F-22 export update

An interesting article from Japan Times, especially in light of my earlier post on prospects for the export of the Lockheed Martin F-22, and another subsequent update.

Hat tip: The DEW Line

Friday pictures: Shades of a Raptor

Last week I broke custom and chose a picture of a Spitfire on the ground. I will return to aerial shots, but not until next week. We will remain on the ground for another week with this week’s selection. It has been three months since I last selected the F-22 for this series, and that has taken discipline as this powerful plane lends itself to a lot of wonderful pictures that can be found on Flickr. At some point I will highlight some of those shots, but this week I am drawn to an image that approaches a Raptor as still life.

As usual, I want to make sure to extend my thanks to the photographer, Scott Lowe, and encourage you to follow the links and enjoy his other work, which includes several other pictures taken in the same series.

If you like this, I encourage you to check out this summary of all of the aviation photography I have featured here.

Friday pictures: Raptor reprise

As much as I mourn for the ill-fated F-23, I am delighted to see the F-22 arrive in squadron service. While I have only seen one perform a very tame series of flyovers in a local air show, the Raptors are appearing in more and more airshows and that means more and more great shots of this amazing airplane. Here are this week’s three, all of which deserve to be viewed much larger, so please follow those links:

 

Raptor Reheat

F22 Raptor topside vortices and re heat 2.jpg

F22 Raptor turning

If you like this, I encourage you to check out this summary of all of the aviation photography I have featured here.

War with “peer competitors”

From Wired’s Danger Room: Air Force Purge Stemmed From Future War Fights

[Defense Secretary Robert] Gates expressed doubts that the United States will get into a shooting war with a “peer competitor” like Russia or China any time soon. After he was fired, the outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. “Buzz” Moseley, echoed those sentiments. Not [recently ousted Air Force Secretary Michael] Wynne.

My response to Secretary Gates in that interchange was my brother was shot down in Vietnam by a Russian surface-to-air missile that was sold to the North Vietnamese,” Wynne said. “I never considered Vietnam to be a peer competitor. But I lost my brother to the fact that some peer sold the weapon that killed him.”

Hat tip to Ares’s Frago.

Friday pictures: Dutch F-16 aerobatics

The Dutch field a very jazzy F-16 for the airshow circuit, which is well documented across the net. Among many great pictures of it, I love the dark sky in this one.

Ditch F-16

Dutch F16 looping

And also, from a different photographer, this one:

If you like this, I encourage you to check out this summary of all of the aviation photography I have featured here.

F-22 export update

An interesting article from the Melbourne Age, especially in light of my earlier post on prospects for the export of the Lockheed Martin F-22.

Aussies can be trusted with F-22: Gates

February 25, 2008 – 10:06PM

Australia could be trusted with the United States’ Lockheed F-22 Raptor fighter, US defence secretary Robert Gates says.

Currently an Act of the US Congress bars any foreign sales of the Raptor.

The aircraft is the US Air Force’s most advanced fighter and its sale is prohibited to any foreign country, under a 1998 amendment to a budget bill moved by Wisconsin Democrat Congressman Dave Obey.

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said last week he would write to Congressman Obey to gauge his views on a change in the law.

Mr Gates, in Canberra for the annual Australia-US Ministerial (AUSMIN) talks at the weekend, said on Monday it was inappropriate for Australia to make its case directly to Congress.

“I think it probably is at the end of the day not appropriate for Australia to make its case directly to the Congress, to change the law. I think that’s my job and the job of the administration,” he told ABC Television.

“The reality is we have a law that prohibits the United States from selling F-22 to any country.

“Others, such as Japan, want the F-22 and we are in a position – we can’t sell them the F-22 either.

“So I think it’s up to us to try and see if we can get this statute changed.”

When asked if there was any reason why Australia could not be trusted with the F-22, Mr Gates replied: “Absolutely not.”

Raptor, meet Bear. Bear, meet Raptor.

A follow-up to this.

The wonderful blog Ares posted a while back about the Thanksgiving Day intercept of Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers up near Alaska. This was notable because the interceptors were Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors. At the time, no pictures were released of the two types together. Happily for us, although maybe bad for opsec, Ares’s Bill Sweetman links today to shots of the encounter posted at Airshowbuzz.com.

orig_1_9eaeb.jpg

Great stuff.

orig_1_bf303.jpg

If you like this, I encourage you to check out this summary of all of the aviation photography I have featured here.