Saturday, December 20, 2014
Aircraft
News on the F-22, Joint Strike Fighter, the future tanker and more aircraft programs
DefenseAlert - 12/19/2014

As the Air Force begins to assess the language in the still-pending fiscal year 2015 defense policy bill, it is looking closely at provisions related to legacy C-130 aircraft upgrades so that it can work to make the platform compliant with changing Federal Aviation Administration requirements, according to the director of the Air National Guard.

Inside the Air Force - 12/19/2014

The National Guard Association of the United States expects the Air Force will put the A-10 retirement and C-130 fleet reductions back on the agenda for fiscal year 2016, although those force adjustments will probably be more conciliatory and include sweeteners for the Reserve Component, including the possibility of more C-17 cargo aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 12/19/2014

The impending passage of the fiscal year 2015 defense policy bill is forcing Air Combat Command to re-visit a plan to transfer MC-12W Liberty aircraft to special operations forces.

Inside the Air Force - 12/19/2014

The Air Force has firmed up its strategy for replacing the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System with a smaller and more efficient aircraft after securing funding from Congress.

Inside the Air Force - 12/19/2014

The F-35 joint program office hit its highest-yet aircraft availability rate of 54 percent in November, and program officials are working with stakeholders to identify risks and to sustain that rate as much as possible as the program moves forward through the development process.

Inside the Air Force - 12/19/2014

After a six-month delay caused by unexpected engineering challenges, the Air Force and Boeing are aiming to put the first non-militarized KC-46 Pegasus, the 767-2c, in the air by Dec. 28 -- a crucial step toward moving forward with the program's testing phase.

DefenseAlert - 12/17/2014

The F-35 joint program office announced Dec. 17 that Australia and Japan will host the aircraft's first airframe depot maintenance facility and Australia will host the first engine maintenance facility, which will be established no later than 2018.

DefenseAlert - 12/15/2014

The Air Force expects the development price tag for the KC-46 tanker will outpace the contract's ceiling by more than $1.4 billion -- an increase of about $441 million over last year's projections.

DefenseAlert - 12/15/2014

The Marine Corps will complete all Joint Strike Fighter life limited retrofit modifications that expire within the next 10 years and all capability retrofit modifications that are required to meet mission sets before declaring the jets operational, according to a service spokesman.

DefenseAlert - 12/15/2014

Lawmakers have established a new budget line in the Pentagon's fiscal year 2015 budget for a next-generation Navy fighter, providing $4.7 million in seed money in anticipation that the service will soon begin a program to develop a replacement for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-18G Growler sometime in the 2030s.

Inside the Navy - 12/15/2014

The $1.1 trillion fiscal year 2015 omnibus spending bill Congress has fashioned reflects major discrepancies between appropriations and authorization committees regarding the way ahead for the Navy, with appropriators adding more than $1 billion for additional F/A-18G Growlers and zeroing out funding for the Littoral Combat Ship's Remote Minehunting System.

Inside the Army - 12/15/2014

A fiscal year 2015 omnibus spending bill released last week was slated to put a dent in Army efforts to build a fleet of Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System aircraft, cutting the program by more than $55 million.

Inside the Army - 12/15/2014

Eight of the Army's remaining C-23 Sherpa transport aircraft likely will be given to the Philippines, Estonia and Djibouti as excess defense articles, according to an Army spokeswoman.

Inside the Air Force - 12/12/2014

The Air Force is considering a plan to provide Wideband Global Satellite Communication capability on the B-2 and could launch an engineering and manufacturing development program by fiscal year 2016, according to a request for information released this week.

Inside the Air Force - 12/12/2014

As Congress moves to prevent the Air Force from retiring the U-2 and postpone spending on Global Hawk modifications, the service confirmed this week it does not want to convert the high-altitude spy plane into an optionally-manned aircraft -- as proposed by the original manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Inside the Air Force - 12/12/2014

The F-35 joint program office on Dec. 11 announced that Turkey and Italy will host the first engine and airframe depot maintenance facilities, which will be stood up in the 2018 time frame.

Inside the Air Force - 12/12/2014

The Air Force has commissioned a series of studies to find a suitable replacement for the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft while describing its decision to almost halve the airborne electronic attack fleet starting in fiscal year 2016 as an "extreme measure" with inherent risk, forced by a constrained budget.

DefenseAlert - 12/10/2014

The fiscal year 2015 omnibus spending bill released by Congress this week would bridge the Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter program's $100 million funding gap, add $479 million to buy four additional F-35s, and provide $125 million for an extra competitive space launch, according to a summary of the compromise legislation.

DefenseAlert - 12/10/2014

The $1.1 trillion fiscal year 2015 spending bill Congress has fashioned reflects major discrepancies between the appropriations and authorization committees regarding the way ahead for the Navy.

DefenseAlert - 12/05/2014

The Navy has confirmed its plans to integrate the developmental Small Diameter Bomb Increment II weapon system with the F/A-18 Super Hornet independent of the integration schedule for the F-35.

Inside the Navy - 12/08/2014

The Navy's Joint Strike Fighter sea trials wrapped up three days early because there was not enough wind gust to complete some of the test points, according to a Lockheed Martin executive.

Inside the Air Force - 12/05/2014

A defense authorization conference bill released this week includes language that would block the Air Force from canceling the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program unless it can justify that an alternative upgrade is required to meet new Federal Aviation Administration mandates.

Inside the Air Force - 12/05/2014

The F-35 deputy program executive officer said this week that all of the program's test aircraft have returned to flying their full flight envelope and restrictions have eased for operational aircraft.

Inside the Air Force - 12/05/2014

The Air Force is exploring the possibility of developing a very light jet to replace its T-1A trainer and C-21 airlifter, according to a request for information released this week.

