Archive | July, 2010

Photo-op: Hat-less P-3 AEW&C

I asked Lockheed Martin yesterday for a photo of the re-winged P-3B that has been delivered to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. That’s a significant event in itself. The agency’s 16 P-3s were grounded for two years after the US Navy discovered a corrosion crisis across the fleet. But the photo struck […]

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First glimpse of Chinese fighter, or Russian rip-off?

China has allowed the carrier-based J-15 to be photographed (above) and videotaped (below) for the first time after reportedly achieving first flight last August. The J-15 is credited by the Chinese as indigenous development, but the Russians consider it a rip-off of a Sukhoi Su-33 that China acquired from the Ukraine. Moscow also has complained […]

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A few shortcomings with the Antonov KC-X bid

John Bennett of Defense News writes today that US Aerospace, which has teamed with Antonov, has filed a report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that lists why they may NOT win the KC-X bid. Bennett quotes US Aerospace: “The Air Force may find that our proposal does not meet all mandatory [request for […]

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F-15 flies with conformal weapons bay

Source: Boeing It’s not quite the F-15 Silent Eagle, but it’s a big start.Boeing has flown the company-owned F-15E1 testbed sporting a conformal fuel tank modified into an internal weapons bay. A second flight will ferry the aircraft to Point Mugu, California. On the third and final flight in the series, the F-15E1 will fire […]

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The contents in this photo could be worth $35 billion

Teasing reporters assembled for a press conference/lunch, EADS North America piled 17 binders full of the company’s 8,000-page proposal for the KC-X contract on the table behind my chair. Most annoyingly, the binders were taped shut. A spokesman thumbed through one of the apparently least sensitive binders (way too briskly, I might add) in my […]

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In case you’re still wondering about Antonov…

Antonov and US Aerospace have asked for a 60-day extension to the Friday deadline for the KC-X request for proposals (RFP). (Somewhere inside the Pentagon, a harried staffer has received an urgent, high-level tasker to check a thesaurus for appropriate and non-profane alternatives to the term “hell, no”.) On the other hand, if a negative […]

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India’s HAL rolls out first naval LCA

It’s not often you see a naval version of a fighter roll out 27 years after work began — and still continues — on the air force version! But Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and India Minister of Defence A K Antony did just that earlier today in Bangalore. The first two-seat naval Light Combat Aircraft […]

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US Aerospace explains Antonov bid for KC-X

Chuck Arnold extended his layover at JFK airport this evening to answer phone calls, including one from me. Arnold, senior advisor to the board of directors of sudden KC-X competitor US Aerospace, Inc., was halfway home to Los Angeles. He had flown in from meetings at Antonov headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine. It was 11pm in […]

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KC-X bidders: Boeing, EADS and … Antonov!

Back in March, I wrote here: A Los Angeles-based attorney, who lists hot-tubbing with a glass of bordeaux as a hobby and known mostly as the editor of a  best-selling book compiling love letters of great men, is fronting a new bidfor the KC-X contract based on the Ilyushin Il-96, a four-enginedairliner and cargo transport […]

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Bill Sweetman vs F-35, Round 2

Bearded sage [er, make that "previously bearded sage"] and barbed wit Bill Sweetman is back on the F-35 beat for the Ares blog after an involuntary, 51-day absence prompted by a Lockheed Martin-bashing Facebook update.True to form, Sweetman picks up exactly where he left off on his last F-35-related blog update on 3 May by […]

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