September 1, 2016
The U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of its 100th F-35 stealth fighter.
Debate continues to rage regarding whether an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system could effectively locate and track modern, stealthy targets such as the F-22 or F-35.
The pilots of the two F-22 Raptors that intercepted a pair of Syrian Su-24 strike jets over eastern Syria last week report that they came within 2,000 feet of the Syrian aircraft without the Syrians being aware that the F-22s were there.
A recent leak of sensitive data on India's purchase of Scorpene submarines from France has threatened to further derail talks concerning the sale of the Rafale fighter to India. Details surrounding the submarine's classified operational capabilities were leaked by an Australian newspaper.
The prototype for Northrop Grumman's T-X trainer contender completed high-speed taxi tests this past week, while Boeing's design is expected to be rolled out within the next month. Lockheed Martin's prototype, based on the existing South Korean T-50 trainer/lightweight fighter design is already in flight test.
Defense analysts remain divided over whether the development of a sixth generation, manned fighter is in the cards, or even advisable for the U.S. Air Force to pursue, citing the long development time and high costs of the F-22 and F-35 as an indication that the timeline for another generation of manned fighters may need to be pushed back.
Next generation stealth warplanes are expected to demand longer range and a lower radar cross section than the current F-22 and F-35 fighters possess.
Many of the principles behind designing a successful stealth aircraft have become more commonly understood in the decades since the F-117 and B-2 first emerged.