Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fighter Jet Times - March 23, 2017

March 23, 2017

A preliminary report is expected in the next few weeks on a proposed fix for the F-35C's nose gear issues, which have made catapult launches unsafe for lightly loaded aircraft.

Shay Assad, the Pentagon's Director of Defense Pricing has announced plans for a major review of the F-35 program costs, with an emphasis on finding new cost saving opportunities.

The Russian Air Force expects to begin receiving the first six production copies of the PAK-FA later this year.

The U.S. Air Force is beginning to evaluate proposals for retiring some of its oldest F-15C/D fighters in the mid-2020s.

Chinese air traffic controllers issued warnings to U.S. B-1B pilots flying over the East China Sea.  The U.S. deployed the B-1Bs to the area, following North Korean missile tests.  The U.S. has refused to recognize Chinese territorial claims throughout this region.

China's government has registered its continued opposition to proposed U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.  This includes the possible sale of jet fighters or jet fighter technology - which the United States had refused to sell to Taiwan under the previous administration.

Chinese officials continue to suggest that strides are being made towards developing a domestically produced, Chinese jet engine for China's J-20 stealth fighter, although no firm timetables for production have been announced.

France's Rafale fighter is reportedly the leading candidate to replace Malaysia's aging MiG-29 fighter fleet.  The Eurofighter Typhoon, Sweden's Gripen, and Russia's Su-35 are also being offered as contendors.  Malaysia is looking to purchase up to 18 aircraft.

The Philippines expects to receive its final batch of South Korean produced FA-50 fighters in May.  The Philippenes has twelve aircraft on order, and is contemplating a further six.

India expects to receive some 123 domestically produced Tejas fighters by the mid-2020s.  The Tejas Mk1A is currently in production, powered by the GE F404 engine.

Russian news sources have suggested that Russia and India are close to an agreement for the next phase of joint fighter development - aimed at delivering a version of the PAK-FA stealth fighter to India.

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