The F-35 review is being done to "significantly" reduce costs, which have been dropping for several years now. A release from Mattis said the review, among other things, would compares the F-35C and F/A-18E/F operational capabilities and assess the extent the Boeing jet improvements can be made in order to provide competitive, cost effective, fighter aircraft alternative.
This is of high interest to our region because Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., has played and continues to play a big role in the development of the program. Elgin is home to the F-35 integrated training center, as well as reprogramming labs.
We'll have to keep an eye on this one for quite some time. Best hope is the cost comes down even more.
Meanwhile, Mississippi got some bad news this week on another aircraft program. Raytheon and Leonardo will no longer jointly pursue the U.S. Air Force's T-X trainer competition.
The two companies had planned to offer the T-100, based on the Leonardo M-346. Last year Raytheon had announced that the plane would be assembled in Meridian near the airport.
The withdrawal narrows the field of competitors to Boeing with Saab, Lockheed Martin and Korean Aerospace, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems; and Sierra Nevada and TAI. The Air Force last month released a request for proposals. (Post)
Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a modification to exercise the option on a previously awarded contract for Small Diameter Bomb (SDB II). The contractor will provide, among other things, low-rate initial production for 312 SDB II Lot 3 munitions. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2019. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … General Dynamics - Ordnance and Tactical Systems Inc., Lincoln, Neb., was awarded an $8 million contract for production of the BLU-129/B warhead case assemblies. Work will be performed at Lincoln and is expected to be complete by Jan. 27, 2019. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … PAE Applied Technologies LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $9.2 million modification to exercise an option on a previously awarded contract for base operations support services. Work will be performed at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2017. The 81st Contracting Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, is the contracting activity. … BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Md., was awarded a $24.4 million modification to a previously awarded contract for about 568,551 hours of logistics services and incidental materials in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Special Communications Mission Solutions Division to support command, control, communications, computers and intelligence projects. One of the work locations that will do 3 percent of the work is Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.