Archive | August, 2012


Edwards AFB about to start F-35 high AOA test and weapons separation trials

Yesterday, I spoke to Lt Col George Schwartz, director of the F-35 integrated test force at Edwards AFB in California. Testing is going quite well over there, the all-important software is more mature and more stable at this point in the F-35′s development than in previous programs he’s worked on, Schwartz says. But there have […]

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USAF spells out F-16 upgrade program–sticks with Lockheed as prime

The US Air Force has spelled out its plans to upgrade 300 of its newest Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. The USAF considers the upgrade program a stopgap measure resulting from delays to the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Read the full story here Nonetheless, the modified F-16 will be a capable […]

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Air Sea Battle explained…

US Navy Captain Philip Dupree and US Air Force Col Jordan Thomas, who are the service office leads for the multi-service Air-Sea Battle Office, wrote this excellent piece in Armed Forces Journal summarizing the Air-Sea Battle concept. The two officers hope to correct misperceptions about Air-Sea Battle. If the concept can be summarized in a […]

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Next-gen Gripen gets orders boost

Launched back in 1982, Saab’s Gripen programme already looked set to have a good few years left in its production run, but a new agreement between Sweden and Switzerland has given the firm a real boost in marketing the next-generation E/F model. The Swiss defence ministry on 28 August provided a load more detail to […]

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Russia considering unmanned strategic bomber for deployment in the 2040s

The Russians aren’t just thinking about their next generation replacement for the Tupolev Tu-95 Bear, Tu-22M3 Backfire and Tu-160 Blackjack, they’re thinking about what comes after the PAK-DA. According to the Russian Federation Air Force’s long-range aviation commander Lt Gen Anatoly Zhikharev, the Russians are considering the development of a “sixth-generation” unmanned strategic bomber in […]

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Iran ‘pimps’ Tu-154 – for F-5 ejection seat tests

Just when we thought that Iran couldn’t do anything else crazy linked to its aged fleet of Northrop F-5 fighters (following its foray into developing the V-tailed “Saegeh” version), a newly published image has raised many eyebrows here on Flightglobal. Hosted on the site, the picture shows a modified Tupolev Tu-154M, formerly flown by Iran […]

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One Airborne Laser, gift-wrapped

I stumbled on this Rex Features image showing the USA’s Boeing 747-400-based YAL-1A Airborne Laser testbed (ALTB) aircraft, which is now preserved at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group site at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. It’s just over six months since the unique aircraft arrived at “The boneyard”, following a final pass flown over California’s Edwards AFB on 14 […]

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Russian deputy prime minister calls for hypersonic PAK-DA bomber

Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin is calling for the development of a hypersonic bomber for that country’s air force. “I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and are not falling behind the Americans,” Rogozin tells Rossiya 24 TV (via RIA Novosti–I can’t […]

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Eglin flies 200th F-35 sortie

Eglin has flown its 200th sortie in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter… US Marine Corps Major Tye “OD” Bachmann had the distinction of flying that mission. The pace of training at the base is ramping up, the jets no longer need a chase plane and they’ll soon be doing aerial refuelings. The Marines […]

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Could Israel’s Lavi project be revived?

From the “curiouser and curiouser” files: an update on ECA Program’s pitch to provide an Integrated Opposing Force (IOPFOR) capability to support fighter pilot training for NATO nations. The Amsterdam-based outfit issued a press release while I was away on leave, announcing its overdue selection of a candidate aircraft to deliver the proposed future aggressor […]

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