October 6, 2016
Despite service introduction troubles, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein reaffirmed this past week that "I would have concerns if I didn't feel like we had the right folks or the right plan. But I think, because I think we have both of those in place, I'm very confident that we're going to be getting this fixed."
Officials in Singapore, which so far has avoided placing an order for the new F-35 stealth fighter, have suggested that Singapore might be interested in procuring the F-35 in the 2030 time frame. However, they see know pressing requirement that would lead them to purchase the new aircraft now.
Industry experts in eastern Europe - who have experience working with Russian suppliers - have suggested that despite claims to the contrary, Russia is not ready to introduce an operational AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar in the near term. These claims contradict Russian assertions that the new PAK-FA stealth fighter will be equipped with an AESA radar when it enters service in the next couple of years.
Japanese defense officials are reportedly planning for the deployment of unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) platforms, alongside its manned fighters, sometime after 2030.
Indian officials have confirmed that the 36 Rafale fighters recently purchased from France will be equipped to carry tactical nuclear weapons.
An Israeli pilot was killed and his navigator was injured after ejecting from an F-16I fighter during an approach for landing. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the airplane caught fire during descent. The accident is still under investigation.
The Obama administration has approved jet fighter sales to Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. The sales are expected to include the delivery of 36 F-15E Strike Eagles to Qatar, 28 F/A-18E/F fighters to Kuwait, and an unknown number of F-16s to Bahrain.