Archive | November, 2011

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BREAKING: Swiss selection makes Saab Gripen an export ‘ace’

Switzerland has reportedly made the first move to become the fifth country outside Sweden to acquire the Saab Gripen fighter. If export sales were dogfight kills, the Gripen would now be an ace. [Update: Counting the Gripen sale to the UK Empire Test Pilot School, Switzerland is actually the sixth export customer. The foreign air […]

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PHOTOS: New pics of Shinshin, the stealth fighter

New photos have appeared showing the wingless full-scale radar cross section model of Japan’s Mitsubishi ATD-X Shinshin (or, 心神, which Google somehow translates to “Mind and Body” — can any Japanese speakers explain how “Shinshin” translates into two different words?). These photos were snapped surreptitiously (see the “no camera” sign in front of the model!) […]

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VIDEO: China’s master fighter designer speaks

Yang Wei is credited by Chinese media for designing the JF-17, J-20 and the flight control system of the J-10. At the Dubai Air Show, Yang briefed journalists and industry members on the capabilities of the JF-17. It’s a rare opportunity to hear Yang describe his work in English.

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Introducing the 32,000-hour F-15

A Boeing F-15C is rated for a 9,000h service life. An F-15E was designed with an 8,000h rating, which the USAF has already extended to 12,000h. Both types are supposed to be retired from USAF service by around 2030.Don’t bet on it.With production of the Lockheed Martin F-22 capped at 187 fighters, and F-35 deliveries […]

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VIDEO: First flight of Sukhoi T-50-3

As promised, here is the video showing first flight earlier today of the Sukhoi T-50-3 — the third prototype to emerge under the PAK-FA programme. Note the absence of a pitot tube on the nose, a first in the PAK-FA programme so far.

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Hawker Beechcraft spent over $100 million on what?!

In one of the more perplexing turns we’ve witnessed on the defence beat, the US Air Force has apparently dismissed the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 from consideration for the light air support (LAS) programme several months after receiving the company’s bid and only days before a scheduled contract award. And we don’t know why. Beechcraft says […]

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Third PAK-FA prototype breaks cover

Russian-language spotter pages are reporting the first sighting of the third Sukhoi PAK-FA prototype at the Siberian flight test centre in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. As soon as pictures become available, we will post them. The T-50-3 prototype is reportedly scheduled for first flight by the end of 2011. It follows the maiden of sorties of T-50-2 in […]

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F-35B Ship Trials

New cracks for the F-35B, and life under probation

This was then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on 6 January: The Marine Corps’ short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant is experiencing significant testing problems.  These issues may lead to a redesign of the aircraft’s structure and propulsion, changes that could add yet more weight and more cost to an aircraft that has little capacity to […]

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The UAE speaks — and slaps Dassault

The UAE is to the Arab world what George Harrison was to The Beatles: Usually quiet, but always worth listening to when they do have something to say. Despite all of Dubai’s commercial bluster, weapons decisions get made in the richer, neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi. And Abu Dhabi almost never speaks about their weapons […]

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#DXB11: Turkey starts next generation fighter

Turkey wants to build a next generation fighter, too.The Ministry of Defense awarded a contract to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in August to complete an 18-month feasibility study on producing a new fighter and trainer called TFX after 2023.In the crush of Dubai Air Show events, we managed to arrange a roughly 5-minute long interview […]

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