Category Archives: Aviation

First F-35Bs Operate off of HMS Queen Elizabeth as U.K. Works Toward a Native Carrier Strike Group

First F-35Bs Operate off of HMS Queen Elizabeth as U.K. Works Toward a Native Carrier Strike Group

Cmdr. Nathan Gray RN, Makes the first ever F-35B Lightning II jet take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 25, 2018. Royal Navy Photo

ABOARD HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, OFF THE COAST OF NEW JERSEY — The Royal Navy took the next step to reestablishing its own carrier force this week when two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters landed on the deck of its new carrier for the first time . Read More

F-35B Crashes Near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort; Local Sheriff Says Pilot Ejected Safely

F-35B Crashes Near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort; Local Sheriff Says Pilot Ejected Safely

 

An F-35B launches off the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) on March 11, 2018. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter crashed near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina today, the Marine Corps confirmed. Read More

Navy Creates New Flight Instructor Billet Outside of Traditional Career Path

Navy Creates New Flight Instructor Billet Outside of Traditional Career Path

Marine Corps Capt. Chris Latimer, left, an instructor pilot for Training Squadron (VT) 31, and Ensign Marvin Smith, a student naval aviator, conduct pre-operation procedures before a training flight in a T-44C Pegasus aircraft on Jan. 12, 2012. US Navy photo.

The Navy is creating a Professional Flight Instructor (PFI) program that would allow pilots and naval flight officers to remain in the Navy later in their careers as flight instructors outside the normal sea/shore rotation. Read More

Pentagon, Lockheed Martin Agree to New F-35 Contract

Pentagon, Lockheed Martin Agree to New F-35 Contract

Workers can be seen on the moving line and forward fuselage assembly areas for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Lockheed Martin Corp’s factory located in Fort Worth, Texas. Lockheed Martin photo.

The cost of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is dropping by millions of dollars per plane under a new production contract agreed to by Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon, which was announced today. Read More

Marines' F-35B Joint Strike Fighter Conducts First-Ever Combat Mission with Strike in Afghanistan

Marines’ F-35B Joint Strike Fighter Conducts First-Ever Combat Mission with Strike in Afghanistan

U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), stage ordnance before loading it into an F-35B Lightning II aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) in preparation for the F-35B’s first combat strike, Sept. 27, 2018. US Marine Corps photo.

This post has been updated to include additional information from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

The Marine Corps’ F-35B Joint Strike Fighter has conducted its first-ever combat strike, completing a mission in Afghanistan today in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Read More

U.S. Aircraft Carrier Deployments at 25 Year Low as Navy Struggles to Reset Force

U.S. Aircraft Carrier Deployments at 25 Year Low as Navy Struggles to Reset Force

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transits the Pacific Ocean while underway in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations on Aug. 4, 2018. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include an addtional statement from the Navy as well as an explanation of how USNI News tabulated its data.

THE PENTAGON – Aircraft carriers – the most visible tools of U.S. military power – are spending more time in maintenance and at home even as the Pentagon has declared it’s entered a new era of competition with China and Russia. Read More

Navy, Air Force Test Deploys 2,000-Pound Mine at Stand-off Range

Navy, Air Force Test Deploys 2,000-Pound Mine at Stand-off Range

U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 96th Aircraft Maintenance Unit prepare a Quickstrike mine to be loaded onto a B-52 at Andersen Air Force Base, Sept. 16. Air Force photo.

A joint Navy and Air Force test successfully deployed a 2,000-pound shallow-water mine from altitude and at speed from outside a presumed enemy’s anti-aircraft range – a first for the U.S. military – during the recently completed Valiant Shield 2018 exercise.

Read More

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Repair Period Triples in Length; Carrier Will be in Yard Until 2019

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Repair Period Triples in Length; Carrier Will be in Yard Until 2019

Capt. Kyle P. Higgins, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), addresses the crew during an Aug. 18, 2018, all-hands call on the flight deck. Dwight D. Eisenhower is undergoing a planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard during the maintenance phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. US Navy photo.

Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) will remain tied up in maintenance at Norfolk Naval Shipyard until early 2019, resulting in a maintenance availability about triple the expected six-month length. Read More

Navy Stand-Down of Triton Drones Will Continue Until Crash Investigation Concludes

Navy Stand-Down of Triton Drones Will Continue Until Crash Investigation Concludes

The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system completes its inaugural cross-country ferry flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Triton took off from the Northrop Grumman Palmdale, Calif. facility Sept. 17, 2014. US Navy photo.

The Navy will continue its stand-down of unmanned MQ-4C Triton operations in the wake of a crash in California until the investigation into the mishap is complete. Read More