Saturday, July 26, 2014
Aircraft
News on the F-22, Joint Strike Fighter, the future tanker and more aircraft programs
Inside the Navy - 07/28/2014

A Marine Corps spokesman last week outlined the flight restrictions the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is flying under while officials determine the cause of a mishap that took place last month.

Inside the Navy - 07/28/2014

Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems will make a total investment of up to $170 million in affordability initiatives from 2014 to 2016 to reduce the cost of the Joint Strike Fighter, according to Lockheed Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Hewson.

DefenseAlert - 07/25/2014

Australia has become the fourth nation in the Joint Strike Fighter program to receive production F-35 fighter jets following a rollout ceremony for the first two aircraft at the JSF final assembly facility in Fort Worth, TX, July 24.

Inside the Air Force - 07/25/2014

The retention of force structure like the A-10 and F-15E could make it difficult for the Air Force to achieve force rebalancing initiatives driven by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force and its own internal analysis in the near term.

Inside the Air Force - 07/25/2014

The sponsor of a legislative provision to block the Pentagon from transferring two additional C-130 aircraft to the Afghanistan National Security Forces believes those aircraft would be better utilized by the U.S. Air Force.
Last week, . . .

Inside the Pentagon - 07/24/2014

Long considered a major risk factor on the F-35 program, the jet's helmet is now trending positively in terms of cost and performance, according to the helmet's manufacturer -- but critical system improvements remain to be proved in flight testing, which is scheduled to begin in the coming months.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/24/2014

The Joint Strike Fighter continues to face some of its most difficult and complex mission systems testing, the Pentagon's top weapons tester said this week, noting, however, that he doesn't expect negative test results would "derail" the program.

DefenseAlert - 07/23/2014

Boeing absorbed a $272 million hit on the KC-46 tanker program in the second quarter of 2014 due to unexpected engineering challenges, company officials reported during a July 23 earnings call.

Inside the Navy - 07/21/2014

The Navy has identified $80 million from the P-8A Poseidon aircraft program that is available to be shifted within the service's budget, money that that has been freed up due to contract cost savings, according to a recent omnibus reprogramming request the Defense Department sent Congress.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

Language passed this week in the Senate Appropriations Committee's fiscal year 2015 defense spending bill directs the Air Force to reconsider developing a second engine for the F-35 in light of a recent grounding of the fleet due to engine problems.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

Despite President Obama's tight drawdown schedule, announced in May, which will see 9,800 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 in a supporting role, the Air Force's top commander in the country is confident the Afghan Air Force will endure and eventually become self-sustaining.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- The F-35 program's new director of engineering told Inside the Air Force in his first media interview since joining the program office that his biggest concern is ensuring new software loads are truly ready for operational use before they are released to the fleet.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

The Senate Appropriations Committee this week approved an amendment to its fiscal year 2015 defense spending bill that would allow the Air Force to reprogram funds allocated for the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program to pursue a less-expensive alternative.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

The Air Force is attempting to justify to Congress the need for additional funding to improve the B-1 engine's performance and survivability -- money the service claims should come out of its wartime budget, not its base budget.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

Senate appropriators have moved to block the delivery of two C-130 tactical airlifters to the Afghan Air Force after the United States' top investigator in Afghanistan found the two C-130s the organization already has are underutilized.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

The three-star Air Force general in charge of all U.S. military forces in Japan believes he is well-enough resourced to meet current mission demands, but Japan-stationed units are struggling to overcome sequestration-driven challenges like insufficient experience levels and a shortage of spare parts.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

As they prepare to receive the first KC-46 tanker from Boeing in 2016, civil engineering teams at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas face the challenge of readying the base to take in the aircraft while learning about the still-evolving platform.

DefenseAlert - 07/17/2014

Northrop Grumman is trumpeting its long-presumed intent to pursue the Air Force's Long-Range Strike Bomber program in a full-page July 17 advertisement featured in newspapers across the country.

DefenseAlert - 07/17/2014

The Air Force next month will host a three-day conference to solicit feedback from five industry teams on the service's requirements for a new trainer aircraft, a key step before it formally launches a competition in the summer of 2016.

DefenseAlert - 07/17/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- Lockheed Martin has conducted a flight of the Navy F-35C carrier variant, and all versions of the Joint Strike Fighter are scheduled to resume flight by the end of Thursday, a company spokesman said.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/17/2014

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- The F-35 program's new director of engineering told Inside the Pentagon in his first media interview since joining the program office that his biggest concern is ensuring new software loads are truly ready for operational use before they are released to the fleet.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/17/2014

The Defense Department is eying industry's efforts to produce an economically viable airship in the near future that could help transport goods to hard-to-reach locations in a more cost-effective manner than current airlift capabilities, the head of U.S. Transportation Command told lawmakers in a recent report.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/17/2014

The Pentagon's recently submitted omnibus reprogramming request is seeking more than $150 million for a variety of improvements to its executive transport fleet while attempting to present those upgrades to Congress as extremely urgent and often war-related.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/17/2014

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- A senior Lockheed Martin official told Inside the Pentagon that the company will do everything under its control to make up time lost as a result of the F-35's recent grounding and has done its best during the grounding to prepare fully-built jets for the flights they need to be cleared for delivery to the military services.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/17/2014

The Defense Department intends to sign a $550.9 million memorandum of understanding with Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to conduct initial operational test and evaluation of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, according to a recent letter sent to the Hill.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/17/2014

The Marine Corps and Navy are working with Congress to add funding to their accounts for Joint Strike Fighter concurrency modifications by using money previously earmarked for upgrading the aircraft to a future software block.

DefenseAlert - 07/16/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- The Pentagon's recent decision to ground its entire fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets for the past few weeks will not impact the aircraft's flight test schedule or the Marine Corps F-35B variant's ability to reach initial operational capability next year, military and industry officials told InsideDefense.com here this week.

