fixed wing

Marines perform first F-35B vertical take-off, landing at Eglin

UPDATED with Frank Kendall’s vote of confidence WASHINGTON: During the Marine’s recent operational readiness test of the F-35B, four of the Marine aircraft went up against nine enemy aircraft. “It went very poorly for the bad guys,” Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, told me this afternoon. Davis provided few details, saying they… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

CAPITOL HILL: UPDATE BEGINS The administration’s nominee for Marine Corps Commandant, Lt. Gen. Bob Neller, set off a firestorm from Sen. John McCain this morning. After two hours of an otherwise congenial confirmation hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman erupted over Neller’s description of the current administration strategy against the Islamic State. That strategy relies on airpower and advisors… Keep reading →

f-35b

WASHINGTON: A select group of 12 Marines in Yuma, Ariz. began testing the first squadron of F-35B pilots, inspecting their aircraft and checking maintenance procedures and personnel yesterday as the end game for declaring Initial Operating Capability for the aircraft before the end of July. “Initial operating capability (IOC) for the Marine Corps F-35B is… Keep reading →

Bell Textron Scorpion

UPDATED: Adds Details On UK Demos; QinetiQ’s PIlots Will Fly PARIS AIR SHOW: When Textron unveiled the Scorpion I will admit I was a serious sceptic. Where was the market? Who were the likely customers? Why did they spend their own money on such a venture? The first crack in my skepticism occurred when Gen. Hawk… Keep reading →

November 23, 2011 F-35 assembly area bi-monthly photo shoot for

PARIS AIR SHOW: Critics of the F-35 have long wondered why friends and allies have stuck with the program. It can’t be, they argue, because of the aircraft’s capabilities. It is, they say, years behind schedule, billions over budget and won’t be able to deliver all its weapons for years. Ah, grasshopper, but there are… Keep reading →

F-35B

WASHINGTON: As I watched the seemingly endless string of F-35Bs take off from the deck of the USS Wasp earlier this week, I was struck by how routine it all seemed. During eight days of flying, the F-35Bs flew 108 sorties, racking up 85.5 hours, deputy Marine Commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, told us on… Keep reading →

An F-35B Joint Strike Fighter comes in to land on the USS Wasp. May 2015

ABOARD USS WASP: When you start getting bored during an operational test after watching the seventh or eighth F-35B float down the carrier deck and slip up into the air, you know the Marines and Navy are doing something right — or being very lucky. The six pilots have put their planes into the air close to… Keep reading →

F-35B

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 →

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 →

EA-18G Growler

CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon has launched a wide-ranging study of electronic warfare, looking across the services at major platforms such as the EA-18G Growler and the F-35’s three versions. “We are doing right now in the Department of Defense a study that looks at all electronic attack[:] what is the situation in electromagnetic warfare across… Keep reading →

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