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PALMDALE, Calif.—The Pentagon is poised to show off its first new bomber in more than 30 years, lifting the veil on the secret long-range jet intended as a central element in Washington’s effort to keep China in check. Defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. on Friday will provide a glimpse of one of the new B-21 Raider jets at a government facility north of Los Angeles, where its most sensitive military projects are developed and built, ahead of an expected first flight next year.
U.S. Unwraps B-21 Bomber, Designed to Deter China
  + stars: | 2022-12-02 | by ( Doug Cameron | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
PALMDALE, Calif.—The Pentagon is poised to show off its first new bomber in more than 30 years, lifting the veil on the secret long-range jet intended as a central element in Washington’s effort to keep China in check. Defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. on Friday will provide a glimpse of one of the new B-21 Raider jets at a government facility north of Los Angeles, where its most sensitive military projects are developed and built, ahead of an expected first flight next year.
The Pentagon’s new Office of Strategic Capital will employ loans, guarantees and other financial tools not typically used by the military. The Pentagon has established a new unit to lure private funding for technology deemed critical to national security, citing concern over China’s military advances. On Thursday, the Defense Department announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Capital, which will seek to employ loans, guarantees and other financial tools not typically used by the U.S. military, which relies mainly on contracts and grants.
WASHINGTON—U.S. government and congressional officials fear the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, further delaying efforts to arm the island as tensions with China escalate. The U.S. has pumped billions of dollars of weapons into Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February, taxing the capacity of the government and defense industry to keep up with a sudden demand to arm Kyiv in a conflict that isn’t expected to end soon. The flow of weapons to Ukraine is now running up against the longer-term demands of a U.S. strategy to arm Taiwan to help it defend itself against a possible invasion by China, according to congressional and government officials familiar with the matter.
Ukraine War Spurs Arms Makers to Boost Production
  + stars: | 2022-11-24 | by ( Benjamin Katz | Doug Cameron | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Rheinmetall, one of Europe’s biggest weapons and munitions makers, displayed its wares at an exhibition in Paris earlier this year. The world’s biggest arms makers are scaling up production of rocket launchers, tanks and ammunition as the industry shifts to meet what executives expect to be sustained demand triggered by the war in Ukraine. The ramp-up is playing out in large measure in Europe, where a handful of long-established arms makers have grown accustomed to more modest, peacetime demand for their wares and are now trying to increase capacity to meet an expected crush of orders. Shares of many of these lesser-known international arms players, including Germany’s Rheinmetall AG and Sweden’s Saab AB, have soared on hopes of big orders.
The U.S. government is looking to buy a secondhand icebreaker so the Coast Guard can boost its presence around Alaska. The U.S. government is looking to buy an icebreaker from a private energy services company to bolster its presence in the waters around Alaska, according to congressional aides. The plan is for the U.S. Coast Guard to acquire the Aiviq icebreaker from Edison Chouest Offshore, the aides said. Congress is close to approving funding to buy and outfit the used ship, which is estimated at $125 million to $150 million, they added.
Boeing Co. said on Thursday that it was replacing the head of its space business as part of a broader restructuring aimed at reversing losses at its defense unit. Kay Sears will take over a new space, intelligence and weapons-systems operation as part of defense chief Ted Colbert ‘s consolidation of the military business into four units, from eight at present, with immediate effect. Jim Chilton will continue to run the space and launch business until February.
Boeing Co. executives on Wednesday said they planned to restore the plane maker’s financial strength over the next three years, after a string of losses in the wake of two 737 MAX crashes and other problems. Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West said the company expects to generate about $100 billion in annual sales by 2025 or the next year, a level it hasn’t reported since 2018. The first of two MAX crashes occurred late that year, leading to the biggest crisis in the company’s history.
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SpaceX launched its largest rocket for the first time in three years, carrying toward orbit a classified payload for the U.S. Space Force. The Falcon Heavy rocket, which SpaceX has said is the world’s largest operational space launch vehicle, lifted off Tuesday from a fog-shrouded Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission is the 50th launch this year by Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name for the company led by founder Elon Musk.
