Preflight 12/6/2013

Swiss Hornet Upgrades

Congress has been petitioned to approve a massive $200M upgrade of Swiss Air Force F/A-18 Hornets. Also pending approval as part of the agreement is a concurrent inclusion of vital parts, training and support. Boeing, General Electric and Northrop Grumman are three of eight defense contractors expected to be involved in the modernization . The Hornets are to receive upgrades to their engines, weapons and communications systems, sensors and and avionics. The Swiss Air Force acquired 26 Hornet Cs and 8 Hornet Ds in 1996, their fleet reaching the 50,000 flight hours mark in October of 2008.

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Photograph by Erich Riester

Russian Bombers Near Japanese Airspace

According to RIA Novosti, Japanese fighters were placed on alert status after a pair of Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bears flew near Japanese airspace. In November, the JASDF reported two flights of Russian Tu-95 and Tu-142 aircraft which also flew near Japanese airspace.

Photograph by Alex Beltyukov
Photograph by Alex Beltyukov

F-35s to be Based in Vermont

The United States Air Force announced plans to base the controversial F-35 Lightning II in Burlington, Vermont with the Vermont Air National Guard. While a number of locals don’t agree with the move, there will be a parallel benefit of the creation of jobs and the boosting of the local economy. The F-35s are slated to eventually replace F-16s of the 158th Fighter Wing (158 FW).

United States Air Force
United States Air Force

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