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Aircraft

May 27, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The engineering is "in place" to make the necessary fixes to correct problems that plagued the Marine Corps' short-take-off, vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and prompted Defense Secretary Robert Gates to put the aircraft on probation, but Lockheed Martin is "not part of the discussion" on getting off probation, an industry representative said last week.
May 27, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Marine Corps' version of the Joint Strike Fighter won't achieve initial operational capability until 2014 or 2015, and the schedule for the Navy's F-35C carrier variant is also certain to slip, senior service officials testified on Capitol Hill last week.
May 27, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee told Inside the Navy after a hearing last week that he thinks the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force are being "fair and also realistic" in their estimations of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
May 25, 2011 | Daily News

Despite new Pentagon efforts to trim a $1 trillion operations and sustainment cost estimate for the Joint Strike Fighter program, F-35s are likely to be more expensive to operate than the aircraft they replace, according to a senior DOD official.

The original goal behind JSF was the development of a next-generation fighter that would be 25 percent less costly to operate than the F-16.

May 24, 2011 | Daily News

The Marine Corps' version of the Joint Strike Fighter won't achieve initial operational capability until 2014 or 2015, and the schedule for the Navy's F-35C carrier variant is also certain to slip, senior service officials testified on Capitol Hill today.

May 24, 2011 | Daily News

Funding a second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter would cost the Defense Department $480 million over the next year, according to the Pentagon’s acquisition chief.

May 24, 2011 | Daily News

American companies are "well-positioned" to compete for Indian defense contracts over the next several years, despite the elimination of two U.S. fighter aircraft from India's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition, a State Department official said today.

U.S Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake called the elimination of Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Boeing's F/A-18E/F from the MMRCA competition a "great disappointment." India plans to spend more than $10 billion on 126 MMRCAs.

May 23, 2011 | Daily News

The contractors building the Joint Strike Fighter's second engine are setting aside about $100 million to fund the development and testing of the engine in fiscal year 2012, with testing to be conducted at a contractor-owned facility, according to a statement issued today.

The statement, which lays out the types of tests planned by the GE-Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team (FET) for the F136 engine in the next fiscal year, says the contractors expect to self-fund the engine until the end of FY-12. Whether to continue to self-fund the project beyond then will be determined later.

May 20, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has discovered engineering solutions for each of the problems in the Marine Corps' troubled short-take-off, vertical-landing variant, and the aircraft should be able to emerge successfully from its two-year probation, Vice Adm. David Venlet, JSF program executive officer, told reporters last week.
May 20, 2011 | Inside the Navy
A Government Accountability Office official praised some of the recent steps taken by the Defense Department to fix the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at a hearing last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee, but he said the outlook of the program is still not good due to continued setbacks that have plagued the program.
May 20, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Although Boeing could increase its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet production capacity by about 50 percent, the company doesn't think it will need to despite the possibility of more U.S. and international purchases of the aircraft, according to Mike Gibbons, Boeing F/A-18E/F and EA-18G program manager.
May 20, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Naval Air Systems Command is working to individually tackle the biggest cost drivers on the high operations and sustainment costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the head of the command said last week.
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.

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