Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - June 16, 2016

June 16, 2016

Lockheed Martin officials have suggested that if Canada backs away from purchasing the F-35, that Lockheed would withdraw F-35 subcontracts from Canadian companies.

Outgoing U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, Mark Welsh has maintained that he remains confident that the Air Force will declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the F-35 later this year, as scheduled.  He also expressed his disappointment for delays in the KC-46 aerial tanker program.

Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth machinist union will take a vote this weekend to authorize the union to call for a strike - should contract negotiations fail.  The final contract offer from Lockheed is expected to be voted on this coming July 9th, with the current contract set to expire on July 10th.  A strike would cripple Lockheed's ability to ramp-up production of the F-35.  The last strike at Lockheed took place in 2012 and lasted 10 weeks.

For only the second time since World War II, a Chinese navy ship has entered Japanese territorial waters.  The Chinese spy ship had been shadowing the U.S. aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, which will be taking part in training exercises with Japanese armed forces, when it crossed briefly into Japanese territorial waters near Kuchinoerabu Island.  Territorial waters are defined under international treaty as waters within 12 nautical miles of shore.  The U.S., Japan and India are scheduled to conduct joint naval maneuvers in the East China Sea this week.

North Korean hackers have reportedly stolen over 40,000 documents from South Korean sources, including blueprints for portions of the F-15 Eagle, which is flown by the South Korean air force.

The Botswana Defense Force has authorized the purchase of between 8 ang 12 Swedish-built Gripen C/D fighters to replace its aging force of Vietnam War-era F-5s.

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