Taking off from Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates in late September, American F-22s from the 27th Squadron of the First Fighter Wing dropped 1,000-pound satellite-guided weapons against ISIS positions near the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates in northern Syria. This was considered the first combat mission conducted by the Raptors. Global Times noted however that the planes did not carry auxiliary fuel tanks and had to be refueled by a KC-10 tanker in midair. Continue reading
South Korea is purchasing bunker-busting long-range missiles from a European company, allowing it to hold at risk nuclear and missile sites in North Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the ROK’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) approved the purchase of Taurus bunker-busting, air-to-ground missiles for the military’s F-15K fighter jets. The missiles are equipped with GPS-guidance and have a range of 500 km while carrying a 480-kg warhead that can penetrate 6 meters of concrete. Its Circular Error Probable (CEP) is 2-3 meters. Continue reading
With its latest acquisitions from Washington and Europe, the Saudi Air Force will have more fighter-bombers of more advanced models that the Israeli Air Force. Deep concern over this was recently relayed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
DEBKAfile’s Washington and military sources that Israel made its concern known with the utmost discretion so as not to be seen as hampering the expansion of the Saudi Royal Air Force as Riyadh gets set to tackle Tehran should Saudi oil exports be sabotaged by Iranian attacks on its oil production or the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, its primary export outlet.
Last month, the US agreed to sell Saudi Arabia 84 advanced F-15SA fighter-bombers worth $29.4 billion. First deliveries are due in 2015. The package included the upgrading of 70 F-15 planes of the Saudi air fleet. Riyadhis also buying 72 advanced Eurofighter Typhoon fighter bombers. All in all, the oil kingdom will have the largest and most sophisticated fighter-bomber fleet in the Middle East.
Israel leaders reminded the Obama administration of its standing pledge to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. The aircraft supplied to the Saudis will place that edge in doubt.
Continue reading article: Jerusalem concerned: Saudi Air Force to outnumber Israel’s advanced US jet fleet (DEBKAfile)