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Aerospace & Defense News - Defense North America.

New York (AirGuideBusiness - Aerospace & Defense News - Defense North America) Feb 19, 2012

Boeing Boeing is considering smaller P-8 aircraft. Boeing is weighing whether to scale down its P-8 aircraft for markets that may not need all of the Poseidon maritime aircraft-s features. "P-8 has tremendous capabilities, but not every country has requirements for anti-submarine warfare or torpedoes," said Jeff Kohler, vice president at Boeing Military Aircraft. "The U.S. Navy is working with us to improve essentially something you can scale into different-size aircraft." The P-8A Poseidon is a true multi-mission platform. On board P-8A, all sensors contribute to a single fused tactical situation display, which is then shared over both military standard and internet protocol data links, allowing for seamless delivery of information amongst U.S. and coalition forces. As an armed platform, P-8A independently closes the kill chain, while simultaneously providing data to everyone on the network. The P-8A is the latest military derivative aircraft to benefit from a culture of technical innovation and the One Boeing approach to manufacturing (see In Line Production video). The P-8A has the fuselage of a 737-800 and the wings of a 737-900. Modifications to the baseline commercial aircraft are incorporated into the aircraft in-line. In the past, commercial aircraft were sent to modification centers where they were taken apart and rebuilt to meet military specifications. The P-8A is Boeing's first military derivative aircraft to incorporate structural modifications to the aircraft as it moves through the commercial line. Feb 14, 2012

Boeing Boeing Says OConfidentO of Winning South Korean Fighter Jet Deal. Boeing, maker of the F-18 and F-15 fighter jets, said itOs Overy confidentO of winning a $7 billion South Korean order for combat planes as it boosts focus on Asia amid shrinking military spending at home. OIf you look at the budget situation in Europe and the U.S., we have to make some grounds somewhere,O Joe Song, director, Asia Pacific International Business Development of Boeing defense, said in an interview in Singapore yesterday. OThe focus is Asia and the Middle East right now.O Boeing, based in Chicago, is pitching its F-15 Silent Eagle for the South Korean contract for 60 fighters against planes from Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) and Eurofighter GmbH. Asia Pacific is expected to increase spending on defense products by 4.2 percent annually until 2016, according to Frost & Sullivan. Bids for the South Korean order are due in June, and a winner may be selected by October. The country is also looking to buy 36 attack helicopters this year, Song said. OFrom the cursory look at the RFP, it looks like we can meet all requirements,O he said, referring to the initial request for proposal. OWe have great partnerships in Korea, so we are very confident that we can do this.O The other jets in the contest include the F-35 by Lockheed, the biggest U.S. military contractor, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab AB (SAABB)Os Gripen. Lockheed, based in Bethesda, Maryland, won an order from Japan for 42 F-35 fighters in December. The jets may cost 1.6 trillion yen ($21 billion) to buy, operate and maintain over 20 years, according to the nationOs defense ministry. Rafale Wins India last month named Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA as preferred bidder for a contract to supply 126 fighters. The planemakerOs Rafale had been shortlisted with the Eurofighter Typhoon after the earlier rejection of offers from Lockheed, Boeing, Saab and Moscow-based United Aircraft Corp. Companies are increasing their focus on Asia to offset slowing demand in Europe and the U.S., the worldOs biggest military market. Western European defense spending fell about 5 percent last year and may decline further this year, according to Fitch Ratings. In the U.S., Defense Secretary Leon Panetta presented an outline on Jan. 26 for $613 billion in spending for fiscal 2013. The proposal is part of an effort to cut $487 billion from $5.62 trillion in defense spending that had been planned for 2012 to 2021. Automatic spending cuts could force an additional $500 billion in reductions over a decade. Feb 13, 2012

Lockheed Martin 250th C-130J Super Hercules Built Is Delivered. The 250th C-130J Super Hercules built at the Lockheed Martin facility here was delivered to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, on Feb. 16, 2012. This is the 15th C-130J delivered to the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess since 2010 and the second of 11 aircraft to be delivered to the base in 2012. Dyess will have the distinction of being home to the largest C-130J fleet in the world when it receives its 28th Super Hercules aircraft in 2013. "The C-130J is the most versatile airlifter in the world," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin, vice president for C-130 programs. "Since the J-model was first introduced, it has been the workhorse of airlift worldwide. This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the C-130 enterprise." Last month Lockheed Martin delivered the 2,400Ath C-130 built to U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. The C 130 production line in Marietta is the longest continuously operating military aircraft production line in history. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion. Feb 17, 2012

