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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400,000 Hours for Hohn's Transalls

The C-160D Transall transports of Lufttransportgeschwader 63 have been stationed at Hohn air base, north of Hamburg, for more than 51 years. Alexander Golz visited them in their penultimate year of operations.

USAF to retire ‘structurally deficient’ B-1Bs in 2021

The US Air Force (USAF) has proposed to retire 17 “structurally deficient” B-1B Lancer supersonic strategic bombers in 2021.

Boeing arrives in Finland for HX Challenge

Boeing has landed at Pirkkala air base, near Tampere, Finland, to begin flight trials under the nation’s HX Challenge – which seeks to find a replacement for the Ilmavoimat’s (Finnish Air Force’s) fleet of F/A-18C/D Hornets.

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'Red Devils' at Ghedi

An all-weather-capable fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, the two-seat Tornado was introduced by the Italian Air Force in the early 1980s. Today, the survivors have been upgraded and fly with a single wing – the 6° Stormo at Ghedi – as Mauro Zanotti explains.

B-52 engine replacement campaign gathers pace

The US Air Force (USAF) has provided an update on its Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP) – which seeks to replace the powerplant of its venerable Boeing B-52H Stratofortress fleet.

Hunter's new home in Belgium

A Hawker Hunter has found a new home at a museum in Belgium.

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Still Going Strong - Special Mission Aircraft

In the second of a two-part feature, Combat Aircraft Journal presents an overview of the US Air Force C-135 family operating in the special mission role.

UK Sentry fleet halved in less than 12 months

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has halved its number of operational Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW1 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, in preparation for its replacement, the E-7A Wedgetail.

Royal Thai Air Force orders H135s

Airbus Helicopters has announced that the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has placed an order for six H135s for use as military training helicopters under its pilot training enhancement programme.

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Fighter training perils of RAF’s pioneer pilots

Early fighter pilot training proved to be something of an erratic mission...

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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