Friday, November 04, 2016

Stealth Saga #56

Cloud Shadow UCAV:

China has unveiled its Cloud Shadow UCAV.  This UCAV is a parallel to the General Atomics Avenger.

Chinese Stealth Bomber:

There is speculation on the bomber and the number of engines it will have.


Despite the appearance of the J-20 at the Zhuhai airshow, the FC-31/J-31 was largely absent other than a display model.  AVIC officials did not discuss the status of the FC-31 (or J-20) with journalists.

New details about the FC-31 have emerged: it seems a second, improved prototype is being constructed.


The Chinese J-20 stealth fighter has debuted with a new camo pattern.

The inside of the J-20 weapons' bay has been seen.  Now we hae an idea of what the Chinese plan for their new fighter.

A pair of J-20 did a flyby at the Zhuhai airshow and gets profiled a lot.  The J-20 is known as the 'Mighty Dragon.'

China may be working on a larger version of the J-20.

Aviation Week wonders just how stealthy the J-20 is.

The J-20 unveil was meant as a  display of Beijing's firepower.

Some are questioning just how good the J-20 is since Beijing keeps ordering Russian 4th gen fighters.


Russia claims it will unveil the PAK-DA in 2018 and have its first flight in 2023.


The PAK-FA testing is done and will start being procured by the Russian Aerospace Forces.  However, the first batch is only 5.  The Russians have stated they will only be buying 20 to 25 per year.

The PAK-FA will be tested with its final engines in 2017, supposedly.

Russia is rolling out a 9th PAK-FA prototype for testing.

The PAK-FA derivaive for India, the FGFA, is back to the discussion table between the Russians and Indians.


Iran's test site for its RQ-170 derivatives has been geolocated.


Japan's military scientists and engineers are to start testing the X-2.

It is becoming crunch time to decide on the F-3 or not for Japan.

Mitsubishi & Lockheed have teamed for the F-3.

Combat Support Unmanned Aircraft:

Japan is seeking to create a program for drone/UCAVs to accompany its F-3 fighters much like the American 'Loyal Wingman' project.

Sixth Generation Fighter/Penetrating Counter Air:

Boeing released its latest concept for the PCA/6th gen fighter.

We have three different takes on what the sixth gen fighter will look like and what capabilities it will have.

The US Air Force Advisory Board will be reviewing the Penetrating CounterAir program.

Northrop was awarded a contract for a beam director for a laser weapon for fighters.


WiB takes a look at the war pigeon, ahem, Boeing losing design to the F-35 in the JSF program.


B-2 pilots have stated the B-21 ought to remain a manned aircraft.

Some of the details of the Boeing protest over the contract being awarded to Northrop have been revealed.

Northrop won the contract primarily on cost.


32 F-22s were moved out of the path of Hurricane Matthew.  

Moscow claims it could shoot down F-22s in Syria.  Others are skeptical because the F-22 was designed with those systems in mind.


A fix for the insulation problems on some of the F-35As is nigh.    In fact, two have been returned to service.  Norway's F-35s are returning to flight.

The F-35 software update is hopefully going to silence the ALIS critics.

BAe is getting a contract to develop a new software to automatically adapt to new radar threats and jam them for the F-35.

During a recent exercise, F-35 avionics caused a problem because radars were not within the threat parameters and they were dismissed.

The Pentagon just awarded $743 million to Lockheed in support of the Lot 9 procurement of the F-35.  The supplier deal suggests the LRIP 9 & 10 contracts are nigh.  The LRIP 9 contract was awarded: $6.1 billion for 57 F-35s: 42 F-35As, 13 F-35Bs and 2 F-35Cs.  However!  The contract as a unilateral award meaning the gov got tired of negotiating with Lockheed and just stated this is how much they are going to pay, take it or leave it.  Lockheed is not happy and might sue.  LRIP 10 is still not done being negotiated.

US DOD is starting up the global support network for the F-35.

The F-35 was a major profit driver for Lockheed.

The F-35 capable USS Wasp is being deployed to Japan in support of the F-35B squadron to be based there.

The USMC is looking at teaming unmanned platforms with the F-35B.

A F-35B had a fire in its weapon's bay.  An investigation has started.

Israel wants FOC for its F-35Is ASAP.

Norway is looking to buy 12 more F-35s in a block.

Turkey has placed a second order for F-35s pulling forward its first two aircraft to 2018 instead of 2021.


Some are still unhappy with US aircraft.

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