Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Aircraft
News on the F-22, Joint Strike Fighter, the future tanker and more aircraft programs
Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

Northrop Grumman has completed a computing and hardware upgrade on the legacy E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System fleet that will help keep the current mission system viable until a replacement aircraft can be developed and fielded.

Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

Boeing's work to upgrade the F-15E to a new and more capable radar system is approaching several milestones this fall with the delivery of the first jet in the third low-rate initial production lot and an increase in work flow, with both expected in October.

Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

Sierra Nevada Corporation is due to deliver the first Afghan A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Moody Air Force Base, GA, this week and two more aircraft are scheduled to arrive at the base by October as the Air Force stands up a formal training unit there for Afghan pilots and maintainers.

Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

The Air Force announced this week that it will host an industry day Oct. 1 to discuss its acquisition strategy for logistics and sustainment support of the A-10 Warthog's Aircrew Training Systems, even as it continues to push for divestment of the close-air-support platform beginning in fiscal year 2015.

Inside the Air Force - 09/26/2014

A Government Accountability report released this week highlights several continuing risks on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, including performance accountability for the program's Autonomic Logistics Information System and the reliability and maintainability of the platform.

DefenseAlert - 09/25/2014

Planned F-35C Joint Strike Fighter trials aboard a Navy aircraft carrier are still on track for November, but the Joint Strike Fighter's program executive officer told reporters this week it is possible only one of the two aircraft may be fully capable of fulfilling the activities planned for the trials.

DefenseAlert - 09/24/2014

The United States and South Korea have agreed on the foreign military sale of 40 conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, with initial deliveries starting in 2018.

DefenseAlert - 09/24/2014

The Defense Department has notified Congress of a potential $500 million sale to Poland of Lockheed Martin services and equipment to upgrade the NATO ally's F-16 fleet, a package that could give the Eastern European nation, which shares a border with Ukraine, the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

Lockheed Martin announced this week that it has released for testing iteration 2.0 of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's Autonomic Logistics Information System, and expects the upgrade will be installed at all F-35 locations beginning in early 2015.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

F-35 instructor pilot training at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, is not being significantly affected by the flight restrictions that were imposed following an engine fire incident at the base in June, the head of Air Education and Training Command said this week.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

The director of the Air National Guard said this week that the service component must invest the resources necessary to conduct a study within the next year of its C-130 requirement so that it can develop a way forward for the cargo fleet.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

The director of the Air National Guard told reporters this week that he has a strong interest in upgrading the Guard's fourth-generation aircraft to be more compatible with their fifth-generation counterparts, noting that the National Guard and Reserve Enrichment Appropriation fund could be a potential funding source for such an effort.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

Lockheed Martin anticipates reducing the manufacturing cost of the Joint Strike Fighter by $10 million per jet through a blueprint for affordability initiative that looks at revamping manufacturing techniques and methods to reduce the cost of the aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

Air Force officials said this week that a request to use Overseas Contingency Operations funds to purchase two in-development F-35 aircraft is justified because the F-15 fighter jets they are intended to replace were lost while deployed in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

The assault on Iraq by Islamic extremists may have temporarily halted the delivery of Iraqi F-16 fighter jets but the country's first group of Fighting Falcon pilots continue to train in the United States despite the insurgency back home.

Inside the Air Force - 09/19/2014

The Air Force's training community has felt the brunt of the impact of the recent grounding of 83 D-model F-16s because the service's Air Education and Training Command operates the majority of the F-16D fleet, according to command officials.

DefenseAlert - 09/18/2014

U.S. Strategic Command plans to host a "stakeholder meeting" with the leadership of the strategic nuclear bomber community next month, according to the head of STRATCOM.

DefenseAlert - 09/17/2014

Unanticipated wiring problems continue to push back the KC-46 program's initial flight tests, and the Air Force's program executive officer for the tanker program said on Sept. 16 that it is crucial the effort achieve first flight before the end of this year to remain on track for future milestones.

DefenseAlert - 09/16/2014

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have unveiled their competing proposals to replace the Air Force's E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System as the service moves forward on the multibillion-dollar recapitalization effort. Boeing has proposed its 737-700 commercial airliner for the airframe component of the program whereas Northrop has put forward a militarized Gulfstream G550 business jet.

DefenseAlert - 09/15/2014

Executives from F135 engine-maker Pratt & Whitney estimate that they will have retrofitted the program's 21 test aircraft with an interim engine fix by January of next year.

Inside the Army - 09/15/2014

The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget are looking to move $1.89 billion in Army wartime funding to buy six new F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps and two F-35s for the Air Force, among other equipment, according to a reprogramming request obtained by Inside the Army.

Inside the Navy - 09/15/2014

The Navy will conduct an analysis of alternatives in calendar year 2015 to replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Growler aircraft in 2030, during the same time the Joint Strike Fighter will become part of the service's carrier airwing.

Inside the Air Force - 09/12/2014

The Air Force this week began the process of repairing two of the 83 F-16D aircraft grounded in late July as a result of cracks discovered in the frame surrounding the jet's cockpit.

DefenseAlert - 09/11/2014

Software delays will not likely impact near-term F-35 Joint Strike Fighter initial operational capability targets, but projected schedule slips do present a risk to later program milestones, according to an Office of the Secretary of Defense-led review team.

DefenseAlert - 09/09/2014

The Air Force this week will begin the process of repairing two of the 83 F-16D aircraft grounded in late July as a result of cracks discovered in the frame surrounding the jet's cockpit.

