In the aerospace world, the West is definitely looking east these days. Western manufacturers see Asia and eastern Europe as important emerging markets and as sources of low-cost production capacity. But some parts of the West are trying to persuade other Westerners that they don’t have to look quite so far east for the value and opportunity they crave.
To prioritize and promote unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the United Kingdom, the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVS) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see resources focused on accelerating the implementation of UAV systems and making UK industry globally competitive.
Norway has added another €12.5 million in funding to its €23.2 million Eurofighter industrial agreement, which provides local defense companies with access and high-technology work connected with the four-nation fighter jet. The Eurofighter consortium is wooing the Norwegian air force for an order, as an F-16 replacement. Beneficiaries of the agreement include radar house Ericsson and software company EPM Technology.
A big part of making the JSF affordable is the production plan. Managers from BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman discussed here Monday how they have adopted ‘lean manufacturing’ processes and philosophies from the automotive industry. With the production rate planned to reach one per working day (e.g., about 260 per year) in 2012, there is plenty of scope for adopting the techniques of mass production.
For Titan Corp., the biggest fine imposed by the U.S. Justice Department since the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977 must seem like a pittance compared with the less obvious losses it suffered as a result of its malfeasance.
When Minden Air contacted BAE Systems’ regional aircraft division to ask about leasing a 146 jetliner to use as a water-bomber, it came as something of a surprise to director Mark Taylor. “When they explained the characteristics they were looking for, we began to see its potential,” he told Aviation International News.
European industry officials hope that relationships with regulators and other agencies will improve following recent consolidation of representative trade lobby groups. The AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), formally established earlier this year to promote and support the sector’s competitive development, already has identified several major topics for action.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is about to oversee tests of antimissile airliner protection equipment on board an American Airlines Boeing 767. By year-end, three aircraft are to be used for testing prototype equipment under development by Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as officials seek to resolve whether the systems can be sufficiently effective and affordable for mass deployment on civil airliners.
EDO Corp. is headquartered in New York and has grown by acquisition into a significant defense supplier. It now employs 2,700 people. Revenues last year totaled $461 million. As well as weapons release equipment, the company’s product range includes rugged electronics for defense applications, composite structures, electronic warfare systems, antennas and communications/network systems.
Last month Lockheed Martin chose Smiths Aerospace and Eaton Aerospace to participate in testing the F-35 JSF program’s approach to performance-based logistics (PBL) during the first phase of low-rate initial production of the multi-role stealth aircraft. The U.S. Department of Defense selected the F-35 as a candidate pilot program in 2004 to test revised contracting, budgeting and financing processes for PBL agreements.