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TOPGUN TRIBUTE

To celebrate the release of the long-awaited film Top Gun: Maverick, Key.Aero is marking the occasion with special coverage of the real TOPGUN fighter weapons school and the movies with material on the original and the sequel.

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Explore the latest news and features by our world-class aviation journalists. Stay up to date on the latest military aviation developments, commercial airline news, historic restoration projects, flight simulation releases and much more.

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AN-124 to provide NATO strategic airlift for next five years

A contract between NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPSA) and Antonov has been signed for AN-124-100 Ruslans to be utilised within the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme for the next five years

Spain orders three A330 MRTTs

The Spanish Ministry of Defence has signed a formal order for the acquisition of three Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft (MRTT)

C-130 recovers X-61 UAV mid-flight

During the latest test deployment of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Gremlins programme, an X-61 Gremlin Air Vehicle (GAV) was successfully recovered by a C-130 whilst airborne

B-52s join B-1Bs during European Bomber Task Force mission

B-52 Stratofortress bombers from the USAF 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, currently deployed at Andersen AFB, Guam joined the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron’s (EBS) B-1B Lancers over the North Sea to support the Bomber Task Force (BTF) Europe series on November 10

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First Luftwaffe C-130J Super Hercules takes flight

Lockheed Martin has flown the first C-130J-30 Super Hercules for the German Luftwaffe. The aircraft, serial number 55+01 (c/n 5930), made its maiden flight from Marietta, Georgia, on November 8

50th KC-46A delivery is one of first two for McGuire

A further milestone in the US Air Force KC-46A Pegasus programme has been reached with delivery of the first two aircraft to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL), New Jersey, for the 305th and 514th Air Mobility Wings (AMWs). These were the 49th and 50th KC-46A deliveries

Belgium deploys A400M for first international exercise

The Belgian Air Component conducted its first international A400M exercise during October 11-25, this is after a detachment of 148 military personnel and two Airbus A400M Atlas transport aircraft from the 15th Airlift Wing participated in the Airlift Block Training (ABT) at Pisa Air Base, Italy

Behind the scenes of a 100 squadron hot bombing mission

Recently Key.Aero joined 100 Squadron for Operation Flash Strike at both RAF Leeming, Yorkshire, and the Ministry of Defence’s Donna Nook Weapons Range in Lincolnshire. Operation Flash Strike saw a total of 16 3kg practice bombs dropped from the Hawk T1 at Donna Nook range against fictitious adversary threats provided by the JTACS throughout two sorties

USAF replaces legacy C-130H with Super Hercules in Kuwait

USAF's 779th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (EAS) was redesignated as the 61st EAS of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing last week, utilising the new C-130J Super Hercules to replace the C-130H model that has operated out of Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait for the past two decades

RAF Typhoons head to Oman for live fire exercise

Earlier this week RAF Typhoon FGR4s arrived at Thumrait Air Base in Dhofar Governorate, Oman, for the annual bilateral exercise Magic Carpet 21 with the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO)

New C-37B aircraft delivered to Joint Base Andrews

The first of two new C-37B aircraft was flown from Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama by the Air Force Chief of Staff and honorary Tuskegee Airman Gen CQ Brown to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on November 3

NATO aircraft guard US warship into the Black Sea

NATO air assets were on hand to guard the entry of the US Navy’s Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) into the Black Sea on November 4, with US Air Force (USAF) fighters and Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft from Turkey and Greece participated in the mission

USAF 494th Fighter Squadron return home from Southeast Asia

Personnel from the US Air Force’s 494th Fighter Squadron (FS) “Panthers” returned to RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, between October 26 and November 1 from an eight-month deployment to Southwest Asia

Three more F-35Bs delivered to RAF Marham

A further three F-35B Lightning IIs have been delivered to RAF Marham, Norfolk, with the aircraft, ZM156 ‘022’ (c/n 2BK.0022), ZM157 ‘023’ (c/n 2BK.0023) and ZM158 ‘024’ (c/n 2BK0024), arriving at the base on October 28

