Defense

June 16, 2014

DOD, Air Force leaders look to F-35 maintainers for help

Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

The Pentagon will continue to seek aircraft maintainer suggestions and industry partner investments to reduce operating and sustainment costs by 10 to 20 percent as F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter improvements develop, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics said June 12, in a conference call with reporters

Frank Kendall and Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, F-35 Lightning II program executive officer, said they’ll ask for maintainer input to reduce downtime and look to industry to improve reliability and retain air dominance over competing nations.

The cost reductions, Kendall said, will be ongoing and will draw from a number of sources, to build on the F-35’s capabilities.

I don’t think that’s an unrealistic target, but I think doing everything we can to get as close to that as possible is absolutely the right course for us, he said.

Kendall explained the F-35 is designed for upgrades, including electronic warfare and processing capabilities. We’re starting to do some follow-on development, and we need to thinking now about the requirements for the next block of software, the undersecretary said.

Bodgan lauded aircraft maintainers, who offer myriad suggestions for ways to reduce overall costs. The maintainers are a critical source of really good practical ways of doing business, he said, and we’ve got to integrate that into the program.

He explained that maintainers have suggested ways to streamline even simple procedures such as having to check the oil on every flight. For example, maintainers indicated that manually correcting warning systems and updating maintenance records could reduce time on the ground and yield efficiencies.

“We have now been able to, through engineering analysis and working with the engine manufacturers, take that requirement to only every 10 hours, the general said.

Bogdan also noted that the Air Force’s average F-35 downtime between flights was 4.5 hours last year and three hours this year, with even shorter down time projected for next year.

As Pentagon officials continue to compare DOD progress with that of the Chinese J-20 and J-31 stealth aircraft and their other capabilities, Kendall reported that he commissioned the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its air dominance initiative a year ago. The program, he said, helps the Pentagon assess whether or not to take a system of systems approach in aircraft improvements and better analyze how those systems network together.

We need to start thinking now about the requirements for the next blocks of software after the things that are currently in Block 4, Kendall said. This is a game that never ends. You have to stay ahead, and there are competitors out there you have to worry about.




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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>