Friday, January 7, 2011

Pentagon cost review: F-35B to be redesigned, put on probation

Some aviation-related takeaways from US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speech on on cost reviews at the Pentagon.

  • The F-35B STOVL remains the only JSF model behind schedule. Redesign of the variant's structure and propulsion may be needed.

  • The F-35B will be put on probation for two years, cancellation at the end of the probation period will remain a possiblity.

  • More F/A-18E/Fs will be purchased for the Navy to cover fighter gaps due to F-35 delays.

  • 150 (legacy?) F/A-18s will have their service lives extended. (also due to F-35 delays)

  • The USAF will field a new, optionally-manned long range nuclear-capable bomber.

  • More Reaper UAVs will be purchased by the USAF.

  • Continuing radar upgrades for existing USAF F-15s.

  • A new seaborne strike/surveillance aircraft will be purchased

Full transcript of SecDef Gate's speech.

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