Lockheed Martin Defense Department is banking on foreign F-35 sales. The Department of Defense is expecting international sales of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to keep the price of the program stable, but if the sales don't come through, the program's price will climb. "There are some foreign sales that we do assume take place in the [future years defense plan] and that does affect what we think we can get for the money in our budget in our FYDP," said Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's acting acquisition executive. Feb 15, 2012

Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin's AH-1Z Cobra Targeting System Makes First Operational Deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps. Lockheed Martin's Target Sight System (TSS) for the AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter deployed operationally for the first time with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as part of the Amphibious Squadron 5. Lockheed Martin's TSS is the fire control system for the AH-1Z Cobra. The TSS integrates sensors to provide aviators with superior imagery through a highly stabilized sensor suite that includes a laser designator, color TV camera and third-generation, mid-wave, forward-looking infrared sensor with advanced image processing. "This first deployment of the AH-1Z Cobra with the 11th MEU expands the presence of the TSS in combat operations," said Joseph Butera, senior program manager of airborne systems in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business. "TSS technology has been combat-proven as the Q-39 fire control system for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130U Gunship and as part of the Harvest HAWK configuration for the KC-130J." The Naval Surface Warfare Center awarded the initial TSS production contract in March 2008, followed by a second production contract in June 2010. Lockheed Martin delivered the first TSS in June 2009, and recently began early delivery of low-rate initial production units. Production is expected to continue through 2018. TSS is produced at facilities in Ocala and Orlando, Fla. TSS is one of several high-performance stabilized targeting systems designed, manufactured, tested and supported by Lockheed Martin. The company's fielded solutions for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft include the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor for the U.S. Army, the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod for the U.S. Air Force and the AN/AAQ-39 targeting system for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. Feb 15, 2012

Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin's Fighting Falcon Evolves With New F-16V. Lockheed Martin unveiled a new version of the F-16 today at the Singapore Airshow. The F-16V will feature enhancements including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, an upgraded mission computer and architecture, and improvements to the cockpit [ETH] all capabilities identified by the U.S. Air Force and several international customers for future improvements. With nearly 4,500 F-16s delivered, this is a natural step in the evolution of the world's most successful 4th generation fighter. The Fighting Falcon program has continually evolved as it began with the F-16 A/B as the lightweight fighter then transitioned to F-16 C/D and Block 60 versions as customers' requirements changed. AESA radars offer significant operational capability improvements. Lockheed Martin has developed an innovative solution to affordably retrofit this key technology into existing F-16s. The F-16V configuration is an option for new production jets and elements of the upgrade are available to most earlier-model F-16s. The "V" designation is derived from Viper, the name fighter pilots have called the F-16 from its beginnings. "We believe this F-16V will satisfy our customers' emerging requirements and prepare them to better interoperate with the 5th generation fighters, the F-35 and F-22," said George Standridge, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' vice president of business development. The F-16 is the choice of 26 nations. The F-16 program has been characterized by unprecedented international cooperation among governments, air forces and aerospace industries. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion. Feb 15, 2012

