September's top stories: India-France €7.8bn Rafale deal, Missing Swiss Air Force's F/A-18C fighter jet found

France and India have signed the long-awaited contract for the acquisition of 36 Rafale for the Indian Air Force (IAF), The Swiss Air Force's F/A-18C fighter jet that crashed near Susten in central Switzerland on 29 August has been found, Swiss defence authorities have confirmed.Airforce-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from September 2016.


India and France sign €7.8bn deal for 36 Rafale fighter aircraft

France and India signed the long-awaited contract for the acquisition of 36 Rafale for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The deal value has dropped to €7.8bn from the initial €12bn, The Indian Express reported.

The Dassault Aviation-built multi-role jet fighter will be supplied as part of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) signed by France and India in January this year.

Missing Swiss Air Force's F/A-18C fighter jet found

The Swiss Air Force's F/A-18C fighter jet that crashed near Susten in central Switzerland on 29 August has been found, Swiss defence authorities have confirmed.

The aircraft went down as it was carrying out a training exercise with another jet, killing the pilot.

The crash site was located by the military following search operations that were obstructed by bad weather conditions.

USAF test fires unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile

The US Air Force (USAF) successfully conducted the test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) equipped with a test re-entry vehicle.

The Boeing-built land-based nuclear deterrent was test fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by a team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen from the 341st Missile Wing.

The testing was aimed at validating the operational credibility of the ICBM system.

Spanish Air Force's first A400M conducts maiden flight

The Spanish Air Force's first A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight.

Designated the MSN44, the airlifter took off from Seville in Spain on 5 September and landed back after a three hour and 45 minute flight.

The Airbus Defence and Space-built aircraft was captained by the company's test pilot Nacho Lombo.

UK RAF completes landing trials of A400M transport aircraft

The UK Royal Air Force's (RAF) new A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft successfully completed soft surface landing tests.

The two week-long landing trials were conducted at former RAF Woodbridge.

These trials witnessed the Airbus-built A400M Atlas landing on a pre-prepared dirt surface, which was artificially softened by 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment for the task.

US and Russia reach deal on Syrian ceasefire, UN pledges support

The US and Russia announced a plan for cessation of hostilities in Syria, which is scheduled to take effect today at sundown.

The announcement follows a meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

State-run al-Ikhbariya TV reported that the Syrian regime announced its support of the ceasefire deal.

US precision airstrike kills top ISIS leader in Syria

US Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirmed that a US precision airstrike has killed senior ISIS leader, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, in Syria.

The airstrike, which was carried out on 30 August near Al Bab, Syria, targeted al-Adnani who is ISIS's chief propagandist, recruiter and architect of external terrorist operations.

The confirmation follows after Russia claimed that one of its Su-34 bombers had killed him last month.

India test-fires Barak-8 surface-to-air ballistic missile

India test-fired a Barak-8 surface-to-air ballistic missile from a test range at Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha state.

The latest testing comes on the heels of two test firings of Barak-8 on 30 June and 1 July this year, DD News reported.

During the trial on 20 September, the medium-range missile was successfully launched from a mobile launcher at the integrated test range (ITR).

Japan scrambles fighter jets after China flies aircraft near disputed islands

The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force reportedly scrambled its fighter jets on 25 September, after eight Chinese military aircraft flew near islands in the East China Sea.

The Chinese fighters and bombers flew between Okinawa’s main island and Miyako-jima island near Taiwan in a show of force, according to media sources.

The flights follow after Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada recently said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the Japanese ‘Maritime Self-Defense Force plans to hold joint training cruises with the US Navy’.

UK MoD orders BriteCloud missile decoys from Leonardo-Finmeccanica

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) placed an order with Leonardo-Finmeccanica to deliver mini-missile decoys for the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Under the £2.5m contract, Leonardo will provide BriteCloud system, which can be fired from an aircraft’s flare dispenser without the need for modification to the aircraft.

Using radar emissions and missile-confusing advanced electronics, the miniature decoy will be able to disrupt systems within radar-guided air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.