Lockheed and Airbus in talks on joint projects

Lockheed Martin, the American aviation and defence giant, revealed yesterday it was in talks with Airbus Industrie on possible collaborative projects. The news prompted speculation that Lockheed Martin, which has no civilian aircraft business, could join with the European aeroplane consortium on the development of the proposed Airbus super-jumbo, the A3XX.

Simultaneously yesterday, Delta Airlines confirmed it was in talks with Airbus and Boeing on a purchase deal to replace its fleet of ageing L- 1011 wide-body jets originally supplied by Lockheed.

Philip Condit, chief executive of Boeing, told reporters during a visit to London yesterday his company would not reverse its decision to scrap plans for a super-jumbo and the field was open to Airbus.

Responding to a report in yesterday's Baltimore Sun, a Lockheed spokesman, Keith Mordoff, confirmed the contacts with Airbus. "We're exploring what opportunities there might be for us to work together on projects," he said.

A spokesman for Airbus Industrie, North America, Sandy Smith, was more circumspect. "I cannot confirm or deny that talks have been made with Lockheed," Mr Smith said. The newspaper said that Lockheed's chairman and chief executive, Norman Augustine, travelled to Toulouse for talks with Airbus last month.

Analysts were unsure whether as a first step Lockheed would risk involving itself in a project as ambitious as the A3XX. The estimated cost of developing the plane, which would carry more than 400 passengers, is about $8bn. It was the high price tag that persuaded Boeing to shelve plans last year for an even larger successor to its series of 747 models.

Equally, however, there are reasons both companies might be attracted to collaborate on the plane. Lockheed could provide capital as well as marketing clout in the US. A partnership would also give Lockheed the chance to re-enter the commercial jetliner business which it abandoned in the early 1980s.

Lockheed has also found itself in danger of being eclipsed as an aviation leader in the military business since Boeing and McDonnell Douglas unveiled their plans to merge with one another. The market for the A3XX is believed to range between 400 and 1,400 orders from airlines world-wide.

Delta, meanwhile, was said yesterday to be considering entering a long- term, exclusive purchasing deal with Boeing for its future aircraft replacement needs. This was played down, however, by Mr Condit. "We haven't reached any agreement at this stage," he said.

Delta's first priority is replacing its 55 L-1011 aircraft, which still make up 10 per cent of its fleet. An initial order to replace them is expected to be for about 25 planes.

Moss and Grimshaw arrive at the party
peopleKate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nick Grimshaw at Jonathan Ross's Halloween party
i100Amazing Amazon review bomb
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
travelPurrrfect jet comes to Europe
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch attends the London premiere of his new film The Imitation Game
people He's not as smart as his characters
Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities