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Aircraft

February 17, 2021

The Air Force is working with the Pentagon's cost assessment office to consider options for a future tactical fighter aircraft mix -- one of which is buying a clean-sheet, "4.5-generation" fighter with an open mission systems architecture to help the service counter low-end threats.

February 11, 2021

Despite continued interest overseas, the COVID-19 pandemic is placing pressure on the foreign military sale program for Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 70/72 variant -- slowing down negotiations with new customers and work at the new production line in South Carolina, according to multiple sources who spoke with Inside Defense.

February 10, 2021

A new RAND study of the Air Force's training range investment plan found that funding advanced capability upgrades would have a greater effect on readiness if the service also re-stationed certain fighter squadrons to provide greater access to high-end ranges.

February 2, 2021

The Air Force has resolved two new KC-46 Category 1 deficiencies involving the auxiliary power unit, the commander of Air Mobility Command told reporters Monday, emphasizing that the service is working closely with Boeing to make progress on remaining development issues.

January 14, 2021

A new report from the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation labels the F-35 joint program office's test schedule for the Operational Data Integration Network "high risk" and questions the program's ability to deliver a fully functional system by this September.

January 13, 2021

The Pentagon's chief weapons tester says the government needs to spend the next 10 years updating weapons testing processes and infrastructure, paying special attention to space and cyber capabilities.

December 31, 2020

The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System program will soon begin testing a new key engine component and install updated pylons on the E-8C aircraft as part of a broader effort to mitigate the 1960s-era jet's many sustainment challenges.

December 17, 2020

After a successful demonstration this fall, the F-35 Joint Program Office is negotiating an installation plan to integrate the new Operational Data Integration Network at operational sites, beginning in late 2021.

December 16, 2020

The Air Force made a significant breakthrough in advancing human-machine teaming Tuesday when an artificial intelligence algorithm operated a U-2 Dragon Lady's sensor and navigation systems during a flight demonstration -- the first time AI has controlled any part of an aircraft in U.S. military history.

December 4, 2020

The final version of the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill limits the Air Force's near-term plans to retire some legacy aircraft, but moves away from provisions included in earlier drafts that would have set minimum aircraft levels for major mission areas.

December 3, 2020

A national commission reviewing aviation safety across the Defense Department is recommending the creation of a Joint Safety Council that would report directly to the deputy defense secretary and be tasked with coordinating service-level safety centers' risk-mitigation efforts and bringing crucial decision-making data to top Pentagon leaders.

December 2, 2020

Russian military aircraft activity near the United States and Canada has sharply increased this year, prompting North American Aerospace and Defense Command to scramble 14 times since January on intercept missions -- more than twice the annual average and one shy of the post-Cold War peak of 15 Russian sorties in 2014, according to recently declassified information.

November 25, 2020

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is calling the Air Force's decision this week to reveal four preferred alternative Air National Guard C-130J bases -- including one in Georgia -- a politically motivated move that muddies the service's strategic basing process.

November 24, 2020

The head of Air Force acquisition said today he expects the service would see "immediate improvement" in its readiness rates if it were authorized to retire older aircraft as proposed in its fiscal year 2021 budget request.

November 24, 2020

The Air Force has completed its evaluation of Boeing's interim KC-46 remote vision system upgrade pitch and plans to integrate "a few capabilities" as it works toward replacing the existing system, service acquisition executive Will Roper told reporters today.

November 19, 2020

In a new survey of 46 Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, the Government Accountability Office found that only three met their mission-capable goals in most fiscal years between FY-11 and FY-19 -- demonstrating the readiness and cost implications of the military's aging aircraft fleet.

November 10, 2020

A congressional panel is seeking more information from the Navy secretary about the consequences of shutting down the F/A-18 Super Hornet production line.

November 10, 2020

Senate appropriators want more visibility into the F-35 follow-on modernization strategy and are directing the joint program office to provide more details on its plans in future budget requests.

November 9, 2020

Initial operational capability for the Navy's Joint Precision Approach and Landing System on aircraft carriers has been delayed three months due to an issue that arose during operational testing this fall, a Navy spokeswoman told Inside Defense Monday.

October 29, 2020

The Defense Department this week disclosed a significant new hypersonic project that is tailored to potentially outfit naval aviators with an ultrafast cruise missile -- particularly F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters operating from aircraft carriers -- that aims to advance a Boeing concept for a dual-mode scramjet design.

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