Defense

May 9, 2012

Officials emphasize commitment to Joint Strike Fighter

by Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

Senior leaders from the Air Force and Navy affirmed May 8 that the F-35 joint strike fighter remains the centerpiece of the tactical aircraft program and will play a large part in the services’ ongoing modernization plans.

Navy Vice Adm. David J. Venlet, F-35 Lightning II program executive officer, told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s airland subcommittee that the F-35’s basic engine designs were deemed sound and deliverable after a battery of tests and observations over the past year.

“While there is still risk in the program, it is risk-balanced,” Venlet said. “I have confidence in the resilience of the plan to absorb further learning discovery and stay on track.”

Still, Venlet said, the program will “not execute itself,” and will require resources, tools and processes to enable disciplined decisions on development and incremental capability delivery.

Technical and cost issues exist, the admiral acknowledged, but he added that the joint strike fighter’s enhanced capability can be the backbone of fifth-generation fighters.

Carrier test pilots conducting approaches at Patuxent River, Md., have lauded the handling characteristics of the F-35’s aircraft carrier variant, he said, and short takeoff and vertical landing results have demonstrated solid performance.

“It is a testimony to the very effective and impressive marriage of engine and airframe,” Venlet said, adding that measures will stay in place to ensure the program’s long-term effectiveness. “Rigorous management control by the joint program office, supported by the service system commands, will be applied with a … focus on production and affordable delivery capability – our only meaningful external result.”

Navy Vice Adm. W. Mark Skinner, principal military deputy in the office of the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said affordability will be a key focus in delivering capabilities.

“During these austere times, we must persist in modernizing and recapitalizing our naval aviation forces and increase our capability through force multipliers, such as the Navy Integrated Fire Control Counter-Air and using ‘should-cost/will-cost’ processes to bring more affordable systems to our war fighters,” Skinner said.

Lt. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, told the panel the fiscal 2013 budget aligns with the Air Force’s tactical aviation program as the service shifts its national security strategy to counter modern-day threats.

“Our rapidly aging aircraft fleet drives the urgent need to balance procurement of new inventory with sustainment of our current fleet,” Wolfenbarger said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines March 27, 2015

News General Dynamics withdraws as T-100 prime contractor General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology has withdrawn itself as the prime contractor on the T-100, the offering for the T-X trainer replacement program based on the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 design.   Business SpaceX’s fight with U.S. Air Force called a clash of perceptions Billionaire Elon Musk’s...
 
 

News Briefs March 27, 2015

Contractor extradited from Iraq pleads guilty in bribes case A man extradited from Iraq in a military contract bribery case has pleaded guilty to three charges in an agreement with federal prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose has scheduled sentencing for July 1 for Metin Atilan. His attorney, Nick Gounaris, says the two sides agreed...
 
 

Ninth Boeing GPS IIF reaches orbit, sends first signals

Boeing Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites are steadily replenishing the orbiting constellation, continuing to improve reliability and accuracy for users around the world. The ninth GPS IIF reached orbit about three hours, 20 minutes after launching today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and...
 

 

F-35 Lightning II costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24, 2015. Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts. He also acknowledged the...
 
 
NG-growler2

Northrop Grumman delivers center/aft ‘shipset’ for first international EA-18G Growler

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman mechanics perform final quality inspections on the center/aft fuselage shipset produced by the company for the first Australian EA-18G Growler. The subassembly will be delivered to B...
 
 
Navy photograph by Monica McCoy

Navy conducts production acceptance test of Tomahawk missile

Navy photograph by Monica McCoy Members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division team at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head prepare a Tomahawk missile for a functional ground test at the Large Motor Test Fa...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>