Norway ‘not amused’ by F-16 pilot cut

RNoAF F-16AM no. 292 over Langvatnet, North West of Snøhetta (Image © Morten Hanche / Forsvaret)
RNoAF F-16AM no. 292 over Langvatnet, North West of Snøhetta (Image © Morten Hanche / Forsvaret)

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 5: In the year 2014 Norway can still count on six F-16 pilot training positions in the USA (Forsvaret). But how it looks in 2015 is still uncertain.

The Norwegian Armed Forces (Forsvaret) and political parties are ‘not amused’ by a recent American move to cut the number of Norwegian F-16 pilot training positions in the USA from six to only two, reports Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten on July 17th, 2013.

The US action could be both for financial reasons and to free training spots for Iraqi and Japanese pilots, say sources to the newspaper.

Norway has committed itself to the F-16 and more or less to its successor the F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter). The biggest Norwegian opposition party (conservative Høyre) now wants the government to postpone signing the F-35 main contract or cancel it all together.

Currently six pilots are doing their lead-in fighter training in the USA on the T-38 Talon. For four of them it is now highly uncertain if they can continue as previously planned on the F-16 Fighting Falcon in Tuscon (Arizona) later this year. It also confronts the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) with the possible lack of qualified pilots for the defence of the country.

© 2013 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger

See also our Overview: Royal Norwegian Air Force

Cameroon AF gets CN235

Cameroon Air Force Airbus CN235 (Image © Airbus Military)
Cameroon Air Force Airbus CN235 (Image © Airbus Military)

The Cameroon Air Force got its first and only new Airbus (CASA) CN235 medium transport aircraft, reports Airbus Military.

The handover makes Cameroon the sixteenth sub-Saharan nation to operate Airbus Military’s family of light and medium aircraft. Altogether 61 countries now operate the Airbus Military light and medium family of airlifters and surveillance aircraft – the C212, CN235 and C295.

The CN235 is can carry a six tonne payload and operates in hot, dusty and humid conditions and on unprepared runways. It has a fair short take-off and landing capability, and its cabin can be reconfigured for a variety of transport missions such as carrying troops, cargo, mixed loads or for medical evacuation.

Source: Airbus Military

Cameroon Air Force (Armée de l’Air du Cameroun) status as of July 2013


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Active number of aircraft: 20

  • 4x Dassault Breguet / Dornier Alpha Jet trainer and light attack aircraft
  • 1x Airbus CN235 medium transport aircraft
  • 3x Lockheed C-130H tactical transport aircraft
  • 1x Gulfstream III VIP transport
  • 1x Aérospatiale SA332 Super Puma transport helicopter
  • 1x Aérospatiale SA330 Puma transport helicopter
  • 1x Aérospatiale SA318 Alouette II utlity helicopter
  • 1x Bell 412 utility helicopter
  • 7x Humbert Tetras training aircraft

Airbases: 3
Douala, Garoua, Yaoundé

The number and type of active aircraft are confirmed by several sources. The Cameroon AF might have more aircraft ready, but AIRheads could not obtain reliable information about those aircraft.

EasyJet confirms huge Airbus A320 purchase

Artist impression of the new Airbus A320neo (Image © Airbus)
Artist impression of the new Airbus A320neo (Image © Airbus)

EasyJet confirmed its planned purchase of 135 Airbus A320 family aircraft, consisting of 100 A320neos and 35 A320ceos. The initial agreement was announced earlier in June, reports Airbus.

The A320 has a capacity of about 180 seats. The order by EasyJet sustains nearly 2,500 jobs as well as some 7,500 in the extended supply chain in the UK.

EasyJet operates one of Europe’s most extensive route networks, and is the UK’s largest airline, carrying 55 million passenger a year. In addition, easyJet is also the largest A320 Family customer and operator in Europe.

So far more than 9,500 A320s in various versions have been ordered. By July 2013 5,600 have been delivered to over 380 customers.

Source: Airbus

USMC July Harrier Ops in the Red Sea

An USMC AV-8B landing at LHD-3 USS Kearsage in the Red Sea, July 2013 (Image © USMC / Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels)
An USMC AV-8B landing at LHD-3 USS Kearsage in the Red Sea, July 2013 (Image © USMC / Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels)

An AV-8B Harrier fighter and attack aircraft assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) lands on the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) operating in the Red Sea. The 26th MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The photo was released on July 13th, 2013.

Source: USMC

Talisman Saber 2013

USMC MV-22B during exercise Talisman Saber 2013 (Image © USMC / Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)
USMC MV-22B during exercise Talisman Saber 2013 (Image © USMC / Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)

A US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey transport aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off from Samuel Hill Airfield in Australia on July 16th, 2013. The 31st MEU is participating in Talisman Saber 2013, a biennial exercise that enhances multilateral collaboration between U.S. and Australian forces for future combined operations, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response.

Source: USMC