There is an $8 billion gap between what the Pentagon has pledged to send to support Ukraine and its allies, and the contracts awarded to defense companies. Executives at military contractors said the combination of supply chain hurdles, labor shortages and Pentagon bureaucracy means billions of dollars in contracts won’t start to benefit their financial results until late next year and into 2024 and beyond.
Boeing said its losses deepened in the third quarter as fresh problems with its defense business added to supply-chain and regulatory woes in its commercial jet arm. The Arlington, Va., aerospace giant reported a loss of $3.3 billion, compared with a $132 million deficit in the third quarter last year. Its results were weighed by $2.8 billion in charges related to programs including its troubled military refueling tanker and Air Force One replacement jets. Revenue rose 4% from a year ago to $16 billion.
Boeing said its losses deepened in the third quarter as fresh problems with its defense business added to supply chain and regulatory woes in its commercial jet arm. The Arlington, Va., aerospace giant reported a loss of $3.3 billion, compared with a loss of $132 million in the third quarter last year. Its results were weighed by $2.8 billion in charges related to programs including its troubled military refueling tanker and Air Force One replacement jets. Revenue rose 4% from a year ago to $16 billion.
Amazon to Use Airbus Cargo Planes for First Time
  + stars: | 2022-10-21 | by ( Doug Cameron | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Amazon.com . Inc. said it is hiring Hawaiian Air lines to fly its packages on 10 rented Airbus SE jets around the U.S., reducing its reliance on Boeing planes. The e-commerce giant has a fleet of more than 110 aircraft, mainly Boeing 767s that used to carry passengers but now move goods, and outsources the flying to other airlines.
Lockheed Martin Constrained by Supply Chain
  + stars: | 2022-10-18 | by ( Doug Cameron | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Demand for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 combat jets increased in the wake of Ukraine-driven tensions but it could take years for that interest to turn into orders and sales. Lockheed Martin said it is still grappling with parts and labor shortages, denting its hopes of increased sales next year and taking advantage of rising demand for its military equipment. The world’s largest defense company by revenue said it now expects sales to remain flat next year compared with 2022 as it awaits more deals driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s military expansion.
Lockheed Martin Charts Return to Growth
  + stars: | 2022-10-18 | by ( Doug Cameron | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Lockheed Martin said it would return to sales growth in 2024 after ironing out supply-chain challenges and turning rising demand for its military equipment into orders. The world’s largest defense company by revenue said it now expects sales to remain flat next year compared with 2022 as it awaits more deals driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s military expansion.
The U.S. will rely on existing B-52 jets, like this one landing at England’s RAF Fairford station, until the made-over versions debut. The U.S. is pushing to upgrade its 60-year-old fleet of strategic bombers to keep them flying into the second half of the 21st century in an effort to deter potential adversaries such as China and Russia. Air Force officials and military experts have said the refresh of the B-52 bomber—a long-range jet built by Boeing that can carry large loads of conventional and nuclear weapons—is crucial to providing an effective deterrent. The B-52 revamp could cost $11.8 billion, according to Pentagon budget documents in the spring.
BRUSSELS—NATO member states are working on ways to align their weapons purchases to better prepare for future conflicts, as they gear up for a major increase in military spending to replace the huge amounts of materiel sent to Ukraine and shore up their potential defenses against Russian aggression. By improving purchasing cooperation, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also hopes to make a leap in how its members would together fight a future conflict, including buying weapons systems that are easily interchangeable, plentiful and are more effective on the battlefield.
The discovery of China-produced metal alloys in new F-35 combat jets has prompted renewed Pentagon scrutiny of the defense-industry supply chain. The Pentagon is intensifying efforts to decouple U.S. defense companies’ sprawling global supply chain from China, executives and department officials said. The Defense Department said it has started using artificial intelligence to improve the way it analyzes whether aircraft parts, electronics and raw materials used by U.S. military contractors originate in China and other potential adversaries.
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