Air

Rep. Randy Forbes

CAPITOL HILL: As predicted, House Seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes was swift to slam the Navy’s 2017 budget request. I asked him about the Navy’s proposals to deactivate a carrier air wing, sideline seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, and replace the UCLASS drone program with a drone fuel tanker with “limited strike” capabilities, CBARS. Here’s what the fiery… Keep reading →

The experimental X-47B drone lands on the USS Roosevelt.

PENTAGON: Of the four armed services’ budget plans for 2017, the one most likely to make Congress apoplectic is the Navy’s. On top of reintroducing a cruiser modernization plan repeatedly rejected by the Hill, the Navy proposes deactivating a carrier air wing — which tangles with the touchy issue of how many carriers the US… Keep reading →

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Aviation, always the Army’s largest modernization account, goes into a nosedive in the fiscal 2017 budget, plunging from $5.9 billion to $3.6 billion. The $2.3 billion cut more than makes up for a $1.3 billion cut to total Army spending that helps fund readiness, operations and maintenance. But with aviation accounting for 25 percent of the… Keep reading →

Robert Work

UPDATED: Adds DepSecDef Explanation For Additional LCS PENTAGON: “We don’t have enough money to do everything we want to do,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told me in an exclusive 85-minute interview in his E-Ring Pentagon office. “So what we’re doing this year, Sydney, is we are trying to prepare as many demonstrations on advanced… Keep reading →

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UPDATED: ADDS J-8 Readiness Comments; Sen. Reed Urging GOP To Let OMB Director To Testify PENTAGON: On a grand strategic level, the Defense Department’s 2017 spending plan reorients the military to deter Russia and China. Down in the trenches, though, it’s a long, slow slog to rebuild the force for high-intensity conflict after 14 years… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

UPDATED: Adds Air Force POM Chart Of Most Major Programs WASHINGTON: It’s simple: the Air Force “simply cannot afford” to buy what it needs to buy over the next decade. The emphasis is the Air Force’s own, published on its budget website ahead of the official budget release. “The Air Force is facing a modernization… Keep reading →

Robert Work

PENTAGON: The Pentagon says it wants a revolution and the 2017 budget to be unveiled today funds a host of high-tech weapons, from arsenal planes to Hyper Velocity Projectiles to robots. But for Deputy Defense Secretary  Bob Work, the real bleeding edge of innovation is not a weapon, no matter how impressive. It’s a secretive command… Keep reading →

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Here’s a thought experiment. What if Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders becomes president? What would a Sanders defense program look like? Yes, yes, a near win in Iowa does not a presidential nominee make. Even though he’ll probably win in his neighboring state of New Hampshire, there is a long slog to the convention. Then there is… Keep reading →

A US Air Force B-52 flies over the Pacific on a flight out of Guam. Bombers like this one challenged the Chinese air defense one earlier today.

WASHINGTON: Arsenal plane. It’s a great name, no? And the Hyper Velocity Projectile. Whoa. Fast flying swarming micro drones. Neat! There’s much more being developed, but it’s classified. Where is all this coming from? The Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO for short. Defense Secretary Ash Carter talked up the new office in his 2017 budget preview speech… Keep reading →

Marine F-18 Hornet

CAPITOL HILL: It turns out Navy pilots like to breathe. That’s a potential problem in the Navy’s mainstay fighter, the F-18 Hornet, which is suffering failures of its On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS). While rare, a single case of in-flight oxygen deprivation could potentially kill the pilot, destroy a $30 million to $60 million aircraft, or… Keep reading →

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