April 13, 2016

Headlines – April 13, 2016


U.S., Philippines, united by China, ramp up military alliance –
After a rocky patch of 25 years, the United States and the Philippines will solidify a new, increasingly complex military relationship this week, driven partly by China’s assertive actions in the South China Sea. An agreement that allows the United States to build facilities at five Philippine military bases will spread more American troops, planes and ships across the island nation than have been here in decades.


Justice, FTC: Defense merger rules ‘sufficiently flexible’ –
In what appears to be a swipe at Department of Defense leadership, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission issued a joint statement April 12 defending the current oversight system for mergers and acquisitions in the defense industry as “sufficiently flexible.”
Pentagon says legislation not needed on merger reviews –
“We are withdrawing our legislative proposal,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright says in statement.
Raytheon said to lobby for more of a missile that failed a test –
Raytheon is asking Congress to increase purchases of a U.S. Navy missile interceptor even as the Pentagon investigates the defensive weapon’s failure in a test, according to people familiar with the contractor’s efforts.
Boeing to compete for Minuteman III technology refresh contract –
Boeing, after 51 uninterrupted years of building and maintaining the U.S. Air Force’s stock of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, will be in a competition with industry rivals to swap out key Minuteman III components, company executives said April 12.
Rafael unveils “Drone Dome” anti-UAV system –
Rafael has unveiled its offering for countering malicious unmanned air vehicles, the “Drone Dome.”
Bulgarian government to privatize defense companies –
The Bulgarian government is planning to privatize two state-owned defense companies in the next few years, according to a draft midterm budget released by the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance and obtained by local news agency Novinite.
Rockwell Collins to provide sensor for Brazilian unmanned helicopter –
Brazil’s FT Sistemas has picked Rockwell Collins to provide the navigation sensor for its new FT-200FH unmanned helicopter.
Pentagon, Pratt reach $1.4 billion F-35 engine agreement –
The Pentagon has reached an agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the ninth low rate initial production lot of F135 engines, which power the F-35.
Air Force awards $11.5 million intranet contract –
Cyber Defense Information Assurance has been awarded an $11.5 million Air Force contract modification for network support.
Bad part stalled Orbital ATK production of radar-killing missile –
Orbital ATK Inc. stopped most production of a U.S. missile designed to destroy enemy radar systems, a $2.6 billion program, for about five weeks because of bad parts from a subcontractor, according to the Navy.
Sikorsky to pitch Black Hawk for Chilean Air Force medium-lift requirement –
Sikorsky is to pitch its S-70 Black Hawk to the Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile: FACh) as that service looks to enhance its dual-use medium-lift capabilities, a company official told IHS Jane’s April 8.


Marine Corps: Men and women must meet same standards for combat jobs –
The Marine Corps will not lower physical standards to allow women to join combat jobs, such as infantry, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus vowed April 12.
Air Force’s next chief might be its space-war general –
Gen. John Hyten has never flown a warplane, but he plays a role in just about every Air Force mission.
U.S. Air Force redesignates eight MQ-1 Predator units as attack squadrons –
The U.S. Air Force will redesignate eight General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1 Predator reconnaissance squadrons as “attack” units.
Air Force mulls adding more bases for MQ-9 Reaper drones –
The service is considering creating a new Reaper wing with units at two locations, according to a statement released April 12 from the service. The move comes in response to surveys of officers and enlisted personnel who said they want more opportunities for such assignments.
U.S. Air Force command shopping for drone dogfighters –
The U.S. Air Force unit charged with guarding a nuclear arsenal is searching for mini-drones designed to electronically dogfight other mini-drones.
U.S. Army launcher fires Lockheed’s C-RAM interceptor –
Lockheed Martin plans to flight test an improved version of its Miniature Hit-To-Kill missile in July as it readies the weapon for an expected U.S. Army competition for a counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) interceptor.
Navy admiral tapped to head new F-35 fleet integration office –
The Navy secretary April 12 tapped Rear Adm. Roy “Trigger” Kelley to head up the service’s new F-35 joint strike fighter fleet integration office.


Veterans Affairs to locate national archives in Dayton –
U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald said his agency will locate its national archives in Ohio by using two historic buildings on the VA clinic’s Dayton campus.

Space & Technology

SpaceX’s recovered rocket back at port after sea landing –
SpaceX’s recovered 15-story booster, still standing tall on its floating platform, pulled into Florida’s Port Canaveral before dawn April 12. The company plans to test-fire the engines 10 times. If everything looks good, the booster could be used again on another mission as early as June.
DARPA to hold open competition for XS-1 demonstration phase –
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will accept outside bids for the construction and demonstration of a reusable, unmanned “XS-1” spaceplane.


Senators want legislation to limit U.S. bomb sales to Saudi Arabia –
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said he is proposing a bill to limit US munition sales to Saudi Arabia in protest for its conduct of the war in Yemen.

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