't have a good engine for it. I would thing a F-16 with a reduced size F135 (or increased BPR F119 with axis-symmetrical nozzle) and bigger wing would be the easiest, safest way, if there is any truth at all in what Brown said (which I doubt). The biggest problem of the original F-16 for modern requirements both aero and RCS-wise is the single tail, the model would be even more valid today than what it still is, if the selected configuration would have been a twin tailed one:
    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 Hillaker_F16_29_1267828237_7413
    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 Hillaker_F16_32_1267828237_6598

    BTW, this link and specially the included pictures from a presentation by Harry J. Hillaker is an absolute must for anyone liking the F-16 or wanting to learn about combat aircraft in general:

    https://www.codeonemagazine.com/f16_article.html?item_id=131

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    Post  Isos Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:17 am

    The front is an su-57.
    George1
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    Post  George1 Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:49 pm

    Official presentation of the new American fighter F-15EX Eagle II

    On April 7, 2021, at the American Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, the US Air Force held an official presentation of the first new Boeing F-15EX multifunctional fighter they received (military number 20-0001, serial number EX-1). It was announced at the ceremony that the F-15EX was officially named the Eagle II.

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    George1
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    Post  George1 Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:50 pm

    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 44901410

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    Backman
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    Post  Backman Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:59 pm

    The Korean KF-21 would fit good into the US air force to close the gap left by the over reliance on the F-35. It is packed with off the shelf parts , nothing too fancy. So it would be relatively cheap. The US should co produce it.
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    Post  GarryB Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:53 am

    If you wait long enough what goes around comes around.... so they are talking about an F-16XL with two vertical tails...

    @LMFS, that top image looks like a family tree when you get an F-16 and Yak-141 to have babies...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:17 pm

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    Post  AlfaT8 Fri May 07, 2021 1:37 am

    LMFS
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    Post  LMFS Thu May 13, 2021 4:42 am

    Now, this is embarrassing:

    The Air Force is Planning For a Future Without the F-22
    Just four fighters will make up the future fleet: F-35, F-16, F-15EX, and NGAD, chief says.

    There was dirt more than enough to bury the F-22 and some was left for the F-35:

    Brown said the service is still considering what will be the replacement for the F-16, “whether it's additional F-35, or something else into the future.

    https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/05/space-force-aims-take-air-force-surveillance-mission/173997/
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    Post  GarryB Thu May 13, 2021 11:26 am

    Hope it is more F-35s...

    Hilarious though... the core backbone of the future of the USAF is the F-16 and the F15.... and something that is just letters and not even built yet?

    So two decades into the 21st Century and their plans for the future of the US AF are exactly the same as in 1980.... F-16 and F-15 and JSF...
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    Post  LMFS Thu May 13, 2021 12:56 pm

    I really don't know how to see that any other than as a massive fuckup, it is not even funny any more. F-22 seems to be simply discarded, as if no update or modification to the airframe was possible. Then they say that the PAK-FA is 4.5G, but their premium 5G platform is already obsolete and not worthy investing at all in it, while F-15 is being upgraded and ordered. Then the F-35 is downgraded from solution to all problems and substitute to anything but F-22, to just one of the planes of the air force, without it even being capable to replace the F-16 and being itself under threat by NGAD, which some say is already flying (a demonstrator of something related to it, apparently) while development of the JSF is not yet finished.

    The reality is that old concepts based on the F-16 (F-16 Agile that originated the Japanese F-2, or Falcon-21 related to the XL) where already very, very good options for developing a cheap and capable plane based on them. The F-16's main problem is wing size and engines, both were addressed with the Agile and now technology exists to create a very capable and simple plane with the increased wing size and an F119 or rather F135 derivative engine for extremely good performance. Such an engine could even re-power the F-15s and F-22 too, be it a modern adaptive design further down the road or simply a reduced size F135 in the short to medium term. The Falcon-21 even apparently had internal bays. F-22 could get a fuselage stretch or simply adaptive engines replacing F119 1:1 for a big range increase, plus new HW/SW architecture and become a perfectly valid plane for many years to come, but not, it is supposedly cheaper to start from zero...

