DOD’s latest selected acquisition report (SAR) for Congress says the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program is running seven months late, moving full rate production approval from May to December. The culprit, per the Pentagon, is the time it took to investigate the anomaly that occurred during the Delta IV demo mission last December. An independent review found the root cause of the anomaly to be fluid cavitation—bubbles—in the oxygen feed line.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.