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Richard Aboulafia

GE’s ITEP Win & The Army’s Inch-By-Inch Revolution

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


GE photo

Having wasted tens of billions and almost 30 years since the end of the Cold War, the Army is out of time. But after decades of incremental improvements, its existing weapons — including the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that GE’s new engine will upgrade – are overweight, underpowered, and running out of room to grow. Meanwhile, the Army’s attempts at a high-tech great leap forward kept getting cancelled as unaffordable, unfeasible, or both.

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Boeing Wins $9.2B T-X Trainer Contract: Low Price, High Risk

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Boeing photo

WASHINGTON: Aerospace behemoth Boeing will build the new T-X jet trainer, the Air Force announced this afternoon, beating out the Lockheed/KAI T-50 and the Leonardo DRS/CAE T-100 after years of maneuvering and uncertainty that saw multiple companies drop out of the competition. The first planes will enter service at Randolph Air Force base in 2023, with… Keep reading →

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Lockheed ‘Seizes High Ground’ With Second Hypersonics Deal

Posted by Colin Clark on


Raytheon

“All of the fundamental research in hypersonic aerodynamics is United States (work),” said Pentagon R&D chief Mike Griffin. “We did not choose to weaponize the results of that research. Our adversaries have chosen to weaponize it. That’s the challenge. We will respond.”

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‘Major Upset’ As Lockheed Ditches Northrop For F-35 DAS Sensor

Posted by Colin Clark on


Northrop Grumman was pushed aside today by Lockheed Martin as it picked Raytheon to build perhaps the F-35’s most important sensor, the Distributed Aperture System. “It’s a major upset,” Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group said when I asked him to discuss the decision.

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No $ For New B-52 Engines Til 2020; Nuke Modernization Moves Ahead: Gen. Rand

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CORRECTED: Inserted Photo Of Minuteman III; Removed Photo Of Titan WASHINGTON: Gen. Robin Rand, the Air Force bomber and missile boss, really wants new jet engines for his aging B-52s. The service has invited interested companies to a two-day information session in December and Boeing and Rolls-Royce are already publicly campaigning for the contract. But,… Keep reading →

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Bell V-280 Vs. Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1: Who Will Win Future Vertical Lift?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


AMARILLO, TEX.: The Future Vertical Lift program aims to create revolutionary replacements for today’s military helicopters. But how? And why? The answers lie in the speed limits built into the physics of how a helicopter flies. Rival contractors Bell and Sikorsky (part of Lockheed Martin) both say they have transcended those limits to build dramatically… Keep reading →

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Trump Vs. Pentagon: Is F-35 Really ‘Out Of Control’?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Lockheed Martin photo

WASHINGTON: Just hours after the President-Elect tweeted F-35 costs were “out of control,” sending manufacturer Lockheed Martin‘s stock price into a nosedive, the first two F-35s to be based abroad landed in their new home country, Israel. Is the famously hard-nosed Israeli Defense Force deceived about what they’re getting for their money? Or is the… Keep reading →

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F-35 Wins Denmark Competition: Trounces Super Hornet, Eurofighter

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATING with Aboulafia analysis of questionable pricing] The F-35 just won a competition — and it wasn’t even close. In every category, from combat performance to cost, the Danish government rated Lockheed’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter as superior to Airbus’s Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing’s F/A-18F Super Hornet. What’s striking here is not that the F-35 won: Denmark… Keep reading →

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GAO Upholds LRSB Award To Northrop; Boeing Glowers

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Aboulafia Comment, SecAF, Boeing, Northrop Statements.  WASHINGTON: The Government Accountability Office upheld the Long Range Strike Bomber contract award to Northrop Grumman today, smoothing the way for one of the Pentagon’s highest priority programs and erasing fears that the dismissal of the service’s top acquisition official for his ties to Northrop might affect the decision.… Keep reading →

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Mabus: Get Moving On That F-18 Sale To Kuwait

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


SURFACE NAVY ASSOCIATION: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wants the arms export bureaucracy to get a move on and approve Boeing‘s “crucial” sale of Super Hornet fighters to Kuwait. The Kuwait deal is for 28 fighters, with an option for 12 more. That’s not a huge sale, but in and of itself, it’s enough to keep the… Keep reading →

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