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 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 




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>