Archive | August, 2008

Fulda Gap revisited

AFP writes: “The United States is worried that after the Georgian conflict, USstrategic interests in Ukraine and Azerbaijan — especially in oil –could be at serious risk.” USA Today writes: “Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened an unspecified militaryresponse if the United States follows through with a missile-defensesystem near Russia’s borders in Poland and the Czech […]

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Crystal ball-gazing the X2′s military future

—————————-> With theSikorsky X2 prototype achieving first flight yesterday, it’s a good time to discussits military potential. The X2 isdesigned with a coaxial main rotor and an aft pusher propeller in order to breakthe conventional helicopter’s roughly 170-knot/hour speed barrier. And itsfly-by-wire controls and modern avionics are supposed to defeat the highvibration and high workload […]

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Life’s certainties: death, taxes and C-130s

A media roundtable in the Pentagon yesterday about the C-130 lasted an hour, but there was so much information we could have used two or three hours. Not bad for a 55-year-old production line! For the purposes of storytelling, I will greatly simplify the various activities into three major threads.LM’s Cool “J”The US Air Force […]

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Tanker questions: GEnx upgrade for KC-30? KC-747 vs KC-A380?

Two good questions have come in about my post yesterday. I’ll do my best to answer them, but I’d be interested to hear other views as well.Keesje asks: Two years ago GE was proposing the GENX for future A330 freighter and tanker applications, as reported by flightglobal.The A330F has more engine ground clearance then the […]

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EADS job ad reveals US market strategy

I expect EADS North America will soon amend or remove this job description, but here’s the link. Check out the fifth bullet point. It confirms in print what many have already suspected: After KC-X EADS will also propose Airbus platforms to replace the E-4, E-3, E-8C and most likely the RC-135. You can download a […]

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What’s the next move for Northrop Grumman/EADS North America?

All eyes seem focused on Boeing’s next move. Do they want todelay the tanker RFP to switch to the KC-767-400ER? Or perhaps even theKC-777F? Another interesting question is what will the NorthropGrumman/EADS North America team do to respond? The KC-30B is based on the A330-200 passengerairliner, which, thanks to the tanker proposal process, has now […]

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Newsflash: Bell Helicopter gets a positive review

Bell Helicopter’s struggles to perform on all three of its major military contracts (V-22, H-1 upgrades and Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter), and on virtually every military contract it has touched since the late 1950s, prompted this blogger to name the manufacturer as the George Costanza of the US defense industry (see below for links).And I stand […]

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F-35 vs 787, part 4: The Finale

BF-2 rolledoff the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter assembly line in Fort Worth last Saturday. Completing thefourth prototype came about one week late, but, Lockheed Martin says, stillwell “within the noise” of the overall production schedule. More significantly,Lockheed is still pumping out one aircraft per month, a rate that must besustained through the end of 2009 […]

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General Atomics may a have customer relations problem

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has grown very quickly into a powerful force within the US defense industry. Their stable of products based on the Predator/Reaper/Sky Warrior family have dominated almost every competition they’ve entered.Almost, but not all. The US Navy passed over the Lockheed Martin/GA-ASI team offering the Mariner version of the Predator […]

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As seen on today

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