Hurricane Michael Damaged a Bunch of F-22s
Hurricane Michael damaged potentially more than a dozen U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighters at their base on the Florida panhandle on Oct. 10. That’s nearly 10 percent the Air Force’s F-22s. And if Japan’s own recent experience is any indication, it could take the flying branch years... Read more
The U.S. Military Is Working on Mind-Control for Drones
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has tested an implant that allows an operator to simultaneously control, with their mere thoughts, up to three unmanned aerial vehicles. The technology could one day lead to a direct interface between human beings and UAVs. But full mind-control for drones is... Read more
South and Central Asian Air Forces Need Women, Too
There are more and more female military pilot on the Indian subcontinent. Some of the reasons are similar, such as long-running conflicts giving rise to nationalistic and patriotic sentiment, as well as a desire to expand the pool of motivated and well-educated personnel. However, the socio-political context is very... Read more
Asian Air Forces Recruit Women Fighter Pilots
On Aug. 23, 2018, Capt. Misa Matsushima, pictured at top, became the first woman to qualify to fly a jet fighter for the Japanese Air Self Defense Force. Three more women soon followed. Before starting operational service, the 26-year-old Matsushima will practice intercepting intruders with the 305th squadron at... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s New Carrier Drone Borrows 1970s Stealth
The U.S. Navy’s new MQ-25 Stingray aerial-refueling drone bears an uncanny resemblance to an experimental U.S. military plane from the late 1970s. And that similarity could point to the way for the Stingray’s potential evolution from a tanker into a stealthy surveillance and strike aircraft. On Aug. 30, the... Read more
After 20 Years, the U.S. Navy Finally Buys a Carrier Drone
The U.S. Navy on Aug. 30, 2018 chose Chicago-based Boeing to build the sailing branch’s first carrier-launched unmanned aerial vehicle. In choosing Boeing to build the MQ-25 Stingray multi-mission tanker, the Navy has opened the next major chapter in a story that began in the mid-1990s, when the sailing... Read more
Iran’s Fighters Are Really, Really Old
Two incidents in late August 2018 involving Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-5F Tiger II fighter jets underscored the ongoing crisis in Iran’s air force. On Aug. 21, Iran unveiled what it described as a new, fourth-generation fighter jet. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani even sat in the plane’s cockpit... Read more
A Tsunami Devastated Japan’s Souped-Up F-16s
In the 1980s, Japan phased in its first domestic jet fighter to enter operational service — the Mitsubishi F-1. Tokyo wanted to follow up with a more capable fourth-generation F-2 “support fighter.” It was an ambitious effort. And one that a tsunami nearly destroyed. The Reagan-era Pentagon was worried... Read more
New Spy Drone Flies Non-Stop for a Month
Airbus’s Zephyr solar-powered drone flew for 25 days straight during a test-flight over Yuma, Arizona beginning on July 11, 2018. The flight represented a record for aircraft endurance, breaking the previous 14-day record also set by a Zephyr back in 2015. The long flight has big implications for military... Read more
Britain’s New Spy Planes Are Practically Spacecraft
A version of this story originally appeared on Aug. 22, 2016. In July 2018, Airbus Defense & Space announced that its Zephyr S drone had flown for 25 days straight during testing over Arizona. The record flight came two years after the British military ordered three copies of the... Read more
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