Andrea's Feed
Nov 1, 2013

Lockheed shows plans for hypersonic spy plane; focus on low cost

WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp
unveiled plans on Friday for a hypersonic spy plane that could
fly at Mach 6, twice as fast as its famed SR-71 Blackbird, and
said a missile demonstrating the new technology could fly as
early as 2018.

Brad Leland, the Lockheed engineer who has headed the
seven-year research effort, said the new aircraft, dubbed the
SR-72, was designed using off-the-shelf materials to keep it
affordable in the current tough budget environment.

Nov 1, 2013

U.S. Navy cancels notice on possible F/A-18 fighter jet order

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy on Thursday canceled a notice about a possible order of up to 36 more Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) F/A-18 fighter jets or EA-18G electronic warfare planes after the posting on a federal procurement website sparked confusion this week.

The pre-solicitation notice, which first became public this week, had triggered renewed questions about the Navy’s commitment to the $392 billion radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Nov 1, 2013

Northop’s new Fire Scout unmanned helicopter takes flight

WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – A larger and more powerful
version of Northrop Grumman Corp’s Fire Scout unmanned
helicopter made its first two flights on Thursday, the U.S. Navy
said as it plans to start using the new aircraft next year.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout took off and flew for 7 minutes in its
first flight at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu,
California, the Navy and Northrop said in news releases. It
reached an altitude of 500 feet (152 meters) and flew 9 minutes
during a second flight.

Oct 30, 2013

Pentagon’s F-35 office eyes possible change in testing approach

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Wednesday said it is examining the possibility of saving time and money by more closely integrating developmental and operational testing of the new F-35 radar-evading fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Kyra Hawn, spokeswoman for the $392 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, said discussions were under way with the Pentagon’s “testing community” but no decisions had been made.

Oct 30, 2013

U.S. F-35 fighter drops first guided bomb against ground target

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet dropped a 500-pound bomb this week, hitting a tank at Edwards Air Force Base in California and marking the first time the new warplane has fired a laser-guided weapon, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

An F-35 B-model jet released the Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II bomb from its internal weapons bay while flying at around 25,000 feet, successfully smashing into a tank parked on the ground, the Pentagon’s F-35 program office said in a statement. It took 35 seconds to hit the target.

Oct 30, 2013

35 fighter drops first guided bomb against ground target

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet dropped a 500-pound bomb this week, hitting a tank at Edwards Air Force Base in California and marking the first time the new warplane has fired a weapon, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

An F-35 B-model jet released the laser-guided Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II bomb from its internal weapons bay while flying at around 25,000 feet, successfully smashing into a tank parked on the ground, the Pentagon’s F-35 program office said in a statement. It took 35 seconds to hit the target.

Oct 30, 2013

Pentagon sees ‘sufficient’ progress to boost fiscal year 2015 F-35 output

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon this week said the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) F-35 program had made sufficient improvement to plan for higher production in fiscal year 2015, but contract awards would be tied to progress on the fighter jet’s software, reliability and other issues.

“Program progress is sufficient for the department to budget for an increase in the production rate in fiscal year 2015,” Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, wrote in a memorandum dated October 28 and obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

Oct 30, 2013

Pentagon sees “sufficient” progress to boost FY15 F-35 output

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The Pentagon this week said
the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 program had made
sufficient improvement to plan for higher production in fiscal
year 2015, but contract awards would be tied to progress on the
fighter jet’s software, reliability and other issues.

“Program progress is sufficient for the department to budget
for an increase in the production rate in fiscal year 2015,”
Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition,
technology and logistics, wrote in a memorandum dated Oct. 28
and obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

Oct 29, 2013

House panel kicks off Pentagon acquisition reform drive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday kicked off a fresh drive to fix the way the Pentagon buys weapons and services, vowing to “look past Band-Aid fixes and parochial interests” and implement meaningful reforms.

The committee’s chairman, U.S. Representative Buck McKeon, said some successful efforts were already under way, but the U.S. military acquisition system still faced significant challenges including cost overruns and schedule delays, and those would get worse due to mounting pressure on U.S. budgets.

Oct 29, 2013

Skelton, former military expert in U.S. Congress, dies at 81

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. congressman Ike Skelton, a 17-term Democrat who capped his career as chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, died on Monday, according to U.S. lawmakers. He was 81.

Skelton died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, with his wife Patty and his sons at his side, said Skelton’s longtime colleague and staff member, Russell Orban.