Headlines – February 24, 2016

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News

Obama announces plan for closing Guantanamo Bay prison –
Congressional Republicans immediately denounced the idea as illegal and dangerous.
 
 

Business

Future uncertain for Textron AirLand T-X bid –
Barring a change in requirements, Textron AirLand will not put forth its Scorpion design for the Air Force’s T-X trainer competition, according to a top company executive.
 
Boeing seeks to recapture prime U.S. Air Force C-17 training spot –
Boeing’s defense business is mounting a campaign to recapture the US Air Force C-17 aircrew and maintenance training contract that it conceded to L-3 Link Simulation and Training in 2010.
 
Presidential election could limit M&A activity –
After two relatively active years, the tumult of a presidential election year may stifle the mergers and acquisitions market in the defense sector during 2016.
 
BAE Systems pitching Terrier to Asia-Pacific customers –
BAE Systems is pitching its recently updated Terrier Combat Engineer Vehicle to militaries in the Asia-Pacific region, officials from the U.K.-headquartered group have told IHS Jane’s.
 
Lockheed discusses key Asia-Pacific fighter production programs –
Lockheed Martin expects the Nagoya-based final assembly and checkout line for Japan’s F-35A to be up and running in 2017.
 
Romania to take delivery of Lockheed Martin TPS-77 radars with DART capability –
Lockheed Martin is to deliver two new TPS-77 radars to Romania that will include the new Digital Array Row Transceiver.
 
Honeywell, United Technologies diverge over prospects of tie-up –
Honeywell International Inc. kept the pressure on rival United Technologies Corp. to engage in merger talks, saying there were no major regulatory obstacles to a combination of the two industrial conglomerates.
 
Honeywell says regulators wouldn’t prevent United Tech deal –
Industrial conglomerate Honeywell is touting the benefits of a possible combination with United Technologies and says regulators wouldn’t be a big obstacle to the deal.
 
V-22 aerial refueling system nears contract decision with additional upgrades pending –
The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey will receive a variety of upgrades in the coming years in order to prepare the tilt-rotor aircraft for another 40 years of service life with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, according to Boeing.
 
Trial F-35A deployment smooths path for first combat squadron –
Six F-35A of 31st Test Evaluation Squadron have deployed to Mountain Home AFB in Idaho this month for an “operational deployment test” that will clear the way for 10 operational jets from the first combat-coded squadron, which will follow this summer.
 
E-2D to carry out aerial refuelling test in 2016 –
Northrop Grumman expects to carry out the first aerial refuelling flight test of its E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft towards the end of 2016, following delivery of the first example earmarked for upgrade to its St Augustine, Fla., facility.
 
Saab’s surveillance system now compatible with more aircraft –
Saab’s Swordfish surveillance system for maritime patrol aircraft is now available for more aircraft.
 
U.S. official never disclosed wife’s Northrop account –
A U.S. Air Force arms buyer under investigation for violating financial disclosure rules never reported his wife’s retirement account with Northrop Grumman after their marriage in 2008, public disclosure forms seen by Reuters showed.
 
Aselsan delivers radar electronic attack system to Turk Air Force –
Turkish military electronics specialist Aselsan, the country’s biggest defense firm, said it delivered a land-based radar electronic attack system to the Turkish Air Force.
 
Vietnam now world’s eighth largest arms importer –
Hanoi emerges as one of the globe’s top importers amid regional tensions.
 
Mountain warfare against China: U.S. plans to sell 145 guns to India –
The U.S. government recently approved the sale of 145 lightweight howitzers to the Indian Army.
 
Almaz-Antey opens new production facility –
The Almaz-Antey group inaugurated a new production facility Feb. 20, the Kirov Machine-Building Enterprise.
 
Canada will not exclude F-35 from competition to replace CF-18 –
Canada is to hold an “open” competition to replace its Boeing CF-18 Hornet fighters, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter would not be excluded from this process, Canadian minister of national defence Harjit Sajjan announced Feb. 18.
 
Saudi Arabia poised to purchase corvettes from Navantia –
Saudi Arabia is set to sign a contract with Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia for the purchase of five Avante corvettes.
 
It’s official — Raytheon glides into T-X program –
Raytheon has officially entered a bid in the T-X program, offering an American made version of the Italian Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi M-346-based T-100.
 
 

Defense

Army to roll out better body armor, combat shirt in 2019 –
In 2019 the Army expects to roll out a new, lighter body armor system. The armor will provide at least as much protection as today’s system, but with more comfort, and greater flexibility to adjust based on the mission, Army officials said.
 
U.S. may put weapons in South China Sea –
Senior Army and Pentagon strategists and planners are considering ways to fire existing weapons platforms in new ways around the globe — including the possible placement of mobile artillery units in areas of the South China Sea to, if necessary, function as air-defense weapons to knock incoming rockets and cruise missiles out of the sky.
 
Biggest change for infantry since WWII: XM25 –
Buried in a bleak Army budget is a bright nugget of revolution: a precision-guided grenade launcher called the XM25. In difficult development for over a decade, the XM25 will finally enter limited production in 2017. It will be the first radically new small arms technology since 1943.
 
U.S. Army begins industry survey for Future Vertical Lift –
The U.S. Army has provided the clearest details yet about what in needs in a Future Vertical Lift (FVL) platform after releasing two requests for information for next-generation rotorcraft technologies and concepts in the lightly armed reconnaissance and mid-size utility/attack roles.
 
Decision nearing on where to fix damaged LCS –
The littoral combat ship Fort Worth remains sidelined at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base, waiting both for the results of a mishap investigation into how major portions of the ship’s propulsion gear was damaged and a decision on where to fix the ship.
 
Revealed: How to kill an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter –
The United States has poured tens of billions of dollars into developing fifth-generation stealth fighters such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. However, relatively simple signal processing enhancements, combined with a missile with a large warhead and its own terminal guidance system, could potentially allow low-frequency radars and such weapons systems to target and fire on the latest generation U.S. aircraft.
 
 

Veterans

Senator lifts hold on VA inspector general nominee –
Republican Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe Feb. 23 lifted his hold on the White House’s nominee to take over the Veterans Affairs inspector general post, opening the possibility the agency could get a new head watchdog in coming days.
 
VA pitches plan for executive firings to Senate –
The Department of Veterans Affairs told the Senate Feb. 23 that its plan to take sole control over firing executives could help fill dozens of vacant management posts at veteran medical facilities across the country.
 
Senators pledge to support VA chief’s accountability proposals –
Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald Feb. 23 met with Senators to discuss the VA’s budget for fiscal 2017 and appropriations for the following year.