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Air Combat Commander Bullish On F-35 IOC

Posted by Colin Clark on


RIAT: No roadblocks stand in the way of approving Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the Air Force’s F-35A, Gen. Hawk Carlisle said here today. The head of Air Combat Command — who is the man charged with ensuring Lockheed Martin meets all the benchmarks for IOC — made clear nothing would happen until Air Force… Keep reading →

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‘Flying Coke Machine’ Would Replace A-10, If We Had $: Air Force Chief Welsh

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Air Force wants to replace the aging but beloved A-10 “Warthog” with a robotic “flying coke machine” that loiters over the battlefield, dispensing firepower at the touch of a button, the outgoing Chief of Staff said this morning. (More on that concept below). Gen. Mark Welsh also wants a “sixth-generation fighter” that can… Keep reading →

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How Big Will Boeing’s KC-46 Penalty Be?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Boeing blew one of the most important milestones for the KC-46 airborne tanker program last week. The question is, will Boeing be penalized and, if so, how big will the penalty be? The answer, at this point, is it ain’t clear. “The KC-46 contract does not contain pre-defined penalties for missing schedule deadlines,” Air… Keep reading →

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Another Boeing Tanker Delay; How Long, Oh Lord?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: When Boeing really, truly and finally won the airborne tanker competition by underbidding what was then EADS North America (now Airbus) by at least 10 percent, the chairman of the losing company, Ralph Crosby, said he believed it important that Boeing be watched closely to make sure they delivered at that price and on… Keep reading →

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Robot Brains Where & When You Want ‘Em

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Classic science fiction imagined evil master computers remote-controlling their mindless robot minions. It imagined good-guy droids that were basically humans in tin suits. But as the actual science of autonomy evolves, reality is looking a lot weirder. The user interface may be in an ordinary Android tablet, but the artificial intelligence itself may reside in… Keep reading →

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DepSecDef Work Details 2017 Budget: Offset Just Beginning EXCLUSIVE

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED: Adds DepSecDef Explanation For Additional LCS PENTAGON: “We don’t have enough money to do everything we want to do,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told me in an exclusive 85-minute interview in his E-Ring Pentagon office. “So what we’re doing this year, Sydney, is we are trying to prepare as many demonstrations on advanced… Keep reading →

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Gen. Carlisle Says A-10 Retirement May Slide 2 To 3 Years

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Sen. Kelly Ayotte, take note. The head of Air Combat Command told reporters this morning that the A-10 Warthog’s retirement will probably slide two to three years thanks to the increased threats faced by the Air Force. Gen. Hawk Carlisle, speaking at a Defense Writers Group breakfast, made it clear the decision hasn’t been… Keep reading →

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Dunford Mulls F-35B IOC Decision; 4 Bs Take Out 9 Attackers

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED with Frank Kendall’s vote of confidence WASHINGTON: During the Marine’s recent operational readiness test of the F-35B, four of the Marine aircraft went up against nine enemy aircraft. “It went very poorly for the bad guys,” Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, told me this afternoon. Davis provided few details, saying they… Keep reading →

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No US Military Planes Will Fly At Paris Air Show; Pakistan’s JF-17 Will

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: At least the US military is attending the Paris Air Show in some force this year, but right now none of the American aircraft pictured below are scheduled to fly at the show. Some 90 US military personnel will be on hand to maintain the aircraft and safeguard them. Here’s the list of military aircraft that… Keep reading →

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The Joint Strike Fighter Really Is Joint; Fire Caused $50M In Damage

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Here’s today’s news: the rotor failure that ripped apart an F-35A June 23 last year caused $50 million in damage to the aircraft, the Air Force’s Accident Investigation Board said today. Here’s the official version of what happened to the Air Force’s Joint Strike Fighter. “The engine failed when the third stage forward integral… Keep reading →

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