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Jessica Drake (jessica_drake@mcgraw-hill.com)

Jessica Drake (jessica_drake@mcgraw-hill.com)
USMC gears up for direct H-1, UAV link 

U.S. Marine Corps AH-1 Super Cobra and UH-1 Huey helicopters have a history of working with unmanned aerial vehicles, but when the helicopters are remanufactured and upgraded they will be able to receive imagery directly from the Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) UAV system being procured by the sea services.

ABL team investigates rupture of chemical test tank 

Contamination caused a chemical tank to rupture at TRW's Airborne Laser (ABL) facility in San Celemente, Calif., last month, damaging a building and dumping more than 200 gallons of hydrogen peroxide on the ground, but causing no injuries.

The incident isn't expected to delay the ABL program - which is intended to field a converted 747 aircraft to knock down ballistic missiles with a laser in their boost phase - but it will add to costs, an official said yesterday. TRW is investigating the incident and a final report is due by the end of October.

USAF, eyeing advent of JSF, to double life of A-10s 

U.S. Air Force A-10 aircraft are slated for extensive structural rework and electronics upgrades in the next six years as the service prepares to double their life expectancy and keep them flying until 2028, when they are scheduled to be replaced by the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

USAF to include F-16 refurbishment in FY '02 POM 

U.S. Air Force F-16 fighters need about $800 million in structural repairs if they are to meet their life expectancy of 8,000 flight hours and the work will have to begin no later than 2002, according Maj. Gen. Claude Bolton, head of fighter and bomber programs in the AF acquisition office.

V-22 ready for OpEval, program manager says 

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey heads into Operational Evaluation Oct. 1 about 99.99% ready for the test, which will determine whether the tiltrotor aircraft is ready to be introduced to the fleet, according to Marine Col. Nolan Schmidt, program manager.

"The plane will pass with flying colors," predicted Schmidt, who said the Osprey has already demonstrated capabilities that surpass the requirements it will be judged against during the testing.

USAF leaders see Congress restoring F-22 funds 

Congress will restore $1.8 billion in production funding for the F-22 when the defense budget bill clears conference, according U.S. Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters and other key AF leaders who have been lobbying Capitol Hill this week.

Boeing optimistic about precision munitions, realistic about fighters 

Boeing is playing up the strong performance of its precision guided munitions and seems determined for the time being to wait for the fighter and bomber business to come around.

The company has already designed several major changes into its successful Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM) programs, according to Mike Marks, who heads up Boeing's Air Force aircraft and munitions programs.

Navy Joint Strike Fighter goes for longer range 

The U.S. Navy has opted to boost the combat radius of its version of the Joint Strike Fighter to 600 miles, a 100-mile increase, according to Cdr. Kevin Albright, requirements officer for the program.

"Moving the range back to 600 miles was our original goal for a high, high, high profile," he told The DAILY in a Pentagon interview. "It allows for launch, a 600-mile flight out to the target, weapons drop, some combat maneuvering and recovery."

Apache PVS proposal remains tabled, pending more analysis 

A Boeing proposal to take over depot maintenance of the U.S. Army Apache helicopter fleet remains on the desk of Paul Hoeper, Army acquisition chief, while the service attempts to hash out the possible effects it could have on the military and business practices.

Lockheed plans to finish JSF concept phase on time, under budget 

Lockheed Martin has reversed a cost overrun projection on its Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) demonstrator program and will end the concept phase on time and within budget, according to company officials.

The company had predicted an overrun of more than $100 million in February. Military program officials restructured the program in May to help Lockheed Martin from busting its budget, and to allow for major design changes on competitor Boeing's JSF aircraft.

Boeing on schedule and cost in JSF program, company official says 

Boeing expects to have time and money to spare on its Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) demonstration program, according to Frank D. Statkus, vice president and general manager of the Boeing program.

SLAM-ER needs enhancements to pass OPEVAL 

The U.S. Navy is being forced back to the drawing board before it freezes the design of the Standoff Land Attack Missile-Extended Range (SLAM-ER).

The Boeing-built missile was ruled operationally unsuitable by the Dept. of Defense's Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) authority earlier this month (DAILY, Aug. 20). The Navy and Boeing were told to add near-term software and hardware changes before resubmitting SLAM-ER for a second attempt at passing the test.

Discoverer II won't survive without full funding, officials say 

The Discoverer II satellite program will not survive a cut if the House Appropriations Committee's markup of the Dept. of Defense budget stands, according to program officials.

SLAM-ER must re-do operational evaluation 

The U.S. Navy's next-generation land attack missile must re-run its operational evaluation next spring, according to Pentagon officials.

DOE's Richardson set to recommend veto for House appropriations bill 

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said he is prepared to recommend a presidential veto for the House version of the defense appropriations bill, which sets Congress up as the budget authority for his department.

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