14 janvier 2022 | International, Aérospatial

Boom Supersonic wins USAF contract to accelerate Overture commercial airliner development - Skies Mag

The contract, valued at up to $60 million, will help fast-track critical design and development initiatives on Boom Supersonic's Overture aircraft.


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  • Amid The Financial Wreckage Of A&D, Space Rises Above

    17 août 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Amid The Financial Wreckage Of A&D, Space Rises Above

    Michael Bruno As public companies reported their latest quarterly results amid the recent financial carnage in the aerospace and defense sector, it was hard to find genuine optimism. With COVID-19 gutting the commercial aerospace manufacturing sector and maintenance, repair and overhaul segment, and expectations hardening around flat or worse defense spending, most corporate managers provided slimmed-down outlooks for the foreseeable future. But one segment stood out for its near-universal positivity: space. It may have almost taken an implosion of the airliner business and historic federal deficit spending against a pandemic to get there, but suddenly outer space looks like the best place to be in business. “Space continues to be an opportunity for companies to drive growth in a flat-to-down environment,” Jefferies analysts wrote in an Aug. 10 report. As the recent earnings season showed, numerous companies are being lifted by space business. “The primes are having such strong growth there,” Credit Suisse analyst Rob Spingarn noted in a July 31 teleconference. For instance, L3Harris Technologies sees space—both space-based and ground support—as its fastest-growing opportunity, with a combined $10 billion pipeline of long-term opportunities and several bid proposals awaiting responses that total around $1 billion in the near term. “We feel very encouraged by the space business as a whole,” said L3Harris Chairman and CEO Bill Brown. Several others below the marquee prime government contractor level are also benefiting, according to Jefferies analysts Sheila Kahyaoglu and Greg Konrad. “Kratos Defense and Security is benefiting from the need for low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites in real-time data processing, and Mercury Systems is getting pulled in, given an increased need for data processing power at the edge.” What is more, both Booz Allen Hamilton and Parsons indicate that space is even a target area for mergers and acquisitions. President Donald Trump’s administration’s spending and focus on space, from the new U.S. Space Force to a NASA mission to return Americans to the Moon in the coming years, certainly helps set the tone. Significantly, there is a commercial sector race to establish LEO-based communication and Earth observation services—albeit one driven by billionaires and their personal passions for a space legacy. A more subtle shift, though no less significant, is occurring down the value chain, where there is an emerging middle market for space services. Companies such as Parsons, Virgin Galactic and KBR have reengineered their companies and are making money by providing support services for the space effort—in ways that are not as sexy as SpaceX’s NASA crew transport mission but just as real when it comes to making a profit. “We had nice year-on-year growth in the space business, just under double-digit growth there,” KBR CEO and President Stuart Bradie said Aug. 6. The former Halliburton business, once publicly associated with military logistics support during the George W. Bush administration, now is the world’s only government-licensed provider training astronauts for commercial space missions. “Investors often overlook that KBR has transformed its portfolio since 2015 and still perceive the firm as an engineering and construction play, given its heritage as a unit of Halliburton,” Cowen analyst Gautum Khanna noted in June. But acquisitions of Wyle Labs, Honeywell Technology Solutions and Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies in 2016-18 “put KBR on the map as a noteworthy government services competitor.” Government services, especially space, now are responsible for 70% of the company’s annual revenue. Interestingly, the space market is expanding so fast that KBR itself may have competition for astronaut training. In June, NASA signed a Space Act Agreement with Virgin Galactic to develop a private orbital astronaut readiness program for space tourists. “As part of this, we will offer our existing space training infrastructure at Spaceport America and customized future Astronaut Readiness Program . . . allowing these private astronauts to become familiar with the environment in and en route to space such as G forces and zero G,” Virgin Chief Space Officer George Whitesides said Aug. 3. “This initiative has been largely driven by the considerable demand among our existing customer base to participate in orbital space flights.” There have also been plenty of space company setbacks in recent months, with OneWeb’s bankruptcy heading the list. But it should come as no surprise that business success in space is hard. Maybe what is surprising is that space is already proving lucrative for public investors, and the market looks set to grow. https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/space/amid-financial-wreckage-ad-space-rises-above

