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December 31, 2022

Chinese Fighter Jet Nears Within Ten-Feet of USAF Aircraft

Proximity’s Perils

A Chinese fighter jet reportedly neared to within ten-feet of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft over contested waters of the South China Sea. The Chinese pilot’s shortsightedly aggressive antics forced the USAF plane to take evasive action to avoid a midair collision of potentially dire consequence in international airspace—so said the Pentagon on Thursday, 29 December 2022.

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USAF to Retire RC-26 Fleet

Unsung ISR Platform Key to Counterdrug Ops

Based on Fairchild Swearingen’s Metroliner twin-turboprop commuter airliner, the RC-26 is an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform in service with the United States Air Force, Navy, and Army. Notwithstanding the extent to which the aircraft is relied upon to monitor fentanyl smuggling across the U.S./Mexico border, the National Guard received orders in November to advance the RC-26’s retirement date from April 2023 to year’s end 2022. No plans currently exist to replace the platform.

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Leonardo to Modernize Canadian SAR Fleet

16 CH-149 Cormorants to be Brought Up to Modern SAR Spec Under CMLU Program

The Canadian Department of National Defence has chosen Leonardo to revamp their AW101/CH-149 “Cormorant” helicopter fleet. The $1 billion CAN contract will provide 16 aircraft with a Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU), with 13 of them drawn from Canada's fleet of Cormorant Search and Rescue Helicopters. The other 3 slots will be used for other aircraft at a later date.

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