Friday, December 23, 2016

Stealth Saga #58


The Anglo-French  FCAS may not be unmanned.

The French and British have agreed on the interim work for the FCAS.


South Korea will develop a new air to surface missile for its KFX.

South Korea will start the design of the KFX in 2017.


The second prototype of the FC-31 has taken flight.


The Chinese have confirmed they are working on the H-20 stealthy strategic bomber.


Did the J-20's just go IOC?  (image source)Some are stating this is the Chinese equivalent of Nellis AFB where tactics are worked out.

Two new J-20As were spotted and supposedly assigned to the 126th Air Brigade.

The J-20 gets a comparison to the F-35.


Russia has stated they will put the PAK-FA into production on schedule in 2017.

The PAK-FA is getting a new set of weapons.  Supposedly.

CNN has new photos of the PAK-FA.

The eighth prototype of the PAK-FA has entered testing.

Stealth Recon Drones:

The USAF is looking for new stealthy recon drones.

The USAF F-22s are having a problem in the Middle East. The stealth coating on the fighter is warping and shedding.

The F-22 gets a cheer from the F-35 haters.

F-22s are going to be deployed from Australia next year.


The Pentagon is hopeful the F-35 block buy will proceed.

President-elect Trump has taken aim at the F-35 program calling it out of control (why?).  McCain agrees but has stated Trump can't cancel the program.  Others are not so sure.  Cancellation would end jobs in 45 states.   Others are stating the F-35 needs to be produced faster, not cancelled.  Still others have pointed out the cost per plane has dropped for most models.  Does Trump's tweet indicate an assault on the defense industry is coming?

Trump, after meeting with the CEOs of Lockheed and Boeing, has vowed to cut costs on the F-35 (and Air Force One replacement) and the head of the F-35 program for that matter.  Trump is now calling for Boeing to bid a F/A-18 variant with the same capabilities as the F-35.  This. is.  stupid.

Some dispute the costs for the F-35 cited by the Pentagon.

Unilateral negotiations are still in play despite Lockheed's threat of legal action.

The USAF has named the ANG bases vying for the F-35A.

The F-35A is likely to go to Europe next summer.

USMC pilots speak out about the F-35B and they are wildly positive.

USMC F-35Bs will be the aircraft embarked on the British Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier's maiden voyage.

The fire in the weapons bay of an F-35B was from a known defect that was already being worked on.  Apparently, the problem was a loose bracket.

The British are progressing with their weapons certification for the F-35.

Canada still considers the F-35 an option for its new fighter even though the Liberal government promised its cancellation.

Israel's first F-35Is have arrived in country.  Netanyahu has stated Israel is stronger for the arrival.   The first two were delayed enroute due to fog.  More pix.

Italy has become the first nation outside the US to operate the F-35.

Japan's first F-35 was handed over at Luke AFB.

The Netherlands' F-35s buzzed Star Wars Canyon.

The Netherlands also joined the Norwegians to develop a brake chute for the F-35.

Counter Stealth:

The Russians are looking at a new coutner stealth radar (again).

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