Air Recognition's Top Stories of 2017

World Defense & Security News - 2017 Top Stories
Air Recognition's Top Stories of 2017
As 2017 came to an end, here is an overview of the top ten defense aerospace stories we published last year, based on the number of readers for each story. As you can see, fighter jets purchase and upgrade programs and future airborne platforms drew a lot of interest among Air Recognition readers.
Elbit to provide F 5 fighter jet upgrade to undisclosed Asian customer 640 001A Royal Thai Air Force F-5E Tiger II
(Credit: RTAF)
1# Elbit to provide F-5 fighter jet upgrade to undisclosed Asian customer

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced today that it was awarded an approximately $93 million contract from an Asia-Pacific country to upgrade its F-5 aircraft fleet. The contract will be performed over a three-year period, the company said in an official statement.
A Croatian Air Force MiG-21 fighter jet
(Credit: Croatian MoD)
2# Croatian MoD downselects Sweden, Israel bids to replace outdated MiG-21s

Croatia's Defense Ministry will choose fighter jets between Israeli and Swedish bids in its costly procurement of combat military aircraft to replace its fleet of MiG-21s, Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji List reported on Monday, November 20, 2017.
Saab JAS 39C Gripen fighter jet
(Credit: Saab/KALM)
3# Bulgaria selects Saab's Gripen to replace aging MiG-29 fighter jets

According to the local newspaper iNews, Bulgaria selected the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet to replace an aged fleet of MiG-29 aircraft. The Bulgarian governement announced today to open talks with Saab for the purchase eight fighter jets in a deal estimated to be worth about $836 million.
A PLAAF J-20 stealth fighter jet
4# China's homegrown J-20 fighter jet enters service with PLAAF

According to a brief announcement on Friday, March 10, made on CCTV, China’s most advanced fighter jet, the J-20, officially enters service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). Developed since the late 1990s, the J-20 is a stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft China hopes will narrow the military gap with the United States.
Airbus H145M performed its first flight with a complete HForce weapon system in Donauwörth
(Credit: Airbus Helicopters)
5# Airbus H145M makes maiden flight with HForce weapon system

At the end of August, the H145M performed its first flight with a complete HForce weapon system in Donauwörth. Thanks to this modular weapon system designed by Airbus, the H145M can be equipped with all kind of guided and ballistic armaments such as missiles and laser guided rockets, guns, machine guns and rockets. The qualification of HForce for use on the H145M is planned for 2018.
An artistic rendering of one KF-X/IF-X considered design
(Source: Internet)
6# South Korea turns to Elta for KF-X fighter jet radar system

South Korea has formally abandoned a plan to develop a radar system with its own technology for its KF-X fighter jet program, a government source said Tuesday. As an alternative, the state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD) recently signed a technology support contract with an Israeli defense firm, according to the source who requested anonymity.
Two MD Helicopters MD 530F light attack and reconnaissance helicopters
(Credit: MD Helicopters)
7# Kenya approved to purchase 12 weaponized MD 530F helicopters

The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Kenya for MD 530F light helicopters and weapon systems worth $253 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on May 2, 2017.
Turkey's TF-X fighter jet provisional design showcased by TAI at IDEF 2017
(Credit: TAI)
8# IDEF 2017: Turkey progressing towards TF-X next-gen fighter jet development

The Turkish Air Force (TurAF) is now fully commited to its next-generation fighter aircraft program. Along with the acquisition of F-35A Lighting II fighter jets, the TF-X program has been launched to meet TurAF requirements beyond 2030s.
The first Il-78M-90A appeared at Aviastar-SP factory plant
(Credit: UAC)
9# Aviastar-SP rolls out first Il-78M-90A aerial refuelling aircraft

Aviastar-SP today rolled out the Il-78M-90A aerial refuelling aircraft first prototype, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced on its Twitter account. Russia started developping an upgraded variant of the Il-76MD-90A in 2012 under the PSZ (Perspektyvnyi Samolot Zapravshchik) program.
Kongsberg's Joint Strike Missile showcased at LIMA 2017
10# Kongsberg's JSM missile to be added to Eurofighter Typhoon weapons package

Kongsberg plans to add its Joint Strike Missile to the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet's weapons package, the Norway-based missile manufacturer unveiled today at LIMA 2017 exhibition in Langkawi, Malaysia. Preliminary phase has now been launched, Kongsberg said to Air Recognition.