November 10, 2016
A USMC F-35B caught fire during a routine training flight, and made an emergency landing at Beaufort, South Carolina. The incident was classified as a Class-A mishap - meaning that over $2 million of damage occurred. The fire reportedly initiated in the airplane's internal weapons bay.
Analysts are reporting that the Pentagon's decision to unilaterally impose final terms on the latest contract for F-35 fighters - after being unable to reconcile negotiating positions between the Defense Department and prime contractor Lockheed Martin - is likely to cut into Lockheed profits during coming years. Lockheed Martin already earns a smaller profit margin for each F-35 sold than it earns for legacy aircraft such as the F-16.
Repairs are reportedly underway for the first two F-35 fighters destined for delivery to Israel, to correct the faulty wiring insulation that has plagued recent examples of the stealth fighter. The repairs are not expected to delay the planned delivery date in early December.
Japan's domestically produced stealth fighter technology demonstrator, the X-2 is expected to enter field tests by Japanese Ministry of Defense pilots this coming month.
Four RAF Eurofighter Typhoons have joined U.S. and South Korean fighters in training maneuvers over South Korea. The RAF fighters also participated in recent training exercises in Malaysia and Japan, as part of the first Eurofighter Typhoon deployment to the Far East.
Two USMC F/A-18 fighters collided off the coast of San Diego. The pilot of one of the aircraft was able to make an emergency landing at a U.S. Naval Air Base, while the other pilot ejected safely and was recovered at sea.
India's government has approved Defense Ministry plans for the purchase of 83 Tejas fighter jets, as well as 15 helicopter gunships, 464 tanks and 598 mini-drones.
Construction has reportedly begun on a prototype for a second version of China's FC-31 stealth export fighter. The FC-31 is smaller than the J-20 stealth aircraft that recently entered low rate production for Chinese domestic use.
The unveiling of China's first operational stealth fighter, the J-20 at this past month's Zhuhai Air Show has continued to stir apprehension among China's neighbors.