Innovative partnership enhances F-35A training at Luke AFB

The 56th Component Maintenance Squadron’s Egress Systems Flight has partnered with Lockheed Martin to work on two innovative technologies that aim to enhance F-35A Lightning II egress maintenance training.

Working closely with Lockheed Martin, the egress shop implemented the Virtual Reality Maintenance Trainer and the use of a full-size 3D print of the F-35 canopy in an effort to reduce the time for training tasks by 50 percent.

The Egress Systems Flight ensures the overall integrity of the emergency ejection seat system in the F-35A Lightning II.


Skyborg: the US Air Force?s future AI fleet

Finger four has been the dominant fighter aircraft formation since the 1930s. The world?s most advanced fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-35, costs around $100m per jet. Four of these in formation means almost half a billion dollars of hardware in the air (not including the per hour cost of flying them). Losing just one fighter would be catastrophic for the US Air Force?s budget.

The US Air Force?s (USAF) project Skyborg aims to address this cost risk by replacing some of these expensive fighter jets with more affordable unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) acting as unmanned wingmen.


Air Force pilot tests modified Black Hawk helicopter for first time

July 18 (UPI) — For the first time, an Air Force pilot tested an HH-60W combat rescue helicopter, which is a modified version of the Army’s UH-60M Black Hawk. Maj. Andrew Fama, a test pilot with the 413th Flight Test Squadron based in Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., flew the aircraft last Thursday at Sikorsky Aircraft’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.


Lockheed hypes F-35?s upgrade plan as interest in ?sixth-gen? fighters grows

LE BOURGET, Paris ? As European defense firms drum up publicity about the sixth-generation fighters they plan to build, Lockheed Martin executives promoted the F-35 as the proven fifth-gen option that could blur the lines with sixth-gen planes as it is upgraded into the 2020s and beyond.

?It?s a compliment to the F-35 that many countries are looking to replicate fifth gen and then extending that to sixth gen,? Michele Evans, Lockheed?s head of aeronautics, told Defense News at the Paris Air Show on June 19. ?I think it really does reflect on the value of what F-35 is bringing to the pilots and the battlespace. In terms of technology, we?re not going to let F-35 go static.?


When US Navy and Marine F-35 pilots most need performance, the aircraft becomes erratic

WASHINGTON ? The U.S. Navy?s and Marine Corps? F-35s become unpredictable to handle when executing the kind of extreme maneuvers a pilot would use in a dogfight or while avoiding a missile, according to documents exclusively obtained by Defense News.

Specifically, the Marine short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant and the Navy?s carrier-launched version become difficult to control when the aircraft is operating above a 20-degree angle of attack, which is the angle created by the oncoming air and the leading edge of the wing.


Sikorsky?s $31B Marine helicopters are running 19 months late

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s $31 billion King Stallion helicopter program for the U.S. Marines may miss its first key milestone by more than 19 months because of a growing checklist of flaws discovered in development testing. The Naval Air Systems Command acknowledged that the helicopter designed to carry heavy cargo won’t meet its December target date for initial combat capability. The roster of unresolved technical deficiencies has grown to 106 items from about 94 logged in December, according to Navy documents.


Triple Threat: The New F-15X Super Eagle Could Help the F-22 and F-35 Dominate the Skies

Boeing?s new incarnation of the venerable F-15 will be padding the ranks of high-dollar aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor- and they won?t cost the US Air Force and arm and a leg to do so.

New reports reveal that the new Boeing F-15X will come in two variants and are not an attempt by Boeing to disrupt Lockheed Martin?s F-35 rollout, but are instead going to replace 30-plus-year-old F-15Cs and F-15Ds currently in service.


US Air Force moves to fortify F-35 weak points against hacking

BERLIN ? The U.S. Air Force is devoting fresh energy to plugging cybersecurity holes in the F-35’s external support systems, as they are deemed the easiest entry points for hackers into the fifth-generation combat jet, according to a key service official.

?It?s a software-based aircraft, and any software-based platform is going to be susceptible to hacking,? Brig. Gen. Stephen Jost, director of the Air Force F-35 Integration Office, told Defense News in an interview at the International Fighter industry conference here.

The service considers the information backbone of the actual airplane ? managed by manufacturer Lockheed Martin ? relatively safe. That is thanks to what Jost called ?multilayer security protections? ranging from secure authentication when crafting mission data packages for each aircraft before takeoff, to pilots punching in personal identification numbers to start up the plane.