Archive | March, 2008


UPDATED w/PHOTOS: Open thread on the rise of air-launched ABM

Arguably the most interesting development in the US air-to-air missile industry in recent years has been the conceptual rise of the air-launched, anti-ballistic missile (ABM). Lockheed Martin’s air-launched hit to kill (ALHTK) program is pursuing an air-launched version Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3), with the first flight test scheduled for this spring. Raytheon’s netcentric air defense […]

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Boeing invades South Carolina

So much for Airbus being the new aerospace darling of the Deep South, which is courtesy of the future, US Air Force-sponsored, A330-200 assembly facility in Mobile. As of this morning, Boeing is the proud joint-owner of a major aircraft assembly center in Charleston, South Carolina. Boeing bought out Vought’s share in Global Aeronautica, a […]

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Bad glue causes F-22A mishap

Lockheed Martin delivered the first 30 F-22As with an inadequate adhesive — dubbed C493 — for low observable (LO) coatings. The manufacturer has since fixed the problem, but the first 30 airframes are stuck with the bad glue. There’s a reason we now know this bit of F-22A arcana. On November 1, a small patch […]

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Question of the day

Today’s question comes from NTV, who writes (in reply to my post about the “Lost 767″ below): This leads to the question(s) that I have had since the KC-45 winner was announced. What direction will the Air Force’s C4ISR planes move now that there wont be a KC-767? If the Boeing would have won the […]

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N526BA: the USAF’s “lost 767″ flies

Freelance photographer Matt Cawby has posted great photos of the first flight of N526BA, a 767-400ER once destined for service as a US Air Force testbed for the aborted E-10A program. Two more good shots on the ground here and here. The USAF cancelled the contract for the N526BA in October 2007 after deciding not […]

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YAL-1 Airborne Laser update

Boeing updated the press corps today about its missile defense programs. Lunch was included, and we — the Pavlovian press — showed up en masse. My angle for Flight International magazine will be an update on the YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL). Boeing is now warning that funding to buy a second aircraft — notionally based […]

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Did Lockheed Martin really say that?

“Nothing compares because nothing can compare” That’s one of Lockheed Martin’s slogans printed in a new marketing brochure for the F-16IN (tip: Sweetman). Is this the worst marketing slogan for a military aircraft of all time, or are there even dumber ones? “We never forget who we’re marketing for” (Source: Lockheed Martin)

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Boeing IDS and the backlog blues

Losing the massive KC-X order exposed already creeping concerns about a barren backlog for Boeing’s military division. Using my company’s Milicas database, I tracked exactly how many fixed-wing aircraft orders remain in Boeing’s pipeline. The results, as you’ll see, clearly reveal that the clock is ticking on Boeing Integrated Defense Systems to do … well, […]

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Breaking news: Unreported F-22A mishap exposed

A Lockheed Martin F-22A on November 1 experienced an “in-flight emergency” and landed safely at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, but the previously undisclosed incident caused more than $1 million of damage to the aircraft, the US Air Force confirmed to me this morning. No details of the so-called “Class A” mishap are being released […]

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Israel’s F-16I Sufas grounded by cancer scare

Read the news story here: If you know Hebrew, I believe you can read the Israeli military’s statement here: The forums at are not yet discussing the story, but I’m sure you’ll be able to read more about what I’m calling the Great Sufa Cancer Scare of 2008 here: More to […]

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