January 9, 2017

Headlines – January 9, 2017


U.S. Marines are sending a task force back to Afghanistan’s Helmand province –
The U.S. Marines will deploy a 300-person task force to southwestern Afghanistan this spring to help local security forces beat back Taliban gains in the restive Helmand province.


Global airborne ISR market to grow, says report –
The global airborne ISR market is set to grow, according to a report by consultancy Markets and Research.
Leidos unseats Raytheon to deliver next variant of U.S. Army fires support system –
Leidos won a contract Dec. 29 to deliver the next iteration of the Army’s Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, unseating Raytheon as the long-time incumbent on the program.
UK Royal Air Force picks Airbus to support A400M fleet in $504 million deal –
The British Royal Air Force’s A400M Atlas transport aircraft fleet is to be supported by Airbus Defence and Space in a £410 million ($504 million) deal announced Jan 5.
France seeks cheaper smart bomb, but not at cost of performance –
France has requested a big cost cut and higher output in its order for a new Block 4 standard of the Armement Air-Sol Modulaire, a powered smart bomb kit built by Safran Electronics & Defense, the procurement office said.
U.S. Navy pushes ahead with plan to build 12 new nuclear ballistic missile subs –
The U.S. Navy officially approved the start of detailed design and engineering work on its new class of SSBNs.
China resumes production of its quietest attack submarine –
After a three-year hiatus, China has reportedly resumed production of one of its quietest submarine classes.
MQ-9 Reaper: Unfettered for export –
General Atomics has been contracted external link external link by the U.S. government to provide MQ-9 Reaper UAVs to Spain. The $56 million is an adjustment to an existing basic ordering agreement between Washington and Madrid and work is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2019.
Turkey’s Anka-S UAV on course for first delivery in 2017 –
Turkey’s military is on track to receive its first serially-produced Anka unmanned aerial vehicles this year, a well-informed Turkish defense industry source told IHS Jane’s.
UK confirms laser weapon demonstrator award to UK Dragonfire team –
The UK armed forces could deploy high-energy laser weapons within a decade if an MBDA-led prototype program yields positive results, the Ministry of Defence has said.


U.S. Air Force needs F-35, A-10: outgoing secretary –
The U.S. Air Force needs the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and A-10 Warthog, outgoing Secretary Deborah Lee James said, of the two planes that have polarized debate throughout her tenure.
U.S. military vows more complex training in Europe to deter Russia –
The U.S. military Jan. 8 vowed to increase the scope and complexity of its European training exercises to deter Russian aggression, as more U.S. tanks, trucks and other equipment arrived in Germany for a big buildup on NATO’s eastern flank.
New rules block benefits for some Reserve deployments –
Thousands of reservists who deployed over the past two years, thinking they were entitled to the benefits that mobilized and deployed reservists have typically received for years, have been bitterly disappointed upon their return.
Navy, Trump planning biggest fleet expansion since Cold War –
With President-elect Donald Trump demanding more ships, the Navy is proposing the biggest shipbuilding boom since the end of the Cold War to meet threats from a resurgent Russia and saber-rattling China.
Pentagon approval will advance submarine work –
Advance work on a new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines, the Navy’s top priority and key to fortunes at Newport News Shipbuilding, received approval this week from the Pentagon’s lead weapons buyer.
Major LCS mission package decision nears –
A revised decision on a contractor to proceed with a major component of the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship antisubmarine warfare mission module could be imminent, several sources said – a key step in moving ahead with two of the package’s most significant underwater sensors.
Tough destroyer negotiations between Navy, GD –
The U.S. Navy has or is building 75 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, considered among the most powerful surface ships ever fielded. The service is banking that the 76 thship – probably – is even more effective, incorporating a powerful new radar designed to deal with the threat from enemy ballistic missiles. The Navy is likely to spend more than $50 billion over the next decade to build 22 of the new ships, according to a government report.
Super Hornet ‘not interchangable’ with F-35, says U.S. Air Force Secretary –
If U.S. President-elect Donald Trump moves forward with trying to supplant Lockheed Martin’s F-35 with Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, he can expect to find opposition from the Air Force, the service’s top civilian said.


Veteran unemployment drops again in 2016 –
Unemployment among the newest generation of veterans fell somewhat in December after a sharp spike upward in the month before, new government data indicate.
Veterans try again for popular but expensive Agent Orange bill –
After a stinging legislative defeat, about 90,000 sailors who served in Vietnam have another shot this year at getting coverage for Agent Orange-related health problems.

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Headlines – April 24, 2017

News Mattis in Afghanistan amid calls for troop increase – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan April 24 for meetings with top Afghan and American officials.   Carried away: Inside story of how the Carl Vinson’s canceled port visit sparked a global crisis – Over the course of 10 days, a series of...

News Briefs – April 24, 2017

U.S. carrier heading for Korea trains with Japanese destroyers An American aircraft carrier heading toward the Korean Peninsula began joint exercises Sunday with Japanese naval ships in the Philippine Sea. Two Japanese destroyers joined the USS Carl Vinson and two other U.S. warships as they continued their journey north in the western Pacific Ocean, the...
NASA photograph

Record-breaking NASA astronaut sets new milestone for time in space

NASA photograph NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson signs a bulkhead on the International Space Station next to the Expedition 50 crew patch Five hundred thirty four days, 2 hours, 49 minutes and counting. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitso...