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from The Great Debate:

Pentagon’s big budget F-35 fighter ‘can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’

A F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is seen at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River

Americans should be worried.

The U.S. military has grounded all its new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters following an incident on June 23, when one of the high-tech warplanes caught fire on the runway of a Florida air base. The no-fly order -- which affects at least 50 F-35s at training and test bases in Florida, Arizona, California and Maryland -- began on the evening of July 3 and continued through July 11.

All those F-35s sitting idle could be a preview of a future in which potentially thousands of the Pentagon's warplanes can't reliably fly.

Handout photo of three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flying over Edwards Air Force BaseTo be fair, the Pentagon routinely grounds warplanes on a temporary basis following accidents and malfunctions to buy investigators time to identify problems and to give engineers time to fix them.

But there's real reason to worry. The June incident might reflect serious design flaws that could render the F-35 unsuitable for combat.

from The Great Debate:

Drone coalition: Key to U.S. security

The Pentagon’s biggest, most high-tech spy drone aircraft — one of the hottest items on the international arms market — is the key to a burgeoning robotic alliance among the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk, a $215 million, airliner-size Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) built by Northrop Grumman, could help this four-nation coalition monitor both China, as it increasingly flexes its military muscles, and North Korea, as it develops ever more sophisticated nuclear weapons.

from Photographers' Blog:

High-impact, high-altitude

By Pascal Lauener

Covering the big annual air show of the Swiss Air Force on the Axalp in the Bernese Oberland starts with me checking the weather radar for the next day, hoping for a big blue sky.

SLIDESHOW: SUPERSONIC JETS

As a photographer you know there will be great pictures full of action, because you are at the same altitude where the fighter jets pass you at full speed. This is a very rare situation.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Brinkmanship in South Asia

Pakistan said two Indian Air Force planes violated Pakistani airspace on Saturday, one along the Line of Control in  Kashmir and the other near Lahore  in Pakistan proper. Pakistani officials said Pakistani jets on patrol chased the Indians away and that the Indian Air Force, upon being contacted later, told them it had happened accidentally.

  The Indian Air Force, though, has told the media that none of its planes had violated Pakistani airspace.  There has been no official response from the Indian government.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

You’re SURE this is the air force?

I'm embarrassed for these guys. The photo captions say they are in the Air Force, and are displaying their "skills."

air-force-220.jpg

But here's a tip. If you find yourself slithering along the dusty ground with a bayonet on the end of your rifle, you may have joined the WRONG Air Force! There's a chance you got drunk and signed up for that other branch, Dudes Who Crawl Along With Bayonets Until They are Strafed by the Air Force.

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