Saturday, August 30, 2014
Aircraft
News on the F-22, Joint Strike Fighter, the future tanker and more aircraft programs
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.

DefenseAlert - 08/15/2014

The State Department has confirmed that site preparations at Iraq's Balad Air Base for the delivery of the country's first F-16 fighter jets have been placed on hold as the scheduled delivery date nears and the security situation in the country worsens.

Inside the Air Force - 08/15/2014

As the Air Force looks to a post-Afghanistan era marked by geopolitical instability and the potential for conflict across a wide range of operating environments, air-land training exercises such as Green Flag are evolving along with the threat to become "more difficult and integrated," according to the 549th Combat Training Squadron commander.

Inside the Air Force - 08/15/2014

After completing a refresh of the T-X analysis of alternatives, Air Education and Training Command leadership is working to refine requirements for the next-generation trainer family of systems and to communicate those requirements to industry.

Inside the Air Force - 08/15/2014

As the Air Force awaits congressional authorization, however unlikely, to reduce its E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System fleet by seven aircraft in fiscal year 2015, NATO is also running the numbers to determine whether it should retire three of its 17 AWACS jets.

Inside the Air Force - 08/15/2014

The Air Force is two-thirds finished installing automatic backup oxygen systems on its F-22 fleet -- an upgrade pursued after a series of hypoxia-like events occurred in the Raptor cockpit.

DefenseAlert - 08/14/2014

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft are now able to fly up to six hours between engine inspections for weapons testing and aerial refueling missions, according to a spokesman from the JSF joint program office.

DefenseAlert - 08/12/2014

Saudi Arabia wants to upgrade the mission computing systems of its five E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft to the Block 40/45 configuration -- a decision that could help lower the total cost of the upgrade for the United States, France and Japan.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

Congress has repeatedly instructed the Air Force to spend the funds it has appropriated for the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program despite the service's desire to cancel the effort.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

The NATO aircraft keeping watch over Europe are in line for a major modernization, with Boeing announcing this week that it has received a $250 million contract to move NATO's E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System cockpit and avionics upgrade from development to production and retrofit.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, VA -- The integration of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into the Air Force fleet will not have a significant near-term impact on F-22 pilots; it will, however, impact F-22 maintainers, particularly those with expertise in low-observable materials.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

As the Defense Department increases its partnership with militaries in East Africa, the need for mobility units such as the 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron has grown as well, the squadron's commander told Inside the Air Force this week.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

After asking Congress for permission to divest the U-2 spy plane, the Air Force is delivering an upgrade to the aircraft's primary intelligence-gathering tool, the Senior Year Electro-optical Reconnaissance System-2B multispectral long-range imagery sensor.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

As Congress decides whether to wholly fund the Air Force's Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization effort or chop $63 million from the budget request and force an examination of the proposed acquisition strategy, the service this week said its concept for a next-generation JSTARS aircraft to replace the E-8C fleet would ultimately save $11 billion.

DefenseAlert - 08/06/2014

Boeing has been contracted to upgrade 13 NATO Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, the company announced this week. The upgrades are due to be delivered through 2018, by which time the NATO fleet will draw down from 17 to 14 aircraft, which includes the one aircraft currently undergoing modernization and testing.

Inside the Army - 08/04/2014

The Army is seeking industry feedback on draft specifications for the upgraded version of its aerial intelligence gathering system's sensor payloads.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, VA -- Although a second round of sequestration in fiscal year 2016 would likely mean reduced flying hours and could slow the pace of several ongoing F-22 Raptor fleet modernization efforts, the commander of the 1st Fighter Wing here said this week that lessons learned in FY-13 have helped prepare the wing to maintain some level of readiness even when budgets are constrained.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

Air Education and Training Command is working with industry and the T-1A Jayhawk program office to develop a plan for the future of the mobility training platform, but the command is holding off on revealing details pending the passage of defense spending legislation.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

As the United States responds to a growing number of crises sprouting up across Africa, Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe, the demand for quick-reaction aerial refueling is keeping members of the 100th Air Refueling Wing at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in England busy.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC -- Air Force officials across the service's active-duty and reserve components should realize that as the war in Afghanistan draws down, funding will have to be set aside for training events now performed as part of operational missions, according to a reserve wing commander here.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

Despite recent setbacks for the F-35 program stemming from an engine fire that led to the fleet's grounding last month, the outgoing head of Air Combat Command is looking ahead to what his team must do to prepare for the introduction of the Joint Strike Fighter into the combat fleet beyond 2016.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

The installation of protected communications terminals aboard B-2 and B-52 nuclear bomber aircraft remains a "validated requirement" for the Air Force, according to the service's space system acquisition center, despite its decision not to fund that work today.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/31/2014

Because more research is needed to determine whether sustained-gravity tactical flight training simulators would be an effective way to train for high-G environments, the Defense Department believes devoting resources to this arena would be "premature," a senior Pentagon official told lawmakers in a recent report.

DefenseAlert - 07/30/2014

Flight restrictions remain for Joint Strike Fighter operational aircraft until an engine investigation wraps up, but limits have been removed for test aircraft, according to the F-35 joint program office.

DefenseAlert - 07/29/2014

The outgoing head of Air Combat Command this week questioned the public's "love affair" with unmanned aircraft and talked up the capability of the manned U-2 spy plane, which the Air Force wants to retire.

DefenseAlert - 07/29/2014

The Air Force remains on track to release a request for proposals for the development and production of a new fleet of presidential aircraft before the end of the year, according to a service official.

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 Marillyn 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.