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Keyword: usaf

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  • F-22 fighter jets retrofitted after Alaska crash

    03/21/2012 4:18:43 PM PDT · by U-238 · 4 replies
    Fox News ^ | 3/21/2010 | Associated Press
    Air Force is replacing handles that engage the F-22 Raptor fighter jet's emergency oxygen system after pilots reported feeling lightheaded and the death of a captain whose $143 million aircraft took a nosedive into a mountain range in Alaska. Capt. Jeffrey Haney was killed in November 2010 during a night mission about 100 miles north of Anchorage. An accident investigation found that the plane's controls and switches contributed to the crash, particularly an emergency oxygen system activation ring on the back edge of the ejection seat. The report found that the two-step process to manually activate the system required the...
  • USAF can't afford JSTARS replacement

    03/20/2012 8:16:55 PM PDT · by U-238 · 21 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/20/2012 | Dave Majumdat
    The US Air Force has completed an analysis of alternatives (AOA) for its next generation ground moving target indication (GMTI) radar aircraft fleet, but top service officials say the service can't afford to implement the study's recommendations. "The reality is there is not enough space to undertake a new start business-class ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] platform," USAF chief of staff Gen Norton Schwartz told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on 20 March. "We simply don't have the resources." The USAF approved the study in January and forwarded it on to the US Department of Defense's office of Cost...
  • Korean Air delivers rewired F-15 fighter

    03/20/2012 6:28:38 PM PDT · by U-238 · 19 replies
    The Korean Hearld ^ | 3/20/2012 | The Korean Hearld
    Korean Air on Tuesday made its first delivery of a rewired U.S. fighter plane from its Busan Tech Center under a $400 million order it won from the U.S. Air Force last September. Under the deal, Korean Air will work on 60 F-15 fighters stationed in the Pacific region by 2016, replacing their tail wings and re-wiring them in line with the U.S. military’s project to improve its combat strength. Korean Air will also carry out maintenance work. The airliner said it replaced some 15,000 Kepton wires used in the F-15 with more elastic Teflon wires and ran tests to...
  • Lockheed begins test flights of final F-22

    03/14/2012 9:34:54 PM PDT · by U-238 · 19 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/14/2012 | Dave Majumdar
    The last F-22 Raptor to be built for the US Air Force took-off on its inaugural test flight earlier today with a company pilot at the helm, a Lockheed Martin executive says. "I was just watching the take-off of aircraft 4195, so it's now made its first flight on its way to delivery," says Jeff Babione, Lockheed's F-22 programme manager. "We just had everyone outside the building watching the take-off of the final Raptor." Lockheed test pilot Bret Luedke-- a veteran aviator who has flown almost every Raptor the company has ever built--is flying the aircraft. Babione says that company...
  • ACC 2-star recognizes Det 1 for F-22 modification

    03/14/2012 6:44:32 PM PDT · by U-238 · 2 replies
    USAF Air Education and Training Command ^ | 3/7/2012 | Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
    The Air Combat Command director of operations visited a detachment at Luke on Monday to recognize the unit for designing an important safety feature for the F-22 Raptor. "This is really an important thing you have done for the Air Force and the F-22 fleet," Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, ACC director of operations, told leadership at Detachment 1, ACC Training Support Squadron, a tenant unit at Luke. The modification is to the F-22's Emergency Oxygen System handle, which makes it easier for the pilot to access. Det 1 model makers Floyd Slinker and Terry Waugh designed it. Approximately 200 handles,...
  • Show of force: Hundreds of fighter jets paraded in South Korea as US displays its military might

    03/14/2012 9:00:31 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 36 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 14 March 2012 | Lyle Brennan
    Show of force: Hundreds of fighter jets paraded in South Korea as US displays its military might Kim Jong-un, take note. After the North Korean leader made his first visit to the tense demilitarised border and Pyongyang agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons programme, United States and Republic of Korea aircraft joined forces in this huge display of F-16 Fighting Falcons. As these pictures from Kunsan Air Base show, hundreds of the jet fighters stretched as far as the eye could see. Formidable: Row after row of F-16 Fighting Falcons fills the airstrip in a show of force at Kunsan...
  • Kyrgyzstan Wants Military Role to End at U.S. Base

