WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may decide as soon as Thursday whether to protest the U.S. Air Force’s selection of Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to develop and build a next-generation long-range strike bomber amid signs that a challenge could be an uphill battle, according to sources familiar with the issue.
Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said the company had not yet decided whether to challenge the contract award, which could be worth $80 billion to the winning bidder over the next decades. “We continue to evaluate our options,” he said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has approved a longstanding request from Italy to arm its two MQ-9 Reaper drones with Hellfire missiles, laser-guided bombs and other munitions, two U.S. officials said Wednesday.
This would be the first sale of armed drones approved since the U.S. government established a policy in February for exports of the new type of weapons that have played a key role in U.S. military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy on Tuesday underscored its desire to buy more Boeing Co F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in coming years to deal with higher-than-expected operational demands and past delays in the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet program.
Rear Admiral Michael Manazir, director of air warfare for the U.S. chief of naval operations, told lawmakers that the Navy was working to speed up maintenance of older-model F/A-18s, but would also need to buy more new F/A-18E/F jets to avert a shortfall in strike fighters for its aircraft carriers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has won a preliminary contract valued at up to $5.37 billion to build a ninth batch of 55 F-35 jets for the U.S. military and its allies, the U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday.
The Pentagon’s F-35 program office said it expected to finalize the terms of the deal, known as an “undefinitized contract action” or UCA, with Lockheed, its No. 1 supplier, by the end of the year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy plans to conduct patrols within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands in the South China Sea about twice a quarter to remind China and other countries about U.S. rights under international law, a U.S. defence official said on Monday.
“We’re going to come down to about twice a quarter or a little more than that,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about Navy operational plans.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on Monday underscored the importance of ensuring that a new $80-billion U.S. Air Force bomber program be well managed from a cost perspective and produce a superior weapons system.
“This is an important program and it’s important to make it a success substantively, and also from an acquisition standpoint,” Republican U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry told Reuters after an event hosted by the Defense One media outlet.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers are near agreement on $5 billion in cuts to a sweeping defense policy bill, including “painful” ones to arms programs, to comply with a budget deal with the White House, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said on Monday.
“I hope we get it finalized today,” U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry of Texas told reporters after an event hosted by the Defense One media outlet. He said some cuts could come from lowering fuel spending as a result of lower oil prices, but big programs like Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet might also be scaled back.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military on Sunday hailed the success of a complex $230 million test of the U.S. missile defense system that it said showed the ability of the Aegis and THAAD weapons systems to identify and destroy ballistic and cruise missiles at once.
The test was conducted near Wake Island in the western Pacific Ocean around 11:05 p.m. EDT by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, U.S. European Command, U.S. Pacific Command, the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.
BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s naval commander told his U.S. counterpart that a minor incident could spark war in the South China Sea if the United States did not stop its “provocative acts” in the disputed waterway, the Chinese navy said on Friday.
Admiral Wu Shengli made the comments to U.S. chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson during a video teleconference on Thursday, according to a Chinese naval statement.
WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force is due to
brief Boeing Co on Friday about its decision to award
Northrop Grumman Corp a huge contract to build a
next-generation long-range strike bomber, according to two
sources familiar with the matter.
Boeing, which had teamed up with Lockheed Martin Corp
, told its staff in a memo on Tuesday that it would
“rigorously deliberate” whether to protest the contract award,
with a decision likely within two weeks.