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Australia to increase F-35 fighter aircraft order by 58

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Wednesday that Australia will acquire 58 more F-35 fighter aircraft built by Lockheed Martin Corp. "to ensure our edge as a regional power" in addition to 14 already approved in 2009. "The world remains a difficult and often a dangerous place, and sensible countries have to have military forces capable of dealing with foreseeable contingencies," Abbott told a press conference in announcing the additional order, which will cost the government A$12.4 billion (US$11.5 billion).

Boeing wins $1.16 billion contract for Apache helicopters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co <BA.N> has won a contract valued at $1.16 billion for full-rate production of the AH-64E Apache helicopter, the U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday. It said the contract included 72 remanufactured helicopter systems, 10 new helicopters, six revamped crew trainers and other logistics support. The contract runs through June 30, 2016, the Pentagon said in its daily digest of major weapons contracts. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal)

Pentagon budget looks to leaner, more hi-tech force

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel on Monday outlined a proposed defense budget for 2015 that will shrink the size of the US Army in favor of new hi-tech weapons. Here are the highlights of the budget plan, which must be approved by Congress: Troop numbers The US Army would be scaled back 13 percent from 520,000 troops to 440,000-450,000 soldiers by 2017, making it the smallest force since before the United States entered World War II. The Army National Guard would be reduced from 355,000 to 335,000 and the reserves from 205,000 to 195,000.

Construction delays in Petawawa force DND to scramble for Chinook shelter

OTTAWA - National Defence was left scrambling last summer to find shelter for its long-awaited CH-147F Chinook helicopters after construction of a new hangar and flight line at the garrison in Petawawa, Ont., slipped far behind schedule. Internal documents showed mounting concern last year as delays collided with the arrival schedule of the battlefield transports, which had been on order since 2006.

Construction delays in Petawawa force DND to scramble for Chinook shelter

OTTAWA - National Defence was left scrambling last summer to find shelter for its long-awaited CH-147F Chinook helicopters after construction of a new hangar and flight line at the garrison in Petawawa, Ont., slipped far behind schedule. Internal documents showed mounting concern last year as delays collided with the arrival schedule of the battlefield transports, which had been on order since 2006.

Lockheed tech lets U.S. Apache helicopter pilots aim in color

By Andrea Shalal-Esa HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has unveiled new technology that will for the first time allow AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots to see targeting and surveillance data in full, high-resolution color, instead of the fuzzy black and white images they get now.

KAI signs 1.7 tln won deal for 60 Army choppers by 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- State-run Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said Thursday it has signed a 1.7 trillion won (US$1.6 billion) deal to deliver 60 Surion helicopters to the Army by 2017. The contract is the second of its kind signed with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) following the first in 2010 involving 20 helicopters. The first of the choppers that will replace the decades-old fleet of UH-1H and 500MDs entered service this year.

U.S.-made Apache attack helicopters grounded in Taiwan

The Taiwanese army has grounded its new AH-64E Apache attack helicopters as a precaution to inspect a transmission component, the island's military said Wednesday. Defense Minister Yen Ming told a legislative committee that they halted flight training for a fleet of six AH-64E Apache helicopters on Tuesday afternoon after the United States notified them of a failure in the transmission system component.

Singapore says in 'no particular hurry' to buy Lockheed F-35 jets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen on Thursday said his country was seriously considering buying Lockheed Martin Corp's <LMT.N> F-35 fighter jet but was in "no particular hurry" to buy new jets since its F-16 fighters were still in good shape. "Singapore is seriously looking at the F-35s to replace our F-16s," the Singapore official told reporters at the Pentagon during a joint news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

U.S. Navy committed to F-35 despite talks about more F/A-18 buys

DUBAI (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy remains committed to the Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N> F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, but is also looking at options to buy additional Boeing Co <BA.N> F/A-18 fighter jets, a senior U.S. Navy official said on Tuesday. Richard Gilpin, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for air programs, told Reuters that current plans still called for purchases of the Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18G electronic attack planes to end in fiscal 2014.
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