    03/13/2012 5:59:10 PM PDT · by U-238 · 4 replies
    NY Times ^ | 3/13/2012 | Elisabeth Bumiller
    One of Kyrgyzstan’s top defense officials told Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Tuesday that a crucial United States air base here should have “no military mission” when its lease expires a little more than two years from now. The request creates a potential hurdle to American plans to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. Notes from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other areas of conflict in the post-9/11 era. The base, officially called a transit center, is at the Manas airport close to the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, and has been a vital hub for troops and matériel moving in and out...
  • F-22s Still Gasping For Breath

    03/12/2012 9:11:31 PM PDT · by U-238 · 40 replies
    The Strategy Page ^ | 3./12/2012 | The Stategy Page
    The U.S. Air Force is still having problems with the pilot's air supply in its F-22 fighters. Recently, there were three more cases of F-22 pilots apparently experiencing problems. The term "apparently" is appropriate because the pilots did not black out and a thorough check of the air supply system and the aircraft found nothing wrong. There have been nearly 30 of these "dizziness or disorientation" incidents in the last four years. That's about one incident per hundred sorties. Only one F-22 has been lost to an accident so far and, while that did involve an air supply issue, it...
  • U.S. pilots plant SEAD with Turkish counterparts

    03/09/2012 9:19:42 PM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 2 replies
    U.S Air Force ^ | 3/9/2012 | Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee
    U.S. pilots plant SEAD with Turkish counterparts by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee Anatolian Falcon 2012 Public Affairs 3/9/2012 - KONYA, Turkey (AFNS) -- The Turkish and U.S. air forces continue to combine their air assets and share tactics in large-force employments during Exercise Anatolian Falcon 2012 here March 5-16. During LFE exercises, units oftentimes take advantage of the high number of aircraft participating to test mass communication efforts, but the 480th Fighter Squadron pilots from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, are sharing suppression-of-enemy-air-defenses tactics with their Turkish counterparts. SEAD, the 480th FS's specialty, is any action taken to deter enemy surface-to-air...
  • F-35 Program Head Expresses 'Great Confidence' in Stealth, Sensors

    03/09/2012 5:55:54 PM PST · by U-238 · 7 replies
    AOL Defense ^ | 3/8/2012 | AOL Defense
    The program executive officer for the problem-plagued F-35 said Thursday he has "great confidence" the multi-service fighter can deliver the oft-promised stealth and the sophisticated package of sensors. Vice Adm. David Venlet said he has "measured data" to show that. In a late afternoon address to an audience of defense and financial industry representatives, Venlet said all the current problems with the Lockheed Martin-built aircraft that have been highlighted in the media and congressional hearings "are in the normal range of fighter aircraft development." The problems Venlet cited included the sophisticated helmet that should allow the pilot to see on...
  • Air Force Contradicts Itself in Blame for F-22 Fighter Crash

    03/07/2012 8:42:57 PM PST · by U-238 · 11 replies
    ABC News ^ | 3/7/2012 | Lee Ferran
    Three months after the Air Force placed blame squarely on an F-22 fighter pilot who died when he crashed in the service's most expensive plane after his oxygen system failed in mid-air, a top Air Force official is apparently backtracking -- saying that the pilot was not blamed and that he did the best he could in the situation he was in. "We did not assign blame to the pilot," U.S. Air Force chief of staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said before a House subcommittee Tuesday when asked about the crash and the troubled F-22 program by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.,...
  • USAF criticised over Global Hawk cuts

    03/07/2012 7:22:09 PM PST · by U-238 · 8 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/7/2012 | Dave Majumdar
    Members of Congress on 6 March harshly criticised the US Air Force's decision to place its recently acquired fleet of Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned high altitude reconnaissance aircraft into storage. The air force has 14 aircraft in service, while four more are being built by Northrop. All 18 would be retired in the fiscal year 2013 budget proposal. Among the most vocal critics was Congressman Norman Dicks, but almost every member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee present voiced their dismay at the perceived waste of taxpayer dollars. Testifying before the committee, USAF chief of staff...
  • USAF seeks to bypass aircraft engine manufacturers

