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Aircraft

April 22, 2011 | Inside the Navy
ST. LOUIS, MO -- The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program managers for both the Navy and Boeing said here last week they will examine extending the aircraft beyond 9,000 hours, but cautioned that the program wasn't there yet and declined to identify 12,000 hours as a goal despite fiscal year 2012 budget justification documents suggesting that figure.
April 21, 2011 | Daily News

Rising costs over the last year pushed the estimated life-cycle operating and support price tag for the Joint Strike Fighter program over the $1 trillion threshold, the Pentagon told Congress last week in a report, marking a 9 percent increase over the Defense Department's 2010 calculations and bringing the government's forecast of cradle-to-grave cost for the F-35 program to more than $1.3 trillion.

April 21, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department withheld $28 million from Joint Strike Fighter prime contractor Lockheed Martin last year under a program set up to reward contractors for major accomplishments, according to Vice Adm. David Venlet, the F-35's program executive officer. The contractor earned $7 million in bonuses after it met only one of five benchmarks set by the JSF program office.

April 20, 2011 | Daily News

ST. LOUIS, MO -- Several of the nine F-35 Joint Strike Fighter partner nations have reached out to Boeing for information on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick told reporters here today.

Large cost increases and repeated schedule delays have rattled international partners in their support of the F-35 program. Chadwick said "a number of potential F-35 customers have asked for information so that they can make the best decision going forward should they need to go in a different direction.

April 20, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department is redesigning the F-35C's launch bar after discovering last month during a ground test of CF-1 -- the first naval Joint Strike Fighter variant -- that the component did not properly hook up with the aircraft carrier catapult system used to propel fighters into flight, according to a Navy spokesman.

April 15, 2011 | Inside the Navy
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer Vice Adm. David Venlet has been on a whirlwind tour of JSF partner nations to reassure them on the progress of the troubled fifth-generation fighter, and will make visits to the United Kingdom and Denmark later this year, he told reporters at a conference here last week.
April 15, 2011 | Inside the Navy
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The Navy and Boeing are engaged in "very active" efforts to sell the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to a number of countries, and the Navy's recent decision to purchase an additional 41 aircraft helps the program do that, Capt. Mark Darrah, Super Hornet program manager, said here last week at Navy League's annual Sea Air Space conference.
April 15, 2011 | Inside the Navy
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The biggest challenge in aviation is the effort to extend the service lives of legacy F/A-18A-D Hornets to as many as 10,000 hours, top Navy and Marine Corps officials agreed at a conference here last week.
April 14, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department will decide later this year whether to launch an independent review of Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter software development operation, which federal auditors have called for out of concern that F-35 software is behind schedule and facing increasingly complex challenges.

The review is envisioned as similar in scope to far-reaching independent assessments of Lockheed Martin's manufacturing capabilities conducted in 2009 and 2010, which ultimately informed a Pentagon decision to cut back on near-term production plans.

April 08, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The services likely will update their projected initial operational capability time lines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter later this spring, Vice Adm. David Venlet, JSF program executive officer, told Inside the Navy last week.
April 07, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department believes an independent investigation of Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter software development "would be prudent" in light of federal auditors' conclusion in a new report that the F-35's software is "significantly behind schedule as it enters its most challenging phase."

April 06, 2011 | Daily News

The Air Force's B-1 bomber fleet is officially no longer capable of carrying nuclear payloads, in compliance with one of the early stages of the follow-on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed with Russia last year, senior service officials told lawmakers today.

April 05, 2011 | Daily News

Air Force officials are considering a draft memorandum that would help ensure changes are not made to the KC-46A next-generation tanker program without high-level review, according to a top service official.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said today he is considering the memo but would not provide the details of the document's content. The Pentagon awarded Boeing a $3.5 billion contract for the first phase of the Air Force's $30 billion-plus tanker program on Feb. 24.

April 04, 2011 | Daily News

Richard Lugar (R-IN), the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is pressing the State Department to act on Taiwan's longstanding request to purchase U.S.-built F-16C/D fighter aircraft, "an urgent matter" that, if rejected, could leave Taipei in the next decade with "no credible air-to-air capability."

April 01, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Marine Corps fleet of EA-6B Prowlers will be made up entirely of the latest "ICAP 3" versions by the end of the calendar year, and will have a full fleet of 32 of the aircraft by 2014, according to a Marine official.
March 31, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

In a bid to retire 22 aging C-5 transport planes and avoid nearly $800 million in maintenance costs through fiscal year 2016, the Defense Department is asking Congress to repeal a statutory requirement that keeps 316 strategic airlift planes in the Air Force.

March 30, 2011 | Daily News

The Air Force calculates its contribution to the two-week effort to impose a no-fly zone over Libya is about $50 million, less than a tenth of the $550 million estimate the Office of the Secretary of Defense today disclosed for Operation Odyssey Dawn, according to a senior Air Force official.

March 29, 2011 | Daily News

The price tag for the Pentagon's $1.7 trillion weapon system acquisition portfolio has jumped $135 billion -- 9 percent -- over the last two years, with nearly half of the projected increase attributable to the 10 largest Defense Department programs, including the Joint Strike Fighter, the CVN-21 aircraft carrier and the DDG-51 destroyer program, according to the Government Accountability Office.

March 25, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Three Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft remain grounded after a generator completely failed during a test flight, a problem that, combined with a lack of an initial operational capability target, represent worrisome issues for the program, according to two aviation analysts.
March 25, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy will slash 274 billets and save $211 million over the next five years by consolidating EP-3 (VQ) and special projects patrol (VPU) squadrons as part of Defense Secretary Robert Gates' efficiencies initiative, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

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