Archive | June, 2007

India’s $8 billion fighter-fest begins

It’s showtime in India — well, almost. The aerospace industries of the Europe, Russia and the US have been waiting for two years now for the Indian Ministry of Defense to release a request for proposals for a contract worth $8 billion to $10 billion to buy 126 multi-role fighters. And they’re still waiting. But […]

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Air force colonel offers tips for army helicopter pilots

Read Armed Forces Journal for an extraordinary article in which a US Air Force colonel attempts to explain to army pilots how they should be flying their helicopters in Iraq. (That thundering sound you hear right now is the mob of club-wielding army pilots en route to the good air force colonel’s office to register […]

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Intercepts

Today, you can: 1. Spend a year telling contractors that you want to develop a sophisticated data link to integrate on the air mobility fleet, then abruptly reverse course and signal that you’d rather buy an off the shelf antenna, but thanks for everybody’s time. 2. Develop a new unmanned aerial vehicle designed by InSitu […]

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Airlines beware: the SWA is falling

Southwest Airlines, the only carrier that Wall Street analysts love to love (or LUV?), announced today that it is deferring deliveries of 15 Boeing 737-700s. This is bad news for airlines. Very bad. I’ve polled my colleagues, who actually know a thing or two about the air transport industry, and no one can remember a […]

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Target Spotting: US Navy

The US Navy is seeking to develop a new target vehicle described as “supersonic” and “multi-stage”. You can read the solicitation here. I have not been previoulsy aware of a specific need in the navy for such a target. It’s possible that this is part of the navy’s Threat D program, which seeks to do […]

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Bribery is the new kickback …

So the US Department of Justice has launched an investigation of BAE Systems over allegations that it bribed Saudi officials to buy Eurofighter jets. Does this open cans of globalized defense industry worms or what? First of all, what is DOJ’s jurisdiction over a deal involving a sale by a British company to the Saudi […]

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JCA: Just Confusing Aircraft

The plot continues to thicken on the mystery of the Joint Cargo Aircraft contract. As I reported in Flight International magazine this week, I have received three different official estimates for cost and aircraft quantity, The joint programme office says the contract will cost $2 billion to buy 78 aircraft. L-3 Communications, the selected prime […]

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The Rhino and Me

The official reason for my 1-hour joy ride in a US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet on June 20 at the Paris air show is quite sensible. I am after all a serious journalist and non-pilot who writes regularly about the aircraft. The real-world exposure, compliments of Boeing’s generous invitation, would add a valuable perspective to […]

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ASAT Tit-for-Tat?

Remember when China blew up one of its own satellites with a missile back in January? Remember the tsk-tsk diplomatic response by the US government? Of course, diplomastic posturing is never easy when your government is publicly denouncing an activity that it is privately pursuing with some gusto — as this new acquisition notice by […]

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The $2.04 Billion Mystery of JCA

DOD’s contract announcement for the Joint Cargo Aircraft says that the L-3 Communications team will be paid an “estimated” $2.04 billion to deliver “up to” 78 C-27Js. That is not very clear, nor very accurate, and the facts that I discovered yesterday raise some serious questions about the US Air Force’s real level of interest […]

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