More UAVs for NATO; Hundreds of planes for Russia; The US has temporarily halted use F-35A

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on January 2 in last six hours from

Arrival of second NATO Global Hawk to be followed by last three in 2020

The arrival of the second NATO Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS) Global Hawk RQ-4D Block 40 remotely piloted aircraft on 19 December at the aircraft’s new main operating base in Sigonella, Sicily, is to be followed by the last three during the first half of 2020, leading to the declaration of an initial operational capability, according to NATO officials.

Final flight verification procedures for the first two RQ-4Ds are to start in early January. The first aircraft arrived on 21 November.

Noting that the unmanned aerial vehicles will operate from temporary hangars until the base’s permanent facilities are completed by July 2021, Volker Samanns, general manager of the NATO AGS Management Agency (NAGSMA), told journalists during a press tour of the site on 17 December that NATO is “basically creating a small air force” at Sigonella in view of the extensive personnel and facilities needed to support the fleet.

Currently some 300 allied intelligence, technical, and maintenance personnel are posted to Sigonella. Once the site declares full operational capability by the end of 2021, there will be 600 personnel from 25 nations.

Declaring that the aircraft will be able to provide 24/7 coverage of two operations at the same time for up to a month, Brigadier General Philip Stewart, the AGS force commander, said NATO’s Global Hawk fleet was “even better” than the US Air Force’s version. “Our platforms are integrated with far more – and far more diverse – NATO assets and sources of intelligence, and we’ll be able to process our intelligence and get it to allied leaders within an hour,” he said on 17 December.

Russia’s aerospace forces to receive about 100 planes and helicopters in 2020

Russia’s aerospace forces will receive about 100 new and modernized aircraft in 2020, the Russian defense ministry said on Wednesday.

“In 2020, the Russian Aerospace Forces will receive about 100 new and modernized aircraft,” the ministry said in a press statement.

According to the defense ministry, Russia’s Air Force received advanced Il-90MD-90A military transport planes, Su-35S, Su-30SM multirole fighter jets, Su-34 bombers, Ka-52, Mi-28N, Mi-35M combat helicopters, Mi-8AMTSh combat transport helicopters, Mi-26T transport helicopters and other types of aircraft.

US temporarily bans US Air Force F-35A LRIP aircraft use in aggressor training

The US has temporarily halted the US Air Force’s (USAF) plan to use Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) conventional variant low rate initial production (LRIP) aircraft for aggressor squad training until the service provides further details to Congress.

The fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law on 20 December, said the service cannot use these aircraft for aggressor squad training until the chief of staff, currently General David Goldfein, submits to lawmakers a comprehensive plan and report on the strategy for modernising its organic aggressor fleet.

This plan must include: potential locations for F-35A aggressor aircraft, including analysis of installations that have the size and availability of airspace necessary to meet flying operations requirements. It must also analyse installations that have sufficient capacity and availability of range space, are capable of hosting advanced threat training exercises, and meet or require minimal addition to the environmental requirements associated with the basing action.

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Editorial team
Source: Jane’s, TASS