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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 →

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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 →

Navy Captain Francis Morley, program manager for the F-18 family of jets, and his boss Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis at today's ceremony celebrating the 35th anniversary of the first Hornet.

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION: “My job is to preserve options and that’s what I do,” said Capt. Francis Morley, Navy program manager for the F-18 fighter family. Will the Navy press ahead to buy more F-18s in the face of what seems pretty determined opposition from the Office of Secretary of Defense, eager to… Keep reading →

A Navy F-35C and the plane it will replace, the F/A-18E Super Hornet, sit together on a runway.

WASHINGTON: The Boeing Super Hornet might have a new best friend in Congress. A year after the Saint Louis-built fighter jet’s biggest backer in Congress, then-Rep. Todd Akin, went down in electoral flames because of controversial remarks about “legitimate rape,” the influential chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on Seapower, Rep. Randy Forbes, has… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with Navy retraction] So is the Navy buying more Super Hornets or not? A solicitation notice posted on FedBizOps.gov sparked heated media speculation this week that the service might extend production of the current F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program struggles. It’s true the US Navy is the least enthusiastic of… Keep reading →

UCLASS General Atomics

CAPITOL HILL: A bipartisan letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus argues that the Navy should reexamine the approach it’s taking to the stealthy carrier-based Unmanned Aerial System known as UCLASS. UCLASS letter fm Forbes to Sec. Mabus 9-17-2013 Reps. Randy Forbes and Mike McIntyre, the chairman and ranking members of the House Armed Services seapower and… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON: The Navy has 10 fewer ships worldwide compared to just a few months ago. It has no warships at all off South America to help combat the drug trade. And training cutbacks will force many units to specialize in a sub-set of their assigned missions instead of getting ready for the full range of… Keep reading →

F-35b vertical takeoff and landing

Watch the F-35B, the Marines’ fighter of choice, execute a very cool maneuver in this video, taking off straight up into the sky. While very cool, this is not something the Joint Strike Fighter is actually expected to do very often. For one thing, it requires enormous amounts of fuel. Instead, the B model is… Keep reading →

130517-N-YZ751-017 ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 17, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator conducts a touch and go landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), marking the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed a touch and go landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tony D. Curtis/Released)

The eagle hasn’t exactly landed, but it did the next best thing. This afternoon, off the Virginia coast, the Navy’s experimental X-47B UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System) became the first unmanned aircraft to do a “touch and go” on an aircraft carrier. That’s a major milestone for the pioneering drone, which just this Tuesday conducted… Keep reading →

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