Friday, September 18, 2015

Fighter Jet Times - September 18, 2015

September 18, 2015

Kuwait has struck a deal for the purchase of 18 Eurofighter Typhoons.  Under the deal brokered by the Italian government, Kuwait will take delivery of 22 single-seat and 6 twin-seat fighters.

The Eurofighter Typhoon successfully fired a Meteor missile for the first time this week, coming one step closer to formally adding the long-range missile to its approved arsenal.

Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, has called for a plan to permanently base F-22 Raptors in Europe, in light of growing tensions surrounding NATO's eastern frontier.

In response to budget cuts planned for 2016, the Indonesian military has announced that it will make the procurement of Su-35 fighters from Russia a priority as it rearranges its remaining resources.

India is requesting that Indian pilots be permitted to flight test the new PAK-FA fighter, prior to a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December.  India had previously agreed to purchase as many as 250 of the new stealth fighters, but that total is being reassessed in light of increased program costs.

Japan has formally protested the breach of Japanese air space by Russian aircraft.  Four Japanese fighters were scrambled this week to intercept the Russian jet.

An upgraded prototype of China's J-20 stealth fighter has been observed undergoing taxi tests at Chengdu.  Among other differences, the new prototype (the seventh known for the J-20) appears to feature tighter integration between the airframe and the engine nozzle, with more of the nozzle buried inside of the fuselage - in what appears to be an attempt to lower the airplane's radar signature when seen from rear angles.

A report from the Pentagon's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation has called into question the validity of the criteria used to declare the F-35B as "operational" by the U.S. Marine Corps.  The report points out that the six F-35Bs used in the "operational tests" conducted by the USMC during May trials, failed to generate the required number of flight hours, as identified by pre-test criteria.

Lockheed Martin has signed an agreement with the Turkish firm Roketsan to assist with integrating the SOM-J air-to-ground missile with the F-35.

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