Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has come out publicly opposed to restarting the F-22 production line, arguing that restarting the program would siphon money away from other needs.

An F-22 was recently photographed in the UK, sporting "bomb" markings that appear to represent weapons dropped in Syria or Iraq.  The F-22 has accounted for roughly 2% of the bombs dropped in the war against ISIS during the past two years.

The Senate Armed Service Committee has pased a resolution that would disband the F-35 JPO (Joint Program Office) in 2019, citing the high cost of maintaining the centralized F-35 management center.  If the measure is approved by the House and Senate, each branch of the armed service would become responsible for their own F-35 maintenance and upgrade programs.

Pilots and maintainers at Edwards Air Force Base, when quizzed about the F-35's features, praised its level of automation and how it reduced workload.

The first two Netherlands' F-35 fighters are expected to arrive in Holland next week.  The two aircraft had been conducting pilot familiarization flights at Edwards Air Force Base since their initial delivery from the Lockheed Martin assembly line.

The U.S. Department of Defense has released its latest annual report China's military, as mandated by Congress.  The report cites considerable progress made in advancing Chinese air power, and noted that the PLAAF (People's Liberation Army Air Force) “is rapidly closing the gap with western air forces across a broad spectrum of capabilities.”

The U.S. Congress has pledged to block funding for the supply of additional F-16s to Pakistan - a move that has led Pakistan to reportedly explore other weapons suppliers.  Pakistan's military chief is visiting Beijing, with speculation that China may ask for naval basing rights in Pakistan in return for broader access to Chinese weaponry.

President Obama is reportedly considering U.S. weapons sales to communist ruled Vietnam for the first time.  Vietnam currently is reliant on Russia for jet fighters and naval warships, but has grown increasingly uneasy with its Chinese neighbor to the north.

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