July 23, 2018

Defense Spending Bills Taking Shape

Defense Spending

Both the House and Senate are proposing $675B in defense spending. The House passed its version of the defense appropriations bill last week. Lawmakers will return after the holiday to reconcile their differences in the legislation.

Senate Blocks F-35 Sale to Turkey

F-35 Sale

US Senate blocks Lockheed’s $10 billion sale of F-35s to Turkey, fearing the fighter jet’s secrets are at risk since the NATO ally’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system.

Raptor, Not F-35, Deployed for Security Mission

F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor has deployed to the Pacific as part of a theater security mission, swapping in for the Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Naval Aviation Ground Mishaps on Rise

Class C ground mishaps in naval aviation have doubled in the past decade. VADM DeWolfe Miller, Naval Air Forces chief, has made eliminating the mistakes his current No. 2 priority — behind the continued efforts to eliminate cockpit physiological episodes.

355-Ship Navy Not a Wish. It’s Now Policy

7th Fleet

President Trump’s 2018 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that calls for the US to build up to 355 ships “as soon as practicable.” That makes achieving a 355-ship Navy national policy.

Navy Receives First New Triton Drone

Triton

The Navy’s first Triton drone is set to meet early operational capability in 2018, with initial operational capability slated for 2021.

GAO: F-35 Plagued With Problems

GAO Report F-35

A Government Accountability Office report says DoD’s new fleet of F-35 Lightning IIs is experiencing spare parts shortages and other sustainment problems that are hurting the readiness of the fighter jets.

Navy Eliminates Office Overseeing Warfare UAVs

Triton

The Navy’s Office of Unmanned Warfare Systems has been eliminated, and its functions are being distributed to other offices. OPNAV N99 was set up less than two years ago to oversee the warfare development of UAVs by then-NavSec Ray Mabus.

New US Challenge: Dealing With N. Korea

North Korea missile launch

North Korea’s latest nuclear test was the biggest recorded detonation since the country began underground testing in 2006. Analysts say this is a key step toward developing missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

Hypoxia Nagging Safety Problem in Some Aircraft

Pilots in F/A-18 Hornet variants and EA-18G Growler aircraft may be vulnerable to hypoxia-like symptoms.