The U.S. Air Force contested an audit report by the Pentagon’s inspector general which found that the service has not justified its plan to buy 401 General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft by 2019. The audit report is based on outdated information, responded the Air Force, which said that it plans to buy 55 fewer Reapers.
The European Commission has staked a claim to play a larger role in European defense industrial policy.
So many countries, with so many aerospace companies! Visitors shouldn’t be fooled by the panoply of European companies displaying at the Paris Air Show next week. The harsh truth is that there’s not enough money to sustain them all, especially with respect to defense technology. The European Defence Agency (EDA) commissioned a study of the problem–and reached some alarming conclusions.
The latest Selected Acquisition Report on the Lockheed Martin F-35 program has updated the Pentagon’s cost estimates. The eight international partners may take some comfort from the predictions of future unit recurring flyaway costs, once full-rate production begins. That is, if they defer the majority of their buys until then, which seems increasingly likely. The report also details the schedule delays that were officially approved last December.
The deputy program officer of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program office said Tuesday that predictions over escalating costs of the next-generation multi-role fighter will be proven wrong because of built-in reliability and maintainability aspects. With the program facing renewed scrutiny by the U.S. Congress and Department of Defense (DOD), Air Force Maj. Gen. C.D.
A new measure to open up defense procurement by European countries to greater competition is finally coming into force this year. In January 2009 the European Parliament approved the European directive on defense and security procurement, which should greatly increase the percentage of defense contract opportunities that EU governments offer to bidders from other European countries.
With completion of its acquisition of most of the former DeCrane Aerospace assets, Goodrich of Charlotte, N.C., showcased its expanded completion and refurbishment capability at the NBAA Convention in October.
Armed forces in Europe are bracing themselves for severe cutbacks as governments tackle budget deficit problems. The scale of the cuts is evident in a couple of proposals made public last week. Germany’s defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, has tabled a plan that saves €9.3 billion ($11.7 billion) in the long term, with current fleets and acquisition programs hit hard.
Some three weeks after closing negotiations to buy defense logistics contractor Dimensions International, Honeywell Defense and Space president Ed Wheeler prepared to travel to Paris “feeling good” about the company’s position, notwithstanding the tumultuous political environment in the U.S. “We don’t expect to see great upsets in budgets and whatnot, certainly not as long as troops are in harm’s way,” Wheeler said.