A week after U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates praised Denmark and Norway for punching above their weight in the Libyan operations, both countries indicated they would scale back their contribution of F-16 fighters. They “have provided 12 percent of allied strike aircraft yet have struck about one-third of the targets” said Gates, praising them for the effective use of their limited resources.
AIN Defense Perspective » June 27, 2011
Pratt & Whitney is confident that the problems with the STOVL version of the F135 engine powering the F-35B have been solved. At the Paris Air Show last week, Chris Flynn, vice president of fifth-generation programs, said that solutions to the lift-fan clutch engagement, driveshaft expansion and roll-post heating were all in production.
Airbus Military has delivered two of five A330MRTTs ordered by launch customer the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). After a delay of more than two years, the first aircraft was flown from Madrid to RAAF Amberley and handed over in a formal ceremony on June 1. The second was handed over on June 22.
At last week’s Paris Air Show Selex Galileo displayed a larger version of its Falco unmanned air vehicle, fitted with longer wings for greater endurance and better payload capability. Designated Falco EVO, the new version has a wingspan of 12.5 meters (41 feet) compared with 7.2 meters (23.62 feet), allowing an increase in maximum takeoff weight to 650 kilograms (1,430 pounds), up from 450 kg (990 pounds).
Since April 22 the Swedish air force Gripens have been conducting operations over Libya as part of the NATO response to UNSCR 1973. Sweden already maintained a unit of eight aircraft on a deployment alert for the Nordic Battle Group, and it was these aircraft that were sent to Sigonella in Sicily. They arrived within 23 hours of the parliamentary approval for the operation, their participation being sponsored by full NATO member Denmark.
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