January 4, 2017

Headlines – January 4, 2017


Russia eyes naval drills with Philippines as two ships visit –
Russia is eyeing naval exercises with the Philippines and deployed two navy ships for a goodwill visit to Manila Jan. 3 as Moscow moves to expand defense ties with a Filipino president known for being hostile to the United States.


Air Force awards satellite anti-jamming contract to Raytheon –
Raytheon has been awarded a $37 million Air Force contract to support anti-jamming efforts for satellite communications.
Air Force orders F-16 computer upgrade –
Raytheon has been selected to upgrade the F-16s computer.
Pakistan commissions two new 600-ton maritime patrol vessels –
Pakistan has commissioned two new Maritime Patrol Vessels into service with the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, IHS’s Jane’s Navy International reported Dec. 29. The ships, christened PMSS Hingol and PMSS Basol (pennant numbers 1070 and 1071 respectively), were commissioned Dec. 11, 2016, in Guangzhou, China.
Russia to upgrade tank force with deadly new fire control system –
The Russian Ground Forces are reportedly slated to upgrade an unknown number of T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks with a new automatic target tracker and fire control computer also found on the third-generation T-14 MBT, according to local media reports in December.
The U.S. NGJ strike jammers: Raytheon’s mid-band win –
Boeing will provide Next Generation Jammer integration services external link external link for the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G aircraft in a deal worth $308 million.
F-35 Lightning: The Joint Strike Fighter program –
Lockheed Martin has been contracted $450 million external link external link to perform additional Lot 10 F-35 Lightning II Air System integration work for South Korea.
Pentagon seeks to avert low-ball bids on development contracts –
The Pentagon is seeking ways to crack down on contractors that make low-ball bids for multibillion-dollar development projects in anticipation of collecting other Defense Department funds later.
Chinese Navy commissions fifth Wozang-class MCMV –
China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has commissioned a new Wozang-class (Type 082 II) mine countermeasures vessel), according to the China Military Online website. The ship entered service with the PLAN’s North Sea Fleet Dec. 30 at the Lushun naval base in the northeast of the country.
Parrikar: India to kick off competition for new foreign single-engine fighters –
India will invite global competitive bids to select a foreign single-engine fighter to be made in India, said Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.
South Korea selects Fincantieri as STX France preferred bidder –
A South Korean court has picked Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to be the preferred bidder for STX France, with the French government keen to see naval specialist DCNS buying a minority stake of the shipyard.
Trump may have a tough time curbing biggest U.S. defense contracts –
Government Executive reports that it may not be so easy for even a president to cancel a contract he doesn’t like. According to Michael Fischetti, executive director of the National Contract Management Association, “You might not like it, but if you asked for it and got what you asked for, you’re required to pay for it.”
China launches another Type 056 corvette –
China’s latest Jiangdao-class (Type 056) corvette was launched Dec. 29 at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, according to Chinese media.
Pakistan builds new missile boat to protect key trade routes –
Pakistan has commenced construction of a new type of missile boat as part of efforts to modernize its navy to ensure security for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a trade route linking western China to the Arabian Sea via Pakistan’s deep water port of Gwadar.


Correcting the course of future defense spending –
In short, three measures: 1. Tax reform that generates economic growth, 2. Restraint in non-essential government spending, and 3. Fraud prevention could produce budget space for more defense spending some 500-1,000 percent greater than needed to keep the deficit from worsening.
Pentagon subcontractor leaks classified personnel data –
A security researcher at the MacKeeper Security Research Center has revealed a Pentagon subcontractor exposed sensitive U.S. military health care personnel data thanks to an insecure server backup protocol.
Pentagon to pay back recouped California Guard bonuses, forgive thousands more –
The Pentagon will repay millions of dollars in California Army National Guard bonuses that were improperly recouped from veterans and eliminate the debts of more than 17,000 troops who had been on the hook for repayment, according to the Defense Department’s acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness.
New in 2017: 21 big changes coming to the Army this year –
More soldiers. More deployments. More money. A new commander in chief, a new defense secretary and a new Army secretary. Women in the infantry. Changes to pay and benefits.
New in 2017: 20 big changes coming to the Air Force this year –
More airmen and less ‘queep.’ A new commander in chief, a new defense secretary, a new Air Force secretary and a new top enlisted airman. An officer promotion overhaul, new enlisted drone pilots, changes to pay and benefits and growing missions around the world.


Maine veteran uses military settlement money to buy house for veteran resource center –
The woman who won more than $400,000 in back benefits from the military for claims related to sexual assaults when she was in the U.S. Navy has used some of that money to buy a house where veterans living Down East will be able to get help in obtaining social and health services.

Space & Technology

The most vulnerable NASA missions under Trump –
The NASA’s earth sciences division, which studies climate change and environmental conditions on Earth, is perhaps at greatest risk. In an October op-ed in SpaceNews, a pair of Trump advisers wrote that “NASA should be focused primarily on deep-space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies.” The agency, they said, focuses too much on “politically correct environmental monitoring.” The division has seen increases in funding in the last eight years, but Republicans in Congress have proposed cuts at every turn.
What’s driving China’s race to build a space station? –
The advantages of developing space capabilities are manifold. Satellites facilitate military and civilian communications. Human spaceflight garners international prestige, while also providing opportunities for cutting-edge research. Experiments conducted in space have resulted in numerous breakthroughs that have been used to address medical, environmental, and technological challenges back on Earth.

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