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16 Months Late, F-35 Starts Key Tests: IOT&E

Posted by Paul McLeary on


WASHINGTON The F-35 program office announced today the aircraft had finally reached its initial operational test & evaluation phase, which is expected to wrap up next September. That’s three months behind previous projections for mid-summer — the result of the program’s first crash (fortunately non-fatal) and a subsequent grounding — and 16 months behind the… Keep reading →

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F-35 Flights Suspended While F135 Fuel Tubes Checked; UK F-35Bs Keep Flying on HMS QE

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Rep. Turner Pledge To Hold HASC Hearings WASHINGTON: It may not last long, but the entire F-35 fleet — all versions from all countries — was just grounded “while the enterprise conducts a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft.” The British — clearly hungry to keep… Keep reading →

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F-35 Hourly Flying Costs Plunge $12K; Turkey Still Getting 100 F-35s

Posted by Colin Clark on


JSF HQ: The head of the Joint Strike Fighter program, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, says the crucial operating costs of the F-35 dropped significantly in 2017. Winters told a group of defense reporters that the costs of operating the F-35 fleet dropped by $1.1 million “per tail per year across the fleet” and cited “a… Keep reading →

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‘No Classified F-35 Info’ Stolen: Defense Contractor Hacked In Australia

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: An unnamed contractor in Australia was hacked by an unattributed hacker who stole what the BBC says was “sensitive” information about the F-35 and other Antipodean weapon systems. “It could be one of a number of different actors,” Christopher Pyne, the minister for defense industry, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday. “It could be… Keep reading →

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Marines Add 13 Bs To F-35 Buy; Acquisition Costs Rise

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: At a time when much of the talk about the F-35 program has centered on trimming its overall numbers of 2,443, we learned today that the Marines plan to increase how many of the hovering B models they buy. Close observers of the program might not be too surprised by the Marines’ decision. At… Keep reading →

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JPO Launches Team To Look At 5 F-35A Luke AFB Hypoxia Events

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON:  The two Air Force F-35As scheduled to cross the Atlantic Ocean and fly at the Paris Air Show are still scheduled to go after Luke Air Force Base declared a one-day stand-down to brief pilots on five apparent hypoxia incidents afflicting pilots there since May 2. “The F-35 Joint Program Office, along with the U.S.… Keep reading →

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OODA Loop 2.0: Information, Not Agility, Is Life

Posted by Tod Schuck on


Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. The OODA Loop remains a key concept for those who fight, especially fighter pilots. After all, Air Force Col. John Boyd made it and his theory of Energy-Maneuverability famous with his bold claim to be able to defeat any other pilot within 40 seconds. Boyd helped inspire the designs of the… Keep reading →

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Boeing’s Block III Super Hornet ‘High End’ Complement To F-35: Stackley

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NATIONAL HARBOR: Boeing’s proposed Block III upgrade to the Super Hornet would be a “fairly high-end” complement to the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley believes. Instead of seeing Super Hornets as a potential replacement for the F-35 — as President Trump proposed — Stackley and other naval leaders at the Sea-Air-Space conference… Keep reading →

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Admiral Takes Helm Of F-35; Good For C Model?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: I vividly remember Chris Bogdan’s first public appearance as the effective head of the F-35 program. It was at the Air Force Association’s annual September conference in 2012 and he said, very simply and quite passionately that the relationship between contractor Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office was “the worst I’ve ever seen.”… Keep reading →

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Lockheed’s Not Cutting F-35 Costs Enough, But We Know How: Assad, Bogdan

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Two top Pentagon officials laid out a multi-pronged push to lower the price of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter below $80 million apiece. The chief of the F-35 Joint Program Office, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, and the director of defense pricing, Shay Assad, are underwhelmed by contractor Lockheed Martin‘s  cost reduction efforts so far.… Keep reading →

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