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BAE Takes On Lockheed For Billions In Global F-16 Upgrades

Posted by Colin Clark on


FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: You can tell the U.S. defense budget is shrinking when one of the more interesting stories during an international air show centers on a plane, the F-16, first delivered in 1979. But BAE Systems’ press conference focused on just that, providing upgrades to the worldwide fleet of some 2,500 airplanes in what… Keep reading →

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The Magnificent Seven Weapons: ‘Awesome On A Shoestring’

Posted by Dan Ward on


Everyone knows military technology projects take forever and cost billions to produce, right? Just look at the Air Force’s latest fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor. The Raptor’s initial requirement was written in 1981, with the objective of developing an air superiority fighter to counter the Soviet air threat. It was declared operational in December of… Keep reading →

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Pratt & Whitney Bets Big Profits Loom, If F-35 Stays Healthy

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


HARTFORD, CT: Aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney proudly predicts it will double its revenues this decade from $12 billion in 2010 to $24 billion in 2020 — but the company admits it will have to get through some lean years first. On both the commercial and military sides, key Pratt & Whitney programs are… Keep reading →

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Strike At Lockheed’s F-35 Plant: DoD Budget Cuts Hitting Home?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Anyone who’s attended a hearing on the F-35 since Bob Gates first put the plane in his sights, with costs spinning upwards and schedule bulging outwards, knows that the Pentagon senior leadership is pushing hard to contain costs of the largest conventional acquisition program in U.S. history. That push may have led to a… Keep reading →

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PACOM Chief Balks At F-16 Upgrades For South Korea

Posted by Carlo Munoz on


CAPITOL HILL: For months now, Pentagon and service officials have said it will need all the help it can get from its international partners, as the department begins its swing from Southwest Asia to the Western Pacific. But that help won’t include outfitting the South Korean air force with a key, U.S.-built radar system. Pacific… Keep reading →

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Precision Munitions Lessen Need for Close Air Support Plane: Schwartz Answers the A-10 Question

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: One of the longest-running debates between the Air Force and the Army centers on close air support. Historically, the Air Force hates supplying CAS and doesn’t like buying or maintaining the planes that do it. But the white scarf boys wouldn’t let the Army do the job either, since it involved fixed-wing aircraft and… Keep reading →

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Air Force Doesn’t Know Aircraft Operations, Maintenance Costs; Audit Needed

Posted by Winslow Wheeler on


Winslow Wheeler, one of the Washington’s most respected defense budget experts, has penned a detailed analysis of how much the Pentagon pays for maintenance and operations to keep its planes in the air. Below, we offer a very condensed version of his report. The Editor. Early in a weapon program’s history, there is virtually always… Keep reading →

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NATO Chief: Unity Needed To Survive Europe Budget Crisis

Posted by Carlo Munoz on


National Harbor: Strong, sustained cooperation for future military investments is the only way NATO will survive the massive budget cuts being pushed through by many of its partner nations, a top alliance official said today. Cooperation between NATO nations on building and maintaining its arsenal is critical “because there is no other choice”, Gen Stephane… Keep reading →

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Hell To Pay If Taiwan Fighter Sale Scrapped, Smith Says

Posted by Carlo Munoz on


Washington: There will be hell to pay on Capitol Hill if the White House decides against selling F-16 fighters to Taiwan, the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said today. The small Asian nation off the coast of China is looking to buy over 60 F-16 fighters to revamp its aging Air Force.… Keep reading →

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Record-setting X3 Helicopter Shows Off at Paris Air Show

Posted by Colin Clark on


Paris: It’s a helicopter, but it’s not ungainly. It’s a helicopter, but it has two forward-facing propellers. It’s a helicopter but it flies as fast as some planes. It is the X3, a very high-speed helicopter built by European defense giant EADS. It’s already set one speed record, zooming at 279.6 miles per hour (232… Keep reading →

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