Romania buys 32 Norwegian F-16s

November 5th, 2022

Norway will sell 32 of its F-16 fighters to NATO partner Romania. The contract was signed on Nov. 4. “The agreement signed by the NDMA will help strengthen the air power of one of our allies, at the same time as it will generate revenues for both Norwegian industry and the Norwegian state,” said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Bjørn Arild Gram. All jets will be modified to the M6.5.2 Romanian configuration prior to delivery starting next year. (source Alert5.com)

USAF confirms withdrawal of F-15's from Japan

October 30th, 2022

A U.S. Air Force spokesperson has confirmed that the 44th and 67th fighter squadrons will be withdrawn from Kadena, Japan starting from next month. The entire process will take two years to complete. Spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said fourth- and fifth-generation fighters will be rotated to Kadena Air Base, Japan in future. (source Alert5.com)

Bulgaria to buy a second batch of eight new F-16's 

October 28th, 2022

Bulgaria’s government has decided to buy a follow-on batch of eight F-16 fighters from Lockheed Martin. The order will split equally between the C and D models. It would be the second batch acquired by Bulgaria, which contracted to buy eight multi-role F-16 Block 70 aircraft in July 2019 for $1.3 billion. Plans initially called for the first planes to arrive in Bulgaria in 2023 and the last ones in 2024, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed delivery until 2025.

Spain will send EF-2000's and EF-18's to Bulgaria and Romania

October 24th, 2022

Spain has announced plans to send six Eurofighters to Bulgaria and eight Hornets to Romania starting from next month. Spain said it would send 14 fighter jets to Bulgaria and Romania to bolster NATO's eastern flank as the defence alliance strengthens its deterrence capacity following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Spain will send six Eurofighter jets and 130 soldiers to Bulgaria between mid-November and early December to train local forces, the Spanish defence ministry said in a statement. It added that a further deployment will see eight F18M fighter jets and 130 air force personnel sent to Romania between December and March 2023 as part of NATO’s “reaction and deterrence” strategy.

U.S. donating 6 AH-1Zs and 2 UH-1Ys to Czech Republic

August 20th, 2022

The Czech Republic will receive six second-hand AH-1Z and two UH-1Y helicopters from the United States. It had placed an order for four AH-1Z and eight UH-1Y helicopters and those aircraft are due to be delivered starting next year.It was previously reported that Czech wants to buy additional helicopters from Bell after Russia attacked Ukraine. The country had also donated its Mi-24 attack helicopters to Ukraine, creating an operational gap.

Greece to send LoR for 38 F-16V upgrades soon

August 15th, 2022

The Hellenic Air Force will soon send a letter of request (LOR) to the United States for the upgrade of 38 F-16C/D Block 50 fighters to the V variant.

These fighters will be upgraded at Nea Anchialos Air Base while two Greek F-16s have completed their upgrade to the F-16V standard and will soon be used to train pilots. Older F-16 Block 30s that are in Greek inventory will not undergo the upgrade process. (source Alert5.com)

Greece signs LoR for up to 40 F-35sA's

July 1st, 2022

Greece has signed the Letter of Request to buy the F-35A Lightning II local media reports. The letter was sent by the Greek defense ministry to Washington on June the 29th. Athens hopes to buy 20 aircraft with options for another 20. (source Alert5.com)

Spain order additional 20 Eurofighters

June 23rd, 2022

Spain as ordered 20 more Eurofighters/Typhoons to bring its fleet of EF-2000´s up to 90 aircraft. The order is for 16 single seaters and 4 twin seat fighters which will replace some of the older EF-18 Hornets. Also 48 extra engines are bought and first delivery should take place in 2026. At present 680 Eurofighters had been sold to nine nations around the globe. (source Alert5.com)

Danish F-16's will soldier on three years longer

June 21st, 2022

Due to the hightened security threat from Russia the Royal Danish Air Force will keep its fleet of F-16AM/BM's operational three years longer than originally planned. Denmark ordered 27 F-35A's to replace the old Vipers of which is the first is due to arrive next year. All 27 should be delivered in 2026 after which the F-16 will be retired in 2027. Denmark still operates about 40 Fighting Falcons, all from Skrydstrup.

Dutch select Embraer C-390M as C-130 replacement

June 16th, 2022

On June the 16th the State Secretary for Defence of the Netherlands, Christophe van der Maat, announced that the replacement for the four Royal Netherlands Air Force C-130H's has been found in the Embraer C-390M Millennium. Although it looked liked the newest C-130, the J-version, had the best papers the higher payload, greater range and avaliable flighthours gave the C-390 the final win. It is expected that the first delivery of the five Millenniums to the Eindhoven based 336 Squadron will take place in 2026.   

Sweden to replace their 6 C-130H's with Italian C-130J's

June 15th, 2022

Sweden is planning to replace it's C-130H fleet of six with second hand, former Italian Air Force C-130J's. Updating the currect Hercules fleet was an option but not choosen due to the fact this will take several years leaving the Swedish Air Force with a reduced transportfleet during that period. Instead six second hand C-130J's will be bought from the Italian Air Force and the replacement should take place around 2025. 

