Air

A National Guard AH-64 Apache lands on a Navy ship -- a rare skill in the Army. But the Pentagon's budget plans would move all Guard Apaches to active-duty units.

WASHINGTON: National Guard attack helicopter units just can’t be as battle-ready as full-time regular Army ones, Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox has been telling the Hill. That’s why the Guard should give all its AH-64 Apache gunships to the active-duty force to replace older aircraft lost to budget cuts. “Combat elements must be in… Keep reading →

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UPDATED: Adds Pratt & Whitney Responses To Bogdan; Adds Lockheed Statement Correction (April 18 at 10:55 am) CRYSTAL CITY: Pratt & Whitney got a public drubbing from the sharp-tongued head of the F-35 fighter program, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, when the Pentagon released a new cost estimate for the military’s biggest weapons program. “Pratt’s not meeting their… Keep reading →

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UPDATED: Adds British Defense Minister’s Statement On F-35 Flights; Hagel and Hammond Discussed TAMPA: I should have run this story weeks ago when it looked almost certain that the F-35 would fly to the Farnborough Air Show and its cousin, the Royal International Air Tattoo. Instead, my colleague Andrea Shalal reported it this morning. Tip of… Keep reading →

EA-18G Growler

WASHINGTON: Stealth is being outpaced by software, radar and computing power, so electronic warfare and cyber attacks are growing in importance. While the F-35 may possess excellent — if circumscribed — electronic attack and cyber capabilities, it needs help from the Navy’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. That means, Boeing and the Navy are arguing,… Keep reading →

SASC hearing on F-35

CAPITOL HILL: As F-35 program officials prepared to testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee, they announced they were keeping back some $25.7 million, or 5 percent, of payments for the F135 engine used in the Joint Strike Fighter. “Due to decertification of their Earned Value Management Process by the Defense Contract Management Agency, Pratt &… Keep reading →

HMX-1 Presidential V-22

SEA-AIR-SPACE: At least one important operating unit of the V-22 is sustaining impressive readiness rates “in the high 80s,” according to Col. Dan Robinson, the new program manager. But Robinson, asked by me and some of my colleagues, also said he didn’t have fleet-wide numbers and offered some unconvincing chatter about different units having different… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: In a move with major implications for the defense budget, defense contractors, and inter-service politics, the Marine Corps is set to publish a new “capstone concept” — leaked to Breaking Defense – that will guide the entire service for the next decade. From the title on, Expeditionary Force 21 paints an emphatic, uncompromising picture of a future Marine… Keep reading →

KC-46 tanker in air

PENTAGON: One of the most screwed up programs in Pentagon history, the airborne tanker, may have turned a corner, with the KC-46 program cutting more than half-a-billion dollars from its projected costs, with $386.9 million of those savings coming in fiscal 2015. Some of these details will doubtless be discussed at the Wednesday afternoon House Armed… Keep reading →

HAT YAO, Thailand (Feb. 4, 2010) – Marines with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (BLT 2/7), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), storm the beach after exiting an amphibious assault vehicle (AAV), Feb. 3. The MEU is currently participating in exercise Cobra Gold 2010 (CG’ 10). The exercise is the latest in a continuing series of exercises design to promote regional peace and security. (Official Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Leo A. Salinas) HAT YAO, Thailand (Feb. 4, 2010) – Marines with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (BLT 2/7), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), storm the beach after exiting an amphibious assault vehicle (AAV), Feb. 3. The MEU is currently participating in exercise Cobra Gold 2010 (CG’ 10). The exercise is the latest in a continuing series of exercises design to promote regional peace and security. (Official Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Leo A. Salinas) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Leo A. Salinas) http://www.mcipac.marines.mil/News/NewsArticleDisplay/tabid/1144/Article/8100/royal-thai-rok-and-us-marines-conduct-a-joint-amphibious-landing.aspx

UPDATED 1:35 pm Wednesday with more details from Lt. Gen. Glueck WASHINGTON: The Marines are about to move out sharply with their once-stalled Amphibious Combat Vehicle, the smallest service’s biggest program. After years of uncertainty and a last-minute change of course that came too late to make it into the administration’s budget request for 2015,… Keep reading →

Delta 4 Heavy ULA launch

WASHINGTON: The most expensive conventional weapons program in history just scored a major win, with the F-35 program’s estimated acquisition costs plunging $11.5 billion. This is no program estimate that critics might savage. This comes from the Government Accountability Office’s definitive annual Assessment of Selected Weapons Report. The GAO did not mince words in identifying… Keep reading →

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