Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Dave Melcher points out that the Trump administration's proposed $603 billion defense budget is not enough to rebuild the US military after years of wars and sequestration. "At its current level of funding, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will neither be able to afford the modernization programs necessary to ensure our national security into the future, nor address readiness levels dictated by its current operational tempo," he writes.
The Defense Department is expected to approve initial production of Lockheed Martin's King Stallion helicopter for the Marine Corps. The total value of the program over time is $29 billion.
Japan and the UK will coordinate fighter aircraft development efforts under a new information exchange agreement. Japan will be free to work with other countries under the agreement, which is also seen as a potential precursor to a co-development deal.
Bombardier has completed a demonstration flight of its C Series aircraft from London to New York, carrying a test payload. The company also demonstrated steep-approach and short-field landing capabilities.
NASA is putting the pieces in place for the International Space Station to accept Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon space taxis. Astronauts worked outside the ISS to disconnect and relocate power and data cables for an ISS docking module.
Karl Hutter, president and CEO of Click Bond, points out that $30 billion in US export deals "are languishing until additional directors are appointed" to the US Export-Import Bank. Hutter cites Aerospace Industries Association figures showing $146 billion in US exports attributed to aerospace and defense in 2016.
The US government is saving $330 million through a new multiyear purchase contract with Boeing for 268 AH-64E Apache helicopters. The Army has signed a five-year, $3.4 billion acquisition agreement with Boeing, the first multiyear agreement for the E model.
Poland could buy F-35 fighter aircraft or the latest F-16s to modernize its air defense fleet. Poland is abandoning an earlier plan to purchase used F-16s, citing the cost of updating them.
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