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 August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




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>