Sikorsky On the Block | Turkish F-4 Crashes Lead to Mothballing | Army Frustrated by Base Closing Fetters
- Sikorsky, only last week speaking about divesting itself of one if its small helicopter brands, found itself on the block on Wednesday, as the United Technologies board of directors chummed the market by announcing publicly that it was looking for “strategic alternatives.” Because the Pentagon would be unlikely to allow further consolidation among major U.S. helicopter producers, a foreign buyer may be more likely in the case of a sale.
- The Army is spending about half a billion of dollars a year on empty buildings, as troops are cut, but Congress limits its ability to close bases. This was brought home with congressional testimony yesterday by Army Secretary John McHugh and Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff. Both officials told the Senate Appropriations Committee that with sequestration, every base would face scattered cuts, causing inefficiencies such as the empty build maintenance costs.
- At that same hearing, the Army brass made another go at convincing Congress that its Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) was a smart redeployment of resources. Savings estimated: $12 billion.
- Former carrier pilot Sen. John McCain told Navy officials that the new Ford class of carriers is too expensive, coming in between $11 and $13 billion per copy. The first is being tested now before being delivered to the Navy. The second (JFK) and third (Enterprise) are in various states of construction. The Enterprise will be the ninth ship to take on the name. The eighth, CVN-65, was a carrier McCain served on in the 1960s, flying A-1 Skyraiders in a ground support role.
- BAE won $383 million of design work for the finalization of the successor to the U.K.’s Vanguard class submarines.
- Today is the last day for F-4s to fly over Turkey. After a series of accidents, the country is decommissioning the last of its F-4 variants (RF-4Es).
- The MiG Corporation said that the MiG-31 would continue to be a key heavy fighter-interceptor for Russia until 2026. The fighter first entered service in 1981 when Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes” topped the charts and some of Jimmy Carter’s furniture was still in the White House. Production ended in 1994. MiG is working on a replacement.
- Pakistan test fired a nuclear-capable Shaheen III missile into the Arabian Sea. The missile is reported to have a 1,700 mile range.
- Libya, already the recipient of three MIg-21MF fighters from Egypt, is getting two more , as it fights common militant islamist enemy groups.
- How to build a $13 billion super-carrier in less than four minutes…