fixed wing

Marine F-18 Hornet

CAPITOL HILL: It turns out Navy pilots like to breathe. That’s a potential problem in the Navy’s mainstay fighter, the F-18 Hornet, which is suffering failures of its On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS). While rare, a single case of in-flight oxygen deprivation could potentially kill the pilot, destroy a $30 million to $60 million aircraft, or… Keep reading →

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

PENTAGON: After more than a year of intense debate over whether the Navy’s future UCLASS drone should be a long-range stealth bomber or a lightly armed scout, the Defense Department has chosen — neither. Instead, the 2017 budget proposes a program that is less ambitious than either version of UCLASS but, to their mind, more… Keep reading →

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet

SURFACE NAVY ASSOCIATION: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wants the arms export bureaucracy to get a move on and approve Boeing‘s “crucial” sale of Super Hornet fighters to Kuwait. The Kuwait deal is for 28 fighters, with an option for 12 more. That’s not a huge sale, but in and of itself, it’s enough to keep the… Keep reading →

AC-130 laser - illustration by DARPA

General Atomics, whose MQ-1 Predator changed the world, is to start testing another potentially revolutionary weapon next month: a 150-kilowatt class laser. Several other companies are developing laser weapons and “we’re looking at all of them,” said Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, in an interview with Breaking Defense. “The… Keep reading →

Sixth generationa fighter concept Northrop NGAD (1)

PALMDALE, CALIF: Northrop Grumman unveiled its vision of the so-called sixth-generation fighter, showing reporters a laser-firing aircraft that looks like a cross between the B-2 bomber and the X-47B drone. Chris Hernandez, Northrop’s vice president for research, technology and advanced design, laid out the basic parameters for the sixth-gen fighter (Northrop refers to it as NG Air… Keep reading →

Workers can be seen on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Lockheed Martin Corp's factory located in Fort Worth, Texas in this October 13, 2011 handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin Corp on February 25, 2013 said there was no evidence that a lithium-ion battery contributed to a Feb. 14 incident that caused smoke in the cockpit of an F-35 test plane. Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein said initial reviews indicated a potential failure in the plane's cooling system, which had been removed from the aircraft for further study.  Picture taken October 13, 2011.  REUTERS/Lockheed Martin/Randy A. Crites/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY)  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR3EAKJ

WASHINGTON: The F-35, protected fiercely by senior Pentagon, Air Force and program officials for the last few years, is no longer safe from possible budget cuts as the 2017 budget is finalized, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics said this morning. “It’s impossible in these budgets to entirely protect it,” Frank Kendall… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

How did Northrop beat world’s largest defense companies, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team, in the crucial competition for the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB)? First, and probably most importantly, Northrop Grumman is the only company in history to design, develop, manufacture, and maintain a long-range stealth bomber—the B-2 Spirit. Thanks to pre-award briefings, we know that the… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin's Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) concept

PENTAGON: The head of Air Force acquisition, Cubs fan Bill Laplante, told reporters today that the very, very eagerly awaited contract for the initial 21 of 100 Long Range Strike Bombers (LRSB) would be issued “very, very soon.” “We are really, really close to the award of the bomber,” he said. How close, thousands of… Keep reading →

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 →

IMG_4340

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 →

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