Headlines – January 22, 2016

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News

Luke Air Force Base: Remains found at site of F-16 crash in Arizona –
Human remains have been found at the crash site of an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet that went down Jan 21 in Arizona, according to a Luke Air Force Base statement.
 
In Singapore, another U.S. Navy LCS sidelined with machinery problems –
For the second time in a month, a U.S. Navy littoral combat ship (LCS) has been sidelined due to machinery problems.
 
U.S. troops take over air base in Syria, local reports say –
U.S. special operations troops have reportedly taken over an airfield in northeastern Syria, potentially clearing the way to flow more American military support to friendly militias fighting the Islamic State group.
 
 

Business

Lockheed Martin gives glimpse of Sikorsky’s financials with SEC filing –
Two months after Lockheed Martin closed its acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft, it opened up the helicopter maker’s books and provided a glimpse into the new business unit it recently bought for $9.1 billion.
 
DOD official: World faces ‘Terminator conundrum’ on AI weapons –
The U.S. military faces a “Terminator conundrum” when it comes to artificially intelligent killing machines, including armed UAVs and loitering munitions.
 
New search for VTOL UAVs may resurrect Bell tiltrotor –
Several years after losing interest in the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout, the U.S. Army is again searching for a “long-range, runway-independent” UAV that can launch anywhere, anytime.
 
DARPA selects Raytheon for infantry squad research –
Raytheon has received a $2.5 million Phase One contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop new technologies to improve the effectiveness of infantry squads.
 
Raytheon wins Air Force contract for R&D to boost missile capability –
Raytheon will provide research and development support to help boost the U.S. Air Force’s capabilities in air-launched tactical missiles under a $14 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.
 
Blackjack UAS gains IOC status, ready for Marine deployment –
The RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft system by Insitu is ready for deployment and use by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corp.
 
Iraq approved for $1.9 billion F-16 weapons/munitions buy –
Iraq has been given U.S. State Department approval to buy weapons, munitions and equipment for F-16 fighters under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.
 
 

Defense

Nominee Eric Fanning vows to review Army cuts made last year –
Eric Fanning, the presidential nominee to become the next U.S. Army secretary, vowed Thursday at his Senate confirmation hearing that he’d review the cuts the Army made last year to brigade combat teams.
 
EDRS satellite payload to include laser comm system –
A space-based laser communication system fitted onboard the European Data Relay System (EDRS)-A satellite payload is due to be launched Jan. 27, offering commercial and military operators a secure and high-capacity data transmitter, European Space Agency officials and Airbus Defence & Space executives said.
 
DARPA’s photon hunt –
In an effort to improve sensors that rely on detecting light, DARPA has embarked on a photon hunt.
 
Top Army general outlines plans for new brigades, new technologies –
The Army must look to the future — and new, emerging technologies that could change the way soldiers fight — even as it continues to build its readiness to fight today, the service’s top general said.
 
 

Veterans

Multi-billion dollar veteran health care program will undergo federal audit –
A pile of complaints from some of the 70,000 veterans in her district prompted Rep. Louise Slaughter to secure a federal audit of the Veterans Choice Program, and the two health care companies running it. She’d like to know a few things.
 
VA secretary disputes Congressional claims that VA has not fired enough people –
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald Jan. 21 disputed claims by members of Congress that his scandal-plagued agency hasn’t dismissed enough employees, saying, “You can’t fire your way to excellence.”
 
 

Space

Sandcastles on Mars! –
After more than three years on the surface, Curiosity has finally begun digging into the sand dunes on Mars.
 
Is there really a mysterious new planet out there? –
NASA has warned that claims of a new planet lurking in our solar system are premature.
 
 

International

U.S. State Department ok $2 billion in F-16 weapons sales to Iraq –
The U.S. State Department has approved nearly $2 billion in sales of more than 33,000 F-16 Block-52 weapons and munitions to Iraq.