A British F-35 fighter jet crashed into the sea during a routine operation in the Mediterranean, the Ministry of Defense said. The pilot ejected and safely returned to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, and an investigation has begun, the ministry added. The incident occurred at 10 a.m. Nov. 17 over international waters, and no other aircraft were involved.
The Air Force is investigating wing damage to a B-52 sustained Nov. 12 while the bomber was being towed at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Photos of the aircraft’s damaged right wing were first published on the Facebook page Air Force amn/nco/snco under the banner “Barksdale B-52 AC 0059 accident.” The unofficial site often publishes Air Force-related photos and redacted documents submitted by readers.
A four-cent chunk of plastic doesn’t sound like revolutionary technology, but if put in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, it can make a world of difference. That’s what Air Force Master Sgt. Shannon Fulmer proved this fall when he invented a homemade “helmet mount spacer” that fixes a costly night vision problem in the service.
Satellite imagery shows the development of several new heliports across the Tibetan Plateau. This vast elevated landform is the highest and largest plateau in the world. Surrounded by mountain ranges, including the Himalayas, it is almost five times the size of California. This rapid development of infrastructure clearly underlines China’s advancements and trust in its platforms enabling better air connectivity throughout the plateau’s remote locales for quick troop movement and logistics, as well as emergency relief work.
The biggest inflation spike in three decades has the Pentagon bracing for salary increases and more expensive weapons, according to current and former defense officials. Their warnings arrive as Congress is more than a month late in passing the Pentagon’s annual budget, meaning spending is frozen at the prior year’s level. Last week, the government said the Consumer Price Index rose 6.2 percent in the past year, the highest increase in more than 30 years. Americans are paying more for everything from cars to furniture.
The U.S. remains “fully committed” to a proposed sale of advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, despite the Biden administration's slowing down the deal, a senior American official overseeing arms exports said Nov. 16. Mira Resnick, a deputy U.S. assistant secretary of state in the Biden administration, also told The Associated Press at the Dubai Air Show that Gulf Arab partners are not looking to purchase weapons from Russia as a hedge over American concerns about human rights in the region.
The Air Force conducted a test of its Rapid Dragon palletized munition system concept Nov. 3, which could one day pave the way to launching a barrage of cruise missiles out of the back of mobility aircraft. The Air Force Research Laboratory said in a Nov. 16 release that it deployed a long-range cruise missile separation test vehicle—basically a cruise missile without its engine or warhead—from an MC-130J Commando II aircraft.
Russia’s denials that debris caused by an anti-satellite missile test poses a threat to spacecraft and astronauts are disingenuous, said Sue Gordon, former principal deputy director of national intelligence. “No one understands the space environment as well as Russia does,” Gordon said Nov. 16 during a Center for Strategic and International Studies online forum.
An emerging sector of the space industry is focused on servicing satellites in orbit, providing refueling, life extension, and repair services. NASA has embraced this technology and plans to launch its own On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing OSAM-1 mission in 2024 to refuel an aging satellite and assemble hardware in space. The Space Force, which operates more than 100 satellites for the U.S. military, has yet to figure out how to take advantage of this technology, said Karl Stolleis, space robotics and logistics team lead of the Space Force.
The Royal Air Force has set a new world record after completing the first successful flight using only synthetic fuel. Earlier this month, Group Captain Peter “Willy” Hackett completed a short flight out of Kemble Airfield, Cotswold Airport, on an Ikarus C42 microlight aircraft—the first flight ever powered entirely by synthetic gasoline.