🔷 Saved Rounds! 5.21.24

Welcome to Tuesday's Saved Rounds, where we send out all the goodies we couldn't squeeze into our Sunday newsletter.

📺 PODCAST: Check it out on YouTube or download the podcast on SpotifyApplePandoraiHeartRadio, etc.

They Said It
“If the price of a platform is variable and the Pentagon plans for three and isn’t really adjusting for inflation, eventually they’re going to realize they get two.”

Eric Fanning, head of the Aerospace Industries Association, on the growing angst of defense companies absorbing inflation costs that the Pentagon is not factoring into contracts

Word of the Week

Foreign Military Financing: The FMF program provides US grants and loans to friendly foreign governments to purchase US-made weapons, defense equipment, services, and training.

Why It Matters: The US announced another $2B in Ukraine military aid—all FMF—making it the largest-ever amount of FMF given to Ukraine. In addition, this FMF was given an exception to purchase from Ukraine’s defense industrial base, joining Israel and Taiwan as the only other countries granted this exception. We have some great intel on this next week…

In that Number

34.8 hours

The Air Force flew a RQ-4 Global Hawk 34.8 hours, setting a new endurance record

Zoom in

Last week, we highlighted the fixation on a 2027 Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Zoom in here for part II of the series: Why the US Air Force and Navy have drastically different spending plans to prepare for conflict with China.

Aviation's Week in ChartsData analysis of the commercial aviation market

They Said It
“You can never have enough mass because you can't be in more than one place at the same time.”

Mike Baulkwill, combat air strategy director at BAE Systems, speaking on how small the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) and making the case for increasing the number of combat aviation units.

This comes at the same time as NATO’s Eurofighter technology upgrade program awarded its first contracts and may keep the Typhoon relevant into the 2040s even as 6th-gen fighters and combat collaborative aircraft enter service.


This week is National Maritime Day, which honors the thousands of dedicated merchant mariners who serve on US-flagged vessels around the world.

In this spirit, we focused our latest podcast on the Merchant Marine!

Check it out on YouTube or download the podcast on SpotifyApplePandoraiHeartRadio, or wherever you get your content!

In that Number

10, and another 10

The Pentagon wants to buy 68 F-35s next year, but top lawmakers want to cut it by 10, and another 10 (to 48) if corrective actions aren’t taken to address program issues.

Only 75-110 F-35s out of a planned 156 will be delivered in 2024 due to issues with TR-3 upgrades that put deliveries on hold. It’s so bad that Lockheed Martin is running out of places to park F-35s at its production plant.

The cuts would shift $1B into test infrastructure to support the program.

Saved Rounds

And finally…

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