As part of US led Coalition air operations, the F/A-18A Hornets from Number 75 Squadron have replaced the Super Hornets to continue combating the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq. The incoming F/A-18A Hornet is a single-seat multi-role fighter while the F/A-18F Super Hornet is a two-seater. In addition to individual Pilot and Weapon Systems Officer hand-overs, all related supporting personnel have been ‘briefed-in’ and are now fully operational.
A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 93rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, flies a close air support mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom coalition ground forces. The compact, multi-role fighter aircraft entered active service in 1980. It is highly maneuverable and proven in both air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson, 2 APR 2014.)
Based on the Shenyang J-11 airframe, and heavily influenced by Sukhoi Su-30MKK aircraft sold to China in 2000, the J-16 first flew in 2013. A multi-role fighter/bomber, the J-16 also has an improved AESA radar, composites, radar absorbent material (RAM), and additional upgrades. Up to 24 have already been built, according to some reports, with both the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and People’s Liberation Army Navy being seen as potential users of the type.
A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet maneuvers into position for aerial refueling during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The multi-role, carrier-capable fighter entered active service in 1978.
The Lavi was developed by Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) beginning in 1982, with the intention of creating an indigenous Israeli multi-role fighter. the first prototype took flight on December 31, 1986. The program was cancelled in August of 1987, due to budgetary concerns. Three aircraft were built, with two currently on display.
Much has been made of alleged transfer of information from the Lavi program, including large quantities of American technology, between Israel and China. Proof is difficult to nail down, and Israel and China deny such transfers occurred (Certain Russians who assisted in the J-10 program, however, allege that the transfer was real and extensive). The Chengdu J-10 closely resembles that Lavi, but China claims the design is derivative of their earlier J-9 design from the 1970’s.
It has been announced that the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master will serve in the IAF under the name of Lavi as a trainer aircraft.