December 11, 2015
The U.S. F-22, French Rafale, and British Eurofighter Typhoon fighters engaged in their first three-way joint air combat exercise together. The exercise was aimed at developing strategies for countering the "area denial" techniques that China has been developing to prevent Western powers from interfering in the event of a regional war.
Northrop Grumman has delivered the center fuselage section for the first F-35 destined for Japan. Japan has 42 F-35As on order.
Japan has rolled out their ATD-X technology demonstrator, in preparation for a first flight in early 2016. Although too small to fulfill Japan's fighter requirements, the stealthy jet is seen as demonstrating several key technologies for a future warplane.
The Israeli government has revealed plans for integrating the F-35A into service. As proposed, the first F-35s would arrive in Israel in late 2016, with plans calling for the deactivation of one F-16C squadron in 2017 as additional F-35s arrive. Israel has a total of 33 F-35s on order.
The U.S. government has approved the export of 21 technologies to South Korea in support of Korea's KF-X fighter program. The agreement was part of an offset arrangement with Lockheed Martin, under which South Korea would also purchase 40 F-35 fighters.
South Korea's state-run arms procurement agency revealed this week that only 40-percent of the KF-X fighter is currently slated to be produced locally - with the balance expected to be imported from abroad.
Russian officials are reporting that aircraft performance tests for their PAK-FA prototype stealth fighter have been completed, and that testing has been refocused on validating the avionics package.