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Breaking Defense

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Joe DellaVedova

F-35 Testing May Slow Two Months Due To Fuel Tube Crash

Posted by Colin Clark on


More than 80 percent of operational F-35s have returned to flight operations but the fuel tube problems may delay testing another two months.

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Luke Lifts F-35 Flight Restrictions

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: As happened with the F-22, the Air Force gets reports of possible hypoxia incidents — known officially as “physiological episodes” — imposes flight restrictions to investigate and then lifts the restrictions without knowing exactly why they happened. That’s what happened today with the announcement that the 25,000-foot restriction on its F-35A fighters was lifted… Keep reading →

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F-35B Weapons Bay Fire: No Fleet Or Unit Groundings

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: So far it looks like an isolated incident, but the Marines at Beaufort Marine Air Station report an F-35B was damaged by a fire in its weapons bay during a training flight. The Oct. 27 aircraft mishap, first reported by my colleague Hope Hodge Seck at Military.com, has been tentatively classified as Type A, meaning… Keep reading →

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McCain: ‘Breakdown’ In F-35 Contract Talks Sign Of Big Acquisition Problems

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The decision to force Lockheed Martin to accept the government’s price for the ninth Low Rate Initial Production batch of F-35s is a “symptom” of wider problems with the Pentagon’s acquisition system, Sen. John McCain said in a statement today. But is the Senate Armed Services chairman right? McCain said “the recent breakdown in F-35… Keep reading →

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F-35: DoD Forces Lockheed To Accept Its Price For LRIP 9

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: In an extraordinary action, the F-35 Joint Program Office decided 14 or 18 months of negotiations was enough and has issued a “unilateral contract” for the latest Low Rate Initial Production contract to defense giant Lockheed Martin. In simple terms, the Pentagon got sick and tired of talking with Lockheed and told them, here’s how much… Keep reading →

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Operational Testers Flag F-35 Software Issues

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s director of Operational Test and Evaluation has raised serious concerns about the F-35 program’s ability to safely and effectively build and test the enormous amount of software used by both the F-35 aircraft and the maintenance and logistics system known as ALIS to keep the planes flying. In a previously unreported Dec.… Keep reading →

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Navy Winds Up F-35Cs Development Tests On USS Eisenhower

Posted by Colin Clark on


ABOARD USS EISENHOWER: After all the talk from senior Navy leaders about the life cycle costs of the Joint Strike Fighter program and the limits of stealth over the last five years, it was intriguing to hear top Navy commanders and pilots praising the performance of the F-35Cs being tested here. The pilots were using the… Keep reading →

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F-35B Will Fly, Hover, Not Land Vertically At RIAT, Farnborough

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Will the F-35B land vertically at the Royal International Air Tattoo or the Farnborough Air Show? No. Will it hover? Yes. One of my colleagues had raised the issue that the F-35B will not perform a vertical landing this July, inferring this might be because it would damage the plane or the runway. F-35 program… Keep reading →

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