EELV

f-35airforceversion

  PENTAGON: For the third year in a row, Air Force weapon programs have busted their schedules, taking longer to field, this time adding another 112 months to the 29 major weapons programs that the service monitors. It’s a pattern. In 2012, schedule performance “continues to remain problematic and shows no signs of improvement.” In 2013,… Keep reading →

Senate side of the capitol

WASHINGTON: The hearing season is roaring ahead at full tilt, with senior officials at five defense hearings on Wednesday. Here’s our preview of some of the likely topics and issues. The most interesting to Breaking Defense readers probably will be the unique pairing of the four Army and Air Force leaders before the full Senate… Keep reading →

Senate Armed Services Holds Hearing On F-35 Joint Strike Program

WASHINGTON: Nomination hearings are never just about the nominee. But today’s Senate lovefest for Ash Carter was remarkably dominated by two men who weren’t in the room: President Obama — in whose defense Carter was actually pretty tepid — and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The Obama White House has simultaneously “micromanag[ed]” the military and… Keep reading →

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

WASHINGTON: SpaceX appears to have succeeded in cracking open the EELV program a bit in return for dropping its suit in the Court of Federal Claims against the Air Force. The agreement was announced by the Air Force and SpaceX after the stock market closed this afternoon. “The Air Force and SpaceX have reached agreement on a path forward… Keep reading →

RD-180 engines on Atlas V

WASHINGTON: When the Air Force issued a Request for Information about an engine to replace the RD-180 it began to look as if they were serious about committing to build the first new rocket engine in decades. But we also received two new RD-180 engines from Russia the same day as the RFI went out, the United… Keep reading →

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

[UPDATED with SpaceX comment] WASHINGTON: For the first time in a decade, the Air Force has opened its primary space launch program to competition. That’s something startup rocket company SpaceX and Congress have pushed for vigorously. It’s also a long-anticipated blow for the United Space Alliance — formed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin – which has… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Steve Grundman

After three years of the “age of austerity” in Western military spending, investors’ imperatives and corporate strategies show one indication of how the defense-industrial base will evolve over the next decade. Investors want public companies that demonstrate an attractive risk-adjusted total return, not just M&A-fueled arbitrage plays. In response, companies are husbanding or harvesting their financial… Keep reading →

Atlas V launches NROL39

WASHINGTON: It is shaping up as one of the great corporate brawls in the aerospace world: snappy and feisty and hungry newcomer, SpaceX, versus the titan of heavy launch, the near-perfect expression of big corporatism, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin United Launch Alliance. The focus of their competition is obscure to most Americans: the purchase by the… Keep reading →

genwilliamshelton-1365537685

CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon’s top space officials told Congress today they have launched a study to ascertain if the United States can build its own rocket engines so expensive and large spy and GPS satellites don’t have to be launched using Russian rocket engines, as they are now. Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space… Keep reading →

Delta 4 Heavy ULA launch

WASHINGTON: The most expensive conventional weapons program in history just scored a major win, with the F-35 program’s estimated acquisition costs plunging $11.5 billion. This is no program estimate that critics might savage. This comes from the Government Accountability Office’s definitive annual Assessment of Selected Weapons Report. The GAO did not mince words in identifying… Keep reading →

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