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Aug 21, 2014

Exclusive: Lockheed, suppliers brainstorm how to lower F-35 operating costs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp met with 90 key suppliers last week to brainstorm ways to lower the long-term cost of operating and maintaining the F-35 fighter jets from the Pentagon’s current forecast of $1.02 trillion through 2065.

Top officials from the Pentagon’s Defense Contracts Management Agency and the Defense Contracts Audit Agency were also on hand during two days of talks in Fort Worth, Texas.

Aug 21, 2014

Boeing says completed key design review for space taxi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co has completed a key review of its design for a new commercial venture to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, making it the only one of four rival bidders to finish the NASA work on time, company officials said on Thursday.

Boeing is competing with Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX, and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp, to develop and build U.S. commercial space taxis to transport astronauts, rather than relying on Russia to ferry them to the station.

Aug 20, 2014

Two Russian rocket engines arrive in U.S. as planned -ULA

WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Two Russian-built rocket
engines arrived in the United States on Wednesday aboard a giant
Antonov cargo plane despite fears that tensions between the
United States and Russia could disrupt the supply of engines
needed to launch U.S. satellites into space.

“Today, United Launch Alliance received two RD-180 engines
at our factory in Decatur, Alabama, that will support critical
near-term U.S. missions,” said Jessica Rye, spokeswoman for the
joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp.
ULA uses the Russian engines to help launch a range of NASA and
other government satellites into space.

Jul 30, 2014

U.S. working on plan for future F-35 incidents: Air Force

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Military officials hope to prevent the kind of confusion that followed a recent engine failure that grounded Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jets for more than three weeks, the U.S. Air Force’s top officer said on Wednesday.

Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh said a memorandum now being drafted would suggest ways to better share information and determine which parties needed to involved in any future incidents.

Jul 29, 2014

U.S. loosens rules for Lockheed F-35, allows faster flight, tighter curves

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have
loosened some flight restrictions on Lockheed Martin Corp’s
F-35 fighter jets, allowing pilots to fly faster and
take tighter curves, as military officials investigate a massive
engine failure that grounded the entire fleet of warplanes for
over three weeks.

Pilots can now fly at speeds of up to 1.6 Mach, up from 0.9
Mach, and carry out turns with a gravitational load of 3.2 Gs,
up from 3 Gs, a U.S. defense official and other sources familiar
with the program told Reuters on Tuesday.

Jul 18, 2014

Carrier test with extra EA-18G jets went well: U.S. Navy

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy said it was pleased with the results of a test that put three extra Boeing Co EA-18G electronic attack jets on the deck of an aircraft carrier in late May and early June, an exercise that could underpin future orders of the jets.

“The exercise went very well. We gained a deeper understanding of the incredible value of the EA-18G Growler and how to best employ its capability, and increased capacity, from the flight deck of our aircraft carrier,” said Commander Jeannie Groeneveld, spokeswoman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s naval air force.

Jul 18, 2014

U.S. firms urge new export policy for drones, change near

FARNBOROUGH England (Reuters) – The U.S. government is nearing release of a revamped policy for exports of unmanned aerial vehicles and technology amid growing pressure by U.S. manufacturers who say the current cumbersome rules are giving firms in other countries a competitive edge.

U.S. officials at the Farnborough air show were tight-lipped about the details of any possible changes, but confirmed that there could be movement soon on the issue after years of behind-the-scenes deliberations.

Jul 17, 2014

Arms makers embrace partnerships in pursuit of foreign sales

FARNBOROUGH England (Reuters) – Traditionally companies which have guarded their secrets closely, arms makers are opening up to partnerships and technology sharing to meet the demands of overseas buyers they need to offset budget cuts at home.

In years gone by, foreign arms deals were dominated by so-called offset agreements – where the seller would make investments in the buyer’s local economy, sometimes in unrelated sectors such as the automotive industry.

Jul 17, 2014

UK need for sea patrol aircraft opens new front in Airbus, Boeing battle

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 17 (Reuters) – Two high-profile
sea searches have exposed a shortfall in Britain’s maritime
patrol capabilities, raising hopes at rival planemakers Airbus
and Boeing that they could soon be fighting over
a multi-billion dollar contract.

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370,
missing since March, and the hunt for four British yachtsmen
lost in the Atlantic Ocean in May, has brought home to the
British government the need to invest in maritime patrol
aircraft, sources close to the matter say.

Jul 16, 2014

U.S. open to slower Boeing deliveries, but no extra cost

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy
might agree to accept slower deliveries of Boeing Co
F/A-18 fighter jets and EA-18G electronic attack jets to help
extend the company’s production line, but not if that adds cost
to the program, a Navy official said Wednesday.

“The Navy could probably accept some slower deliveries, but
my marching orders are not to do that at any additional cost to
us,” Captain Frank Morley, who heads the F/A-18 and EA-18G
program for the Navy, said at the Farnborough air show.