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Final Conference Defense Spending Bill from Congress Kills MEADS

Despite threats of a veto from the Obama White House the current conference version of the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill will end the MEADS program. The final version of the law cuts the last planned $400 million expenditure on the new, joint air defense system.

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) was being developed by the U.S., Italy and Germany as a replacement for the PATRIOT system made by Raytheon (RTN). Lockheed Martin (LMT) is the lead contractor for the MEADS system. The Administration and Congress have already agreed that newer versions of the PATRIOT will suffice and work on MEADS would end. The dispute is that Congress decided that there was no reason for funding in FY13 rather then completing that year of work.

Italy and Germany had wanted to continue the program having provided several hundred million dollars of funding over its life stretching back to the Nineties. Not only will there be fall out internationally from this decision it is estimated that paying out contract termination fees and close out costs would probably be close to the planned $400 million in funding.

The program had been in its test phase and had recently had some successes.

Unfortunately in the potential fiscal situation new programs that are yet to enter service are the ones that face the biggest cuts as it is possible to utilize some of the things developed but by avoiding production and deployment large amounts of funding are saved. While the Administration wanted that last year of funding it seems clear that Congress intends to not provide it in the FY13 bill.

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GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team Prepares to Test Fifth Engine in 2010

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Building on earlier successes this year, the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team will initiate testing on its fifth development engine in 2010, executing a test schedule that positions the F136 program for flight testing next year in the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The new test engine (Engine 008) is installed at GE’s test facility in Evendale, Ohio, working final checkout before initiating tests later in the month. The engine will undergo Conventional Tak

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Canada requests old US helicopters for Aghanistan

February 10, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Boeing, Canada, production program 

According to this story in The Canadian Press, Canada is requesting from the US older CH-47D aircraft to support their efforts in Afghanistan. Canada is planning on buying some CH-47F, but until those are available they are trying to get some refurbished US Army aircraft. Read more

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