Hong Kong – On July 21, two U.S Air Force B-1B bombers took off from Guam and headed west over the Pacific Ocean to the hotly contested South China Sea. The sleek jets made a low-level pass over the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its escorting fleet, which was exercising nearby in the Philippines Sea, according to images released by the U.S. military. The operation was part of the Trump administration's intensifying challenge to China's ruling Communist Party and its sweeping territorial claims over one of the world's most important strategic waterways. While senior Trump officials launch diplomatic and rhetorical broadsides at Beijing, the U.S. Defense Department is turning to the firepower of its heavily armed, long-range bombers as it seeks to counter Beijing's bid to control the seas off the Chinese coast. Since late January, American B-1B and B-52 bombers, usually operating in pairs, have flown about 20 missions over key waterways, including the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, according to accounts of these flights from U.S. Air Force statements and official social media posts.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Stealth Bomber comes in to land at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire on September 11th, 2019 - Close up underneath photos of the B-2 bombers - the world's most expensive and secretive planes - returning from a training exercise from Iceland. Senior Air Force leaders believe that current shortages in the U.S. bomber fleet are putting the service, and the nation, at tremendous risk of enemy attack. The U.S. Air Force needs as many as 225 bomber aircraft to meet current and future threats presented by rivals such as Russia and China, according to Gen. Timothy Ray, Commander of Global Strike Command and Strategic Command. Speaking at the 2019 Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Ray said the Air Force bomber inventory needs to jump from roughly 156 up to more than 220. "The number is North of 225. The B-1s and B-2 are older airplanes," Ray said at the conference.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 23 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com Drone fighter jets, hypersonic attack planes, artificial intelligence, lasers, electronic warfare and sensors woven into the fuselage of an aircraft are all areas of current technological exploration for the Air Force as it begins early prototyping for a new, 6th-Generation fighter jet to emerge in the 2030s and 2040s. While the initiative, called Next Generation Air Dominance(NGAD), has been largely conceptual for years, Air Force officials say current "prototyping" and "demonstrations" are informing which technologies the service will invest in for the future. "We have completed an analysis of alternatives and our acquisition team is working on the requirements. We are pretty deep into experimenting with hardware and software technologies that will help us control and exploit air power into the future," Gen. James Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command, told reporters at the Association of the Air Force Air, Space and Cyber Conference.
Beijing has released rare footage showing three of its most powerful fighter jets taking part in a flying exercise together. The eight-second clip was published by China Air Force on its social media account and shows J-20, J-16 and J-10C flying side by side. Stealth fighter J-20, China's new weapon against U.S. warplanes F-22 and F-35, has just revealed its frightening arsenal of missiles for the first time this month. Stealth fighter J-20 (pictured) is considered as China's weapon against U.S. warplane F-22 J-16 (pictured), a multi-role aircraft, is expected to be capable of defeating America's F-35 J-10C is the latest variation of supersonic J-10 jets (pictured) - similar to Washington's F-16 Lesser-known J-16, a multi-role aircraft based on the Russian Sukhoi-30, is expected to be capable of defeating U.S. F-35. While third-generation J-10C, the latest version of China's supersonic J-10 fighter jets, is comparable to America's F-16.
An F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter takes off on a training sortie at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in this March 6, 2012 file photo. As 60 enemy fighters closed in on a U.S. Air Force 4th Generation fighter aircraft, blinding the jet with electronic warfare attacks, an experienced pilot faced unseen life-threatening attackers closing in -- during an air-combat Red Flag exercise closely replicating actual warfare scenarios. Yet, in a life-saving flash, the endangered 4th pilot was told to "turn around" by an F-35 operating in the vicinity who radioed an instant warning. The 5th-Gen, multi-role stealth fighter then used its long-range sensors and weapons to "kill" the enemy aircraft, according to an Air Force news report. Air Force Col. Joshua Wood, 388th Operations Group Commander was part of the exercise.