Weapons systems production could be interrupted in the event of a federal government shutdown, because workers are furloughed and the Pentagon stops cutting checks, experts say. The current continuing resolution funding the government runs out Friday, and any new defense contracts would be put on hold during a shutdown.
Boeing and Saab's second T-X aircraft has taken its first flight, with the team further demonstrating performance features of the single-engine jet. The Boeing-Saab team, Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries and Leonardo have submitted designs for the T-X program to deliver the next trainer for the Air Force.
The Government Accountability Office is counseling the Joint Program Office to obtain clear terms from Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney before executing a bulk buys of F-35 parts. Bulk buys can drive down the cost of the F-35 but require a detailed upfront investment plan from Lockheed and P&W.
The Army has given Lockheed Martin a $1.6 billion contract for delivery of an unspecified number of Q-53 radar systems, including sales options for foreign allies. Lockheed has delivered 95 Q-53s to the Army under a previous contract.
Though a Boeing spokesman wouldn't commit to a time frame, industry insiders believe the company will launch its much-anticipated 737 MAX 10 design in June at the Paris Airshow. The company is in active discussions with customers for the larger version of the 737.
GE Aviation's facility in Bromont, Quebec, will produce 4 million parts this year, thanks to additive manufacturing processes. The plant has more than 150 robots, and automation has greatly expanded its output over the years.
President Donald Trump wants to see a human mission to Mars before he completes a second term as president, a goal that would greatly accelerate the current timeline that calls for a possible mission in 2033. Astronaut Peggy Whitson, speaking from the International Space Station, warned Trump that a mission to Mars "will require some international cooperation to get it to be a planetwide approach in order to make it successful, just because it is a very expensive endeavor."
The United Arab Emirates' and Saudi Arabia's space programs seek to give these oil-rich nations a head start on claiming natural resources in space. "Water and platinum group metals that are abundant on asteroids are highly disruptive from a technological and economic standpoint," said Noah Poponak of Goldman Sachs.
President Donald Trump's policies regarding use of US military power and allusions to an "arms race" in which the US will "outmatch" its rivals has given a boost to the US defense industry. Trump has promised an expansion of US nuclear might.
- Page 1