A ceremonial review of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) last month included the static display of two new Japanese air-to-air missiles that are now entering service on the JASDF’s F-15J interceptors. The AAM-4 is an active-radar-guided replacement for the AIM-7M Sparrow. It has been under development by Mitsubishi and the Japan Defense Agency (JDA) for about 10 years.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has exceeded Mach 1 for the first time–a timely achievement after a recent Rand study suggested that the design lacked maneuverability for air-to-air combat. Lockheed Martin said that the Lightning II accelerated to Mach 1.05 with a full internal load of inert weapons–5,400 pounds–on November 13. The design top speed is Mach 1.6. The Rand study on Air Combat discussed the potential performance of U.S.
This columnist never did discover why the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor that displayed at this month’s Farnborough airshow, needed an escort from an F-15 fighter. The top-of-the-line stealth fighter flew from RAF Fairford, only 50 miles away, where it was due to make its international debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo.
Appearing for one day only, the F-22 Raptor thrilled the Farnborough crowd yesterday with a majestic display of power and agility. Now the Raptor heads home to join the rest of its unit at Langley, Virginia, as the F-22 fleet gathers experience and capability.
Raytheon is launching here at Farnborough the latest member of its growing family of AESA (active electronically scanned antenna) radars. Known as the Raytheon advanced combat radar (RACR, “racer”), the new sensor is aimed at both the retrofit market, for aircraft such as the F-16, F/A-18 and others, or for installation in new-build fighters.
CMC Electronics (Hall 4 Stand C16a) has brought its new TacView portable mission display to Farnborough as part of a global marketing effort aimed at both manufacturers and users of fast jets, fixed-wing military transports and helicopters. The new product, which the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) already has adopted, is derived from the company’s PilotView electronic flight bag (EFB).
Boeing’s F-15 Eagle has racked up an enviable 104-0 combat record, as one of the world’s top-flight air-superiority and air-to-ground assault fighters. Although the Eagle made its first flight 36 years ago, the latest U.S. Air Force plan says it won’t be leaving its inventory any time soon. Current considerations call for the F-15C/D to remain in service for another 17 years, and the F-15E for another 27.
A unique formation wowed the crowd at the recent Joint Services Open House at Andrews AFB in Maryland. A Second World War P-51 Mustang led a 1960s-vintage F-4 Phantom, 1990s-built F-15E Strike Eagle and a brand-new F-22A Raptor Stealth Fighter. The event also featured an F-22 solo display that has been enhanced from last year with new post-stall and thrust-vectoring maneuvers. The F-22 is flying at airshows in the U.S.
The Lockheed Martin/U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter will be crossing the Atlantic for the first time in July, heading for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in the UK. The aircraft will display three times at this show, but only on the opening Monday of the Farnborough Air Show that follows later that month. It will then return to the U.S.
Two U.S. Air Force C-130Hs are now being flight-tested at Edwards AFB with the Boeing avionics modernization program (AMP) upgrade. This program has been much delayed by procurement policy changes and cost overruns. But Boeing told AIN that test flights are going well, with no changes needed to the first software release. A third and last flight-test aircraft will join the program next year.