fighters

army-soldier-basic-training-size0-army.mil-2006-11-02-095149

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 of irregular warfare in the Islamic world — which isn’t actually ending — and three… 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 →

F-35A climbing at Eglin Air Force Base

WASHINGTON: Frank Kendall signaled in December that the F-35 was no longer immune from budget cuts and it looks as if he knew what he was talking about. The story out this afternoon is that five Air Force F-35As will be cut from the fiscal 2017 budget request. Mackenzie Eaglen said at a Brookings Institution… 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 →

A naval aviator with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 flies above North Carolina during aerial refueling training with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, April 14, 2015. The nearly 33,000 pound aircraft is capable of short takeoff/vertical landing, enabling the Marine Corps to expand its expeditionary force projection capabilities.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Unique Roberts/Released)

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s director of Operational Test and Evaluation has raised serious concerns about the F-35 program’s ability to safely and effectively build and test the enormous amount of software used by both the F-35 aircraft and the maintenance and logistics system known as ALIS to keep the planes flying. In a previously unreported Dec.… 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 →

A Navy cruiser launches a Harpoon anti-ship missile, a 1977 design unsuited for long-range war in the Pacific.

2016 will be challenging for the Navy. At sea the fleet will continue to face demands that exceed its supply of forces, while at home the fiscal 2017 budget is likely to make difficult choices that prioritize high quality over adequate quantity. Most significantly for sailors, the supply-demand mismatch will get worse next year. While… Keep reading →

USS Harry Truman

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter‘s controversial Dec. 14 memo has sparked intense debate amongst the defense community. In that document, Carter directs the Navy to procure more fighter jets and truncate the Littoral Combat Ship program, among many other measures. Carter’s far-reaching proposal spawned an even more radical proposal by an esteemed naval analyst to shake up… Keep reading →

Sixth generationa fighter concept Northrop NGAD (1)

PALMDALE, CALIF: Northrop Grumman unveiled its vision of the so-called sixth-generation fighter, showing reporters a laser-firing aircraft that looks like a cross between the B-2 bomber and the X-47B drone. Chris Hernandez, Northrop’s vice president for research, technology and advanced design, laid out the basic parameters for the sixth-gen fighter (Northrop refers to it as NG Air… Keep reading →

F-35 ejection seat Martin Baker

WASHINGTON: After years and years of busted schedules, cost overruns and technical challenges, the F-35 program is expected to end 2015 on a high note, with all production goals met and solid progress resolving the ejection seat issues that threaten lighter pilots. I understand from industry and program sources that, after getting stalled, there is a good… Keep reading →

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