Friday, November 6, 2015

Fighter Jet Times - November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015

The F-35A has undergone its first in-flight live-fire exercise for its 25-mm cannon, during flight test over Edwards Air Force Base in California.

A former Connecticut resident accused of attempting to smuggle blueprints and technical data connected with the F135 jet engine to Iran has been sentenced to 97 months in jail.  The F135 is the engine that powers the F-35 fighter.

Reports continue to circulate suggesting that Russia is having difficulty funding the many weapons programs now in production or development, including a variety of upgraded Su-27 models (Su-30M2, Su-30SM, Su-35S and Su-34), models of the MiG-29 (Mig-29SMT, MiG-29K and MiG-35), as well as the T-50 stealth fighter.  Most recently, Russia cut its planned initial order for the T-50 from 50 to just 12 jet fighters.

Despite claims in the Russian press, expressing confidence that India would indeed purchase the full batch of 154 T-50 stealth fighters outlined in an agreement reached this past July, analysts continue to question whether India will be willing and able to purchase this many copies of the expensive warplane.  The T-50 has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, making the final production cost for the program unclear.

As part of the compensation package being negotiated with Israel, in return for Washington's recent agreement lifting sanctions over Iran's nuclear program, the Israeli government is reportedly requesting the supply of additional F-15 fighters.  Israel is already expected to be among the first customers for the new F-35 stealth fighter, making the new-build F-15 order somewhat of a surprise.  The Israelis are reportedly interested in a version of the F-15 featuring some or all of the elements of the proposed "Silent Eagle", which was intended to reduce the massive radar signature of the legacy F-15.

Lockheed Martin recently completed over 27,700 equivalent flight hours of testing on a Block 50 F-16 airframe, as part of a life-extension plan to prolong the useful life for late-model F-16s from 8,000 to 12,000 flight hours.

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