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September 24, 2023 | International, Aerospace

Italy says it will be equal partner in jet fighter project with UK, Japan | Reuters

Italy said on Saturday it will be an equal partner in the next-generation fighter program with Britain and Japan, as further talks are still underway on the project, including on where to base its headquarters.

On the same subject

  • Lockheed CEO: Boeing’s F-15X won’t disrupt F-35 program

    January 30, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed CEO: Boeing’s F-15X won’t disrupt F-35 program

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin has been given assurances by top Pentagon leaders that the F-35 program will not be negatively impacted by a potential U.S. Air Force buy of Boeing's F-15X, Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson said Tuesday. “If they choose to have an order of the F-15, it won't be at the expense of F-35 quantities,” she told investors during an earnings call. “I'm hearing that directly from leadership in the Pentagon, and I think that's an important point for me to make. It's not just our suspicion, but I've been told that directly.” The U.S. Air Force is expected to roll out a plan to begin buying new F-15s in its upcoming fiscal 2020 budget release. In December, Bloomberg reported the service intends to purchase 12 new F-15X aircraft in 2020 for $1.2 billion. On Friday, Gen. Dave Goldfein, the Air Force's chief of staff, confirmed to Defense News that the service will procure new F-15s if the budget grows enough to allow it, but that the F-35 program of record would remain the same with no slowdown to the buy rate. “I'm not backing an inch off of the F-35” Goldfein said. “The F-35 buy that we're on continues to remain on track. And I'm not interested in taking a nickel out of it when it comes to buying anything else in the fighter portfolio.” Goldfein added that the Air Force wants to increase fighter procurement to 72 aircraft a year. The Air Force has about 230 F-15 "C" and "D" models currently in service, and the F-15X will replace the portion of the fleet owned by the Air National Guard, according to Bloomberg. The new F-15 model will have new radar and electronic warfare equipment, the ability to carry more weapons, and include other improvements originally designed for Saudi Arabia's and Qatar's F-15s. If the service maintained a rate of one F-15X a month, it would be free to boost its F-35 production rate to 60 aircraft a year — a number that Air Force officials had cited as key for production ramp up. However, the FY19 budget forecast showed that the service would likely be unable to procure the F-35 in those quantities before FY23. “If we had the money, those would be 72 F-35s. But we've gotta look at this from a cost/business case.” Goldfein said. “An F-15 will never be an F-35. Never. But I need capacity.” Hewson's statement indicates that support for the F-35 continues to be strong both within the Air Force and among Pentagon leaders. However, earlier on Tuesday, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters he wants to see “more performance” from the F-35, although he did not specify particular areas of improvement. “I am biased towards giving the taxpayer their moneys' worth. And the F-35, unequivocally, I can say has a lot of opportunity for more performance,” said Shanahan, a former Boeing executive. When investors asked Hewson to respond to Shanahan's critique, the Lockheed CEO said the company remains on the same page with the Pentagon on the need to reduce the cost per plane. “We're on a path to drive it to an $80 million [unit cost] for the F-35A by full-rate production,” which is projected to begin in Lot 15 with deliveries starting in 2023, Hewson said. “So as long as we stay on our procurement rate plan — which by all accounts we're going to continue to ramp up at the rate that we envisioned — then we're going to continue to drive the price down." Aaron Mehta in Washington contributed to this story.

  • Défense : la Suisse achète des avions de chasse F-35 et des Patriot, revers pour le Rafale et Airbus !

    June 30, 2021 | International, Aerospace

    Défense : la Suisse achète des avions de chasse F-35 et des Patriot, revers pour le Rafale et Airbus !

    Afin de remplacer sa flotte vieillissante d'avions de chasse, la Suisse a commandé 36 F-35A pour un montant de plus de 5 milliards de francs suisses et 5 systèmes de défense anti-aérienne Patriot, qui

  • Japan highlights F-35 acquisition, military ops amid pandemic in new whitepaper

    July 16, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Japan highlights F-35 acquisition, military ops amid pandemic in new whitepaper

    By: Mike Yeo MELBOURNE, Australia — In its latest whitepaper, Japan has discussed its impending acquisition of F-35B fighter jets and highlighted efforts by regional militaries to expand their influence and activities despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The full document, released July 14 in Japanese, contains a section on the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant of the Lockheed Martin aircraft, noting that with regional countries making “remarkable progress” in air power modernization, the country needed to respond in kind.. The whitepaper highlighted the operational flexibility of the F-35B, noting the jet's ability to operate without the need for long runways, which would enable the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to significantly expand the number of locations from whence the service can conduct air superiority operations. The whitepaper noted there are currently 20 airports and air bases throughout Japan that have runways sufficiently long enough to support JASDF air superiority operations. Operating the F-35B would theoretically allow the JASDF to expand that number to 45, which would include some of the runways on Japan's far-flung southern islands. Japan has plans to eventually acquire 42 F-35Bs to operate alongside its planned fleet of 105 conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35As, making it the top customer of the F-35 outside the United States. The 42 F-35Bs include 18 to be contracted over the next five years, with Japan setting aside approximately $795 million in its current defense budget to acquire six. It is also converting the helicopter destroyer Izumo, which has a 245-meter flight deck and was originally designed to carry helicopters primarily for anti-submarine warfare, to operate the F-35B. The air defense challenge facing the JASDF was also highlighted in April this year, when the Ministry of Defense said the service scrambled its fighters a total of 947 times over the past year to intercept and monitor foreign military aircraft operating in the country's air defense identification zone. Chinese aircraft accounted for 675 intercepts, and Russian aircraft Russian made up 268. (The remaining four were not identified.) The whitepaper also noted a continuing pattern of operations conducted by military vessels and aircraft primarily from China and, to a lesser degree, Russia in the waters and airspace surrounding Japan. The government pledged to continue to closely monitor such activities. It also noted that such activities have continued despite the COVID-19 pandemic, warning that a prolonged global pandemic “may exert various impacts on countries' military capability.” The government added that another potential effect of the pandemic was the likelihood that it may “expose and intensify strategic competition among countries intending to create international and regional orders more preferable to themselves and to expand their influence.” The whitepaper also accused China of spreading disinformation “amid growing social uncertainties and confusion due to the spread of infection.”

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