Lockheed Martin rewriting F-35 book

Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for all F-35 fighter components except the Pratt & Whitney engine, has told the U.S. it is prepared to guarantee a fixed price and assume most of the risk for maintaining a fleet-wide state of readiness higher than 80 per cent by 2025. It has proposed that the Department of Defense transition to a performance-based logistics approach in which contractors are incented to reduce costs. [node:read-more:link]

Boeing out of ICBM project

Northrop Grumman has rebuffed a Boeing bid to become involved in an $85-billion project to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile. Boeing had abandoned an earlier plan to compete with Northrop Grumman. The two companies beat Lockheed Martin two years ago to emerge as the finalists. [node:read-more:link]

Armoured vehicle marketing

Patria, a Finnish armoured vehicle company, is teaming up with Aselsan, a Turkish manufacturer of remote-controlled weapons systems, to market the vehicles in South America, the Middle East and Asia.  [node:read-more:link]

Armed ground robots

NATO countries evidently are warming to the concept of having remotely-controlled armed ground robots involved in combat missions. Truly autonomous systems remain “a bridge too far at the moment,” as an Avascent consultant puts it. [node:read-more:link]

Munitions for Morocco

The U.S. State Department has cleared Morocco to procure nearly $1 billion worth of various munitions and other hardware. They included missiles, bombs and other materiel for its F-16 fighters as well as TOW missiles. [node:read-more:link]

Joint venture wins missile contract

MBDA Missile Systems, a joint venture of Airbus Defence and Space, Leonardo s.P.a, and BAE Systems, has been contracted by the British Ministry of Defence to demonstrate an electronic warfare version of the company’s Spear missile. The warhead would be replaced with a miniaturized Leonardo payload which MBDA says could be used to “swarm” enemy defenses ahead of traditional strike weapons. [node:read-more:link]

Nextgen fighter group growing?

Leonardo s.P.a. is expected to confirm full involvement in a British-Swedish plan to develop a so-called “sixth-generation” fighter dubbed Tempest. The Italian conglomerate’s British subsidiary had already been involved for more than a year, working on sensor and avionics concepts. [node:read-more:link]

Hypersonics funding hyped?

Congress is prepared to give the Department of Defense more money that it had requested for development of hypersonic weapons and countermeasures. The DoD had asked for $1.4 billion but a summary of a spending bill making its way through the Senate bumps up the potential appropriation to nearly $2 billion. [node:read-more:link]

Da’esh carpet-bombed in Iraq

The U.S. Air Force dropped 39 tonnes of laser-guided munitions on to an island in the Tigris River north of Baghdad it said was “infested” with Da’esh fighters. A USAF spokesman posted a video of huge explosions and mushroom clouds. [node:read-more:link]

British Army vehicle project

Updating the British Army’s fleet of Warrior fighting vehicles is the focus of a new Ministry of Defence initiative. An official says the government is likely 18 months away from placing a contract with Lockheed Martin and its suppliers. [node:read-more:link]

Korean buildup increasingly worrisome

Military buildups on both sides of the border between South and North Korea are a growing concern. Ongoing missile tests by Pyongyang are being called necessary to defend against new South Korean weaponry as the government in Seoul boosts its military budget significantly. [node:read-more:link]

Armed robots closer to reality

An international team at the Redstone Arsenal Test Center in Alabama has used a launcher to fire a missile at an unmanned vehicle as part of a study of using armed ground robots. It was an early phase of ongoing U.S. Army trials. [node:read-more:link]

Mixed Messages from Pyongyang?

Only hours after North Korea had offered to resume nuclear negotiations with the U.S., the “hermit kingdom” launched two “projectiles” into the Sea of Japan. South Korea’s military, while providing no other details, continues to monitor the situation. [node:read-more:link]


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