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Aircraft

May 19, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon's top arms buyer today called current cost projections for the Joint Strike Fighter "unaffordable," triggering a bipartisan group of senators to demand a Defense Department contingency plan for how tactical air forces would be modernized should the F-35 program collapse under the weight of its forecasted $1.3 trillion price tag.

May 19, 2011 | Daily News

Two lawmakers with a key role in shaping Pentagon budgets today signaled growing impatience with what they called the "jaw-dropping" cost growth in the Joint Strike Fighter program, warning senior Defense Department officials that the projected $1.3 trillion price tag to develop, procure and operate F-35s must be reined in or face a congressional budget ax.

May 19, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

An upcoming Defense Department review could soon restore a key milestone for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program amid rising costs while advancing plans for another low-rate production contract.

May 17, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department is poised to consider reinstating as soon as next week a pivotal acquisition certification for the Joint Strike Fighter program -- formally revoked last June in the wake of runaway cost estimates -- as well as establishing new schedule and cost targets for the remainder of system development and continuing F-35 low-rate production.

May 13, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment last week in its mark of the fiscal year 2012 defense authorization bill that would restrict the Navy from spending money on a service life extension program for aging legacy F/A-18A-D Hornets until the service submits a business case analysis justifying the move.
May 13, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy will revisit its Joint Strike Fighter F-35B/C production capacity of 50 aircraft per year as the service deals with a looming strike fighter gap later this decade, according to the Defense Department's updated 30-year aircraft procurement plan for the Air Force and the Navy, obtained by Inside the Navy.
May 12, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon's acquisition shop has exempted the Air Force's KC-46A tanker program from fulfilling three statutory certifications required for all big-ticket procurements proceeding into engineering and manufacturing development, signaling in part the Defense Department's confidence that Boeing can deliver the new aerial refueling platform at low-to-moderate risk.

May 11, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department is asking Congress for permission to draw up a long-term aircraft procurement plan once every four years, in concert with the Quadrennial Defense Review -- a move that would require scrapping the current statutory requirement dictating that the Navy and Air Force prepare such assessments annually.

May 10, 2011 | Daily News

The Navy will revisit its Joint Strike Fighter F-35B/C production capacity of 50 aircraft per year as the service deals with a looming strike fighter gap later this decade, according to the Defense Department's updated 30-year aircraft procurement plan for the Air Force and the Navy, obtained by Inside the Navy.

May 09, 2011 | Daily News

A House panel has called on the Defense Department to preserve items related to the Joint Strike Fighter's second engine to allow for the resumption of work on the propulsion system "after a period of idleness."

May 04, 2011 | Daily News

A House panel has proposed legislation that would require a competitive engine acquisition strategy for the Air Force's next-generation, long-range strike program, which could open up a new battle between lawmakers and the Pentagon over dueling jet engines.

The proposed acquisition strategy, called for in the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee's mark of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2012 authorization bill, says the new bomber's main propulsion system should be established as a major subprogram.

May 04, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department estimates that EADS North America's decision to compete in the Air Force's aerial refueling tanker aircraft program against Boeing, which won the competition in February,  generated unit-cost savings of at least 20 percent, wringing as much as $4 billion from estimated program costs compared to the 2008 tanker contest.

May 03, 2011 | Daily News

A House Armed Services subcommittee today moved to prohibit the Joint Strike Fighter program from spending money to improve the performance of its primary engine unless it also obligates funds for a second engine, potentially keeping the "alternate engine" alive even after it was voted down by the House in February and officially killed by the Defense Department last week.

May 02, 2011 | Daily News

The Air Force plans this month to seek permission from Pentagon acquisition leaders to proceed with the full-rate production phase of the $2.2 billion C-27J program, formerly called the Joint Cargo Aircraft, according to documents submitted to Congress.

The new blueprint for the program calls for the government -- not contractors, as previously planned -- to maintain the aircraft, an adjustment that will add $335 million in life-time sustainment costs.

April 29, 2011 | Inside the Navy
STRATFORD, CT -- The Navy is working on getting the MH-60 helicopter to communicate and operate better with assets that perform similar jobs, such as the P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft and MQ-8B Fire Scout drone, officials told Inside the Navy here at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation headquarters last week.
April 29, 2011 | Inside the Navy
STRATFORD, CT -- Naval Air Systems Command is focused mainly on flight tests of the troubled Marine Corps short-take-off, vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B, which appears to be "doing better," Rear Adm. Paul Grosklags, NAVAIR's vice commander, told Inside the Navy at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation headquarters here last week.
April 26, 2011 | Daily News

Lockheed Martin stands to earn as much as $52.5 million in 2011 if it can meet five key benchmarks associated with the Joint Strike Fighter's development schedule, the company's chief executive officer said today.

Speaking via teleconference about the company's first-quarter earnings report, Robert Stevens, Lockheed Martin's CEO, said the company has been challenged by the F-35 program to achieve five major developmental milestones in 2011 under a new incentive-compensation system.

April 26, 2011 | Daily News

Joint Strike Fighter lead contractor Lockheed Martin has submitted its contract proposal for the fifth production lot of the F-35, the first step in a contracting process likely to last through the summer and into the fall.

Vice Adm. David Venlet, the F-35 program executive officer, told reporters last Thursday that delivery of Lockheed's low-rate initial production lot 5 (LRIP 5) contract proposal was “imminent,” and Mike Ryan, Lockheed's F-35 communications director, confirmed to Inside the Air Force this morning that the bid was submitted on Monday (April 25).

April 25, 2011 | Daily News

Multibillion-dollar efforts to build nuclear ballistic missile submarines, Army vehicles and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will spearhead a new Defense Department initiative challenging program managers to deliver weapons under budget.

April 25, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department has managed to shave more than $3 billion from the estimated cost to develop and acquire the Joint Strike Fighter through 2035 despite recent decisions to add $4.6 billion to development efforts and push the procurement of 246 aircraft decades into the future.

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