    03/07/2012 7:13:34 PM PST · by U-238 · 14 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/7/2012 | Flight Global
    The US Air Force is considering buying engine parts for some of its aircraft from third-party manufacturers, the service's top officials told the US Congress on 6 March. "We have taken a look at competing some aspects of engine components and have seen potential for significant [cost] reductions," said air force secretary Michael Donley, during his testimony before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. "We forecast a saving of $40 million," he added. In recent years, several companies have received regulatory approval under the parts manufacturing approval (PMA) category to sell reverse-engineered parts for popular commercial engines, such as the CFM...
  • Taking The Pressure Off U-2s

    03/06/2012 11:18:23 PM PST · by U-238 · 9 replies
    The Strategy Page ^ | 3/6/2012 | The Strategy Page
    Last year the U.S. Air Force decided to extend the life of its U-2 fleet and cut back on the use of large UAVs for strategic reconnaissance. One of the many upgrades U-2s will now receive will be better cockpit pressurization. Currently, pilots operate in a cockpit pressurized to conditions found at 9,600 meters (30,000 feet). This puts more strain on the pilot's body. That, and the fact that they breathe pure oxygen while up there, means they tend to be completely exhausted after returning from a long mission. So pressuring the cockpit to the level of a lower altitude...
  • An Inexpensive Solution for Quickly Launching Military Satellites Into Space

    03/06/2012 6:57:53 PM PST · by U-238 · 59 replies · 1+ views
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/1/2012 | William I. Oberholtzer
    During a recent trip to Yuma Proving Ground, in Arizona, I passed a unique looking artillery piece in a remote area of the installation. It has an extremely long barrel and appeared to be anchored in a concrete abutment. Having more than a passing interest in ordnance I made some inquiries as to origins and purpose of the gun. What I had stumbled across, on that hot desert day, was one of three unique guns that had been part of a very ambitious undertaking called the “High Altitude Research Project,” or HARP. The brainchild of Jerry Bull (of “Iranian Super...
  • Air Force Playing Hardball With Space Industry

    03/06/2012 6:48:11 PM PST · by U-238 · 14 replies
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 2/29/2012 | National Defense Magazine
    Over the past decade, the Air Force has poured more than $80 billion into space technologies, including new satellites, launch services and information systems. The plan for the coming years is to spend considerably less as pressure grows to reduce the U.S. defense budget. The Air Force still intends to modernize key satellite constellations and provide space-based communications and surveillance services for the military and intelligence community. But program costs are going to be scrutinized at an unprecedented level of detail, Air Force officials said. Every major space program is now the subject of “should-cost” reviews, which is the Pentagon’s...
  • Air Force details force structure cuts

    03/05/2012 8:58:37 PM PST · by U-238 · 8 replies
    Dod Buzz ^ | 3/4/2012 | michael Hoffman
    Air Force leadership laid out Friday afternoon what units will lose missions and which ones will get new ones with the Air National Guard bearing the brunt of the drawdown. The Air Force will retire or reclassify aircraft in seven squadrons with four being Air National Guard units. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley announced the service will retire 286 aircraft over the next five years with 227 leaving the fleet in 2013. Read the exact details of what aircraft are going where and what squadrons will receive new missions over the next five years in the white paper issued by...
  • USAF training command set to start F-35 operations

    03/05/2012 7:42:05 PM PST · by U-238 · 7 replies
    FlightGlobal ^ | 3/4/2012 | Dave Majumdar
    US Air Force operational testers will start receiving their first Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters at Edwards AFB in California in late June, a service official says. According to the official, the 31st Test and Evaluation Sqn will initially receive four aircraft, with more to follow later. If flight operations at Eglin AFB, Florida - scheduled to start on 6 March - ramp-up quickly to begin pilot training, the official says he is optimistic the operational testers can start flying by the end of June. The unit will initially start with local area flight operations designed to familiarise pilots...
  • U.S. Air Force space plane marks one year in orbit

    03/05/2012 7:05:31 PM PST · by U-238 · 6 replies
    Spaceflight Now ^ | 3/4/2012 | Stephen Clark
    The U.S. Air Force's second X-37B space plane marked one year in orbit Monday, continuing its clandestine mission more than 200 miles above Earth. The robotic spacecraft's purpose is secret, but Air Force officials acknowledge the vehicle is performing well one year after it blasted off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on March 5, 2011. "We are very pleased with the results of the on-going X-37B experiments," said Lt. Col. Tom McIntyre, X-37B program director in the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office. "The X-37B program is setting the standard for a reusable space plane and, on this...
  • An Open Letter to General Schwartz on the Light Air Support Aircraft

