September 30, 2015

Headlines – September 30, 2015


Congress agrees on 1.3 percent military pay raise for 2016 –
House and Senate negotiators Sept. 29 reached agreement on a $612 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 2016 that includes a 1.3 percent pay raise for service members, trims to some military benefits and a dramatic overhaul of the military retirement system.


Pentagon blocks JSTARS move to demo phase –
The Pentagon has denied the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization program approval to move into the next phase of the acquisition cycle, another setback for a long-delayed effort to replace the Air Force’s ground surveillance fleet.

Air Force delays new bomber contract by ‘couple of months’ –
The U.S. Air Force is delaying the award of a contract to develop a next-generation bomber by a “couple of months,” a general said.

Alion wins $49 million Navy ISR contract –
Alion has been awarded a $49 million Navy ISR contract.

L-3 settles Justice Department claim –
U.S. contractor L-3 Communications has settled a claim that had been investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over the cost of training contractors for servicing work overseas, the agency announced Sept. 28. L-3 will pay $4.6 million to settle the claim, which stems from contracts to perform helicopter maintenance between 2006 and 2011 in Afghanistan, Egypt, and Iraq for the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.

Big weapons programs face jolt if Congress caps funding –
Three of the Pentagon’s biggest weapons programs could be disrupted by a stopgap budget measure that caps federal funding at prior-year levels and prevents the launch of new programs and cost-saving multiyear deals.

Buy a new helo engine? Army thinks it can, thinks it can –
After more than seven years of designing and testing how to make new, more powerful, and incredibly fuel efficient engines for its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and UH-60 Black Hawk utility birds, the Army has issued a Request for Proposals.

U.S. Army opens competition for Apache/Black Hawk engine replacement –
The U.S. Army has officially opened its improved turbine engine program for a more powerful and fuel efficient design that will replace the 1970s-era GE T700 on nearly 3,000 medium helicopters in the Pentagon’s fleet.

India, U.S. sign $3 billion deal for new attack helicopters –
The recently signed contract also includes a new fleet of transport aircraft.

General Dynamics to reconfigure M1A1 battle tank for Morocco –
General Dynamics has won a $358 million foreign military sales contract with the U.S. Army to adapt M1A1 battle tanks to situational awareness configuration for Morocco.


$612 billion Defense Bill says chiefs must OK programs with overruns –
U.S. House and Senate conferees finalized a $612 billion defense policy bill that requires service chiefs to sign off on future acquisition programs suffering from cost overruns.

U.S, military favors keeping troops in Afghanistan past 2016 –
In a potential major shift in policy, U.S. military commanders want to keep at least a few thousand American troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016, citing a fragile security situation highlighted by the Taliban’s capture of the northern city of Kunduz this week as well as recent militant inroads in the south.

Could the Navy use parasailing to improve surveillance? DARPA thinks so –
TALONS could give radios more range, radars a further scan area and maybe even allow cameras to see enemy ships beyond the curvature of the earth.

Inside Britain’s £100 million stealth fighter –
At the touch of a red button, an RAF pilot obliterates jihadist militants in Syria with a laser-guided missile – moments after blowing up an enemy warplane that never saw him coming.


Senators press VA on Agent Orange benefits –
Senators pressed the Department of Veterans Affairs Sept. 29 to expand benefits for Vietnam veterans and conduct more research on the effects of Agent Orange.

DARPA is testing implanting chips in soldiers’ brains –
DARPA responded to a request from Fusion that “brain-neural interfaces” have not yet been implanted in soldiers, though test devices have been implanted in the brains of volunteers already undergoing brain surgery.

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