  • Pentagon proposes big cuts to US Navy destroyer construction, retiring 13 cruisers

    26 décembre 2019 | International, Naval

    Pentagon proposes big cuts to US Navy destroyer construction, retiring 13 cruisers

    By: David B. Larter  WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense has sent a plan to the White House that would cut the construction of more than 40 percent of its planed Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyers in in fiscal years 2021 through 2025. In total, the proposal would cut five of the 12 DDGs planned through the so-called future years defense program, or FYDP. In total, the plan would cut about $9.4 billion, or 8 percent, out of the total shipbuilding budget, according to a memo from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to the Defense Department obtained by Defense News. The memo also outlined plans to accelerate the decommissioning cruisers, cutting the total number of Ticonderoga-class cruisers in the fleet down to nine by 2025, from a planned 13 in last year’s budget. The Pentagon’s plan would actually shrink the size of the fleet from today’s fleet of 293 ships to 287 ships, the memo said, which stands in contrast to the Navy’s goal of 355 ships. The 355 ship goal was also made national policy in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The memo comes on the heels of a wave of rhetoric from the Navy and the highest levels of the Trump Administration that the goal remains 350-plus ships, and the memo directs the Pentagon to submit a “resource-informed” plan to get to 355 ships, though its unclear how that direction might affect the Navy's calculus with regards to destroyer construction. The document gives the Navy a degree of wiggle-room to try and redefine what counts as a ship. “OMB directs DOD to submit a resource-informed plan to achieve a 355-ship combined fleet, including manned and unmanned ships, by 2030,” the memo reads. “In addition to a programmatic plan through the FYDP and projected ship counts through 2030, DOD shall submit a legislative proposal to redefine a battleforce ship to include unmanned ships, complete with clearly defined capability and performance thresholds to define a ship’s inclusion in the overall battleforce ship count.” Destroyers are built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine and by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Each destroyer costs an average of $1.82 billion based on the Navy’s 2020 budget submission, according to the Congressional Research Service. A Trump Administration official who spoke on background said the Navy's proposed plan to shrink the fleet is being driven primary from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and that OMB is strongly behind the President's goal of 355 ship. “OMB strongly supports 355 [ships] and is working with the Navy on it,” the official said. “OSD seems to be the most opposed to it.” A Navy spokesman declined to comment on the contents of the memo, saying it was related to a budget still in development and was “pre-decisional.” The military has a policy of refusing to comment on budget matters before they've been submitted to congress. The fate of the cruisers has been a nearly annual fight on Capitol Hill, as the Navy has tried desperately to divest themselves of the troublesome class, though this year's proposed cancellation of six cruiser modernization plans did not make a stir on the Hill. The cruisers themselves are the largest surface combatants in the Navy’s inventory but have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Cruisers have 26 more vertical launch system, or VLS, cells per hull than their Arleigh Burke Flight IIA destroyer counterparts, and 32 more than the Flight I Burkes. Cruisers act as the lead air defense ship in a carrier strike group but as they have aged, the fleet has managed everything from cracking hulls to aging pipes and mechanical systems. The ships’ SPY-1 radars have also been difficult to maintain, as components age and need constant attention from technicians. Last year, the Navy proposed canceling the modernization of Bunker Hill, Mobile Bay, Antietam, Leyte Gulf, San Jacinto and Lake Champlain in 2021 and 2022. The new proposal would accelerate the decommissioning of the Monterey. Vella Gulf and Port Royal to 2022, which would cut between three and seven years off each of their planned lives. The plan would also advance the decommissioning of the Shiloh to 2024, three years earlier that previously planned. The service's past efforts to shed the cruisers to save money repeatedly drew the ire of former House Armed Services Committee sea power subcommittee Chairman Randy Forbes, R-Va., who didn’t trust the Navy to keep the ships in service and therefore wrote clear language into several National Defense Authorization Act bills prohibiting the move. The Navy ultimately agreed to the so-called 2-4-6 plan in 2015, which allowed the service to lay up to two cruisers a year, for no more than four years and allow no more than six of the ships to undergo modernization at any one time. 'Making a Case' The 2030 deadline for 355 ships as mentioned in the OMB memo was first laid out earlier this month by acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly in a speech at USNI’s Defense Forum. “[Three hundred and fifty-five ships] is stated as national policy,” Modly told an audience on Dec. 5. “It was also the president’s goal during the election. We have a goal of 355, we don’t have a plan for 355. We need to have a plan, and if it’s not 355, what’s it going to be and what’s it going to look like? “We ought to be lobbying for that and making a case for it and arguing in the halls of the Pentagon for a bigger share of the budget if that’s what is required,” The speech was followed by the President's National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien at the Reagan National Defense Forum saying that Trump was serious when he committed to a 350-ship Navy. “When President Trump says a 350-ship Navy, he means a 350-ship Navy, and not decades from now,” O’Brien said. Bryan McGrath, a retired destroyer captain and analyst with the defense consultancy The Ferrybridge Group, said the plan to reduce the size of the fleet is a sign that the Defense Department isn't willing to put the resources required toward growing the fleet. “If what you are reporting is true, this is a sign of the tension between the grand desires for a much larger fleet and the modest resources being applied to the problem,” McGrath said. “There simply is no way to grow the fleet as it is currently architected while maintaining the current fleet at a high state of readiness with the given resources." McGrath said if 355 is still the goal, the Pentagon has to either dramatically restructure the fleet to switch out large surface combatants such as cruisers and destroyers with smaller, less expensive ships, or it has to change what’s counted as a ship – both moves that have been signaled by the Navy in recent years. “This is why it's so hard to grow a Navy,” McGrath said. “You have to decide it's a national priority, you have to devote a lot of resources and you have to do it over a period of years. None of that has happened.” Dan Gouré , an analyst with the Arlington-based think tank The Lexington Institute and former Bush Administration Pentagon official, said trading existing force structure for unproven technologies such as unmanned ships that may pan out down the road is a classic Pentagon trap that rarely pans out. “It sends a bit of a chill up my spine to hear that the Navy may be considering cutting a bird in the hand for a theoretical eagle down the road,” Goure said. “That almost never works. I’ve been doing this long enough, 40 years of this, tell me when that’s ever really worked.” https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/12/24/pentagon-proposes-big-cuts-to-us-navy-destroyer-construction-retiring-13-cruisers/

