F-16 Crashes, Pilot Safe

An F-16C assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron at Osan AB, South Korea, crashed on Wednesday near Kunsan Air Base in that country during a routine training mission, announced Kunsan officials. The pilot safely ejected before the F-16 crashed into...

Options Settled for Tracking Moving Targets

The Air Force will stick with the E-8C JSTARS fleet, along with Global Hawk Block 40 remotely piloted aircraft, to track moving ground targets from overhead, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told lawmakers on Tuesday. The service’s analysis of...

Air Force Reserve Leadership Change

President Obama nominated Maj. Gen. James Jackson for a third star for his new assignment as Air Force Reserve chief and Air Force Reserve Command commander, announced Pentagon officials on Tuesday. Jackson will replace Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, who has...

Still a Long Road Ahead

The F-35 strike fighter program is making solid progress and has completed about 20 percent of its testing, but challenges still lie ahead, senior Defense Department officials told the House Armed Services Committee's tactical air panel Tuesday. "There is still a long way to go," said Frank Kendall, DOD's acting acquisition czar. "Many of the more challenging elements of flight test" are yet to come, he noted. F-35 program manager Vice Adm. David Venlet said the program "has schedule and budget realism now going forward." His top three focus areas this year are: software development and performance; incorporating design changes and delivering affordable jets that will last their entire projected service life; and production quality. Software development, though, is the most difficult challenge. Michael Sullivan, director of acquisition and sourcing for the Government Accountability Office, said the F-35 requires an estimated 24 million lines of software code—roughly three times as much as the F-22 uses. "Software complexity on this program has no rival," he stated. While the Pentagon has greatly reduced the amount of F-35 development and production concurrency, it already has a bill of some $373 million to retrofit early production aircraft, said Sullivan. (Kendall-Van Buren-Venlet joint statement) (Sullivan's prepared remarks)

More Tidbits on Global Hawk Block 30 Termination

The Air Force intends to place six of the Global Hawk Block 30 remotely piloted aircraft that it doesn’t want to operate beyond Fiscal 2012 into non-recoverable storage and another 12 into recoverable storage, said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton...

Protecting the Nuclear Enterprise

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel, said the panel continues to closely monitor the Air Force to ensure that the nuclear enterprise remains one of the service’s top priorities. “The Air Force...

Refocus Missile Defense Efforts, Says Ohio Congressman

The European Phased Adaptive Approach ballistic missile defense system is not evolving fast enough to counter potential threats from Iran, said Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel. Speaking to defense reporters Tuesday,...

Mobility Mixer Marches On

Air Mobility Command inactivated the 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force at JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., consolidating its units and missions under the Air Force Expeditionary Center at the joint base. The standdown is part of a broader restructuring of 18th Air...

Russia Considering Allowing NATO a Transit Hub

Russia’s legislature will consider a proposal to allow US and allied airlifters use of a Russian air base to ferry supplies to Afghanistan, according to Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. “We want those who are fending off threats directed at...

Clearing the Path Ahead

Air Force explosive ordnance disposal instructors are training Afghan National Army soldiers to take charge of the EOD mission in preparation for the eventual US drawdown in country. “We can share all the lessons we have learned the hard way,...