WASHINGTON: The Defense Department has told its big industry partners for most of the last 15 years that there’s no need for consolidation at the top. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman are big enough, they said. Mergers of prime contractors would limit competition, Ash Carter, Frank Kendall and other… Keep reading →

A400M low speed test

UPDATED: Air Force Acquisition Head LaPlante Leaves Door Open For Airbus PARIS AIR SHOW: The A400M can do things no C-130 can. It’s much bigger than a C-130. The air platform is reportedly incredibly stable in flight, raising the possibility of launching rockets from it or putting high accuracy guns on it. But it’s got a… Keep reading →

Air Force One

UPDATED: Adds FYDP Budget Plans To Spend $1.65 Billion On New Air Force One WASHINGTON: Airbus, Boeing’s only likely competitor, probably won’t bid on the new Air Force One even though the Presidential Aircraft Replacement program has reappeared in the 2015 budget. “Airbus could put together a dramatic candidate for Air Force One,” Allan McArtor, the… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: Sean O’Keefe, who led the bold but ultimately unsuccessful campaign by EADS North America to win the contract to build a new airborne tanker for the United States, is stepping down from his post as CEO and chairman of the American portion of the company now known as Airbus Group Inc. But O’Keefe is… Keep reading →


America’s defense industry is deep in economic pessimism but the rest of the world isn’t defined by sequestration and the Afghan drawdown, and that will be very clear at next week’s Paris Air Show. This year’s show will probably be defined by commercial aviation, especially the twin aisle jet market. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner will return… Keep reading →

Paris and Berlin are in a bind as British-based BAE and Franco-German giant EADs, the parent company of Airbus, seek approval to merge into the world’s largest aerospace company.

If the French and German governments accept the companies’ current merger terms, their ability to influence the new tri-national behemoth will be sharply diminished and they will possess less power to protect their citizens’ job. If they demand greater influence, however, they may scupper the deal altogether, because both investors and the US government are leery of Franco-German meddling. Keep reading →

Today’s surprise announcement that UK-based arms-maker BAE and Airbus parent EADS are exploring a merger — sort of, maybe, if their respective boards approve an extremely complex deal that creates a so-called “dual-listed” entity in which each partner still issues its own separate stock — sent shockwaves throughout Europe and through the commercial aviation industry worldwide, but its impact on the US defense market is likely to be limited.

“Assuming a deal is completed, we do not see it as an immediate game changer for the U.S. defense sector,” wrote Capital Alpha analysts Bryon Callan and Russell Taylor in an analysis released this afternoon. Keep reading →

This year’s Farnborough Airshow is bookmarked by the Euro crisis, and the fates of the Chinese and American economies. On the defense side, there is the end of a land war era for the U.S. and significant uncertainty about how global events will change how countries seek to arm and defend themselves in the years ahead.

Of course, Farnborough, like every major European airshow, will offer the usual Airbus and Boeing show on the civil side. This show is both predictable and fun, because each year one or the other “proves” that they are the greatest commercial airplane builder in the world. Keep reading →

It must be summer because list stories are starting to proliferate. Usually, these stories don’t tough the defense world but one came out this morning that does.

The website DailyFinance calls for the replacement of Boeing CEO James McNerney. They are nicely scathing in presenting why McNerney should be dumped. Keep reading →