    03/05/2012 1:20:15 PM PST · by DefenseMatters · 13 replies
    Second Line of Defense ^ | 03/05/12 | Ed Timperlake
    An Open Letter to General Schwartz on the Light Air Support Aircraft by Ed Timperlake Please do not validate that the AT-6 was compliant when submitted for LAS Solicitation FA8615-10-R-6088” by allowing your investigators to focus exclusively on the end-game selection paperwork. “There will be hell to pay” USAF Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz was recently quoted about possible results depending on what the “investigation” of the “smoking hole” debacle of trying to deliver a combat aircraft to the Afghan war effort. This is more tough talk from a General who previously told industry: “Don’t blow smoke up my...
  • Fifth generation fighters crucial to air superiority

    03/05/2012 12:21:07 AM PST · by U-238 · 22 replies
    Defense Talk ^ | 3/4/2012 | Defense Tech
    The Air Force is the world's most advanced air and space force and, with the integration of fifth generation aircraft, is gaining new tactical advantages that transcend beyond just stealth into areas such as enhanced maneuverability, multi-role capabilities and fused sensor and avionics systems that can communicate with other weapons systems. That's why it is imperative that U.S. forces continue to develop and begin to use fifth-generation fighters as they transition to the new Pacific-based strategy, according to Lt. Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. During the Air...
  • US mothballs airborne laser missile defense weapon

    03/04/2012 11:28:49 PM PST · by U-238 · 51 replies
    CBS News ^ | 3/1/2012 | CBS News
    The Pentagon has mothballed a laser-equipped jumbo jet after 15 years and $5 billion worth of research to develop an airborne missile defense system. Budget cuts shot down the Airborne Laser Test Bed but some research into anti-missile lasers will continue, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. "We didn't have the funding to continue flying the aircraft," agency spokeswoman Debra Christman told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/xEnw3z ). The plane, a Boeing 747 mounted with a high-energy chemical laser, has been sent into storage at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, the agency said. The base near Tucson, Ariz., serves...
  • Pentagon Slackens Difficult-To-Achieve JSF Performance Requirements

    03/04/2012 6:49:49 PM PST · by U-238 · 11 replies
    Inside Defense ^ | 3/3/2012 | inside Defense
    The Pentagon last month relaxed the performance requirements for the Joint Strike Fighter, allowing the Air Force F-35A variant to exceed its previous combat radius -- a benchmark it previously missed -- and granting the Marine Corps F-35B nearly 10 percent additional runway length for short take-offs, according to Defense Department sources. On Feb. 14, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council -- in a previously unreported development -- agreed to loosen select key performance parameters (KPPs) for the JSF during a review of the program convened in advance of a high-level Feb. 21 Defense Acquisition Board meeting last month, at which...
  • BAE Systems to Supply B-2 Threat-Warning System Upgrade

    With a recent contract award from Northrop Grumman to provide electronic support measures (ESM) on the B-2 Spirit bomber, BAE Systems will be providing electronic warfare on all three U.S. Air Force low-observable platforms, including the F-22 and F-35 fighters, according to the company. The new ESM system will replace the original Lockheed Martin AN/APR-50 defensive management system on the 20 B-2s. The ESM system works in conjunction with the radar warning receiver to detect and alert aircrew to electronic threats. Although it says it was selected “in a competitive bid process over the incumbent and industry’s top electronic warfare...
  • Holloman’s ORE produces record number of F-22 launches

    03/02/2012 9:10:24 PM PST · by U-238 · 18 replies
    DVIDS ^ | 3/2/2012 | Airman 1st Class Anthony Ward
    Members of Team Holloman participated in a Phase One Operational Readiness Exercise, which tested Holloman's ability to prepare and mobilize from peacetime to wartime at a moment's notice, Feb. 27 to Feb. 29. The ORE culminated in the launching of 15 F-22 Raptors, a record number for Holloman. "The significance of any Phase One ORE is to ensure the base is going through its practices and procedures to ensure readiness if called upon to rapidly deploy anywhere around the world," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Max Vollkommer, 49th Wing chief of plans and inspections. During the three-day exercise, Holloman's airmen...
  • You Know DoD’s In Trouble When Contractors Tell It “Hell No”

