Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

The huge drone that could not be grounded

By Richard H.P. Sia and Alexander Cohen

A major defense contractor used its connections on Capitol Hill to keep a troubled drone aircraft aloft at a cost of billions of dollars.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jim Moran":

"… etter, whose authors — Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. — received a total of $135,100 from Northrop Grumman’s politica …"

F35 program may be unaffordable, auditor says

By Richard H.P. Sia

The most costly military program in history might wind up busting the Pentagon budget.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. military":

"… oubled F-35 fighter jet, which is supposed to serve as the backbone of the U.S. military’s future air combat forces, may cost much more than the nation can affor …"

US Airways strengthens lobbying force

By Dave Levinthal

US Airways hires pair of new government relations firms to help navigate merger with American Airlines.

Pentagon criticizes F-35 contractors but hands over the dough

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

UPDATE: Early flight tests show multiple problems but the program gets new funds just before sequester.

Helium balloon maker shows lobbyists love

By Dave Levinthal

Gas shortage prompts helium balloon company to hire help as Valentine's Day nears.

A close call for the world’s most advanced warplane?

By Douglas Birch

Fuel line leaks and a special vulnerability to lightning are the latest troubles for the Pentagon's advanced fighter jet

Documents show Air Force neglected concerns about F-22 pilot safety

Documents show Air Force neglected concerns about pilot safety

F-35 deputy sees challenges ahead

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Aaron Mehta

New F-35 program deputy gives a candid assessment of flaws in the most expensive weapon in Pentagon history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "weapons systems":

"… est challenge: creating lines of code that fully integrate the fighter’s weapons systems with the plane’s operation. In anticipation, the software effort has bee …"

Pentagon efforts to straighten out bookkeeping face billion-dollar cost overruns

By Zach Toombs

Software troubles cast doubt on Panetta’s promise of an accounting of expenses by 2017.

Bouncing too much to find the enemy

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The F35 is having trouble with its high-tech helmets and structural cracks and skin repairs and tailhooks and more.

Costly work ahead for F-22

By Aaron Mehta

America's newest fighter jet needs years of upgrades and repairs, but pilots are not keen to fly them.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. military":

"… off the assembly line in 2003 and supposed to be the premiere jet for the U.S. military, a stealth-enabled, hyper-maneuverable air craft capable of dominating the …"

Will the $55 billion bomber program fly?

By David Axe

The pricetag is at least $55 billion, the design is unsettled and the mission is controversial.

Excerpts from this story referencing "laser":

"… nd weapons, potentially including the world's first operational air-to-air laser cannon — all of which added to its pricetag. But after Gates replaced R …"

Windfalls of war: Taxpayers get hammered by Pentagon attempts to "one-stop-shop"

By Sharon Weinberger

Pentagon abused its sole-source authority on weapons from tankers to choppers

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles Tiefer":

"… rd into multiple competitions might have resulted in even more savings.For Charles Tiefer, a member of the Wartime Contracting Commission, the failure to instill mo …"

BARR battle: Obama administration to make more corporate jet data public despite flak

By Corbin Hiar

The Obama administration's plan to make even more data available on corporate jet flights is drawing heat from some strange bedfellows

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… ny.The roots of the initiative go back to the late 1990s, when the Federal Aviation Administration began releasing air traffic data to the airline industry in …"

"… zed airports.The availability of this data concerned the National Business Aviation Association and other corporate jet lobbies. In consultation with the NBAA …"

"… ir movements, according to the most recent figures provided by the Federal Aviation Administration.In a June 3 Federal Register notice, the Department of Tran …"

"… the public.”Not surprisingly, the change is opposed by NBAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Chamber of Commerce. Also objecting, how …"

Boeing pocketed millions by overcharging Army, IG report finds

By Ben Wieder

Boeing overcharged the Army $13 million for helicopter parts

Half of Pentagon’s acquisition programs marred by poor management

By Laurel Adams

Over the past two years, Pentagon spending has increased by $135 billion, growing to a total of $1.68 trillion. Almost half of the increase

GAO: TSA screening of air cargo can’t be verified

By Laurel Adams

The Transportation Security Administration reported last August that it met its mandate to screen 100 percent of air cargo. But the Governme

