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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.

Jul 16, 2014

35 engine mishap, UK “no show” rich in lessons learned

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 16 (Reuters) – The engine failure
that grounded Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets and
the warplane’s now-cancelled appearance at two UK air shows
provided key “lessons learned” for the companies that build the
jets, and the military forces that use them.

While the outcome was disappointing for air show visitors
and many people involved in the F-35 program, U.S. military and
industry officials said both the engine incident and air show
planning allowed them to learn a lot about handing future
problems and taking the jets overseas.

Jul 16, 2014

Airbus offers Poland core status in helicopter bid

FARNBOROUGH England (Reuters) – Airbus Group is ready to offer Poland a sweeping partnership alongside its core European nations to support its bid for a major military helicopter contract, a senior executive told Reuters.

The proposal comes as Airbus Group competes with Sikorsky of the United States, a unit of United Technologies, and AgustaWestland, owned by Italy’s Finmeccanica, in a contest to sell 70 rotorcraft worth an estimated $3 billion.

Jul 15, 2014

U.S. lifts F-35 grounding but skips British air show

FARNBOROUGH England (Reuters) – U.S. military officials have approved limited flights for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets, but the Pentagon said the newest U.S. combat jet would not make its international debut before potential buyers this week.

The F-35, the world’s most expensive weapons project with a price tag of about $400 billion, has been grounded since the massive failure of a Pratt & Whitney engine on a U.S. Air Force F-35 plane at a Florida air base on June 23.

Jul 15, 2014

U.S. approves limited flights for F-35 fighters

FARNBOROUGH England (Reuters) – U.S. military officials have approved limited flights for Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) F-35 fighter jets, improving the chances of the newest U.S. combat jet making its international debut before potential buyers this week.

The F-35, the world’s most expensive weapons project with a price tag of about $400 billion, has been grounded since the massive failure of the Pratt & Whitney (UTX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) engine on a U.S. Air Force F-35 plane at a Florida air base on June 23.

Jul 9, 2014

Hammond says F-35 jets may miss RIAT air show this week

LONDON (Reuters) – British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) F-35 fighter jet may miss the Royal International Air Tattoo air show this week given a fleet-wide grounding ordered after an engine failure last month.

But Hammond told a conference in London on Wednesday that he was “still optimistic” that the new warplane would be cleared to fly in time to make a delayed international debut at the world’s biggest air show in Farnborough, outside London, next week.

Jul 9, 2014

UK minister says F-35 jets may miss RIAT air show this week

LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) – British Defence Secretary Philip
Hammond said Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet may
miss the Royal International Air Tattoo air show this week given
a fleet-wide grounding ordered after an engine failure last
month.

But Hammond told a conference in London on Wednesday that he
was “still optimistic” that the new warplane would be cleared to
fly in time to make a delayed international debut at the world’s
biggest air show in Farnborough, outside London, next week.