General Atomics CEO Linden Blue believes US restrictions on drone sales to allies has helped China build its drone export base. "They are going to learn how to provision spare parts, they are going to learn what kind of maintenance is really necessary, they're going to learn how to integrate the UAVs into those local militaries' other assets and after a few years they will become an inextricable part of those countries' militaries," he said.
The $1.25 billion sale of a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to Romania has won State Department approval. Lockheed Martin will be the prime contractor for the sale, which includes 54 launchers and 81 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.
Raytheon has delivered 4,000 Tomahawk Block IV missiles to the Navy as the service prepares for upgrades to its oldest Block IV long-range strike missiles. "When a country sees a cruiser or destroyer sitting off its coast, one of the primary reasons they are concerned because they know about the capabilities the Tomahawk brings," said Navy Capt. Mark Johnson.
The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engine has been awarded its complete flight certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency. The engine will power Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jets.
Orbital ATK is making the final preparations for this week's Minotaur rocket launch from Florida. The rocket will carry a surveillance satellite for the Air Force.
Major defense contractors such as General Dynamics and Science Applications International are dealing with program delays due to a high number of vacancies within the Defense Department and interim managers who won't spearhead policy changes. "Without the political appointee in position to drive reform, it just doesn't happen," said Dan Stohr, Aerospace Industries Association spokesman.
Lockheed Martin is exploring new domains for its comprehensive set of purpose-built missiles, including the potential for taking its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement beyond land-based deployments. "When you start mixing and matching, can you find other areas where these existing systems can come to bear, and we are finding, yes, the answer is yes, they can," said Lockheed's Tim Cahill.
General Atomics is close to landing a major international customer for its Avenger drone. The company is in discussions with the unnamed buyer for a potential 90-drone order, said President David Alexander.
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