Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fighter Jet Times - September 9, 2016

September 8, 2016

The U.S. Air Force has completed its final unmanned QF-4 flight, with the last QF-4 to fly unmanned serving as a target drone for the F-35.  The QF-4 - unmanned platforms rebuilt from vintage F-4 fighters - is being phased out in favor of QF-16 drone aircraft.

The first prototype engine for future versions of Russia's PAK-FA stealth fighter is expected to be completed by October.  Current versions of the PAK-FA are equipped with Type 117 developmental engines - an upgraded version of the AL-31F engine which first powered the Sukhoi Su-27 in the 1980s.

A Russian Su-27 fighter flew dangerously close to a United States P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft during an intercept over the Black Sea, coming within 10-feet of the U.S. aircraft, and leading the United States to formally protest the "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter.

Chinese officials have confirmed that the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is developing a new long-range strategic bomber - although no details on its range or configuration have been provided.

Photographs have emerged of China's new J-20 stealth fighter deployed to air bases in Tibet for the first time.  The photographs emerged only days after Chinese officials warned India against deploying the supersonic BrahMos missile along the Himalayan border.  Analysts are projecting that China will have some 36 J-20 fighters in operational service by early 2018.

Israeli warplanes returned to Israel after participating in Red Flag exercises in Nevada, alongside fighter aircraft from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates for the first time.

The Obama administration is expected to approve the sale of fighter jets to Qatar and Kuwait in the coming days, despite Israeli objections over the sales.  The anticipated sale would include the delivery of 36 Boeing F-15 fighters to Qatar and 28 Boeing F/A-18E/F fighters to Kuwait.

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, the commanding officer of the Corps' Combat Development Command, highlighted plans to develop laser weaponry to equip future U.S. military aircraft.

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