Lockheed Martin reportedly is out of the running for the Joint Cargo Aircraft competition because its proposed aircraft—a short-fuselage variant of the C-130J Hercules—failed to meet initial requirements. According to the Washington Post, the Army, which is working the JCA program in concert with the Air Force, eliminated Lockheed because it hasn’t received FAA approval for the short-fuselage J model. Lockheed could protest the decision and probably will since the J model has full FAA approval. If the Army decision stands, that would leave two competing contractor teams: Alenia/Boeing/L3 Communications offering the C-27J Spartan and Raytheon/EADS North America with the C-295 and CN-235.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.