Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stealth Saga #62

6th Generation Fighters:

Japan has teamed with Britain to study its next generation fighter.

The penetrating counter air system may be fast tracked and only a small number bought.

The PCA program under the Trump budget was $143 million.

The NGAD/F-X program may have merged with the PCA program.  The new budget under the latest Trump proposed budget is $294 million.

Some are saying the FA-XX really ought to be an F-14 replacement rather than for the F/A-18.

Engine studies have ramped up for the USAF F-X and USN FA-XX 6th generation fighters.

Will the MiG-41 actually be a sixth gen platform?


Iran's "stealth" fighter has started taxi tests much to everyone's surprise.


Rolls Royce has formed a joint venture to produce the engines for the Turkish indigenous 5th generation fighter.


South Korea has selected Elta Systems to develop the KFX's radar.


The Russians are claiming they are on the cusp of signing the next deal related to the PAK-FA derived FGFA with India.  India is...silent.


The Russians claim the next gen engine is nearing readiness for the PAK-FA.

The Russians are claiming deliveries will start in 2019.  This is a slip by another year.

The PAK-FA avionics are advanced enough to do most of the flying for the pilot (supposedly).

The PAK-FA will carry an antiship cruise missile, confirming the PAK-FA is a multirole fighter rather than an air superiority specialist.


The PAK-DA has a digital model completed.  Presuma bly this is a completion of the CAD drawings rather than just another rendering.

The PAK-DA's first flight has been postponed until 2025.

The whole program is in question given the funding problems and given the announcement of the purchase of 50 new Tu-160 White Swan bombers, its looking rather likely the PAK-DA program may go the way of the MiG 1.44.



The Chinese J-20 stealth fighter has entered service and achieved at least by American parlance, initial operating capability.


The inspector general for the Pentagon is worried the B-21 program is excessively secret.The USAF is extremely reluctant to say anything about the program.

The B-21 program took a small budgetary hair cut, losing $20 million.

The USAF is starting to talk about needing 165 B-21 Raider stealth bombers.


The next generation tanker may not be truly stealthy but then again reports are mixed.


It appears the Russians might have tried to lure F-22s into an 'intel trap.'

F-22 can now use upgraded missiles.

Even after Trump's missile strike in Syria, the F-22 is just fine patrolling there.  However, if shooting started some have questions whether the F-22 would do well against the newest Russian air defenses in Syria.

How the F-22 and the F-35 will communicate and share data is still TBD.

Two F-22s escorted an airliner when there was a problem onboard with a passenger.

The F-22 avionics flying testbed is now based in St Louis.


The Australian Air Force will have an air force entirely made up of F-35s by 2025.  They have ordered 72 F-35As.

The British F-35Bs will have the Meteor missile starting in 2024.

Germany has requested a classified briefing on the F-35 for procurement purposes.

Israel has taken delivery of three more F-35Is bringing their total to five.

Israel will get a special order, sensor laden F-35 for testing.

IAI is seeking engine work contracts for the F-35.

The first Italian built F-35B has been rolled out.

Norway has begun testing parachute braking on the F-35.

Taiwan is inquiring about procuring the F-35.  Normally, that would be a nonstarter.  However, under the Trump administration, who knows?

The GAO is warning of an increase of costs of $1.7 billion and a year delay in the F-35 program.

Some are arguing we ought to be buying F-35s faster.

The F-35 order from the proposed FY2018 budget is 46 F-35As, 20 F-35Bs & 4 F-35Cs.

Will the F-35 be the next jet for the Thunderbirds?

The USAF has lifted the ban on lighweight fighter pilots for the F-35A.

USAF F-35As toured and exercised in Europe.  Starting in Britain, hitting Estonia and Bulgaria along the way.

Hill AFB will be standing up its 4th F-35A squadron and the second combat coded one.

F-35As will participate in the Paris airshow.

QF-16 drones exercised with F-35s to practice working on jamming techniques.

What it is like to train new USAF pilots on the F-35?

USMC has completed gunpod testing on the F-35B.

USMC F-35Bs participated in Northern Edge exercise in Alaska for the first time.

The USMC wants to put 20 F-35Bs on its first few America class assault ships to act as mini carriers.

Lockheed was awarded the contract to upgrade the F-35s to the latest avionics software version.

Lockheed claims to have improved the F-35 logistics system.

A US Navy F-35C tested that software and dropped a bomb on a moving target.

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