    They continue to systematically ditch the easy and reasonable approaches in favour of unrealistic promises, it is really remarkable that they still don't understand what their problem is dunno

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    Backman
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    Post  Backman Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:32 pm

    And... here comes the NGAD hype. We don't even have a drawing but they are claiming that flight tests have begun. I guess this is the first drawing

    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 NGAD-concept

    The U.S. Air Force is planning for the fighter at the core of its multi-faceted Next-Generation Air Dominance program, or NGAD, to come with at least a degree of multirole capability, being able to engage ground targets, as well as aerial threats. The service is also looking at fielding long- and shorter-range versions of the aircraft, optimized for operations in the Indo-Pacific and European theaters, respectively. These are the latest details to emerge on the secretive NGAD program, at least one demonstrator for which has already begun test flights. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/41138/the-air-force-might-make-two-distinct-versions-of-its-next-multirole-stealth-fighter

    General Brown described the NGAD, or at least, the central fighter component within what’s expected to be a ‘system of systems,’ - Lol that's so F-35 of them. What did they learn from F-35 ? Evidently nothing. dunno

    However, the Air Force boss also wants the fighter to have some “multirole” functions, specifically, the ability to attack targets on the ground, “to ensure, one, that it can survive, but also to provide options for our air component commanders and for the Joint Force.”  Very Happy

    Air Force might consider fielding two distinct versions of the NGAD fighter component

    If the ‘European’ NGAD was notably smaller, that could make it cheaper to buy and operate, but that would also entail two distinct production versions, with potentially different support infrastructure and a knock-on effect on concepts of deployment and operation.


    Furthermore, having two distinct versions of NGAD would have considerable logistical and sustainment implications, good and bad. Although it would be hoped that the two designs would share a high degree of commonality, experience with the F-35 shows this is not always the case. Designed using modern techniques with an absolute focus on modularity could impact this issue positively, though, and the aircraft’s subsystems would likely be identical, reducing risk and increasing commonality.

    I'll stop here. The article just increasingly becomes a parody of itself. All the usual corporate-MIC buzzwords and utter BS.


    Last edited by Backman on Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:21 pm; edited 5 times in total

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    lancelot
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    Post  lancelot Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:57 pm

    From what I understand the NGAD prototypes are more akin to technology demonstrators than actual prototypes like the YF-22.
    They don't even seem to have a firm list of requirements yet. This means an actual aircraft is a long time away.

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    Finty
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    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 Empty Hawaii-Based F-22s Scrambled On FAA's Request But Nobody Will Say Why (Updated)

    Post  Finty Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:55 pm

    A pair of F-22 Raptors were launched on an alert scramble out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Sunday at around 4:00 PM local time. A third F-22 joined the mission about an hour after pair's departure. A KC-135 was also launched to support the fighters. Hawaii News Now reports that the scramble, described as an "irregular patrol," was initiated at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration, which reported an 'incident,' although nobody is providing any clear information in regards to what that catalyst for the prolonged scramble mission was

    More here:

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/41089/hawaii-based-f-22s-scrambled-on-faas-request-but-nobody-will-say-why


    Last edited by Finty on Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:50 am

    Weren't there Russian exercises near there recently?

    Perhaps they are practising their ability to fly out enormous distances with inflight refuelling aircraft and chase down low flying subsonic cruise missiles... or enemy aircraft.
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    Post  Finty Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:31 am

    Practising the destruction of carriers, apparently. More from the drive here...

    Russian Warships Came Within Just 34 Miles Of Hawaii During Recent Drills


    The top U.S. military command in the Pacific says that Russian naval vessels passed between 23 and 34 miles of the Hawaiian Islands at one point during their recent exercises in the region, but have now departed the area. This disclosure follows reports over the past 10 days or so that the presence of Russia's warships, as well as its combat aircraft, in the region had prompted the scrambling of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters on at least two separate occasions and the movement on short notice of an entire carrier strike group to the waters off Hawaii. It was previsouly understood that the Russia flotilla was hundreds of miles from Hawaii, not anywhere near as close as we now know was the case.

    U.S. Navy Captain Mike Kafka, a spokesperson for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), which is headquartered in Hawaii, confirmed to The War Zone just how close the Russian warships had gotten to U.S. territorial waters, though they stayed in international waters the entire time. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper had been the first to get this official confirmation.

    "At the closest point, some ships operated approximately 20 to 30 NM [nautical miles; 23 to 34 statute miles] off the coast of Hawaii," Kafka said. "As part of our normal daily operations, we continue to track all vessels in the Indo-Pacific area of operations through maritime patrol aircraft, surface ship, and joint capabilities."

    This is much closer than the Kremlin had previously acknowledged, having only said that the ships from the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet were conducting major exercises, including practicing to destroy enemy aircraft carriers, some 2,500 miles southeast of the Kuril Islands. This would have put them hundreds of miles away from the Hawaiian Islands. Earlier reports from U.S. outlets had said that the Russian ships and aircraft were operating in and over the Pacific between 300 and 500 miles from Hawaii, as well.

