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Speaking of KC-46, the first USAF KC-46 has been delivered. Is there a catch? Well, yes...

 

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The agreement, finalized after months of sometimes public and contentious discussions, allows McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas to receive the KC-46 as early as this month, with more set to follow, said Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Hope Cronin. However, the new tankers will arrive with several outstanding category-1 deficiencies, the term used by the military to describe the most serious level of technical problems.

That may sound like a blow to the Air Force, whose leaders had previously implied that all category-1 deficiencies must be fixed before the service begins accepting the tankers.

However, service leaders believe the Air Force retains significant financial leverage, even as Boeing delivers the KC-46 aircraft, and the service sees it as vital that Air Mobility Command be able to begin training pilots and boom operators to use the tankers even as technical problems are being corrected.

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Perhaps more importantly, the Air Force holds a significant trump card in its hand. According to the terms of its fixed-price contract with Boeing, the service can withhold up to $28 million per aircraft upon delivery — and the Air Force official said the service intends to keep that amount until it sees a good faith effort by Boeing to fix deficiencies.

That means Boeing could miss out on $1.5 billion if the maximum withholding is applied to all 52 aircraft on contract.

“That is not something that legitimately can be contested by Boeing. That is purely a government decision until the airplane is brought up to specification,” the official said.

 

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I don't know which is stranger, that there's a youtube video of a sock puppet explaining the difference between air to air missiles... or that it's actually pretty good:  

Chinese Xian H-6 medium bombers ready for maritime orientation flight on Saturday. Looking decidedly Old School.  

The optics for both gunner and pilot include thermal imagers made by Safran (based on their Iris product line). The Osiris mast-mounted sight also includes other optics, a laser-rangefinder and an aut

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/25989/intel-report-confirms-china-developing-stealthy-regional-bomber-in-addition-to-strategic-bomber

 

 

"An arm of the U.S. Intelligence Community has publicly confirmed the existence of not one, but two Chinese stealth bomber development programs for the first time in a new report. In addition to the much-reported H-20 stealth heavy bomber program, China is also working on a smaller, regionally-focused stealthy bomber, commonly referred to as JH-XX. 

This new information was contained in the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) latest China Military Power report, which the Agency released on Jan. 15, 2019. DIA restarted issuing its "Military Power" unclassified public reviews, which trace their origins to the Cold War-era Soviet Military Power reports, in 2017. This new examination of China's capabilities says the information it contains is up to date as of November 2018."

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21 hours ago, Belesarius said:

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/25989/intel-report-confirms-china-developing-stealthy-regional-bomber-in-addition-to-strategic-bomber

 

 

"An arm of the U.S. Intelligence Community has publicly confirmed the existence of not one, but two Chinese stealth bomber development programs for the first time in a new report. In addition to the much-reported H-20 stealth heavy bomber program, China is also working on a smaller, regionally-focused stealthy bomber, commonly referred to as JH-XX. 

This new information was contained in the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) latest China Military Power report, which the Agency released on Jan. 15, 2019. DIA restarted issuing its "Military Power" unclassified public reviews, which trace their origins to the Cold War-era Soviet Military Power reports, in 2017. This new examination of China's capabilities says the information it contains is up to date as of November 2018."

 

Looking through that report linked, I'm pretty sure they've used a photoshopped image. Check out page 81 - the amphib vehicles in the background look awfully similar. Reverse image searching it shows up the same 'shopped image all over the place, so I think it got attached to an AFP news item. Here's an example of a typical report using it:

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1996073/china-russia-hold-joint-naval-drill-south-china-sea

 

This is very off topic, I know

 

ETA: I just noticed that that AFP news item credited the image to Xinhua news agency.

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18 minutes ago, Xlucine said:

 

Looking through that report linked, I'm pretty sure they've used a photoshopped image. Check out page 81 - the amphib vehicles in the background look awfully similar. Reverse image searching it shows up the same 'shopped image all over the place, so I think it got attached to an AFP news item. Here's an example of a typical report using it:

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1996073/china-russia-hold-joint-naval-drill-south-china-sea

 

This is very off topic, I know

 

ETA: I just noticed that that AFP news item credited the image to Xinhua news agency.

Pretty sure most of the images have been shared here on SH before.  More interested in the idea of a theatre-range plane in development. We shall see.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Krieger22 said:

Su-34 midair collision during training over Sea of Japan. The crews ejected safely, and rescue efforts are underway.

 

https://ria.ru/20190118/1549543529.html

Not safely, 2 dead.

 

https://news.mail.ru/incident/36027850/?frommail=1

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Rescuers discovered the body of the third Su-34 pilot
MOSCOW, January 18 - RIA News. The body of the second dead Su-34 pilot without signs of life was found in the area of the search in the Sea of Japan, the Russian Defense Ministry reports.

/.../

 

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Weird, reports here (admittedly in not brilliant sources, but allegedly quoting Interfax) are claiming one of the Su-34s managed to land after the collision:

 

“One Su-34 fell after the collision, and the other managed to land with a defunct engine,” a source said.

 

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/two-russian-su-34-fighter-13875952

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   MOSCOW, January 22. / TASS /. A Tu-22M3 bomber crashed while landing at a military airfield in the Murmansk region.

/.../
“The Tu-22M3 bomber crashed while landing at the airfield of the long-range aviation regiment in Olenegorsk (Murmansk region).

3 out of 4 are dead.

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21 minutes ago, Belesarius said:

That approach speed was super fast. The flex when the fuselage came apart was pretty brutal. :(

 

Edit: I wonder if the wing sweep mechanism failed?  I couldn't tell if the wings were fully deflected forward.

 

 

 

It looks like the wings are fully swept forwoards, but the its hard to tell.

Are there already some official explanations of what exactly caused this fatal crash?

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Looks like a very high sink rate. The aircraft is fully flared on landing, so either the approach angle was too steep or the plane thought it was several hundred meters higher up than it really was. The bounce is characeristic of extremely heavy landings- the undercarriage can't damp it all out, and the pneumatic springs shove the airframe right back into the air. It looks like the impact may have been violent enough to fully compress the springs to their mechanical stops, at which point the shock gets transferred directly to the aircraft. The shock bending loads on the structure trying to accelerate the heavy nose cantilever from "steep descent" to "rebound" exceeded the load limit and the airframe broke where the bending moment causes maximal stress- at the base of the cantilever.

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