President Barack Obama says congressional failure to renew the U.S. Export-Import Bank is an "absolute mistake," pledging that the White House will do everything in its power to win reauthorization. "I'm confident we can find a path to reauthorize Ex-Im," he said.
Business aviation analyst Frost & Sullivan is predicting a 13.8% increase in aircraft sales by 2020. "As the economy stabilizes, the operating efficiency of innovative designs will push sales and pilot the global business aircraft market to new heights," said Wayne Plucker, Frost & Sullivan's aerospace and defense director.
The Air Force has confirmed that it sent a self-destruct signal to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that exploded after takeoff Sunday. "During the launch, prior to the first stage shut-off, the Falcon 9 experienced an anomaly and catastrophic failure," said a statement from the Air Force. "Following the breakup of the Falcon 9 vehicle, 45th Space Wing Mission Flight Control Officers sent command destruct functions in accordance with Air Force policy and procedures to ensure public safety."
The Inspector General has found flaws in the Defense Department's logistics system resulting in an 80-year stockpile of V-22 Osprey parts worth $8.7 million. "Timely supply support to the warfighter is of paramount interest to DLA, and efforts to measure the cost-efficiency of DLA's investment in inventory must be weighed against ongoing operational requirements," said the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation office.
The Navy and members of Congress are at odds over the affordability of ballistic missile defense systems aboard ships, as five aging Aegis cruisers pursue upgrades that don't include BMD options. "If they reduce by five ships the BMD capabilities that they have now, that is going to make it much more difficult for them to reach the goals that the Navy has laid forth," said Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has sidelined the nominations of top Defense Department civilians, even as the panel moves forward with hearings for military posts. Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain said the progress of the civilian nominations depend whether President Barack Obama decides to veto the defense authorization bill.
South Korea has selected Airbus to supply four A330 MRTT refueling tankers in a $1.3 billion deal. This will be the first use of these mid-air refueling aircraft by South Korea.
The U.S. Air Force is considering Lockheed Martin's new Legion Pod infrared search-and-track system as the service looks for upgrades to its aging fleet of fighter jets. "Legion Pod was integrated on to the F-16 without making any hardware or software changes to the aircraft," said Lockheed in astatement. "Additional flight tests on the F-16 and F-15C will continue throughout the year."
Russia's navy is planning to upgrade its fleet of anti-submarine aircraft, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The fleet of Ilyushin-38 aircraft will receive a new tracking and search system dubbed Novella-P-38. The upgrades are part of a planned $400 billion investment in Russia's military capabilities.
NASA plans to test the Prandtl-m aircraft at high altitude later this year as it considers the aircraft for a future mission to Mars. "The Prandtl-m could overfly some of the proposed landing sites for a future astronaut mission and send back to Earth very detailed high-resolution photographic map images that could tell scientists about the suitability of those landing sites," said NASA's Al Bowers.