Lockheed Martin announced last week that it has joined with Thales Alenia Space of Italy in a strategic partnership to offer a new family of space-based remote sensing systems (read, space radar) to worldwide customers. “This partnership builds on our respective strengths and proven performance in providing world-class, cost-effective solutions for civil and defense customers globally,” said Rick Ambrose, Lockheed’s vice president and general manager of surveillance and navigation Systems. He added that the companies are well positioned to help customers “achieve their space radar objectives.” The companies’ initial focus will be on offering “new, highly responsive and agile space radar solutions.” One particular customer, the US, may loom large for the companies. In August, the Pentagon issued a request to industry for information on commercial and international space radar systems, both planned and existing, that could be leveraged by early next decade to meet the US military’s surveillance needs. This came after the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community canceled the joint space radar program that they were pursuing due to the inability to resolve how to marry the requirements of strategic and tactical users on one platform.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.