The British Ministry of Defence has launched exclusive negotiations with Boeing regarding a potential buy of Wedgetail E-7 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed on October 2 that discussions with the U.S. manufacturer are underway, though exactly how many aircraft and at what cost are still yet to be outlined. Continue reading →
Three F-35As and an F-35C fly over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Source: Lockheed Martin
Aircraft programs won big in the FY19 defense appropriations bill, which was released by Congress in September. Lawmakers bolstered the major service aircraft accounts by a combined $2.5 billion in the bill, which includes an additional $1.2 billion for the Navy, $841.8 million for the Air Force, and $500.6 million for the Army. Most of the major changes made to the aircraft coffers stemmed from the House Appropriations Committee markup, which originally called for an additional $2.4 billion in aircraft funding. The Senate markup added $1.7 billion for aircraft, but the Army would have actually lost nearly half a billion dollars under the Senate bill.
On September 27, Boeing and Saab emerged as the winning team in the U.S. Air Force’s T-X advanced jet trainer contest. The Air Force chose the team’s all-new, clean-sheet aircraft to replace its fleet of some 444 Northrop T-38Cs. The service awarded Boeing an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, worth up to $9.2 billion, for the program. The contract includes an initial delivery order, valued at $813.4 million, for five engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft and seven simulators. Continue reading →
The U.S. Air Force is finally getting a new helicopter to replace its aging UH-1N Huey fleet. The venerable Huey will be replaced by the MH-139, a militarized version of the AW139, being built by a team of Boeing and Leonardo. The UH-1Ns primarily provide ballistic missile base security but also perform VIP transport and search-and-rescue operations. Continue reading →
The market for large commercial transports continues to rise following a brief downtick in 2015-2016. At the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, both Airbus and Boeing generated an impressive number of orders and commitments. All told, the over 1,400 aircraft orders placed was the biggest total since 2013, with Airbus garnering 431 orders and Boeing “winning” the show with 676. Continue reading →
As usual, the order contest between Airbus and Boeing will take center stage at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow in the U.K. Through the end of June 2018, orders for the two giant manufacturers were somewhat ahead of the pace set in the first six months of 2017. With few or no signs evident of an immediate sales slowdown, the stage is set for another big order haul at the show for Airbus and Boeing. It should be kept in mind, though, that the Farnborough show tends to generate a lower number of order announcements than does the rival Paris Air Show. Continue reading →
F-35C Completes Flyover of USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) Source: U.S. Navy
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is poised for a boost in 2019, as two U.S. congressional defense panels have signed off on additional aircraft for the Department of Defense. Precisely how many additional aircraft each service will receive must be ironed out in conference committee. This plus-up contrasts with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, both of which expressed concern about the F-35 production ramp-up. Continue reading →
An F-35 fighter jet on display at a roll-out ceremony for Turkey’s F-35s. Photo: Beth Steel/Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin formally delivered Turkey’s first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters on June 21. However, the milestone occurred amidst various moves within the U.S. Congress aimed at blocking further deliveries of the new fighter to that country.
Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization (JSTARS Recap) program underway.
Can the U.S. Congress force the Air Force into reinstating the JSTARS Recapitalization program? According to the HASC’s Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee’s markup of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Bill, there is a good possibility that it can. Continue reading →