Saturday, June 09, 2018

Stealth Saga #75

Dark Sword:

Images have come out of a Chinese UCAV called the Dark Sword.  While not new, it was only previously seen as a model at a conference and a blurry photo before.  Now, far from blurry.  Some speculation as to what is going on.


The YF-23 had a unique feature to deal with boundary air around the inlets.


Had Boeing won the JSF, what would the F-32 looked like?


The lessons of the F-117's stealth tech.  Supposedly.


Indonesia may continue or pause its participation in the KF-X.  It appears pause is the word.


Turkey's TF-X program gets profiled.

Russia has expressed interest in collaborating on Turkey's TF-X fighter.

Eurofighter Replacement:

Will Germany and France actually replace the Eurofighter Typhoon with a stealth jet?


Su-57 is being called about as stealthy as the F/A-18E/F, even by those who seem to like the plane.  However, it does have some features intended to fight true 5th gen fighters.  The Business Insider seems to agree the Su-57 is NOT a stealth aircraft.  Why Russia might not be able to build a stealth aircraft.  The SU-57 is estimated to have an RCS of .1m^2.  That is stealthier than the F/A-18E/F, but enough to be called a true stealth aircraft.

Some photos of the 9th Su-57.

A new photo of the Su-57 with the new engine emerged.  The Russians have stated they are testing the new engine with regular flights.

The Russians have fired a standoff missile from the Su-57 while it was in Syria in combat.

The Russians had the Su-57 participate in Aviadarts.

Turkey is threatening to switch from the F-35 to the Su-57 if the former is banned from delivery by Congress.


Take a look at the J-20's helmet.

The J-20 has started exercising over the ocean.

The J-20 might start patrolling the Straits of Taiwan.

The J-20 may have a ground strike capability so it may be used to take out air defenses.  A recent exercise in China suggests as much.

The J-20 conducted exercises at night.

The Indians are claiming they can easily spot the J-20 fighters with their Su-30MKs.  The question is whether or not the J-20 has reflectors on like the US fighters often do.

Sixth Generation Fighters:

The USAF has stated the analysis of alternatives for the NGAD program is to be completed this summer.

The USAF is requesting $492 million for its next generation air dominance aircraft for FY19.  The projected funding profile (FY20: $1.3B, FY21 $1.9B, FY22: $3.2B (comparison, GAO report on the ATF program)) looks as though there will be a repeat of the B-21 demonstrator flights.  This seems pretty close to confirmed with the line on page 4 of the request that states "In addition, technical risk reduction activities will be performed to include experimentation, integration and building demonstrative prototypes."

The US Navy in contrast has only requested $5 million in FY19 to continue its AOA.


China might be trolling Northrop over the H-20 or may have come up with their own flying wing.  Or both.  Some think China will unveil the H-20 relatively soon.

What do we 'know' about the H-20?


The USAF has selected three bases for the B-21.

Was F-22 production killed to start what became the B-21?

Some are stating the B-21 is unnecessary, but ignore the fact that when Carter cancelled the B-1, he launched the Advanced Technology Bomber program, what became the B-2.


Repairs have been completed on the F-22 that was damaged on a runway skid 6 years ago.

F-22s were deployed to South Korea.

Four F-22s were deployed to Okinawa.

Here is a take on the classified report on how much it would take to restart F-22 production.

Listen to the F-22 engine start.


The new head of acquisitions for the USAF is attempting to deal with the software glitches in the F-35.

The US DOD has started accepting F-35 deliveries after resolving the corrosion issues with Lockheed.

The US DOD is planning on buying up to 1600 GBU-49s for foreign F-35s.

Sustainment costs are foremost on the F-35 procurement team's mind now.

ALIS continues to be a problem for the F-35 program.

The F-35 has a problem that it needs to communicate with nonstealth aircraft and that will compromise its stealthiness.

While manufacturing processes are improving for the F-35, it still takes 41,000 man hours to make an F-35A (vs 108,000 in 2012).

F-35s requires $1.4 billion in fixes, but who will pay?

USAF F-35As have returned from a deployment to Japan.

USMC F-35Bs have started training with the Japanese F-35As.

You can watch USMC vertical landings.

The US Navy awarded P&W a contract mod for engine work.

Lockheed got another contract for engineering work for the F-35 and another contract.

The US Congress is complaining the F-35C lacks the necessary range to strike targets.

Australia has received the F-35A training equipment.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth will start F-35B trials shortly.

The Brits will take 4 F-35Bs in June to RAF Marnham.  However, they have been delayed by bad weather.  Then they were on their way.  And they arrivedMore pix.  Videos of the arrivals.

Israel claims to have used the F-35I in combat.

Photos of the Israeli F-35I have emerged over Lebanon.

Japan's Izumo class can support F-35Bs.  Japan is increasingly looking like the Japanese will find a way, in the legal sense, to make the Izumo class mini carriers.

Japan will have 7 F-35s by the end of May 2018.

Japan has based another F-35A at Misawa AB.

Taiwan is negotiating to get the F-35B.

Turkey will receive its first F-35A on June 21st, 2018.  The first bird has taken its first flight.

Lockheed doubts the Brits will cut their F-35B buy.

British Aerospace has received a $100 million contract from Lockheed to support the F-35 EW system.

No comments: