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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.

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.