* The Pentagon is codifying how and when defense contractors must report data breaches.
* Lockheed is reportedly working on a U2 replacement. To be optionally manned, which is less apt to offend either pilot officers or policy wonks. A new U2 could well see improvement in either stealth capabilities or operation costs, but not likely both. Since the new effort comes from the Skunkworks shop, stealth is almost certainly the objective.
* Textron’s loss of the Sikorsky deal has been interpreted by Wall Street as a major setback now in the context of poor performance from its Bell Helicopters unit. The unit’s reliance on the V-22 Osprey is not seen as much of a future-facing asset by the street.
* It should go without saying that yesterday’s Oshkosh award of the JLTV program may well be contested. The Army has yet to debrief Lockheed or AM General, a key step in the process toward a proper GAO protest.
* The Pentagon threw cold water on the incoming Joint Chiefs chair’s written testimony that seemed to indicate that the Pentagon was reviewing whether 2,443 was the right number for F-35 procurement.
* Russia’s “fifth generation” Sukhoi PAK FA stealth fighter is to get the X-58USHK missile, which will reportedly reach mach 3.5. But the critical advantage the new combo would bring was expressed in the a Tass sub-headline: “The missile will be placed inside the fighter’s fuselage.” Thus the PAK FA – also called the T-50 – will remain stealthy, where the F-35’s weapons bay has grown even smaller on the new variants and most weapons will have to be mounted externally.
* Iran is trying to push Russia to deliver at least a few of the S-300 anti air systems, holding out the offer that it will vacate its suit against the Russians if they make a first delivery. Russia has employed the ability to withhold the S-300 from Iran – or not – as a form of leverage with western countries for a surprising number of years.
* Austal is enjoying the start of the sweet spot of its $3.5 LCS contract, showing record profits and anticipating additional efficiencies as it starts to knock out the remaining 9 LCS ships.
* The PAK FA / T-50 in all its vector-thrusted maneuverability…