Inside the Air Force - 12/05/2014

The Air Force and Office of the Secretary of Defense are going back to the drawing board to figure out how to support both the manned U-2 and unmanned Global Hawk spy planes after Congress moved to block the service's U-2 retirement plan through a provision in the compromise defense policy bill for fiscal year 2015.

Inside the Air Force - 12/05/2014

House and Senate negotiators have developed a compromise defense authorization bill that would provide the Air Force with an additional $334 million to keep the A-10 Warthog flying through fiscal year 2015.

Inside the Air Force - 12/05/2014

After conducting two rounds of market research, the Air Force is moving ahead with the Presidential Aircraft Replacement program with a request for proposals due in calendar year 2015 and an airframe purchase in fiscal year 2016, a service spokesman confirmed this week.

DefenseAlert - 12/03/2014

Lockheed Martin is working with the F-35 joint program office on what benefits international customers would receive if they participate in a block buy, according to a company executive.

DefenseAlert - 12/03/2014

The F-35 Joint Program Office is anticipating its life-cycle sustainment cost estimate will drop 15 percent over last year's projection to approximately $780 billion.

DefenseAlert - 12/03/2014

The main hurdle facing the Marine Corps to declare its version of the Joint Strike Fighter operational is installing software into its training aircraft, according to a top F-35 official.

DefenseAlert - 12/03/2014

The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System replacement and the next-generation trainer aircraft will likely be the Air Force's first two programs to put new acquisition reforms into practice, service Secretary Deborah Lee James told a Wall Street investment conference Dec. 2.

DefenseAlert - 12/01/2014

Joint Strike Fighter manufacturer Lockheed Martin received a $556 million Thanksgiving gift last week with the Defense Department announcing two separate contracts for F-35 modifications, services, spare parts and support equipment.

Inside the Navy - 12/01/2014

The Marine Corps plans to have its MV-22 Osprey capable of refueling the next-generation Joint Strike Fighter in mid-air during the summer of 2017, according to a service spokesman.

Inside the Air Force - 11/28/2014

The technologies being inserted into Raytheon's Griffin C missile to meet Navy requirements are directly transferable to the A- and B-model Griffin missiles the Air Force buys for its C-130W Stringer II gunship, the company told Inside the Air Force this week.

Inside the Air Force - 11/28/2014

The Air Force no longer has an office dedicated to flight-testing alternative fuels for fleet certification, but the Air Force Research Laboratory continues to examine and test alternative fuel blends in partnership with industry and international allies.

DefenseAlert - 11/25/2014

The Japanese Ministry of Defense has announced the selection of Northrop Grumman's E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and RQ-4B Global Hawk to meet its military modernization requirements. The country has also decided to procure the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.

DefenseAlert - 11/24/2014

The British government remains "on target" for achieving F-35 operational capability from land bases in 2018 with the signing of a contract for four B-variant combat jets, the country's chief of defence materiel, Bernard Gray, confirmed in a Nov. 24 statement.

DefenseAlert - 11/21/2014

The Defense Department has awarded F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin its eighth low-rate initial production contract, valued at $4.7 billion for 43 airframes, according to a Nov. 21 press release from the joint program office.

Inside the Navy - 11/24/2014

The first official class of Joint Strike Fighter transition pilots is in session at a Marine Corps base in South Carolina where the students will be able to perform short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing operations more easily than at their previous Air Force training base in Florida, according to Marine Corps officials.

Inside the Navy - 11/24/2014

NORFOLK, VA -- The amphibious ship the Marine Corps will use for Joint Strike Fighter shipboard operational testing will come out of maintenance "shortly" and testing will be begin in May, according to a Navy official.

Inside the Air Force - 11/21/2014

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, VA -- To meet the growing demand for intelligence data related to operations in Iraq and Syria, the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing here has been improving its ability to fuze data from multiple sources -- to include data from in-theater aircraft.

Inside the Navy - 11/17/2014

The F-35 Joint Program Office intends to issue Lockheed Martin up to six orders totaling about $15 million for support studies on topics such as software development and weapons integration, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.

Inside the Air Force - 11/14/2014

Boeing is moving aggressively to secure selection to build the next presidential aircraft after almost 30 years of supporting the Air Force's two VC-35As, better known as Air Force One, and has put together an undisclosed industry team ahead of a possible request for proposals release this month.

Inside the Air Force - 11/14/2014

The program manager overseeing the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization effort has said any future aircraft must have a modular, open system architecture design with non-proprietary interfaces to ensure future competition.

DefenseAlert - 11/13/2014

Republican leaders on the House and Senate Armed Services committees said this week they do not support the Air Force's recent proposal to retire 72 A-10s in fiscal year 2015 instead of the 110 proposed in its FY-15 budget request sent to Congress earlier this year.

Inside the Pentagon - 11/13/2014

The Pentagon's advanced research arm is seeking help from industry and research labs to determine the feasibility and value of having large aircraft launch and recover a number of small unmanned aircraft systems.

DefenseAlert - 11/11/2014

The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is looking to industry for vehicles capable of being transported in military aircraft.

DefenseAlert - 11/11/2014

After months of uncertainty, the U.S. government has decided to temporarily base Iraq's first three F-16 fighter jets in Tucson, AZ, to support the pilot training mission there.

DefenseAlert - 11/10/2014

The Air Force is floating to lawmakers a compromise proposal to retire 72 A-10s in fiscal year 2015 -- a move that would allow the service to shift some Warthog personnel to support the F-35A's 2016 initial operational capability requirement for 1,100 maintainers.

Inside the Navy - 11/10/2014

Future request for proposals issued by Naval Air Systems Command will include requirements for open system architectures, according to the NAVAIR commander.