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  • IN FOCUS: End of F-22 production closes chapter in eventful history

    04/02/2012 5:58:37 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 12 replies
    Flight International ^ | 04/02/2012 | Dave Majumdar
    IN FOCUS: End of F-22 production closes chapter in eventful history On 14 March, a lone Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor took to the skies over Georgia on a test flight. It was the last of 187 aircraft ordered by the US Air Force. The USAF had originally wanted 750 of the stealthy fifth-generation fighters, but a political debate over the very nature of aerial warfare in the 21st century ultimately sealed its fate. The debate started in the halls of the Pentagon in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan around 2004 and came to a head...
  • Lockheed Martin to celebrate delivery of 4,500th F-16

    04/02/2012 5:23:03 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 12 replies
    Star Telegram ^ | Apr. 01, 2012 | Bob Cox
    Lockheed Martin to celebrate delivery of 4,500th F-16 In late 1969, a conspiracy was hatched in secret all-night meetings in Washington, D.C.-area hotel rooms that would have a profound impact on military aviation and Fort Worth. A handful of people were at the meetings: two rebel Air Force colonels, a Pentagon analyst and a General Dynamics engineer. Their goal was to create a fighter jet -- a relatively simple, inexpensive plane that could be sold by the hundreds. Fortunately, the conspirators succeeded, probably beyond any of their wildest dreams. On Tuesday, Lockheed Martin will celebrate delivery of the 4,500th F-16,...
  • Pentagon focused on resolving F-35 software issues

    04/01/2012 9:20:55 PM PDT · by U-238 · 41 replies
    Reuters ^ | Reuters
    The Pentagon is focused on resolving complex software issues on the new Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet, even as it struggles to drive down costs, a top Pentagon official said on Friday, noting that software failures could "bring us to our knees." Air Force Major General John Thompson, the No. 2 official in charge of the huge multi-nation warplane development program, said the latest restructuring of the program had given officials enough resources and time to address future challenges. "Both the hardware and the software issues that we're addressing are all within the realm of being resolved," Thompson told...
  • Laser Horizons

    04/01/2012 8:34:03 PM PDT · by U-238 · 5 replies
    Air Force Magazine ^ | 4/1/2012 | John A. Tirpak
    Functional laser weapons are just five years away. Advocates hope that won’t always be the case. The Air Force has been working on airborne laser weapons for more than 40 years, but a fielded system remains elusive. Experts also warn that the US does not enjoy a commanding lead in laser research. And the Air Force’s flagship laser weapon program, the Airborne Laser (later called the Airborne Laser Testbed) was terminated late last year and is now being dismantled. Still, service and industry experts predict there is plenty of reason for realistic optimism. Operational laser systems that can perform a...
  • Raptors for the Long Haul

    04/01/2012 8:30:26 PM PDT · by U-238 · 2 replies
    Air Force Magazine ^ | 4/1/2012 | Marc V. Schanz
    The Air Force and Lockheed Martin have a plan to make the most of the F-22 fleet. As always, money will be an issue. By the end of next month, the last F-22 Raptor built—tail No. 4195—should complete final checkout tests, take off from Lockheed Martin’s plant at Marietta, Ga., and fly to its new home at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Lt. Col. Paul D. Moga, once Air Combat Command’s F-22 demonstration pilot, and now commander of the 525th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf, will fly it there. As that last delivery flight takes place, the Air Force will confront a long...
  • USAF vows to discover root cause of Raptor's maladies

    03/31/2012 2:47:00 PM PDT · by U-238 · 27 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/29/2012 | Dave Majumdar
    A US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) panel investigating a series of hypoxia-like incidents afflicting pilots flying the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor has not discovered what is causing the problem, but service officials vow they will find the root cause. "I am convinced there is a root cause," says Maj Gen Charles Lyon, Air Combat Command's (ACC) director of operations. "I want everyone to know--particularly those who operate it and their families--we will not rest until we find that root cause." The USAF is continuing to test the F-22's life-support systems to try to determine what is still causing...
  • Nearing coffin corner: US air power on the edge

    03/30/2012 12:30:20 AM PDT · by U-238 · 20 replies
    American Enterprise Institute ^ | 3/21/2012 | Mackenzie Eaglen, Douglas A. Birkey
    Air power stands as a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s recent decision to prioritize defense efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. To make this strategy successful, the administration and Congress must ensure the nation has the necessary capabilities and capacity to secure national interests in an area defined by vast distances, limited basing options, and a pronounced threat to assured access. This means real investments—not budgeting sleights of hand that dilute America’s presence in other vital areas around the globe—and the ability to maintain strength across the national security portfolio. Though the United States currently dominates the skies, this will not...
  • U.S. and Allies Benefiting from Spike in Air-to-Air Missile Sales

