A new weekly round-up of news about things that fly and shoot, courtesy of Zach Rosenberg.
by ZACH ROSENBERG
“Does Buying Combat Aircraft Lead to Trouble?”
Combat aircraft made up about a third of worldwide arms purchases in time 2005-2009 timeframe. A new report by the renown Swedish International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) examines detailed buying trends and resulting political problems, and asks just what precedes what. Does buying sophisticated combat aircraft destabilize a country’s relations with neighbors? (H/T to Ares)
“Air Force Eyes Reducing Jets’ Fuel Reserves”
Civilian aircraft operators, particularly the ever-sensitive airlines, realized long ago that one of the heaviest components of an aircraft was the fuel it carried, and that reducing the amount of fuel meant more efficient trips. The FAA requires civilian airliners, in most cases, to have enough fuel for to stay in the air 45 minutes past expected flight time, taking into account alternate landing sites and the gas required to climb, descend and hold. In contrast, the USAF keeps a four-hour reserve, that results, perversely, in more fuel being burned as a result of the extra power needed to get that extra fuel airborne.
“Israel Given F-35s in Exchange for Settlement Freeze”
The U.S. has formally offered to give Israel 20 F-35s in exchange for a 90-day freeze on new settlements in the Palestinian areas. The F-35s are a major part of an offer that includes several major promises, including one that the U.S. will not recognize any Palestinian state without Israel’s permission. Freezing settlements and restarting direct talks between the Israeli and Palestinian governments has been a high priority for U.S. President Barack Obama.
“U.K. Will Retire Harrier Jets”
The United Kingdom, as part of massive defense cuts, is committed to taking the iconic Harrier VTOL attack aircraft out of service. Grounding the Harrier, which was originally developed and fielded by the U.K., will leave the U.K. without fixed-wing capability for its aircraft carriers before the anticipated arrival of the F-35s.