The C-17 Revolts!

Let me get this straight: In 2004, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) said the air force needed 222 C-17s In 2005, the Office of the Secretary of Defense overulled the air force, insisting that the production line be capped at 180 In 2006, Congress gave the air force an extra 10 aircraft anyway, partly overruling […]

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A400M Takes A Break

Bad news last week for the Airbus A400M. Flightglobal.com reports that the turboprop-powered military transport — and Europe’s best hope for knocking the C-130J and the C-17 out of business — will enter final assembly in Spain three months late. The news comes shortly after US Air Force leaders took the unusual step of singling […]

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More about Jane’s

I just received this comment from "J", which I love so much I’m posting for all to enjoy: Although I have also enjoyed Jane’s information products, I have always found their price range to be overly inflated. Maybe they are the best in town, but the mid-to-lower range of analysts can’t afford their work. As […]

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Goodbye, Mr. Jane

Why does my employer, Jane’s Information Group, exist? This is not an academic question. It is now public knowledge that the company founded 109 years ago by Fred T. Jane has been put up for sale by its current owners: the Woodbridge company. The winning bidder should be named within a few months, and until […]

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Fraternal Twins: C-17 and F-22

The C-17 and the F-22 have a lot in common. As aircraft development programs, they both: were born in the late 1980s, survived a painful upbringing through the early- to late-1990s and had reached maturity at about the turn of the century cost about the same. It’s about $62 billion to deliver 185 F-22s, including […]

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War Trash

One of the worst things about the current war is the creation of so many would-be war correspondents. I am referring to the ones who get an "embed" and think this makes them the second-coming of Ernie Pyle, who, by the way, is still the best who ever lived. When I think of a war […]

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Aerial Common Sensor Is Re-born

You might think the army would still be shy over publicity for the Aerial Common Sensor (ACS, for short). Some of you will recall that ACS was the acquisition program that got cancelled in January 2006 in a most embarrassing fashion. Somehow, Lockheed Martin promised the army that they could squeeze a 20,000-pound sensor on […]

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Super Dogs

I’d like to make an announcement. After four years and who-knows-how-many-billions, the Department of Defense has discovered a new potential sensor solution for the problem of detecting mines, such as improvised explosive devices. I give you the newly-unveiled pilot program for the "Munitions of Concern Detection Dog". Chew on that term "munitions of concern" for […]

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Globalize This

Let’s call it a bad week for the forces of globalization in the defense industry. Not that there’s ever been a truly good week, mind you. On Tuesday, ITT Corporation pleaded guilty to illegally outsourcing components of a night vision goggle to suppliers in China, Singapore and the UK without an export license. On Thursday, […]

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Pratt (or Rentschler) Day

‘Media Day’ at Pratt & Whitney headquarters was yesterday. I was there and so were 10 top Pratt executives and about other 15 reporters. After a mercifully brief corporate presentation in the morning, reporters got paired up with half-hour individual interviews with sector presidents for space, military, commercial, engineering and so forth. One executive called […]

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