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Aircraft

January 28, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy wants to run its aircraft and ships on 100 percent biofuel but cannot because the fuel is not a proper detergent for the engines, a problem the service wants industry's help in solving, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said during a Jan. 25 clean energy conference in Washington.
January 27, 2011 | Daily News

Delivering another major blow to the Air Force's star-crossed KC-X tanker program, a bipartisan group of seven senators has called for the Pentagon's inspector general to investigate the service's inadvertent release of bid evaluation to rival contractors last year.

An IG investigation could delay the selection of a winner in the $35 billion competition, which could come as soon as next month, though many believe March is more realistic. DOD IG investigations froze source-selection activities during the service's now-defunct Combat Search-and-Rescue Helicopter program.

January 27, 2011 | Daily News

Few new details about the Air Force's inadvertent disclosure of KC-X evaluation data to rival contractors emerged today during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the snafu.

The hearing essentially gave supporters of Boeing and EADS -- the two bidders in the $35 billion competition -- a chance to debate a number of political issues surrounding the contract, and not the Nov. 22, 2010, incident in which the Air Force mistakenly shipped disks containing information about its evaluation of each offeror's aircraft to the wrong parties.

January 26, 2011 | Daily News

Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter today praised U.S. fighter aircraft competing to win a multibillion-dollar contract in India, adding he will soon make his first visit there as under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Noting that India's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition for 126 aircraft -- worth more than $10 billion -- is under way, Carter said advocates of the two U.S. candidates -- the F-16 and the F/A-18E/F -- have already made their case.

January 25, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon has cut $6.9 billion from F-35 Joint Strike Fighter procurement accounts over the next five years after deciding to push 124 aircraft outside the future years defense plan while it works to put the program back on track, according to the joint program office.

January 21, 2011 | Inside the Navy
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The continuing resolution Congress passed last month that funds the government at fiscal year 2010 levels has the potential to jeopardize the in-service date of the P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, an issue the program is currently examining, the program manager told Inside the Navy last week.
January 21, 2011 | Inside the Navy
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The Navy has dug out of the operational hole that was created when the service grounded a quarter of the P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft fleet in December 2007, according to Capt. Mike Moran, P-8A Poseidon program manager.
January 21, 2011 | Inside the Navy
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The Navy will release a request for proposals for the anti-submarine weapon guidance platform slated for the P-8A Poseidon "in the next month or so," and the system's initial operational capability is now slated for 2016, according to Capt. Mike Moran, P-8 program manager.
January 21, 2011 | Inside the Navy
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft program is 99 percent complete with testing its radar, and the program plans to take the aircraft onto a carrier in February, the program manager said last week.
January 21, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The $4.6 billion the Pentagon will use to fund system development and demonstration for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to its completion in 2016 will come entirely from the savings the Defense Department realized by removing 124 airplanes from the future years defense plan, according to the JSF joint program office.
January 14, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Like amphibious ships, the CVN-78 Gerald Ford-class aircraft carrier is also facing difficulties integrating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which are slated to serve on carrier decks for decades, according to the Defense Department's Operational Test and Evaluation annual report for fiscal year 2010.
January 14, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy is "very comfortable" with its ability to mitigate a projected fighter aircraft shortfall despite further delays in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program due to actions taken in the upcoming fiscal year 2012 president's budget request, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead told Inside the Navy last week.
January 14, 2011 | Inside the Navy
A year after the Pentagon's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation declared the EA-18G operationally effective but not operationally suitable, the Defense Department's top tester found that problems persist with the platform although it has shown improvement.
January 13, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Congress is urging the Pentagon to revamp a decades-old agreement concerning military briefings on mishap safety investigations to let key lawmakers have access to technical experts during the sensitive sessions.

January 12, 2011 | Daily News

The Air Force does not expect a congressional investigation into the service's inadvertent disclosure of KC-X tanker evaluation documents to hinder its plans for a much-anticipated contract award expected in the coming months, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said this morning.

“I don't think the hearing issue is connected to our source-selection process,” Donley said at an Air Force Association-sponsored breakfast this morning.

January 12, 2011 | Daily News

The go-to-war date for the Air Force version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is likely to slip even further as the Pentagon restructures the program yet again, a senior defense official said today.

Asked whether the initial operational capability date for the JSF would be delayed, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said: “I think that's implied with the additional dollars and time required in system development. Details to follow.” His comments came during a speech at an Air Force Association-sponsored breakfast in Arlington, VA.

January 07, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon yesterday drastically expanded the scope of remedial actions initiated last year to the Joint Strike Fighter program, bringing the total amount of additional funding pumped into the development effort since last February to $7.4 billion, the number of aircraft cut from near-term production plans to 246, and the amount of time tacked on to the development schedule to nearly two years.

January 06, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon has put the Marine Corps' troubled version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on probation, pledging to terminate that variant if it fails to overcome its problems in the next two years, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today.

January 06, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Several months after an internal audit warned the Navy planned to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on unneeded training planes, the service has decided buy 20 fewer aircraft, according to documents obtained by Inside the Pentagon.

January 05, 2011 | Daily News

The Navy is planning to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the EPX spy plane program with a family of systems that may include surface ships but is not likely to feature the P-8, according to the head of the service's intelligence directorate.

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