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.

UK ‘swats’ Project Mosquito ahead of planned first flight

The UK MOD has revealed that Project Mosquito – a future uncrewed combat aircraft technology demonstration – will “not proceed beyond the design phase”, following a ‘detailed review' of the technical demonstrator by the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO)

Saab receives order for two GlobalEyes from Sweden

Saab signed a contract with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) on June 30 for the GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft

A VC10 C1(K) refuelling a Storm Shadow-armed Tornado GR4.  Key Collection Feature Premium

Tanking and Transport, the VC10 Way

In a career that stretched almost 50 years, the RAF’s VC10s supported the UK’s military around the world between 1967 and 2013. Paul E Eden reviews the type’s service.

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Gulf War VC10s in Operations Granby and Desert Storm

Stephen Skinner details British VC10 involvement, as both a tanker and transport platform, in Operations Granby and Desert Storm

Romania approves purchase of second-hand F-16s from Norway

The Romanian government has approved the draft law to purchase 32 second-hand Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM (MLU) Fighting Falcons from Norway, with plans to operate the multi-role fighters – which were recently retired from Royal Norwegian Air Force service – for at least ten years

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Operation Pedestal: the incredible mission to resupply Malta

With 2022 marking the 80th anniversary of Operation Pedestal, Joseph Galea Debono details the incredible operation to resupply the Mediterranean island of Malta

The VC10 could refuel a wide variety of UK and NATO aircraft. This included the Sea Harrier FRS.1, which could be fitted with a detachable in-flight refuelling probe Crown Copyright/Sgt Rick Brewell ABIPP Feature Premium

10 Sqn VC10s – commanding officer insights

The RAF’s air transport fleet of VC10 C.1s became dual-purpose tankers in the 1990s, adding aerial refuelling to the roles of 10 Sqn. Dr Kevin Wright talks with Gp Capt Tony Gunby (ret’d) about his tour as the squadron’s commanding officer

Inside RAF VC10 Afghanistan and Iraq operations

In a soon-to-be-released special publication, Stephen Skinner details RAF VC10 Afghanistan and Iraq operations, where the quadjet saw frontline action in both the air-to-air refuelling and transport roles.

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'I flew 200 miles in the Grand Canyon': RCAF Argus pilot memories

Andy Bryski, a former Argus captain and display pilot describes to Tony Fairbairn what it was like to fly this, one of the last great piston-engined heavyweights.

Externally similar to the Venom 2, except for its inset tailplane and symmetrical radome, the N.F.3 has powered ailerons of increased chord and many other refinements to improve both flying and servicing characteristics. Feature Premium

Behind the scenes of an RAF Venom squadron in 1955

‘The Aeroplane’ visited RAF Waterbeach to see 253 Squadron operating the Venom N.F.2 all-weather fighter and published its report in the December 23, 1955 issue

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.

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