Lockheed?s stealthy F-35 breaks down too often, Pentagon says

The Pentagon?s chief weapons tester said the next-generation F-35 jet continues to fall short of full combat readiness targets and, despite some progress on reliability issues, all three versions of the fighter are breaking down ?more often than planned.?

None of the Air Force, Marines and Navy variants of the Lockheed Martin fighter is meeting its five key ?reliability or maintainability metrics,? Robert Behler, the Pentagon?s director of operational testing, said in prepared remarks Wednesday before two House Armed Services Committee panels.

The House subcommittees are reviewing the $428 billion program?s status and progress recovering from years of cost overruns and production delays.


U.S. House Committee ?Concerned? With Lack of Army Aviation Strategy

The House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel wants the U.S. Army to submit by March 30 next year a “comprehensive strategy … for Army aviation to ensure alignment between requirements, future Army budget submissions, and authorization of appropriations.”

“The required strategy would cover both current and future multi-domain operations for Army aviation,” according to language recommended by the panel?on the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, H.R. 2500. “The fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Army included several significant changes to aviation modernization programs. While these changes may align with the long-term Army aviation strategy, the committee is concerned with the absence of such a strategy that incorporates both current and future capabilities.”


Retired general, former Army secretary named to panel studying military aviation crisis

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday announced that it had selected a retired general and former lawmaker to join an eight-person independent commission looking into the reasons behind a spate of aviation mishaps that has killed scores of pilots and their crews over the last several years.

AF aviators could someday come from enlisted ranks, revival of warrant officers

The Air Force is exploring alternative ways to add pilots to its ranks ? different from more traditional routes such as the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base.

A worrisome pilot shortage might give enlisted members new opportunities and could lead to the revival of a different kind of officer, one who doesn?t need a four-year college degree.