    03/02/2012 7:56:51 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 18 replies
    Lexington Institute ^ | March 1, 2012
    You Know DoD’s In Trouble When Contractors Tell It “Hell No” (Source: Lexington Institute; issued March 1, 2012) (© Lexington Institute; reproduced by permission) What are the signs that the U.S. military is in decline? Stalemate on the battlefield. Withdrawal from long-occupied positions in the world. A shrinking force posture. By all these indicators, the U.S. military is in trouble. An even more telling sign is when defense contractors defy their major, sometimes primary, customer. For more than 60 years, the Department of Defense has enjoyed privileged position as the world's largest buyer of military-related goods and services. The Pentagon...
  • F-22 redesign considered as oxygen system concerns linger

    03/02/2012 12:25:39 AM PST · by U-238 · 17 replies · 74+ views
    Flight Global ^ | 3/1/2012 | Stephen Trimble
    US Air Force leaders are considering a redesign of the Lockheed Martin F-22 but still have no answers for the oxygen system breakdowns responsible for another operational disruption. F-22s based in Alaska were grounded for one day in mid-February after three separate pilots reported hypoxia symptoms, the Air Combat Command confirmed to Flightglobal. It was at least the third temporary stand-down for the F-22 since the USAF deactivated the entire fleet for four months until last September. But air force officials are no closer to identifying the cause of the string of incidents, including one fatal crash in November 2010...
  • Air Force Certifying F-16s to Use Biofuels

    03/01/2012 8:36:24 PM PST · by U-238 · 150 replies · 97+ views
    Defense Tech ^ | 3/1/2012 | Defense Tech
    In case you haven’t seen this, the Air Force is flying F-16s on biofuel derived from the camelina plant. Yup, years after the air service certified most of its aviation fleet to fly on coal-derived synthetic fuel (stuff that was pioneered by the Nazis and apartheid-era South African governments because no one liked them and the world cut off their oil supplies) it is now certifying its jets to fly on something a little more environmentally friendly. (The Navy has been working to get its ships and planes certified to run on biofuels for a while now, too.) Its plan...
  • HASC Chair Won't Intervene For Global Hawk; Pledges To Try For More DoD Dough

    03/01/2012 8:20:30 PM PST · by U-238 · 13 replies · 19+ views
    AOL Defense ^ | 3/1/2012 | Colin Clark
    Even though Global Hawk is built in his district, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon told me today that he would not personally push to save the Block 30s from oblivion. "I will not be involved in trying to force something just because it's best for my district," McKeon said today during the interview on C-Span's Newsmakers show. The Air Force killed the Global Hawk Block 30 purchase in the 2013 defense budget, arguing that the venerable U-2 reconnaissance plane does a better job for less. That cut is estimated to save the Pentagon $2.5 billion. The chairman...
  • Strategy & Policy HASC Chair Won't Intervene For Global Hawk; Pledges To Try For More DoD Dough

    03/01/2012 8:20:20 PM PST · by U-238 · 1 replies · 5+ views
    AOL Defense ^ | 3/1/2012 | Colin Clark
    Even though Global Hawk is built in his district, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon told me today that he would not personally push to save the Block 30s from oblivion. "I will not be involved in trying to force something just because it's best for my district," McKeon said today during the interview on C-Span's Newsmakers show. The Air Force killed the Global Hawk Block 30 purchase in the 2013 defense budget, arguing that the venerable U-2 reconnaissance plane does a better job for less. That cut is estimated to save the Pentagon $2.5 billion. The chairman...
  • Key General: White House Briefed on Iran Target Options

    02/29/2012 6:38:38 PM PST · by U-238 · 26 replies · 1+ views
    U.S. News and World Report ^ | 2/29/2012 | John T. Bennett
    The Air Force has provided the White House with options for a strike against Iran's nuclear weapons sites, but a former top Pentagon official is warning America and Israel lack the weaponry to halt Tehran's atomic arms program. Iran's defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons "has the attention of the [Joint] Chiefs and other national security officials," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters Wednesday. "Our obligation is to provide options" to the defense secretary and the president, Schwartz said, "and we have done that." President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have said for months they will...
  • A-29 Super Tucano Vs AT-6: The “Smoking Hole”

