In the era of “smart weapons” a lot can still go wrong, not the least at the interface between the combat aircraft and the missile or bomb. Here at the Paris Air Show, the EDO Corporation is displaying new “solutions” in the specialized and surprisingly complex business of weapons carriage and release.
U.S. and Indian Air Force (USAF/IAF) units are back at the Kalaikunda Air Station (KAS) in India for the third series of Cope India exercises between the two services. Both sides have benefitted from the exchange which pits the IAF–outfitted mostly with Russian and French-made fighters–against frontline U.S.-made aircraft.
Recently retired U.S. Air Force chief of staff Gen. John Jumper has just lived through a tumultuous tour of duty. Little did he know where the job might take him on his first day in office, which was more than a little disrupted by the events that morning. The date was Sept. 11, 2001.
Northrop Grumman’s active electronically scanning array (AESA) radars have undoubtedly made a big impact on fighter technology. The AN/APG-77, the AN/APG-80 and the AN/APG-81 are fitted, respectively, to Lockheed Martin’s F-22A Raptor, F-16E/F Block 60 Desert Falcon, and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Competition, it is said, brings out the best–and worst–in companies.
Japan’s Air Self Defence Force (JASDF), which is accustomed to having the most modern variants of U.S. fighter aircraft designs, now appears to be interested in acquiring for its F-X next-generation fighter one of the most expensive ever built: the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was formally named Lightning II at the program’s Fort Worth, Texas headquarters nine days ago. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics president Ralph Heath said the name perpetuated the legacy of two great fighter aircraft–the World War II-vintage American P-38 and the British Lightning jet interceptor designed in the 1950s.
Low observability The reduced radar cross-section of the F-35 allows it to evade most enemy air defenses, both airborne and ground-based. Program officials note that stealth features on the aircraft have been traded against cost, so it is not as stealthy from all aspects as, for instance, the F/A-22 Raptor.
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