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 →

Rear Adm. David Johnson

WASHINGTON: When the Navy named its next top sub-builder, Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, back in July, I wondered where the submariner he was replacing would surface. Now we know: The Pentagon announced late yesterday that Rear Adm. David Johnson will pin  on his third star and become the top uniformed acquisition official in the Navy… Keep reading →


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 →

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the F-35 program, shut up a room full of reporters yesterday. That’s right. None of us said a word for about 15 minutes yesterday while Bogdan told us he wanted to see us get our facts right about the F-35 program. But what really got our attention was his… Keep reading →

F-35A head on

PENTAGON: The F-35‘s highly sensitive sensors suffer a basic problem right now: They often aren’t sure what they are detecting. That results in a high rate of false alarms. The key to fixing this lies in building highly complex data files — what we can colloquially call the threat library — and integrating them with the Joint Strike… 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 →

(FILES) This file photo taken on Septemb

  PENTAGON: The Navy 2016 budget yields to Congress’s strong opposition to the service’s previous efforts to cut the active fleet to save money. It funds nuclear refueling and overhaul of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington –that it had tried to retire — and modifies its plan to put 11 cruisers and an amphibious ship… Keep reading →


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 →

F-35C Joint Strike Fighter conducts its first launch from an aircraft carrier.

WASHINGTON: Hard as it may be to believe in light of the F-35’s history, the carrier version of the plane completed its first shipboard developmental tests three days early. Now the program did build several days into the F-35C’s test schedule to embrace delays caused by weather or other unexpected problems, but the fact is… Keep reading →

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