Northrop Grumman

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Major Mishap in SpaceX's 'Most Secretive' Launch Yet

US spy satellite is believed lost

(Newser) - A US spy satellite worth billions is presumed lost after failing to reach orbit during SpaceX's "most secretive" launch ever, reports CNET . The satellite, codenamed Zuma, apparently failed to separate from the upper section of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Sunday and... More »

Big Winner in Immigration Plan: Defense Firms

Calls for specific equipment could bring companies tens of millions

(Newser) - The defense industry must be loving the Senate's highly particular new Mexican border security plan. Under the legislation, the Border Patrol needs to purchase six Northrop Grumman airborne radar systems—each at $9.3 million; 15 Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters, which go for about $17 million; eight American Eurocopter... More »

Spy Plane Can Be Flown by Pilot—or Act as Drone

2-in-1 aircraft Firebird could save US military money

(Newser) - Northrop Grumman’s latest aircraft isn’t just a drone—nor is it only designed for manned flight. The Firebird, set for unveiling today, can do both with just a few modifications, the Los Angeles Times reports. From 30,000 feet in the air, the spy plane can eavesdrop on... More »

Navy's New Stealth Drone Makes Maiden Flight

X-47B can take off and land from aircraft carrier

(Newser) - The US Navy says the next big leap forward in unmanned aerial warfare has successfully made its first flight. The robotic, bat-winger X-47B drone is designed to take off and land from aircraft carriers, a feat described as one of the most difficult in aviation. The military hopes the technology... More »

US Testing Next Generation of Spy Drones

Stealthy new planes can fly higher and faster than before

(Newser) - Last week, the US ran a secret test of an experimental spy plane that could revolutionize the war in Afghanistan. The $30 million plane, dubbed the Global Observer, has a wingspan almost as long as a Boeing 747, and can fly at stratospheric heights for days, keeping its “unblinking... More »

Pentagon Investing $1B in Spy Blimps

Two huge contracts are in the works

(Newser) - Between Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, the US military will pay out nearly a billion dollars to get spy blimps in the air over tactical areas. Northrop (with a $517 million contract) is due to produce three seven-story blimps, each the length of a football field and able to stay... More »

Northrop Ditches, Leaves Boeing With Air Force Tanker

Bitterly fought $40B contract left suddenly uncontested

(Newser) - Boeing seems to have won its drawn out battle to build the Air Force’s new fleet of refueling planes by default; competitor Northrop Grumman withdrew its bid for the $40 billion contract. Northrop’s CEO said the company wouldn’t protest if Boeing got the contract without any real... More »

Pentagon Builds Legion of 'Hacker Soldiers'

US lags behind in cyberwarfare: experts

(Newser) - Military recruiters may still prize the strapping jock, but military contractors are wooing the scrawny computer geek to join the ranks of young "hacker soldiers" enlisted to defend the US in cyberwarfare, the New York Times reports. Most of the biggest companies, like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, have... More »

Northrop Settles Whistleblower Case for $325M

No money will change hands after firm, feds settle separate case

(Newser) - Northrop Grumman has settled a whistleblower case with the government for $325 million, but the defense contractor doesn't need to get out its checkbook: In a separate case, the federal government agreed to pay Northrop the same amount, the Los Angeles Times reports. The two cases offset each other... More »

Pentagon Delays $35B Tanker Deal for Next President

Environment too 'highly charged' for fair process; Boeing gets time to rework plan

(Newser) - The Pentagon has put a $35 billion contract for new Air Force refueling tankers on hold, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced today, reasoning that the White House didn’t have enough time left to “complete a competition that would be viewed as fair.” The contract was awarded to... More »

Boeing Threatens to Ditch Air Force Tanker Bid

Boeing demands extra 4 months in new bid in tanker war

(Newser) - Boeing has warned the Pentagon it will pull out of the new bidding to build a fleet of air tankers unless it gets an extra four months to prepare a bid, the Wall Street Journal reports. A Boeing pullout would leave the Air Force with no competition for a $35... More »

Pentagon's New Bid Rules Favor Northrop: Boeing

Bidding changes seen to justify previous decision

(Newser) - The Pentagon issued new criteria yesterday for the second round of bidding on its lucrative fuel-tanker contract, Bloomberg reports, and Boeing backers immediately cried foul. The new terms give bonus points to a plane that carries more fuel than the earlier guidelines, which Boeing officials and congressional allies claim favors... More »

Pentagon to Re-Open $35B Air Force Tanker Bid

(Newser) - The Pentagon will re-open a $35 billion contract to build the Air Force's fleet of new refueling tankers and pick a new winner by the end of the year, congressional sources say. The Office of the Secretary of Defense—not the Air Force—will oversee the new competition between Boeing... More »

GAO Backs Boeing's Protest of $40B-Deal

Officials want Air Force to re-examine contract that went to competitor

(Newser) - Congressional investigators today seconded Boeing's protest of the US Air Force's decision to award a lucrative tanker contract to a competitor and its European partner, the Seattle Times reports. The Government Accountability Office said it found "a number of significant errors that could have affected the outcome of what... More »

For Boeing, Warplanes Are Becoming History

After losing another big military contract, giant's defense role shrinking to bit parts

(Newser) - As Boeing makes fewer military aircraft and more hardware systems, its commercial and defense arms look increasingly like separate companies, the Seattle Times reports. "These are two legs walking in opposite directions," one analyst says. While airplanes continue to dominate its commercial side, the company, once a military-aircraft... More »

Congress Will Nix Airbus Deal, Boeing Says

US firm blasts 'unfair' award of Air Force contract to Europeans

(Newser) - Boeing isn't taking its loss of a $35 billion military contract to Northrop Grumman and Airbus lying down, Reuters reports. A company vice president said he was "as confident as he could be" that Congress would overturn the Air Force's decision to buy refueling tankers from Boeing's European rival.... More »

McCain Sucked Into Boeing Battle

Campaign boss lobbied against Boeing for European Airbus

(Newser) - John McCain is being dragged into the feud between Boeing and the Air Force, reports AP. A firm headed by McCain's campaign finance chairman, Tom Loeffler, was paid $220,000 to lobby on behalf of the Airbus, the successful European rival to Boeing's 767 fuel tanker. McCain had helped block... More »

Boeing Doesn't Deserve Military Monopoly

Lawmakers are angry, but making aircraft giant compete is a good thing

(Newser) - There’s fury on Capitol Hill (and the campaign trail) over a $40 billion Air Force contract going to a European team, Mark Thompson notes in Time, but it’s entirely appropriate for the military to get the best technology it can. Indeed, anger over the snub to Boeing shows... More »

Stunned Boeing Presses USAF to Explain Choice

Scheduled debriefing not soon enough for jilted company

(Newser) - Boeing is calling for an “immediate debriefing” on the Air Force's choice of a foreign company to build its fuel tankers, Bloomberg reports. The selection of Airbus and Northrop Grumman is to be the subject of a scheduled March 12 meeting, but Boeing says that isn’t protocol. “... More »

US, Euro Alliance Landed Air Force Deal for Airbus

$40B contact took years of careful planning

(Newser) - Years of careful strategy and an alliance between executives was the key to Airbus nailing a $40 billion deal to build Air Force planes, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Pentagon’s decision last week is “a transformational shift in the way weapons systems are acquired. It’s an... More »

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