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Breaking Defense

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Gen. Arnold Bunch

Air Force Presses Lockheed On F-35 Readiness: Lt. Gen. Bunch

Posted by Colin Clark on


The Pentagon’s independent tester reports that F-35 readiness is stuck at 60 percent, while the A model’s gun is unacceptably inaccurate.

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Air Force Presses Acquisition Changes; Incentives Offered On Combat Rescue Helo

Posted by Colin Clark on


CAPITOL HILL: If Sikorsky reaches the next Combat Rescue Helicopter milestone early, the Air Force will reward the Lockheed Martin subsidiary and “immediately go ahead to” production. “We’ll see how this goes,” Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the military deputy for Air Force acquisition, said this morning, saying the effort is an experiment the service was… Keep reading →

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KC-46 Faces 3 Category One Deficiencies; Two Affect Boom

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


AFA: The four-star chief of Air Mobility Command wants his new KC-46 Pegasus tankers “yesterday,” but the tanker’s boom has a nasty tendency to scrape up planes it’s trying to refuel, as well as two other category one deficiencies, and contractor Boeing has to fix those. The paint scraping problem — formally known as “undetected… Keep reading →

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New SecAf Extols High Tech, But Where’s The $$$?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Heather Wilson began her first public speech as Air Force Secretary with a paean to technology, highlighting the service’s history of innovation from the B-29 to the F-117 to the F-35. It would have been an unambiguous signal of administration priorities, except the budget doesn’t really back her up. Research and development funding… Keep reading →

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B-21 Bomber Boost? KC-46 Still Late

Posted by Colin Clark on


  CORRECTED: What Gen. Harris Meant To Say Was A Total Bomber Fleet of 165; Still “At Least” 100 B-21s WASHINGTON: How many B-21 bombers will the US need? 80? 100? 165? Bound by the president’s budget on one side and congressional appropriations on the other, the head of Air Force acquisition was very careful in… Keep reading →

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F-35 Threat Library Still Way Too Slow; Light Pilots Cleared to Fly

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter possesses a remarkable array of sensors and processors to let it find the enemy and help the pilot kill or evade him. But the crucial threat library — known as Mission Data Files — just isn’t being developed and updated quickly enough, Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, head of the F-35… Keep reading →

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Air Force Strategy on UH-1N: Wait and Hurry Up

Posted by Richard Whittle on


What could justify the Air Force awarding a sole source contract for helicopters worth close to a billion – that’s a thousand millions – dollars? Pick an answer: A classified joint service military exercise called Mighty Guardian in which some of the 62 aging UH-1N Huey helicopters failed their assignment to carry security forces to… Keep reading →

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Northrop Garners Huge Win With New Bomber; LRSB $564M Per Plane

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED with details from Pentagon press conference; corrected EMD contract value PENTAGON: Affirming its status as the nation’s builder of stealthy bombers, Northrop Grumman today won what will probably be the biggest defense contract of the decade, the $80 billion, $564 million-per-plane Long-Range Strike Bomber program, which will enter service circa 2025. “The LRSB will allow the… Keep reading →

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LRSB Contract Coming ‘Very, Very Soon’: LaPlante

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: The head of Air Force acquisition, Cubs fan Bill Laplante, told reporters today that the very, very eagerly awaited contract for the initial 21 of 100 Long Range Strike Bombers (LRSB) would be issued “very, very soon.” “We are really, really close to the award of the bomber,” he said. How close, thousands of… Keep reading →

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LRSB: When Will The Bomber Drop?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Where, oh, where has the Long Range Strike Bomber gone? Where, oh, where can it be? The Pentagon has scheduled a briefing with Air Force acquisition head Bill LaPlante for tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean the bomber contract is going to be announced any time soon. Soon is the operative word. Air Force Secretary Deborah… Keep reading →

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