To the Trained Eye

The rollouts of the Chinese J-20 and Russian PAK-FA stealth fighter designs within the past two years were “discouraging” in that “we thought there was maybe a little bit more time” before the emergence of such advanced technology outside of...

House Passes Defense Policy Bill

The House on Thursday approved H.R. 1540, its version of the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill, by a vote of 322 to 96. The legislation provides some $690 billion in total for national security activities next fiscal year, about $1 billion more than President Obama's request. "This year’s defense authorization bill meets the national security needs of a nation at war while preparing our warfighters for the threats of tomorrow. With the tough fiscal times facing our country, the bill treats every taxpayer dollar as precious," stated Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), House Armed Services Committee chairman, in a release. "[The bill] also provides our troops and their families with the benefits and support that they deserve, including a 1.6 percent pay increase," noted Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), HASC ranking member, in his release. Among its provision, the legislation directs the Defense Secretary to make available the government-owned equipment from the F136 engine program so that General Electric and Roll Royce may continue to develop this second engine for the F-35 strike fighter on their own dime. (H.R. 1540 full text; bill report, and list of amendments; caution, large-sized files.)

Never Give Up on Your Dream

First Lt. Ryan McGuire became the first amputee to complete Air Force pilot training. “This is probably the best day of my life,” said McGuire on the day of his graduation last week from specialized undergraduate pilot training at Laughlin...

Crucial Exports

One of the reasons why the Pentagon might be optimistic about getting F-35 costs down is that projected foreign sales of the stealth fighter are likely to be substantially larger than the Defense Department now lets on, meaning that a...

Privatized Housing for Six More Bases

The Air Force has selected Picerne Military Housing of East Greenwich, R.I., to privatize military family housing at Edwards AFB, Calif.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Eielson AFB, Alaska; McConnell AFB, Kan.; Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; and Hurlburt Field, Fla. The $545...

Dueling Helmets

Lockheed Martin intends to award a contract this summer for a legacy-based alternative helmet for the F-35 strike fighter, said Steve O’Bryan, director of F-35 business development. At the same time, the company will continue working to improve the performance...

Progress on the JTRS Front

Lockheed Martin has reduced the cost of its Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System by 74 percent from an initial program estimate two years ago, said Martin Jenkins, the company’s director of maritime programs development. What was then...

Strato-evacuator

KC-135 tanker engineers in the Air Force’s depot at Tinker AFB, Okla., recently incorporated three new power outlets in the aircraft’s cabin to increase the amount of medical equipment that can run during aeromedical evacuation missions. This is one of...

Hercules Deploys Miniature Decoys in Test

Raytheon announced that it deployed two Miniature Air Launched Decoy instrumented shapes from the ramp of a C-130 transport via a new company-funded launch system. This test at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., marked MALD’s first deployment from a cargo aircraft....