The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the Department of Defense (DoD) update the F-35 fighter jet program's schedule for the Block 4 software and hardware modernization to reflect realistic time frames. GAO made the recommendations after it found that the Pentagon's F-35 program “routinely underestimated the amount of work” necessary to build Block 4 capabilities.Read More »
The full-rate production phase for the F-35 fighter jet program faces another delay after the Department of Defense (DoD) pushed back testing in the Joint Simulation Environment from December 2020 of this year to sometime in 2021. The F-35 program was expected to receive Milestone C decision in December 2019, but that timeline was pushed back to March 2021.Read More »
The U.S. Air Force has built and flown a prototype of a new fighter aircraft using virtual tools as part of the Next Generation Air Dominance program. The report said the service developed a virtual prototype and a physical aircraft using data from the T-7 trainer and F-35 fighter jet programs under the NGAD program.Read More »
Angie Knappenberger, a U.S. Navy official, said the service will not team with the U.S. Air Force to develop its next fighter aircraft, Defense One reported Monday. “I don’t necessarily foresee an exact sort of repeat of F-35 in a single solution set.” Knappenberger, deputy director of air warfare at the Navy, said Monday at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space conference in Maryland.Read More »
A senior defense official said the Department of Defense’s decision to procure a new variant of Boeing-built F-15 fighter aircraft hopes to demonstrate DoD’s desire to keep two U.S.-based jet manufacturers in business in the next 10 years, Defense One reported Friday. “One of the considerations was the diversity of the industrial base,” the senior official said.Read More »
The U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 147 has achieved certification to operate the F-35C Lightning II aircraft following the completion of qualification tests aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The safe-for-flight operations certification that VFA 147 “Argonauts” received Wednesday comes as the Navy expects to achieve initial operating capability status for the F-35C program by the end of February, the service said Wednesday.
Tanya Skeen, head of the U.S. Army’s rapid capabilities office, will join the F-35 joint program office in early 2019 as executive director, Defense News reported Tuesday. Skeen will succeed Todd Mellon and work with Navy Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 program executive officer, and Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Fick, deputy PEO, on the fighter jet procurement effort.Read More »
Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a memo that calls for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to achieve a minimum mission capability rate of 80 percent for four fighter aircraft by the end of fiscal 2019, Defense News reported Tuesday. Mattis asked the service branches to reduce the operating and maintenance costs of F-35, F-22, F-16 and F-18 fighter jets starting in fiscal 2019, according to the memo obtained by the publication.Read More »
The U.S. Marine Corps could see its F-35B fighter jets take off for an initial combat mission in the next few days after an amphibious assault ship started its voyage toward the Persian Gulf, CNN reported Wednesday. Defense officials told the publication that the Lockheed Martin-built F-35B aircraft aboard the USS Essex ship could be deployed soon to support airstrikes in Afghanistan.