Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Stealth Saga #38


Air and Space has a profile of the RQ-170.


Despite doing a tanker drone first, the US Navy has stated it still wants a UCLASS drone.

The GAO reported on the progress on UCLASS.


Here's a high resolution photo of the X-2. 


Japan has reached out to Boeing and Lockheed for help in building its 5th generation fighter.  The Russians are calling the F-3 a sixth generation fighter.  That remains to be seen.



The Indian variant of the PAK-FA, the FGFA, may end up armed with the hypersonic Brahmos missile.


WiB argues the B-21 needs to become more open for it to survive the funding battles coming up.  Its not to say it should be a 'white' program, but less grey.  Unforunately, while they have the right idea, they use the disastrous Navy A-12 program as the basis of their argument.  The A-12 program was not canceled due to a funding fight with the F-22 though.  It was cancelled because it was run atrociously.


The USS America has joined the fleet after having its deck strengthened for flying the F-35.

The US Marines will be standing up a second F-35B squadron in June.

The first USMC F-35B squadron will deploy on time to Japan.

The F-35A IOC may be delayed due to the software fixes.  And cyber vulnerabilities.

The total costs of F-35 acquisition has dropped $13 billion.

However, the last F-35 will fly until 2070 now.  That will increase the total life time costs of the program.  I also have a hard time believing the F-35 will remain in the inventory until I am 96.  There are going to be some major tech changes that will obsolete the F-35 by the 2050s at the latest.

The F-35 is going on a global publicity tour to wins hearts and minds at least of the legislatures backing the project.

WiB grouses at the expense of F-35 upgrades.


A Chinese businessman has plead guilty to spying on the F-22 and F-35 programs.

The US Air Force is being criticized for still believing it can have a 100% stealth air fleet.

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