The U.S. Air Force last month reiterated its intention to choose a single contractor for a new constellation of global positioning satellites known as GPS III. Teams led by Lockheed Martin and Boeing are competing for the contract to launch eight Block A GPS III satellites by 2013. The Air Force invited bids last month for these first satellites, the foundation for an enhanced system scheduled to start operating in 2018.
As original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for a large fleet of aircraft around the world, Lockheed Martin said it reduces ownership costs for its customers by combining its design and production expertise with low-cost sustainment services. “Noone– other than the customer–knows our aircraft better than we do,” said Marillyn Hewson, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Global Sustainment.
Embraer, the world’s fourth-ranking aircraft maker, which started largely as a defense company, is seeking to enhance its defense business by studying the possible development of the C-390, a medium-size military cargo transport, which would be the heaviest aircraft ever produced by the Brazilian manufacturer and take it into a new segment of the aerospace and defense market.
According to Lockheed Martin, only fighter aircraft belonging to the fifth generation “can survive and defeat the threats of tomorrow.” There are only two such aircraft, says the U.S. defense group–the F-22 Raptor and the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, now christened the Lightning II. And Lockheed Martin builds them both.
Lockheed Martin, which took over operational control of most of the nation’s flight service network last year, is experiencing troubles with consolidation, AOPA asserts. As part of the 10-year, $1.8 billion contract, Lockheed is now in a seven-month consolidation process, during which it will merge 58 flight service stations into 16, along with three hubs.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has issued an order accepting the recommendation of a dispute resolution law judge to deny two legal protests over the competitive-sourcing initiative of Flight Service Stations.
Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace , a subsidiary of Kaman of Bloomfield, Conn., have teamed to market advanced manned and unmanned helicopters worldwide for government applications. The companies intend to develop an unmanned version of the K-Max, already FAA approved for manned operation. The K-Max, with counter-rotating and intermeshing rotors that eliminate the need for a tail rotor, has accumulated more than 200,000 flight hours.
Despite the Navy’s decision to scale back initial funding for the program, Lockheed Martin continues to ready a new facility opened last year in Owego, N.Y., that will integrate systems and outfit cabins on the VH-71, the much-anticipated replacement for the U.S. Presidential helicopter fleet. The popular name Kestrel has been suggested for the VH-71, but remains to be officially adopted by the Navy.
Lockheed Martin has recommended to the FAA that the agency upgrade to Airworthiness Directives a series of service bulletins developed over the past 18 months for the L-329 JetStar, one of the first U.S. business jets, to ensure compliance.
Colorado-based Adam Aircraft tapped Bombardier executive Duncan Koerbel to take over as president, replacing Joe Walker, who resigned due to a family illness. Koerbel’s experience includes serving as general manager of the Bombardier Global line, director of the Raytheon Premier I program and stints at Fairchild Dornier and Lockheed Martin.