    02/29/2012 9:22:28 AM PST · by DefenseMatters · 34 replies
    Second Line of Defense ^ | Timperlake | Ed
    Super Tucano Vs AT-6: The “Smoking Hole” by Ed Timperlake “While we pursue perfection, we sometimes fall short, and when we do we will take corrective action,” said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, in a statement Tuesday (Feb 28, 2012). The USAF just withdrew their selection of the SuperTucano for the Afghan Army Air Force LAS. Numerous worldwide news stories are reporting this action. The Air Force plans to set aside a disputed $354 million contract for a light air support plane and initiate an investigation into the award. A senior USAF acquisition official, who is reportedly leaving soon in...
  • US Air Force cancels deal for Brazilian-made aircraft

    02/29/2012 3:09:48 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 24 replies · 1+ views
    Agence France Presse (AFP) ^ | 29 February 2012
    US Air Force cancels deal for Brazilian-made aircraft AFP - The US Air Force has canceled a $355 million contract for a light attack aircraft made by Brazil's Embraer, saying it would open an investigation after protests from a rival US aerospace firm, officials said Tuesday. The contract for 20 Embraer AT-29 Super Tucano aircraft was awarded in December as part of plans to arm the Afghan military amid a NATO troop drawdown. But the US Air Force said it was not "satisfied" with the paperwork supporting the decision to hand the project to US-based Sierra Nevada Corporation, in partnership...
  • Air Force Base Quietly Pauses F-22 Fighter Missions

    02/28/2012 7:26:07 PM PST · by U-238 · 7 replies
    ABC News ^ | 2/28/2012 | Lee Feeran
    American pilots at an Alaskan military base have reported a sudden spike of incidents in which they experienced an apparent lack of oxygen while flying the nation's most sophisticated fighter jets -- a mysterious, recurring problem that already caused the $77.4 billion fighter jet fleet to sit idle on the tarmac for months last year. In at least three incidents in the last two weeks, pilots of the $143 million-a-pop stealth F-22 Raptors at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson reported the "hypoxia-like" symptoms, leading the base to ground their F-22s for a day for "review," Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Regina Winchester...
  • Is The F-35 Strike Fighter The Military Chevy Volt?

    02/27/2012 4:54:12 PM PST · by raptor22 · 53 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | February 27, 2012 | IBD staff
    Defense: Pilots who arrived a year ago to train on the fighter of the future are still waiting as safety concerns, cost overruns and questions about the whole program's feasibility mount. The F-35 is meant to be America's next-generation fighter, the heir to the Air Force's F-15 Eagle and the Navy's and Marines' F/A-18 Hornet. Those two aircraft have fulfilled their air superiority and ground-attack roles well, yet many are well beyond their expected life expectancy. The F-35 would fill America's defense needs in an age of budget constraints, we were told. So far it has not been a smooth...
  • U.S. Navy Photo of the Day: A Very Impressive, Very Awesome View of U.S. Military Might

    02/27/2012 9:23:02 AM PST · by EnjoyingLife · 53 replies
    ChamorroBible.org ^ | August 14, 2007 | U.S. Navy MC1 Hana'lei Shimana
    Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Guam, USA: A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress and fighter jets fly over the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) carrier strike groups during Exercise Valiant Shield 2007 on August 14, 2007. Via http://ChamorroBible.org/gpw/gpw-20060917.htm (medium, large) The Photographer Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (MC1) Hana'lei Shimana, United States Navy  
  • Air Force Trades Quantity For Quality

    02/26/2012 11:21:20 PM PST · by U-238 · 6 replies
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/1/2012 | Dan Parsons
    The Air Force will cut airmen and ditch some underperforming and unwanted aircraft, focusing instead on purchasing fewer but more capable new models in order to bridge a years-long investment gap, officials said. At the top of the list are aging fighters, bombers and air-refueling tankers. The service is bent on replacing or beginning to buy upgrades for all three within a decade, even if it means foregoing other programs, according to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. “The bottom line is, these are important capabilities for the nation and ones we will make sacrifices elsewhere to sustain,”...
  • Experts See No Logic in Air Force Mothballing New Global Hawks

