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Aircraft

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.

November 11, 2010 | Daily News

Senior defense leaders are questioning the Marine Corps' need for its variant of the Joint Strike Fighter as Pentagon leaders consider a radical restructuring of the program that could accelerate the development of the Air Force and Navy F-35 variants, according to DOD sources.

November 04, 2010 | Daily News

(Editor's note: This story was updated at 6:00 p.m. on Nov. 4 to include new information from Pentagon officials on plans for additional Joint Strike Fighter testing as well as from Lockheed Martin on a new target date for first flight.)

Concerned that production F-35 aircraft are not ready for prime time, the Pentagon is directing six additional months of testing for the first Joint Strike Fighters off the assembly line, a previously unreported development that will delay pilot testing until at least the "late summer" of 2011, according to DOD sources.

November 04, 2010 | Daily News

Air Force officials are moving ahead with avionics upgrades on some of the service's newer F-16s in addition to structural upgrade work already planned for the aircraft, according to a senior service official.

The service will add communications navigation capability upgrades and radar upgrades to some of its older Block-40 and Block-50 aircraft, said Lt. Gen. Philip Breedlove, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements. He talked about the avionics and radar upgrades for the first time this week but did not provide further details.

November 04, 2010 | Inside the Pentagon

The United Kingdom's decision to cancel its Nimrod MRA4 maritime patrol aircraft program presents an opportunity for the Pentagon to work with the British on a "creative approach" to meeting their maritime patrol aircraft and antisubmarine warfare requirements, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy James Townsend told Inside the Pentagon this week.

November 03, 2010 | Daily News

The delivery of the first Joint Strike Fighter to roll off Lockheed Martin's production line could be delayed by as much as six months, according to government sources.

The expected delay shifts the target delivery date from late November until as late as May 2011, pushes the start of pilot training on the F-35 until the spring at the soonest and could force delays to when the military services declare their first JSF units operational, these sources say.

November 01, 2010 | Daily News

A technical review of the Joint Strike Fighter program suggests more money and time may be needed to develop the F-35 aircraft -- resources above and beyond the new funding the Pentagon pumped into the effort within the last year, according to government sources.

October 29, 2010 | Inside the Navy
The Navy plans on keeping about 40 P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft online years after the fleet's scheduled shutdown in 2019 due to the cancellation of the EPX spy plane program, a Lockheed Martin official said last week.
October 29, 2010 | Inside the Navy
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's woes are putting pressure on the Navy and Marine Corps program it is slated to replace, the Navy's F/A-18 program manager told industry last week.
October 29, 2010 | Inside the Navy
The Navy is confident it can extend the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from 6,000 to 9,000 hours partly because the aircraft are burning through hours in a fashion that is less stressful on the airframe, according to Capt. Mark Darrah, F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager.
October 22, 2010 | Inside the Navy
Last week's announcement of a nearly $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia is the first "of a larger arms package," according to a source familiar with Saudi-U.S. military programs, with huge naval sales to the kingdom likely to take place in the next two to five years.
October 22, 2010 | Inside the Navy
Britain's recent announcement that it will scrap planned purchases of the F-35 short-takeoff and landing variant and instead buy Joint Strike Fighter variants designed to operate from aircraft carriers is not causing any heartburn at Lockheed Martin, the aircraft's prime contractor, which has long-planned for potential customers to adjust its orders, the company's chief executive said.
October 20, 2010 | Daily News

Israel is poised to acquire 20 new F-35 aircraft before the Joint Strike Fighter program reaches full-rate production, with construction of the country's fifth-generation fighters slated to begin in 2013, according to JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

The 20-aircraft buy, announced by Israeli Ministry of Defense Director General Udi Shani on Oct. 7 in New York, would commence in tandem with the Defense Department's seventh and eighth batches of early production aircraft in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, according to Lockheed spokesman John Kent.

October 19, 2010 | Daily News

Economic factors and defense budget pressure could force the Air Force to wait more than 30 years from now to begin replacing its largest aerial refueling tanker in service, the KC-10 Extender, a retired three-star general said today.

October 15, 2010 | Daily News

The Pentagon is continuing to develop the Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine -- a project Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants terminated -- under the stopgap funding measure enacted on Sept. 30 to keep the government operating until early December, according to Pentagon officials.

The extension temporarily postpones the high-stakes battle between the executive and legislative branches over the fate of the F136 engine.

October 13, 2010 | Daily News

The military's top uniformed official is confident that the Air Force's $35 billion KC-X next-generation tanker will be more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

Making progress in energy efficiency within the military will present both challenges and triumphs in the near future, said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. One way to move toward progress is to take a long view of how to design the next generation of ships, vehicles and aircraft, he said.

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