Company Watch - Lockheed Martin.
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said increasing production rates for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and developing the next-generation bomber are at the top of his wish list of projects to fund if the service had more money. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on the Air ForceOs USD 160.5 billion fiscal 2010 budget request May 19, Schwartz said service leaders felt they had enough tactical aircraft capability despite Defense Secretary Robert GatesO plans to halt F-22 Raptor procurement at 187 aircraft. The Air Force chief said the serviceOs leadership believed it was a Oprudent opportunity to accelerate the retirement of older aircraft.O The FY O10 budget calls for retiring 250 F-15s, F-16s and A-10s, enabling the Air Force to redistribute more than USD 3.5 billion over the next six years to modernize combat air forces into a Osmaller but more capable force,O Schwartz and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told lawmakers in joint written testimony. Schwartz did say more money would make it easier and faster to upgrade remaining legacy aircraft and make modifications to the F-22 until the F-35 starts rolling off the line in large numbers. Schwartz said the Air Force would like to see F-35 production boosted to at least 80 aircraft and perhaps as many as 110 per year before the F-16s start retiring in large numbers reported AWST. May 20, 2009
Indonesia's president has vowed to increase the country's military budget, a promise that comes as the government faces pressure over the crash of an Indonesian Lockheed C-130 on 20 May that killed about 100 people. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told local reporters in Jakarta today that once the Indonesian economy recovers from the global economic slump he will see to it that Indonesia's miliary budget is increased. Indonesia's defence minister, Juwono Sudarsono, has already complained publicly that the country's military budget is too low and that this has meant the air force is spending less on aircraft maintenance than it should. May 20, 2009
Early indications from the Pentagon's Mobility Capabilities Requirements Study suggest no need for additional strategic airlift beyond the funded procurements of re-engined C-5s and 205 C-17s already planned, says U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. The 2005 Mobility Capabilities Study had suggested a requirement of roughly 300 strategic airlifters, and Schwartz says he sees "'no major shift in the demand signal." The 2005 study, however, was discredited in much of Washington as a budget-driven formality under former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and a new study has been eagerly awaited. The new study is now under way, although official results are not expected until the fall. Unlike previous reviews, this study will take into account the requirements associated with increases in Army and Marine Corps end-strength, as well as the new U.S. Africa Command. Even if more strategic airlift is ultimately needed, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley says an independent study presents several options before considering a buy of additional C-17s, the only aircraft made at Boeing's Long Beach, Calif., plant. These include leasing additional Civil Reserve Air Fleet capacity, as well as re-engining all 111 C-5s. Now, the C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) calls for modifying only 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs and one A model for test purposes. Boeing''USDs C-17 program has survived in recent years on congressional earmarks and international orders. The USAF also has nonetheless wished to retire its worst C-5s. May 18, 2009
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