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Aircraft

March 20, 2012 | Daily News

Air Force leadership will meet with Defense Department personnel on Friday to discuss a plan put forth by the Council of Governors that would modify the service's fiscal year 2013 defense budget request and address what the council says are significant differences with respect to manpower reductions, fighter aircraft and airlift needs.

March 20, 2012 | Daily News

The Pentagon's acquisition executive appears set to approve the milestone B decision on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program within the next few days, Vice Adm. David Venlet, JSF program executive officer, told reporters on Capitol Hill today.

March 16, 2012 | Inside the Navy
The Navy is asking Congress to add a fifth year to the multiyear procurement deal for F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to further stabilize the program as the service anticipates a strike fighter shortfall in the coming years -- with the request being one of several the Navy included in a set of Defense Department legislative proposals sent to Capitol Hill in recent days.
March 16, 2012 | Inside the Navy
The Defense Department intends to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Department of Defence for cooperation in production, sustainment and a follow-on development project for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, according to a letter submitted to the congressional defense committees last month.
March 16, 2012 | Inside the Army

An initial
capabilities document for a fleet of utility aircraft that would replace all of
the Army's short-range C-12s could be approved as early as this summer,
according to service officials.

March 16, 2012 | Inside the Army

The Army is
working to improve airdrop technology in order to preserve options for
resupplying hard-to-reach places following the cancellation of the C-27J
aircraft the service has been using for that purpose, service officials said.

March 16, 2012 | Daily News

The Air Force used what it terms a "sweet spot" risk balance strategy as a way to gauge how many aircraft it needs to support the Obama administration's new national security strategy, a service official said today.

The new national security strategy moves away from the premise of being able to fight two wars nearly simultaneously and places a greater emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.

March 16, 2012 | Daily News

The Pentagon wants Congress to alter a law designed to give preference to unmanned systems so that either manned systems or drones could be considered to fill capability requirements.

In a new legislative proposal obtained by InsideDefense.com, the Defense Department also wants to do away with the law's requirement that DOD certify an unmanned system is incapable of meeting program requirements when developing a manned system.

March 16, 2012 | Daily News

The Defense Department is again asking Congress for permission to scrap a statutory requirement mandating that the Air Force and Navy draw up long-term aircraft procurement plans annually for lawmakers, suggesting instead that they should prepare the assessments once every four years.

March 15, 2012 | Daily News

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos -- who spearheaded a successful campaign to lift the termination threat from the Joint Strike Fighter short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant in January -- faced tough questioning about the scope of the F-35 program's cost overruns during a Senate hearing today.

March 14, 2012 | Daily News

Yielding to concerns raised by the Pentagon's top weapons tester, who last fall said the conventional-takeoff-and-landing Joint Strike Fighter variant should be vetted further before transitioning to flight training, the Air Force has adopted a plan to accumulate additional flight hours that could delay training many months beyond the service's previous goal, according to DOD officials.

March 09, 2012 | Daily News

With the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft-carrier variant expected to miss a key performance parameter related to its maximum allowable landing speed, the Pentagon recently adjusted F-35C fuel storage calculations to ensure the aircraft met a critical operational requirement, according to Defense Department officials.

The alteration follows two other changes to the JSF key performance parameters in recent weeks, collectively allowing all three F-35 variants to avoid failing grades on high-profile performance targets unique to each design.

March 09, 2012 | Inside the Army

Several
Senate Armed Services Committee members last week said they were confused about
why the Army decided to go along with the Air Force's decision to divest its
C-27J airlifters, which the Army has praised for their performance in theater.

March 09, 2012 | Daily News

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program will experience temporary cost growth in the short term due to a deferment of 179 aircraft over the future years defense plan, Vice Adm. David Venlet, JSF program executive officer, said today at a conference in Arlington, VA, hosted by Credit Suisse.

"We have shared with [international partners] pricing adjustments due to the 179 quantity move," Venlet said. "I have no indications that anyone's thinking about leaving the program."

March 08, 2012 | Inside the Pentagon

The Defense Department's inspector general has launched a new review of the quality management system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

March 07, 2012 | Daily News

(Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that a March 6 F-35A flight at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, was a pilot training flight; it was the start of a pre-flight training phase. Also, the F-35 program office, not the director of operational test and evaluation, requested the F-35A operational utility evaluation. The story has been updated accordingly.)

March 06, 2012 | Daily News

The Defense Department's inspector general has launched a new review of the quality management system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The assessment will be performed at Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and "various subcontractors," according to a Feb. 13 letter to the F-35 program executive office from Randolph Stone, head of the IG's policy-and-oversight shop. InsideDefense.com obtained a copy of the letter.

March 05, 2012 | Daily News

The Navy has begun "pre-milestone A activities" for an aircraft platform -- or a collection of manned or unmanned platforms -- that will replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, according to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

In written testimony submitted prior to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee's March 1 hearing on the Navy budget, Mabus acknowledged that the Navy will need to replace its Super Hornet fleet in the far term, and initial activities "are underway to define the follow-on F/A-XX aircraft."

March 02, 2012 | Inside the Navy
Lockheed Martin has no plans to lengthen the tailhook on the Navy carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter despite a Defense Department report that indicated the aircraft was failing to reliably catch the arresting cable on a carrier deck, Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed vice president for F-35 business development, told Inside the Navy Feb. 29.
March 02, 2012 | Inside the Navy
The Navy will face a strike fighter shortfall of less than 65 aircraft for more than 16 years, but Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told Inside the Navy last week that mitigation measures and changing assumptions will allow the Navy to manage the shortfall without negatively affecting fleet operations.

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