Headlines – November 9, 2015



More U.S. troops possible in Syria, Defense Sec. Ash Carter says –
Just days after the White House announced that President Obama had authorized the deployment of a small contingent of special operations forces to the war-torn country of Syria, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said more American troops could “absolutely” be sent into the country if the United States can find more “capable” local forces to partner with in the fight against ISIS.



Boeing protests Northrop’s Long Range Strike Bomber contract –
Boeing, which along with partner Lockheed Martin submitted the losing bid in the competition to build the US Air Force’s new Long Range Strike Bomber, filed a protest Friday with the Government Accountability Office over the Defense Department awarding the contract to Northrop Grumman on Oct. 27.

Lockheed Martin awarded $263 million for Saudi F-15 services –
Lockheed Martin says it has been awarded a $262.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to service Saudi Arabia’s F-15 sniper targeting system and radars that allow for day and night low-level navigation.

Lockheed completes Sikorsky acquisition –
Lockheed Martin completed its $9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft Nov. 6, replacing United Technologies as the American helicopter maker’s parent company.

General Dynamics can’t be trusted on destroyer data, agency says –
The Pentagon agency that oversees contracts says it can’t rely on cost and schedule projections from General Dynamics Corp.’s warship unit in a $22 billion program to build three Zumwalt-class destroyers.

Canadian Naval industry eyes boost from F-35 pullout –
While Canadian firms stand to lose business with the country’s withdrawal from the F-35 program, its maritime industry is expecting a potential windfall from the change of direction in defense.

France, India, agree to details on Rafale offsets –
Under an offsets deal reached by India and France regarding the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets, France has agreed that it will fulfill its obligations only within the aerospace arena and not partly through research and development projects, an Indian Defence Ministry source said.

Limited opportunities in Gulf for U.S. helicopter firms –
Analysts and executives see a changing face of military helicopter sales in the Gulf region, with political and economic factors pushing the GCC powers away from the U.S. and toward European interests.

TrellisWare waveform picked for SOCOM radios –
TrellisWare’s waveform will be used in U.S. Special Operations Command’s radios.

Diversifying from SupaCat vehicles, SC Group eyes opportunities in nuclear, marine –
Walk into the office of SC Group CEO Nick Ames, one of the first things you spot on his desk is a book about nuclear law. It’s a reminder that the small British company known chiefly for building specialist high-mobility vehicles for the military is in the midst of a diversification push that could take it into nuclear and other high-end engineering activities.

Airbus scrambles to compete against France’s planned buy of four C-130s –
France’s planned acquisition of four C-130 Hercules for $361 million has fueled a debate between the armed forces and procurement officials over buying the U.S. airlifter, while Airbus scrambles to develop a competing offer, defense executive and analyst sources said.

Airborne electronic warfare market to reach $1.1 billion –
The global airborne electronic warfare market will reach $1.1 billion by 2016, according to a forecast by consultants Frost & Sullivan. This is an increase from the approximately $1 billion market in 2014.

Israeli startup scours seas for threats –
A Tel Aviv startup company is distinguishing itself in Israel and with clients on four continents by its ability to clear away the clutter on loosely regulated, often fraudulent high seas.

UIMC executive: Algeria considers Russian-made aerospace defense system –
A top executive of state-owned Russian air defense systems manufacturer United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation said the company is in the final stages of negotiating the sale of one Acacia-E automatic aerospace defense system to Algeria.

Boeing, Lockheed contest Air Force bomber, but will they win? –
Data shows that companies that contest Pentagon decisions, like the U.S. Air Force’s selection Northrop Grumman to build a new stealth bomber, often lose.

Lockheed nabs contract to sustain Saudi F-15 sensors –
The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $263 million contract to sustain the Saudi Arabia’s F-15 sensor suite, the company announced Nov. 8.

AgustaWestland debuts sales-ready unmanned rotorcraft –
Come fly with us — or just let the aircraft do it for you. That is the message from AgustaWestland, which has given international show debuts to a pair of its optionally-piloted and unmanned air vehicle designs in Dubai.

China touts stealth fighter jet, but so far no takers –
China showcased its first stealth fighter jet here on the opening day of the Dubai Air Show, but so far the fifth-generation aircraft has no customers in sight.

