Headlines – August 8, 2016

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News

U.S. releases redacted drone strike ‘playbook’ –
The U.S. government has released a once-secret policy document dubbed “the playbook” that shows how officials select drone targets in areas outside war zones and the key role the president has in the process.
 
 

Business

India inks $300 million helicopter upgrade deal with Russian firm –
After nearly eight years of waiting, India has signed a $300 million contract with Rosoboronexport of Russia to upgrade 10 Russian-made submarine-hunting helicopters for the Indian Navy, said an Indian Ministry of Defence official.
 
Navy approves counter-IED system –
The U.S. Navy has approved Lockheed Martin’s Symphony Block 40 counter-IED system, according to a Lockheed Martin announcement.
 
Lockheed Martin flies redesigned MHTK interceptor –
Lockheed Martin on July 29 conducted the first controlled vehicle test flight of redesigned version of its Miniature Hit-to-Kill semi-active radar homing missile as part of the U,S, Army’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center’s Extended Area Protection and Survivability Science & Technology program.
 
Air Force developing cyber weapon locator –
Vencore Labs has been awarded a $9 million Air Force contract to develop technology to locate hostile cyber weapons.
 
Who has edge in U.S. Air Force T-X trainer competition? –
As the U.S. Air Force begins to bring the Lockheed Martin F-35 online, the service is looking for a new fleet of aircraft to train the next generation of pilots. Four industry teams are vying to win the contract to build 350 T-X aircraft and associated training systems—an opportunity lucrative in itself, but one that will also provide the winning team an inside track to any number of international customers who buy the F-35.
 
Serious Fraud Office opens Airbus corruption investigation –
The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into allegations of “fraud, bribery and corruption” in the civil aviation business of Airbus.
 
 

Defense

Five years on, military spending caps haven’t brought the total disaster so many predicted –
When Congress passed the Budget Control Act in 2011, defense leaders warned the spending caps could have disastrous consequences for military programs and planning.
 
U.S. finalizes next-gen military engine national tech plan –
U.S. defense officials and industry partners are putting the final touches to plans for a new national military engine technology development program that, for the first time, will include completely integrated power generation and thermal management elements, in addition to advanced propulsion technology.
 
U.S. Air Force boss: Faster F-35 buy rate might not be possible –
The head of Air Combat Command wants to see the U.S. Air Force build up its inventory of F-35s quicker than planned, but its civilian head signaled Aug. 3 that it might not be feasible in the current fiscal climate.
 
Artificial intelligence drone defeats fighter pilot: The future? –
In an intriguing paper certain to catch the eye of senior Pentagon officials, a company claims that an artificial intelligence program it designed allowed drones to repeatedly and convincingly “defeat” a human pilot in simulations in a test done with the Air Force Research Lab.
 
Tiny drones win over Army grunts. Big bots? Not so much –
Tiny drones, no bigger than your palm, were the big stars of an Army experiment in Hawaii, participants told Breaking Defense. Larger ground robots, however, struggled in the jungle.
 
 

Veterans

Was this veteran denied VA care prior to suicide? Congress wants answers –
Last October, former Marine sergeant and Army National Guard veteran Brandon Ketchum led a team in an awareness walk to honor military friends who had died by suicide.
 
Air Force veteran creates nitro-fueled ice cream business with military surplus gear –
A former Air Force F-16 mechanic has leveraged his GI Bill-funded chemistry degree, along with military surplus gear stripped from nuclear test labs, to invent a brand-new way of making ice cream.
 
Korean War soldier MIA coming home –
Sixty-five years after he died in North Korea, Billy Butz is finally coming home.
 
 

Space & Technology

DARPA’s DyNAMO effort seeks to unify disparate airborne networks –
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is embarking on an effort to bridge the communications gap that exists between independently designed airborne networks that prevent legacy fighter aircraft and more advanced fifth-generation jets from sharing data.
 
World’s largest aircraft leaves its hangar for first time –
The world’s largest aircraft, known fondly as the “Flying Bum,” left its hangar for the first time Aug. 6.