AIR International – June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1 | 19




buys Orbital

Northrop Grumman has completed
the acquisition of aerospace and
defence technologies company
Orbital ATK for $9.2 billion. Orbital
ATK will now operate under
the name Northrop Grumman
Innovation Systems. Operating
both as a prime contractor and
merchant supplier, Orbital ATK
designs, develops and provides
space, defence and aviation-related
systems to customers across the
globe. The company’s product
portfolio includes launch vehicles
and related propulsion systems,
missiles, subsystems and defence
electronics, precision weapons,
ammunition, satellites, and
advanced aerospace structures.

Multiple US deployments to Europe

In moves reminiscent of the Crested
Cap and Salty Bee deployments to
Europe by US military aircraft in the
Cold War, several Stateside-based
aircraft have deployed to Europe
this summer. A detachment of
F-16Cs from Colorado Air National
Guard’s 140th Fighter Wing flew
to Skrydstrup Air Base, Denmark,
on June 1 to take part in exercises
across the continent. Four of those
left almost immediately for Cerklje
ob Krki Air Base in Slovenia to take
part in the Slovenian-led Joint
Terminal Attack Controller training
exercise Adriatic Strike 2018.
A rarer batch of visitors comprised
four UH-72A Lakotas from
Company ‘A’ of the 1-376th Aviation
Security and Support Battalion of the

Nebraska Army National Guard based
at Grand Island Army Aviation Support
Facility that arrived at Bremerhaven,
Germany by ship on May 21, 2018.
They flew to Hohenfels to provide
MEDEVAC cover while the Lakotas
of Company ‘C’ of the 1-214th
General Support Aviation Battalion,
12th Combat Aviation Brigade are
otherwise engaged on exercises
including Saber Strike 2018. The
four Lakotas will return home at the
end of August.
Arriving at Bodø Air Station, Norway
on May 30 were six AV-8B Harrier
IIs from Marine Attack Squadron 542
(VMA-542) ‘Tigers’ based at Marine
Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North
Carolina. They deployed for Exercise
Fjord Fury.

Six F-16Cs from Texas Air National
Guard’s 149th Fighter Wing based
at Kelly Air Force Base and two
Lincoln, Nebraska-based KC-135R
Stratotankers from the 155th Air
Refueling Wing deployed to the
Czech Republic to take part in
Exercise Sky Avenger 2018 between
June 18 and 29 as part of the State
Partnership Program sponsored by
the Air National Guard. Participants
exchanged best practices and shared
training experiences while enhancing
interoperability and readiness
between the two nation’s militaries.
The F-16Cs were based at Čáslav Air
Base and the tankers at Pardubice.
In England, four B-1B Lancer
bombers from the 7th Bomb Wing’s
28th Bomb Squadron deployed to

RAF Fairford for Exercise Saber Strike.
They were affected by the grounding
order in place across the entire Air
Force B-1B Lancer fleet.
Two E-3s from the Tinker,
Oklahoma-based 552nd Air Control
Wing, arrived at Geilenkirchen,
Germany in early June to take part
in Exercise Baltops 2018, a massive
multinational land, sea and air
exercise held in the Baltic region. In
addition, 18 F-16Cs assigned to the
52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem
Air Base, Germany flew to Poznań-
Krzesiny Air Base Poland in early
June to participate in bilateral
training with the Siły Powietrzne
Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Polish
Air Force) in support of Operation
Atlantic Resolve.

Eight A-10Cs from Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Fighter Wing based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base transited RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk on May 31-June
1 on their way to Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia. A specially marked Thunderbolt II 81-0994/MI commemorates the unit’s World War Two history when it flew the type’s
namesake, the P-47D Thunderbolt. Ade Carver

Greece buys



Greece’s Elliniki Polemiki
Aeroporia (Hellenic Air Force)
is to purchase 12 Tecnam
P2002JF single-engine aircraft
as part of its integrated training
system. In addition to the 12
aircraft ordered at a cost of
€2.4 million, a computer-based
integrated training system and
ancillary support services are
being procured. The P2002JFs
will replace the remaining
Cessna T-41D Mescaleros
flown from Dekhelia-Tatoi Air
Base near Athens by 360 Mira
Arhikis Ekpedefsis (Basic Training
Squadron). The new trainer will
be used in conjunction with a yet
to be identified lead-in fighter
trainer to replace the HAF’s
Rockwell T-2 Buckeye trainers.

Singapore receives

first A330MRTT

Airbus revealed recently that the first
Airbus A330MRTT for the Republic
of Singapore Air Force has been
officially received at Getafé, Spain. It
will be based there for crew training
before its ferry to Changi Air Base
in time to participate in the Air
Force’s 50th anniversary parade on

September 1. Airbus also revealed
that it expects five other MRTTs will
be handed over this year, three more
for Singapore and the first aircraft for
the Armée de l’Air and the Republic
of Korea Air Force. Six aircraft are
scheduled for delivery in 2019, also
to France and Korea. Roberto Yañez

Seen landing at Getafé after a 3.5-hour test flight on May 31 is Airbus A330MRTT
EC-332 (c/n MRTT034, to be registered 761 when in service with the Republic of
Singapore Air Force). It wears special colours to celebrate the 50th anniversary of
the Republic of Singapore Air Force. Roberto Yañez
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