    "While I am not going to get into our tactic and procedures, I can say that we operate in accordance with international law and expect Russia to do the same," Kafka added when asked about whether or not U.S. military forces issued any warnings to the Russian ships or otherwise communicated with them as they sailed past Hawaii. "U.S. military forces are present and active in and around the Western Pacific on a daily basis in support of the homeland and to ensure a Free and Open Indo-Pacific."

    "The Russian vessels are transiting west and are out of the Hawaii Operation Area," Kafka had also told the Star-Advertiser. “As part of our normal daily operations, we continue to track all vessels in the Indo-Pacific area of operations through maritime patrol aircraft, surface ship and joint capabilities.”

    The Star-Advertiser reported that this was the closest Russian ships had sailed to Hawaii "in a long time." Other past reports had described the drills as the largest the Russian Navy had conducted anywhere in the Pacific since the end of the Cold War.

    Captain Kafka did not specify which Russian ships, specifically, sailed close to Hawaii or when that transit took place exactly. The Russian Ministry of Defense has previously said that the Slava class cruiser Varyag, the flagship of the country's Pacific Fleet, along with the Udaloy class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, and the Steregushchiy class corvettes Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov, Gromky, and Sovershenniy, were participating in the Pacific drills. The flotilla also notably included the Marshal Krylov, originally built to support the Soviet space program and that was also capable of tracking and collecting useful data from missile tests, and was reportedly converted into a command ship in recent years.

    A satellite image, seen in the Tweet below and reportedly dated June 19, had previously emerged that some had suggested could show some of these Russians ship, as well as others, along with U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class destroyers and a U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel class cutter shadowing them. The low resolution makes it difficult to conclusively identify any of the ships, but it does show a formation of vessels sailing approximately 35 nautical miles south of Honolulu, which would be perfectly in line with Captain Kafka's statement.

    The proximity of these Russian warships to Hawaii during these drills, even if it was only for a relatively short period of time, could easily be described as highly unusual and provocative. If the U.S. military had gotten any prior indications that these vessels might get so close, or had already, it would certainly go a long way toward explaining the Navy's usual decision to move the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and other elements of its Carrier Strike Group to the area on short notice. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is ostensibly still in the midst of preparing for its next scheduled deployment.

    It's unclear exactly when that movement occurred, but a picture, seen below, that the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet released late last week shows Carl Vinson, as well as the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Dewey, transiting the Pacific Ocean on June 13. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group had previously been training off the coast of southern California.

    June 13 is also the date of the first of two other separate incidents in which F-22 Raptor stealth fighters scrambled from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, reportedly in response to approaching Russian "bombers" also taking part in that country's Pacific drills. A second such scramble took place on June 18.

    While the Russians did not say any actual bombers took part in the Pacific exercise, Tu-142 Bear long-range maritime patrol planes, a design derived from the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, did participate, along with Il-38 May maritime patrol planes and MiG-31BM Foxhound interceptors.


    ANDREI SHMATKO/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
    A Russian Tu-142MZ Bear long-range maritime patrol plane. This was the specific variant of Tu-142 that had been observed taking part in the recent Russian Navy drills in the Pacific.

    "No intercepts were conducted with the Russian planes likely turning away from the path toward the state," the Star-Advertiser reported. At the same time, this could indicate that the Russian planes appeared to be flying mock attack profiles at targets in Hawaii when the decisions were made to launch the F-22s.

    It's also worth remembering that this Russian maritime drill was going on before, during, and after President Joe Biden met with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16. The Russian spy ship Kareliya, the presence of which led to the delay of a U.S. missile defense test in May, is still operating near Hawaii, as well. This comes as another American missile defense test in the Pacific appears to be imminent.

    No matter what, the revelation about how close the Russian ships got to Hawaii, along with this added detail about the potential nature of the F-22 scrambles, puts the entire exercise in a very different light. There has been multiple instances of increasingly provocative Russian naval activity aimed at the United States in the Pacific, among other places, in recent years.

    However, a significant Russian naval flotilla operating so close to American territory and so far away from home is a radically different show of force that is clearly meant to send a signal to the United States.

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/41229/russian-warships-came-within-34-miles-of-hawaiian-shores-u-s-military-confirms
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    US Air Force: Discussion and News - Page 15 Empty Draken Becomes The Next Red Air Private Contractor To Acquire F-16 Fighter Jets

    Post  Finty Thu Jul 01, 2021 1:31 am

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/41354/draken-becomes-the-next-red-air-private-contractor-to-acquire-f-16-fighter-jets



    Draken International, the adversary air support contractor which boasts one of the world’s largest private tactical jet air force, is now set to add F-16A/B fighters to its roster after the Dutch government announced it had agreed to transfer 12 of the jets to the North American company. Draken will join fellow private contractor Top Aces in operating F-16s for “red air” adversary support, which is now in great demand, especially to fulfill the U.S. Air Force’s mammoth adversary air contract.

