F-18

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 →

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

PENTAGON: After more than a year of intense debate over whether the Navy’s future UCLASS drone should be a long-range stealth bomber or a lightly armed scout, the Defense Department has chosen — neither. Instead, the 2017 budget proposes a program that is less ambitious than either version of UCLASS but, to their mind, more… Keep reading →

Highway of death Operation Desert Storm

Dave Deptula was arguably the key player in air power during the world’s first precision guided war, Desert Storm. He offers the principal lessons learned during that war on its quarter-century anniversary. He takes those lessons and applies them to the current fight against the terrorists, murderers, thugs and rapists who comprise ISIL, which we call… Keep reading →

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet

SURFACE NAVY ASSOCIATION: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wants the arms export bureaucracy to get a move on and approve Boeing‘s “crucial” sale of Super Hornet fighters to Kuwait. The Kuwait deal is for 28 fighters, with an option for 12 more. That’s not a huge sale, but in and of itself, it’s enough to keep the… Keep reading →

F-35As at Nellis.

CAPITOL HILL: While Congress and the media focus on immediate issues with the F-35’s ejection seat, the program has begun working on a long-range modernization plan to upgrade the Joint Strike Fighter’s combat power. This modernization package, with the so-called Block 4 software upgrade at its core, is essential to the aircraft reaching its “full warfighting capability,” Maj. Gen.… Keep reading →

Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

UPDATE with Forbes statement WASHINGTON: At $4.7 billion over budget, Ford-class aircraft carriers have taken a beating in Congress. This morning, though, the House Seapower subcommittee chairman will roll out a report from the conservative Hudson Institute that’s a ringing defense of the carrier — but which also contains a stinging indictment of the aircraft that fly… Keep reading →

F-35 fires Joint Strike Missile

WASHINGTON: Do dogfights matter in the age of tactical stealth? If an F-16 can outmaneuver an F-35 in a dogfight, does it matter? Does it matter if the earliest generation F-35 can’t outmaneuver an advanced model of the F-16 in an early test? So many questions. We’ll try to answer them because the folks at… Keep reading →

Small Diamater Bomb 2

PARIS AIR SHOW: Most coverage of the Small Diameter Bomb II has focused on when the F-35 will be able to use it — not ’till 2022 — instead of on the bomb program itself, which is moving ahead much more briskly. Frank Kendall signed the crucial Milestone C Acquisition Decision Memorandum putting the program… Keep reading →

November 23, 2011 F-35 assembly area bi-monthly photo shoot for

PARIS AIR SHOW: Critics of the F-35 have long wondered why friends and allies have stuck with the program. It can’t be, they argue, because of the aircraft’s capabilities. It is, they say, years behind schedule, billions over budget and won’t be able to deliver all its weapons for years. Ah, grasshopper, but there are… Keep reading →

Kai Boyce makes a repair in the APU compartment on the aft right side of an F/A-18 hornet at Cecil Commerce Center.

CAPITOL HILL: Marines pride themselves on being ready for anything. But as of today, 19 percent of their air fleet is out of action “long-term” awaiting repairs and spares, the deputy commandant for aviation said today. “It’s 158 — actually, today, 159 aircraft — that the taxpayer paid $8.4 billion dollars for,” said Lt. Gen.… Keep reading →

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