Norway places firm order for the F-35

Norwegian Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide said the decision to move forward came after U.S. authorities confirmed their support to integrate a joint strike missile developed by the Norwegian conglomerate Kongsberg Gruppen ASA into the F-35 aircraft. The two aircraft authorized today are expected to be joined by a second pair in 2016, and will be based in the United States as part of a joint partner training centre. They are to be followed by up to 48 additional aircraft from 2017 that are to be based at Ørland Main Air Station in central Norway.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability. The F-35 has three main models; the F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B is a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and the F-35C is a carrier-based variant.

f-35 jet fighter

The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. JSF development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom and other partner governments providing additional funding. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin. The F-35 took its first flight on 15 December 2006.

The United States intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. The United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Israel and Japan all will equip their air and/or naval forces with the F-35.

Raptor & Eurofighter in RedFlag Alaska

The US Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors are participating in their first Red Flag-Alaska war-games with German Eurofighter Typhoon fighters and other foreign aircraft. Poland is flying its first Red Flag with its new F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft while Japan has brought its Boeing F-15J Eagles. Pilots from the 3rd Wing’s 525th Fighter Squadron and its reserve associate unit, 477th Fighter Group, are flying the Raptors during the exercise. The Typhoons, Raptors and Eagles are all flying as friendly “Blue forces” during the exercises. “They are never on the Red side,” says Major James Mixon, an exercise planner with the 353 Combat Training Squadron referring to the Raptors. The idea is to teach the visiting forces how to interact with the stealthy fifth-generation fighter, he says.

For the exercise, the Luftwaffe brought over eight Typhoons from Jagdgeschwader 74 to Eielson AFB, Alaska, says unit commander Col Andreas Pfeiffer. For the Germans, the exercise affords a unique opportunity to training over the vast ranges found in Alaska. The ranges at the base offer the ability to replicate the latest surface-to-air threats while the USAF’s 18th Aggressor squadron replicates enemy aircraft like the Russian Su-27, Su-30 and Chengdu J-10. Pfeiffer says flying with the Raptor was an interesting experience. “Its unique capabilities are overwhelming,” Pfeiffer says.

The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by the United Kingdom, West Germany and Italy. There are three primary variants of the Tornado; the Tornado IDS (interdictor/strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences Tornado ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defence variant) interceptor.

tornado jet fighter

The Tornado was developed and built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (previously British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy. It first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 1979–1980. Due to its multirole nature, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) became an export operator of the Tornado in addition to the three original partner nations. A tri-nation training and evaluation unit operating from RAF Cottesmore, the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment maintained a level of international cooperation beyond the production stage.

The Panavia Tornado is a multirole, twin-engined aircraft designed to excel at low-level penetration of enemy defences. The mission envisaged during the Cold War was the delivery of conventional and nuclear ordnance on the invading forces of the Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe; this dictated several significant features of the design. Variable wing geometry, allowing for minimal drag during the critical low-level dash towards a well-prepared enemy, had been desired from the project’s start. Advanced navigation and flight computers, including the then-innovative fly-by-wire system, greatly reduced the workload of the pilot during low-level flight and eased control of the aircraft.

As a multirole aircraft, the Tornado is capable of undertaking more mission profiles than the anticipated strike mission; various operators replaced multiple aircraft types with the Tornado as a common type – the use of dedicated single role aircraft for specialist purposes such as battlefield reconnaissance, maritime patrol duties, or dedicated electronic countermeasures (ECM) were phased out – either by standard Tornados or modified variants, such as the Tornado ECR. The most extensive modification from the base Tornado design was the Tornado ADV, which was stretched and armed with long range anti-aircraft missiles to serve in the interceptor role.

tornado jet fighter

In order for the Tornado to perform well as a low-level supersonic strike aircraft, it was considered necessary for it to possess good high-speed and low-speed flight characteristics. To achieve high-speed performance, a swept-wing or delta-wing platform is typically adopted, but these wing designs are inefficient at low speeds. To operate at both high and low speeds with great effectiveness, the Tornado uses a variable-sweep wing. This approach had been adopted by earlier aircraft such as the American General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark strike fighter, and the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 fighter. The F-111 has many similarities with the smaller Tornado, however, the Tornado differs in being a multi-role aircraft with more advanced onboard systems and avionics.

The Tornado was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Italian Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force during the 1991 Gulf War, in which the Tornado conducted many low-altitude penetrating strike missions. The Tornados of various operators were used in conflicts in the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War and Kosovo War, Iraq during the Gulf War and the Iraq War, Libya during the Libyan civil war, as well as smaller roles in Afghanistan and Yemen. Including all variants, a total of 992 aircraft were built.

We went for it again, the air combat experience as we had tremendous fun. So to get you even more interested, check out our latest pictures. That was fun, professional and simply one of the best flying experiences we have had in a long time. It is very different from flying a jet fighter, but the experience is truly worth a go.

Check Tematis if you want to have a go: http://uk.tematis.com/en/182-air-combat-dogfight