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While Osprey Protests Embroil Okinawa, Other Japanese Islanders Welcome the Marines and the MV-22B

Tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied Sunday in protest of plans to deploy a squadron of Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys in Okinawa. However, from the US standpoint, without the Osprey, the Marines cannot perform their mission. There is no alternative airframe available and as it seems, the United States is unable to satisfy the demands of the Okinawan protestors.

Japanese Project F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Will Cost 50 Percent More Than Previously Estimated

F35 for Japan
Sources in Japan report the cost of the initial F-35A fighters Japan has agreed to buy during Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) may total as much as $196.9 million per aircraft, almost 50% higher than previously reported. However, analysts predict that although the cost increase may generate a short-lived political outcry, it is unlikely Japan will cancel its order in favor of a competing aircraft.

Australian Growler Crews Have A Heavy Workload Ahead

For Australia, adding the Growlers to the RAAF’s fleet of Super Hornets is viewed as a necessary step in strengthening the nation’s airborne defense capability. The question to be answered is, can the American and Australian flyers learn to overcome the challenges they will face in handling the EA-18Gs known deficiencies?

Australia Buying Growler Modification from the United States

Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith, accompanied by Minister of Defense for Materiel Jason Clare, made a joint statement on 23 August announcing that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) would be modifying twelve of the service’s Boeing F/A-18F Block II Super Hornets into EA-18G Growler Electronic Warfare Attack aircraft.

US Report Recommending Hosting of US Carrier Force Rejected by Australia

Australia publicly rejected a basing proposal announced by a Washington-based “think tank” that called for basing a United States’ nuclear aircraft carrier strike group at Australia’s naval base near the city of Perth on 23 August. The basing concept, developed by an independent research group, has not been endorsed by the US government.

Hypersonic X-51A “Waverider” Fails Test Flight

A highly-publicized test flight of a United States Air Force (USAF) experimental aircraft ended in failure on 14 August. The unmanned aircraft, designated the X-51A “Waverider,” broke apart in midair and crashed into the Pacific Ocean only 31 seconds into its test flight.

South Korea and Japan at Odds Again

Tensions between Japan and South Korea have escalated in recent days to a level that threatens the always fragile relations between the two key US allies in the Pacific.

Taiwan Denies Claims of Reduction in the Number of F-16s Being Requested from the United States

Taipei denies claims that Taiwan has agreed to reduce the number of F-16C/D fighters it is requesting from the United States are now being refuted by the Taiwanese Ministry of National defense.

China Rejects US Warning About South China Sea Disputes

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea escalate into US-China Rebut. Until now, the United States has adopted a public stance of relative neutrality in the disputes.

F-35 “Insider” Takes Command of Pacific Air Forces

General Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle formally accepted command of the United States’ Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) on 3 August in a ceremony presided over by US Navy Admiral Samuel Locklear III, commander of the US Pacific Command, and US Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz.

Two US Minehunters Join Taiwan Navy

Two refurbished US coastal minehunters were delivered to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy on 2 August as part of an overall arms deal valued at $6.4 billion. The two Osprey-class minehunters, the former USS Oriole (MHC-55) and USS Falcon (MHC-59), were decommissioned by the US Navy in 2007 and were approved for sale to Taiwan at a cost of approximately $105 million in 2010

South Korean F-16 Upgrade Contract Confirmed by BAE

BAE Systems confirmed that an agreement was reached with South Korea to upgrade 130 of the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (ROKAF) F-16 fighter jets

Japanese Self-Defense Force to Station Liaison Officers with Key US Military Commands

For the first time ever, the US Department of Defense (DoD) is planning to station Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) liaison officers with key US military commands in the Washington, DC area.

BAE Systems Wins Contract to Upgrade South Korean KF-16 Fighters (Abstract)

BAE Systems has been selected as the prime integrator for the upgrading of the South Korea’s KF-16 fighter jets. Following the selection decision, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition and Procurement Agency (DAPA) is expected to negotiate a contract with BAE through the US Foreign Military Sale program later in 2012. The upgrade includes a new radar which Seoul hasn't selected yet, avionics and databuses supporting modern weaponry. BAE would request US government approval to share source codes for the aircraft’s flight and weapon’s control operational programming with South Korea.

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