Lockheed Martin Italy Slashes Lockheed Martin F-35 Order in Defense Shakeup. Italy will reduce its planned order for Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets by about 40 and trim the size of the military as part of a program to reduce defense spending, Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola said today. Italy will purchase 90 F-35s rather than the planned 131, Di Paola said in Rome before a joint defense committee of both houses of parliament. The nation will also slash military manpower by about 30,000 soldiers and 10,000 civilians, he said. The cuts come amid a drive by Prime Minister Mario Monti to tame ItalyOs public finances after contagion from the sovereign debt crisis drove borrowing costs to record highs, and are a blow for the F-35, the worldOs costliest defense project. The Pentagon will cut $1.6 billion from the program, canceling 13 jets next year, under proposals sent to Congress Feb. 13, while customers including Australia are reviewing their requirements. OItalyOs decision wonOt have a huge impact on the program, but itOs probably symptomatic of lower F-35 sales overall,O said Paul Brant, a defense analyst at Collins Stewart in London, who predicts that production may drop by 15 percent. OI imagine most nations will bring down their numbers. The U.S. will probably cut the total it orders by about 500 from the original 2,400.O Delays The Pentagon is the largest customer for the F-35, which is five years late and will cost an estimated $382 billion for development and purchases. Three variants are being built: a conventional fighter, one to operate from aircraft carriers, and another capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. Before today, Lockheed also had about 700 orders from eight partner nations, the U.K., Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Denmark and Canada. Israel and Singapore also have a lower-level involvement in the plane. The plane won its first competitive tender, from Japan, in December, overcoming the Boeing Co. (BA) F-18 Super Hornet and Eurofighter GmbH Typhoon. Australia is reviewing deliveries following the U.S. review, the Associated Press reported Jan. 30, citing Defense Minister Stephen Smith, while Canada has convened a meeting to discuss the program, OttawaOs Globe and Mail said Feb. 13. Even orders from the U.K., the biggest partner with an investment of $2 billion, are in flux, with no final total yet stipulated. OKey RoleO Di Paola said today that Italy had spent 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) on the F-35, and that a review had indicated one- third fewer planes would suffice. Lockheed, the worldOs biggest defense contractor, said it understood the financial challenges facing global defense budgets and appreciated ItalyOs continued commitment to the jet, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter. OItaly plays a key role as a partner in the program,O Lockheed said in e-mailed comments. George Standridge, the Bethesda, Maryland-based company vice president of business development, said separately at the Singapore Airshow that government spending cuts will have a minor impact on costs and that there are Obudget pressures everywhere, not just on F35.O The reduction in ItalyOs military headcount can be achieved over the next decade by curbing recruitment and transferring personnel, the minister said, with a 30 percent cut in Odefense structuresO planned over the next five years. He said yesterday that 70 percent of the Italian defense budget goes on staff. Finmeccanica Impact Prime Minister Monti pushed through 20 billion euros in austerity cuts in December and the European Central Bank loaned banks unlimited funds for three years. ThatOs prompted a fall in Italian bond yields that suggests improved confidence in the countryOs ability to repay its debts. The cut in orders is Onot good newsO for Finmeccanica SpA (FNC), ItalyOs top defense contractor, which, though a Eurofighter partner, contributes F-35 parts and is expected to undertake final assembly in Cameri, near Milan, according to Christophe Menard, an analyst at Kepler Capital Markets in Paris. Still, the Orebalancing of spending toward equipment is a positive for Finmeccanica,O though will take time to impact orders at the Rome-based company, Menard said in a note. Finmeccanica traded 1.2 percent higher at 3.45 euros as of 11:26 a.m. in Milan, taking gains this year to 21 percent. Feb 15, 2012

Lockheed Martin Slowdown in F-35 production raises ire of foreign partners. A U.S. slowdown in production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is having a ripple effect among foreign partners, which are frustrated at the delay in potential savings from building the planes faster. Washington's restructuring of the fighter jet program also threatens the revenue of Lockheed Martin, which expects the F-35 to produce 20% of its revenues when it is in full production. Feb 13, 2012

Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin Offers On-Demand Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Service. To meet the immediate needs of customers who require intelligence aircraft or ground systems to support missions for a short period of time, Lockheed Martin is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to order. Broadening its Dragon series of ISR configurations introduced last year, Lockheed Martin is expanding Net Dragon, which offers any Dragon ISR option to customers as a contracted service. "Security budgets are decreasing, yet the demand for ISR remains constant," said Jim Quinn, vice president of C4ISR Systems with Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Defense. "With Net Dragon, we're able to provide the ISR capability customers need, without them having to incur the expense of owning the assets." Lockheed Martin's Dragon ISR configurations offer a unique approach for customers to match mission requirements and budget to sensor, communications and airframe needs. Dragon sensor configurations are customized according to a customer's mission requirements and are net-centric capable to enable Joint and Coalition interoperability. Cost and capability vary depending on the chosen configuration. Net Dragon allows customers to bring ISR capabilities to a region quickly and at an affordable cost. Through this innovative contractor owned, contractor operated concept, Net Dragon customers select a Dragon configuration, which Lockheed Martin then tailors to meet the specified mission needs. Lockheed Martin then maintains and operates the needed ISR equipment, while providing the ISR capability to the customer. Different levels of operation are available. When customers are prepared to assume full control of operations, Lockheed Martin offers a transition from a contractor operated service to a customer owned system. For a Net Dragon service, customers may select any of Lockheed Martin's Dragon ISR options: [yen] Dragon Scout* -- These configurations are based on large business jet type platforms; equipped with an extensive suite of ISR systems. Dragon Scout is ideal for customers with enduring requirements and large geographic areas of interest. [yen] Dragon Shield* -- Dragon Shield is ideal for customers who need an aircraft that can perform multiple missions, such as airlift and reconnaissance. Dragon Shield offers a flexible ISR mission system that can be either encased into trailer-like containers or configured onto pallets that can be rolled on and off cargo aircraft. [yen] Dragon Star* -- Lockheed Martin's Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (AML) falls within the Dragon Star category, which addresses requirements for mid-range multi-intelligence platforms such as the Gulfstream III, Havilland D-8 or Beechcraft 350. Any of these types of aircraft can be equipped with a variety of sensor combinations and multiple communications systems configured for a particular mission. [yen] Dragon Stare* -- Through Dragon Stare, Lockheed Martin integrates sensor systems into aircraft or into pods attached to the exterior aircraft structure. This option is available for manned and unmanned platforms. [yen] Dragon Den* -- Dragon Den ISR ground processing stations offers customers a way to process and distribute their sensor information. Dragon Den configurations vary in size, and can be as small as a computer workstation or as large as a ground system in a trailer-like shelter. Feb 13, 2012

