Aerospace & Defense News - Defense.

 
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Jan 28, 2008

Aerospace firms support changes to U.S. export policies Countries working with the U.S. on the Joint Strike Fighter have complained that export-control rules have stifled cooperation. U.S. companies are pushing for change to the process. Aerospace Industries Association President Marion Blakey noted that improving the system will "increase our ability to fight shoulder to shoulder with our allies and friends around the world." Jan 24, 2008

Chertoff says border fence is necessary to improve safety. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said he expects violence along the Mexican border to increase this year, and he noted that building a border fence will improve safety. Some landowners object to the project, which will allow DHS to seize property to continue construction. Jan 24, 2008

The U.S. Air Force has canceled an earlier unmanned bomber effort, known as the Joint Unmanned Combat Aircraft System (JUCAS). The new endeavor is expected to be larger and faster than JUCAS. The new bomber would also be designed to cover very long distances. The US Air Force bomber competition comes at a critical time for aerospace companies. The Air Force and Congress are already likely to battle this year over funding for a variety of high-cost programs, such as the Lockheed F-22 Raptor, the Joint Strike Fighter and a new mid-air refueling tanker. Jan 24, 2008

Counter-missile tests continue to draw criticism from carriers The first tests of technology to counter shoulder-fired missiles are set to begin in April. U.S. Airlines say the tests are a waste of money that should be spent to address more immediate threats. Carriers also note that the technology has a high failure rate. Jan 23, 2008

DHS requires foreign visitors to scan all fingers. DHS is now requiring foreign travelers entering the U.S. to scan 10 fingers as part of an effort to more closely monitor watch lists. The requirement is already in place at airports in Boston, Washington and Atlanta. Jan 23, 2008

U.S. Department of Defense budget growth prompts analyst to boost ratings on defense stocks. Bernstein Research analyst Douglas Harned boosted his long-term profit estimates for several defense companies. He noted that the DOD's budget is shifting to higher margin procurement programs. He also said foreign military sales will also benefit U.S. defense firms. Jan 23, 2008

After months of discussions, Tiahrt and Roberts reached an agreement with Gen. Michael Moseley, the U.S. Air Force chief of staff, to bring a portion of the next-generation tankers to the base in their state. Kansas s other GOP senator, Sam Brownback, was also part of the discussions. The McConnell Air Force Base was expected to receive new tankers down the line anyway, but the commitment from Moseley means that Kansas will receive some of the first new tankers earlier than initially expected. McConnell is the only so-called Supertanker base in the middle of the country, and the decision to base the KC-X there is separate from any contract award decision, said Sam Sackett, Tiahrt s spokesman. The base will receive the winning plane regardless of whether it is the KC-X based on the Boeing 767 or the Airbus 330. The base is strategically located, Sackett added. Jan 22, 2008

Package includes kits to turn bombs into "smart" weapons. Kits that turn "dumb" bombs into "smart" weapons are part of the of the $20 billion U.S. arms package for Persian Gulf states, writes the Washington Post's Walter Pincus. A Congressional Research Service report issued last week noted that the sale of Joint Direct Attack Munition kits to countries that are hostile toward Israel has raised concern.

Jan 21, 2008

Boeing

Boeing's US Air Force s new refueling tanker based on the 767 jetliner will indeed consist of a new combination of various 767 models. It will have a 767-200 fuselage, a -300 wing and a -400 cockpit. And yes, the vertical tail is built in Italy and the fuselage panels, though put together in Everett, come from Japan. Does that make the airplane any more of a monster than the proposed Airbus A330 tanker, which would be built in large pieces in France, Italy, Germany, and the U.K., and then assembled in Mobile Call it a choice between the U.S. Frankentanker and the European Legotanker. The Air Force is expected to make its pick next month. Jan 27, 2008

Boeing

Boeing IDS unit awarded $12.5M Navy contract. A unit of The Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems was awarded a $12.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the procurement of ancillary mission equipment for the F/A-18 E/F and E/A-18G aircraft, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday. Work will be performed in St. Louis and Clearwater, Fla., and is expected to be completed in November 2009. A unit of Chicago-based Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Integrated Defense Systems is one of the...

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