F-35C

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 →

f-35cproduction

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 →

Expanding the Reach of the Carrier Strike Group

F-35C on approach to USS Nimitz

Naval Air Station Fallon trains the naval air wing for aircraft carriers; Rear Adm. Mike Manazir, director of Navy Air Warfare, works to improve its capabilities. Manazir is a battle-hardened carrier admiral. By chance our interview with the admiral occurred shortly after the successful initial tests of the F-35C aboard the USS Nimitz. He focused on the… Keep reading →

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SAN DIEGO: Yesterday, the F-35C made its first catapult takeoffs from the USS Nimitz. The video and photo have just been made available. No word on whether election shenanigans were involved… Make sure you go to the YouTube video settings and increase the resolution to 1080 for that high-def experience! Enjoy the photos — fine work… Keep reading →

A Navy F-35C conducts its first-ever arrested landing aboard the carrier USS Nimitz

ABOARD USS NIMITZ: The first F-35C seemed to float through the air toward the slowly pitching deck of the USS Nimitz, looking as if it was hanging by a wire and heading implacably to the ship’s arresting wires. The weather was gorgeous, with the massive carrier sailing some 40 miles off the San Diego coast through… Keep reading →

F-35C with wings up

WASHINGTON: The next two weeks will be enormously important for the Navy’s carrier-based version of the Joint Strike Fighter as two F-35Cs undergo extensive testing operating from the USS Nimitz. The Navy has been the least committed of the three services buying versions of the Joint Strike Fighter, so if the two planes being tested… Keep reading →

Dave "Doc" Nelson 1 st flight in AA1

F-35 JOINT PROGRAM OFFICE: When Sen. Kelly Ayotte and her supporters blocked retirement of the A-10 fleet, it’s not likely they knew the F-35 program might suffer. But that’s exactly what Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, head of the huge F-35 program, told reporters this afternoon will happen unless something changes. In the conference room where the F-35 program… Keep reading →

f-35cproduction

WASHINGTON: It’s finally official. After months of senior program and Pentagon officials saying they were really close to a deal, Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office just announced they’ve got agreement in principle for the Defense Department to buy another 29 Joint Strike Fighters. The eighth Low Rate Initial Production contract includes 19 F-35As, six F-35Bs… Keep reading →

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