Japan Triples Its F-35 Order
Japan has decided to buy a lot more F-35 stealth fighters. Officials from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito agreed in a Dec. 5, 2018 meeting to acquire 99 Lockheed Martin F-35s to replace an equal number of Boeing F-15s that Japan acquired in... Read more
In a Message to Russia, Ukraine Invites U.S. Air Force Overflight
The U.S. Air Force deployed a surveillance plane to Ukraine on an “extraordinary” mission apparently to inspect Russian forces, the U.S. State Department announced on Dec. 6, 2018. A four-engine OC-135 carried observers from the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Romania and the United Kingdom, according to the State... Read more
A Mach-10 Missile Won’t Save Russia’s Stealth Fighter
The Russian air force will arm its Su-57 stealth fighters with a hypersonic missile, state media reported on Dec. 6, 2018. But with the Kremlin having deferred final development and full-scale production of the Su-57, the plan could result in no more than a token hypersonic strike force, if... Read more
U.S. Air Force Vice Chief: America Needs More Bombers
The U.S. Air Force needs more bombers and tankers, Gen. Stephen Wilson, the service’s vice chief of staff, told National Defense for an article the magazine published in December 2018. But with military spending likely to decline following several years of increases, the flying branch could struggle to afford... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Has a New War Plan
The U.S. Air Force is rewriting its war plan for the Pacific, the flying branch’s new commander for the region told reporters at the Pentagon in late November 2018. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of Pacific Air Forces, said he wants smaller groups of U.S. warplanes to rapidly move between... Read more
The Grim Rationale for U.S. Air Force ‘Elephant Walks’
On Nov. 19, 2018, two U.S. Air Force wings in Utah launched 35 F-35 stealth fighters in a short span of time. The Air Force lauded the display as evidence of America’s overwhelming military might. At least one critic dismissed it as a publicity stunt. In fact, there’s one... Read more
U.S. Air Force Picks New Stealth Bomber Bases
The U.S. Air Force is getting bases ready for its new B-21 Raider stealth bomber. But it’s still unclear how many B-21s the flying branch might buy. The Air Force selected Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma as the main maintenance facility for the new bomber, the service announced... Read more
No, the Russian Su-57 Stealth Fighter Isn’t Superior to the American F-22
Russia’s Su-57 stealth fighter is a more versatile and a better ground-attacker than America’s own F-22 is, one of Russia’s top warplane-designers insisted. Neither of these things is the unqualified truth. More importantly, neither of them would matter even if they were true. Eight years after its first flight,... Read more
The YF-23 Stealth Fighter Won’t Save Us
A stealth fighter demonstrator that last flew in 1994 has enjoyed a cultural resurgence in recent years. But the YF-23’s renaissance reflects a pernicious kind of magical thinking that actually undermines America’s national defense. The YF-23 was Northrop Grumman’s entry in the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter competition... Read more
China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Is Successful
China’s J-20 stealth fighter was a disappointment at the 2018 edition of the country’s biennial air show in Zhuhai in southern China. Three of the twin-engine warplanes put on what one reporter called a “conservative” aerial display lacking quick turns and other high-energy maneuvers. Likewise, it was apparent that... Read more
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