Archive: Air Force

Hill Air Force Base F-35As fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 30, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

F-35 Program Chief Seeks Faster Cost Cuts

The head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s joint program office (JPO) says he is not satisfied with the pace at which the jet’s price is falling. Navy Vice Adm. Mat Winter told reporters Feb. 28 that the cost needs to decline more quickly to keep the aircraft affordable, especially with the number of operational jets […]

An F-35 firing an AMRAAM. Photo: Raytheon.

F-35 Program Office, Contractor To Discuss Fighter Jet’s Deficiencies

The U.S. Defense Department’s F-35 Lightning II joint program office (JPO) plans to hold a “consideration summit” with prime contractor Lockheed Martin [LMT] in the “spring-summer timeframe” to discuss how to fix about 200 deficiencies that have been identified with the fighter jet and related equipment, according to the JPO’s leader. The shortfalls involve capabilities that […]

Vice Adm. Mat Winter. Photo: U.S. Navy

F-35 Program To Update Older Jets To Boost Reliability

The U.S. Defense Department’s F-35 Lightning II joint program office plans to modify more than 200 early-production jets to bring them up to newer configurations, the program’s leader said Feb. 28. Aircraft from Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lots 2 through 8 will receive a mix of hardware and software updates to reflect design improvements that […]

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). (Photo courtesy of congressman's office)

DoD Nears Hiring Outside Firm To Study Possible Space Department

The Pentagon is close to picking an outside firm to write a roadmap for the possible creation of a military space department, a key lawmaker said Feb. 28. The fiscal year 2018 defense authorization act, which Congress passed late last year, calls for the deputy defense secretary to hire a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) to craft the […]

The T-6A Texan II trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force Ends Grounding Of T-6A Trainer Planes

The U.S. Air Force, which grounded its fleet of T-6A trainer aircraft almost four weeks ago due to a rise in physiological episodes (PEs), announced Feb. 27 that the planes are now cleared to return to flight. The Air Force said it has determined that the PE surge was caused by the unexpected degradation or […]

An artist's rendering of the future Air Force One. (Boeing photo)

Boeing, White House Reach $3.9 Billion Deal To Build New Air Force One

Boeing [BA] has reached a $3.9 billion agreement with the White House to develop and build two new aircraft to replace the Air Force One presidential jets. The informal deal includes an engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract, which has not yet been awarded. It also covers efforts already under contract for the Presidential Aircraft […]

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force Leaders Push For More Aggressive Role In Space

ORLANDO, Fla. – At an Air Force Association (AFA) symposium last week that was supposed to be devoted to air warfare, U.S. Air Force leaders spent part of their time underscoring space’s increasing importance to the service. Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Feb. 23 that the Air Force, which has traditionally focused on […]

An AC-130J taxis the runway for its first official sortie Jan. 31, 2014, at Eglin AFB, Fla. Photo: Air Force.

AFSOC’s Laser Gunship Demo Slowed By Budget Turmoil

ORLANDO, Fla. — Budget uncertainty has slowed efforts by U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to test a solid-state laser weapon on an AC-130 gunship, according to the command’s leader. While AFSOC has been aiming to conduct the demonstration in 2020, it has not received all the money it needs to proceed, Air Force […]

The RC-135 Rivet Joint. (Air Force photo)

Air Force To Study Replacement Options For Command And ISR Planes

ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force is gearing up to launch a study this summer on options for replacing its fleets of large command-and-control (C2) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) planes, a key general said Feb. 22. While the analysis of alternatives (AoA) was originally going to look at potential successors to the […]

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson (Air Force photo)

Air Force Plans To Proceed With Purchasing Light-Attack Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force intends to rapidly buy a fleet of light-attack aircraft after it conducts a second round of experiments with such planes later this year, service Secretary Heather Wilson said Feb. 16. The Air Force recently updated its five-year spending plan to include a $2.4 billion “placeholder” to acquire the aircraft, Wilson told […]