Trade groups are calling for action from Congress to address the massive security clearance backlog. "While there is no one action that will immediately reduce the backlog while maintaining the integrity of the process there are concrete actions that Congress can take that will begin to address deficiencies and risks," states a letter signed by the Aerospace Industries Association and other groups.
President Donald Trump has signed a new arms transfer policy with the goal of streamlining sales to US allies. "It is absolutely essential for our government and our industry to get to the right answers on defense trade with our allies sooner so that we can continue to 'outpartner' our adversaries," Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Eric Fanning said.
The Air Force is quietly advancing its Air Superiority 2030 plan and developing a future fighter jet under the Penetrating Counter Air program. The Air Force has requested $504 million to develop future "air dominance" capabilities, and funding could reach $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2020.
Lockheed Martin has agreed to study integration with the Rafael Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective missile guidance systems. "SPICE is a leading air-to-surface weapon system offering US and international air forces operating Lockheed Martin's platforms, as well as strategic bomber aircraft, an important complement to their existing operational capabilities," said Rafael's Yuval Miller.
The State Department is in negotiations with Turkey to enable the sale of a Raytheon Patriot missile defense system in a bid to keep Turkey from buying Russia's S-400 system.
Aircraft-makers tallied $43.6 billion in orders to kick off the Farnborough Airshow, including deals worth $8.8 billion each for Boeing and Airbus. Airbus is selling 80 A320neos to an undisclosed leasing firm, and Boeing will provide Jet Airways with 75 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Boeing and Airbus are publicly calling for a solution to international tensions, stating that a global trade war would only harm aerospace. "Our aerospace business thrives on free and open global trade, and we're hopeful we're going to find solutions as alternatives to some of the tariff discussions that have been going on," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said.
CEOs from Boeing and Embraer touted the benefits of their proposed commercial joint venture at the Farnborough Airshow. "Boeing has had many defining points in our 100-year history. I think this is another one of those historic moments in Boeing's long history in aerospace," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said.
The UK Space Agency has tapped Lockheed Martin to develop the Small Launch Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle, to be manufactured by Moog, with capacity for a payload of six cubesats. Lockheed and Orbex are planning launches from a spaceport being built in Scotland.