Drone-maker expands operations in Middle East –
Drone-maker General Atomics is expanding its operations in the Middle East with a new office in the United Arab Emirates.

European powers face off for Gulf fighters, trainers –
The face-off between Dassault Aviation and Eurofighter over who will become the Gulf’s top European combat jet supplier continues at the Dubai Airshow, following a year in which both sides have found success in the region.

China again tries to pierce Gulf defense market –
China will once again make its presence known at the Dubai Airshow as part of its ongoing effort to find a beachhead in the potentially lucrative, but so far elusive, gulf defense market.

Rockwell Collins brings next-gen close air support –
The key difference with DaCAS is that the nine-line is transmitted from the JTAC’s computer directly to the aircraft.

Dubai Airshow, air chiefs conference to focus on airstrike ops –
More than 1,100 exhibitors will be at this year’s Dubai Airshow, with an expected 65,000 visitors over the next week.

UAE general: No new mobility asset requirement –
The United Arab Emirates is set for the time being with its airlift and tanker capabilities, but may look to modernize its assets in the future, a top UAE general said.

Strong demand for King Air, Caravan despite UAV influx –
Textron Aviation doesn’t see unmanned aircraft threatening sales of special-mission Beechcraft King Airs and Cessna Grand Caravans, but rather, nations are buying both manned and unmanned airborne intelligence-gathering assets in tandem.

Saudi defense spending rises despite budget challenges –
With crude oil prices hovering below $50 a barrel in recent months, Saudi Arabia’s budget is rapidly shrinking. But despite cuts and financial challenges, ongoing internal and external concerns are driving an increase in defense spending.

Dual sourcing creates conflict for U.S. in Gulf market –
A mix of political and economic upheaval concerns in the Gulf region is driving regional powers to look away from the U.S. for military needs, experts warn.



U.S. military officials aim to bolster troop presence in Europe –
Senior U.S. military leaders have proposed sending more forces into Europe on a rotating basis to build up the American presence and are stepping up training exercises to counter potential Russian interference with troop transfers in the event of a crisis with Moscow.

Military activity forces Los Angeles airport to detour night flights –
Nighttime flights into and out of Los Angeles International Airport will avoid passing over the Pacific Ocean just to the west of the airport for the coming week because the U.S. military has activated airspace there, officials said.

Experts alarmed at ‘strains’ on aircraft-carrier fleet –
The Navy’s 272-ship force is straining under today’s security challenges, some experts say – and one glaring symptom is a shortage of aircraft carriers.

Pentagon’s responsive space plan has problems –
A Government Accountability Office study has found problems with the Pentagon’s planning for a responsive space capability.

F-35 delays could force further extension of Super Hornets –
Joint strike fighter delays may force the carrier Navy to fly F/A-18 Super Hornets even longer into coming decades, a predicament that could reduce training hours and strain airframes.

Naval missile test off California creates streaking light –
A bright, colorful light that streaked across the California sky, startling residents and leading to a flurry of calls to law enforcement, turned out to be an unarmed missile test-fired from a Navy submarine off the coast the evening of Nov. 7, officials said.



New law gives federal workers who are veterans medical leave –
President Obama has signed into law a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch aimed at giving federal workers who are also veterans extra time off to seek medical care.

Disabled veterans documentary scheduled on PBS –
A philanthropist is making good on her promise to herself to share the story of the nation’s disabled veterans with as many people possible.

Veteran unemployment hits 7-year low in October –
Unemployment among all veterans reached a seven-year low last month, and the jobless rate among Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans set a new record low in October, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Nov. 6.

Desert Storm’s ‘forgotten war’ freed a people –
As America prepares to observe Veterans Day Nov. 11, the troops who served in Operation Desert Storm are marking the 25th anniversary of their deployments and of the conflict dubbed the First Gulf War. In the fall of 1990, America’s armed forces were preparing to remove Iraq’s Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

VA plans stand down to review medical access issues –
Veterans Affairs officials will have a one-day “access stand down” to review lingering problems with health care appointments throughout the department, VA Secretary Bob McDonald said Nov. 6.

American Legion, VFW posts change their image in efforts to draw younger vets and their families –
Local Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts are changing their image. While membership in veterans’ organizations nationally declines, they’re building modern post homes, offering family-friendly activities and gradually enlisting younger vets.