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Even if all F-35s and F-22s turn out fine, the loss to Tyndall Air Force Base, where stealth fighter training takes place, represents a huge setback to US air dominance on par with losing a big battle.
The Navy has had an amazing history.
While Beijing increasingly takes a militaristic line toward Washington, the US Air Force made the purpose of its new training explicit, with stealth nuclear bombers and fighter jets built to counter threats like Beijing's South China Sea fortress.
The US said that the flight on Thursday was "nothing out of the ordinary." But China, which is rapidly militarizing the South China Sea,said the flight was a "provocative action" which could prompt serious countermeasures.
The US military again flew B-52 nuclear capable bombers through the South China Sea, and completely refuses to back down to China's claims over the waterway.
A new decision by Russia to deploy S-300 missile defence systems to Syria raises the stakes in the conflict, especially with Israel, which regularly bombs Syria. Now, if Israel knocks down a Syrian air defense site, it runs the risk of killing Russian servicemen, that could easily escalate.
Russian fighter pilot says he beat an F-22 in a mock dogfight and locked onto it, but the Pentagon threw cold water on the claims
An unofficial account of a Russian pilot of the Su-35, Russia's top jet fighter, posted pictures claiming to show a US F-22 Raptor stealth jet flying in the skies above Syria as proof that his older, bigger jet could kill it.
Ultimately the Russian bombers turned away and the European jets returned home. The Russian bombers did not appear to enter UK airspace.
The US military recently pulled together Valiant Shield 18, which assembled a formidable armada: the US's forward-deployed USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, 15 surface ships, and 160 aircraft — a force that China sorely lacks.
Putin backs off Russia’s threats against Israel, and calls Syria downing a Russian plane a ‘tragic’ accident
Russian President Vladimir Putin backed off Russian Defense Ministry threats to take "countermeasures" against Israel after Syrian air defenses shot down a Russian military plane over the Mediterranean.