Archive: Pentagon

An Air Force F-22 Raptor. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force F-22 Upgrades Move Into Operational Testing

The U.S. Air Force has started conducting operational testing for a series of major upgrades to the F-22 Raptor, according to a new report by the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester. The initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) for the Increment 3.2B upgrades began in September and is slated to wrap up in April, says the fiscal […]

The Air Force's F-35A conventional variant. Photo: Air Force.

F-35 Still Struggling With Readiness Woes, DoD Tester Says

The U.S. Department of Defense’s new fleet of F-35 Lightning IIs is making little progress in overcoming its readiness problems, according to a new report by the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester. “Reliability growth has stagnated,“ Robert Behler, DoD’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E), wrote in his fiscal year 2017 annual report. “Overall fleet-wide […]

Gen. Robert Neller, Marine Corps Commandant. Photo: USMC.

Top Marine: Rules Must Change For Service Chiefs To Speed Acquisition

Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller is appreciative of the authority Congress has granted service chiefs to make purchasing decisions and speed new weapons to the field, but laws governing Defense Department acquisition still tie their hands in many cases, he said. The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act granted the service chiefs veto power over service-specific […]

United States Capitol

SASC OKs Griffin For DoD Research Post, Roper For Air Force Acquisition Chief

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on Jan. 24 approved the nomination of former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin to lead the Department of Defense’s new research and engineering shop. The committee also favorably reported the nomination of William Roper to be Air Force acquisition chief. Roper is currently director of DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office.  The […]

Frank Kendall

Former Chief Weapon Buyer: Open Systems Requirements Need Better Enforcement

Requiring that new weapons have some degree of openness to upgrades has been a Pentagon policy for decades, but the Defense Department needs to better enforce that expectation so emerging technologies can be integrated when available and appropriate, according to a former chief weapon buyer. Frank Kendall, who was the last undersecretary of defense for […]

Capitol under clouds

DoD Prepares For Possible Shutdown As Congress Debates Funding

The Department of Defense was bracing for a partial shutdown late Jan. 19 as Congress grappled with how to keep the government funded after a stopgap measure expires at midnight. The House approved a new continuing resolution (CR) late Jan. 18 that would keep the government open through Feb. 16, but the measure (H.J. Res. […]

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis announces the National Defense Strategy at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, Jan. 19. (DoD photo by Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm)

In New Strategy, Mattis Redirects ‘More-Lethal’ Military Toward Great-Power Conflict

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis unveiled on Friday a strategy for sharpening the U.S. military’s competitive advantage against near-peer adversaries Russia and China by modernizing the force, strengthening alliances and building new partnerships all in an effort to preserve the relative global stability established after World War II. “The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security […]

SpaceX launches the JCSAT-16 commercial communications satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket. Photo: SpaceX

DoD Still Mum On Fate Of Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft

Four days after the U.S. government’s classified Zuma spacecraft apparently failed after being launched on a SpaceX rocket, the Department of Defense remained mum on exactly what happened. At a Pentagon press briefing Jan. 11, DoD spokeswoman Dana White declined to comment on the matter, referring questions to SpaceX. “We’re not going to be able […]


Rood Cleared To Lead DoD Policy Shop

The Senate confirmed former Lockheed Martin [LMT] International executive John Rood to be undersecretary of defense for policy by an 81-7 vote late Jan. 3. Among those voting no was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who complained that many top defense officials appointed by the Trump administration come from major defense companies, creating potential conflicts of […]


Roper To Leave Secretive Pentagon Tech Office

The Trump administration on Jan. 3 announced two nominations for senior weapon buyers in the Pentagon and Air Force, one of which would relinquish the top spot at the shadowy Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO). William Roper, the current and only director of the SCO, is tapped to become the Air Force chief weapon buyer. Founded […]