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F-35 Christmas Presents: 45 Planes (And More?)

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: After years and years of busted schedules, cost overruns and technical challenges, the F-35 program is expected to end 2015 on a high note, with all production goals met and solid progress resolving the ejection seat issues that threaten lighter pilots. I understand from industry and program sources that, after getting stalled, there is a good… Keep reading →

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‘Boy, Do I want To Get Away From Being The Trillion Dollar Airplane’: Bogdan

Posted by Colin Clark on


FAIRFORD, UK: Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan hates being labeled the man who oversees the trillion dollar jet fighter, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter as you can tell from the headline. Breaking Defense readers will remember that this estimate is extends more than half a century and includes such assumptions as the Marines will… Keep reading →

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Visiting Air Shows Doesn’t Convey The Reality Of Combat

Posted by Robbin Laird on


One does not build military aircraft to fly at air shows. It is fun to see the planes, to visit static displays and to talk with manufacturers and users. But the reality of what a plane can do is only seen in battle and advanced training, where operators, maintainers and leaders in real world combat… Keep reading →

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No Decisions Yet On F-35B UK Flights; Tomorrow Looms

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The F-35Bs have not left Patuxent River Naval Air Station to make their way across the Atlantic Ocean. After an all–hands meeting this morning to discuss the issue of securing a waiver or permission to fly from NAVAIR, Naval Air Systems Command — who must decide if the Marine Corps planes are airworthy —… Keep reading →

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F-35 Fleet Grounded: Air Show Flights May Still Happen

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: F-35s Grounded, Say OSD, JPO. Still Hoping For Air Show Flights (Thursday 9 pm) WASHINGTON: The Fourth of July may not be much of a holiday for the pilots and program officials trying to decide if the F-35 can fly safely to Britain after the recent fire at Eglin Air Force Base. UPDATE One… Keep reading →

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Top US Officials Return To Farnborough As F-35 Debuts

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: If you want to know how important the F-35 program is to American strategy and to American business note that Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Frank Kendall, the czar of Pentagon acquisition, top the list of senior American officials going to the Farnborough Air Show this year, making this the largest and… Keep reading →

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The F-35 Flies Amid Europe’s Mature Aeronautics Market

Posted by Douglas Barrie on


The F-35 Lightning II European debut in July will be welcome, but it remains the Punch and Judy program of the defense aerospace sector, with boosters and detractors taking turns to bash each other’s argument as to the project’s value — or lack thereof. The debate, though sometime not worthy of the word, has risked… Keep reading →

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AETC Sharing Info On Fire Damaged F-35A; F-35Bs Resuming Flight

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The Marines plan to get their F-35Bs back up in the air this afternoon after last week’s F-35A fire at Eglin Air Force Base and remain committed to flying several planes to the Royal International Air Tattoo and the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom. “The Marine Corps will resume F-35B flight operations… Keep reading →

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Lockheed CEO Hewson: IRAD Climbing 5%, Praises Major Air Shows

Posted by Colin Clark on


CRYSTAL CITY, Va: As the Defense Department continues to pressure companies to share the load in this time of shrinking budgets, Lockheed CEO Marilyn Hewson told reporters today her company will boost internal research and development spending 5 percent from its current level of $700 million. “We continue to invest in our porfolio because we… 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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