The newest F-35A, straight out of the factory, found its new home at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The aircraft, Air Force serial number 338, is the first of six F-35s the 461st Flight Test Squadron and F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force will receive in the next few years. The upgraded fleet will be used to test the Technical Refresh 3 and Block 4 configurations of the Air Force’s newest fighter that will create tactical and operational advantages over peer competitors.
Russia’s heavy losses in Ukraine have forced it to send conscripts and convicts to the front lines. A new center in occupied Ukraine is training Russian military and civilian drone operators for combat roles against Ukrainian forces. Civilians trained at the three-month-old center in Donetsk do not formally join the military, a Russian news site reported.
The Air Force is Stocking Up on Stealth Jets in Alaska, and Its Pilots are Learning to Thrive in Harsh Arctic Conditions
With the arrival of the 54th F-35 at Eielson Air Force Base in April, Alaska became home to the world's largest concentration of fifth-generation fighter jets. After a two-year buildup of the 354th Fighter Wing, there are now two squadrons of F-35s at Eielson in central Alaska. They join two squadrons of F-22s already stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson farther south.
The United States and South Korea kicked off a four-day preliminary drill in preparation for their largest military exercise in five years. The preliminary drill, which consists of training simulations, ends Aug. 19 and is the precursor to Ulchi Freedom Shield, the first large-scale command-post exercise between the U.S. and South Korea since 2017, according to a Ministry of Defense news release.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said it formed a department dedicated to developing weapons that use artificial intelligence. The announcement was made Aug. 17 by Alexander Osadchu, the head of Russia’s military’s innovative development department, according to the state-owned news agency TASS. “In order to intensify work on the use of artificial intelligence technologies in the interests of creating models of weapons for military and special equipment, a department for the development of artificial intelligence technologies has been created,” he said in a statement.
The Air Force expects to fly its hypersonic Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon at least once more this year, following a pair of successful tests. ARRW has flown twice in the past four months, first in May then again in July. The July test completed the booster test phase and positioned ARRW to enter full system testing. The successes follow a string of three failures in 2021, which drew criticism from lawmakers, who cut $161 million from the effort in fiscal 2022.
Russia's Defense Ministry warned Britain on Aug. 16 against a planned spy plane flight over Russian territory, saying the country's air force has been given orders to prevent an intrusion. The ministry said Britain has sent a notice informing about a planned flight of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane along a route that partly passes over Russian territory.
Taiwanese F-16 fighters roared into the night sky in a show of force in front of the media, demonstrating the military's determination to defend the democratically governed island in the face of days of Chinese war games. China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has been carrying out military exercises around the island after a visit earlier this month by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was followed by five U.S. lawmakers on Aug. 14 and 15.
More than 140 sustainment and operations Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing established a temporary contingency location, or TCL, in less than 24 hours at Patrick Space Force Base to conduct the wing’s exercise Distant Horizon, Aug. 1-10, which validated the multi-capable sustainment abilities of a Personnel Recovery Task Force, or PRTF, in the jungle environments of the Indo-Pacific region.
Photographers of all ages and experience, only two weeks remain to submit photos for this year's Department of the Air Force Photo Contest. The theme for this year’s contest, which runs through Aug. 31, is “Celebrating Traditions.” In keeping with this year's Air Force 75th birthday, this year’s contest encourages submissions with family, military, and cultural traditions demonstrating closeness and a sense of belonging and identity. Traditions bring meaning to celebrations and connect us through special bonds, said contest organizers at the Air Force Services Center.
The names Pete Mitchell and Nick Bradshaw might mean very little to most, but when these two are called by their aviator call signs "Maverick" and "Goose," that all changes. Even though they're the same characters. That's the nature of military call signs. They're like an inverted secret identity.