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J-31 stealth fighter (Photo: Xinhuanet Photo/Chinanews.com)

This week will be a big one for China watchers as the People’s Liberation Army holds a massive parade on Thursday in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender during World War II.

The parade comes the same week Taiwan released its a report warning that China will declare an Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, in the South China Sea after it finishes building military facilities on the Spratly Islands, according to the aviation blog Alert 5. [Continue reading…]

A U-2 Dragon Lady, from Beale Air Force Base, Calif., prepares to land at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, June 9, 2015. U-2 pilots have a small margin of space to effectively land the plane without causing damage to the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton/Released)

Six decades after it unveiled the U-2 Dragon Lady, Lockheed Martin Corp. is pitching a replacement spy plane called the UQ-2 or RQ-X.

The world’s largest defense contractor recently discussed the idea with reporters at its Skunk Works advanced projects facility in Palmdale, California, which birthed not only the U-2, but also the SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft, F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack plane and the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet. [Continue reading…]

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Russia showed off its fifth-generation stealth fighter this week at the MAKS air show outside Moscow, according to news reports.

The T-50 is one of several prototypes developed by Sukhoi, a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corp., as part of the Russian air force’s PAK-FA program. The twin-engine fighter is designed to compete against such U.S. military aircraft as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, both of which are made by Lockheed Martin Corp. [Continue reading…]

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The U.S. Air Force acknowledged it’s expanding the number of drone surveillance missions flown by contractors in response to a chronic pilot shortage in the service.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh discussed the issue Monday during a “State of the Air Force” briefing with reporters at the Pentagon. [Continue reading…]

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The U.S. Air Force wants to use another word to describe the expensive, high-tech helmet that can “see through” windowless parts of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

When asked about the price tag for the pilot gear — which has ranged from $400,000 to $800,000 apiece — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said he didn’t know its unit cost and that it won’t be finalized until the hardware enters production.

But he did have this to say about the technology: [Continue reading…]