Headlines – December 20, 2017



Here’s how Trump administration could make it easier to sell military drones –
The United States is actively pursuing a change to a major arms control treaty that would open the door for wider exports of military drones.


Boeing offers sneak peek of MQ-25 tanker drone –
Boeing on Dec. 19 unveiled its entrant into the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 tanker drone competition, a prototype wing-body-tail aircraft ready to begin tests this month.
Rolls-Royce, local firm face off in Turkish jet engine contest –
Rolls-Royce’s European consortium is expected to face rivalry from a local manufacturer in a Turkish competition for the design, development and production of a jet engine for the TF-X, the Turkish indigenous fighter aircraft in the making.
Japan to buy Aegis Ashore missile defense systems –
Japan’s Cabinet Dec. 20 approved a plan to purchase a set of costly land-based U.S. missile combat systems to increase the country’s defense capabilities amid escalating threats from North Korea.
UK’s newest, most expensive aircraft carrier needs repair –
The British Royal Navy’s newest and most expensive aircraft carrier needs repairs after a faulty shaft seal was identified during sea trials.
Philippine Navy chief terminated in reported frigate procurement row –
The Philippine Navy chief has been relieved of his duties, reportedly because of differences with other security officials over a frigate deal, officials said Dec. 19.
F-35 continues to dominate western fighter markets –
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 took the international community by storm in 2017, with operational deployments to both the European and Pacific theaters, an aerobatic debut at the Paris Air Show and delivery of the first Norwegian version to Orland Air Base. The stealth fighter will continue to draw focus in 2018 as the U.S. Navy nears initial operational capability for its F-35C variant and several nations look to choose their next-generation combat aircraft.


Former Navy pilot describes UFO encounter studied by secret Pentagon program –
Fravor’s story emerged this week after the Pentagon publicly acknowledged for the first time the existence of a recent program dedicated to studying unidentified flying objects. The funding for what was known as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ran from 2007 to 2012. But officials familiar with it said some of its efforts have continued.
U.S. Senate confirms DOD special operations nominee Owen West –
The U.S. Senate on Dec. 18 confirmed Owen West as the assistant secretary of defense for special operations in a 74-23 vote.
New upgunned Stryker arrives in Europe –
The newly upgraded Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle – Dragoon has arrived in Germany to equip the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
Next focus for the Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office –
The Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office, which has previously specialized on fast-moving electronic warfare, non-GPS and cyber technologies, announced last summer that its focuses would include drone swarm technology and contested environments with near-peer competitors.


VA refutes rumors of a new policy on medical marijuana –
Veterans Affairs officials are denying a report that they have softened their stance on medical marijuana, insisting that updated guidance on the drug does not amount to a new policy change.
Deported Marine vet wins case to return to U.S. from Mexico –
A Marine veteran deported to Mexico 15 years ago after he was convicted of a minor offense has won his fight to return to the United States and regain his permanent U.S. residency.