A total of 12 Sukhoi Su-34 interdiction aircraft are being procured this year, according to Russian air force commander General Alexander Zelin, speaking last week at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011). The service is seeking a total of 120 Su-34s, Zelin said.
Sukhoi’s T-50 fifth-generation fighter program has made significant strides since the first aircraft (T-50-1) flew at the Knaapo factory’s airfield back in January 2010. The most important recent milestone is the first flight of the second aircraft (T-50-2), which is now scheduled to join T-50-1 in flight trials.
The U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor fleet remains grounded into a fourth month as the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board conducts a study of the F-22 and other aircraft using onboard oxygen generation systems (Obogs).
All 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters now flying were grounded August 3, following the failure of the integrated power pack (IPP) on an F-35A during a ground run at Edwards AFB.
The Joint Program Office in the Pentagon said that the move was precautionary, until the root causes of the problem were understood. Lockheed Martin said it is working hard to resolve the issue. Honeywell supplies the IPP.
South Korea is pushing ahead with the third phase of its fighter recapitalization program, and the short-listed candidates include the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter. It was nominated alongside the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle for the FX-III requirement, which seeks 60 multirole fighters for around $7.86 billion.
The first two production Lockheed Martin F-35s for operational training have been delivered to Eglin AFB, Florida, about one year behind schedule. F-35As AF-9 and AF-8, the first deliveries from low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 2, flew to the Florida base on July 14 and 20, respectively.
A report by the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) has listed some risks arising from the decision by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to switch its Joint Strike Fighter selection from the F-35B STOVL (short takeoff and vertical landing) version to the F-35C carrier version.
The U.S. Navy stepped closer to the first carrier landing of an autonomous, unmanned aircraft following the July 2 carrier touchdown of a manned F/A-18D surrogate aircraft. It is equipped with the same avionics and software planned for the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft.
Dassault released photographs of the Neuron UCAV (unmanned combat air vehicle) demonstrator in final assembly at Istres, France, and confirmed that the six-nation collaborative program is on schedule. All subassemblies have been delivered, including the low-observable parts of the structure coming from Dassault’s Argenteuil and Biarritz factories.