    03/28/2012 11:02:42 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 2 replies
    U.S. and Allies Benefiting from Spike in Air-to-Air Missile Sales 14:24 GMT, March 28, 2012 PATUXENT RIVER, Md. | Reflecting a recent report on international arms transfers, one of the Navy’s oldest, affordable and most successful air-to-air missiles has seen heightened interest in foreign military sales (FMS). The AIM-9 Sidewinder, short-range, air-to-air missile, carried primarily by tactical aircraft, entered service with the Navy in the mid-1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service worldwide after six decades. The volume of worldwide arms transfers in 2007-2011 was 24 percent higher than in 2002-2006 and the five largest arms importers in...
  • F-35 local area flights show progress at Eglin

    03/27/2012 8:50:27 PM PDT · by U-238 · 7 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/26/2012 | Dave Majumadar
    F-35 test pilots at Eglin AFB have flown seven local area orientation flights around the Florida base since flight operations began on 6 March, a US Air Force official says. "We've flown seven sorties so far and are planning to fly four more next week," the USAF official says. "We've only cancelled two sorties and they were both for weather." Two qualified test pilots - USAF Lt Col Eric Smith and US Marine Corps Maj Joseph Bachmann - are flying a series of local area flights to gauge the readiness of the 33rd Fighter Wing's new Lockheed Martin F-35As and...
  • No Go On A Nuclear-Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle?

    03/26/2012 6:27:31 PM PDT · by U-238 · 4 replies · 11+ views
    Ottawa Citizen ^ | 3/26/2012 | :David Pugliese
    There have been a number of articles lately about the U.S. developing a new unmanned aerial vehicle in secret. Dave Majumdar, at Air Force Times, recently had an article about how the U.S. Air Force’s decision to postpone development of a next generation unmanned combat aircraft suggests that service might be developing something else in the “black world.” The article quoted USAF intelligence chief Lt.-Gen. Larry James who said that there is no immediate need for a next generation replacement for the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. And the Predator-C Avenger UAV the USAF is buying will be used only as...
  • F-35A completes first night refueling mission

    03/26/2012 5:54:59 PM PDT · by U-238 · 1 replies · 8+ views
    Lockheed Martin ^ | 3/26/2012 | Lockheed Martin
    The first night refueling in the history of the Lockheed Martin F-35 program was completed Thursday at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Piloted by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Vitt, AF-4, an F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, rendezvoused with an Air Force KC-135 tanker and successfully received fuel through the F-35’s boom receptacle. Vitt’s sortie lasted more than three hours. In addition to qualifying with the KC-135, the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards AFB will also conduct night refueling tests with the KC-10.
  • Space Capability Integral to All Military Operation

    03/26/2012 1:11:35 AM PDT · by U-238 · 3 replies · 2+ views
    Defense Talk ^ | 3/26/2012 | Defense Talk
    Space capabilities have become integral to all military operations, the commander of Air Force Space Command told reporters here during a Defense Writers Group breakfast yesterday. "It's hard to imagine what life was like before we had ... GPS providing very accurate targeting capability, military satellite communications providing all the reach-back that's needed, [and] missile warning providing cover for our deployed forces," Air Force Gen. William L. Shelton said. The Air Force launched and maintains the 24 satellites that make up the GPS navigation system. The all-weather, 24-hour system was intended for military use, but in 1983 President Ronald Reagan...
  • AF-Navy collaborate to find answers on hypoxia

    03/25/2012 8:24:53 PM PDT · by U-238 · 6 replies · 1+ views
    Dayton Daily News ^ | 3/25/2012 | Barrie Barber
    The Air Force and the Navy have combined research into a perplexing problem that may have vexed both services in the skies. The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and the Naval Medical Research Unit, next door to each other at Wright-Patterson, have linked research for hypoxia — incidents that may have caused a lack of oxygen to reach pilots during some flights in the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighter and the Navy’s F-18, military leaders said. “We had what we believe was a common issue,” said Capt. Rita Simmons, executive officer of the Naval Medical Research Unit....
  • USAF fields first upgraded F-22 Raptors

    03/23/2012 7:27:03 PM PDT · by U-238 · 17 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/23/2012 | Dave Mujumdar
    The US Air Force has begun to deploy Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors upgraded with enhanced air-to-ground strike capabilities to the operational fleet, starting with the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. "The 525th Fighter Squadron was the first Combat Air Forces squadron to receive an [Increment] 3.1 modified aircraft," says squadron commander Lt Col Paul "Max" Moga. "The capabilities this incremental upgrade brings are a complete game-changer for the F-22, making it even more lethal and survivable in combat." The unit's flagship, tail number 4115, is the first aircraft to be equipped with the modifications, which add a...
  • Air Force Will Continue to Launch Mysterious X-37B Space Plane

    03/22/2012 9:00:20 PM PDT · by U-238 · 23 replies · 3+ views
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/22/2012 | Stew Magnuson
    What payloads are aboard the Air Force’s X-37B space plane, which has been orbiting the Earth for more than a year, remains top secret. Gen. William L. Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, was peppered with questions about its purpose at a gathering of Washington, D.C.-based defense reporters March 22. He remained tight-lipped about the mystery spacecraft’s mission, but did say that the service has no intention of purchasing any more of the winged, reusable vehicles, which resemble a smaller version of NASA’s now returned space shuttle. “It is doing very well on orbit,” he said. “It has had...
  • 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...