September 15, 2016
Lockheed Martin reported the first successful integration of the F-35 stealth fighter with the U.S. Navy's Aegis weapons system during flight tests. During the tests, a USMC F-35B acted as an over-the-horizon sensor node, relaying data to the Aegis system. The Aegis integrated weapons system is deployed aboard several types of U.S. warship.
South Korea, which already has 40 F-35 fighters on order, is contemplating an expanded buy to include 20 additional fighters.
In a memo released by the Pentagon's top weapons testing official, Dr. Michael Gilmore warned that the F-35 "is actually not on a path toward success, but instead on a path toward failing to deliver the full Block 3F capabilities for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion."
India and Russia have reportedly reached agreement over India's participation in the manufacture of the PAK-FA stealth fighters to be produced for India. The deal had previously been on the verge of collapse in recent months, due to escalating program costs and to a decision by the Russian military to reduce their own initial production buy to as few as 18 fighters.
Russian military analysts are predicting that Chinese air power will soon match Russian and U.S. capabilities, pointing out that, "aircraft engines remain one of the few fields in which the country still lags largely behind top players."
Boeing has unveiled the first prototype for its proposed T-X trainer, which is being pitched to the U.S. Air Force as a replacement for the T-38 supersonic trainer. The airplane, powered by a GE F404 engine, is a joint development effort between Boeing and Sweden's Saab. It will be competing against the Lockheed/Korean Aerospace Industries T-50, as well as against Northrop Grumman's recently unveiled aircraft.
The U.S. B-1 bomber made a rare appearance in the skies over South Korea, as the U.S. reacted to North Korea's recent nuclear weapons test. The B-1 was escorted by U.S. and South Korean fighter jets.
Israeli fighters struck a Syrian army position after a stray mortar landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The area has continued to be subject to skirmishes between Syrian army and opposition forces, leading to Israeli reprisal raids when mortar or artillery fire crosses the frontier.