  • Boeing Receives $2.4 Billion P-8A Poseidon Contract From U.S. Navy

    30 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Boeing Receives $2.4 Billion P-8A Poseidon Contract From U.S. Navy

    ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 28, 2019 — The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $2.4 billion production contract for the next 19 P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The contract includes 10 aircraft to add to the current inventory of P-8As in the U.S. Navy fleet, all five jets currently under contract for Norway and the four aircraft remaining for the existing United Kingdom contract, bringing the total United Kingdom acquisition to nine aircraft. The United Kingdom and Norway are acquiring the Boeing aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales process and will receive a variant designed and produced for the U.S. Navy called the P-8A Poseidon. The United Kingdom will receive their first aircraft in 2019 and Norway will begin receiving aircraft in 2021. The P-8 is a long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A military derivative of the Boeing Commercial Next-Generation 737 airplane, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space. The P-8 is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons – two weapons stations on each wing – and can carry 129 sonobuoys. The aircraft is also fitted with an in-flight refueling system. With more than 180,000 flight hours to date, P-8 variants, the P-8A Poseidon and the P-8I, patrol the globe performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; humanitarian; and search and rescue missions. For more information on Defense, Space & Security, visit www.boeing.com. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense and @BoeingSpace. # # # Contact: Nanette Feeney Defense, Space & Security Mobile: +1 206-304-2002 nanette.m.feeney@boeing.com https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2018-01-28-Boeing-Receives-2-4-Billion-P-8A-Poseidon-Contract-From-U-S-Navy

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