Weekend Roundup: F-35 Makes its First Air Show Appearance

F-35C Fly Over at the Andrews AFB Joint Service Open House

In case you missed it here are some of the happenings in the world of defense technology that we didn’t write about last week.

First off, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter made its first ever air show appearance yesterday at Joint Base Andrews’ open house, with an F-35C carrier variant performing a quick flyby followed by an F/A-18 chase plane. the JSF program is comning under increased scrutiny from Congress and auditors despite the fact that program officials insists it’s sailing through its flight test schedule. The biggest complaints are about projections of continued cost spikes in the coming years. Remember, it breached the Nunn-McCurdy statute capping cost growth just last year.

Speaking of fighters, China is accelerating the delivery of 50 JF-17 Thunder fighters to Pakistan’s beleagured military; a move the Wall Street Journal describes almost as a hedge against the threat of America withdrawing military aid in the wake of the bin Laden scandal. This latest batch of JF-17s will compliment the 50 already being assembled inside Pakistan.

Meanwhile, check out this tiny killer drone equipped with an even tinier missile.

  • I’m actually in that picture! I’m just under the inboard engine of that C-5M. The JSOH was fun and seeing the F-35 was quite cool!

  • Black Owl

    100 JF-17s? Not nearly enough to hold back a single squadron of Super Hornets.

    • common sense

      Not so fast

      JF-17s armed with BVR missiles and networked with Pakistan’s new fleet of Swedish Erieye and Chinese built ZDK-03 AEW aircraft are no laughing matter. Unless the US plans an all out war on them.

  • jamesb

    The better keep it the public eye…..Things are starting to go south on the program….

  • John

    And just in time for the gigantic cost overruns … the PR campaign!

    The program should be ended and Lockheed billed the $50 billion dollars they ripped off from the taxpayers. It is *criminal* what defense contractors are allowed to get away with.

    Quick, time to roll out some spooky stealth plane from China to frighten the taxpayers into just giving up and handing the keys to the national treasury directly to the defense contracting industry.

    • William C.

      I don’t care if we have to hand production over to Boeing, better to have this plane and not need it than need it and not have it.

  • Robert Colt

    Another problem is there nothing coming up that promising, their all CAVs.

    I don’t have alot faith in drones, no matter how good technology gets.

    I wish they would get handle on these cost-overruns, specially for the F-35B. Alot our allies were counting on that, now UK is scrambling re-format its carrier program because of it. American Class Amphibious Asssault Ships are going be reduced to overpriced helicopter carriers if the F-35Bs don’t make the cut.

  • helen miller diet

    They need a eqivilient of a 90mm canister round like used in Korea for use in Afghanistain if they had these in Wannat the battle would have been over in minutes.