Archive | July, 2008


Active denial = UAVs

Overheard this morning on Raytheon’s second quarter earnings conference call with analysts,  CEO Bill Swanson compared the acceptance of active denial technology to that of unmanned aerial vehicles. If Swanson’s analogy is literally accurate, that would mean hundreds or thousands of such systems fielded within the next few years. “The way I see AD [active […]

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L-3 boss confirms Nimrod R1 is dead

Overheard this morning on the L-3 Corp earnings call with analysts. CEO Michael Strianese was asked about a report (by Inside the Air Force’s Marcus Weisgerber) that the UK would cancel Nimrod to buy US Air Force Rivet Joints. Strianese replied: “As you know, last yearL-3 won the role of prime contractor on Helix … […]

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Code name alert: Is Liberty Ship a new Big Safari?

The US Army has Constant Hawk. The US Marine Corps has AngelFire. Somebody has something called Highlighter. What the heck are they? Constant Hawk, Angel Fire and Highlighter are the names of manned,light aircraft that have been invented since the Iraqi occupation began tofight against the scourge of improvised explosive devices. Public details vary greatly […]

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Sen Hillary Clinton: Airbus tanker may “undermine” US competitiveness

Also overheard at yesterday’s nomination hearing for the new chief of staff and secretary of the air force: General Norton Schwartz and Michael Donley, respectively. HILLARY CLINTON: I was struck whenthe spokesperson indicated that the air force could not and did not take intoconsideration the impact of the [KC-X contract] award on the industrial base. […]

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Schwartz: $5 billion for more F-35s

Overheard in yesterday’s nomination hearing for General Norton Schwartz, the selected next chief of staff of the US Air Force:The new six-year spending plan by the Pentagon adds $5 billion to the US Air Force recapitalization budget. Schwartz sounded grateful, although the USAF was asking for $20 billion a year for the next 20 years.First […]

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Breaking: Boeing has acquired ScanEagle-maker Insitu

Boeing now becomes the leading contender in the STUAS/Tier II contract, no matter the result of an ongoing, raging debate within the US Navy and US Marine Corps about the size of the preferred vehicle.Boeing and Insitu had previously partnered to potentially offer the ScanEagle if a smaller aircraft was preferred. Insitu planned to independently […]

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Irony or farce: Boeing ships US defense jobs to South Korea?

The story sounded almost too perfect to be true, and it started with a tip from a visitor to this blog. Here’s how the tip was presented to me: Only months before the controversial tanker contract award, Boeing had defeated Northrop Grumman for a different US Air Force contract and promptly shipped the work — […]

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A mea culpa, and Boeing’s “tough times” explained

My Farnborough log on Day 2 opens with a quick statement I posted moments after leaving an interview with Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing military aircraft. It reads: “0944: Justtalked corporate strategy w/Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing militaryaircraft. My takeaway: tough times ahead for Boeing!” That drew a sharp question from Royce, a frequent commenter […]

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My nomination for best swag at Farnborough

The C-17 “moose” joined us in Flight’s editorial offices for just a quick drink and a smoke … Sadly, things went downhill pretty fast …

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Farnborough news updates

There’s been a dearth of actual news by US military contractors at the Farnborough, but I’ll post here a couple of the few new announcements for you today. Both articles will be appearing in next week’s Flight International magazine. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, check the “Why I love Farnborough” blog I posted […]

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