Showing posts with label Lockheed Martin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lockheed Martin. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Defense contractors compete for huge bomber contract

In the coming weeks, the U.S. Air Force will announce the biggest defense deal of the decade. It will also be the last contract for a new manned combat aircraft for probably 20 years. (Tweet This)
Whoever wins the bid will have years' worth of manufacturing work. Whoever loses may have to exit the business of building piloted military aircraft.
The Long Range Strike-Bomber will replace an aging bomber fleet whose oldest aircraft go back to the Korean War. The Air Force has revealed little about what it wants out of the new bomber, but one thing is clear: it does not want an explosive price tag. The most recent bomber contract went to Northrop Grumman for the B-2, which first flew in 1989. The Pentagon purchased only 21 of the sleek, stealthy aircraft, at a cost of $2 billion each.
This time, the Air Force wants to buy up to 100 bombers and keep the price to $550 million per aircraft. Add in an estimated $20 billion for research and development, and the total value of the contract could close in on $80 billion. The new bomber should be airborne in 10 years.
An advertisement from Northrop Grumman touting their experience in delivery the world's most advance military aircrafts.
Source: Northrop Grumman
An advertisement from Northrop Grumman touting their experience in delivery the world's most advance military aircrafts.
Many wonder—with good reason, given the recent history of military aircraft contracts—whether the cost can really be kept to $550 million per plane. One strategy may be to build a plane that uses existing technology with an open architecture that allows future upgrades.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Back To Basics For The F-35

LE BOURGET, France — As Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon attempt over the next year or so to assemble a three-year block buy of 400-500 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, potential customers will be looking for firm definition behind the much-redefined Block 4 upgrade process, which will lay out all the capabilities that the F-35 will have between now and 2027.
This long-range planning is essential for the F-35, because the program is large and weapon and system integration issues are unique. From the very start of the project, it has been a given that all aircraft in the worldwide fleet will be upgraded concurrently, so as to avoid having a multiplicity of configurations.
This one-size-fits-all approach will in theory be the result of consensus among the customer community, but in practice will be dominated by the U.S., which will be signing the biggest single check. It presents a dilemma: how can you put as many upgrades and improvements on the schedule as possible to meet today’s national desires, while leaving capacity to change plans as new technologies and threats emerge?
Another delicate balance concerns the timing of improvements, such as electro-optical targeting, including hyperspectral systems that fuse midwave infrared (IR), shortwave IR and color video to give the pilot the best available picture. All of this has appeared since the F-35 was designed, so its current midwave-IR-only electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) looks a little dated, and will be even more so when the fighter is ready for export customers.
This issue has been recognized, and an Advanced EOTS is being designed with sharper, multi-spectral sensors and new processors. It should cut into production in Block 4, and according to Lockheed Martin is a top priority for many users. But this does not necessarily help to sell a lot of Block 3 aircraft: if Block 4 is going to include such a significant improvement, why not stretch out the lives of your existing fighters and delay F-35 deliveries?
Via: Aviation Week
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Monday, December 23, 2013


In the same week that Cracker Barrel abandoned Duck Dynasty, Lockheed Martin abandoned the Boy Scouts. The details of the two issues were different, but the cause was the same--an out-of-touch corporate mentality.

As Breitbart News reported on December 21, Cracker Barrel climbed aboard the anti-Duck Dynasty bandwagon on December 20th by pulling "selected products which [they] were concerned might offend some of [their] guests."
A day earlier Lockheed Martin halted donations to the Boy Scouts because they were offended over the Boy Scouts' ban on gay Scout Leaders. As Breitbart News reported, Lockheed Martin said they believe the Boy Scouts accomplish good in our communities but "their policies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religious affiliation conflict with Lockheed Martin policies." 
Intel, Merck & Co., and UPS Inc. have abandoned the Boy Scouts as well. 
The actions of all these businesses and corporations are of a cloth with those A&E took on December 18th, when they abandoned Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson because he answered a reporter's question honestly. 
A GQ reporter asked Robertson to describe something that "he found sinful" and he did. Afterward, A&E suspended him "indefinitely." 
The corporate mentality driving these moves is completely out of touch with the very Americans these corporations claim they are trying not to offend. 
Via: Breitbart
Continue Reading......

