F-35As fly in formation. (AF photo)Engineers are trying to fix the F-35’s software package after it was discovered the sensors for the Joint Strike Fighter malfunction when detecting targets when the aircraft flies in formation.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, Program Executive Officer, F-35, said he didn’t have a date when the correction would be made. However, he said the problem would not delay the declaration of the Marine variant of the aircraft, the F-35B, ready for combat.

“When you have two, three or four F-35s looking at the same threat, they don’t all see it exactly the same because of the angles that they are looking at and what their sensors pick up,” Bogdan told reporters Tuesday. “When there is a slight difference in what those four airplanes might be seeing, the fusion model can’t decide if it’s one threat or more than one threat. If two airplanes are looking at the same thing, they see it slightly differently because of the physics of it.”

For example, if a group of F-35s detect a single ground threat such as anti-aircraft weaponry, the sensors on the planes may have trouble distinguishing whether it was an isolated threat or several objects, Bogdan explained. [Continue reading…]

Chuck Norris wants to save the A-10 from retirement. (Courtesy of Chuck Norris)Air Force leaders wanting to send the A-10 Thunderbolt to the bone yard already have any number of lawmakers criticizing them from Capitol Hill.

Now they’ve got “Lone Wolf McQuade” coming after them.

Action star Chuck Norris – an Air Force veteran – on Monday delivered an editorial roundhouse kick to the Air Force, arguing on the World Net Daily website that the “Warthog” – as it is known – still has plenty of fight left in it.

In the ongoing campaign against ISIS, Norris writes, “the A-10′s utility is warranted even more now than ever.”

“Its firepower capability, speed and accuracy, frequent war use, and the oft-painted teeth on its nose cone have made it one of the military’s most popular aircraft,” Norris wrote. [Continue reading…]

Ford carrierThe Navy is preparing to launch the first ship-board tests of a new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System designed to replace steam catapults and propel fighter jets and other aircraft off the deck of an aircraft carrier, service officials said.

“In June, we’ll start shooting dead loads into the James River. The ship is pointed bow out. It will be the first time in 60-years that we have shot something off a ship using something other than a steam catapult,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Moore, Program Executive Officer, Carriers.

The EMALS system, which uses an electromagnetic field to propel aircraft instead of the steam catapult, is slated for the new Ford-class aircraft carriers. The first EMALS system has been under construction for several years aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, or CVN 78, the first in class of the new carriers expected to deliver to the Navy next year.

“Two of the four catapults are completely built. The other two are almost built,” Moore said. [Continue reading…]

DEKA-arm-600x400Seeing a 55-year-old quadriplegic woman steer a F-35 simulator with only her thoughts left Military​.com associate editor Brendan McGarry curious to find out more about the work that DARPA officials are doing with the human brain. He visited the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency offices in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday to get more details on the project.

This morning we published the piece on the advances DARPA engineers and scientists are making with prosthetic appendages as well as the human memory. DARPA, one of the Pentagon’s leading research agencies, is especially excited about its program called Restoring Active Memory.

McGarry wrote that DARPA “seeks to build a prosthetic device that could aid in the formation and recall declarative memory, a form of long-term memory that can be recalled such as a fact. For example, a future experiment might involve a patient who is asked to identify a series of faces and names with the aid of an implant.” [Continue reading…]

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Eubanks works in the blue light of the Electronic Warfare module as he stands the Advanced Combat Direction Systems watch aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. (Navy photo)The Navy needs to upgrade electronic warfare technology faster on more of its surface ships because potential enemies are developing weapons designed to penetrate defensive systems on many U.S.  cruisers and destroyers, service leaders said.

The service is now in the process of upgrading its existing SLQ-32 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program, or SEWIP — an electronic warfare sensor now on many guided missile cruisers and destroyers.

SEWIP is designed to detect approaching threats, such as anti-ship cruise missiles in time for ship commanders to take defensive or protective actions. It is configured to provide early detection, signal analysis and threat warnings against a range of threats.

“We need to keep working on our electromagnetic spectrum but we need to also be able to counter the weapons that they build. I am buying as many SEWIPs as I can. The SLQ-32 is a little panel that looks like an old electronic TV set with panels on the front. We had SLQ-32s when I was a junior officer – on a lot of our ships and that is still what we have,” Vice Adm. Joseph Mulloy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Integration of Capabilities and Resources, said Tuesday. [Continue reading…]