Portuguese F-16s perform anti-surface warfare exercise

Força Aérea Portuguesa/Portuguese Air Force (FAP) F-16 MLU Fighting Falcons currently deployed at Siaulial Air Base, Lithuania, for air policing duties trained with NATO’s Maritime Group One during an anti-surface warfare exercise on October 29

Boeing’s Loyal Wingman makes progress in flight testing

Boeing Australia has announced the expansion to the flight-test programme of Boeing’s Airpower Teaming System, known as the Loyal Wingman, following the completion of two separate flight missions at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Woomera range in South Australia

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RAF Shadow R1 Fleet to be upgraded and increased

The RAF’s fleet of six modified Beechcraft King Air 350CER Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) platforms known as the Shadow R1 is to be increased and upgraded after a £110m contract is awarded to Raytheon UK on November 3

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Ageing RCAF CF-188A/B Hornets engaged in busy EAP deployment

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) fleet of ageing CF-188A/B Hornets have been kept busy during ongoing Enhanced Air Policing operations based out of Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base in Constanta, Romania, alongside colleagues from the Forțele Aeriene Române/Romanian Air Force (RoAF)

617 Squadron fly with Indian AF Jaguars and SU-30s

October 27, exercise Konhan Shakti 21 saw one of the RAF’s F-35B units, 617 Squadron, operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) flying with Indian Air Force Su-30s and Jaguars, plus Indian Navy MiG-29K

Seymour Johnson F-15s head to Romania and Bulgaria

USAF Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles from the 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, arrived at Borcea Air Base, Romania, and Graf Ignatievo AB in Bulgaria on October 18, all in support of operation Castle Forge

Norwegian Air Force F-35As carry out first live Intercept

Fourth and fifth generation aircraft of the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) intercepted a large group of Russian aircraft on October 27. This was the first ever live intercept carried out by RNoAF F-35As in their own airspace

Japanese military pilots to be trained in Italy

In addition to Qatar and Germany, Japan has now agreed to send its military pilots to the Italian Air Force’s and Leonardo’s International Flight Training School (IFTS) for operational training

RAF A400M is air-to-air refuelled for the first time

A RAF Airbus A400M Atlas C1, serial ‘ZM406’, has been refuelled whilst airborne for the first time. This milestone was achieved during recent trials conducted by 206 Squadron. The squadron is the test and evaluation squadron for heavy aircraft of the UK defence stationed at RAF Brize Norton, Oxford

Eielson AFB F-35s take part in air-to-air weapons evaluation

The 356th Fighter Squadron (FS) made history as the first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II squadron in the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) to take part in an air-to-air weapons evaluation

First AH-1Z Viper built for Bahrain

Bell Textron completed the first build of the AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter for the Kingdom of Bahrain last month. The US company announced the completion of the build in a press release on October 22

 

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Upcoming Events

British-Irish Airports Expo 2022

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London, United Kingdom

The 5th British-Irish Airports Expo is the trade show for all stakeholders on the airport campus. Typically, an expo of up to 150 exhibitors, and six conferences, attended by 2,300++ visitors, the 2022 British-Irish Airports EXPO moves from Olympia to take place at ExCeL London on 22-23 June 2022.

Royal International Air Tattoo 2022

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Fairford, United Kingdom

The Royal International Air Tattoo will return in 2022 from 15-17 July. Friday will again be the preview day with a 4-hour flying display whilst Saturday and Sunday will both be full show days with over seven hours of thrilling flying displays each day.

ILA Berlin 2022

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Schönefeld, Germany

Under the motto "Pioneering Aerospace" the #ILA22 will take place for the first time at the newly opened BER Airport in the heart of Europe. The German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) as ILA brand owner and Messe Berlin GmbH as organizer are expecting trade visitors from all over the world, high-ranking guests from international, European and German politics and of course the numerous visitors of the public days in Berlin for the first time in four years

Shuttleworth Family Air Show

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Biggleswade, United Kingdom

The Shuttleworth Family Air Show will have all kinds of exciting attractions both on the ground and in the skies. Be prepared to be thrilled!