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Nov 8, 2013

Huntington Ingalls cutting costs of U.S. aircraft carriers

WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Huntington Ingalls Industries
Inc has left “no stone unturned” in trying to lower the
cost of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the first of a new class of
aircraft carriers to be christened Saturday, a top company
official said.

The company is also working hard to apply lessons learned
from that first ship to the next one, the USS John F. Kennedy,
which is under construction now at Newport News Shipbuilding,
said Matt Mulherin, president of the shipyard and corporate vice
president of Huntington Ingalls.

Nov 8, 2013

S.Korea would get F-35s with full combat capability -Pentagon

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – If South Korea decides to
order Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets for
delivery in 2017, the aircraft would come with the software
needed to carry a full load of weapons, Lockheed and the
Pentagon’s F-35 program office said Thursday, refuting a claim
made earlier this week by a Boeing consultant.

South Korea is expected to confirm in coming weeks that it
needs radar-evading capabilities such as those offered by the
F-35, after an acquisition task force last month rejected a bid
to buy Boeing Co’s F-15.

Nov 7, 2013

FAA unveils plan for integrating drones into U.S. airspace

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation
Administration on Thursday released an initial plan for
integrating unmanned aircraft more broadly into U.S. airspace by
September 2015, along with a privacy policy for six drone test
sites that will be chosen by the end of the year.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said new rules, standards
and policies were needed to ensure that U.S. aviation
regulations and safety rules remained the world’s “gold
standard,” as a growing number of new unmanned planes joined
manned aircraft in the skies above America.

Nov 7, 2013

Pentagon arms buyer stresses accountability on weapons programs

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s chief arms
buyer on Thursday emphasized the need for more accountability on
weapons programs as the U.S. military struggles to end years of
cost overruns and delays on projects such as the Lockheed Martin
Corp F-35 fighter jet.

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition,
technology and logistics, said he was continuing to implement a
series of changes aimed at improving the Pentagon acquisition
system, including giving program managers more authority.

Nov 6, 2013

MEADS missile defense destroyed 2 targets at once -Lockheed

WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – The MEADS missile defense
system developed by the United States, Italy and Germany
intercepted and destroyed two targets simultaneously in a final
test on Wednesday before Washington pulls out of the program,
Lockheed Martin Corp said.

Lockheed, which plans to keep working on the project with
Germany and Italy, said the test showed the Medium Extended Air
Defense System (MEADS) can provide 360-degree protection against
air and ballistic missile threats.

Nov 6, 2013

MEADS destroyed 2 targets simultaneously in last test -Lockheed

WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – The MEADS missile defense
system developed by the United States, Italy and Germany
intercepted and destroyed two targets simultaneously in a final
test on Wednesday before Washington pulls out of the program,
Lockheed Martin Corp said.

Lockheed, which plans to keep working on the project with
Germany and Italy, said the test showed the Medium Extended Air
Defense System’s (MEADS) ability to provide 360-degree
protection against air and ballistic missile threats.

Nov 5, 2013

U.S. Navy pledges cost cuts as it christens new aircraft carrier

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy on Tuesday pledged to cut costs for building new aircraft carriers, as it prepared to christen the USS Gerald R. Ford, first in its class of warships and a vessel whose $12.9 billion cost will exceed forecasts by almost 25 percent.

Rear Admiral Thomas Moore, Navy officer in charge of aircraft carriers, pledged that the next carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy, would cost $1.2 billion less than the USS Ford, which will be christened on Saturday.

Nov 2, 2013

U.S. Navy says notice of possible F/A-18 orders posted in error

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy erroneously posted 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 attack planes due to “pre-decisional and internal budget discussions,” a top Navy admiral said Friday.

Vice Admiral David Dunaway, commander of Naval Air Systems Command, issued a statement after the Navy canceled the notice. It had sparked confusion since the Navy’s current plans call for it to switch to the radar-evading F-35 built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in coming years and do not foresee further F/A-18 purchases after fiscal 2014.

Nov 2, 2013

Northrop sees strong foreign interest in unmanned helicopter

WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Northrop Grumman Corp
on Friday said it saw strong foreign interest in its Fire Scout
unmanned helicopter, but faced challenges in translating that
demand into actual sales.

George Vardoulakis, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for
medium-range tactical systems, told reporters the unmanned
helicopter was also subject to tough missile control rules that
made any foreign sales subject to extra scrutiny.

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.