65th Aggressor Squadron reactivates at Nellis with aggressor force of F-35s

June 9th, 2022

The 65th Aggressor Squadron reactivated on June the 9th 2022 with a directed mission to know, teach and replicate fifth-generation air adversaries at Nellis Air Force Base. The 65th AGRS was previously active at Nellis from 2005 to 2014. During that time, the unit replicated tactics and techniques of potential adversaries with a fleet of F-15 Eagles. When they inactivated, the 64th AGRS continued the aggressor mission with F-16 Fighting Falcons. “This significant milestone marks our ability to bring fifth-generation capabilities to the high-end fight, and will allow us to enhance our premier tactics and training with joint, allied and coalition forces,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Drowley, 57th Wing commander. “Using the F-35 as an aggressor allows pilots to train against low-observable threats similar to what adversaries are developing,” said Col. Scott Mills, 57th Operations Group commander. (source 57th Wing PA)

RNLAF will receive 6 extra F-35A's and 4 MQ-9's

June 1st, 2022

On June the 1st 2022 the Dutch presented their Defence Note 2022. In there it was written that the budget will increase with 40%. For the Royal Netherlands Air Force the Defence Note shows that 6 extra F-35A's will be bought (increasing the number up till 52 in total), 4 extra MQ-9A Reapers will be added to the fleet (increasing the numbers up till 8) and will be able to carry weapons, the AS532 Cougar heliciopter will be replaced by new Medium Utility Helicopers and the four C-130H(-30's) will be replaced by 5 new transport aircraft. 

Getting the C-130J is number one priority for USN Reserve

June 8th, 2022

Vice Adm. John B. Mustin, chief of U.S. Navy Reserve, told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Defense subcommittee that the Reserve’s number one equipment priority is to buy the C-130J to replace the aging C-130T. The Reserve now operates 19 C-130Ts and 11 KC-130Ts in five fleet logistics support squadrons and the average age is about 30 years. (source Alert5.com)

Germany to buy 60 H-47F Chinook transport helicopters

June 1st, 2022

By the end of April 2022  the German government decided to buy sixty Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters. The new transport helicopters will replace the aging CH-53G Sea Stallions of which the Germans operate around 80. First Chinook deliveries should take place around 2025 and the final CH-53 should retire in 2030.

Finland to bed down F-35s with Lapland Air Command

May 31st, 2022

Finland will initially bed down its F-35As at Rovaniemi airport in 2026, the country declared on May 26. It is Finland’s northernmost air base and lies within the Arctic Circle. The country ordered 64 F-35As and will be operational with the aircraft by 2030. The F-35A's will replace the F-18 Hornets currently operated by the country. (source Alert5.com)

Romania to resume MiG-21 flights

May 26th, 2022

Romania’s Ministry of Defense announced on May 24 that the country’s MiG-21 flight has resumed flying a day earlier.However, this will be a temporary measure as the fighters will be retired from service in one year’s time on May 15, 2023. The Romanian Ministry of Defence decided in April 2022 to suspend all flight operations of its MiG-21 fighters after a series of fatal accidents. (source Alert5.com)

Czech Republic has transferred Mi-24 attack helicopters to Ukraine

May 25th, 2022

The Czech Republic has transferred its attack helicopters to Ukraine, this was disclosed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin during a press briefing. Austin did not identify the type of helicopter or the quantity. The Czech Air Force operates the Mi-24 attack helicopter which Ukraine possesses as well. The Czech Republic will replace their Hind helicopters with the Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper of which four have been ordered. On 23 February 2022, Bell Textron Inc., Fort Woth (TX), started the production of the AH-1Z Viper for the Czech Air Force. (source Alert5.com)

French Rafales collided in mid-air, both jets landed safely

May 23rd, 2022

Two French Air Force Rafale fighters had a mid-air collision during an airshow demonstration on May 22. Both jets landed safely and one piece of the debris landed in the town of Gensac-la-Pallue. Photos online showed that the jet damaged was a Rafale in black livery that recently participated in NATO Tigers Meet. The aircraft from EC 3/30 had won an award for the best painted aircraft. EC 3/30 had also won the Silver Tiger award at the exercise in Greece. (source Alert5.com)

Final Dutch F-16 B-Course training at NAS Key West

May 16th, 2022

The Royal Netherlands Air Force recently carried out its final F-16 B-Course training at NAS Key West. The two week-training event covers over-water and dissimilar aircraft training for student pilots. Dutch pilots spent most of their time over the Atlantic Ocean and the training is crucial in preparing the students for their return home to the Netherlands. (source Alrt5.com)

USMC to have second aggressor squadron by 2024

May 6th, 2022

The U.S. Marine Corps will have a second aggressor squadron by 2024 when VMFT-402 is declared safe for flight in 2024 at MCAS Beaufort.

VMFT-402 will initially have three F-5N+ fighters before growing to a fleet comprising of eight F-5N+ and two F-5F+ aircraft. These jets will be ex-Swiss Air Force aircraft.

According to the 2022 Marine Corps Aviation Plan, the service has a 15,000 sorties requirement for adversary training this year, but the existing VMFT-401 aggressor squadron can only generate 3,300 sorties per year. (source Alert5.com

510th EFS replaces 480th EFS for NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania

May 1st, 2022

The 510th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron has deployed six F-16s from Aviano Air Base, Italy to Romania to relief the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany for the support of NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing mission in the Black Sea region on April the 29th 2022. The 480th EFS completed its 3-month rotational deployment in support of NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing mission in the Black Sea region.  The F-16 aircraft as well as personnel and support equipment from the 480th EFS arrived at Fetesti AB in February to enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and support the enduring Air Policing mission, aided by Allies from Romania, Italy, and the United Kingdom. (source Alert5.com and USAFE PA)