Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fighter Jet Times - September 10, 2015

September 10, 2015

The first F-35 to be assembled overseas took flight in Italy this week.  Aircraft AL-1 took to the skies for a 22-minute flight at Italy's Cameri Air Base.

Concerns continue to be raised regarding the ability of the supplier base to support the planned increase in F-35 production over the next three years.  The F-35 is expected to ramp up from some 40 airplanes this year to more than 120 per year three years from now.

French officials are optimistic about the prospects for a sale of Rafale fighters to Malaysia.  Malaysia is currently looking to purchase 18 fighters to replace its MiG-29 fleet.

News sources are suggesting that the final details surrounding France's planned sale of 36 Rafale fighters to India have still not been ironed out, despite a visit to India by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

As part of the F-22's first European deployment, two Raptors were deployed this past week to Estonia to take part in military training maneuvers, providing air cover for A-10 Warthogs.

New details are beginning to emerge surrounding the USAF's LRS-B strategic bomber program.  A winner for the coveted contract is expected to be announced in October, with competing proposals submitted by both Boeing/Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.  The program is expected to cost $41.7 billion over the next ten years - assuming that there are no cost overruns - making it a potential budget-buster for other programs competing for funding during that time period.

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