A unique formation wowed the crowd at the recent Joint Services Open House at Andrews AFB in Maryland. A Second World War P-51 Mustang led a 1960s-vintage F-4 Phantom, 1990s-built F-15E Strike Eagle and a brand-new F-22A Raptor Stealth Fighter. The event also featured an F-22 solo display that has been enhanced from last year with new post-stall and thrust-vectoring maneuvers. The F-22 is flying at airshows in the U.S.
AIN Defense Perspective » May 23, 2008
Raytheon has sold a Predator Operations Center to the U.S. Air National Guard, which will use it to direct Predator UAV missions. The company is also marketing its Universal Control System (UCS) for the control of UAVs such as the Predator.
UCS is designed to be more user-friendly than the original ground stations supplied by General Atomics, and Raytheon hopes to make a sale soon.
Hawker Beechcraft has apparently overcome quality-control problems in the manufacture of the T-6A Texan II turboprop trainer. The U.S. Air Force recently awarded the company two follow-on contracts worth $550 million for an additional 137 aircraft.
The Airbus A400M military airlifter will be ceremonially rolled out on June 26, but the plan to make a first flight by “the end of the summer” seems overly optimistic, unless rapid progress can be made with the TP400 engine testbed, which has not yet flown. About 50 hours are scheduled for this modified C-130, carrying one of the four big turboprops that will power the A400M.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) raided the homes of a number of U.S.-based BAE executives in connection with allegations about corruption at BAE Systems. The DoJ also temporarily detained outgoing BAE Systems chief executive Mike Turner and a senior colleague, when they arrived at Houston Airport from the UK.
The U.S. Navy’s choice of Northrop Grumman to provide the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) platform, using a new version of the Global Hawk UAV designated RQ-4N, has prompted a protest from competitor Lockheed Martin. According to Lockheed Martin, its bid was less than Northrop Grumman’s $1.1 billion proposal. Lockheed bid the Mariner UAV based on the Predator B, in cooperation with General Atomics.
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