Two F-35C Lightning II carrier variants conducted their first arrested landings aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) off the coast of the eastern United States yesterday. The operations are part of the second Developmental Testing (DT II) test phase, the second of three at-sea test phases planned for the F-35C.
On Friday, December 15, Lockheed Martin delivered the 66th F-35 aircraft for the year, meeting the joint government and industry delivery target for 2017. The delivery rate in 2017 represents more than a 40 percent increase from 2016, and the F-35 enterprise is prepared to increase production volume year-over-year to hit full rate of approximately 160 aircraft in 2023. As production ramps and additional improvements are implemented, Lockheed Martin's goal is to reduce the cost of an F-35A to $80 million by 2020.
2017 represents a turnaround year for the British Royal Navy. After years of budget cuts that resulted in diminishing the size and risk of obsolescence of maritime power, new investments, announced in the past two years are setting the pace for rebound. Construction of a new class of submarines, modern frigates, and ocean-going offshore patrol vessels are part of...
As the F-35 reaches higher production rates toward the end of the Low Rate Initial Production Phase, the US is pressing international partners and foreign customers to commit to F-35 orders. To be able to benefit from cost reduction, customers must commit to a multi-year block purchase of 450 aircraft.
The planned arrival of amphibious support ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) in the Pacific Ocean introduces a new capability for amphibious support ships carrying the F-35B fifth-generation stealth fighters without relying on large aircraft carriers. Apart from the American LHD, both Japan and South Korea are interested in the new potential mating STOVL fighters with flat-deck helicopter carriers. Both countries already acquired the conventional take-off variant (F-35A), and consider operating the Short Take-Off / Vertical Landing (STOVL) B version from ships.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) has formed an industry team to pursue the US Navy MQ-25 Stingray, the future carrier-based aerial refueling drone program. The most surprising member is the Autonomous Systems division of the Boeing Company. Boeing is also pursuing the MQ-25 opportunity with its own MQ-25 platform, developed by its rapid prototyping center - the 'Phantom Works'.
Boeing and the U.S. Navy successfully completed the first test flight of the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueler. The MQ-25 will provide the Navy with a much-needed carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling capability. It will allow for better use of the combat strike fighters currently performing the tanking role and will extend the range of the carrier air wing.
The British MOD is set to select soon the future Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system to be deployed on the future Royal Navy (RN) Queen Elizabeth II aircraft carriers. Thales UK and Lockheed Martin submitted final offers for the Crowsnest AEW solutions last month, competing for the £500 million ($761 million) contract.
Updated post, originally published on March 3, 2016: The Russian navy is deploying its single aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, to head the Russian flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea. It will be the first combat operation for a Russian or Soviet aircraft carrier.
Brazil has purchased Royal Navy ship HMS Ocean, the helicopter carrier recently retired from the Royal Navy service. The UK Ministry of Defense is selling the Ocean for £84 million. The vessel will remain in the UK until the autumn of 2018.
A new milestone in the history of unmanned aircraft was made yesterday, as 'Salty Dog 502' X-47B, the first drone designed to operate from US Navy carriers linked to adrogue of an Omega tanker off the coast of Maryland.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Indian Ministry of Defense signed a contract worth US$1.6 billion today, for the supply of an unspecified number of Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles (MRSAM) for the Indian Land Forces. IAI signed today a second contract for the delivery of Barak 8 Long Range SAM (LRSAM) for the first locally built aircraft carrier - Vikrant. The new deals have increased the system's total order book by 60 percent, to five billion.