Defense

April 4, 2014

Air Force leaders insist new tanker is key to airpower

The top three acquisition priorities for the Air Force are the KC-46A aerial tanker, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the Long Range Strike Bomber, officials told members of Congress during a hearing of House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on seapower and projections forces, April 2.

“On any given day, the Air Force’s mobility aircraft deliver critical personnel and cargo, and provide airdrop of time-sensitive supplies, food and ammunition on a global scale,” said Dr. William LaPlante, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition.

LaPlante was joined by Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements Maj. Gen. James Jones and Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers Maj. Gen. John Thompson.

“The KC-46 remains essential to overall strategy,” Jones said. “Our air refueling fleet is critical to operations for all services, and our coalition partners.”

LaPlante explained the new tanker is essential to replacing an aging tanker fleet, and ushering air mobility and sustainment into the future.

“The backbone of rapid U.S. global operations is our tanker fleet,” LaPlante said. “Based on the budget submitted, we expect to see about 54 KC-46 deliveries across the Future Years Defense Plan, as part of the tanker fleet recapitalization.”

The first delivery of Low Rate Initial Production aircraft will be in Fiscal Year 2016, with an estimated program completion date of 2028.

“Tankers are the lifeblood of our joint force’s ability to respond to crisis and contingencies, and are essential to keeping our Air Force viable as a global force,” LaPlante added.

The Air Force is also investing in the sustainment of the current bomber and cargo fleets, and will make upgrades to various systems to keep these airframes practical in the future of the force, he explained.

Overall, Air Force officials said they are optimistic about the future of the air mobility and bomber fleets, and are confident in the continued capabilities to support the warfighter.

“In the midst of the challenges ahead, we will aim to keep these programs on track and deliver these systems both as vital capabilities to our forces, but also as the best value to our taxpayer,” LaPlante said. “These systems will provide the future capabilities necessary to operate effectively in the national security environment of tomorrow.”




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>