    02/26/2012 11:16:43 PM PST · by U-238 · 9 replies · 1+ views
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/1/2012 | Sandra I. Erwin and Dan Parsons
    Buried in a long list of Pentagon budget proposals for the next five years is the Air Force’s recommendation to retire a fleet of 18 brand-new Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned surveillance aircraft. Four of them haven’t even been delivered yet, and are already destined for the boneyard. Air Force leaders have defended their decision, contending that the $67 million apiece Global Hawk has become too pricey, and that the Cold War era U-2 spy aircraft can still do the job. Further, they insist that axing the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk hardly means the end of the...
  • Air Force's U-2 aircraft get new lease on life

    02/24/2012 9:22:11 PM PST · by U-238 · 19 replies · 1+ views
    CNET ^ | 2/22/2012 | Jonathan E. Skillings
    The draft of the federal budget for 2013 pulls back the throttle on the rival Global Hawk program. An Air Force general says the U-2, a design that dates to the 1950s, is "the stronger system." Score one for old-school aircraft against the upstart drones. Perhaps it's just a brief respite from the seemingly inevitable winds of change propelling unmanned aircraft ever higher in the Pentagon's airpower depth charts, but the venerable U-2 spy plane has won a key vote of confidence over the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk. That victory came not in a head-to-head aerial dogfight, but in a...
  • New Bomber Program 'Underway' But Cloaked in Secrecy

    02/24/2012 9:09:08 PM PST · by U-238 · 90 replies · 1+ views
    AolDefense ^ | 2/24/2012 | Colin Clark
    America's new long-range bomber program is "underway," will involve somewhere between 80 and 100 planes and will be delivered sometime in the mid-2020's. "And that's about all we're saying," Air Force Secretary Mike Donley told reporters. It's been known for some time that the bombers will not fly alone but will be part of a family of systems that may include UAVs and other systems. The really interesting part of all this is the secrecy and why it's so dark. It would seem to indicate several things: that the U.S. does not want potential competitors such as China or Russia...
  • Video: A C-5 Galaxy Air Launches an ICBM.

    02/24/2012 5:14:32 PM PST · by U-238 · 67 replies
    Defense Tech ^ | 3/1/2012 | Defense tech
    In the 1970s, the Air Force launched a Minuteman ICBM launched from a C-5 Galaxy. Hold on, what!?!? That was my reaction upon learning that the above sentence is true. In 1974, the Air Force decided that it could turn C-5 Galaxy airlifters into flying SSBNs. Yup, Air Force planners thought the missile would be tougher for the Soviets to take out with a preemptive strike if it was already aboard a moving target like a C-5 versus sitting in a stationary missile silo. So, they loaded a Minuteman into a C-5 that parachute-dropped the 60-foot tall missile out of...
  • F-35 Pilots’ New Helmet

    02/24/2012 5:06:40 PM PST · by U-238 · 21 replies
    Defense Tech ^ | 10/13/2011 | Defense Tech
    You’re looking at what may well be the helmet worn by the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pilots at the plane’s schoolhouse at Eglin Air Force Base, Fl. It’s the basis for BAE Systems’ alternate JSF helmet that is being developed due to issues with the plane’s futuristic — and kind of crazy – looking helmet made by Vision Systems International. BAE’s brain bucket is based on the one used by Eurofighter Typhoon pilots. However, for F-35, BAE will remove the Typhoon’s display system — housed in the giant forward part of the helmet — and will replace it with...
  • Air Force F-35s, Drones May Square Off in Budget Battle

    02/23/2012 4:38:32 PM PST · by U-238 · 8 replies
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 2/1/2012 | Dan Parsons
    Unmanned aerial vehicles have become a potent portion of the U.S. Air Force inventory and an indispensable weapon in the global war on terror. But a budget crunch and turf wars with old-guard pilots could threaten progress made during 10 years of combat, experts said. “There’s not going to be a way of putting this genie back in the bottle,” retired Navy Vice Adm. Joseph W. Dyer told National Defense. “The world has changed. That doesn’t mean advocates of today’s manned aircraft won’t try to put it back in the bottle. But it ain’t going.” The Defense Department is aiming...
  • USAF delays T-38 trainer replacement to 2020

    02/19/2012 8:12:43 PM PST · by U-238 · 18 replies
    Flightglobal ^ | 2/17/2012 | Stephen Trimble
    The US Air Force has confirmed its latest budget proposal delays fielding a replacement for the Northrop T-38 Talon advanced jet trainer by three years. The Fiscal 2013 budget proposal unveiled on 13 February postpones the initial operational capability for the T-X programme from FY2017 to FY2020, according to the Air Education and Training Command (AETC). Contract award is also delayed one year to FY2016, the AETC said. The command remains committed to replacing the T-38s, which entered service 51 years ago. "They're reaching the end of their lifecyle," the AETC said. The T-38Cs are also unable to perform certain...

