A contingent of German pilots flying the latest Typhoon fighter have figured out how to shoot down the Lockheed Martin-made F-22 in mock combat. The Germans’ tactics, revealed in the latest Combat Aircraft magazine, represent the latest reality check for the $ 400-million-a-copy F-22 following dozens of pilot blackouts, and possibly a crash, reportedly related to problems with the unique g-force-defying vests worn by Raptor pilots.
The mysterious engineering problem causing F-22 Raptor pilots to choke in their cockpits has been solved, the Pentagon says. And it’s not the $ 400 million aircraft’s fault after all.
The Air Force is seeking to build an ultrasonic missile — again. But instead of mach-speed weapons that can strike anywhere on Planet Earth, which are indistinguishable on radars from (gulp) nukes, this one’s for the Air Force’s fleet of stealth fighter jets. Only one problem: The U.S.’s experience with hypersonic weapons is hit and miss.
Last year, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was greeted in Beijing by China’s experimental stealth jet buzzing over his head. Gates didn’t sweat it: He proclaimed that the J-20 wouldn’t be ready until at least 2020. Oops. The Pentagon’s top China official has now revised that estimate. The J-20, China’s first stealth jet, will be operationally ready “no sooner than 2018,” David Helvey, deputy secretary of defense for East Asia and Asia Pacific Security Affairs, told reporters Friday.
The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and their faulty oxygen systems are choking their pilots. So now, Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Josh Wilson, both experienced Raptor fliers with the Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing, have refused to fly an airplane that they claim is fatally flawed.
The Air Force’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is finally cleared to begin introductory flights. It’s a big step forward for the stealthy, trillion-dollar JSF program , which is slated to replace almost all of the Pentagon’s tactical jets over the next 30 years but has been plagued by design problems, safety concerns, delays and cost increases.
As expected, the Pentagon will delay acquisition of more than 100 early-model Joint Strike Fighters in a bid to save short-term money and to give more time for testers to work out the finicky F-35 warplane’s many technical kinks. But the real surprise is that a newly cash-conscious Defense Department still seems fully committed to buying nearly 2,500 of the stealth jets. Total cost: about a trillion dollars.
When 2011 began, Osama bin Laden was still alive, U.S. troops were still fighting in Iraq, and Iran could only dream about capturing our most advanced spy drone. By the end of the year, everything had flipped upside-down.