Funding began in FY09 for development of the US Navy's Next Generation Jammer (NGJ), intended to replace (or possibly upgrade) the Growler's AN/ALQ-99 pods near the end of the decade, and also provide the Marine Corps with a JSF-mounted EA system to replace its Prowlers. Unlike the short shrift given to the almost-new EA-18G ICAP-III systems, NGJ has been something of a holy grail for the EW industry, with four teams (BAE Systems, ITT/Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon) funded for early development.
The AN/APG-63(V) is the fire control radar for the F-15A/B/C/D Eagle fighter. A modified version, the AN/APG-70, superseded the APG-63 on the F-15E Strike Eagle, but was then itself to be replaced with the APG-63(V)1, as part of a comprehensive APG-63 upgrade. The APG-63(V)1 LRIP contract was awarded in August 1997, with full rate production beginning in 2002. Japan and South Korea also chose the APG-63(V)1 (Japanese license production by MELCO was just beginning in2006).
Sure, I could write yet another piece about the A380. My favorite target was back in the news for all the wrong reasons this month. Airbus spent its investors' conference grappling with the A380's grim commercial situation, with one executive implying that the plane could die in a few years and another promising that it would be rejuvenated with new engines. There's so much to say about this.
In the midst of a series of technical glitches that delayed the planned launch of the Orion capsule by a Delta IV rocket on Thursday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is reported to have told NBC News, "We're now on the way to Mars, and that's what's most important." Uh, no. First of all, we're not anywhere close to being on our way to Mars, or even the Moon, for that matter.
Strategy: Lockheed Martin is working to defend large fighter and transport aircraft programs such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the C-130 transport by performing well on its contracts while winning major new programs such as the next generation bomber (teamed with Boeing) and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
Acquisitions will be small, niche acquisitions, particularly in information technology and systems integration while the company seeks to increase cash returned to shareholders through higher dividends and stock repurchases.
Airbus wanted to beat Boeing. To get beyond 50% of the market, it needed some serious product line investment. The A380 offered the biggest investment they could make before their ownership went fully public. It also offered the biggest psychological statement about beating Boeing in its (former) core jetliner market.
Unfortunately, Airbus chose to attack what is also the least important segment (5% of the total market, at best). Aside from a limited pool of up-front customers, the A380 is al- most irrelevant in today’s market environment. This is a two-per-month segment.
To paraphrase Churchill, for decades I've had my own ideas about Embraer, and I didn't want them changed by any Embraerians. I'd always respected Embraer, as does much of the aerospace industry – if aerospace companies were restaurants, Embraer would be the restaurant all the other chefs visited on their days off – but until this month, I'd never visited São José dos Campos.
With the remarkable commercial success of Airbus's A320neo family, Boeing's 737 MAX series and Embraer's E2 70/110-seat jets, it's clear the market is very happy with reengined jetliners. These new products, and other reengined aircraft, have already racked up more than 6,000 new orders over the past three years.