December 17, 2015
RAF Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets performed their second air strike in Syria this past week, following approval by the British parliament to expand British operations against ISIS targets.
Lockheed officials have declared the F-35 program to be "back on track" towards meeting its production ramp-up.
The Israeli air force is reportedly evaluating the purchase of the F-35B STOVL version of the Joint Strike Fighter. The STOVL version is being evaluated as an alternative to mitigate the threat posed to Israel's air bases by the vast surface-to-surface missile arsenal that has been amassed by Hezbollah. The STOVL version, however, also carries less fuel and has a shorter range than its conventional counterpart.
Northrop Grumman has unveiled its latest concept studies into a proposed 6th generation fighter aircraft - emphasizing the need for thermal management and heat rejection as part of any future fighter project.
The U.S. has relaxed its policy on the transfer of gas turbine engine technology to India, to include the supply of U.S. assistance for the development of a 5th generation "stealth" fighter in India. At the center of this cooperation will be the development of an enhanced version of the GE F414 engine, which is expected to power India's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
South Korea has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to upgrade the nation's F-16 fighters. Northrop Grumman is expected to supply an active electronically scanned (AESA) radar as part of the upgrade package.
Turkish officials have confirmed earlier media reports that BAE Systems has been selected to partner with Turkish industry in the development of the Turkey's TF-X stealth fighter.
Reports are circulating that China's J-20 stealth fighter will enter low-rate production in 2016. The J-20 flies on a Russian-made engine that is a derivative of the same AL-31F that powers Russian-built Su-27 and Su-30 fighters.
While the J-20 is closest to production, Chinese defense officials are touting the smaller J-31 as being an eventual export competitor for the U.S. F-35. The J-31 uses a Russian-made engine derived from the RD-33 which powers the MiG-29.