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

Update on India’s acquisition of Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov

As a follow up to an old post of mine (here), I encourage you to head over to Information Dissemination for a detailed status review of the much-delayed Gorshkov deal between India and Russia.

U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (CV-63)

Will the Kitty Hawk ever see service in the Indian Navy? Unlikely, I’d guess, but still a fascinating topic of speculation.

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: Lockheed P-38 Lightning

This post is more hurried than most, which is not fair, as the Lightning is a terrific plane, designed by Kelly Johnson, and deserves a slew of hyperlinks and background (I love the invasion stripes, for example). For the moment, I am going to have to let this picture speak for itself. Taken by  Mark Von Raesfeld, a familiar name around here, it is a natural follow up to last week’s shot of a Vought Corsair. (Mark’s work recently brought us a portrait of an F-86 and a MiG-15.)

Lockheed P-38 Lightning by Mark von Raesfeld
Lockheed P-38 Lightning by Mark von Raesfeld

 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: F-104 Starfighters

Starting from a 1952 design, Lockheed’s amazing Kelly Johnson designed and built an amazing jet for the USAF and 14 other nations’ air arms – the F-104 Starfighter. Small and simple by modern standards, it was an extremely high-performance jet wrapped around a General Electric J79 engine – the same powerplant found at the heart of the F-4, the B-58, the A3J, and the Kfir, as well as variants of the F4D, F11F, and F-16. Retired from frontline American military service in 1969, it soldiered on in NASA service and overseas through its 2004 Italian retirement.

Since 1995, a group has assembled three former Canadian Starfighters and flies them at various American airshows. I have not seen them yet, but I am determined to do so. I saw the F-106 fly in an airshow, and I saw a static F-105, but I would love to see this member of the Century Series show its stuff.

The team recently performed at the annual Joint Service Open House at Andrews AFB, Maryland. The following are pictures from several people who attended the show and placed their pictures on Flickr. I am indebted to them for sharing, and I am seriously jealous of their fortune in seeing these rare planes in flight.F-104 Starfigther F-104 Starfigther Starfighters 5 Starfighters! F-104 Starfigther Starfighter F-104 Starfighter F-104 Starfighters Flyby Starfighters 4 Starfighter Show and finally, because I can hardly stop myself… F-104 Starfighters

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