WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Norway’s defense minister on Thursday said the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program is on the right track after a major restructuring in 2010, with the cost of the new stealth warplane coming down and most technical issues solved.
But Ine Eriksen Søreide, who became defense minister in October, told Reuters that Norway was keeping a close eye on the program’s costs, software development, prospects for industrial participation by Norwegian industry, and how the planes will be serviced once they are delivered to Europe.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Uncertainty about U.S. budget levels is limiting the prospects for increased merger and acquisition activity in the defense industry, Sean O’Keefe, chief executive officer of the U.S. operations of Europe’s Airbus, said on Tuesday.
“There’s lots of churn, but I don’t get the sense that there’s going to be a lot of immediate action,” O’Keefe told Reuters in an interview after announcing that he will resign, effective March 1, for health reasons.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Allan McArtor, who heads Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) U.S. commercial operations, will take over as chairman and chief executive of the overall U.S. unit of the European weapons and planemaker on March 1, replacing Sean O’Keefe, the company said Tuesday.
Airbus said O’Keefe, who turns 58 later this month, is resigning to focus on his continuing recovery after he survived a 2010 plane crash in Alaska that killed five people, including former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.
WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department
on Monday issued a rare emergency order aimed at blocking the
illegal re-export of two large, used U.S.-built commercial jet
engines to Iran by a company based in Turkey.
Assistant Commerce Secretary David Mills, who oversees
export enforcement, signed the order on Friday after learning
that Turkish-based 3K Aviation Consulting & Logistics planned to
re-export two engines built by General Electric Co to
Iran on Tuesday using Pouya Airline, an Iranian cargo airline.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China’s espionage and military buildup.
According to Pentagon documents reviewed by Reuters, chief U.S. arms buyer Frank Kendall allowed two F-35 suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc, to use Chinese magnets for the new warplane’s radar system, landing gears and other hardware. Without the waivers, both companies could have faced sanctions for violating federal law and the F-35 program could have faced further delays.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s recent focus on pricing has led to “remarkable progress” in cutting the cost of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program, but the plane still costs more than it should to build and operate, Director of Defense Pricing Shay Assad said.
“We’re making progress. We’re doing OK, but we have a long way to go to get to what a Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) should cost,” Assad said in an interview last week.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Brazil’s decision to buy Swedish fighter jets instead of F/A-18 Super Hornets from Boeing eliminates its most promising foreign-sales prospect just as the U.S. company faces critical decisions about extending the jet’s production line past 2016.
The loss of the $4.5 billion contract for 36 planes is the latest blow to Boeing’s defense division, whose F-15 fighter jet last month lost a potential 60-plane order from South Korea to Lockheed Martin Corp’s next-generation F-35 fighter.
WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – South Korea is unlikely to
finalize any orders for the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35
stealth fighter jet until the summer or fall of 2014, after it
redoes a complicated acquisition process, according to three
sources familiar with the issue.
South Korea’s military chiefs last month said Seoul would
buy 40 Lockheed F-35 fighters, with the first planes to be
delivered in 2018, despite the fact the only Boeing Co’s
F-15 fighter met the competition’s price target.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department and top suppliers on the $392 billion F-35 fighter program are developing a plan to drive down the cost of the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, the head of enginemaker Pratt & Whitney told Reuters.
The project uses an “innovative” new mechanism to encourage companies to invest their own funds to lower production costs, Dave Hess, president of Pratt & Whitney, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday, ahead of his retirement at the end of the month. Pratt is a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
FORT WORTH, Texas (Reuters) – The tilt-rotor aircraft that Textron Inc’s (TXT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Bell Helicopter is designing for a U.S. Army competition would help troops travel longer distances as the military shifts focus to the Asia-Pacific region, a company official said.
Bell is trying to capitalize on its experience building the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor plane together with Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as it designs a lighter, cheaper and less complex aircraft, the V-280 Valor, that could eventually translate into billions of dollars of orders for the winner of the Army competition.