The AV-8B Harrier was a pioneering aircraft for its time. Introduced in 1981, the Harrier was the first Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) jet aircraft in military service and will continue to be until it is replaced by the F-35B in the mid-2020s.
It seems like almost every week there is another cruise video showing how awesome the job of a Naval Aviator is - and this first week of 2017 is no exception!
This time the cruise video is from VFA-83, known as the "Rampagers", from their 2015/2016 deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
It's another first for the United States Navy, and a big leap forward in the ability and sophistication of unmanned aircraft, as the Navy just recently released video of the first ever unmanned aircraft taking fuel from a tanker. This is called Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) and was the final test objective for the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration program.
The 2016 Hornet Ball video is out, and this year it pays special tribute to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, also known as "Rhinos".
The Navy gave limited access to the USS Zumwalt to reporters last week, during the stealthy ship's first port stop in Newport, Rhode Island. The Zumwalt is currently underway from it's birthplace in Maine to Baltimore, Maryland, where it is scheduled to be commissioned in October.
In a move that is both very prudent and quite late, Frank Kendall, the Undersecretary Of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, has ordered that the US Navy's newest and most advanced aircraft carrier - the USS Gerald Ford - undergo an independent review to determine the future of some of the Ford's most advanced technology.
The flight deck of an aircraft carrier is one of the most dangerous working environments in all of the military. The close quarters of aircraft, sailors, and equipment; the pitching and rolling flight deck; turning rotors and jet engines; and aircraft launching at recovering at a couple hundred miles an hour all make for an unforgiving workplace!
This makes the sailors who work day-in-and-day-out in this environment some of the best and watching the ballet that is flight operations on the carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is awesome!
Coming just a few days after the Air Force declared its F-35A cleared for limited operations, the Pentagon's top tester expressed doubt about the aircraft.