DefenseTech is reporting that the U.S. military’s futuristic F-35 fighter jet remains dogged by dangerous problems sure to further complicate what is already the most expensive weapons project in history, a Pentagon report says.
The plane, which boasts a version that can take off and land vertically, is supposed to form the backbone of the military’s future fighter fleet, ensuring U.S. dominance in the skies for years to come with radar-evading technology.
The military has already taken delivery of dozens of the planes, but new batches continue to be refined and tested.
The total costs for designing and building the F-35 are estimated to be as much as $1.5 trillion, or about the cost of the entire Iraq War.
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A force-wide look at misconduct among senior military officers — and the efforts to prevent it — found significant differences among the services’ cultures, according to Military Times.
“The ground forces, they send really junior people into leadership position,” said Rear Adm. Margaret “Peg” Klein, the defense secretary’s senior adviser for military professionalism.
“They have company command, they have O-3s going into command, and their professional identity is learned very early on,” Klein said, referring to the paygrade for captains in the Army, Marines and Air Force. Navy O-3s are lieutenants. Yet the Navy and the Air Force, historically, “are very technically focused,” she said.
Klein has spent nearly two years helping the services sharpen their professional development and leadership training. Her office was created in March 2014 by then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel amid a spate of scandals involving senior officers and mounting concerns of a systemic or cultural problem in the ranks. Those fears may have been overblown, she said.
North Korea's claim Sunday of launching a satellite atop what could be developed as a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S. will likely set off debate on more spending for missile defense in the $583 billion fiscal 2017 Pentagon budget proposal to be released Tuesday, according to Military.com.
Last year, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency proposed $8.13 billion in fiscal 2016 to improve and expand U.S. anti-missile programs. The proposal was a 3-percent increase over the previous year.
The Pentagon released 198 photographs late Friday afternoon of serious injuries sustained by detainees in U.S.-run detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of which were evidence used to prosecute U.S. soldiers for abuse, according to Military.com.
A 162-page PDF document shows the photographs, which were taken between 2001 and 2009. Some of them are color photos and some are in black and white and show contusions and open wounds.
Of the 56 allegations of abuse tied to the photographs, subsequent investigations substantiated the claims in 14 of the cases, which resulted in disciplinary action against 65 service members, the Defense Department said in a prepared statement.
“The disciplinary actions ranged from letters of reprimand to life imprisonment,” the Pentagon stated in a news release. “And of those 65 who received disciplinary action, 26 were convicted at court martials.”