Imagery emerged on the Internet last weekend showing China’s latest stealth fighter in prototype form. With fifth-generation characteristics, it bears a distinct resemblance to the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor and F-35A/C Lightning II stealth fighter designs, and appears to be similar in size to the latter. Photos of the twin-engine aircraft on the ground at an unidentified airfield–possibly Xian-Yanliang airbase–were leaked the day before U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta started a three-day visit to Beijing. Could this be mere coincidence?
An Indian negotiating team is heading for Russia to finalize details of the country’s participation in development of the Sukhoi T-50, also known by the Russian acronym PAK FA and by India as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). India is providing half of the expected $11 billion cost to develop the aircraft, and earlier signed a preliminary design contract worth $295 million.
The third prototype of Russia’s new T-50 stealth fighter now has an AESA radar. Sukhoi reported this month that the program has logged more than 120 test flights, which suggests that only some 20 flights have been made in the past nine months. However, Russian air force commander Gen.
Denmark’s Terma is showing off, for the first time here at the show, the multi-mission pod (MMP) it has developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The MMP began life as the gun pod for the F-35, which Terma designed and developed on behalf of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, but the company has developed it into a more versatile pod that should prove attractive, in particular, to overseas operators of the JSF.
Having selected the Gripen E/F to fulfill its F-5 replacement requirement, the Swiss air force is calmly confident that the acquisition makes it through the political process unscathed. Lt. Gen. Markus Gygax, the air force chief of staff, spoke to AIN last month about his service’s plans for the machine.
Saab has brought its new-generation Gripen to the Farnborough International Airshow not as a demonstrator aircraft for potential new technologies, as previously, but as a systems prototype for the intended production Gripen NG, or Gripen E/F as it is also known. Designated as aircraft 39-7, the two-seat Gripen has new avionics and new cockpit installed, and just before Farnborough received the full-standard Selex Galileo ES-05 Raven e-scan radar, complete with repositioner. In this guise, 39-7 has become the avionics testbed for the Gripen E/F.
BAE Systems is migrating “active inceptor” control technology from military aircraft to civil applications–enabling direct pilot inputs into the flight controls of commercial fly-by-wire (FBW) aircraft. The UK-based company is developing its civil active control stick (ACS) for an unnamed commercial launch customer.
In April, Lockheed Martin celebrated the delivery of its 4,500th F-16 Fighting Falcon, attesting to the longevity of the fourth generation, multirole fighter. Now the company is working to extend that legacy with the U.S. Air Force and to stretch the production of F-16 export versions.
Pratt & Whitney this week signed an agreement with Australia’s Broens Industries for the supply of support equipment that will be used at initial operating bases for the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter in the U.S.
Broens has designed a jack that allows the removal and maneuvering of the gearbox from under the F135 engine. The new contract is worth around $300,000 and follows a prototype award, while follow-on production contracts could reach a value of at least $7 million.
Last month’s breakthrough in winning a contract to supply Boeing with complex machined titanium and aluminum parts and assemblies for the horizontal stabilizer of the new 787-9 Dreamliner widebody is the prime example of GKN Aerospace’s recent success in keeping its backlog buoyant.