helicopters

Gen. Mike Hostage at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013.

“Our industrial base has eroded and we’re reducing our military down to a skeletal size at a time when the world is looking crazier by the day,” Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “[But] there is nothing happening right now that is going to make sequestration go away, so… Keep reading →

The Sikorsky-Boeing concept for the Joint Multi-Role demonstrator, a predecessor to the Future Vertical Lift aircraft.

WASHINGTON: It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better yet to learn from other people’s. On Friday, I watched three battle-scarred acquisition experts — including the admiral who turned the F-35 around — advise a young officer from the Future Vertical Lift initiative, who was furiously taking notes. The panel’s theme: how FVL, which… Keep reading →

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A robot helicopter that can carry three tons of cargo, the Marine Corps K-MAX certainly has the cool factor. But does it have a future? After a six-month pilot project in Afghanistan got extended into a 33-month deployment that made 2,250 tons of deliveries, the two experimental aircraft have come home. Prime contractor Lockheed Martin… Keep reading →

Brad Carson, Under Secretary of the Army, talks to solders in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON: This hurts us more than it hurts you. That’s the essence of the regular Army’s message to the National Guard about the Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI), a controversial cost-cutting plan that — among other things – strips the Guard of all its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. Pain is on its way for all of… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: When Americans were threatened during the civil war in South Sudan, Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys flew a Marine response force from Spain to Djibouti in a non-stop flight of 3,200 nautical miles – the distance from Alaska to Florida. That’s an extraordinary feat for an aircraft that can take off and land vertically like a helicopter. But… Keep reading →

A National Guard AH-64 Apache lands on a Navy ship -- a rare skill in the Army. But the Pentagon's budget plans would move all Guard Apaches to active-duty units.

WASHINGTON: National Guard attack helicopter units just can’t be as battle-ready as full-time regular Army ones, Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox has been telling the Hill. That’s why the Guard should give all its AH-64 Apache gunships to the active-duty force to replace older aircraft lost to budget cuts. “Combat elements must be in… Keep reading →

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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 →

Obama Holds News Conference On Debt Ceiling Talks At White House

UPDATED: With Congressional Staff Reaction PENTAGON: With an eye on a Congress it hopes will cut it some slack, the Obama Defense Department today released a budget remarkable for its apparent insouciance, trimming the base budget by only $400 million from the 2014 budget passed by Congress. However, there is a catch. The most politically… Keep reading →

Operation Iraqi Freedom

UPDATED 2:00 pm Tuesday with detailed 2015 budget figures WASHINGTON: The 2015 budget effectively kills the Army’s top priority weapons program, the 60-plus-ton Ground Combat Vehicle — as we’ve been predicting since November — but GCV did not die in vain, the Army’s acquisition chief insists. “We sacrificed the GCV” to save programs upgrading electronics… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED 6:30 pm] HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: The ever-beleaguered Army has a reputation — not undeserved — for being bland, conformist, and bureaucratic, an organization where brilliant mavericks are forced to retire at colonel and the guys who make general don’t rock the boat. Just ask any of the long-serving and long-suffering officers convening here in Huntsville, home… Keep reading →

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