April 5, 2010 |
NASA has taken the next small step toward reshaping its future in space travel by awarding five contracts worth as much as $250 million to aerospace companies for researching and developing propulsion systems. Although NASA hasn't laid out how it will use such technology, officials from the contract winners -- three of which are based in California -- say they envision their work being used on a broad range of missions: sending research equipment deep into space; building thrust engines for robotic Mars landers; or developing boosters for spacecraft to explore far-flung asteroids.
February 22, 2010 |
The multibillion-dollar competition to build aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force is expected to kick off this week as the Pentagon spells out its latest requirements to replace its aging fleet of Eisenhower-era aircraft. But there are already signs that the competition could be derailed once again. Century City-based Northrop Grumman Corp., one of the two contenders, has threatened to withdraw its bid, accusing the Air Force of writing specifications that favor its rival, Boeing Co. The latest specs for the tankers, which refuel warplanes in flight, are due out this week -- possibly as early as Tuesday.
December 2, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. has stepped up its threat to pull out of a $35-billion competition to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. In a letter to the Pentagon's top acquisition official Tuesday, Northrop President Wes Bush said the government's "request for proposal" that outlines requirements for the aircraft favors a bid by its rival, Boeing Co. If the terms are not changed, Northrop might not enter the competition to build 179 tankers, he said. "I must regrettably inform you that, absent a responsive set of changes in the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it cannot submit a bid," Bush said.
October 22, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. on Wednesday said it posted lower third-quarter profit because of higher pension expenses, but the results surpassed analysts' expectations and the company lifted its profit outlook for the year. In contrast, Boeing Co. said it lost $1.6 billion in the quarter, hurt by growing costs of two troubled plane programs that forced the airplane maker to slash its profit forecast. The world's second-largest commercial plane maker after Europe's Airbus, Boeing has struggled to launch its 787 passenger jet and a revamped version of its classic 747 jumbo jet. Production delays, parts shortages and last-minute fixes have cost the company billions in write-downs along with additional design and manufacturing expenses.
September 26, 2009 |
The race to win one of the largest military deals ever awarded kicked off Friday, when Defense Department officials unveiled the arcane criteria they will use to purchase a fleet of aerial refueling tankers from Northrop Grumman Corp. or Boeing Co. But what was once a sprint has become a marathon as the Pentagon attempts for a fourth time to replace its fleet of 415 Eisenhower-era tankers through contracts expected to total more than $100 billion. The Air Force said it would be "crystal clear" in its requirements for new tankers to avoid errors from previous selection processes.
August 20, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. is selling a unit that advises military and intelligence agencies and may fetch as much as $2 billion, four people familiar with the matter said. Northrop hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse Group to solicit bids for the division, known as Tasc, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Among potential buyers are private-equity firms including Carlyle Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Blackstone Group, the people said. The U.S. Defense Department was ordered by Congress this year to tighten conflict-of-interest rules on firms such as Tasc and is pushing to reduce its spending on outside consultants.