WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force may miss
its target of August 2016 to start using the Lockheed Martin
Corp F-35 fighter jet in combat if Congress blocks the
service’s plan to retire its A-10 tank-killer aircraft, a top
U.S. general said Thursday.
Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, the Pentagon’s
F-35 program chief, told reporters the Air Force was counting on
training experienced A-10 mechanics to help reach the total
1,100 mechanics needed to declare that the F-35 had reached
“initial operational capability” or IOC.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The crash of an unmanned Orbital Sciences Antares rocket is a “wake-up call” to the U.S. space community about the need to develop a new U.S. rocket engine, the head of Boeing Co’s defense division said on Thursday.
Chris Chadwick, chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said the failure of the rocket on Tuesday was a “sad and tragic” reminder that the space business was complex and difficult, but he did not expect a lasting setback to the overall industry.
WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Engine maker Pratt & Whitney
on Thursday said it had won a contract to build an eighth batch
of 48 engines for the F-35 fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin
Corp, bringing the total value of the deal to $1.05
Pratt, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said the
new contract was for $793 million, on top of $259 million in
preliminary funds awarded and would lower the average cost of
the engines between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent.
WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The explosion of an Orbital
Science Corp supply rocket over Virginia could
accelerate U.S. efforts to replace aging Russian space
technology with a pricey homegrown rocket engine.
Even before the crash on Tuesday, Orbital had planned to
switch to another engine for future launches, given the age of
Soviet-era motors now in use as well as uncertainty about future
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. unit of Britain’s BAE Systems Plc on Tuesday said the U.S. Air Force has halted some of the company’s initial work on a project to upgrade South Korea’s F-16 fighter jets amid ongoing talks about the second phase of the project.
“We remain concerned about the lack of progress in the negotiations between the Republic of Korea and the U.S. Air Force on the KF-16 upgrade program that has now resulted in a partial stop work order,” said BAE spokesman Brian Roehrkasse.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department is expanding its dialogue with weapons makers about emerging threats and potential technology solutions, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday, urging companies to invest in areas such as “big data” and quantum sciences.
“Technological superiority is not assured,” Katrina McFarland, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, told executives at a conference hosted by the TechAmerica Foundation. “The firms that make strategic investments now will succeed.”
WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The Pentagon and Congress
have better-than-ever odds of reaching agreement on how to
streamline myriad overlapping laws that slow the process for
buying military equipment and services, a top Defense Department
“I am optimistic,” Andrew Hunter, a former congressional
aide who helped draft many of those laws before joining the
Pentagon four years ago, told reporters on Thursday. He said he
saw emerging consensus among industry, lawmakers and defense
officials about the need for changes.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Raytheon Co (RTN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday beat analysts’ forecasts for third-quarter earnings despite a bigger-than-expected drop in revenue, and the U.S. weapons maker said its bookings pointed to renewed sales growth in coming years.
“We still have confidence in how the year will play out,” Chief Financial Officer Dave Wajsgras told Reuters. He said revenue should rise in the fourth quarter, buoyed in part by a large deal with Qatar for a Patriot missile defense system now being finalized.
WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp
on Wednesday said it had filed a formal protest with the U.S.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) challenging the Air
Force’s decision to pick Raytheon Co to develop a new
“We believe that we offered the most affordable and capable
solution for the program and have strong grounds for this
protest,” said Lockheed spokeswoman Rashi Ratan.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Shares of U.S. weapons makers rose broadly on Wednesday after a spate of third-quarter results showed continued growth in earnings and operating margins despite weaker revenue.
Tensions and violence around the world were also fueling hopes among investors that Congress will ease mandatory budget cuts that are due to resume in 2016, analysts said.