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 27, 2013 12:00 UTC
Latest updates[?]: In the anticlimax of the year, President Obama signs the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (HR 933), which finally wraps up US defense funding legislation for fiscal year 2013.
On normal years the US Department of Defense goes through a complicated-enough process to establish and finalize its budget. But whereas FY 2012 offered a welcome return to normalcy after a very long continuing resolution, the budgeting cycle for fiscal year 2013 unfolded in an unproductive, fractious political environment.
As fiscal year 2012 came to a close Congress bought time with a continuing resolution. And as the new civil year started, Congress begrudgingly applied a short-term patch to avoid the fiscal cliff, while the President eventually signed a FY13 authorization bill containing language he had threatened to veto for months. By March 2013 everyone seemed to capitulate to wrap up appropriations for the rest of the year. But FY13 appropriations ended up including sequestration, an outcome that few had predicted since the Budget Control Act was passed in 2011. The FY14 budget cycle then started late, with only dim hope of a more reasonable outcome.
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