Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

The Latest Delay On Boeing’s $44 Billion Air Force Tanker Program Isn’t As Bad As It Seems (From Forbes) Bloomberg News reported this week that there will be yet another delay in delivery of the first Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tankers to the Air Force.  After so many delays on the program, you’d think Boeing execs would be upset.  But [Read More...]
Army Approaches Its Biggest Aviation Decision In 60 Years: Whether To Buy Tiltrotors (From Forbes) The U.S. Army is planning to replace all of its Cold War helicopters with new rotorcraft through a program called Future Vertical Lift.  The first step in that multi-decade effort is to find an airframe that can take the place [Read More...]
L3-Harris Merger May Signal Pentagon Demand Is Approaching Peak (From Forbes) Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies announced this weekend that they will enter into a “merger of equals” creating the sixth biggest U.S. military contractor. The transaction appears to raise minimal antitrust concerns, but the timing suggests defense companies are beginning [Read More...]
Inspector General Attack On NASA Super-Rocket Marred By Mistakes, Omissions (From Forbes) NASA has embarked on an epic quest to build the biggest rocket ever constructed, with an eye towards one day sending astronauts to Mars. The space agency’s Inspector General says the effort is not going well due to poor performance [Read More...]
White House Report Warns “All Facets” Of U.S. Defense Industrial Base Are At Risk (From Forbes) The White House on Thursday rolled out a long-awaited assessment of the U.S. defense industrial base that painted an alarming picture of secular decline.  The assessment traces the sources of industrial decay not just to the mercantilist behavior of China, [Read More...]
Could Air Force Bargain Hunting In Weapons Competitions Backfire? (From Forbes) The Air Force seems to have gotten a good deal on its next-generation training system, awarding the program to Boeing for a price that is less than half of what the program was expected to cost.  It got a similar [Read More...]
Five Ways U.S. Nuclear Strategy Might Fail — Maybe Soon (From Forbes) U.S. nuclear strategy seeks to deter aggression by threatening attackers with massive retaliation.  It seems to work, but deterrence is a psychological state and we aren’t mind readers, so there are uncertainties.  Even if it is working as intended, there [Read More...]
Pentagon Plan To Slash Industry Payments Appears At Odds With Trump Strategy and Economic Philosophy (From Forbes) The Department of Defense is proposing a major change in the way in which military contractors are paid for the work they do. The change ostensibly would link payments more closely to performance, but it would also discourage risk taking, [Read More...]
“Mad Dog” Defanged: How A Missing Missile Defense Report Explains Mattis’ Impending Departure (From Forbes) During his first month in office, President Trump directed separate reviews of the nation’s offensive nuclear posture and ballistic missile defenses.  The offensive forces review was done on time, in January of this year.  The missile defense review never was [Read More...]
Why Does The U.S. Army Need Ten Years To Begin Fielding A New Recon Helicopter? (From Forbes) The U.S. Army retired its last Kiowa scout helicopter last year, nearly 50 years after Kiowa first joined the force.  But the Army didn’t have a dedicated armed reconnaissance helicopter to replace the venerable airframe, because three attempts to find [Read More...]
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