    In a letter published today, the Dutch Minister of Defense, Barbara Visser, confirmed that an agreement had been reached for the sale of a dozen ex-Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16A/Bs plus associated unspecified items.

    “Draken International has been contracted by the U.S. government for years to take on the role of the enemy in U.S. Air Force and Navy exercises,” the letter explains. “These aircraft will be used exclusively on the basis of government contracts for support tasks during (inter)national exercises and training on American territory.”

    The F-16A/Bs are becoming available as part of the RNLAF’s planned phase-out of the jet, or End Life of Type (ELOT) program. The 12 jets in question are due to become surplus next year, as deliveries of F-35A stealth fighters to the RNLAF continue. The Dutch have committed to buying at least 46 F-35As, and deliveries to the Netherlands began in late 2019. The latest divestment of the Dutch Vipers has already begun, with one single-seat example having been sold to Belgium under a deal announced last August. Previously, batches of aircraft had also been sold to Chile and to Jordan, as part of an earlier fleet reduction during the 2000s.

    As well as the 12 Vipers earmarked for Draken, the Dutch government has announced an option for the same firm to acquire another 28 examples, which are planned to be retired from RNLAF service by the end of 2024. Should that follow-on deal be taken up, Draken would end up with a fleet of 40 Vipers, compared to the 29 ex-Israeli F-16A/Bs that were acquired by rival Top Aces.

    Now that details of the transfer of the first 12 jets have been agreed, and approval received from the relevant agencies in the Netherlands, the contract signature is likely to follow in the coming weeks, with deliveries to Draken beginning in 2022. Since the jets are covered by the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), approval for this sale has been requested from the U.S. government.

    No value has been provided for the deal, the Dutch Ministry of Defense noting that this information is commercially confidential.

    The Dutch acquired a fleet of 213 F-16s, beginning in 1979, and the original F-16A/B jets underwent the Mid Life Update (MLU) beginning in 1998, receiving the unofficial designation F-16AM/BM in the process. This effectively brought the jets up to a standard similar to the U.S. Air Force’s F-16C/D Block 50/52 and included a new modular mission computer, targeting pods, datalinks, GPS, night-vision goggle compatibility, and new precision-guided weapons. Incremental improvements have continued since via successive software upgrades.

    Headquartered at Lakeland Linder International Airport, in Lakeland, Florida, Draken’s fleet already boasts two supersonic fighter jets for adversary work: a dozen ex-South African Atlas Cheetahs, and 22 ex-Spanish Air Force Mirage F1Ms. One of the latter jets was lost in a fatal crash near Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, last month.

    Draken’s extensive fleet also includes A-4 Skyhawks, L-159 Honey Badgers, L-39s, and MB339s. The company also owns dozens of MiG-21s, although they are not part of its regular operations.


    The company’s Cheetahs and Mirage F1s already offer a high level of performance and are equipped with radars, with updates in the works to better represent fourth-generation threats. The F-16, on the other hand, is already a fourth-generation jet and its agility is legendary. It is no surprise that the Viper is an aggressor of choice for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, as well as civilian contractors.

    In particular, more capable red air assets are required to adequately train pilots of advanced U.S. fighters like the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor. Older equipment, like Draken’s hard-worked A-4s, are simply unable to replicate the required level of threat. Even the Cheetah and Mirage fall short of the kind of all-round performance and capabilities offered by the F-16, which will be a much better match to the kinds of aircraft flown by potential near-peer adversaries.


    It is notable that, not so long ago, it seemed that the growing demand for red air might be satisfied by older jets that could be upgraded to replicate fourth-generation platforms for this kind of work. When Draken acquired its Cheetahs, for example, much was made about how they could successfully emulate fourth-generation platforms. Similarly, in 2018 the U.S. Navy decided that upgraded F-5s were perfectly suitable for this work, passing on an F-16-based proposal.

    In the meantime, it seems there has been something of a change, or at least a realization that true fourth-generation jets are the best option for high-end aggressor work. This could be as a result of China’s growing capabilities and to a lesser extent those of Russia, or perhaps just a reflection that more second-hand F-16s are now becoming available. There is also the factor of a lack of corporate knowledge as regards types like the Cheetah and Mirage, with few U.S. pilots and maintainers having experience of them. The case of the F-16 is very different indeed. Meanwhile, the Air Force has, more generally, been pursuing a crawl, walk, run approach to its dealings with contractor-supplied adversary firms, as Lieutenant Colonel Jan ‘Kuts’ Stahl explained to The War Zone in a wide-ranging interview:


    “The fielding of contract aggressor forces was always intended to be a multi-year process in which initially we put jets on the line to fill more of the demand for quantity as opposed to the demand for quality. We then put measures in place that over a period of multiple years to stimulate the contract adversary industry to put some of these specific requirements and demands that we need in order to meet that quality benchmark, as well."


