Mar 27, 2013 18:00 UTC
SU-35 flight test, 2009
The Russian SU-35 was something of a mystery for many years. Pictures from Russian firms showed different fighter jets carrying that label, even as the aircraft remained a prospective design and research project, rather an active program of record.
Revelations after 2007 began to provide answers. This article explains the sources of the widespread confusion regarding the SU-35’s layout and key characteristics, reviews what is now known about the platform, and tracks its development. Those developments are likely to have broad consequences. The aircraft now has a home customer in the Russian Air Force, and the SU-35 is being positioned to replace most SU-30MK variants as Russia’s fighter export of choice within the coming decade. Will its succession bid succeed?
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Mar 26, 2013 17:27 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Is Singapore about to buy F-35Bs - or more F-15s?; Britain picks its base; Rolls Royce having problems with engine parts.
F-35B: off probation
The $382 billion F-35 Joint Strike fighter program may well be the largest single global defense program in history. This major multinational program is intended to produce an “affordably stealthy” multi-role fighter that will have 3 variants: the F-35A conventional version for the US Air Force et. al.; the F-35B Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing for the US Marines, British Royal Navy, et. al.; and the F-35C conventional carrier-launched version for the US Navy. The aircraft is named after Lockheed’s famous WW2 P-38 Lightning, and the Mach 2, stacked-engine English Electric (now BAE) Lightning jet. Lightning II system development partners included The USA & Britain (Tier 1), Italy and the Netherlands (Tier 2), and Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey (Tier 3), with Singapore and Israel as “Security Cooperation Partners,” and Japan as the 1st export customer.
The big question for Lockheed Martin is whether, and when, many of these partner countries will begin placing purchase orders. This updated article has expanded to feature more detail regarding the F-35 program, including contracts, sub-contracts, and notable events and reports during 2012-2013.
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