WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) – U.S. space companies are
shifting strategies to benefit from a change in how the U.S.
government buys satellites, rockets and space services.
After years of billion-dollar cost overruns and schedule
delays on complex satellite programs, U.S. officials are looking
for smaller, less expensive spacecraft and exploring
alternatives such pay-for-service deals, or packing sensors on
government or commercial satellites.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Reuters) – Space is playing an increasing role in security talks between the United States and China, although no formal dialogue dedicated to space security has begun, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.
“Over the past year or so, space has been included in an increasing way and we hope to continue those discussions on space security,” Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of state for space and defense policy, told Reuters after a speech at a space industry conference in Colorado Springs.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Reuters) – Satellite operator Iridium Communications and Harris Corp on Wednesday said a new space-based aircraft-tracking venture will save airlines money, but also holds promise for the U.S. military, which is facing a sharp downturn in spending in coming years.
Iridium and NAV CANADA, the Canadian air navigation service, have formed a joint venture, Aireon LLC, which will put special sensors on all 66 new Iridium NEXT satellites to track aircraft over oceans and other “global blind spots” beginning in 2015.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Reuters) – The military needs a new approach to developing and buying the satellites that are critical to every military operation, a top Air Force general said on Tuesday, citing growing threats in space and increasing budget pressures closer to earth.
“This time that we’re in today absolutely begs for change,” General William Shelton, who heads Air Force Space Command, told hundreds of industry executives at the annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “There are storm clouds that are on the horizon.”
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, April 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. Air
Force will likely opt for a mixed approach for a next-generation
weather satellite that includes smaller spacecraft, according to
top Air Force officials.
The Air Force plans to finish a review of possible
approaches for the satellite early this summer following the
collapse of the previous program due to technical and cost
, April 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Air
Force has designated six cyber tools as weapons, which should
help the programs compete for increasingly scarce dollars in the
Pentagon budget, an Air Force official said on Monday.
Lieutenant General John Hyten, vice commander of Air Force
Space Command, which oversees satellite and cyberspace
operation, said the new designations would help normalize
military cyber operations as the U.S. military works to keep up
with rapidly changing threats in the newest theater of war.
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (Reuters) – The Navy plans to carry out the first catapult takeoff of its new X-47B unmanned plane from an aircraft carrier next month and other shipboard tests despite mandatory budget cuts this year, according to the admiral who runs the programs.
Rear Admiral Mathias Winter, program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, said Northrop Grumman Corp’s X-47B program and other unmanned aircraft programs should survive the fiscal 2013 budget cuts largely intact because they are still early in development.
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (Reuters) – Australia is expected to decide on the purchase of up to 24 additional Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) F/A-18 fighter jets by late spring or early summer, according to the U.S. Navy captain who runs the foreign fighter jet sales program on behalf of the Pentagon.
A number of buyers in Asia and the Middle East remain interested in the warplane, and the Navy is also staying in “pretty close touch” with Brazil, said Captain Frank Morley, program manager for the F/A-18 Hornet, Super Hornet and Growler electronic attack versions of the plane.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department said on Wednesday it has approved the sale of either the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 stealth fighter or Boeing Co’s F-15 Silent Eagle fighter to South Korea, which is expected to announce the winner of a 60-jet competition later this year.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, which oversees foreign military sales, notified U.S. lawmakers Friday about the possible sales to South Korea as tensions continued to mount with North Korea.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The retiring chief of the trouble-plagued F-35 Joint Strike Fighter says he remains bullish about the hi-tech war plane, with costs soon to be further reduced as production takes off, and believes the program will transform the aerospace industry.
Tom Burbage, a former Navy test pilot and general manager of the F-35 program since its inception 12 years ago, said the $396 billion weapons program, which will create a supersonic, single-engine fighter jet for use by the United States and its allies, still made strategic sense.