Congress

Lockheed Martin graphic

CAPITOL HILL: Take my mission — please. The armed services are notorious for overselling their capabilities and grabbing turf to justify budgets. But when it comes to ballistic missile defense, the Navy feels so overburdened that it is talking up land-based alternatives as superior to its vaunted Aegis ships. [Click here for Part I of this… Keep reading →

Marine Corps image

PENTAGON: Seven weeks ago, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter nominated a blunt-talking “soldier’s soldier” to be Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley. Today, he announced a Marine’s Marine to be Commandant, Lt. Gen. Robert Neller. Bob Neller is celebrated for his direct, even blunt manner — but he’s also a military innovator on the cutting… Keep reading →

Navy cruiser Lake Erie launches SM-3 IB missile 575519537757ad8b1368733557

WASHINGTON: Sometimes success is its own punishment. Shooting down ballistic missiles is one of the Navy’s most high-tech, high-profile capabilities — and it’s one of the most popular with Congress as well. But as demand for missile defense increases at what the Chief of Naval Operations has called an “unsustainable” pace, it’s an ever-greater burden… Keep reading →

frank-kendall-7422576862ae9b101354b

WASHINGTON: Two major defense industry players have a suggestion for Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, whose Better Buying Power 3.0 plan includes a new requirement that companies get the Pentagon’s blessing for internal research and development (IRAD) spending. Back off. “I’m not sure there’s a lot of upside to a lot of DoD oversight of where… Keep reading →

SpaceX CRS7 explodes

WASHINGTON: Boom. The explosion that destroyed CRS-7 as it headed to orbit could mean Elon Musk’s fevered efforts to win the highly lucrative business of sending intelligence and Air Force satellites into space are, if not endangered, then at least in question. While the failure of SpaceX’s resupply mission to the International Space Station isn’t directly tied… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

PENTAGON: Sen. John McCain’s push to boost the power of the four service chiefs to manage Pentagon weapons programs is coming at the “worst time” and may well lead to more increased costs and busted schedules, the military’s acquisition chief, Frank Kendall, told Breaking Defense in an interview. “The thing that bothers me the most about… Keep reading →

John McCain

UPDATED with Thornberry response CAPITOL HILL: The $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 25 today. The final version could emerge from a House-Senate conference in “early July,” Senate Armed Services chairman Jon McCain said boldly at a press conference this afternoon. That would be… Keep reading →

F135Afterburner (1)

PARIS AIR SHOW: Pratt & Whitney has refused to disclose the price of its F135 engines for the F-35 for quite a while, even while Lockheed Martin boasted it would bring down the price of the Joint Strike Fighter to $80 million a copy — including engine. Now we know why. At a Monday briefing… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

CAPITOL HILL: Who buys the bandwidth? Today the military has two separate, unequal, and inefficient systems for acquiring communications. But Congress is pushing hard to consolidate — probably at the expense of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). “I have been in situations where we needed to have SATCOM [satellite communications] and we didn’t have… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin's UCLASS concept.

WASHINGTON: Overstretched as they are, the Navy’s 10 aircraft carriers remain unequalled icons of American might. But the ugly truth is they’re not as mighty as they might be. The maximum range of carrier-borne strike aircraft has eroded over the last quarter century. Even the Navy’s future fighter, the F-35C, will have an unrefueled range of about 600… Keep reading →

Page 1 of 6412345...64