|Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
Articles taken from Flight International Magazine.
1st November: Lockheed Martin eyes common architecture for F-35, F-22
Lockheed Martin is looking at revamping several of the F-22's most critical systems with hardware from the F-35.
The initiative would create a common architecture that links upgrades of the radar, electronic warfare suite and communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system to both aircraft.
3rd November: Lockheed's F-35 faces second restructuring this year
Facing a new round of cost overruns and schedule delays, the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme will finish the final two months of 2010 in much the same way as it opened the year.
One more year of development and an extra $5 billion may be added on top of previous extensions, according to the preliminary findings of a major F-35 review leaked by the Center for Defense Information (CDI), a well-connected think-tank.
12th November: F-35 cuts 'could slash US budget': report
The US government could save about $58 billion by slashing four major aerospace and defence accounts, a presidential commission advises in a draft proposal released on 10 November.
15th November: F-35B flies with Block 1.0 software
Lockheed Martin has flown an F-35 flight test aircraft with the third of five major blocks of software for the first time. The advance represents a key step, as the programme has struggled to deliver an estimated 11.6 million lines of code demanded by fusing the aircraft's advanced sensors and avionics.
22nd November: Latest deal for 31 F-35s shows slight price decline
Lockheed Martin has finalised a nearly $3.5 billion contract to deliver 31 more F-35s at a slightly lower price than last year.
The contract award, announced late on 19 November, is a key boost for Lockheed's F-35 production programme as top Department of Defense officials are scheduled to meet on 22 November to review possible new delays and cost overruns on the development side.
The $3.5 billion award is the third contract Lockheed has received as part of the fourth lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP-4), which will be delivered in fiscal year 2013.
22nd November: Fatigue cracks raise questions about key decision in F-35 redesign
Lockheed Martin has discovered fatigue cracks on an aluminium bulkhead inside a ground test aircraft for the short take-off and landing F-35B variant after 1,500h of durability testing.
25th November: F-35 production cost fall highlights pressures facing Lockheed
With the development phase of the Lockheed Martin F-35 under close scrutiny by US Department of Defense officials, a long-awaited contract award shows that production costs are falling, while the risks are shifting from the government to the contractor.
A $3.5 billion contract awarded on 19 November completes the orders of 30 F-35s from the USA and one from the UK in the fourth annual lot of low-rate initial production, or LRIP-4. Two other deals awarded earlier for LRIP-4 aircraft raise their total cost to $4.6 billion, or about $148 million each.