    02/14/2012 1:02:18 PM PST · by combat_boots · 1 replies · 2+ views
    US DoD ^ | 2/13/2012 | ---
    PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVES In January 2012 the Department published a paper -- “Defense Budget Priorities and Choices” – identifying the major budgetary changes made in response to the new defense strategy. Changes in the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget support U.S. defense strategy and are organized around four major themes: 1. Making more disciplined use of defense dollars. 2. Applying strategic guidance to force structure and investment. 3. Ensuring the quality of the all-volunteer force. 4. Fully supporting deployed warfighters. Disciplined Use of Defense Dollars The FY 2013 budget continues the reform agenda advanced in the Department’s previous three budgets. The FY...
  • USAF cancels AMRAAM replacement

    02/14/2012 9:34:50 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 18 replies · 1+ views
    Flight International ^ | 02/14/2012 | Zach Rosenberg
    USAF cancels AMRAAM replacement By: Zach Rosenberg Washington DC The US Air Force has cancelled the next generation missile (NGM) meant to replace both the anti-air AIM-120 AMRAAM and the anti-radiation AGM-88 HARM, both mainstays of the USA and its international allies. The NGM programme, also formerly known as the joint dual-role air dominance missile and projected to cost up to $15 billion, was cancelled "for affordability reasons", according to Gen Edward Bolton, USAF chief budget officer. The contest was eagerly anticipated by major aerospace companies, including Aerojet, Alliant Techsystems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Following the 13...
  • Air Force Chief: We Will Not ‘Overdesign’ the New Stealth Bomber

    02/11/2012 2:07:27 AM PST · by U-238 · 77 replies
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 2/9/2012 | Sandra Erwin
    After a decades-long streak of troubled weapon acquisitions, the Air Force is looking to get off on the right foot as it seeks to buy a new intercontinental stealth bomber. The Pentagon’s new budget proposal gives the Air Force the green light to begin designing a new bomber with a target date for starting production in the mid-2020s. The goal is to acquire up to 100 new aircraft at a cost of about $55 billion. But skeptics already are casting doubts on the plan. They consistently point to the B-2 batwing stealth bomber as a cautionary tale. The Pentagon spent...
  • Air Force Removes 'God' From Logo

    02/09/2012 6:21:15 PM PST · by diji · 17 replies
    American Family Association ^ | February 9, 2012 | afa
    We need your help in calling on the Air Force to reverse its decision to remove a Latin reference to "God" from a logo after an atheist group complained. But after the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers complained, the line was rewritten in Latin to read, "Doing Miracles with Other People's Money."
  • F-22 Fighter Crash Questions Linger: Pentagon Reviews Air Force Report

    02/10/2012 12:46:55 AM PST · by U-238 · 7 replies
    ABC ^ | 2/10/2012 | Lee Ferran
    The Department of Defense is reviewing the Air Force's investigation into a deadly F-22 jet crash that claimed the life of fighter pilot Capt. Jeff Haney -- a crash that the Air Force blamed on Haney, despite a malfunction that caused his oxygen system to shut off mid-flight. Launched by the Pentagon's Inspector General, the assessment aims to make sure the Air Force adhered to proper procedures during their investigation of the 2010 crash in the Alaskan wilderness and "will also verify that [the Air Force's] conclusions are supported by evidence of record consistent with standards of proof," according to...
  • U.S. plans $2.8 billion upgrade of F-16 fighter

    02/02/2012 8:37:23 PM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 23 replies
    Reuters ^ | Feb 2, 2012 | Jim Wolf
    U.S. plans $2.8 billion upgrade of F-16 fighter 7:14pm EST By Jim Wolf WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force said Thursday it plans a $2.8 billion upgrade of about 350 of its aging F-16 multi-role fighter planes to help offset slower purchases of the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The work, running into the 2020s, will extend the service life of select F-16 airframes. Other upgrades include advanced radar, sensors, cockpit display, electronic warfare and communications capabilities, the service said. "We have worked through the implications of the delays in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program," Air Force Secretary...