March 31, 2017
The Trump administration's nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, former Rep. Heather Wilson, has come out during Congressional testimony as being in favor of continuing current production plans for the F-35 fighter.
A new report by the Project on Government Oversight has compiled a list of reported deficiencies from the F-35 program, spanning the past two years. Critics of the report, however, have pointed out that it is a decidedly one-sided document.
U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs have been deployed for exercises in South Korea for the first time.
Boeing has launched a campaign to market the F/A-18E/F as an alternative to the F-35C in U.S. Navy service.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan will be retiring as the director of the Pentagon's F-35 Joint Program Office. He is expected to be replaced by his deputy, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mathias Winter.
The White House has informed Congress of a proposed sale of 19 F-16C/D fighters to Bahrain.
Despite reports in the Russian press suggesting that a deal was imminent, India and Russia have failed to close on an agreement for India's continued participation in the Russian PAK-FA stealth fighter program. The deal has reportedly fallen apart over India's insistence on the transfer of key technologies as part of the arrangement.
China is expected to officially commission its second aircraft carrier, and the first to be built locally by China, next month.
Japan and the UK have reached an agreement to explore options for jointly developing a next generation stealth fighter. Japan has already entered a flight test program for a technology demonstrator, labeled the X-2 or "Shinshin," aimed at integrating a number of core fighter technologies.
Germany has approved funding for its Future Combat Air System, which is expected to consist of a combination of manned and unmanned platforms, possibly including a future stealth fighter jet. The FCAS would become operational in the post-2030 timeframe.
The U.S. Air Force continues to weigh proposals for developing a sixth generation fighter jet, to be introduced sometime around 2030.
Pilots from both Israel and the United Arab Emirates are expected to participate in a combat exercise over Greece, which will also feature aircraft from Italy and the United States. Israel does not have formal diplomatic relations with the UAE. This is the second time, however, that aircraft from the two nations have participated in joint exercises together.