Authors Posts by Jon Lake

Jon Lake


Rafale F4 launched

Jon Lake - On 14 January 2019, the French government signed a $2.26 billion (€2 billion) contract with Dassault Aviation for a batch of 28 Rafales and at the same time approved the development of the new F4 standard. Like the rival Eurofighter Typhoon, the...

RAF Typhoons Carry Brimstone Over Syria

Jon Lake - The RAF’s Typhoon Force has flown its first operational sortie carrying the new-to-Typhoon MBDA Brimstone 2 precision attack missile. On 30 January, Air Commodore Justin Reuter, UK Air Component Commander for Operation Shader and Air Officer Commanding 83 Expeditionary Air Group shared a...

RAF Tornado Bows Out

Jon Lake - On 31 January 2019, the RAF Tornado Force flew its final operational sortie on Operation Shader - the UK element of the international campaign against Daesh (the so-called Islamic State group). Two Panavia Tornado GR.Mk4s took off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus...

Four generations of strike fighters?

When UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the RAF’s F-35Bs were ready to deploy, having attained initial operating capability (IOC), he did so in front of four different RAF Fast Jets. For the ceremony, held at RAF Marham in Norfolk on 10 January,...

KC-46A Edges Nearer to Service Entry

Jon Lake - Boeing has announced that its KC-46A Pegasus tanker has completed the second phase of flight testing in support of receiver certification. This followed three weeks of flight tests with Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles, although Phase II also included using Lockheed F-16s,...

First Tranche of 18 F-35B’s for UK Nears Completion

Jon Lake - In mid-November the UK took delivery of its 17th Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning aircraft. The aircraft was the penultimate aircraft in Britain’s initial block of 18 Joint Strike Fighters and was delivered to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina,...

British Defence Exports on the rise

The UK’s Defence Security Organisation (DSO) revealed that the British defence industry secured export orders valued at $11.6 billion (£9 billion) in 2017. This was the second highest annual figure in the past decade - British defence equipment exports totaled $12.6bn (£9.8bn) in 2013...

F-22 Raptor Resurrection?

In late April there were a flurry of press reports suggesting that Lockheed Martin was planning to offer Japan a new fighter design based on the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Rather than offering a new ‘hybrid’ design, however, Armada...

Analysis: German Tornado/Typhoon Replacement

At the ILA Berlin Airshow Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, and Eric Trappier, CEO and chairman of Dassault Aviation announced that the two companies would jointly develop a Future Combat Air System (FCAS). This would be a ‘system of systems,’ that...

Combat Debut for AGM-158B JASSM-ER

The co-ordinated coalition strike against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure on 14 April marked the combat debut of the $1.75 million Lockheed Martin AGM-158B JASSM-ER (Joint Air-To-Surface Standoff Munition – Extended Range). The weapons were fired by a pair of Rockwell B-1B Lancers operated by the...

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