Boeing and VSMPO-AVISMA have launched a joint venture to forge titanium for the 777X, 737 MAX, 787 and other Boeing aircraft. VSMPO-AVISMA says it provides more than one-third of the titanium needed to produce Boeing aircraft.
Federal agencies are scrambling to obligate more than $200 billion by the end of the month as the current fiscal year comes to a close. The rapid pace of expenditures by military and civilian agencies is due in part to Congress approving the current omnibus budget agreement six months late.
Stratolaunch is seeking industry partners to help create hypersonic testbeds. "The US has a critical need for hypersonic test capability, especially in flight, and we will make this available for government and industry," said Stratolaunch's Stephen Corda.
Rolls-Royce is close to introducing modifications to the Trent 1000 engine that will enable the resumption of long-range flights for Boeing 787 aircraft.
SpaceX and Boeing say their commercial crew spacecraft are ready to meet NASA safety standards as both companies prepare for test flights. Boeing is developing the CST-100 Starliner, and SpaceX is developing the Crew Dragon.
Raytheon is pitching a modified joint precision approach and landing system for Air Force F-35A aircraft. The system has been integrated on Navy F-35Bs.
The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX are jointly wooing startups with a series of pitch days that will lead to 50 new contracts with the service acting as an angel investor. "The benefit is huge because it finally pulls startups into orbits around our program offices," said Will Roper, who leads acquisition for the Air Force.
The Air Force plan to retire its aerial ground surveillance aircraft represents a shift in strategy, though the service's direction has not been clearly defined.
Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works unit has developed a stealth refueling tanker drone concept to meet the Air Force's KC-Z requirement. "Imagine MQ-25 with that [improved stealthy] signature ability and perhaps longer legs," says Jack O'Banion, vice president of strategy at Skunk Works.
The Pentagon will submit its Space Force proposal to Congress in February, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. "Over a very short period of time, it's been thrust upon us to create and grow a new organization. It's been since 1947 that an exercise like this has been undertaken," he said.