Excuse me for sending the August 2004 newsletter this late in the month, but I wanted to do a bit more updating before. Now I have enough to report to you. And if you have not been to the website last months, it is well worth a return visit!
Although there is a list of updates coming up in this letter, I want to focus your attention on the superb pictorial of the Army Aviation of Venezuela. Another big contribution by Iván Peña Nesbit. The pictorial can be seen here.
Enjoy the newsletter!
Check out the recent updates to the website. Also I would like you to vote for the next aircraft to be added. You can vote at the main page at http://www.milavia.net. Keep an eye on the poll, because I will change it from time to time. Last poll I asked if you wanted me to create a news archive. 16 visitors voted Yes, 2 voted No, so now I have added it.
MILITARY AVIATION NEWS
It seems ALERT5.com is temporarily unavailable. Instead of the headlines I will now publish the news stories that have been on the website last month. Sorry for those of you who have been regular visitors in the past month, you may want to skip this and continue to the quiz results, click here.
25 August 2004 - Six RAF Harrier GR.7s to deploy to Afghanistan
The Ministry of Defence announced on 25 August that a detachment of six RAF Harrier GR7 aircraft would be deployed to Kandahar in Afghanistan for an initial period of nine months to provide reconnaissance and close air support to coalition forces and the International Security Assistance Force.
An advance party, including Royal Engineers from 53 Field Squadron, will depart for Kandahar on 26 August to prepare the airfield for the Harriers' arrival. The aircraft will be drawn from 3 Squadron, based at RAF Cottesmore, and should be fully operational by the end of September in time to provide security support for the Afghan presidential elections in October. The initial deployment is expected to total some 315 personnel from the RAF and Royal Engineers, but will reduce to a steady state of about 230.
This will be the first deployment of RAF combat aircraft to Afghanistan during the current operation, although British support aircraft played an invaluable role during operations against Al Qaida and the Taleban.
Source: UK MOD
22 August 2004 - FAV Shorts 360 goes missing, 25 killed
One of the Shorts 360-300 turboprop-powered passenger transport aircraft of the Fuerza de Venezuela (FAV) has been reported missing at 16:40 local time (20:40 UTC). The aircraft, serialled FAV-1652, was en route from the island la Orchila to the base Sucre in Maracay. Last contact established was at 16:15 local time (20:15 UTC). The aircraft was carrying 22 passenger and a three man crew. Two FAV Cougar helicopters were scrambled for the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation and located the wreckage at 14 nautical miles south east of El Libertador air base. The aircraft presumably crashed into the mountain leaving no survivors.
The weather over the mountains in the area has been very bad with heavy rains today. In February earlier this year a Bonanza with a crew of three went missing in about the same area under similar weather conditions. The Bonanza wreckage was never recovered.
Source: rescate and Ivan
20 August 2004 - Six RNLAF F-16s will deploy to Manas AB
Dutch government decided to send a detachment of six F-16 fighters from Volkel AB and one KDC-10 tanker to Kyrgyzstan. Once again Dutch fighters will operate from Manas AB for missions over Afghanistan. The requirement for the extra support for ISAF troops is needed because of the approaching elections in Afghanistan. The deployment will last for eight weeks and can be prolonged for several weeks in the case of a second round of elections. The detachment of between 170 and 210 personnel will arrive in mid September. The F-16s will be used for 'show of force' and close air support for allied troops under ISAF command.
Also the deployment of the six AH-64D Apaches around Kabul will be prolonged until 31 March 2005.
17 August 2004 - RMAF S-61A Nuri crashed, 3 killed
Three Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) personnel were killed when a Nuri helicopter crash-landed 15km from Ba’Kelalan, near the Sarawak border with Kalimantan, on Sunday. The Nuri with 10 people on board lost contact with ground control at about 2.36pm on Sunday while en route from Miri to Ba’Kelalan. It was found yesterday at a forested area about 1,500m above sea level.
An RMAF statement which was released here said the helicopter from the 7th Squadron based in Kuching was ferrying supplies to army personnel stationed at the Malaysia-Indonesia border near Ba’Kelalan. It took off from Miri at 1.56pm and was reported missing after making its last radio contact with the control tower at 2.36pm while flying over Long Seridan.
A search and rescue operation involving five aircraft, including a C-130 Hercules and a Beechcraft, found the missing aircraft and the people on board at 10.34am.
The statement said a board of inquiry would be set up to investigate the course of the crash.
