China is expected to have a fleet of 420 ships by 2035, and experts say the US must look beyond the threat of nuclear weapons from China. "Militarily, the resurgence of great power competition requires the United States to reimagine how we deter and, if necessary, fight and prevail in a future conflict with China. America's military advantage is rapidly eroding in light of China's modernization efforts," Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy told lawmakers.
The US Air Force Research Laboratory has recently completed a successful test firing of the X-60A hypersonic rocket. The weapon is being developed under a Small Business Innovation Research contract with Generation Orbit Launch Services.
The Army is hitting the reset button on its program to replace the Bradley vehicle, cancelling its current solicitation due to a lack of responses. "Based on feedback and proposals received from industry we have determined it is necessary to revisit the requirements, acquisition strategy and schedule before moving forward," said Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology.
Southwest Airlines is evaluating how drones may help bring efficiencies to aircraft maintenance, and the carrier has moved forward with issuing mini-iPads to technicians. "Our philosophy is to provide mechanics with the information they need, when they need it and where they need it," according to the airline.
Bombardier says it is reviewing its joint venture with Airbus, as the A220 program requires additional investment from Bombardier. Bombardier has spent $6 billion on the program dating back to 2008, and agreed to a JV with Airbus in 2017.
Lockheed Martin is providing vocational scholarships to 150 high school seniors and college students who want to pursue vocational training in aerospace and defense. "As a global leader in innovation, we recognize the urgent need to address our nation's skills gap by encouraging, attracting, and developing the next generation of workers in science, technology, engineering, and math," Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson said.
Lockheed Martin is testing HiveStar software technology with its Pony Express 1 nanosatellite. The technology could bring shared processing capabilities to satellites and enable mesh communications across networks.
The US Space Development Agency is seeking information on intersatellite link technology, with the goal of enabling communication between US satellites. The SDA is seeking information on potential standards for Optical Intersatellite Links.
A Department of Transportation panel is recommending that aircraft manufacturers develop safety management systems and make provisions for variations in pilot performance. Overall, the panel came out in support of the Federal Aviation Administration and its certification system.