The L-15B prototype attack jet made its grand debut in a ceremony last week. Fanfare—including giant red banners and uniformed PLAAF officers—suggest the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Hongdu Aviation Industry Group have high hopes for this multi-role light fighter.
Militaries change slowly, and technology moves fast. The “Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan,” which the Air Force released today, is an attempt to identify the battlefields of the future, and see what the Air Force needs to put in motion today to do its job right in the future. Unspoken, but alluded to throughout the document, is a move away from expensive, long-in-development aircraft.
America's stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive fighter program in history, isn't exclusively made for the Pentagon. Besides America's Navy, Marines, and Air Force, nine other nations signed on to receive F-35s from Lockheed Martin, and today, a pair of F-35s are arriving in the Netherlands.
We haven't even begun to see the skies of future wars. Since aerial combat first evolved in World War I, it's taken on a familiar form: scouts that find targets, fighters that attack other planes, and big heavy bombers that unload hell onto the ground below. Despite a century of improvement, it is roughly the same now, with some more specialized aircraft. The wars of the future, though, are going to have a lot more in the sky. This week, at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Xponential conference in New Orleans, an Air Force official suggested that in addition to fighters and bombers, we can expect thousands of smaller drones to join the battle.
After years of intense speculation, the Air Force finally revealed a first image of its long-awaited new bomber, and gave it an official name. Formerly known as the Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRS-B, the new, Northrop Grumman designed plane is now the B-21. If that sounds at all familiar, it's because America's last brand-new shiny Northrop Grumman designed bomber was the B-2 Spirit. With the shroud lifted off the new bomber, we can see that the B-21 looks...almost exactly like its predecessor.
If this Northrop Grumman ad is any indication, we haven't seen the last of the piloted fighter jet. The defense giant is best known for its long line of flying wings, including the iconic B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and the yet-to-be-unveiled Long Range Strike Bomber. Their new 30-second clip doesn't show us any new details about that bomber, which remains under wraps in ads even after winning a major Air Force contract. Instead, it gives us a trio of arrow-head-shaped grey wedges, all stealthy jet fighters with room for human pilots on board.
After the explosion of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday, the hunt is on to find out what went wrong. Although the company says it still isn't sure what the hell happened, the Air Force has just announced that its safety officers sent the command for the rocket to destroy itself--but that was long after it was already breaking apart from a malfunction, USA Today reports.