March 3, 2016
The U.S. Air Force has dropped laser-guided bombs from the F-35 for the first time during flight test this past week.
A Norwegian pilot who is part of the F-35 flight test program has published a review of the F-35's handling qualities, in which he praises the superior high angle-of-attack control qualities of the F-35's fly-by-wire control system.
The Israeli Cabinet is reportedly considering a motion to cancel or delay their existing order for F-35 fighters, due to the cost of the aircraft and its lack of combat-readiness at the present time.
Israeli officials have been considering an alternative buy of advanced F-15 fighters, rather than dedicating all of their U.S.-supplied military aid towards purchasing more F-35s. The Obama administration has reportedly resisted such a buy. This, combined with Israeli opposition to selling the F-15 to Qatar - one of the few remaining nations currently contemplating a purchase of new F-15s - is expected to result in the shut-down of the F-15 production line within the next two years.
The Kuwaiti parliament has approved the purchase of the Eurofighter Typhoon, paving the way for payment on the order to begin.
Industry analysts have been suggesting that Russia's PAK-FA stealth fighter prototype was a 5th-generation fighter "in name only." Among other shortcomings, reports suggesting that the new "stealth" fighter had a radar cross section of between 0.3 and 0.5 square meters - an order of magnitude greater than what has been reported for U.S. stealth fighters.
Even as Russian developers struggle to bring the PAK-FA into service, Russian officials have announced that Sukhoi has begun design studies for a proposed "6th generation" fighter that would be introduced in the mid-2020s.