DefenseAlert - 09/08/2014

The top Navy officer is "concerned" that U.S. pilots in the future may see incidents similar to one earlier this month in which a Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft and he plans to discuss the matter with his Chinese counterpart next week.

Inside the Navy - 09/08/2014

There are a "few" F-35 jets that are scheduled for retrofit modifications past July 2015 but the work must be moved up for maintenance in order for the Marine Corps to meet its operational target date, according to the F-35 program executive officer.

DefenseAlert - 09/05/2014

The F-35 joint program office says it has removed a hold on the delivery of Pratt & Whitney engines to the assembly facility in Fort Worth, TX, despite an ongoing investigation into a June 23 engine malfunction, which caused a fire onboard an Air Force jet.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

Boeing is making some final wiring and software changes to the first NATO Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft outfitted with a new cockpit and avionics modernization upgrade ahead of the formal ground-test phase next month. Once that step is complete, the company is scheduled to move to flight testing in November.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

Textron AirLand LLC hopes its decision to produce the Scorpion jet, a manned reconnaissance and strike aircraft, will pay dividends as the Air Force and others begin to recapitalize older manned and unmanned aircraft fleets and move away from buying new types of remotely-piloted aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 09/05/2014

F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin does not believe a delay in F135 engine deliveries from Pratt & Whitney will impact its aircraft production operations at Fort Worth, TX.

DefenseAlert - 09/04/2014

The F-35 joint program office plans to announce the locations of the first European and Pacific engine and airframe depot maintenance facilities before the end of the year and will begin its analysis of potential sites later this month.

DefenseAlert - 09/03/2014

The Air Force and Pratt & Whitney are very close to determining the root cause of an F-35 engine fire that occurred two months ago and next week will begin to test a near-term solution the service hopes will prevent delays to upcoming milestones.

Inside the Pentagon - 09/04/2014

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's acquisition chief, said this week he is most concerned about preserving the engineering aspects of three specific components of the defense industrial base: ground combat vehicles, high-performance aircraft and surface combat ships.

DefenseAlert - 09/02/2014

Pratt & Whitney, the sole supplier of engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has purged its inventory of titanium from a key supplier after concerns were raised in May over the origin of the material.

Inside the Navy - 09/01/2014

Recently, a Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a Navy P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, and this may give the world more insight into Chinese military operations than the country participating in the recent 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise, according to an analyst.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

As the Air Force's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance enterprise reorganizes under Air Combat Command, senior service officials are thinking about how to support combatant commanders in future, high-end fights.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

As Boeing prepares to begin modifications to its first low-rate initial production lot of QF-16 target drones, the company is working to complete operational testing in anticipation of a full-rate production contract award from the Air Force early next year.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

The Air Force has confirmed Moody Air Force Base in Georgia as the host of an A-29 Super Tucano aircraft schoolhouse for Afghan Air Force personnel, the service said on Aug. 22.

Inside the Navy - 08/25/2014

The Navy recently awarded a $295 million contract for 12 full-rate production Lot 2 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the service and includes the first P-8 that will be delivered to the Australian air force, according to a Defense Department announcement.

Inside the Navy - 08/25/2014

Naval Air Systems Command is looking to Bell-Boeing to add a traffic collision avoidance system to the MV-22 Osprey, similar to a system installed on the Air Force's CV-22 aircraft, according to a service spokeswoman.

DefenseAlert - 08/22/2014

With a $176 million beddown cost, Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska was not the least expensive of the service's basing options for the first F-35A wing in the Pacific area of responsibility, an Air Force spokeswoman said this week, but its proximity to key training infrastructure made it the most strategic choice.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

Air Force Research Laboratory officials say the series of X-51 Waverider hypersonic test flights conducted between 2010 and 2013 represent the "high-water mark" for high-speed airframe and scramjet propulsion development because they validated many core science and technology efforts and set the trajectory for ongoing technology maturation.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

The Air Force this week announced 82 F-16Ds remain grounded after structural cracks were discovered between the front and rear pilot seats.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

A pending deal with Saudi Arabia for an estimated $2 billion in E-3 Sentry command-and-control aircraft upgrades could help the United States recoup costs associated with the development of the Block 40/45 mission computing system, the head of the Air Force's international airborne early warning and control office said this week.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

With a $176 million beddown cost, Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska was not the least expensive of the service's basing options for the first F-35A wing in the Pacific area of responsibility, an Air Force spokeswoman said this week, but its proximity to key training infrastructure made it the most strategic choice.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

The Air Force is moving forward with its plans to transition advanced engine technology research into a program of record, announcing this week plans to issue a formal request for proposals by the end of the year for a program aimed at maturing existing technologies by designing, developing, fabricating and testing an adaptive engine that could be installed into a combat aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

The chief of Air Combat Command's exercises and joint operations branch said this week his office is getting behind the Air Force's return to full-spectrum combat readiness after focusing for years on other priorities, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Inside the Air Force - 08/22/2014

The Air Force has updated more than one-third of its F-22 Raptor fleet with an improved air-to-ground strike capability, and is on track to equip the rest of its 182-aircraft fleet with the upgrade by 2018.

Inside the Navy - 08/18/2014

Patrol Squadron-16 (VP-16) recently returned from the first-ever operational deployment of the P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft after achieving initial operational capability in December, according to a Navy official.