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.

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The Swiss Dassault Mirage III scandal

Military aircraft procurement is now a highly controversial issue in Switzerland, but this was not always the case. It all started in 1964, when the cost of acquiring the Dassault Mirage III spiralled out of control

Nimrods and Victors sharing a very crowded ramp at Wideawake during Operation Corporate. Crown Copyright Feature Premium

Multi-role Victors of the Falklands War

British success in the Falklands War relied heavily on the vital contribution of the Victor. Glenn Sands detailed the aircraft type’s involvement in the conflict in the July 2012 issue of FlyPast

Vulcan XM607 starts its take-off run as XM598 taxies out. All photos author Feature Premium

Vulcan raiders – watching history over the fence

It was a quiet day at RAF Waddington, but history was about to be made. Bob Dunn recalled witnessing a memorable event in the May 2012 issue of FlyPast

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Analysis: What MOD's Defence Equipment Plan means for the services

With the UK releasing its latest Defence Equipment Plan and the promise of additional funding, prospects, for once, look good for the services. However, will the maths add up? Richard Thomas reports

The two British aircraft carriers initially embarked 18 BAe Sea Harrier FRS.1s: 12 SHARs from 800 NAS were aboard HMS Hermes, with eight others from 801 NAS on HMS Invincible. Two years after the war a pair of 801 Squadron SHARs are pictured coming aboard the USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN-69). US Navy Feature Premium

Falklands Air Battles – The fight for air superiority

Former F-15 pilot Colonel Doug Dildy (USAF Ret), with the assistance of Hernan Casciani and Pablo Calcaterra, analyse the battle for air superiority over the Falklands in this first of a two part feature which was published originally in Aviation News April 2012 issue

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Keeping the Iranian Air Force F-5E/F Tiger II fleet in service

Combat Aircraft Journal reports on the project keeping the Iranian Air Force F-5E/F Tiger II fleet in service

The primary aircraft for the Black Buck 1 mission was Vulcan B.2 XM598 (shown here shortly after it first arrived at Wideawake Airfield), however a cockpit window wouldn’t seal properly and so the aircraft couldn’t be pressurised. This led to the back-up aircraft carrying out the attack. Bob Shackleton/VTST Feature Premium

Planning the Vulcan raids on the Falklands

Dr Kevin Wright interviewed Sqn Ldr Andy Marson (Ret), at the time Vulcan to the Sky Trust’s navigator on XH558, who helped plan the Black Buck raids during the Falklands War. He provided his insight into these complex missions in the August 2015 issue of Aviation News

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Unit Report: Portugal's Falcões & Jaguares

As the Portuguese Air Force celebrates its 70th anniversary, Esquadra 201 and 301, operating the F-16A/BM (MLU) Fighting Falcon, continues to be the tip of the spear. Key's Josef Campion visits the two units in Monte Real

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The key aircraft Argentina used in the Falklands War

The weaponry and tactics employed by Argentine forces during the 1982 Malvinas/Falklands conflict remain a source of fascination and some confusion – exacerbated, perhaps, by the relative scarcity of images. Santiago Rivas presents a revealing overview of the main Argentine aircraft used in the conflict

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Inside the RCAF's $600m fleet avionics upgrade

Safety and efficiency are at the heart of a major avionics upgrade to the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet. Dr Joetey Attariwala takes a closer look

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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