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Aerospace & Defense News - Defense North America.

New York (AirGuideBusiness - Aerospace & Defense News - Defense North America) Oct 7, 2012

Lockheed Martin Lockheed may see hit as Pentagon seeks F-35 operator. In a move meant to cut costs and which could hurt Lockheed Martin's revenue, the Pentagon will look for other companies to maintain and run its F-35 fighter jet program. Lockheed is now the F-35's main contractor. "We want to reduce F-35 life-cycle costs by injecting competition into the program," said Joe DellaVedova, the Pentagon's F-35 program spokesman. Oct 5, 2012

Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin wins $1.85bn contract to upgrade Taiwan's F-16s. The US government has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $1.85 billion to upgrade the avionics of 145 Taiwanese F-16A/B combat aircraft. "This retrofit program will include the addition of an active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar, embedded global positioning, as well as upgrades to the electronic warfare and other avionics systems of Taiwan's F-16s," says Lockheed. The company, however, did not state the provider of the AESA radar. The contenders for the sensor upgrade are Northrop Grumman's Scalable Agile Beam Radar and the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar. Lockheed's contract is part of a $3.8 billion deal signed in July 2012 between the US government and Taiwan regarding the latter's ageing F-16s, where the US Air Force would evaluate both the avionics and radar upgrade options that are available to Taipei. Under that agreement, the US government will provide AESA radars, structural upgrades, improved avionics and expanded electronic warfare suites. The avionics and AESA upgrades come under separate contracts. At this year's Farnborough air show, Lockheed and Taiwan's state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation signed a memorandum of co-operation with regard to the F-16s. This prompted BAE Systems, which also upgrades F-16s, to question the fairness of the competition for Taiwan's F-16 upgrade. In early August, South Korea's Defence Acquisition Procurement Agency announced that it had selected the US unit of BAE Systems to upgrade the avionics of 134 F-16C/Ds, but that it would not decide on an AESA radar supplier until 2013. Oct 2, 2012

Lockheed Martin Lockheed, Pentagon talks about F-35 are progressing, sources say. F-35 negotiations between Lockheed Martin and the Department of Defense have moved to a senior level, sources say. The talks are regarding the contract for the Pentagon's fifth order of F-35 fighter planes. Lockheed, which has begun building the planes, will not be able to complete the order until the contract is finalized. The negotiations face added pressure from looming sequestration, which would cut the funding available to complete the contract if a deal is not in place before the January sequestration deadline. Oct 1, 2012

SpaceX Space X successfully tests Falcon 9 engine. Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket should be ready for launch this weekend, following successful completion of the last major test of its engine. SpaceX test-fired the rocket engine Saturday, paving the way for a launch that will carry cargo to the International Space Station. Oct 4, 2012

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Publication:AirGuide Business
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Oct 8, 2012
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