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Aircraft

December 06, 2010 | Daily News

The Army has awarded Boeing an engineering and manufacturing development contract for its Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System, according to a Defense Department notice.

The $88 million firm-fixed-price contract, awarded Nov. 30, encompasses a 24-month EMD phase. The award includes a base effort of four EMD units with an option for additional units, as well as options for six low-rate initial production EMARSS units and interim contractor logistics support.

December 03, 2010 | Inside the Navy
About a week after the Pentagon's acquisition executive said he was unhappy with the Joint Strike Fighter's situation and that he would not "pay more for the airplane," a Pratt & Whitney executive told reporters that a reduction in buys or more delays for the Marine Corps variant could further jeopardize the program's affordability.
December 03, 2010 | Daily News

NEW YORK -- The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said this week that Defense Department leaders are actively exploring options for eliminating the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter by examining whether an alternative mix of tactics, doctrine and other weapons systems might address requirements the F-35B is designed to meet.

December 03, 2010 | Inside the Army

Army Space
and Missile Defense Command officials continue to pursue plans for a new cargo
airship after defense officials rejected the command's request that the project
be included in the Pentagon's slate of fiscal year 2011 joint capability
technology demonstrations, according to an Army official.

December 02, 2010 | Daily News

NEW YORK -- Air Force officials have found enough money to buy more cargo aircraft and stealthy cruise missiles through the use of more efficient acquisition practices implemented as part of a wider effort to wring billions of dollars from the Pentagon's procurement accounts.

David Van Buren, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, previewed some of the efficiencies service program managers have identified in recent months during a Dec. 1 presentation at an event organized by the investment bank Credit Suisse and Aviation Week.

December 02, 2010 | Inside the Pentagon

The Navy will waste hundreds of millions of dollars buying more than 50 unneeded training planes if it remains committed to a procurement goal of 315 aircraft, according to a previously unreleased internal report.

December 01, 2010 | Daily News

NEW YORK -- The Pentagon's acquisition executive today expressed displeasure at the state of the Joint Strike Fighter program in his first public comments on the F-35 following a pre-Thanksgiving Day review of the F-35 by senior Defense Department officials.

“I am not happy with the situation we find ourselves in now,” Ashton Carter, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said at a gathering of investors organized by the investment bank Credit Suisse and Aviation Week.

November 30, 2010 | Daily News

Pratt & Whitney this week will deliver the first production F135 engine for the Marine Corps' short take-off, vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a company official said today.

“This week we will deliver the first STOVL engine,” Bennett Croswell, vice-president for the F135 and F119 engine programs, said in a roundtable with reporters. “Again, the STOVL engine is highly common with the [Air Force and Navy variants], so that won't be much of a surprise.”

November 30, 2010 | Daily News

The Pentagon is in discussions with engine maker Pratt & Whitney about the potential for lowering the cost of the company's F135 power plant in the next production lot of Joint Strike Fighters, according to senior industry officials.

Like the F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin, Pratt will also be bound to a fixed-price incentive fee contract for low-rate, initial production Lot-4 engines, according to Bennett Croswell, the company's vice president of the F135 program.

November 29, 2010 | Daily News

The Defense Department asserted today that Vice Adm. David Venlet, director of the Joint Strike Fighter program, is in lockstep with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the Pentagon's desire to terminate funding for the F136 alternate engine program.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Venlet's views on competition on the JSF engine program were not accurately conveyed last week by senior House lawmakers who back the alternate engine.

November 24, 2010 | Inside the Navy
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos was briefed in recent weeks about the severe operational impacts the Navy would suffer if it is left without a next-generation short-takeoff, vertical-landing tactical aircraft once the AV-8B Harrier jump jets retire, pointing to experiences in recent wars as evidence that the capability is vital.
November 24, 2010 | Inside the Pentagon

U.S. Transportation Command is seeking ideas from industry and academia to explore how airship and/or hybrid airship technologies might be used worldwide for Defense Department airlift distribution missions.

November 23, 2010 | Daily News

The Pentagon is poised to hold another top-level meeting on the Joint Strike Fighter program to allow officials to weigh recommendations that will influence the funding for the multibillion-dollar effort in the Defense Department's fiscal year 2012 budget proposal, according to a senior Air Force official.

JSF program officials are expected to present revised F-35 delivery schedules, which could in turn influence decisions on whether the military needs to extend the lives of its legacy fighter force.

November 23, 2010 | Daily News

The Air Force's top uniformed official said this morning that neither Boeing nor EADS received each others' proprietary pricing data when the service inadvertently disclosed KC-X tanker bid evaluation data to the wrong companies.

November 23, 2010 | Daily News

Vice Adm. David Venlet, the program executive officer for the F-35 program, has told House members behind closed doors that he "believes in competition" in the Joint Strike Fighter engine program, these lawmakers say.

The House members are citing their claim about Venlet's position to argue that Congress should direct the Pentagon to fund the F136 alternate engine program, which Defense Secretary Robert Gates aims to terminate as soon as next week.

November 22, 2010 | Daily News

EADS has been sharing KC-30 flight testing data with Air Force acquisition officials evaluating bids for the service's multibillion-dollar tanker competition, according to a top industry executive.

The data has been included as part of formal communications between the company and the service. The Air Force has issued a series of clarifications -- dubbed evaluation notices -- from both EADS and rival Boeing since KC-X bids were due in July.

November 19, 2010 | Daily News

Vice Adm. David Venlet will formally propose to Pentagon leaders on Nov. 22 his plan to turn around the Joint Strike Fighter program, an occasion that comes roughly a year after he oversaw a scathing assessment of the F-35 program that warned of runaway costs, misplaced confidence in prime contractor Lockheed Martin's ability to manage risk, and increased prospects of fatal mishaps.

November 19, 2010 | Inside the Army

In a move
that could have broad implications for the future of Stryker modernization, the
Army recently waived a requirement that the in-production double-V hull variant
of the vehicle must be transportable by a C-130 aircraft, service and industry
sources told Inside the Army last week.

November 15, 2010 | Daily News

Marine Corps officials have “been trying to make the case” to Pentagon leadership for the short-take-off, vertical landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the jump jet intended to be the future of Marine aviation, Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant of aviation, told Inside the Navy today.

November 12, 2010 | Daily News

(Correction: The original version of this story said Mabus' comments followed an address to the Carnegie Foundation. The correct name of the group is the Carnegie Council; the story has been updated to reflect the change.)

The Navy is proposing the addition of as many as five new ships and approximately 30 new aircraft to its forthcoming five-year investment plan, punching up its procurement portfolio with funds harvested by reducing headquarters operations and implementing other "efficiencies," according to DOD sources.

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