Magazine article National Defense

Washington Pulse

Magazine article National Defense

Washington Pulse

Article excerpt

NEWS FROM INSIDE THE BELTWAY BY SANDRA I. ERWIN

Battling for Sales

Joint Strike Fighter bracing for marketing wars

* The Pentagon is counting on its prized new Joint Strike Fighter to guarantee victory against future enemies. But before it can secure its place as the world's premier combat jet, the JSF must first be able to beat its canny competitors in the global aerospace industry. European manufacturers of warplanes such as the Eurofighter and the Gripen are out there, aggressively marketing their products as cheaper and easier-toacquire alternatives to JSR These companies offer industrial "offsets" so buyers get a share of the production work. That is bad news for JSF, which will have to play catch-up against these savvy marketers. One issue of concern is that European companies are offering attractive incentives to JSF partner nations to buy their jets, possibly at the expense of future JSF purchases. That is something that worries Air Force Maj. Gen. CR. Davis, program executive officer for the JSF. "What keeps me awake at night is how those airplanes are marketed," he told "This Week in Defense News."

'IED Defeat Task Force' Also in the Private Sector

* When the Defense Department launched its campaign against the biggest killer of U.S. troops in Iraq - roadside bombs - it reached out to defense contractors and academia for technologies to counter IEDs, or improvised explosive devices. It created the Joint IED Defeat Organization to evaluate, test and acquire technologies. Last month, one of the nation's largest defense contractors unveiled a "Raytheon IED-DefeatTask Force," with a website to recruit industry and academic partners to help defeat improvised explosive devices. "Potential partners can join the effort by registering solutions and ideas at http:/www.raytheon.corn/missions/rtn07_ied," says a company news release.

Observers have wondered whether this project in any way competes with the government, but Raytheon says it does not. …

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