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lockheed Martin's Skunkworks to build successor to SR-71 Blackbird

SR-72 Son of Blackbird.jpgA new hypersonic spy plane is coming from the company that helped invent the technology -- and this one will fly six times the speed of sound.
Dubbed the SR-72, or Son of Blackbird, the new unmanned spy plane is under development at Lockheed Martin’s famed Skunk Works division, where some of the company’s most advanced projects have been developed. It will be the successor to the famous SR-71, which the U.S. Air Force operated for decades but retired almost 20 years ago.
Lockheed built the Blackbird in the early 60s after Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane was hit by surface-to-air missiles over the Soviet Union, a Cold War crisis that revealed the real need for faster planes and better spy capabilities. Built and tested at Groom Lake in Nevada -- right around the corner from Area 51 -- the Blackbird was designed to fly far faster than anything else around, maintaining speeds in excess of 2,000 mph.
'Hypersonic aircraft, coupled with hypersonic missiles, could penetrate denied airspace and strike at nearly any location.'
- Brad Leland, Lockheed Martin program manager for hypersonics
The SR-71 was flown from New York to London in less than two hours in 1976 by U.S. Air Force crews, reaching speeds exceeding Mach 3 and setting world records that have held up for nearly four decades.
But Son of Blackbird? The SR-72 should make its aging ancestor look like a Sunday driver out taking in the fall foliage.
“Hypersonic aircraft, coupled with hypersonic missiles, could penetrate denied airspace and strike at nearly any location across a continent in less than an hour,” said Brad Leland, Lockheed Martin program manager for hypersonics. “Speed is the next aviation advancement to counter emerging threats in the next several decades. The technology would be a game-changer in theater, similar to how stealth is changing the battlespace today.”

Saturday, September 29, 2012

White House Begs Defense Contractors Not To Issue Layoff Notices

The Obama administration issued new guidance intended for defense contractors Friday afternoon, reiterating the administration’s position that the companies should not be issuing layoff notices over sequestration.
The Labor Department issued guidance in July saying it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to issue notices of potential layoffs tied to sequestration cuts. But a few contractors, most notably Lockheed Martin, said they still were considering whether to issue the notices — which would be sent out just days before the November election.
But the Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.
The guidance said that if plant closings or mass layoffs occur under sequestration, then “employee compensation costs for [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] WARN act liability as determined by a court” would be paid for covered by the contracting federal agency.
Senate Republicans, who accused the White House of trying to hide job losses after the first guidance, said Friday that the new OMB statement “puts politics ahead of American workers.”
“The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said in a statement. “The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Historic NASA facilities going to waste

The space agency has an unusual problem: space.

A recent review of NASA’s land holdings on earth revealed a new challenge for the agency: poorly maintained, aging facilities once used for research and development or space vehicle construction, now essentially useless.

NASA spends about $1.1 billion annually on maintenance and upkeep of its more than 5,400 buildings, landing strips and other unique sites; but approximately 9 percent of its real property assets aren’t being used, NASA told The solution, according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG): lease them
Kennedy leases a clean room where Apollo capsules were readied 40 years ago to Lockheed Martin. Boeing is building space taxis in a processing hangar where shuttles were once routinely readied to soar. And there are plenty of others, from Rolls-Royce and Google to local schools and, in areas where businesses aren’t interested, parks, gardens and visitor centers.

But not enough, according to Paul K. Martin, NASA Inspector General.

“Few incentives exist for NASA to identify underutilized property as unnecessary to its mission needs,” he concluded in the August report.

Olga Dominguez, NASA’s assistant administrator for the office of strategic infrastructure, agreed that the agency wasn’t 100 percent sure how many buildings and facilities were unusued. Part of the challenge, she said, was the changing nature of the space agency’s mission. As NASA has refocused from the space shuttle to the private space industry, its needs have changed as well.

“Because our mission has gone through such extensive changes, all of these new programs -- commercial crew, commercial space -- all of these have different requirements,” she told “So the space needs have changes every year.”

“Right now, well we think we might need [a facility] and then seven months later, no we don’t.”
NASA is the ninth largest land owner in the federal government, with more than 100,000 acres that occupy 44 million square feet and are estimated to cost $29 billion to replace.

Via: Fox News

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