Air

next-gen bomber

It will be one of the great weapons competitions of the 21st century. Northrop Grumman is competing against a team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin to build the Long Range Strike Bomber. The company has also created design teams to work on so-called sixth generation fighters for the Air Force and the Navy. With the… Keep reading →

apache-over-afghanistan

ARLINGTON: You probably don’t plan to keep your current car for 20 years. But that’s what the US Army has to do with its helicopter fleet. With the Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) helicopter stillborn for lack of funds and the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family not entering production until the 2030s, the Army has to invest carefully… Keep reading →

MGen Jeffrey L. Harrigian Bio Photo

PENTAGON: In a clear sign of the growing importance of the F-35 to the Air Force as the aircraft nears IOC, the service is boosting the profile and office of the person working with the Joint Strike Fighter’s Joint Program Office from a colonel to a two-star general. The service announced today that Maj. Gen. Jeffrey… Keep reading →

The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant concept for the Joint Multi-Role demonstrator, a predecessor to the Future Vertical Lift aircraft.

ARLINGTON: And then there were five. There were already going to be four different aircraft in the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family, from light to medium to heavy to “ultra.” Now it’s almost certain that the medium FVL will be split into two separate versions: a smaller attack/reconnaissance aircraft and a larger troop-carrying assault craft.… Keep reading →

Apache AH-64E in Afghanistan

The drone revolution, it appears, came along just in time for the Army. The service’s leaders have decided they can afford neither a new armed scout helicopter nor even the old ones they already own, but there’s always MUM-T — aka Manned Unmanned Teaming, in which manned aircraft work with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), aka… Keep reading →

Frank Kendall

CAPITOL HILL: The United States will begin serious development of prototypes for so-called sixth generation fighters — successors to the F-35 and F-22 — for the Navy and the Air Force in the 2016 budget, says the head of Pentagon acquisition, Frank Kendall. The Aviation Innovation Initiative is a new effort, not an agglomeration of existing DARPA… Keep reading →

Collaboration Addresses AFSOC Need for Functional Spotting Charge

WASHINGTON: Sometimes smart bombs aren’t the smart choice. Sometimes you just need a big bad flying gun. That’s why the aging AC-130 gunship is still revered by ground troops for its ability to fire a 105mm cannon — a weapon normally mounted on light tanks. That’s why the head of Air Force Special Operations Command, Lt.… Keep reading →

Bold Alligator

CRYSTAL CITY: Nudge nudge, wink wink, we love V-22s, Navy officials said here today. We couldn’t possibly confirm the Breaking Defense report that the service’s 2016 budget request buys V-22 Ospreys for the Carrier Onboard Delivery mission, they said, but if hypothetically the Navy happened to choose the V-22 to shuttle people and supplies to… Keep reading →

MQ-9 Reaper drone.

WASHINGTON: Even unmanned aircraft need people to make them fly. Today, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced stopgap measures to shore up overworked drone squadrons. At the same press conference, the service’s Chief of Staff pledged to plug another personnel gap, the shortage of skilled maintainers for the manned F-35 — but, Gen. Mark… Keep reading →

Deborah Lee James Atlantic Council acquisition

WASHINGTON: Citing “horrifying” times to let contracts even when their isn’t any competition — 17 months — Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says the service will try several approaches to cut costs and speed cycle times. As Breaking D readers know, the Air Force has actually driven overall acquisition costs down in the last two years,… Keep reading →

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