Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis is voicing support for the F-35 as crucial to US security and says he supports a manned Northrop Grumman B-21. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the secretary of defense nominee called the F-35 "critical for our own air superiority in the future because of stealth characteristics and some of the electronics capability that's inherent in the airplane."
China and Russia have signaled their cooperation in creating countermeasures to the deployment of an anti-missile system in South Korea. The unspecified measures "will be aimed at safeguarding interests of China and Russia and the strategic balance in the region," according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.
SpiceJet and Boeing are close to finalizing an order for up to 100 737 MAX aircraft. A 90-aircraft deal is valued at $10 billion.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian says the company wants to engage the Trump administration on the issue of government support received by Gulf airlines. Delta, American Airlines and United say Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have benefited from $40 billion in government subsides, creating an unfair playing field for US carriers.
The US government has loosened restrictions on the export of remote sensing systems, though the industry says the new rules don't go far enough. Remy Nathan, Aerospace Industries Association vice president of international affairs, says US companies are being forced into a follower position by the restrictions. "To be market leaders, US companies must be able to offer commercial solutions for international sales of imaging satellites with apertures larger than 0.5 meters," he said.
Roscosmos attributed the launch failure of a Progress spacecraft to foreign particles in the Soyuz rocket engine, with "defective workmanship" playing a role.
The Senate has approved a bill clearing the way for retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to become secretary of defense should he be confirmed, and the House is working on a similar measure. The bill circumvents a ban on service members retired from the military less than seven years from becoming the Pentagon chief.
The Navy's move to increase its shipbuilding goal to 355 vessels could mean more production of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The Navy's latest fleet assessment plan increases the shipbuilding goal by 47 ships.
The Navy and Raytheon have successfully completed a pair of flight tests for the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile. "Tomahawk's tactics and procedures have evolved to support the new missions that are being assigned to the weapon," said Raytheon's Dave Adams.
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