15 Jun 17. The Navy’s 30-Day Review Reveals Few Answers for Cockpit Air Problems. Navy pilots have reported 461 physiological episodes in F/A-18 fighter jets and T-45 trainer aircraft since May of 2010 — an average of more than one every six days, Navy officials say. Yet the source of the problem remains unclear despite years of study and the recent completion of a 30-day review led by Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the Pacific Fleet. On Thursday, Adm. Bill Moran, vice chief of naval operations, briefed reporters about additional safety measures coming as a result of the review that are designed to curb this bedeviling trend. The Navy intends to immediately add a water separator in the T-45’s Onboard Oxygen Generation System, or OBOGS, a component common in high-performance jets but not found in the training aircraft. “Without a water separator in that system,” Moran said, “we believe that there’s a potential for water moisture to get in there and not provide effective, dry air.”
“There are a number of those components being delivered and installed as we speak,” Moran said Thursday.
A new mask configuration — there have been 300 new masks recently delivered to training centers — will continue to be implemented in the training aircraft as well. T-45 instructors are already using the redesigned masks, and the plan is to have flight-starved students begin using them soon.
“They’re out in the training command today,” Moran said. “Instructors are doing warmup flights and using that mask before we put students in the airplane to make sure that they understanding procedures.”
Navy student pilots have been without planes for almost two and a half months, but with the addition of the new measures, Moran said he expects “to get our student pilots back in the airplane for warmup flights some time in the next couple weeks.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Navy Times)
15 Jun 17. USAF to Conduct B-21 Raider Critical Design Review
Air Force and Northrop Grumman engineers are building the new B-21 Stealth Bomber with a mind to being able to elude enemy air defenses well into the 2030s, 2040s – and beyond.
An upcoming Critical Design Review of the Air Force’s new B-21 Raider stealth bomber will examine design specs, assess technical maturity and seek to prepare the aircraft to fly against fast-evolving, future air defenses.
Air Force senior leaders say the engineering and technological “intent” when building the B-21 is to construct a platform that able to counter current cutting-edge threats as well as threats anticipated to surface in coming decades.
Essentially, Air Force and Northrop Grumman engineers are architecting the aircraft with a mind to being able to elude enemy air defenses well into the 2030s, 2040s and beyond.
“We build with an open mission system architecture so that as the threat evolves, we can rapidly adapt the airplane to jump – and address things that are constantly changing,” Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, told Scout Warrior in an interview.
While many details of the upcoming technical review are not expected to be available for security reasons, Air Force senior developers do emphasize that the new stealth bomber is being designed to quickly evolve as needed.
Open mission systems, as described by Bunch, involves building a set of common standards and interfaces with software, hardware, sensors, radar, countermeasures and even weapons technology; this include IP protocol and common hardware able to receive software upgrades as required. The concept is to expedite integration of upgrades or changes to the platform as required by the current threat environment. Faster incorporation of needed adjustments is therefore regarded as a crucial means of sustaining a technological advantage.
While describing the rationale for this effort, Bunch emphasized that the US technological advantage and domination of the skies is by no means as