Archive | July, 2008

[UPDATED WITH VIDEO] Fixing the Pentagon’s electronic warfare strategy

[UPDATE: Click on this video for an excellent history of the USA's development of electronic warfare from World War II through the Cold War.] Much aboutthe requirements and funding for electronic warfare programmes remainsclassified, making it difficult for the military — and, not to mention, bloggers — to describe whether true gaps exist. But thereseems […]

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Everyone now gets a piece of the A-10

In case you haven’t heard, the role of prime contractor for the A-10 fleet is up for grabs. If you’re a defense company, that means hundreds of millions of sustainment and modernization dollars every year can be yours for the taking. Interestingly, I’ve just learned the US Air Force is taking a very different approach […]

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Remember the Comanche

The Washington Post’s Tom Ricks today exhumes a fascinating farewell memo from June 2003. It’s General Eric Shinseki’s 12-page, parting shot sent to his boss and nemesis former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld. The entire memo is worth reading, but I, of course, focused on the one paragraph about aviation. It reads: Comanche and Aviation […]

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After ouster, Wynne calls for split tanker buy

Some (ie, G2 Solutions) have viewed this compromise proposal as inevitable for a long time, and now even ousted Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne agrees with them.Kudos to my pal Michael Sirak at the Air Force Association’s Daily Report for the good scoop. Read his full article here, but here’s an excerpt: Awarding […]

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New photos: Airborne Laser … one step closer to showtime

 (Source: Lockheed Martin’s Flickr page.) Boeing has confirmed to me that first light of the 1MW-class Airborne Laser is due by the end of August. The long-awaited first shoot-down test has been scheduled for August 2009, but now Boeing says “late-summer 2009″, which presumably can mean up to September 21. In the meantime, here’s a […]

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If Ken Miller is the leak-er, is Loren Thompson the leak-ee?

Ken Miller, a US Air Force special assistant executive for acquisition, has been ousted from his post and is being investigated for allegedly leaking tanker deal details, the Associated Press reports. (Tip: ELP.)Perhaps this helps explain the source for two recent examples of Loren Thompson’s famous “issue briefs” published since March. You can read them […]

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Ranking Lockheed Martin executive salaries

The Washington Post today posted their annual listing of metropolitan area executive salaries. It’s not quite accurate to say anybody on a list of million dollar salaries is a “loser”, but Lockheed’s executive team are definitely “winners”.Lockheed placed six executives on the DC region’s top 100 list, as reported by TWP. That number included the […]

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Has the Chinook met its FATE?

The first Boeing CH-47, a 33,000lb machine powered by two 1,640shp Lycoming (now Honeywell) T55 engines, achieved first flight on Sept. 21, 1961. Nearly 47 years and seven major upgrades later, the CH-47F and MH-47G has doubled in weight to 50,000lb, while the engine shaft horsepower rating has tripled with introduction of the 4,868shp T55-GA-714 […]

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AC-27J: US military outsources first modern-era combat aircraft?

Foreign companies have won US contracts for tankers (asterisk duly noted), VIP helicopters, light transports and light helicopters. All are huge achievements for foreign industry, but it’s important that none of the above are strictly “combat” aircraft. They don’t carry weapons.Consider that glass ceiling shattered if the US Special Operations Command follows through with its […]

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New AC-27J gunship moves forward

New funding to launch a gunship variant of the L-3Communications/Alenia C-27J Spartan joint cargo aircraft (JCA) is now beingfinalized in the USmilitary’s budgeting process, L-3 confirms. The AC-27J would serve as acomplementary asset for the Air Force Special Operations Command’s existingfleet of heavier AC-130 gunships. A formal requirements document is beingdeveloped and “funding profiles are […]

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