Source: The Star Online
12 August 2004 - Netherlands buys PAC-3 missile equipment
Lockheed Martin has received a $33.9 million foreign military sales contract for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile-related support equipment for The Netherlands. A follow-on contract for PAC-3 Missiles is anticipated by the end of the year. This is the first international sale of PAC-3 Missile-related equipment.
The contract, awarded by the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command in Huntsville, AL, calls for Lockheed Martin to produce PAC-3 Missile Segment ground equipment, including Enhanced Launcher Electronics Systems (ELES) and Fire Solution Computers, for The Netherlands. This equipment will enable The Netherlands' existing Patriot ground equipment to accept the new PAC-3 Missiles.
The PAC-3 Missile is a highly agile hit-to-kill interceptor. PAC-3 Missiles significantly increase the Patriot system's firepower, since 16 PAC-3s load-out on a Patriot launcher, compared with four of the older Patriot PAC-2 missiles.
The rest of the Missile Segment is made up of the PAC-3 Missile canisters (in four packs), a Fire Solution Computer and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System. These elements have been integrated into the Patriot system, a high to medium altitude, long-range air defense missile system providing air defense of ground combat forces and high-value assets.
The PAC-3 Missile has also been selected as the primary interceptor for the multi-national Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). Managed by the NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA), MEADS is a model transatlantic development program focused on the next generation of air and missile defense.
Source: Lockheed Martin
08 August 2004 - Japan to stop procurement of F-2 fighter
Japanese Defence Agency plans to discontinue procurement of the F-2 fighter within a few years, an agency source said Saturday. The plan, which is part of the review of the Air Self-Defense Forces' fighter units, will be incorporated into the new five-year Defense Buildup Program that is to be drawn up by the end of this year.
The agency has concluded that the F-2 is the least cost-effective of all available options, making it necessary for the agency to procure an alternative aircraft.
The F-2 was jointly developed by Japan and the United States, with Tokyo originally planning to deploy 130 of the aircraft. In a rare move for Japan, procurement will now cease well short of that number.
The move comes after the Defense Agency decided to scrap its division of fighters into two categories--interceptors tasked with combating enemy aircraft, and fighter-bombers designed to attack land and sea targets. Instead, the agency plans to have future fighter aircraft assume various roles, including reconnaissance.
Under the new defense plans, to be drawn up under the new National Defense Program Outline, the agency also intends to shift from the current three-model fighter system (F-15, F-4, and F-2) to a two-model system.
As the result of study made on the basis of these plans, the agency concluded that:
- The F-2 had become too expensive after development delays caused its unit price to rise from the originally projected 8 billion yen to about 12 billion yen, or about the same as the larger, more capable F-15.
- While the F-15 is being upgraded, there is little room to upgrade the F-2 with new equipment because of its smaller size.
- The F-2 can carry only a limited number of weapons.
Based on these conclusions, the agency has decided to discontinue procurement of the F-2, but to make a rapid start on selecting an aircraft to succeed the F-4 fighter, which will reach the end of its service life in the near future, the source said.
In 1995, the Security Council of Japan decided to buy 130 F-2 fighters--a decision approved by the government.
So far, however, only 76 of the aircraft are either deployed or under construction. Next fiscal year, new contracts to purchase an additional 10 to 20 units will be made, marking the end of the procurement.
The plan to introduce the F-2 was incorporated in the Defense Buildup Program of 1985, with the aircraft intended to succeed the domestically manufactured F-1 fighter.
In selecting the model, Tokyo indicated it wanted a domestically developed aircraft, despite pressure from Washington to buy U.S.-made fighters to help cut Japan's trade surplus with the United States.
In 1987, the Tokyo made a partial concession to Washington, agreeing to base the F-2 on the U.S.-made F-16 fighter.
PICTURE OF THE MONTH
The picture of the month August is one of the new Saab Draken pictures. This example is operated by the Austrian Air Force (the last operator of the type) and is seen here on a visit to RAF Leuchars. Superb photo by Mike Hall, catching the Draken with afterburner and vapor clouds. Click on the picture for the real size one.
July and August have been very short months. I had to do some studying after all and of course it is summer. Nonetheless, I think I have done some interesting updates and made some progress on things that are not yet published but are almost finished. These include the Su-27 'Flanker' and a review of operation Deny Flight. The only thing holding me back is the lack of copyright- permissioned pictures. I need to approach some more photographers to provide you with nice pictures that have not yet been published on 20 other websites
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