21 Oct 15. ADEX 2015: LM officials say KFX technology transfer issues out of their hands. Key Points:
• Lockheed Martin officials have said the US government’s decision to block the export of four key technologies to South Korea for the KFX future fighter programme is out of their hands
• The decision not to share AESA and other high-tech systems information with Seoul may complicate bilateral collaboration on the indigenous 4.5-gen fighter
The United States’ refusal to allow the export of four ‘key’ technologies to South Korea for the KFX future fighter programme is a “sovereign issue” in the hands of the two countries’ governments, said defence industry officials at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) 2015.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) confirmed in mid-October that the US had refused to export four of 25 technology suites requested as part of an offset package agreed in the 2014 acquisition of Lockheed Martin’s (LM’s) F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
That acquisition, under Seoul’s FX-III requirement, also generated political controversy in South Korea. This arose after the first platform to be recommended, the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle concept, was rejected in September 2013 because the South Korean government decided it lacked ‘fifth-generation’ stealth characteristics. Eurofighter had also offered its Typhoon, which was rejected on cost grounds.
The four technologies relate to active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) targeting pods, infrared search and track (IRST) systems, and radio frequency jammers. Technology for the remaining 21 technology suites – including flight control systems, avionics, system integration, materials, and weapons – is expected to be approved.
Eric Schnaible, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 communications manager, told IHS Jane’s on 22 October that it was “an internal [government] decision and a sovereign issue, by and large, that we’re really not a party to”.
“As part of the FX-III programme we signed up for the offset elements and, of course, KFX is a big part of that,” said Dick Cathers, director, F-35 Korea for Lockheed Martin. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Oct 15. Pentagon expects USD1m unit price increase if Canada leaves F-35 programme. Key Points:
• The F-35’s cost could increase by USD1m per aircraft if Canada cancels its order
• Canada’s prime minister designate has said he would not buy the F-35 if elected
Canada’s threatened departure from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft programme could raise the price of the stealthy jets for the remaining customers, according to US Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, the Pentagon’s F-35 programme manager.
Lt Gen Bogdan told lawmakers on 21 October that “if any partner, or any service, moves airplanes to the right, takes airplanes out, the price of the airplane for all the other partners and all the other services goes up”.(Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Oct 15. BAE Systems Australia wins F-35 work. BAE Systems Australia has secured a contract from Northrop Grumman to supply the global Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme with components to support the aircraft’s communication, navigation, and identification (CNI) system. Announcing the AUD15m (USD11m) deal on 22 October, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) said the Adelaide-based company has been contracted to provide parylene-coated circuit boards for the Northrop Grumman-developed CNI system installed on the F-35.
The DoD said BAE Systems Australia becomes the latest of some 30 Australian companies to have secured production work on the F-35 programme. It added that the Australian firms’ work on the programme now totals more than AUD500m and that it expects local industry to win at least AUD1.5bn worth of work in the aircraft’s production phase. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Oct 15. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Canada marked an important milestone