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‘Fundamental Change In Direction’ For F-35; Kendall Floats Plan To Buy 450 Planes

‘Fundamental Change In Direction’ For F-35; Kendall Floats Plan To Buy 450 Planes

WASHINGTON: As I watched the seemingly endless string of F-35Bs take off from the deck of the USS Wasp earlier this week, I was struck by how routine it all seemed. During eight days of flying, the F-35Bs flew 108 sorties, racking up 85.5 hours, deputy Marine Commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, told us on… Keep reading →

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Vyper V3 Python

A very small company competing to build the Army’s lightest vehicles just got a big lift from a heavy hitter. “This levels the playing field,” Vyper Adamas president Shane Sterling told me of his firm’s new alliance with Spartan Chassis. “We as a company now have the industrial might behind us to produce our product.” That might… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

CAPITOL HILL: There is zero room for error in the Navy’s $80 billion plan for nuclear missile submarines, a senior sub admiral said this morning. “We have effectively skipped an entire SSBN generation,” said Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo, “but in doing so we have consumed the entire margin for error.” America’s first nuclear missile submarine,… Keep reading →

Sikorsky S-97 first flight

WASHINGTON: When is a helicopter not a helicopter? The question arises because Sikorsky Aircraft’s new S-97 Raider got airborne for the first time the other day and company officials all but declared the dawn of a new age in aviation — or at least the birth of a new type of aircraft. “This was, we… Keep reading →

F35overWaspbow

ABOARD USS WASP: The continuous sorties of F-35Bs flying on May 26, watched by British and US press, was almost numbing. Six planes aboard the ship flew sortie after sortie, four from the Green Knights squadron at Yuma and two from the Warlords at Beaufort. As Lt. General Davis, deputy Marine Commandant for aviation, said in response to… Keep reading →

Gen.Ray Odierno

WASHINGTON: “In the next two years,” Army chief of staff Ray Odierno said today, the service could move out on four new combat vehicles and reboot its aging inventory for a new era of war. They range from a parachute-droppable light truck for Airborne soldiers to a scout car, a light tank, and a new… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The Senate Armed Services Committee has joined the push to give the Army a much larger role in the Pacific. The hard part, ironically, may be getting the Army to go along. Why should soldiers do more in the Pacific, a theater traditionally dominated by pilots, Marines, and, above all, sailors? The Pacific, obviously, is… Keep reading →

Elon Musk

WASHINGTON: While few doubted it would happen, the news that Elon Musk’s scrappy, pushy and — yes — disruptive launch company SpaceX won certification from Space and Missile Systems Center carries enormous import for the international launch industry, for the Pentagon, the Air Force and the Intelligence Community. It’s not that Musk’s SpaceX is going… Keep reading →

Arkansas officials talk up the bond for Lockheed Martin's JLTV factory

Not every vote on a Pentagon program is cast in Washington, DC. Today, the Arkansas state legislature convened in special session to decide on an $87 million bond issue to benefit aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. The “super project” at stake — to use the Arkansas statute’s term of art — is the expansion of Lockheed’s… Keep reading →

Arati Prabhakar (left) and Wes Bush (right)

WASHINGTON: With the Pentagon opening an outreach office in Silicon Valley, traditional defense firms may be feeling left behind. But the much-maligned prime contractors play a vital role in innovation, said Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush this morning. In fact, he argued, the Defense Department often needs the traditional firms to act as a “translator,”… Keep reading →

ULA CEO Tory Bruno Unveils Vulcan

WASHINGTON: The still-newish CEO of the United Launch Alliance, Tory Bruno, faces tough questions from his board of directors. He faces tough questions from the House and the Senate about his use of Russian-built RD-180 rocket engines. But his biggest short-term problem — being allowed to use enough RD-180 engines to get his company from here to… Keep reading →

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