Air Force

F-35 sales affect L-M’s bottom line

Nearly six weeks after halting deliveries of new F-35 fighters, Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet says the company is awaiting results of an investigation of a December 15 mishap before resuming acceptance flights and deliveries. While the pause was a factor in an F-35 sales decline at loss of some US$310 million, the company’s aeronautics division had nearly US$27 billion in net sales in 2022, up $239 million from 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Marine mammals impacted by noise

As the Canadian military plans to resume weapons testing in an area off the southern tip of Vancouver Island after a three-year hiatus, British research shows increased ambient noise levels are forcing dolphins to “shout” to hear each other. Also, the European Commission has found that underwater noise levels have doubled every decade in the last 60 years, mainly due to increased shipping. [node:read-more:link]

Canada sends armoured vehicles for Haiti

Canada delivered three more armoured vehicles to the Haiti National Police via military aircraft. The vehicles are for use against criminal gangs which have caused a humanitarian crisis. Canada supplied an initial batch of AVs last October. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 tech upgrade successful

A 50-minute test flight of an ugraded Lockheed Martin F-35A is described as a step toward loading the fighter with improved computer memory and processing power, laying the groundwork for a major Block 4 modernization. The test by the USAF 461st Flight Test Squadron verified airworthiness and system stability at 35,000 feet and at nearly Mach 1. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. weapons training to resume

After a three-year hiatus to study the effects on marine mammals of weapons training at the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island, the Canadian Armed Forces plans to resume the program. It cites a Toronto-based engineering company’s study which concluded that current measures to mitigate harmful effects of surface and aerial gunnery in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are effective. [node:read-more:link]

New RCAF fighters operational by 2032

This procurement has been politically turbulent for both Liberal and Conservative governments over the years, but Canada has finally announced it will begin taking deliveries of its first 16 F-35 Lightning II fighters in 2026 despite protesters who call for vulnerability in the name of peace. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 deliveries start in 2026

The first four of a planned 88 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters for the RCAF are scheduled for delivery to the RCAF in 2026, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced today. The projected 40-year lifecycle cost of the fleet is given as $70 billion, including the aircraft, new infrastructure at Canada’s two main fighter bases, and initial weapons and maintenance. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 deliveries suspended

Lockheed Martin said today that it has halted acceptance flights and deliveries of F-35s pending the results of an investigation into a mishap with a B-version during testing at its plant in Texas. The company and the Defense Department also announced today that they have contracted to deliver up to 398 F-35s to domestic and export customers in Lots 15-17, including first deliveries to Belgium, Finland and Poland. [node:read-more:link]

Some newer F-35s grounded by U.S.

Nearly two weeks after a Lockheed Martin F-35B crashed in Texas during test by the manufacturer, the F-35 Joint Program Office in the Defense Department has grounded a small number of newer aircraft already delivered. The JPO did not explain its decision today but it’s reported that failure of a high-pressure fuel transfer tube in the Pratt & Whitney engine had caused the December 15 crash. [node:read-more:link]

Questions about RCAF fighter costs

This week’s disclosure that Treasury Board has approved $7 billion for the first 16 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters of a planned 88 replacements for the RCAF’s legacy CF-188 has sparked cost comparisons with some other countries’ procurement costs even though infrastructure and other requirements can vary widely. While comparisons can be invidious can be invidious, recently-announced deals saw Finland pay the equivalent to C$15 billion for 64 aircraft, Germany the equivalent of C$12 for 35, and Switzerland the equivalent of C$8.5 billion for 36. [node:read-more:link]

First tranche of F-35s approved

The government reportedly has approved the procurement of 16 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, spares, weapons and other start-up costs for the RCAF as it faced a year-end deadline for ensuring that its overall acquisition of 88 aircraft remains on track for final delivery by 2032. Treasury Board evidently green-lit the initial funding earlier in December. [node:read-more:link]

Call sign commanders reinstated

Two RCAF officers recently disciplined for failing to follow Canadian Armed Forces’ policy on sexual misconduct are resuming their duties. Their command failures arose from a controversy over a call sign for a new female CF-18 fighter pilot at Cold Lake, Alberta, last summer. Major General Iain Huddleston, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, said both “recognized the mistakes they made and have fully accepted responsibility for their failure to step in. [node:read-more:link]

RCAF to police callsigns

Major-General Iain Huddleston, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, says the RCAF plans to tighten the rules on fighter pilots’ call signs while respecting a long-standing tradition. “They’re a tool that’s been used for many years to bring those teams that are focused on fighter operations together,” he said after two senior officers at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, were disciplined for not intervening when a new female pilot was tagged with a homophobic calls ign. “It’s important to have that team spirit, that esprit de corps, that camaraderie.” [node:read-more:link]

New fighters in “very short term”

Canada will finalize a contract with Lockheed Martin in the “very short term” to replace the RCAF’s legacy Boeing F-18 fighters with F-35s, Defence Minister Anita Anand said in an interview televised today. “We will be . . . moving to ensure that the assets arrive as soon as possible,” she said. “But in advance of that, we need to make sure we have the pilots trained and we need to make sure that we have the infrastructure in place.” [node:read-more:link]

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