The U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, says that the United States could “take out” Moscow’s intermediate range missiles that are being developed in contravention of the bilateral U.S-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Hutchison insists that the United States will adhere to the INF, but that Russia must stop its violation of the treaty.
The Kremlin is attempting to tamp down tensions following the downing of a Russian Ilyushin Il-20M Coot-A intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli raid on Assad regime forces.
The U.S. Air Force has no interest in purchasing either Boeing’s advanced fourth-generation F-15X version of the aging Eagle. Nor does the service have any plans to revive the stealthy fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in either its original configuration or in a modified form with avionics from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Instead, the priority for the Air Force is to produce as many F-35s as it can to increase the proportion of fifth-generation fighters in its fleet while it continues to explore next-generation technologies for the future air superiority mission.
The United States Navy is conducting operational testing of the new Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter onboard USS Abraham Lincoln together with Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and other aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 7.