• Covid-19: Boeing halts Seattle area production for two weeks, includes KC-46A and P-8A

    Key Points Boeing is pausing production at its Seattle area facilities for two weeks starting on 25 March. The company can recover quickly as both aircraft have production rates at 1–2 per month. Boeing will temporarily suspend all production operations at its Seattle, Washington,

  • Covid-19: US military deploys forces as private shipyards report virus cases

    With Huntingtin Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyards reporting their first cases of Covid-19-positive cases, the US military is deploying forces to alleviate the strain of virus-related healthcare for areas hit particularly hard in the United States. HII confirmed on 23 March that an employee of

  • US carrier Ford certified for flight deck, air traffic control operations

    Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford completed Flight Deck Certification (FDC) and Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) Certification on 20 March, the US Navy (USN) confirmed on 23 March. With the completion of FDC and CATCC certifications, Ford will now be the only carrier qualification asset

  • Images show North Korea re-tested another tactical missile system on 21 March

    Images released by North Korea’s state-run media on 22 March show that the country appears to have once again test-fired the same type of short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) – similar in appearance to some of the missiles used by the US Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) – it

  • Covid-19: US Navy and HII take measures to blunt greater virus impact

    The US Navy (USN) and its biggest shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), are taking more interim steps toward reducing the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The USN is increasing health monitoring aboard forward-based ships while HII is continuing its “flexible

  • F-35 programme reduces remaining SDD capability requirements, but bulkhead issue remains

    Key Points The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have reduced their outstanding F-35 SDD requirements from 43 to six The remaining requirements involve bulkheads cracking early, especially on the F-35B The Pentagon has closed out all but six open system development and demonstration (SDD) capability

  • DoD contracts Sidewinder missiles for US, FMS customers

    The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Raytheon USD392.4 million to deliver AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles to both United States and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The award, announced on 20 March, covers live and training Lot 20 AIM-9X Block II and Block II+ missiles and

  • USN completes development testing of NGJ-MB pods for Growler

    The US Navy (USN) has completed developmental testing of the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pods being developed by Raytheon for the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack (EA) aircraft. The milestone, announced by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 19 March, followed 400 hours of

  • Argentine companies present rotary-wing UAV

    Argentine companies Cicaré, INVAP, and Marinelli have presented for the first time a prototype of the Asteri RUAS 160, a rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for the defence, security, and agriculture markets. The presentation took place at the Expoagro agriculture fair, held in

  • Covid-19: Defender-Europe 20 scaled down, future exercise cuts on the horizon

    Pentagon leaders had grand ambitions for this year’s Defender-Europe 20 exercise in what it billed as the largest deployment of US-based forces to Europe in the more than 25 years. However, as the Covid-19 outbreak ravishes communities across the globe, the US is expecting a 60% reduction to

  • USAF tests engine for Gray Wolf low-cost cruise missile

    The US Air Force (USAF) has tested a new low-cost turbojet engine to power air-launched cruise missiles being developed under the Gray Wolf programme. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) announced on 19 March that, along with Northrop Grumman and Technical Directions Inc. (TDI), it had for the

  • Covid-19: Chile cancels FIDAE air and space fair

    The Chilean Air Force (La Fuerza Aérea de Chile: FAC) on 16 March cancelled the FIDAE Air and Space Fair, originally scheduled to take place between 31 March and 2 April in Santiago. The FAC cited the global spread of the coronavirus for cancelling the event, which was to be the 21st edition of

  • Covid-19: Medical teams report to ready hospital ships for deployment

    The professional medical teams needed aboard US Navy (USN) hospital ships USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) and USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) assembled on 19 March to help prepare the vessels for missions meant to help civilian hospitals on the US East Coast and the West Coast cope with the Covid-19 crisis, Rear

  • New Future Long Range Assault Aircraft phase features greater government cost share

    Key Points The FLRAA programme is entering a study phase in which the US Army will provide two-thirds of the funding Previous efforts under JMR-TD had the contractors making greater contributions The next phase of the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme will

  • New ‘Air Force One’ aircraft begins modification

    Key Points The US Air Force has started modifying the first of two 747-8 aircraft that will be used for presidential service Modification of the second aircraft will begin later this year The US Air Force (USAF) on 25 February began modifying the first of two Boeing 747-8 commercial aircraft that

  • Pompeo says Russia killed Turks as Idlib ceasefire holds

    Key Points The US secretary of state has blamed Russia for killing Turkish soldiers in Syria The Idlib ceasefire agreement is being largely observed, although another two Turks were killed on 19 March US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Russia of killing dozens of Turkish soldiers in

  • USAF to contract F/T-7X aircraft for fighter pilot training

    The US Air Force (USAF) plans to contract a small number of trainer aircraft to teach skills specific to air combat under its Reforge proof of concept (RFX) programme. A notice of intent to award a sole-source contract to Hillwood Aviation for between four and eight advanced trainer aircraft to

  • Covid-19: Pentagon ramps up response, timing questions remain

    Despite delays, the Pentagon has finally begun holding daily press briefings to update the public on its plans to deploy medical ships, distribute medical supplies, set up field hospitals and develop a COVID-19 vaccine. However, mixed messaging over deployment timings and activities continues to

  • LTAMDS wraps initial round of programme tests, prepares for live target drills

    Raytheon has competed initial tests of the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) and is preparing to test the new radar antenna array platform against live targets ahead of official evaluations of the system by service officials in fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021). The

  • Update: US Army selects Sikorsky-Boeing, Bell for FLRAA risk reduction

    Key Points The US Army has awarded Sikorsky-Boeing and Bell contracts for further development of their FLRAA aircraft AVX Aircraft will also continue work on its FLRAA offering with its own funding The US Army has awarded Sikorsky-Boeing and Bell other transaction authority (OTA) awards for the