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… August that it met its mandate to screen 100 percent of air cargo. But the Government Accountability Office says TSA cannot verify the accuracy of the data it used, according to a re …"

"… entering the U.S.Following are other new watchdog reports released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), various federal Offices of Inspector General (OIG), and other gover …"

National Archives electronic records system is years behind, millions over budget

By Laurel Adams

A major National Archives project to preserve and provide access to federal records, 10 years in the making, faces massive delays and cost o

Howard "Buck" McKeon — Armed Services Committee

By Amy Biegelsen

Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) answers to the nickname “Buck,” an appropriate moniker for the man about to help oversee one of the biggest ch

Excerpts from this story referencing "Air Force":

"… nstallations, including Fort Irwin, the China Lake Naval Base, and Edwards Air Force Base, where Gen. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947.Over the yea …"

"… as long advocated for the B-2 Stealth Bomber, even during periods when the Air Force signaled disinterest. Former Air Force Secretary James G. Roche, a former …"

"… omber, even during periods when the Air Force signaled disinterest. Former Air Force Secretary James G. Roche, a former Northrop Grumman executive, told The Wa …"

"… trict. In 2004, Northrop Grumman won a $388 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to continue modernizing the B-2 radar system, firmly securing its position …"

Lobbyists stage Capitol Hill dogfight over joint strike fighter engine

By Nick Schwellenbach

An intense spending fight over a second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter has partners General Electric and Rolls Royce and rival Pratt &

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee":

"… gies last year for the engine and on rail issues.GE also scooped up former Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee staff director Margaret “Sid” Ashworth this year, after a brief stint …"

"… .But GE’s team isn’t the only one with former insiders. Another former Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee staffer, Kraig Siracuse, is a lobbyist for United Technologies. Siracuse w …"

Senator Richard Shelby goes to bat for major financial benefactor

By Josh Israel and Nick Schwellenbach

The unusual “blanket hold” placed on Obama administration nominees by Senator Richard Shelby, represents an effort to support a firm that ha

New life for the F-22 Raptor

By Nick Schwellenbach

Faced with the potential of massive job losses and under heavy lobbying pressure earlier this year, the powerful House Armed Services Commit

Excerpts from this story referencing "John P. Murtha":

"… rielle Carruth, a former staffer for House Defense Appropriations Chairman John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania. Murtha’s subcommittee is one congressional battleground …"

FAA reauthorization ‘stuck on the tarmac’

By Matthew Lewis

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week introduced another bill to reauthorize the currently leaderless and conflict

Excerpts from this story referencing "pilot fatigue":

"… ration air traffic control system (NextGen), addressing air controller and pilot fatigue, and drafting proper oversight of non-certificated repair facilities.Much …"

NORAD, FAA unprepared for aerial attack

By The Center for Public Integrity

Civilian and military airspace defenders were unprepared to handle hijacked planes on 9/11

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… ilian and military defenders of the nation's airspace — FAA [the Federal Aviation Administration] and NORAD [the North American Aerospace Defense Command] …"

Failing to modernize air traffic control

By The Center for Public Integrity

Attempts to update air traffic control has failed even as technology remains decades out of date

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… — with the load expected to either double or triple by 2025. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first moved toward a modernization program in 1981, b …"

Close calls on the runway

By The Center for Public Integrity

Evan as incidents of near-misses on runways, the FAA struggles to update safety plans

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… plagued by an alarming rise in dangerous runway incidents, but the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) response has been criticized as inadequate by a h …"

Record delays in air travel

By The Center for Public Integrity

Plane delays continue to increase but no solution in sight

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… tor General called for “urgently needed” improvements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But long-term answers to chronic air travel delays r …"

FAA inspectors cozy up to airlines

By The Center for Public Integrity

Weak oversight on flight safety a symptom of close FAA/industry relations

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… that Southwest Airlines flew thousands of flights in violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) directives brought to light a “relaxed culture” o …"

FAA in the dark on maintenance

By The Center for Public Integrity

Non-certified repair facilities are performing important maintenance work on airplanes without FAA oversight

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… thout proper oversight and frequently without certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to a series of government reports. A Decem …"

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