    What is less clear, though, is whether the Air Force and Navy will be happy to pay the additional costs involved in operating high-end aggressors of this type. Until now, contractors have managed to provide financially attractive red air offers, leveraging the lower costs of operating less sophisticated types, like the A-4. The F-16s will likely cost substantially more to operate than even the third-generation jets, however.

    As yet, we don’t know what kinds of upgrades will be undertaken for the Draken F-16A/Bs, although it’s likely they will follow a path similar to that taken by Top Aces for its ex-Israeli jets. This is based around an open mission system architecture with a new mission computer, AESA radar, helmet-mounted sight, and Link 16.


    In the background to all this, of course, is the U.S. Air Force’s huge $6.4-billion contract opportunity for red air and close air support training at 12 different airbases throughout the United States. Draken is one of the companies to have received a share of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, alongside Air USA, Airborne Tactical Advantage Company, Tactical Air Support, and Top Aces. The contract runs until October 2024 and is likely to involve between 40,000 to 50,000 flying hours per year.

    Beyond these requirements, there will be additional Air Force demand for contractor red air at other stateside bases, too, as well as in support of the U.S. military and its allies in Europe and the Pacific. The U.S. Navy has its own contractor adversary contract, as well, with ATAC and TacAir currently supporting this, but with further opportunities to follow in the future.

    Although already at a NATO standard, the process of certifying the former Dutch F-16s for contractor aggressor work, and then upgrading them accordingly, won’t necessarily be a quick one. But with deliveries of the jets due to begin next year, we might not have to wait too long until a second contractor begins flying F-16 aggressor jets in the United States.
    Hole
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    Post  Hole Thu Jul 01, 2021 11:18 am

    Western propaganda claims Wagner is flying jets in libyan air space for years but now an american company is the first to own jets? scratch

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    JohninMK
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    Post  JohninMK Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:08 pm

    Hole wrote:Western propaganda claims Wagner is flying jets in libyan air space for years but now an american company is the first to own jets? scratch
    Just the first with F-16s.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Fri Jul 02, 2021 2:59 pm

    They wouldn't let New Zealand sell our Skyhawks to a private company in the US that was planning to do this very thing... but now it is OK to sell F-16s to them...
    what a bunch of assholes.

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    LMFS
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    Post  LMFS Tue Jul 06, 2021 12:05 am

    It is starting to be clear the next BS narrative that MIC scammers are trying to peddle, you can bet all your money they are 100% convinced that they only deal with hopeless suckers Razz

    https://www.airforcemag.com/article/qa-future-force/

    How to sell that your 5G is non workable and you need  to dump it and start from anew, in an elegant fashion? These con artists have joined different streams of BS that they have been creating for some time now in a way that actually has a beauty to it: the BS by Roper claiming that they are going to use digital engineering to create planes in a very short cycle, the claim that NGAD is already flying and at the same showing drawings of UFO shaped NGAD concepts of unbelievable capacities. So, they have devised a way to wrap not one, but two generations of planes in one program, in a way that most US chauvinist drones will not even notice. It will allow them to sell the dummy that the "first iteration" is not going to be more than a modified F-22, while they keep working on the successor, which far from being "7G" or something like that, will be the actual 6G design they should actually start to develop not far from now. At which moment, the lessons of digital engineering will be portrayed as learned and it will not be necessary to keep churning out new planes in short cycles...

    So, they turn the honest but embarrassing narrative that they fucked up big time with their current 5G and they need to sell somehow that they need both URGENT replacement for it AND to create a proper 6G plane, into the narrative that they are revolutionizing the way planes are created and will overwhelm the rivals with a design cycle which is impossible to keep pace with.
    You have to love the cheek of these clowns clown clown clown

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    kvs
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    Post  kvs Tue Jul 06, 2021 12:39 am

    Typical snake oil salesman operation. Once people realize that what you peddle is totally ineffective at best and poison at worst, you just move on to the
    next set of suckers. Today it is not the next town, but fantasy about how the new formula will be better than ever.

    There are so many vicarious achievers in the USA, who think the rest of the world does not exist or is populated by primitives, that this con will
    keep going forever.

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