2012 was a busy year for the F35.
A total of 30 fighters were delivered to military officials at various locations all over the country, Lockheed Martin officials announced Thursday.
Here's the breakdown:
A total of 15 aircraft were assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. in support of training operations;
four aircraft were assigned to Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz. in support of the Marine Corps' first operational squadron;
six aircraft were assigned to Edwards AFB in support of developmental flight testing and operational test and evaluation;
four aircraft were assigned to Nellis AFB Nev., in support of the development of F35 fighter tactics;
and one CF-5 was ferried to the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, MD. earlier this month where it will support flight test operations in 2013.
Reuters printed a story Wednesday in which Christopher Bogdan, Air Force Lt. General, says ties between Lockheed and the U.S. Government were the "worst" he had ever seen. Those comments came just after five weeks into the $396 billion F-35 fighter jet program. Apparently this "straight talk" and "insistence on accountability," as described in the story, are nothing new to the Lt. General. The sentiment also is not a new one among such military types, according to sources close to the story.
The Pentagon last week reached a deal with Lockheed to buy 32 more F-35 fighters, Reuters says. The jets already produced just exceeded 5,000 flight hours and the Air Force is poised to approve the start of training efforts at a Florida air base, the story says.
It's a $3.8 billion deal for Lockheed, and also could be a new era for the Pentagon's biggest weapons system.
Waiting to hear back from Lockheed on any response to Bogdan's comments.
Hewson, who has spent time in Fort Worth with Lockheed's Aeronautics division, said she had no idea that the CEO heir apparent, Christopher Kubasik, was in trouble over an inappropriate personal relationship with another Lockheed employee. But she's ready to take over.
“I found out when I was invited into the boardroom,” said Hewson. “My reaction was immediately, ‘I’m ready.’ ”
Post reporter Marjorie Censer had another story about how, come January, three of the nation's leading defense contractors will be run by female CEOs. It's not a good old boys club anymore.
Wow, who knew the executive office wing at Lockheed Martin's headquarters in Bethesda, Md. was a boiling cauldron of passion and ...
Lockheed has announced that its board of directors sacked Christopher Kubasik, the company's president and CEO-in waiting, "after an ethics investigation confirmed that he had a close personal relationship with a subordinate employee. His actions violated the company’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, but did not affect the company’s operational or financial performance.
Kubaski, 51, was to have succeeded Robert Stevens as Lockheed's CEO on Jan. 1.
The board immediately named Marillyn A. Hewson, 58, president, chief operating officer and a director effective immediately. She will become chief executive officer and president effective January 1, 2013. Hewson will also retain her role as executive vice president of Electronic Systems business area until the end of this year.
Stevens was named executive chairman effective Jan. 1.
Hewson joined Lockheed Martin in 1983 and has been executive vice president of the Electronic Systems business area since January 2010
She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in economics from The University of Alabama. She also attended the Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School executive development programs.
The following contract awards were announced today by the Department of Defense:
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Hurst, Texas, was awarded a $33,410,210 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the procurement of Bell Helicopter Huey II Aircraft and related support services. Work will be performed in Hurst, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2013. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-11-G-0011).
DynCorp International L.L.C., Fort Worth, Texas, (FA8617-12-C-6208, P00004) is being awarded a $72,828,838 contract modification for contractor operated and maintained base supply services for the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System T-6A/B Texan II aircraft. The location of the performance is Fort Worth, Texas. Work is expected to be completed by Oct. 31. 2013. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/WLZJC, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Vision Systems International L.L.C., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded contract SPRWA1-11-D-0007-0004. The award is a firm fixed price; sole source contract with a maximum $10,995,883 for new aircraft installs, spares and support equipment. Other locations of performance are in Oregan and Israel. Using services are Navy, Iraq and Finland. There was one solicitation with one response. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014 Navy appropriated funds and Foreign Military Sales. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2014. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
In another step forward for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, Lockheed Martin said Monday that an F-35A test aircraft completed the first aerial weapons release of an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) from a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft last week.
The convetional takeoff and landing aircraft, known as AF-1, jettisoned the instrumented AIM-120 over the China Lake test range from an internal weapons bay. It was the second in-flight weapons release in three days for AF-1. It released a 2,000 pound guided bomb on Oct. 16.
The F-35A, the version being built for the Air Force and most foreign buyers, is designed to carry a total payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. The F-35A features four internal weapon launch stations located in weapon bays to maximum stealth capability. It can carry both bombs and air-to-air missiles internally, as well as on three external weapon stations per wing.
