Archive | October, 2009

F35 center fuselage assembly.jpg

How to build the F-35 center fuselage

Northrop Grumman has started building the center fuselage for the first international F-35 — BK-1, ordered by the United Kingdom. In hono(u)r of the occasion, I build a flow-chart based on Lockheed Martin images showing 12 major steps in the center fuselage assembly process. Note: The chart describes the conventional take-off and landing variants center […]

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F-22 gets $474 million parting gift

Only one day after President Barack Obama signed a defense bill authorizing the shutdown of the F-22 production line, the US Air Force announced signing a contract to buy the last four F-22s. Lockheed Martin Corp., of Fort Worth, Texas was awarded a $474,200,000 contract which will provide for the issuance of full production of […]

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F-35 hearts Seoul

Lockheed Martin has doubled-down on its F-35 proposal to South Korea, my colleague in Singapore Siva Govindasamy reports.To steal a contract that presumably favors Boeing’s V-tailed F-15 Silent Eagle, Lockheed sales veep Steve O’Bryan made the following promises at the Seoul Air Show last week: Delivery slots in 2014 Second-tier supplier deals Final assembly role […]

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‘Father of Su-27′ Simonov: F-15 hater

Mikhail Petrovich Simonov, designer of the iconic Su-27 Flanker, realized after the 1977 first flight that the T-10 prototype was a dog, a fact he explained to the aviation minister in Moscow. “‘It’s a good thing, Petrovich, that today is not 1937,” the minister replied.That is one of the incredible anecdotes sprinkled throughout a Simonov […]

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VIDEO: Northrop KC-X tanker campaign ‘goes negative’

Watch Northrop’s full presentation in four parts on YouTube: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 (above) Part 4 Northrop Grumman hosted a press conference today to deliver a specific message: the company wants wholesale changes made to the US Air Force’s draft requirements for a KC-135R tanker replacement contract. If KC-X were a political campaign, […]

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US Air Force probes structrual viability of EC-130H Compass Calls

The US Air Force has revealed that the structural health of its primary airborneelectronic attack platform, the EC-130H Compass Call, is under review by afleet viability board. The board’s members will determine by January how theairframes of the 14-aircraft Compass Call fleet have held up after nearly adecade of hyper-activity, says Col Stephen Brown, chief […]

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Raytheon job ad reveals big upgrade for Sky Warrior

Who needs a PR staff when you can just browse job ads for news? Consider this new ad posted by Raytheon seeking to hire a program manager in Dallas. Manager III-Program Management InNovember of 2007, the U.S. Army selected RTN to provide a common sensorpayload for manned and unmanned aircraft in a program that couldrepresent […]

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Skunks ask: What if F-22 was smaller, unmanned & had 2 noses?

Has anybody heard of the Sabre Warrior UCAV?This video has been on YouTube since May 2008, but hasn’t received nearly the attention it deserves.Only one reference to the Sabre Warrior has appeared in print, and that was about a decade ago. An Associated Press story on April 17, 1999, quotes Armand Chaput, then-Lockheed Martin’s director […]

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VIDEO: Seoul Air Show 2009 recap

Flightglobal’s Asia bureau chief Siva Govindasamy covered the Seoul Air Show last week, and published two big program updates on KF-X and AH-X. Seoul could revive KF-16 plans KAI reveals options for army attack helicopter A tourist also posted great video of the static line and exhibit halls on You Tube. The soundtrack is a […]

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Lockheed dogfights F-35 JET

Quoting a single, anonymous source, InsideDefense.com today reported that the Pentagon’s Joint Estimating Team (JET) has concluded the F-35 faces another multi-billion dollar overrun and more schedule delays. If true, the JET might have simply re-affirmed the conclusions in last year’s report (click here — see page 8) , which projected a nearly $7 billion […]

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