NATO NATO will pay $3.9 billion for drones. NATO will spend $3.9 billion to buy and operate Northrop Grumman Global Hawk drones over two decades. The purchase will help fill a need revealed during the Libyan air war, an official said. Feb 16, 2012

Northrop Grumman Northrop Grumman Awarded U.S. Air Force Contracts for LITENING SE Targeting Pods. Northrop Grumman Corporation has received two follow-on Low Rate Initial Production contract awards from the U.S. Air Force totaling a combined $66 million to provide additional LITENING SE advanced targeting pods. These awards are part of an original, overall seven-year (5-year base with two 1-year options), $920 million, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract granted to Northrop Grumman in 2010, representing a continuation of the LRIP program. LITENING SE recently completed an extensive flight test program on the F-16 Block 40/50 and A-10C aircraft. "Getting advanced capability into the hands of the warfighter is a team effort. The combined efforts of the joint U.S. Air Force-Northrop Grumman test team resulted in the expedited completion of the LITENING SE qualification and evaluation flight testing program," said Jim Mocarski, vice-president of the LITENING program at Northrop Grumman. LITENING SE delivers the latest advancements in sensor, laser imaging and data link technology. Technologies include full 1Kx1K Forward Looking Infrared, 1Kx1K charge-coupled device and short wave infrared sensors, color symbols, tracker improvement, enhanced zoom, and two-way multi-band data link. These advancements deliver more accurate target identification and location at longer ranges than currently deployed systems while reducing pilot workload. Feb 13, 2012

Sikorsky Aircraft Sikorsky Opens Business Office in Mexico. Sikorsky Export Corporation, a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.has opened a business office in Mexico City. The office will provide sales and logistics support to the growing number of BLACK HAWK aircraft operated by the Mexican armed forces. Among those attending a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the office opening were representatives from the Mexican Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior, Secetaria de la Defensa Nacional (Mexican Army and Air Force), Secrataria de la Marina (Mexican Navy), ProMexico, Secrataria de Seguridad Publica (Mexican Federal Police), the State Government of Jalisco, and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. Noted Captain Eduardo Laris, Mexican Federal Police Chief Commissioner and Coordinator of Air Operations: "The support we receive from Sikorsky in our BLACK HAWK aircraft operations is unparalleled. These aircraft are key to our high mission capability rate. We look forward to enjoying expanded support by the opening of this office." The Mexican Air Force, the Mexican Navy and Federal Police operate a total of 20 UH-60L and UH-60M BLACK HAWK aircraft acquired since the mid 1990s. Sikorsky expects the Federal Polcie to take delivery of another two UH-60M BLACK HAWK aircraft by early 2012. In September, 2011, the State of Jalisco acquired an S-70i helicopter, the first state government in Mexico to acquire the newest variant of the world's most employed military utility aircraft. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries. This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning potential future BLACK HAWK sales in Mexico. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to Foreign Military Sales agreements between the Mexican and U.S. governments, customer demand and other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Feb 14, 2012

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