December 1, 2017

Headlines – December 1, 2017


It’s official: Romania signs deal to buy U.S. missile defense system –
Romania announced it wanted to buy Raytheon-made Patriot air and missile defense systems from the U.S. government in April and has been on the fast track to getting those systems, signing an agreement to make the purchase Nov. 29.
British military to test space-based intelligence gathering –
The British military is to test the ability of constellations of low-Earth orbit satellites to provide tactical intelligence gathering.


America sold nearly $42 billion in weapons to foreign countries in 2017 –
U.S. defense companies sold $41.93 billion worth of weapons to foreign partners and allies in fiscal 2017, an almost 20 percent increase over 2016 figures.
Franco-German fighter jet project likely to be opened to other countries –
A Franco-German program to develop a European fighter jet will likely be widened to include other countries to lower costs, officials with the German defense ministry and Europe’s Airbus said on Nov. 29.
Raytheon files protest over U.S. Air Force’s JSTARS recapitalization –
Raytheon on Nov. 20 filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office over the U.S. Air Force’s Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) recapitalization program.
Senior official reportedly leaving French procurement agency for MBDA, could succeed CEO –
A senior French government official handling the country’s arms exports is due to leave the procurement office for a top job at European missile-maker MBDA, website La Tribune has reported.
Iran claims to be building region’s largest warship –
The Iranian media reported that the vessel will be 135 m long and 16 m wide, have a displacement of 6,500 tonnes, a maximum speed of 25 knots, a range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 km), and be able to train 230 students at a time.
Picking favorites: Choice of systems weighs on Italo-French naval merger –
Italy’s Fincantieri and France’s Naval Group have said choosing systems like radar will be a major factor in talks to merge their naval activities.
This robot will pepper spray targets –
Israeli firm General Robotics has unveiled its Less-Lethal Weapon module for its DOGO robot.
Czech military to acquire combat, surveillance drones –
The Czech military has unveiled plans to purchase new surveillance and combat drones by 2025 under a program estimated to be worth about 1 billion koruna (U.S. $46.5 million).
Meggitt gets immersive with FATS 300 virtual weapons trainer –
An armed police officer guarding an office parking lot questions a driver who has just pulled up.
Images of Russian Project 955A SSBN reveal design changes –
According to a report by Russian news agency TASS, the key drivers for the updated design were improved quietening, better habitability, increased maneuverability, improved sensor performance, and the introduction of updated electronic equipment.
Army hand-helds provide secure, tactical video on-the-go –
xG Technology Inc. has been awarded a $12.5 million Army contract for handheld ISR receivers.
China test-fires new laser-based C-UAS –
China’s Ministry of National Defense released images on 28 November showing the test-firing in Beijing of what appears to be a new counter-unmanned aircraft system.
Manila to beef up attack capability with Super Tucano –
Manila has placed an order for six Embraer A-29 Super Tucano close air support aircraft.


T-6As remain grounded at Oklahoma base after hypoxia scares –
Two weeks after hypoxia scares led the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma to ground its T-6A Texan II aircraft, it remains unknown when flying operations will resume.
Military ordered to begin accepting transgender recruits Jan. 1 despite Trump’s ban –
The military must begin accepting transgender recruits Jan. 1 despite a ban ordered by President Trump this year, according to a D.C. district court judge.
Pentagon watchdog: DOD remains vulnerable to insider threats –
Four years after the high-profile leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the Pentagon’s efforts to defend against insider threats remain insufficient, according to a report by the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General.
New retirement system’s retention bonus will be lowest allowed by law –
All five armed service branches have locked in their mid-career cash-payout plans as part of the military’s new retirement system, and they’ve all done it at the same level — the lowest allowed by law.
Pentagon weighs new requirements to secure military’s vulnerable power grid –
In a bid to shore up an increasingly vulnerable energy grid around its military installations, Pentagon is considering putting new requirements into infrastructure contracts across the globe.
In a first, the Army’s new handgun will be issued to team leaders –
For the first time, team leaders in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division will be issued pistols along with their M4 carbines. Those pistols also happen to be the newest addition to the service’s small arms arsenal, and the division was the first to receive them.
Army cancels short-term rifle replacement program –
A short-lived program to find an interim replacement for the M4/M16 rifle for front line soldiers is officially dead.
U.S. Army looks to keep long-time laser tactical training system in fleet –
The U.S. Army’s Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) has been used for years for tactical engagement training, and while the service wants to ultimately replace the system, it is having to find ways to keep it alive and relevant as other priorities take precedence, according to Scott Pulford, the Army’s acting project manager for training devices.
Pilot error cited in Super Hornet crash –
A Super Hornet pilot who ejected from his jet April 21 in the West Pacific was less than 950 feet above the water when he got out and was nearly pulled underwater by his parachute cords after hitting the surface, according to the Navy’s command investigation.
Air Force leaders launch new electronic warfare research –
The U.S. Air Force long ago recognized that future wars will not solely be fought on ground, sea and air, and to better prepare for that reality the service is kicking off a third study on how it plans to use electronic warfare.
Military leaders: Lack of a new budget could ‘break the U.S. Air Force’ –
A panel of leaders from all branches of the Armed Forces said at a conference that operating under a continuing resolution or returning to sequestration could make accomplishing missions much more difficult.


Applications for new VA ID cards are open –
Veterans with honorable discharge status can get the new IDs for free through the department’s website starting Nov. 29.
Pentagon upgrades WWII medal for heroic Navy chaplain –
The Pentagon has approved a Silver Star medal of heroism for a Navy chaplain from Iowa who’s been credited with helping sailors escape a battleship during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
VA promises fixes after report blasts mistakes with reporting of problem physicians –
Veterans Affairs officials are promising swift fixes to their physician monitoring practices after a scathing report this week accusing department staffers of failing to report potentially dangerous doctors to appropriate authorities.
Senate committee advances its plan for VA health care overhaul –
The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved its version of a VA health care overhaul on Wednesday, including easier access for veterans to meet with private-sector doctors and a massive expansion of the department’s caregivers assistance programs.
Lawmakers propose making franchising cheaper for vets –
A bipartisan pair of lawmakers are teaming up to try to make franchising opportunities more accessible to veterans.
VA to offer hyperbaric oxygen treatments for PTSD, despite doubts –
Veterans Affairs officials will now offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy to some veterans as treatment for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, despite past department findings that the non-traditional care offers no real therapeutic benefit for those problems.

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Headlines – December 17, 2018

News U.S., Taliban to Meet Monday in UAE – A Pakistan-arranged meeting between U.S. and Taliban officials will be held Dec. 17 in the United Arab Emirates to push a political settlement to the war in Afghanistan.     Business Australia, Naval Group conclude sub negotiations – Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne confirmed that the...

News Briefs – December 17, 2018

Turkey conducts airstrikes against PKK targets in Iraq Turkey’s Defense Ministry says the military has conducted airstrikes against Kurdish rebel targets in Iraq’s Sinjar and Mount Karajak regions. A ministry statement, carried by state-run Anadolu Agency, said jets on Dec. 13 targeted shelters, caves, tunnels and depots used by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or...
Lockheed Martin photograph

Littoral Combat Ship 19 (St. Louis) christened, launched

Lockheed Martin photograph The 19th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS St. Louis, launches sideways into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisc., on Dec. 15, 2018. The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral C...