DefenseAlert - 07/16/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- The Marine Corps obtained a waiver that would have allowed it to bypass the mandatory engine inspections imposed on the Navy and Air Force Joint Strike Fighter fleets and participate in the Farnborough International Air Show this week, but the service decided not to fly the planes across the Atlantic despite that waiver, according to multiple sources.

DefenseAlert - 07/15/2014

Japan's defense ministry has asked the Air Force for price and availability information on the Boeing-built KC-46A, an early step in the country's exploration of candidates for new aerial refueling tanker aircraft, according to U.S. government documents and a Japanese defense official.

DefenseAlert - 07/15/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- The Marine Corps F-35B aircraft will miss the Farnborough International Air Show here this week, the Pentagon announced.

DefenseAlert - 07/15/2014

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has supported an array of Pentagon weapons programs in its $549.3 billion military spending bill for fiscal year 2015, including the Air Force's fleet of A-10 aircraft; the Army's combat vehicle industrial base; and the Navy's modernization of USS George Washington (CVN 73) and fleet of EA-18G Growlers.

DefenseAlert - 07/15/2014

The program office overseeing the Air Force's multibillion-dollar Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization effort has notified industry of its intention to move to a risk-reduction phase by the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.

DefenseAlert - 07/15/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet has been approved to return to flight, although no final decision has been made on whether the Marine Corps' short-takeoff-and-landing version of the aircraft will make it to the Farnborough International Air Show here this week.

DefenseAlert - 07/14/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- The engine failure that has left the entire Joint Strike Fighter fleet grounded for two weeks and counting was an isolated incident caused by excessive rubbing of fan blades in the aircraft's Pratt &Whitney F135 engine, officials said during a media briefing here at the Farnborough International Air Show.

DefenseAlert - 07/11/2014

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- In a joyous but awkwardly timed ceremony, the Marine Corps this week celebrated its lone F-35 training squadron's return to South Carolina -- but a fleetwide grounding that has now stretched into its second week meant no Joint Strike Fighter aircraft have yet been delivered to this base.

Inside the Air Force - 07/11/2014

The Air Force announced on July 10 that it has released a highly anticipated request for proposals for the Long-Range Strike Bomber.

Inside the Air Force - 07/11/2014

After receiving its first upgraded B-52 Stratofortress in April, the 49th Test Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana will spend most of the rest of this year running the aircraft through a thorough testing regime and training the instructors who will prepare operational crews to fly the enhanced bomber.

Inside the Air Force - 07/11/2014

As European nations turn to the United States for assurance that their territories are safe from Russia, the Air Force has been turning to its F-15 fighter wing in the United Kingdom for additional air power.

Inside the Air Force - 07/11/2014

Boeing is in the process of installing an extended-range fuel tank on the Air Force's older-model C-17 Stratotanker aircraft -- a popular retrofit that could be limited in scope due to budget constraints.

DefenseAlert - 07/10/2014

The Marine Corps version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter must leave the United States no later than July 16 to make an appearance at the Farnborough International Airshow in England, according to a defense official.

DefenseAlert - 07/10/2014

A June 23 fire aboard a conventional-variant F-35 Joint Strike Fighter seems to have been caused by an individual issue and is not a systemic flaw, according to the Defense Department's top acquisition officer.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/10/2014

The Pentagon disclosed late on July 3 that the entire Joint Strike Fighter fleet had been grounded as defense officials continue to search for the cause of a June 23 fire aboard a conventional-variant F-35, and that grounding remained in effect as of July 9 -- as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel prepared to visit a Joint Strike Fighter base.

DefenseAlert - 07/07/2014

Northrop Grumman will take the lead in offering the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft, developed by Britain's BAE Systems, as an alternative to meeting the Air Force's requirement for a new trainer aircraft -- known as T-X -- to replace the 40-year-old T-38 Talon, according to a Northrop spokesman.

DefenseAlert - 07/03/2014

The Pentagon disclosed late on July 3 that the entire Joint Strike Fighter fleet has been grounded as defense officials continue to search for the cause of a June 23 fire aboard a conventional-variant F-35.

Inside the Navy - 07/07/2014

More than one-third of the Navy's F/A-18 aircraft fleet is unavailable due to scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on average, including approximately half of the Marine Corps' Hornets, Inside the Navy has learned.

DefenseAlert - 07/03/2014

Norway's parliament has passed a bill to continue the development of the Joint Strike Missile, and the country's defense logistics organization this week signed the first contract for the program's third phase, according to a Norwegian defense official.

DefenseAlert - 07/03/2014

The Marine Corps will not fly an F-35B Joint Striker Fighter in support of the Queen Elizabeth Carrier Naming Ceremony on July 4, service officials said, noting that the aircraft's participation in the ceremony was never officially confirmed.

Inside the Air Force - 07/04/2014

The schedule for delivery of the first light-attack aircraft for the Afghan military has slipped from June to September, the U.S. Air Force confirmed this week.

Inside the Air Force - 07/04/2014

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC -- Despite a heavy rotational presence in war zones and huge variations in the age and flying hours of its C-17 aircraft, the 437th Airlift Wing's leaders believe it to be hugely effective in its current missions and in good shape for the future -- an enviable state for the C-17 program, and one which differentiates it from many other fleets across the Air Force.

Inside the Air Force - 07/04/2014

The Air Force's inventory of more than 1,000 Miniature Air Launched Decoy jammers, which are designed to jam or confuse enemy air defenses, will remain compatible only with the B-52 bomber and F-16 fighter jets for now, but Raytheon has confirmed that it is continuing to pursue efforts that could see the system deployed from a C-130 and MQ-9 Reaper as early as 2015.