In the slimmed down US defense industry, joining with a long-time rival is more and more the only game in town. Lockheed Martin may have just run away with a Boeing intelligence satellite program, but that doesn’t stop the two defense giants from joining forces elsewhere. They now plan to jointly compete for the next phase of the Small Diameter Bomb program. Actually, this was one of the programs Boeing thought it had sewed up—until investigators took a closer look at the Darleen Druyun maneuvers. Her efforts to garner favor by steering work toward Boeing led USAF to recompete the SDB program—valued at around $1.7 billion.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.