|U.S. competition for Europes
Boeing and Lockheed Martin have teamed to offer their C-17 and C-130J
transports to Europe as an alternative to the multinational A400M transport,
and asked Pentagon acquisition chief Pete Aldridge to back the proposal
at a meeting of alliance armaments ministers last month.
The companies made the request in a March letter to Aldridge that was
signed by Boeing Military Aircraft and Missile Systems President and CEO
Jerry Daniels and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics President Dain Hancock,
according to Defense Daily.
Pentagon defines armed, unarmed unmanned
as specifications are being clinched for a faster, higher flying Unmanned
Aerial Vehicle (UAV) equipped with precision standoff weapons, the U.S.
Air Force has drawn a line in the sand about arming other unmanned reconnaissance
aircraft, according to Aviation Week and Space Technology. In particular,
the U.S. wants its allies and potential foes alike to know that the Northrop
Grumman-built Global Hawk, like the manned Lockheed U-2, will remain unarmed
and non-threatening. Instead, the smaller, piston-engined and Hellfire-armed
General Atomics Predator A and new turboprop-powered Predator B (carrying
yet-to-be-determined weapons) will make up a hunter-killer force.
Corporate jet makers focus on
Spurred by a slump in their strongest markets, corporate jet manufacturers
are increasingly focusing their efforts on Asia, trying to break open
the one place in the developed world where sales have yet to take off,
according to The Wall Street Journal. But it's been a tough sell. High
costs and red tape have entangled cross-border travel; thus, sales in
Asia of corporate jets have lagged behind Europe and the Americas. The
region is currently home to only about 250 corporate jets, fewer than
there are in Brazil alone. That is forcing business-jet companies to develop
more-aggressive sales strategies. Manufacturers have recently taken it
upon themselves to help untangle the bureaucracy. Gulfstream, Cessna Aircraft
Co. and Raytheon Aircraft Co. are supporting local groups that are lobbying
to reform complicated air regulations. Other jet companies are approaching
governments directly. And governments, unconstrained by private-jet regulations,
represent one of the best potential customer bases. Boeing is looking
into replacing planes for top government leaders. Manufacturers are offering
extra help with financing and leasing.
Starry-eyed over digital film
Barco NV and Christie Digital Systems - the two companies that dominate
the nascent market for digital, filmless projectors - are scrambling before
"Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" launches May 16. They want to at least
double the number of the $130,000-plus machines - which display movies
in digital clarity - they have deployed around the world, according to
Wired.com. Their goal: to jump-start a market for digital projectors.
Industry sources expect about 50 new theaters will install digital projectors
by the time the film is released, bringing the total number to about 100.
More years of F-16, C-130
Lockheed Martin expects the F-16 to continue production through at least
2008, thanks to a late March backlog that stood at 296, including recent
follow-on orders of 52 aircraft from Israel and 10 from Greece, according
to Aviation Week and Space Technology. Deliveries to the U.S. Air Force
were scheduled to resume in April, after a delay to allow incorporation
of new features that had been requested by other F-16-ordering nations.
The Air Force is mulling procurement of 40 stretch C-130Js, and the U.S.
Marine Corps is considering up to 24 KC-130J tankers, with both groups
to be delivered in 2005-08, Lockheed executives said.