Air Force officials are considering whether to dock Lockheed Martin for the propulsion system malfunction that has slowed the operational debut of the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite. “The Air Force is reviewing its options relative to Lockheed Martin’s financial responsibility and/or financial penalty for the AEHF-1 propulsion system anomaly,” USAF spokeswoman Maj. Tracy Bunko told the Daily Report Tuesday. Officials with the Space and Missile Systems Center, USAF’s space acquisition arm at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., have presented the findings of their investigation of the incident to leadership at Air Force Space Command and USAF headquarters. The service intends to present the same findings to Congressional staffers later this month, Bunko said. AEHF-1 arrived in space last August, but will not be fully operational until late 2011 due to the anomaly with its liquid apogee engine. (See also Inching Forward)
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.