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N & S America

SOURCE: FORBES

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer wants the service to develop an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters. The result would be a high-low mix of expensive “fifth-generation” F-22s and F-35s and inexpensive “fifth-generation-minus” jets, explained Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr.

If that plan sounds familiar, it’s because the Air Force a generation ago launched development of an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small future fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters.

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SOURCE: Breaking Defense

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown is launching a study, in tandem with DoD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), on the service’s future mix of tactical aircraft.

“This will help inform the decisions that I think I need to make internal to the Air Force, and what I would recommend that force mix might be,” Brown told the Defense Writers Group late this afternoon. “Now, I will also tell you I don’t think that everybody’s going to exactly agree with what I say. But I want to actually have a starting point as a point of departure, a point of dialogue.”

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SOURCE: THE DRIVE

Northrop Grumman has unveiled concept art of its proposal for the U.S. military’s LongShot program, which you can read about more in this recent War Zone piece. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DAPRA, announced it had awarded contracts to three companies as part of LongShot, the goal of which is to explore designs for an air-launched aerial combat drone that carries its own air-to-air missiles.

The idea is that this system would extend the reach of the launching aircraft while reducing its vulnerability to the enemy, as well as offer a number of other potential benefits.

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SOURCE: AFP

A US fighter jet on a training mission from a British Royal Air Force base in eastern England crashed in the North Sea on Monday. “A US Air Force F-15C Eagle crashed at approximately 0940 (0840 GMT) today (Monday) in the North Sea,” said USAF Captain Miranda T. Simmons, from RAF Lakenheath.

“The cause of the crash, as well as the status of the pilot, are unknown at this time, and UK Search and Rescue have been called to support.” The plane took off from the RAF Lakenheath base, near Mildenhall, in Suffolk, which hosts the 48th Fighter Wing of the US Air Force. The BBC said the plane was believed to have gone down 74 nautical miles (137 kilometres) off the East Yorkshire coast. Continue reading