"The USAF is contracting with Lockheed Martin to develop an AESA [active electronically scanned array] fire control radar as a CFE (Contractor Furnished Equipment) item for the F-16 platform," says Dawn Sutton, deputy director of the USAF's F-16 System Program Office (SPO). "We defer to Lockheed Martin as to their plans on how to most appropriately meet the subject requirement. However, it's our expectation that Lockheed Martin will conduct a source selection to choose a radar vendor to meet the Air Force requirements."
Now, this non-expert observer of the defense acquisition process has to wonder just how open a competition this really will be. Let's see, the Air Force uses Northrop radars now on it's newest aircraft and it's already on some top-of-the-line export F-16s, all Lockheed planes. Boeing built planes use Raytheon.
There are two competing AESA radars that are on the market. One is Northrop Grumman's Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), which is based on technology developed from the APG-77, APG-80 and APG-81 found respectively on the Lockheed F-22 Raptor, F-16E/F Block 60, and F-35. The other is the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR), which is based on the APG-63 (V) 3, APG-79 and APG-82 found on the Boeing F-15C, F/A-18E/F, and F-15E respectively.
Speaking of F-16 upgrades, Lockheed has been awarded a contract to bring 12 of the government of Oman's relatively modern Block 60 f-16s up to date.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, (FA8615-13-C-6048) is being awarded a $94,700,000 firm-fixed-price contract for retrofit of 12 F-16 C/D Block 60 multi-role fighter aircraft. The location of the performance is Fort Worth, Texas. Work is expected to be completed by May 16, 2016. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/WWMK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Contract involves Foreign Military Sales for the government of Oman.
So do the Omani F-16s get the latest radar and electronics warfare upgrades that the U.S. will get or something similar? Lockheed won't say.
The Oman retrofit program is designed to bring their existing aircraft up to a common configuration with the aircraft they recently procured. Any additional questions should be referred to the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO).
Amidst the development delays, budget and program cuts and other travails that continue to afflict Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, one investor and customer remains steadfast.
That would the government of Italy.
Lockheed was awarded a $28.6 million contract modification from the Pentagon on Tuesday to begin placing orders for parts and materials for four F-35A aircraft in production Lot 7, which won’t be produced for at least a couple of years.
It’s the second batch of F-35s Italy has placed on order, following three in production Lot 6.
Italy, of course, has committed itself heavily to the F-35 program. The country invested $1 billion in the development and testing effort that is still under way. It initially announced plans for purchasing 131 jets, a figure that was scaled back in February to 90 as the Italian government deals with its own financial issues.
The contract provides funding for acquisirtion and production of components for the Italian planes, which will be assembled in Italy.
Count Bell Helicopter Chief Executive John Garrison among those sounding the alarm about the likely consequences for the aerospace and defense industry and its employees if Congress doesn't act by early January to block automatic spending cuts from taking place.
Budget sequestration "in my opinion equals devastation," Garrison said Tuesday at the Aviation and Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Summit being held in Fort Worth.
Sequestration is the legislative term for the process that wil require the federal government to slash $1 trillion or so -- about $100 billion a year -- from projected spending over the next decade.
If Congress can't come to an agreement on new budget and deficit reduction bills.the automatic $100 billion a year in spending cuts are due to go into effect in January. The cuts by law must be distributed equally between defense and non-defense budget items, except entitlements which are exempt.
"it's a horrible way to set policy," Garrison said."It's going to affect engineering. It's going to affect manufacturing. And it's going to have downstream effects" on the companies that supply Bell and other defense contractors.
Defense contractors and industry groups have ringing alarms bells for months about the impact they say sequestration will have on businesses, jobs and the economy.
The initial impact on Bel would likely be small, Garrison said, because the company has contracts and funding on V-22 aircraft and military helicopters through 2015.
"I'd like to believe the federal government isn't going to break contracts and this will be worked out going forward, Garrison said, but it's still a poor way to run the government.
Bell has been given virtually no guidance on how sequestration would be implemented. "The guidance we've been given is what Secretary Panetta said, that sequestration is not something that's going to happen," Garrison said after his speech.
In the meantime, Bell is working with the hope and as if the political issues will be resolved. "We're continuing to sign contracts" with DoD and the military, Garrison said. "We're continuing to negotiate as Bell-Boeing on the V-22 multi-year contract."