Long Range Strike-Bomber RFP Coming Next Fall
- US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced that an RFP for the USA’s next strategic bomber will be released “probably in the fall.” Lockheed Martin and Boeing have publicly announced their team twice, in January 2008 then with an October 2013 remarriage, while Northrop Grumman made its interest known in a more subdued way. Not much else is known, apart from the fact it’s one of the service’s top acquisition priorities, with fielding tentatively starting in about a decade.
HII Grows, Protests
- Huntington Ingalls Industries announced sales up 1.7% to $6.8B for 2013. They had a strong 1.4 book-to-bill ratio, and total backlog grew 16% to $18B.
- HII filed a GAO protest objecting to the US Coast Guard’s award to competitors of 3 design contracts for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program.
Another Indian Sub Catches Fire
- India’s Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi resigned after another deadly fire on a submarine. Two officers died aboard INS Sindhuratna, following an explosion last August that killed 18 in INS Sindhurakshak.
US-UK SciTech Coop
- The US and UK defense departments signed a scientific collaboration agreement covering cyber, space, and energy use. This should translate into joint projects between DARPA and DSTL.
- Ukraine’s parliament appointed Arseniy Yatseniuk [official site in Ukrainian] as prime minister until the May 25 elections, among other executive appointees who were reportedly warily received by the Maidan crowd, which is just one of the serious challenges the new government is facing. One of Yatseniuk’s first claims was that 37 billion dollars are missing from state coffers (video of parliamentary address, in Ukrainian). Yatseniuk was the favorite of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland during her infamous “fuck the EU” phone call leaked by Russia earlier this month.
- Kyiv Post: “Yanukovych is in Russia; overthrown Ukraine president vows to ‘fight to the end;’ Crimean violence linked to his attempt to regain power with Kremlin backing.” According to Le Monde [in French] Putin’s spokeman denies that the Kremlin knows Yanukovych’s whereabouts.
Autonomous VTOL Concept
- Today’s video shows Lockheed Martin’s take on DARPA’s ARES modular cargo UAS: