The Pentagon reached a $1.4 billion agreement with Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney for 66 F135 engines, the power plant of the F-35 joint strike fighter, under the ninth low rate initial production (“LRIP”) lot. The breakdown consists of 53 conventional takeoff and landing engines, used in the F-35A and F-35C models, and 13 short takeoff and vertical landing models used for the F-35B.
The aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (“MRO”) industry converged in Dallas, TX this week for Aviation Week’s MRO Americas, the industry’s largest trade show dedicated to MRO. Roughly 13,000 people attended the conference including corporate executives, industry analysts, and media personnel.
Boeing announced its plans to cut more than 4,500 jobs from its commercial airplane unit by June, as customer demands for less expensive jetliners force it to focus on reducing costs. The company has already cut 1,200 jobs from the commercial airplane unit this year, and the additional cuts will total roughly 5% of the unit’s workforce. As another way to reduce costs, Boeing also announced it will consolidate its 747 and 767 jet programs.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced its plans to sell Boston Dynamics, the legged-robot maker, as a result of internal disagreements and concerns about the Company’s ability to develop a marketable product within the next few years. Alphabet acquired Boston Dynamics and six other companies in 2013, as part of an acquisition spree to develop a robotics unit dubbed Replicant.
Boeing, which is facing competitive pricing pressure from Airbus’ increasing market share, announced it will consolidate its 747 and 767 jet programs as part of a broader cost cutting initiative. Elizabeth Lund, who is the general manager of the 777 program, will head the newly combined programs in addition to the 777 program.
Almost five months after the Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to provide the Long Range Strike-Bomber (“LRS-B”), Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James finally disclosed seven major contractors who will join Northrop in building, what is now officially designated, the B-21. James announced that Pratt & Whitney will build the B-21 engines at its facility in East Hartford, Connecticut.
Honeywell International announced that it is no longer pursuing an acquisition of United Technologies, roughly two weeks after it placed a $90 billion bid (excluding debt) for the target. Honeywell believes that a strategic combination will create value for both shareholders as both firms have complementary business portfolios; however, United Technologies has been unwilling to negotiate, stating the transaction would receive heavy anti-trust regulatory scrutiny and create resistance among customers.
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (“SASC”), Senator John McCain, stated he will not authorize the Long Range Strike-Bomber (“LRS-B”) if the procurement is on a cost-plus basis. Senator McCain expressed concern of the additional costs associated with the contract structure and voiced opposition to hear the Air Force’s perspective on the matter. Following the Senator’s remarks, the Air Force revealed the contract will be divided into two parts, cost-plus and firm fixed price.