Saturday, April 28, 2018

Stealth Saga #74

Sixth Generation Fighters:

The USAF is promoting its vision of what air to air combat will look like in 2030 in an AFRL video.

The Business Insider had someone consider the video and what to expect from 6th gen fighters.

Next Gen European Fighter:

France and Germany are supposed to announce a new fighter program that will replace the Eurofighter and Rafale in 2040.  Airbus and Dassault have signed an agreement to get the bird in the air supposedly by 2035.

There are politics involved with the procurement.


Martin Baker's MK18 ejection seat has been selected for the South Korean KF-X fighter.

Cobham will produce the oxygen system for the KF-X.

Meggitt won a contract for the KF-X, the brakes and landing gear.

Indonesia is considering pulling out of the KF-X.  South Korea has confirmed the possible pullout.


Leonardo is looking to participate in the Turkish fighter effort.

Preliminary agreements have been signed for the production of the TF-X.


Japan denied it will scrap its indigenous 5th generation fighter program.

Even so, Lockheed is said to be offering a new 5th gen fighter with a hybrid of tech from the F-22 and F-35.  It will probably have the bauplan of the F-22 (or close) and the avionics and engines of the F-35.  Some are arguing to restart the F-22 line if there's a hybrid offered.  This ignores the law stated no exports for the F-22.

Japan is weighing different routes to its next fighter, whether through indigenous development or working with a foreign company.  The X-2 may take to the skies again, despite finishing its test program.

Why the F-35 isn't enough for Japan.


Su-57s practicing for the May 9th Parade flyover.

India believes the Su-57 to be inferior to the F-22 and F-35 and is disappointed.

Did the Su-57 deploy to Syria to test its sensors against American stealth aircraft?

The Su-57 will be armed with the Kh-31 family of missiles.

The Su-57 is supposedly to be armed with a recently unveiled standoff "stealthy" Drel bomb.

The Su-57 will participate in the May 9th military parade in Moscow.


India is abandoning the Su-57 derivative, the FGFA: the performance, especially with stealth, is not up to 5th gen fighter standards, according to India.


The Russians are saying the Indians are saying (I know, I know) that the J-20 is detectable by Indian radars.

The Chinese claim to be using metamaterials in the J-20 for stealth.  Given the above, I wonder who is correct.


Is Beijing hinting the H-20 is not a flying wing?  or is this an artist picking up on internet based pictures and using them in a officially blessed publication?

Pop Sci considers China's plans for a strategic bomber and commissioned an artist to do a speculative rendering for what the H-20 might be like.


A bit of a puff piece for the B-21 here.

A patch has emerged that may belong to the B-21 test squadron.

The B-21 has finished its PDR.

The B-21 has had its first software drop.


Three B-2s were filmed over Pittsburg, KS.

A huge exercise of 20 B-2s was conducted.

Model 401:

Scaled Composite's Model 401 had more pictures taken of it.

MQ-25 Stingray:

Lockheed is already pushing a stealthy version of the new tanker drone.


Some patches have come to light about potential RQ-170 operational units.


It has been ten years since the F-117 has been retired.  Officially.


An auditor discusses the changes to the strategy for developing software for the F-22.

Lt. Col. Cheryl Buehn is the only female pilot for the 71st Training Squadron. Her job? To dogfight F-22s.

An F-22 somehow belly flopped at takeoff.

Another F-22 had an engine incident.

F-22s were used in the Syrian airstrikes.


War is Boring still hates the F-35.

The latest report to Congress on the F-35 program.

Spare parts for the F-35 are becoming a serious problem at Elgin AFB.

The Pentagon refused delivery of F-35s until Lockheed ponies up to fix manufacturing defects found in previously delivered aircraft.

The omnibus spending bill passed provided a total of 20 more F-35s than originally asked for: 56 F-35As, 22 F-35Bs & 8 F-35Cs.

The Pentagon plans multiyear contracts starting in 2021 for the F-35.

As production is ramped up all three versions of the F-35 will go below $100M each.

The F-35 JPO is looking to upgrade the LRIP-1 and LRIP-2 F-35 engines.

The F-35 JPO is looking to restructure the sustainment part of the F-35 program rather than cut jets from the procurement.

The F-35 JPO is now launching the Block 4 "premodernization" effort for the F-35.

The F-35 JPO will eventually disband, but some are downplaying the reorg.  In fact, the JPO may not be disbanded until 2035.

The F-35 has completed its development flights without losses or fatalities.  Some are still unhappy.

The US MDA is now stating the F-35A will be ready to help with missile defense in 2025.

The USAF F-35As at Kadena AFB in Japan have been dogfighting with F-15s.  An F-15 made a 'kill' on an F-35.

A pilot talks up the F-35A.

VMFA-122 flew the F-35B for the first time.

The F-35B is expanding its expeditionary envelope.

The F-35B visited CENTCOM HQ in preparation for its first combat deployment.  That deployment will be aboard the USS Essex.

The F-35B is getting 300 GBU-49s for moving targets.

The USMC is experimenting with feeding data from the F-35 to its ground troops.

An USMC F-35B had an emergency landing in Japan.

The USMC F-35B had has an assortment of sustainment problems on its deployment.

There are many lessons learned from the USMC's use of the F-35B.

Lockheed got an $8.5 million contract from the US Navy for the F-35.

The US Navy finished the carrier qualifications the F-35C.

The schedule to declare IOC for the F-35C by the end of the year is in jeopardy.

The F-35C will be deployed to Iwakuni in 2021.

The US Navy finalized JSOW internal integration on the F-35C.  And more info.

The US Navy gave Lockheed two more contract mods for the F-35.

Is Australia shifting from working with the USN to the USAF as noted by the purchase of the F-35As?

Australia received its first fully combat capable F-35A.

Australia's F-35s are getting caught up in the delivery suspension due to manufacturing issues the Pentagon has found.

The British are starting to look at sustainment costs for the F-35.

The Brits have reformed Squadron 617 for the F-35Bs.

Lockheed submitted a bid to Germany to replace the Luftwaffe Tornadoes with F-35s.  Lockheed, thy name is Don Quixote: psst, the Germans prefer the Eurofighter...

Japan wants a multipurpose carrier and to use F-35Bs.

India is supposedly stating they are not interested in the F-35.

There is a report two Israeli F-35Is flew across Syria and Iraq to enter Iranian air space undetected.  Some are more than skeptical.  Russia is denying the F-35s could get around its air defenses.

Israel is going to decide between ordering more F-15s or more F-35s.

Italian F-35s have completed their training deployment to Sardinia.

Italian workers on the F-35 assembly line went on strike.

South Korea's first F-35A had its maiden flight.  The ceremony around the new bird was very low key.  Watch the rollout of the F-35.

A South Korean delegation is pressing the Pentagon to award contracts for MRO&U to Korean companies.

Taiwan still wants F-35Bs.  Two Republican senators are pushing for the Trump administration to sell the aircraft to Taiwan.

The US government is threatening Turkey's participation in the F-35 over the purchase of the S-400 missiles from Russia.  This may be a problem for the F-35 in Europe.  A bill has been introduced in the US Senate to block sale of the F-35s to Turkey.  This is not the first time.


The University of Waterloo claims to have developed a stealth defeating quantum radar.

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