Archive | November, 2010

Unfortunate F-35 art

Lockheed Martin F-35 is painted around a wall-mounted fire alarm inside the company’s fighter demonstration center showroom in Arlington, Virginia. As unintentional satire, it’s brilliant.

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‘Cablegate’ scoops on Rafale, Israeli UAVs, Turkey’s F-35s

Buried in Wikileaks’ latest document dump exposing about 250,000 US diplomatic cables are a few items of real interest to the global aerospace industry. Here’s my list of the five most interesting cables:1. A cable on 4 November 2009 summarizes a meeting between then-US Central Command chief Gen David Petraeus and King Hamad bin Isa […]

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JSTARS goes to Korea

I’m not a betting man, but I’d be happy to offer a wager today. Somewhere inside Northrop Grumman, someone this morning is busy updating briefing charts that make the case for re-engining and upgrading the sensor on the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS).That’s because various South Korean and British press outlets are […]

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F111 dumb and burn avalon 2005 credit RAAF blog 560.jpg

Open thread – Remember the Pig!

It’s almost time to say farewell to the General Dynamics F-111, which is affectionately nicknamed the Pig in Australia and the Aardvark in America.  Photo: RAAF The Royal Australian Air Force formally retires the F-111C fleet next Thursday. With the US Air Force F-111Fs and EF-111G Ravens retired since 1997, the story of this long-range […]

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VIDEO: Watch Lockheed Martin test Samurai UAV

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Is China’s new decoy a decoy?

Credit: Tom Gordon/Billypix China’s AVIC exhibited a new toy at Zhuhai air show called the TL-8 decoy. The placard on the exhibit booth ominously describes this winged missile body as a “multifunctional medium-sized drone”. By using the loaded term “multifunctional”, it is possible AVIC merely was describing the airframe’s ability as a decoy missile to […]

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KC-X: The view from EADS

Before the press fired questions at Sean O’Keefe today, the EADS North America chief executive expounded on his views about the current state of the KC-X competition. It includes an update on the acquisition process and a couple of digs at his competitor Boeing. We’ll of course update the blog if Boeing chooses to provide […]

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Will EADS North America protest USAF error on KC-X?

EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe, who today made his first KC-X-related appearance since surviving a plane crash nearly four months ago, did not rule out the possibility of filing a protest over an apparent mistake earlier this month by the US Air Force that sent proprietary data to the wrong bidders. Andrea Shalal-Esa of […]

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CHART: How much does an F-35 cost?

Lockheed Martin has received the first fixed-price contract for F-35 production aircraft. It took several months of negotiating to convert production orders from cost-plus to a fixed-price format two years early. Was it worth the wait? See the chart below (updated with corrected percentages in “change” column): Lot Aircraft Targeted cost Targeted average cost Estimated […]

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USAF says “Oops!”

The US Air Force has finally confirmed the KC-X tanker contract award will slip into early 2011. Also, according to the USAF, the delay has nothing to do with this new bombshell by Defense News editor Vago Muradian. USAF Sent Bid Info to Wrong Tanker Rivals By VAGO MURADIAN Published: 19 Nov 2010 16:23 Earlier […]

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