fixed wing

A-10 from below

In this article, one of the Air Force’s own, longtime Breaking Defense contributor Lt. Col. Dan Ward, runs the numbers on his service’s plan to scrap the beloved A-10 Warthog and – now that Congress has thoroughly rejected the idea – suggests an alternative: a modest trim to the massive F-35 program might just save… Keep reading →

The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

WASHINGTON: August is the month of decision for UCLASS, the Navy’s controversial program to build armed drones that fly off aircraft carriers. At stake: whether the “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance & Strike” aircraft will be primarily a scout (surveillance) or a bomber (strike). The new Deputy Secretary of Defense, Bob Work, delayed the Navy’s release of… Keep reading →

The Navy's X-47B drone becomes the first unmanned aircraft to launch from an aircraft carrier.

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: The Navy’s carrier-based drone known as UCLASS continues to face challenges from the Joint Staff, parts of the Navy and, perhaps most importantly, Capitol HIll. While the head of the program, Rear Adm. Mat Winter, told reporters here yesterday that a Request for Proposal will be issued “very soon,” the program’s requirements… Keep reading →

BAE Systems Hawk trainers in UK

WASHINGTON: While Northrop Grumman isn’t doing much at the upcoming Farnborough Air Show — at least publicly — they certainly shook things up today with their announcement that they are swapping places with BAE Systems to take the lead role in the competition for the $11 billion, 350-plane T-X trainer program. While the BAE-Northrop team… Keep reading →

frankkendall

  WASHINGTON: The F-35 is barely out of the stable and hasn’t been ridden hard yet, but the Pentagon is already beginning work on the next generation of improvements to the Joint Strike Fighter, with a close eye on the Chinese J-20 and J-31 stealth aircraft — and other capabilities. Frank Kendall, the Defense Department’s… Keep reading →

F-35

For years, the news about the most expensive conventional weapons system in US history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has been driven by its soaring costs, technical problems and schedule screw-ups. The government and Congress and the public rarely speak about what the F-35 will do, how effectively it could destroy an enemy’s air defenses, shoot down… Keep reading →

f-35airforceversion

UPDATED: Adds Pratt & Whitney Responses To Bogdan; Adds Lockheed Statement Correction (April 18 at 10:55 am) CRYSTAL CITY: Pratt & Whitney got a public drubbing from the sharp-tongued head of the F-35 fighter program, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, when the Pentagon released a new cost estimate for the military’s biggest weapons program. “Pratt’s not meeting their… Keep reading →

131028-O-ZZ999-101

Even if Congress somehow rolls back sequestration, the Navy’s fiscal situation will be uncomfortably tight, like trying to steer a battleship through the Panama Canal. Under the president’s five-year budget plan — which assumes sequester away — the “real buying power” for the Navy and the Marine Corps declines after fiscal year 2016, the Navy… Keep reading →

111015-N-UM734-932

UPDATED: Marine Commandant Lists Top 3 Concerns; Lockheed Commits to Software Delivery In Time For Marine IOC. Here it is, for everyone to ponder, the F-35 portion of the annual report from Michael Gilmore, director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation office. The only sort of public annual benchmark on the success or failure… Keep reading →

F-35 stealth fighter factory

AIR FORCE PLANT 4, FORT WORTH: No one should believe that the battle between Boeing and Lockheed for the right to build Navy fighters is over. Boeing keeps pushing the low cost, readiness and availability of the F-18. It’s here, it’s proven, and, they say, a new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet will cost just over $50… Keep reading →

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