Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016

Increased F-22 utilization rates are leading to an acceleration in the F-22's maintenance schedule.

The U.S. Air Force has deployed F-22 Raptors to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, to support the campaign against ISIS in Iraq.  These aircraft can carry up to eight GBU-39 small diameter bombs in their internal bomb bays.

The F-35B is expected to be the star of the show at the upcoming Royal International Air Tatoo (RIAT) in Gloucestershire, England this weekend.

Martin-Baker has responded to claims that the Pentagon is considering a replacement for its ejection seat on the F-35 fighter, countering that a recovery plan is underway to qualify the ejection seat for lighter-weight pilots.

Preparing various international air bases to support future deployment of the F-35 fighter has been elevated to a leading concern among U.S. logistics planners.  The new aircraft are expected to require special maintenance facilities to support its large engine and stealth coatings, as well as tying the logistical support system into the U.S.-based ALIS computer system.

Reports from Russia continue to reaffirm that Russia's PAK-FA fighter has nearly completed its flight test program and will enter production later this year.

Japan has announced its intention to deploy some 100 new, 5th generation air superiority fighters in the 2030s, as it releases a request for information from potential suppliers.  Japan is expected to decide in 2018 whether to invest in a foreign-built fighter program, or to continue development based on the X-2 Shinshin technology demonstrator currently in flight test.

Reports continue to circulate that Japanese fighters illuminated two Chinese jets with their air-to-air, fire-control radars during an encounter over the East China Sea on June 17th.  China has confirmed that an encounter took place, and has publicly protested the incident, although no official details have been released by either party.

India's Tejas fighter has formally entered service with the Indian Air Force, after over three decades of development.  The first two aircraft have been handed over to the "Flying Daggers" 45 squadron, with an additional four operational fighters to be delivered by year-end, and another eight next year.

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