fixed wing

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

How did Northrop beat world’s largest defense companies, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team, in the crucial competition for the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB)? First, and probably most importantly, Northrop Grumman is the only company in history to design, develop, manufacture, and maintain a long-range stealth bomber—the B-2 Spirit. Thanks to pre-award briefings, we know that the… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin's Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) concept

PENTAGON: The head of Air Force acquisition, Cubs fan Bill Laplante, told reporters today that the very, very eagerly awaited contract for the initial 21 of 100 Long Range Strike Bombers (LRSB) would be issued “very, very soon.” “We are really, really close to the award of the bomber,” he said. How close, thousands of… Keep reading →

CNAS graphic

WASHINGTON: The high-cost, high-controversy centerpieces for the future Navy fleet — the Ford-class aircraft carrier and the F-35C fighter — not only take it in the wrong direction, says a report out today. They double down on a strategic mistake made 20 years ago, when the Navy shortchanged range, argues Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain now… Keep reading →


ABOARD USS EISENHOWER: After all the talk from senior Navy leaders about the life cycle costs of the Joint Strike Fighter program and the limits of stealth over the last five years, it was intriguing to hear top Navy commanders and pilots praising the performance of the F-35Cs being tested here. The pilots were using the… 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 →

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: The good news for the Pentagon’s largest program is that the difficult early days are almost over. The bad news: now it’s time for the next hard part. “We are beyond slow and steady progress on the F-35 program now. We are into the phase of rapidly accelerating and growing,” said Lt.… Keep reading →

F-35A first overseas flight Italy

WASHINGTON: The first F-35A built in Italy for the Italian Air Force took off yesterday for what the Lockheed Martin test pilot said was highly successful first flight. “It was identical to every other airplane we produce at Fort Worth,” pilot Bill Gigliotti told reporters today in what he clearly intended as a compliment to… Keep reading →

A laser experiment at the Air Force Research Laboratory

TYSON’S CORNER: All branches of the military really want laser weapons. But they don’t all want them for the same missions. What struck me after a recent conference here was how differently the US Air Force is approaching lasers. The USAF is pursing a two-pronged approach: They want to mount lasers on both the large… Keep reading →

F-35B with asymmetric weapons load

When Defense Secretary Bob Gates put the F-35B on “probation” and Sen. John McCain became his powerful echo chamber, we responded on the pages of Breaking Defense that these actions were misguided. We had spent many hours with the pilots, maintainers, builders, designers, and testers of the aircraft, and came to a very different conclusion: “The F-35B… Keep reading →

A Marine F-35B in vertical landing mode.

WASHINGTON: The first variant of the most expensive conventional weapons program ever is now officially ready for combat. In one of his last acts as Marine Corps Commandant, future Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford announced today that the Marine model of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) version, has… Keep reading →

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