Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, are telling the Defense Department to back off of a proposal that would reduce the percentage of payment available to businesses early in a contract cycle. "We should not make it harder to do business with the Department of Defense than it is to do business with other parts of government," Thornberry said. The Aerospace Industries Association and other leading trade groups are publicly objecting to the proposal.
Northrop Grumman plans to be a dominant player in the emerging market for anti-hypersonic weapons systems.
The F-35B reportedly may conduct airstrikes over Afghanistan soon in the fighter jet's first combat mission. The F-35 is supporting the US Marine Corps onboard the USS Essex, an amphibious assault ship.
The US Air Force is utilizing data analytics to optimize maintenance programs for the C-5 Super Galaxy cargo aircraft and B-1B Lancer combat aircraft. "Given the aging fleet situation that we have, we probably need to be using data better to take care of it -- which is a drive toward what most everyone right now is saying is the right way to manage fleet sustainment," said Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
Spirit Airlines says it might supplement its all-Airbus fleet with Boeing aircraft. "When I was CEO of AirTran, we had two fleet types, and we had the lowest cost of anybody in North America," said Spirit CEO Robert Fornaro.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry believes future defense budgets may be more stable and foreseeable as Congress delivers defense spending legislation in time for the 2019 fiscal year. "I think the more likely outcome is a modest, roughly the percentage of inflation increase," he said about the 2020 fiscal year appropriations budget.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry believes funding for the Defense Department will be finalized in time for the start of the 2019 budget cycle, which begins on Oct. 1. President Donald Trump has "been very consistent about rebuilding the military," so it's not likely he will veto the defense spending bill, Thornberry said.
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