Friday, October 31, 2014
Aircraft
News on the F-22, Joint Strike Fighter, the future tanker and more aircraft programs
Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

The Air Force is working to have a more proactive and routine developmental planning process that shapes acquisition programs early in the science and technology phase, the service's top acquisition official said this week.

Inside the Air Force - 10/31/2014

The Air Force is making progress on owning more of the technical baseline for its top acquisition program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the service's acquisition executive said this week.

DefenseAlert - 10/30/2014

Three specific factors will make it "really, really hard" for the Marine Corps to meet its July 2015 target date for declaring its Joint Strike Fighter aircraft operational, the F-35 joint program executive officer told reporters Oct. 30.

DefenseAlert - 10/30/2014

The Marine Corps wants to increase F-35B production from 20 to 24 aircraft per year, according to the service's 2015 aviation plan.

DefenseAlert - 10/30/2014

The Air Force's target to meet initial operational capability on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by August 2016 could slip if the experienced A-10 maintainers slated to shift to the fifth-generation platform are forced by Congress to stay put.

DefenseAlert - 10/30/2014

The Pentagon has awarded a $1.05 billion production contract to Pratt & Whitney after reaching an agreement for the eighth lot of F135 engines for the Joint Strike Fighter, according to a top official.

DefenseAlert - 10/30/2014

The Pentagon's acquisition executive, who has repeatedly voiced concerns about future U.S. military technological superiority, has directed four new assessments of capability areas the Defense Department must not cede to competitors -- directing separate task forces to assess air dominance, next-generation unmanned undersea systems, cyber defense and cyber deterrence.

DefenseAlert - 10/29/2014

The Pentagon recently purchased retrofit modification kits for the Marine Corps F-35 variant that are critical to the service declaring its jets operational in July 2015, according to a program spokesman.

DefenseAlert - 10/28/2014

Northrop Grumman is pitching its new digitized, integrated avionics suite to the Navy for use on both rotary and fixed-wing platforms, according to company officials.

DefenseAlert - 10/27/2014

Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have reached an agreement on the next lot of F-35 aircraft, the JPO announced on Monday, noting that the average unit price for all three variants of the airframe would be approximately 3.6 percent lower than the previous contract.

Inside the Army - 10/27/2014

Despite an equipment drawdown underway in Afghanistan, the Army is beefing up funding for several aerial systems used to counter improvised explosive devices.

Inside the Air Force - 10/24/2014

As the Air Force moves toward transitioning its vision for a next-generation airlifter from early developmental planning into the requirements-setting phase, its next moves are highly dependent on the direction the Army takes in pursuing a next-generation ground vehicle, according to an Air Mobility Command requirements official.

Inside the Air Force - 10/24/2014

As the battle against Islamic extremists in Iraq continues, the U.S. Air Force is considering a new program to provide instructor pilot training for King Air 350 operators from the Iraqi Air Force.

Inside the Air Force - 10/24/2014

On the heels of announcing early plans to consider a radar replacement program for the B-52 bomber, Air Force Global Strike Command recently initiated a second capabilities study that will explore options for replacing the legacy bomber's 60-year-old engine.

Inside the Air Force - 10/24/2014

In the high-stakes game of strategic deterrence, the Air Force's Cold War-era B-52 Stratofortress and its arsenal of standoff cruise missiles continue to be the go-to systems for shows of force against potential adversaries.

Inside the Air Force - 10/24/2014

The future of a costly C-130 avionics upgrade program remains unclear amid mismatched congressional and Air Force priorities. In the meantime, the service says it needs to begin the process of upgrading the airlifters as soon as possible to assure the majority of the fleet is in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines set to take effect at the end of the decade.

DefenseAlert - 10/23/2014

The Air Force is launching high-priority, new-start modernization programs this fall after winning approval from Congress to begin a sixth-generation fighter aircraft program and the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System replacement effort with fiscal year 2014 funds, sidestepping a statutory ban on new projects mandated by the stopgap spending bill funding the government through Dec. 11.

Inside the Navy - 10/20/2014

Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron-22 recently received its first Joint Strike Fighter, making it the first fixed-wing aircraft in the squadron's inventory. The service anticipates the second F-35 delivery in November, according to a service spokesman.

DefenseAlert - 10/17/2014

Lawmakers have rejected dozens of Pentagon-proposed changes to reallocate prior-year funds, forcing the U.S. military to scrap plans to immediately shift nearly $600 million between programs -- including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Ground-based Midcourse Defense efforts -- while protecting funds for key Army radio and helicopter modernization projects.

Inside the Air Force - 10/17/2014

The Pentagon has equipped the Afghan Air Force with its third refurbished C-130H and is considering whether to send a fourth despite concerns about the fledgling force's capacity to receive and fully utilize those aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 10/17/2014

After achieving initial operational capability early this year on the modernized and re-engined C-5M, the Air Force is transitioning into sustainment mode and may be looking for contractors to supplement its plans to perform most of the aircraft's long-term maintenance in-house.

DefenseAlert - 10/16/2014

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, VA -- The Navy recently declared the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye operational and plans to replace legacy aircraft in each squadron by 2027, according to a service official.

DefenseAlert - 10/15/2014

A joint team investigating an engine fire onboard an Air Force Joint Strike Fighter this summer has validated the root cause of the incident and briefed its findings Oct. 10, according to a spokesman from the F-35 joint program office.

DefenseAlert - 10/14/2014

An accident investigation board looking into the root cause of an engine fire on an Air Force F-35 fighter jet this summer has not yet returned its findings, according to an executive from engine-maker Pratt & Whitney.

Inside the Navy - 10/13/2014

The Marine Corps faces an electronic warfare gap around 2020 because the service is not replacing the EA-6B Prowler aircraft, which will retire in about five to six years, according to a service official.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

Air Combat Command has commissioned a study to determine what type of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft the Air Force will need 10 to 15 years from now, and the prevailing view is the new aircraft will be multirole, having both surveillance and strike capabilities.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

The head of Air Force Global Strike Command said this week that he is actively looking for ways to fund a B-52 engine replacement program to help keep the aging bomber flying through 2040 and perhaps beyond.

Inside the Air Force - 10/10/2014

Airframe manufacturer Gulfstream plans to offer its G550 and G650 business jets as possible replacements for the Air Force's old and expensive E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft, which is based on a 1960s Boeing 707-300 series airliner.

Inside the Navy - 10/06/2014

The F-35C Joint Strike Fighter sea trials aboard a Navy aircraft carrier are on track to test two jets during November, but the scope of testing is undetermined, according to a JSF joint program office spokeswoman.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

As the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, UT, prepares to receive its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighters next September, the base is working both to complete an ambitious lineup of construction projects and to assure that personnel are trained and ready to support the arrival of the first F-35s.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

As the T-6 training aircraft approaches the end of production in 2016, the Air Force and Navy are looking to make the training system acquisition and support procurement processes more efficient and streamlined.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

The Air Force Research Laboratory in late September awarded three contracts as part of the final phase of a joint advanced engine technology program aimed at achieving a 10-fold increase in the capability and affordability of turbine engine technology.

Inside the Air Force - 10/03/2014

The Air Force is in the midst of conducting live-fire test and evaluation for a 25 mm cannon ammunition that will serve as the F-35A's combat munition round, and expects to make an initial production decision in late 2016.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/02/2014

The United States and international partners involved in the F-35 program may amend the reporting procedures for major problems with the plane after mulling over the changes during a Sept. 25 steering board meeting in Oslo, Norway.

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.