Category Archives: Aviation

F-35 Software Upgrade Program Will Field Capabilities Sooner, But Delay Purchase of New Fighters

F-35 Software Upgrade Program Will Field Capabilities Sooner, But Delay Purchase of New Fighters

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Allen Goodyear, the squadron sergeant major for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, signals for an F-35B Lightning II to take off from the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD-2) during Exercise Dawn Blitz. US Marine Corps Photo

CAPITOL HILL – A move to a continuous upgrade system for the Joint Strike Fighter software will help pilots deploy with the latest and greatest warfighting capabilities, but the move is costing the Navy the ability to procure more new planes in the near-term, officials told the Senate this week. Read More

UPDATED: VCNO Moran Nominated for Top Navy Job as Service Prepares for a High-End Future

UPDATED: VCNO Moran Nominated for Top Navy Job as Service Prepares for a High-End Future

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran speaks to command master chiefs from around the Navy at the 2019 Leadership Mess Symposium on March 27, 2019. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with additional statements from the Navy.

The Navy’s number-two officer has been nominated to lead the service as the next chief of naval operations, USNI News has learned. Read More

Marine Corps, Lockheed Martin to Sign CH-53K Helo Production Contract in 'Weeks'

Marine Corps, Lockheed Martin to Sign CH-53K Helo Production Contract in ‘Weeks’

The CH-53K King Stallion lifts a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, January 18, 2018. The purpose of this exercise was to show the Capabilities of the CH-53K. US Marine Corps photo.

CAPITOL HILL – The Department of the Navy expects to sign a contract with Lockheed Martin for the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter “in the next coming weeks,” after a pause and a program restructuring effort that sought to rebalance risk and reward between the government and contractor. Read More

Schultz: Coast Guard Readiness at a 'Tipping Point'

Schultz: Coast Guard Readiness at a ‘Tipping Point’

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on April 4, 2019. US Coast Guard Photo

Unlike the other military services, the Coast Guard has not received budgetary relief to eliminate its maintenance backlog and keep cutters on patrol and helicopters flying or to address aging infrastructure problems pier-side, the commandant of the Coast Guard told a House panel on Tuesday. Read More

New Defense Strategy, Commitment to Readiness Drove Major Shifts in Navy Budget

New Defense Strategy, Commitment to Readiness Drove Major Shifts in Navy Budget

Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group participates in a strait exercise in the Atlantic Ocean on April 7, 2019. US Navy Photo

THE PENTAGON – The Navy’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request includes tectonic shifts in how the Navy does business – swapping a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier for unmanned surface vehicles and other technologies – and it comes even as the service is reevaluating what sized fleet and what mix of ships the Navy needs to meet future challenges. Read More

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: April 8, 2019

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: April 8, 2019

USNI News

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of April 7, 2019, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Read More

Navy Fighter Readiness Nearing 80 Percent Mission Capable Target

Navy Fighter Readiness Nearing 80 Percent Mission Capable Target

Cmdr. Leslie Mintz, executive officer of the “Blacklions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, inspects an F/A-18F Super Hornet prior to her flight on board Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.. US Navy Photo

CAPITOL HILL – The Navy now boasts its Super Hornet fleet is routinely 63 to 75 percent mission capable, a significant jump from the fall when the Navy struggled to keep half of its F-18s ready to fly.

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Marines Say CH-53K Deficiencies Are All 'Fixable'

Marines Say CH-53K Deficiencies Are All ‘Fixable’

The first CH-53K King Stallion delivered to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, N.C. on May 16, 2018. US Marine Corps Photo

CAPITOL HILL – The Marines’ top aviator said the new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter has had some struggles during its past year of testing but would emerge from it a capable and reliable asset for the Marines. Read More