U.S. Air Force Leaders Are Deliberately Slow-Rolling A-10 Refurbishment
In a victory for supporters of the battle-proven A-10 close air support aircraft, Congress provided the necessary seed money to extend the fleet’s lifespan for at least another decade in its last spending bill. The U.S. Air Force had announced in 2017 that 110 A-10s were in danger of... Read more
The U.S. Navy Wants to Spend Billions on Aircraft Carriers That Aren’t Ready
The U.S. Navy wants to go all in on the USS Ford-class aircraft carrier program. Less than a year after the first-in-class ship’s commissioning — before it ever launched or recovered an aircraft, a first in history — the sea service is exploring options to buy similar vessels in... Read more
There’s Still No Finish Line in Sight for the F-35 Program
Jim Roche, then-secretary of the U.S. Air Force, made an announcement on Oct. 26, 2001, that all aviation enthusiasts had been waiting for. A winner had been picked to design and build the Joint Strike Fighter. The American people were assured the new jet would enter service in 2008... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Is Quietly Cutting A-10s
The U.S. Congress wants to keep the A-10 Warthog attack jet flying. The U.S. Air Force, not so much. Lawmakers have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a dedicated ground-attack aircraft and, more importantly, an effective close air support capability. They have done so through legislation in successive National... Read more
How to Sneak New Weapons Past Government Minders
When U.S. Army leaders decided they needed an upgraded version of the M-1 Abrams tank, they wanted to get it without enduring what they consider to be a cumbersome formal acquisition process. Any program of this scale would ordinarily be classified as a Major Defense Acquisition Program and be... Read more
With the F-35, Industry Is Holding Taxpayers Hostage
An October 2017 Government Accountability Office report details problems the services are having keeping the F-35 stealth fighter fleet ready for combat. One problem it highlighted was that, at a time when the Pentagon is desperate to ramp up production of new aircraft, the services have to wait an... Read more
It’s Time for a New War Vote
When U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 30, 2017, the United States had been at war for 16 years, one month and 16 days. The 107th Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military... Read more
108 U.S F-35s Won’t Be Combat-Capable
The new F-35 program executive officer, U.S. Navy vice admiral Mat Winter, said his office is exploring the option of leaving 108 aircraft in their current state because the funds to upgrade them to the fully combat-capable configuration would threaten the Air Force’s plans to ramp up production in... Read more
The U.S. Congress Is Trying to Give the F-35 a Pass For All Its Problems
The $700-billion defense authorization bill for 2018 contains a number of provisions that are likely to increase the risk of cost overruns for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and undermine the ability of Pentagon officials and Congress to assess the combat suitability of new weapon systems in the... Read more
Blame Bad Leaders For Military Waste
News about the F-35 nearly always focuses on technical issues — what is working or not at that particular time. Constant reporting along those lines sets the narrative that at the most fundamental level, the F-35 program’s faults are the result of deeply flawed technologies. Longtime readers know the... Read more
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