Boeing released its financial guidance for 2016, which included plans to deliver fewer commercial jets this year than last. The guidance sent shares down 8.9% to end Wednesday trading at $116.58, its lowest close since October 2013. However, Boeing achieved first flight of its 737 MAX on Friday, hoping to stay competitive against Airbus for the next decade in short-haul airliners.
The U.S. State Department approved the sale of more than 33,000 F-16 Block-52 weapons and munitions to Iraq for roughly $2 billion. According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Iraq will use the weapons systems and logistic services to maintain its F-16 fleet functionality and support pilot training.
The U.S. Air Force selected Orbital ATK and SpaceX to develop prototypes of rocket engines as a part of the persistent push to end reliance on the Russian RD-180 boosters for military space launch. Orbital ATK secured a $47.0 million contract to develop prototypes of its GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor, the common booster segment solid rocket motor, and an extendable nozzle for Blue Origin’s BE-3U engine.
Lockheed Martin secured a $5.3 billion contract to deliver 78 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the U.S. armed forces from 2016 through 2020. The C-130J aircraft, one of the longest-running military aircraft programs, is a versatile tactical airlifter used in many different types of missions for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guards.
The Israeli Defense Ministry announced that Israeli firms received ~$770 million worth of work from Lockheed Martin in conjunction with a cooperation package associated with Israel’s F-35I stealth fighter purchase. Elbit Systems, producer of the F-35 helmet mounted display system, and state owned Israel Aerospace Industries, producer of wing sets, were the two largest recipients of the industrial cooperation package.
SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, completed a historic feat by launching an updated version of its Falcon 9 rocket and then landing a large portion of the rocket back on earth. This unprecedented accomplishment comes just six months after a high-profile launch explosion of its Falcon 9 rocket.
The U.S. has brought a World Trade Organization (“WTO”) case against China for their alleged discriminatory taxes on smaller aircraft. U.S. officials are claiming that China has imposed a 17% value-added tax (“VAT”) on imported aircraft, hurting smaller U.S. made planes and part makers and creating a preferential tax policy for its domestic aerospace industry.
I / ITSEC, the largest modeling, simulation, and training conference, was held this past week from November 30 – December 4th in Orlando, FL. At the conference, Maj. General James Lukeman, the commander for Marine Corps Training and Education Command, stressed the importance for affordable high-fidelity training devices that can be deployed with Marines where they fight.