fighters

An F-35B Joint Strike Fighter comes in to land on the USS Wasp. May 2015

ABOARD USS WASP: When you start getting bored during an operational test after watching the seventh or eighth F-35B float down the carrier deck and slip up into the air, you know the Marines and Navy are doing something right — or being very lucky. The six pilots have put their planes into the air close to… Keep reading →

Air Force artwork of a future dogfight with lasers.

PENTAGON: Star Wars fans, calm down. The US Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from a small plane. And not just any airplane, Air Force Research Laboratory officials. The last laser on an airplane — the megawatt Airborne Laser, which filled a converted 747 and cancelled in 2011 — the 2022 demonstration will be… Keep reading →

f35bfirstshiplanding

CAPITOL HILL: The House Armed Services Committee wants to add up to six F-35B STOVL jets to the Marine Corps budget, even as it demands new oversight into Lockheed Martin’s long-troubled F-35 program. The House draft National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2016 would not add any F-35Cs, the Navy variant. Instead, it will include up to a… Keep reading →

The Navy's new EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft during sea trials.

CAPITOL HILL: Pentagon leaders are pushing hard to keep up the momentum of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Many in the Navy, though, still look longingly back at the Boeing-built F-18 Hornet, whose St. Louis production line faces closure in 2017. There are two independent trends that together could save the St. Louis line and the Navy’s favorite plane. The first… Keep reading →

EA-18G Growler

CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon has launched a wide-ranging study of electronic warfare, looking across the services at major platforms such as the EA-18G Growler and the F-35’s three versions. “We are doing right now in the Department of Defense a study that looks at all electronic attack[:] what is the situation in electromagnetic warfare across… Keep reading →

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James

UPDATED: Sen. McCain SASC Spox Rejects Air Force Rationale For Retiring A-10 ORLANDO: Sequestration. Base closures. Readiness. Modernization. ISIL. Russia. The list of challenges faced by Air Force leaders is long. But none may be more intractable or politically difficult than retiring the A-10 “Warthog” close air support fleet. The Air Force has never really wanted to… 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 →

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 →

A-10 gun

UPDATED: With Targeting Details; Clarification About Syria WASHINGTON: The armored and inimitable A-10 Warthog is being used to destroy ISIL targets in Iraq — but not Syria. “They’ve been flying for a few weeks and have conducted multiple strikes in central and northwestern Iraq,” an Air Force source says. “No missions in Syria.” Kristina Wong of… Keep reading →

f-35cproduction

WASHINGTON: Lockheed and the government made it official today, signing the $4.7 billion eighth Low Rate Initial Production contract for the F-35. Here’s the full price and the official language: “Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $4,123,746,486 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive firm-target contract (N00019-13-C-0008) for… Keep reading →

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