Saturday, January 12, 2019

Stealth Saga #43

Sixth Generation Fighters:

The USAF's 6th gen PCA may cost $300M each or so thinks the CBO.  Some think that is unaffordable.

The USAF AWFICS has been considering the 6th gen.

Has the USAF started prototyping its 6th gen PCA fighter?

Germany and France are inviting Spain to be a full partner in the FCAS.

Japan is feeling its way forward with the F-3 program despite ordering more F-35s.


Indonesia has resumed making payments for the KF-X/IF-X fighter program.

Neuron UCAV:

The Spanish Eurofighters conducted tests with the French Neuron UCAV demonstrator.


The Su-57 is supposedly going to be equipped with a hypersonic attack missile.  This won't help the aircraft.

The Russians have also updated the stealth coating on the Su-57.


Russia is reminding everyone they are working on the PAK-DA bomber.

Sky Hawk UCAV:

China has flown its Sky Hawk UCAV demonstrator and it has been upgraded for potential aircraft carrier use.

The Sky Hawk may also have Have Raider/Loyal Wingman esque capabilities.


Speculation resurfaces China is building a carrier based variant of the J-31/FC-31.


A fake J-20 showed up at Savannah, Georgia.  It turns out to have been a mockup for OPFOR training paid for by the USMC.

USAFA Target Drone:

The USAFA is building the first stealthy target drone for the USAF.

Stealth Special Ops Transports:

The Warzone has a two part article on the multi decade quest for stealthy special ops transports for the US.

They also discuss the origins of the StealthHawk helicopter we saw the tail of from the bin laden raid.


The B-21 program completed a review and project remains on track.  Rumors were true and this was the CDR.

The USAF feels it needs more bombers.


Whiteman AFB released a video of a B-2 dropping two 30,000 lbs bombs.

The B-2 overflew the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade.

The USAF is sending B-2s to Hawaii for exercises.


Some of the Tyndall AFB F-22s are now based in Alaska.


Major Rachael Winiecki has become the first female F-35 test pilot.

The F-35 has begun IOT&E testing.

The Block IV F-35s will have improved maritime strike capabilities.

The USAF announced a new F-35 areobatic display for the 2019 airshow season.

An F-35 oooed and aaahed folks with its flight through Star Wars Canyon.

F-35 operators are switching the version of the AIM-9 they are using.

F-35As will probably replace the F-22s at Tyndall AFB.

The 388th Fighter Wing’s 421st Fighter Squadron received its first F-35A.

The US Navy's first operational F-35C squadron is declared safe for flight.

The  US Navy's F-35Cs have a 15% readiness rating.

The F-35C is on track, despite the above, to be declared to have reached IOC.

Australia's first two F-35s are due to arrived on Dec 10th.

Watch British F-35Bs with F-15s and Rafales.

The Brits are on a roll after their testing of the F-35B.

The British RAF/RN are in a tug of war over the order of the F-35s.

The British have declared IOC for land based ops for its F-35s.

Israel has started making its own wings components for the F-35C.

More on Italy declaring IOC for its F-35As.

Italy will review the F-35 program in 2019.

Japan is replacing 99 F-15SJs with F-35s.  The F-4 Phantoms will also be replaced with already planned F-35s.

Some are convinced Japan's intent to convert its helicopter carriers to VSTOL carriers using F-35Bs is going to be harder than people think.  Japan is moving forward, however, to counter Russia and China.

With this latest order, Japan is on track for to become the second largest operator of F-35s.

The Pentagon stated if Turkey is removed from the F-35 program, there won't be a devastating impact.

Turkey is endangering its F-35 purchase by not cancelling its S-400 buy.

Leonardo figured out how to overcome overheating issues with the internal F-35 training system.

Lockheed met its production target for 2018 and delivered 91 F-35s.

Lockheed also got a contract for updating the F-35's avionics.


A course to integrate 4th & 5th gen fighters took place.

The US Congress' CBO floated the idea of postponing the B-21, 6th gen fighter, getting rid of the F-22 and ending manufacture of the F-35 to save on the budget.

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