January 5, 2018

Headlines – January 5, 2018


Lawmakers move to limit Trump authority to launch nuke –
U.S. lawmakers are offering legislation to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to launch a nuclear first strike after he heckled North Korea’s leader about the comparative size of his “nuclear button.”


Boeing seeks Embraer control, with defense safeguards –
Boeing is seeking control of Embraer SA while offering the Brazilian government safeguards concerning the company’s defense unit, people familiar with the matter said.
Three European producers bid for Poland sub deal –
Poland’s Ministry of Defence has obtained three offers to acquire new submarines for the country’s Navy as the service seeks three new vessels to replace outdated Kobben-class subs.
MantaDroid could be the wet, electric, flapping robotic sea scout of the future –
Consider the manta. The flat, slick body, at home on the ocean’s surface or hiding in the muck of the ocean floor; the subtle movement, flapping through water. The ubiquity of rays, from smaller variants to the massive mantas, in oceans the world around. The manta is a fascinating creature, and so it should come as no surprise that the manta also makes a fascinating body for an underwater robot.
Norway suspends arms exports to UAE amid Yemen conflict –
Norway said Jan. 3 it has suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates as a “precautionary line,” based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition including the UAE has been fighting Shiite rebels for nearly three years.
Air Force Research Laboratory, Textron Demonstrate Plug and Play ISR –
The Air Force and Textron Aviation in December looked to prove the future of plug-and-play surveillance and open systems architecture by installing a newly developed pod on an aircraft that is not currently in the service’s fleet.


Future of Special Capabilities Office uncertain, as director lands Air Force nomination –
Will Roper has been tapped for the Air Force’s top technology spot, putting the future of the Pentagon’s semi-secretive Special Capabilities Office into question.
U.S. Senate confirms Rood as Pentagon policy chief –
The U.S. Senate easily confirmed John Rood as undersecretary of defense for policy, in an 81-7 vote Jan. 3, overruling lawmaker concerns that industry executives are overrepresented in the Trump administration’s Pentagon.
Pentagon contract protests aren’t frivolous, Rand study finds –
The Defense Department’s process for buying weapons, goods and services isn’t being overwhelmed or delayed by frivolous contract protests filed by major defense contractors as critics have contended, according to a study mandated by Congress.
2018 Forecast: Can U.S. Army reinvent itself? –
Over the next few weeks, U.S. Army leaders will make major decisions about the Futures Command they’re standing up this summer. The new organization will be the biggest departure in how the Army buys weapons in 40 years.
One size won’t fit all for Army’s future helicopter fleet, official says –
A single aircraft design can’t replace the Army’s entire helicopter fleet, according to the director of the service’s Future Vertical Lift program.
KC-46 refueling tanker receives one of two FAA certifications –
The KC-46 refueling tanker has been deemed “safe and reliable,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration.


Fighter pilot who flew last combat mission in World War II dies at 93 –
The fighter pilot known for flying the last combat mission of World War II has died at the age of 93.
VA firings spiked after Trump signed the new accountability law last year –
Employee firings at the Department of Veterans Affairs jumped in the second half of 2017 after new accountability legislation was signed into law last summer, results that administration officials insist show a renewed commitment to cleaning up the agency.
VA promises faster action on unpaid bills from outside health providers –
As their stack of unpaid bills continues to grow, Veterans Affairs officials are promising a host of reforms in coming months to more quickly pay community providers for care they deliver to veterans.

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Headlines – August 20, 2018

News U.S. special ops helicopter crashes in Iraq – It is unclear why the MH-60 Blackhawk went down, but U.S. military sources with knowledge of the crash said the helicopter was returning to base after conducting a small-scale raid in an undisclosed region.   T-38 Talon training jet crashes in Oklahoma – An Air Force...

News Briefs – August 20, 2018

Russia says drone attacks on its Syria base have increased The Russian military says the number of drone attacks on its main base in Syria has increased. The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, says in just one month air defense assets have downed 45 drones targeting the Hemeimeem air base. The base...
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s InSight passes halfway to Mars, instruments check in

NASA’s InSight spacecraft, en route to a Nov. 26 landing on Mars, passed the halfway mark on Aug. 6. All of its instruments have been tested and are working well. As of Aug. 20, the spacecraft had covered 172 million mile...