Airforce News

On this page you will find news from the world’s airforces including first flights, latest deployments, procurement programs, weapon upgrades, training and technology, fleet retirements, the changing operational theatres and missions.

Whether it is the RAF, France’s Armée de l’air or the United States Airforce, airforces around the world are buying new platforms, choosing between legacy fleets, which maybe Russian, European or American, and building their own domestic capabilities in sub-systems, missiles or whole aircraft.

Whether the manufacturing contracts are for domestic or foreign firms, worldwide instability is driving airforce fleet renewals, recapitalisation and investment in support infrastructure, military technology, offensive and defensive systems, from missiles, super and hypersonic, to chaff and directed infra-red countermeasures.

Feature Premium

When the RAF flew two Chipmunks around the world

It was the ultimate celebration of the DHC Chipmunk: an around-the-world flight by the RAF. A quarter of a century on, we recall Exercise ‘Northern Venture’ — strange fuels, wild horses, Russian extortion and more…

Operation Desert Storm: RAF Jaguars over the Gulf

Key.Aero charts the formidable efforts of the Royal Air Force SEPECAT Jaguar Detachment during the 1991 Gulf War

Feature Premium

Interview RAF fighter force commander

The RAF’s fighter force – the tip of the force’s spear, or Combat Air as it’s officially known – is heading into arguably its busiest ever period. Alan Warnes talks with the commander, Air Commodore Howard ‘Howey’ Edwards, about just how hectic this year has been

Chinook Bravo November Feature Premium

Chinook Bravo November crewmember on Falklands

Gaining legendary status during its 40-year career, RAF Chinook HC6A ‘Bravo November’ first saw action in the Falklands War. Former crewmember Tom Jones recounts his experience of the conflict

The Last Lightning Show at Binbrook

RAF BINBROOK – AUGUST 22, 1987 Brian Hodgson recalls an historic event that was a fitting farewell to the charismatic Lightning, despite rain and low cloud.

RAF’s 6 Sqn opts for more traditional squadron badge for Typhoons

Eurofighter Typhoons of 6 Squadron ‘The Flying Can Openers’, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, have started wearing a different style unit badge.

Thumbnail Feature Premium

Avro Shackleton AEW.2 - Cold War ‘Sentinel’

Group Captain David Greenway (ret’d), a former Shackleton pilot and commanding officer of 8 Squadron, talks to Dr Kevin Wright about the Shackleton AEW.2 in RAF service.

A Hawk of No 1 Tactical Weapons Unit firing a salvo of 68mm unguided rockets from a Sneb pod. Feature Premium

Step Back in Time – 1980 Hawk Flight and Tactical Training at RAF Brawdy

An interesting snapshot, from the January 1981 issue of Aeroplane Monthly, of RAF fast jet training from a time when the air force was ramping up aircrew throughput to populate the growing Tornado GR.1 force

F135 Engine Core Upgrade: Powering the Future

After Pratt & Whitney’s F135 Engine Core Upgrade solution was chosen by the USAF to enhance the F-35’s powerplant ahead of the highly anticipated Block 4 configuration, Khalem Chapman spoke with the firm about the progress being made and the benefits it will bring to not only the Lightning II family, but also future sixth-generation fighters

Feature Premium

Life on a RAF Germany Phantom squadron

With the Cold War in full flow, West Germany’s position on the front line demanded an allied presence. Former RAF Phantom pilot Al Munro gives a taste of his Battle Flight years

Your source for all the latest Airforce and military aircraft news

As the latest fifth-generation platform, the Lockheed Martin F-35 is in use globally for international partner airforces, from the United States Airforce (USAF) to the RAF and the Australian airforce, the sixth-generation fighters are already on the drawing board.

Find out which airforces are looking at virtual cockpits, networked platforms and piloted aircraft working with drone wingmen for the stealth fighters of the 2030s and discover which airforces are planning to replace their existing fleets with the fighter planes of the future.

Military Aircraft Retirement and Technology Updates

International forces around the world are deploying military aircraft manufactured in France, Russia and America including aircraft from Saab, France’s Dassault Rafale, Russian Mig-29s and the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, which it will operate for years to come.

What will also be flying well into the next decade is the USAF’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter. The next decade will also see the USAF’s newest stealth bomber, the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider enter service, while the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber will be in its seventh decade of operational service after refurbishments and restorations. This page is the only place you need to be to find out all the latest news on retirements and new deployments.

Be the first to find out which existing platforms such as France’s Dassault Mirage 2000 light weight jet and the Eurofighter Typhoon are facing the need for wholesale technology updates. The Eurofighter is being upgraded for an electronic warfare role in the 2020s and the USAF is improving some of its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons with F-35 fifth generation technology.

From restorations to retirement and procurement, international projects for new networked technologies including piloted and autonomous platforms and the contracts to manufacture them, all of this fast-moving defence aviation news and analysis can be found here.

Related Airforce Topics

Want to find out more about other types of military aircraft? We have dedicated pages for the latest Military Aircraft Shows, Military Fighter Aircraft and all the latest cutting-edge Military Aircraft Technology.

Subscribe to Key.Aero

Become a part of our aviation community and subscribe to Key.Aero now. You can get all the aviation information you'll ever need, whenever you want, with access to all the latest aviation updates, news, events and more.