Tag Archives | US Air Force


L-3 boss confirms Nimrod R1 is dead

Overheard this morning on the L-3 Corp earnings call with analysts. CEO Michael Strianese was asked about a report (by Inside the Air Force’s Marcus Weisgerber) that the UK would cancel Nimrod to buy US Air Force Rivet Joints. Strianese replied: “As you know, last yearL-3 won the role of prime contractor on Helix … […]

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A $29,550,000,000 gamble on F-22

Here’s a news flash from my esteemed competitors at AviationWeek.com: the US Air Force intends to buy 380 Lockheed Martin F-22s, no matter what it costs them. The article, which quotes Air Force Materiel Command chief General Bruce Carlson, says: “We’re committed to funding 380,” Carlson said Feb. 13 after speaking at Aviation Week’s Defense […]

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F-22 = $220 million

You knew this would happen eventually: The F-22′s program acquisition cost and its numerical designation are roughly in synch. The US Air Force wants to extend the F-22 production line one year past its scheduled closure date at the end of fiscal year 2010. I asked the USAF to tell me how much it would […]

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If an aircraft doesn’t crash in the forest, will anyone hear?

Aviation journalists like me generally don’t write news stories about the aircraft that don’t crash. So, even though air travel is statistically safer than than walking across the street to buy a vanilla soy latte at Starbucks, give me an airplane crash and I’ll give you 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage. But I’m going to break with […]

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A tale of two tankers

Nothing says “class” like riding to Seattle on a Boeing Business Jet to cover a KC-767 rally (see photo below), with the movie “Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” on both widescreens. Yet, the movie’s paean to jingoistic-hick car racing culture meant more to me than mere slapstick; indeed, it was allegory, emulating the […]

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Thunder bird

While the Iranian Air Force is reportedly pursuing a deal with Russia for a huge amount of Sukhoi Su-30s, the Iranian Army — yes, the army! — is apparently fielding the Azarakhsh (Thunder) and the Saeghe (Lightning), with both being bizarrely modified versions of the Northrop F-5E. While it’s clear that not even the US […]

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The X-45N is dead; Long live the X-45!

Lots of angst has been spilled this week on the pages of the trade and mainstream press over the sad fate of the Boeing X-45N. This navalized variant certainly suffered a blow by losing the US Navy’s UCAS-D contract to its longtime rival — the Northrop Grumman X-47B. But don’t fret. Multi-billion dollar military technology […]

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