|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 September: IAI to build wings for Lockheed's F-35
Israel Aerospace Industries will receive a multi-year contract from Lockheed Martin to manufacture up to 900 wing pairs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter under a new industrial co-operation agreement.
The expected pact will follow the signature of a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) by Israel to purchase 20 F-35s for its air force.
1st September: F-35B delays lead to rephased flight-test schedule
The F-35 programme is likely to have a reshuffled flight-test schedule again as Lockheed Martin continues to struggle with the reliability of the short take-off and vertical landing variant.
It is not immediately clear if the possible "rephasing" of the flight-test schedule would result in a new overall delay for any of the three F-35 variants.
2nd September: L-3 division pushes for more F-35 work in Canada
L-3 MAS is lobbying the Canadian government to negotiate a greater role on the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme.
Concerned about the level of industrial participation on the Joint Strike Fighter, company president Sylvain Bédard pressed the case during a visit on 1 September by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to L-3's factory in Mirabel, Quebec.
8th September: DoD official shows fresh optimism on F-35 cost
A senior Department of Defense official says Lockheed Martin is now on track to reduce the cost of each F-35 by as much as 6.25%, only four months after the programme confirmed a major cost breach.
The remarks by Frank Kendall, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, represent a massive turnaround by the DoD's leadership since reporting a Nunn-McCurdy cost overrun in June and restructuring the programme last February.
Instead, Kendall, addressing the Common Defense (ComDef) 2010 conference on 8 September, cited the F-35 as a key example of what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates means about making the defence industry produce more with less.
17th September: MBDA reveals clipped-fin Meteor for F-35
MBDA has revealed a slightly modified Meteor that would allow four of the beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles to be stored inside the Lockheed Martin F-35.
A miniature Meteor mock-up featuring four clipped fins appeared for the first time in the company's display at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington DC.
The missile's total fin area is reduced by roughly 20% compared with the original design, says Rob Thornley, MBDA sales and business development executive. The new shape allows the Meteors to squeeze into the space designed to house four Raytheon AIM-120C7 AMRAAMs.
17th September: Israeli cabinet approves $2.75b JSF deal
The Israeli cabinet has formally approved the purchase of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the nation's air force. The value of the deal will be around $2.75 billion.
The decision was made after a series of talks between US and Israeli officials. These focused on issues including the extent to which Israel will be allowed to instal its own electronic warfare equipment, and the level of industrial involvement that its defence industry will be granted in return for the order.
Sources suggest that the value of immediate offsets linked to the buy will total over $2 billion.
23rd September: Lockheed, US government strike deal on next F-35 order
The US government has reached an agreement with Lockheed Martin on the structure of a fixed-price contract worth more than $5 billion for up to 32 more F-35s.
The agreement is necessary before the Department of Defense signs a contract for the fourth lot of low-rate initial production, which orders F-35s projected for delivery after 2012.
The agreement ends a negotiating process that was extended by about four months to satisfy demands by the DoD for a fixed-price contract.
Lockheed previously delivered the Joint Strike Fighter under a "cost-plus" structure, allowing the contractor to be reimbursed for cost overruns.
28th September: F-35 alternate engine damaged after high-speed anomaly
General Electric/Rolls-Royce is investigating manufacturing and assembly data on a single F136 engine after it was damaged during a checkout test on 23 September.
The alternate engine for the Lockheed Martin F-35 was shut down "in a controlled manner" after an unknown anomaly at near maximum fan speed on the test stand damaged the front fan and compressor area, the company says.
29th September: Norway defers some F-35 orders by two years
Norway has pushed back orders for 16 of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters by two years to 2018, but reaffirmed its commitment as a "serious and credible partner" in the programme.
The Norwegian defence ministry announced on 25 September that it will buy four F-35s in 2016 to serve as trainers, but that the remaining aircraft planned for purchase in 2016 and 2017 will be postponed until 2018.
Oslo originally planned to order as many as 48 F-35s over the five-year period from 2016 to 2020.