September 3, 2015
Hill Air Force Base in Utah welcomed its first two F-35A fighters this past week. A total of seventy two F-35s are eventually expected to be based out of Hill.
The Pentagon's Office of Operational Test and Evaluation has announced plans to evaluate the F-35A and A-10 Warthog in back-to-back tests to determine how well the F-35 will be able to provide close air support to soldiers on the ground. The tests are scheduled to take place in 2018. Critics have complained that the tests will come too late to alter procurement plans for the new aircraft.
Russian officials have declared the AESA radar system for their next-generation T-50 fighter to be "99 percent ready" for serial production.
Reporters who attended this year's MAKS 2015 air show outside of Moscow continue to emphasize the impressive performance put on by the prototype T-50 fighter, in what was otherwise a lackluster air show in terms of international participation.
Four USAF F-22s deployed first to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, before advancing to Lask, Poland to participate in the Raptor's first-ever training exercises to be held in Europe. The four Raptors involved in the exercise were deployed from Tyndall Air Base in Florida, and include three active duty and one reserve F-22 pilot.
France's Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Malaysia this week, as part of a tour aimed at promoting additional sales of France's Rafale fighter. Le Drian also met with officials in India, to help hammer out the final details for India's Rafale contract.
China put a variety of military hardware on parade this week, as part of an annual event commemorating the defeat of Japan in World War II. Among the weapons on hand was the DF-21D missile, which has been heralded as an anti-aircraft carrier ballistic weapon, as well as a fly-over featuring Chinese J-10 fighter jets.
Media reports have been circulated suggesting that China is attempting to develop a turbofan/ramjet powered aircraft that would outrun the SR-71 spyplane. The SR-71 was retired from USAF service in 1998.
Accused cyber spy Su Bin, a Chinese national who has permanent resident status in Canada, was ordered to be extradited to the United States by a Canadian court. Bin is accused of conspiring to hack into computers at U.S. defense contractors to collect sensitive data related to U.S. fighter jet aircraft. Bin has 30 days to appeal the ruling.