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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.

October 12, 2010 | Daily News

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz today challenged the companies developing the second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter to take on a larger share of the program's cost if they want the effort to survive.

“If Rolls [Royce] and [General Electric] is so confident that their product will succeed and bring value to the taxpayer, it would be nice if they put a little bit more against that $1.9 billion bill that they would like the taxpayer to undertake,” Schwartz said during a speech in Washington today.

October 08, 2010 | Inside the Navy
The Marine Corps wants an all-jump-jet F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet, but it will wait until both the short-take-off, vertical-landing and carrier variants of the aircraft have been tested aboard aircraft carriers before making a final decision, Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant for aviation, told Inside the Navy last week.
October 08, 2010 | Inside the Navy
The Marine Corps will be deploying the first KC-130J Harvest Hawk kit to Afghanistan this month, the first of nine planned kits that will give the platform a precision fires and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability, according to Maj. Richard Roberts, KC-130 action officer.
October 07, 2010 | Daily News

While the Pentagon imposes a review of the schedule for the jump-jet version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter amid debate over the feasibility of a December 2012 fielding date, the service's deputy commandant for aviation stressed today that the larger goal of initial deployment in 2014 remains on track -- and is more important overall.

October 06, 2010 | Daily News

The Government Accountability Office today upheld the Air Force's decision to disqualify a small U.S. defense company and its Ukrainian partner from the $35 billion KC-X next-generation tanker competition.

The Air Force notified U.S. Aerospace on July 22 that it would not consider its proposal because it was received five minutes after the July 9, 2 p.m. deadline. The company -- which partnered with aircraft manufacturer Antonov -- claimed its messenger was “intentionally delayed” and given “incorrect directions” to the building where the proposal was due.

September 30, 2010 | Daily News

The incoming Dutch coalition government plans to cut defense spending by 600 million euros ($816 million) and limit Joint Strike Fighter procurement to a second test aircraft during its four-year term.

The Conservative Liberals (VVD) and the Christian Democrats (CDA) -- who plan to form a right-wing government with support from the anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV) -- today released a “Liberty and Responsibility” coalition agreement along with a financial annex.

September 30, 2010 | Daily News

A key effort to modernize the Air Force's B-2 bomber faces a two-year setback if language proposed by the Senate Armed Services Committee is made law, according to the Air Force.

September 28, 2010 | Daily News

The Navy has awarded a $5.3 billion contract modification to Boeing for a multiyear deal for 124 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers, the sea service announced today.

The long-expected contract will last through May 2015 and will save the government an estimated $600 million on the aircraft, a Naval Air Systems Command statement said. The buy, which breaks out to 66 Super Hornets and 58 Growlers, will cover the remainder of the Navy's planned purchase of 515 Super Hornets and 114 Growlers by the end of fiscal year 2013, according to the statement.

September 28, 2010 | Daily News

General Electric and Rolls-Royce are trying to determine what caused an "abnormality" that damaged a Joint Strike Fighter engine during testing last week, according to company officials.

The incident occurred three hours into a mechanical check-out on Sept. 23 at a GE facility in Evendale, OH. At the time, the endurance engine was “at near maximum fan speed,” according to G.E. spokesman Rick Kennedy. “All indications are that the cause of the incident is unique to this engine, and the other test engines are continuing to run,” he said in an e-mail today.

September 27, 2010 | Daily News

The Air Force will be forced to trim nearly $4.1 billion from its fiscal year 2011 budget request if recommendations made by a powerful House defense subcommittee are made law.

Members of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee are looking to cut a total of $3.1 billion from the Air Force's procurement and research and development accounts -- $2.3 billion in procurement and $900 million in R&D --  in the upcoming fiscal year, according to a draft version of the panel's recommendations.

September 27, 2010 | Daily News

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee wants to terminate the most advanced variant of the Air Force's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system and has slashed $1.2 billion from previously appropriated modernization programs, some of which have not adhered to full-funding financial regulations, according to previously unreported details of the panel's new military spending proposal.

September 27, 2010 | Daily News

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee has added nine F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to mitigate a projected strike fighter shortfall and inserted funding for a Mobile Landing Platform to bump shipbuilding procurement to 10 vessels, according to a draft report on the panel's mark of the fiscal year 2011 defense spending bill.

The committee increased procurement of Super Hornets from 22 to 31 aircraft in the bill, which the panel passed in July. InsideDefense.com obtained a copy of the bill report late last week. The full committee has not considered the bill yet.

September 24, 2010 | Inside the Navy
The Marine Corps could absorb a possible delay in the Joint Strike Fighter initial operational capability by rearranging its existing F/A-18 contingent, the president's nominee for commandant of the Marine Corps told lawmakers today.
September 24, 2010 | Daily News

The Defense Department has notified Congress of a potential $4.2 billion sale of F-16s and munitions to Iraq, a deal that could extend production of the Lockheed Martin-built aircraft through the summer of 2014.