The Federal Aviation Administration has given permission to Alphabet-owned Wing Aviation to carry out drone deliveries, with service to launch in Blacksburg, Va., later this year. "This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy. Safety continues to be our number one priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential," US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says.
Boeing, Bell, Sikorsky, Karem Aircraft and a team comprised of L-3 Communications and AVX Aircraft Co. have been selected to prepare designs for the Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program. Two finalists will be selected from this group.
While changes in buy rates from the US Air Force are posing production and planning challenges for Lockheed Martin, international demand is increasing opportunities for growth. "We'll continue working with our customer and with representatives in the [US] government on what's the right path forward there," Chief Financial Officer Ken Possenriede says. Meanwhile, CEO Marillyn Hewson is touting international opportunities, "We are continuing to see increased opportunities for the F-35," she says. "There's strong international demand."
Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., highlight the important contributions defense and aerospace make to the US economy. "As federal officials, we are focused on supporting our states as they lay the foundation for success -- in our aerospace and defense industries, as well as the region's economy as a whole," they write.
Rocket Lab will start manufacturing its own small satellites, introducing its Photon platform.
Scott Pace, executive secretary of the National Space Council, says NASA is seeking a sustained presence on the moon and highlights the benefits of a compressed timeline for the next crewed mission to the lunar surface. "There's a clarifying nature to having a near-term, stressing goal, where you think about what's in fact really important," he says.
Defense consultant Zachery Tyson Brown says foundational change is needed if the Pentagon is to effectively innovate. "Defense innovation requires more than acquisition reform -- it requires a transformation of operating and business models and a new structure to empower them," he writes.
Bill Greenwalt, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial policy, says Russia and China are catching up with US military technology and it is time for greater industrial collaboration with US allies and the private sector. "The U.S. took an innovation holiday after the end of the Cold War, and so the past three decades have led to 95 percent of research and development now being conducted by commercial and global actors, rather than the American government," he writes.
Locating ice deposits on the moon has become a top priority for NASA as the agency works under a compressed timeline for a crewed mission to the lunar surface.