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Aircraft

September 24, 2020

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin have begun negotiating a lower unit cost for the next batch of commoditized F-16 fighter jets they anticipate supplying through last month's novel foreign military sale contract to a new group of customers, sources tell Inside Defense.

September 23, 2020

The Air Force is planning formal studies to consider options for a future autonomous tanking architecture that could include a mix of small, remotely piloted refueling aircraft and larger, more survivable tankers.

September 21, 2020

The Air Force is refining its acquisition strategy for the Stand-in Attack Weapon -- an emerging guided missile intended for the F-35 fighter jet -- to place greater emphasis on digital engineering and open-systems architecture.

September 18, 2020

The Air Force has tapped Lockheed Martin to exercise a project using a new contract vehicle potentially worth $15 billion for continued development and procurement of C-130J aircraft -- a five-year deal with options to buy as many as 120 aircraft that, if fully exercised, could dwarf the most recent multiyear procurement deals for the U.S. military's intra-theater lift workhorse fleet.

September 17, 2020

Boeing expects to be on contract for the first block of KC-46 modernization work by the first quarter of 2021 -- the first phase of a 10-year, $5.7 billion post-production contract the Air Force awarded the company last year.

September 16, 2020

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown told reporters today congressional proposals to set minimum aircraft inventory requirements put constraints on the service's ability to make necessary force structure changes to meet the requirements of the National Defense Strategy.

September 16, 2020

The White House has sent the Senate Armed Services Committee a list of provisions in the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill it does not like, but chose to lead with one President Trump has said would make him veto the entire must-pass bill -- the re-naming of U.S. military bases that currently honor Confederate leaders.

September 15, 2020

Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper announced today the service has flown a full-scale Next-Generation Air Dominance flight demonstrator and has "broken a lot of records in the doing."

September 14, 2020

The new head of Air Mobility Command said today that while she has seen progress in Boeing's proposed interim KC-46 Remote Vision System upgrade package, she needs more testing data and assurance that the near-term value the capability could bring to the warfighter outweighs the time it would take to upgrade existing tankers.

September 10, 2020

Unexpected software development challenges have pushed the first delivery of a major F-22 upgrade from the end of 2020 to September 2021 and drove the program and prime contractor Lockheed Martin to transition in June from a cost-plus contract to a hybrid, fixed-price arrangement.

September 9, 2020

A new Defense Department inspector general report finds that the F-35 joint program office has a "nonfunctioning process" to determine whether damaged parts should be repaired or discarded -- an issue that has led to a reduction in available spare parts and disposal of hundreds of parts without DOD approval. 

September 3, 2020

The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter performed well during its sea trials, which ended in June, and is now undergoing testing in a desert-like environment, according to the Marine Corps.

August 31, 2020

The Next Generation Jammer-Mid Band program, the Navy and Marine Corps $8.7 billion maritime airborne electronic attack modernization effort, achieved an important developmental milestone this month when a prototype was flown for the first time on an EA-18G Growler, a key step for a project that suffered serious design setbacks three years ago.

August 13, 2020

The Air Force's B-21 bomber development saw some supply chain disruption this summer when a major subcontractor, Spirit AeroSystems, announced production delays due to COVID-19, but program manager Randall Walden said today the team has adapted to the challenge and is "on the right path, to date."

August 13, 2020

The Air Force is slated to award Lockheed Martin a first-of-its-kind indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract tomorrow to sell foreign militaries commoditized F-16 fighter jets off the latest Block 70 production line.

August 13, 2020

The Air Force is slated to award Lockheed Martin a first-of-its-kind indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract tomorrow to sell foreign militaries commoditized F-16 fighter jets off the latest Block 70 production line.

August 7, 2020

The Air Force has finalized its Next-Generation Air Dominance acquisition strategy and expects to know by next month whether it will be adopted as part of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2022 budget request.

August 4, 2020

The Air Force's new Virtual Test and Training Center is on track to formally stand up next summer -- nearly four years after the service announced its intent to establish a hub for advanced synthetic training that could eventually integrate joint and international partners.

July 30, 2020

The Air Force this summer awarded L3Harris Technologies a 10-year, $900 million contract to help the service establish a common aircraft simulator architecture and is now working with the company to implement the initial task order, which focuses on cybersecurity and installing a remote scanning capability at nine locations.

July 22, 2020

As part of its effort to transition to a new logistics information framework, the Operational Data Integrated Network, the F-35 joint program office plans to begin installing hardware this September that can run software from both the legacy and the new systems until ODIN is fully deployed.

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