Lockheed Martin announced last Friday that it plans to close four facilities and reduce operations at a fifth, with the loss of 2,000 jobs. The closures affect the company’s Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS); Mission Systems and Training (MST); and Space Systems business areas. A further 2,000 jobs in these business areas will be eliminated through “operational efficiency initiatives,” the company said.
News and issues relating to the defense aerospace business, with emphasis on current/in-use, in-development and prospective programs for manned military aircraft, unmanned combat aircraft vehicles (UCAVs), military aircraft engines, avionics, missiles, bombs, guidance systems and ground-based air-defense systems.
Coalitions, co-operation and network integration were the buzzwords at Saturday’s Dubai International Air Chiefs (DIAC) conference on Dubai, organized by local think-tank Inegma. Six of the 10 air chiefs who spoke, talked of the inter-dependence between air forces, including two from the UAE Air Force and Air Defence. (UAEAF&AD). But one of the speakers privately told AIN that he had not yet seen much practical integration amongst the defense forces of the GCC states, beyond bilateral exercises.
Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division (MFC) is a major supplier of defense equipment to the Middle East and that business is about to arise to a new level thanks to an anticipated sale of its Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) to Qatar.
The U.S. is “gently prompting” the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to integrate their air- and missile-defense systems, according to American strategic defense consultant Ian Brzezinski.
The Middle East is rich with all sorts of Russian-made anti-aircraft systems. Most of them were delivered to the Arab countries opposing Israel and, in the time of the Soviet Union, to other clients on a political pretext.
Introduced in 1999, the Saab Giraffe AMB (agile multi-beam) 3D radar has become one of the world’s leading multirole air defense radars. Derived from the earlier G40 and G75 mechanically scanned radars, the AMB has an active electronically scanned antenna that provides a range of around 75 miles and altitude capability of more than 60,000 feet. The antenna rotates once every second to provide full 360-degree coverage, and in its current version provides detection from surface level up to an elevation of 70 degrees.
Just outside Phoenix, Arizona, Lockheed Martin’s Goodyear facility is a key provider of ISR capabilities. The facility was first developed by Goodyear Aerospace, a subsidiary of the tire company that had developed farms in the area to provide cotton for the belts in its tires. The company built Corsair fighters in World War II, and airships.
Lockheed Martin (LM) has added a battle management system to its Dragon series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) products as the company continues to offer this wide-ranging set of platform, sensor and communications solutions for export. Meanwhile, the U.S. company is believed to have won a contract from the UAE to integrate the country’s air and missile defenses.
Four air forces have opted for the A330MRTT to date, and Airbus Military is marketing the tanker worldwide. Current prospects include Brazil, France, India Korea and Singapore. But the big prize of a U.S. Air Force contract eluded the European manufacturer, which lost out to Boeing after two controversial, hotly fought competitions.
The commercial outfit that will provide the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) with air-to-air refueling service for the next 22 years says that it will meet the forecast in-service date. By May 2014, AirTanker will have nine Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTTs) ready on the ramp at RAF Brize Norton. It has already trained 18 aircrews, received six aircraft and begun operational flying. Chief executive Phil Blundell told AIN that his company could also assist other customers that need training on the A330MRTT–such as the UAE Air Force.