Reports from Washington suggest that a new arms package being assembled for Saudi Arabia could reach record proportions, as much as $60 billion. Another 80-plus F-15 fighters could be offered, along with about 70 UH-60 Black Hawk and up to 60 AH-64 Apache helicopters.
Charles O’Neill, 85, former head of the FAA’s Albany, N.Y. FSDO, died on June 28 at his home in Clifton Park, N.Y. A World War II U.S. Army veteran, he was a licensed pilot for 69 years and worked for the FAA as a pilot. He held ratings in land, sea and lighter-than-air aircraft and was active in the Civil Air Patrol, Mohawk Soaring and the Quiet Birdmen.
Eurocopter handed over an EC 135P2i to West Midlands Police assistant chief constable Sharon Rowe yesterday here at the Farnborough airshow. The helicopter, which was ordered last September, is a replacement of an EC 135 that was destroyed by arson last year. In the meantime, the French helicopter manufacturer kept the West Midlands Police in the air by supplying a police-configured interim EC135 shortly after the incident.
The Moroccan government’s military transport wing has taken delivery of the first of four C-27J Spartans that it ordered from Alenia Aeronautica in October 2008. The aircraft, which arrived at Kenitra air base on July 7, is equipped with the self-protection suite but does not feature an in-flight refuelling probe.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates chose the Navy League convention to spell out some hard truths about future funding. After paying tribute to the thousands of sailors and marines deployed on combat operations in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates noted that the Navy has been the most vocal of the U.S. armed services in protecting its force size.
Abu Dhabi-based charter operator Royal Jet is taking increasing numbers of bookings for flights into Iraq. Since the 2003 invasion of the country by the U.S. and its allies, the operator has made more than 100 flights into Iraq, including private charters and emergency medical evacuations. Following the 2003 conflict, Royal Jet was the first commercial flight provider to enter the market.
On Monday three U.S. Air Force nuclear-capable bomber wings joined the new Air Force Global Strike Command, bringing together the USAF’s nuclear strike assets in a single organization for the first time since the dismantling of Strategic Air Command in 1992.
“The U.S. wants to be number one, but China doesn’t want to be number two!” That was how Indian academic Deba Mohanty characterized the shifting strategic dynamics, at Monday’s Asia Pacific Security Conference (APSEC) here in Singapore.
The B-52 design may be 58 years old, but the “Buff” is keeping pace with modern technology. On January 17 Boeing flew the latest upgrade of its mighty bomber for the first time in a three-hour sortie from Edwards AFB. The B-52H was outfitted with the combat network communications technology (CONECT) modification, which allows the B-52 to receive and send digital information in real time during missions.