Upgraded MiG-31 interceptors to cover Russia’s Arctic, other strategic directions — source

MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. Fifty upgraded Mikoyan MiG-31BM supersonic interceptor aircraft will cover the most important strategic directions, including the Arctic, a Russian defense industry source told TASS on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sees control of the Arctic as a matter of serious strategic concern for Moscow.
According to the contract terms, more than 50 fighters modernized to the level of MiG-31BM will be delivered to the troops by the end of 2018.

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NATO extended contract for operating An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft


NATO and Ukraine to continue cooperation in the network of SALIS (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution) program for operating An-124-100 Ruslan heavy transport aircraft on behalf of EU and NATO, Interfax-Ukraine reports. “NATO confirmed that it needs to continue operation of Ruslan aircraft in the network of SALIS program: recently the parties extended contract for operation of An-124-100 aircraft until the end of 2016,” a source said.

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‘Hot engines’, UAVs: India’s wish list to Pentagon


India has asked the Pentagon for five key technologies, including advanced high-altitude UAVs and “hot engines” for its fighter jets, to bolster its defences, sources said.

New Delhi’s request for detailed proposals and licence requirements under the bilateral defence technology and trade initiative were conveyed to a visiting Pentagon delegation, sources said. US President Barack Obama visits India in January.

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Combat ready? IAF down to 25 fighter squadrons

Painting a grim picture of India’s combat readiness, a Parliamentary panel on Monday dropped a bombshell by revealing that the force levels of the Indian Air Force are down to a mere 25 fighter squadrons. The IAF till recently had maintained it had 32-34 squadrons with about 18 planes each.

But the revelation by the standing committee on defence in a report tabled in Parliament indicates the IAF’s traditional air superiority over Pakistan may have been severely diluted.

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China’s L-15 Falcon makes Thailand procurement shortlist


China’s Hongdu L-15 Falcon has made the shortlist of new advanced jet trainers and light attack aircraft to be acquired by the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), according to the London-based military news publication IHS Jane’s.

The L-15 will be competing with America’s Textron AirLand Scorpion, Russia’s Yakovlev Yak-130, Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and Korea Aerospace Industries’ TA-50 to become one of the four aircraft purchases approved by the Thai government to replace its ageing fleet of Aero L-39ZA Albatros aircraft.

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RS19426_Typhoon in mutil-role fit with Brimstone missile and Paveway IV

BAE Systems has completed the first full trial installation of MBDA’s Brimstone missile onto a Typhoon aircraft. The trial fit is an important milestone in demonstrating the integration of the missile with the aircraft and follows the successful completion of an initial £5M study contract awarded to BAE Systems by the UK’s Ministry of Defence earlier this year. The trials are helping to pave the way for Brimstone 2 integration for the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) by 2018.

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IAF could have women fighter pilots in future


Ayesha Farooq: a female Pakistani fighter pilot

Women could be appointed as fighter pilots in IAF in future, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha today said. “They (women) are already working in all branches of the Air Force and they could be appointed as fighter pilots too in future,” he told reporters.

Earlier this year, the Air Chief had said that women were not physically suited to fly fighter planes, especially when they are pregnant or have other health issues.