Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is suggesting a $650.7 billion defense bill in the next fiscal year. The plan features a base of $581.3 billion, emergency funding of $4.5 billion for missile defense and $64.9 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.
The Saudi Rotorcraft Support Co., created by Boeing, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries and Alsalam Aircraft Co., will likely be selected to perform maintenance work on Saudi Arabia's Apache helicopter fleet, the joint venture said.
Lockheed Martin is zeroing in on an $80 million price point for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter A-model during negotiations, according to a source. The current target is below projections established in 2014.
Turkey will declare its selection for a technology partner to develop the engine for its TF-X fighter jet in January. Turkish Aerospace Industries is the premier contractor for the jet program and will seek foreign technology as the basis for an engine that will eventually be built in Turkey.
Some industry experts believe the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is laying the groundwork for a future Space Corps by increasing responsibilities of the Air Force Space Command. The bill also requires plans to "establish a separate military department" for space.
Results-oriented SpaceX, coming off of a record launch year in 2017, plans to increase its launch pace by 50% in 2018. The company "will probably level out at about that rate, 30 to 40 per year," SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said.
Former Raytheon executive Mark Esper has been sworn in as the secretary of the Army. "[T]he readiness and welfare of our soldiers, civilians and their families will always be foremost in my mind," Esper said.
Northrop Grumman is working on advanced cloaking technology for the B-21 Raider. Details of the aircraft's development remain a secret.
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