Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

How President Trump Saved The Last Tank Plant In America (From Forbes) The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio is the last tank plant in America.  In fact, it’s the last such facility in the Western Hemisphere.  Nonetheless, the Army proposed shuttering the plant during the Obama administration, and the White [Read More...]
F-35 Fighter: Why Recompeting The Electronic Warfare System Could Backfire Bigtime (From Forbes) The prime contractor for the F-35 fighter’s airframe, Lockheed Martin, is implementing a range of measures aimed at reducing the life-cycle cost of the program. One such measure is to recompete key subsystems, with an eye to finding subcontractors that [Read More...]
Five Reasons The U.S. Air Force Should Be Buying F-35 Fighters Much Faster (From Forbes) The Air Force is not moving fast enough to buy its version of the tri-service F-35 fighter.  It only requested 48 of the planes in 2019, even though it needs to take delivery of at least 66 each year to [Read More...]
How Inflation Might Kill Modernization Of The U.S. Military (From Forbes) U.S. military planners are ready for just about anything. Anything, that is, except a fiscal crisis driven by rising interest rates. The federal government has accumulated so much debt that even a moderate rise in rates could drive the annual [Read More...]
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...]
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