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 October 17, 2014

News: Turkey OK’s American drones to fight ISIS - Turkey is now allowing the U.S. to launch unmanned aircraft to fly over Syria. But so far, traditional warplanes are out of the question. New Ingalls boss focusing on cost performance, agility - Brian Cuccias has been in the Gulf Coast shipbuilding business for 35 years, working for...
 
 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

AM General laying off 60 from Indiana factory A company spokesman says AM General is laying off about 60 workers from the northern Indiana factory where it builds military vehicles. Company spokesman Jeff Adams says the layoffs are being made because of production schedule changes at its Military Assembly Plant in Mishawaka. Adams tells the...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA, J. Lotz, (STScI

NASA’s Hubble finds extremely distant galaxy through cosmic magnifying glass

Image courtesy of NASA, J. Lotz, (STScI The mammoth galaxy cluster Abell 2744 is so massive that its powerful gravity bends the light from galaxies far behind it, making these otherwise unseen background objects appear larger a...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph by Alan Radecki

Second Northrop Grumman-built Triton UAS completes first flight

Northrop Grumman photograph by Alan Radecki The second MQ-4C Triton, built by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy, successfully completed its first flight Oct. 15 PALMDALE, Calif. – The U.S. Navy’s second MQ-4C Triton un...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA TV to air Russian spacewalk from International Space Station

NASA photograph Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency will don Orlan spacesuits and step outside the International Space Station Oct. 22, to perform wor...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Poland’s PIT-RADWAR signs letter of intent with Raytheon

Raytheon photograph Mike Shaughnessy, Vice President of Supply Chain, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and Jerzy Milosz, Member of Board and Director of R&D, PIT-RADWAR sign a letter of intent to explore further partners...
 




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>