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.


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

About Ian D'Costa (240 Articles)
Ian is the editor-in-chief of the Tactical Air Network. His work has been republished and quoted in a number of publications, including The Toronto Star, Airsoc, Business Insider and The Aviationist. You can reach him at

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