F-35 fighter jet undergoes equipment testing at Alaska base
An F-35 fighter jet landed at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to undergo testing on the aircraft’s ability to operate in cold conditions, according to a statement released by the U.S. Airforce.
The F-35A Lightning II that arrived Oct. 12 was the first to land at the base near Fairbanks. Up to 54 of these aircraft will be stationed at Eielson along with about 3,500 airmen, civilian employees, contractors and military family members by 2020, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
The aircraft will undergo testing on its ability to land on icy runways, and its drag chute modification will also be evaluated.
Air Force officials plan to demonstrate through the testing that F-35s are capable of landing in environments designated as Runway Condition Reading 7. A dry runway is designated as a reading of 23, and a reading of 5 is comparable to landing on ice. The aircraft is currently certified to land at a reading of 12.
The drag chute is a modification that has been requested by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, a partner of the F-35 program. A Norwegian test pilot will fly the jet to demonstrate the modification that aims to help the aircraft land in Arctic conditions. AP
Russia could deploy more missiles in Baltic region: lawmaker
A senior Russian lawmaker says Moscow could deploy more state-of-the-art missiles in its westernmost region in response to the U.S. military buildup in Poland.
The head of the Russian parliament’s defense affairs committee, Retired Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, said Oct. 12 that Russia could take retaliatory steps in response to the U.S. increasing the number of its weapons in Poland.
Shamanov said, in remarks carried by Russian news agencies, that Moscow could deploy additional Iskander missile systems in its western areas, including the Kaliningrad exclave. The Baltic region borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania.
Iskander has a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles) and high precision, allowing it to target facilities in several NATO member nations with pinpoint accuracy. It can be fitted with a conventional or a nuclear warhead. AP