January 26, 2018

Headlines – January 26, 2018


SpaceX keeps U.S. Air Force’s confidence after satellite’s loss –
The U.S. Air Force command that certified Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. for military missions says it remains confident in the company’s capabilities despite the disappearance this month of a classified satellite it launched.
Destroyer tracking Russian spy ship off U.S. coast –
The U.S. Navy is currently tracking a Russian spy ship spotted off the coast of North Carolina, CNN reported.


Lockheed wants Pentagon to help pay its costs to absorb Sikorsky –
Lockheed Martin is asking the Pentagon for $212 million toward restructuring costs for its $9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft, saying the purchase will save taxpayers $8 in efficiencies for every $1 spent, as a defense agency questions whether the deal is eligible.
Orbital ATK joins DARPA to research hypersonic engines –
Orbital ATK announced Jan. 23 that it has been tapped by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to study the integration of turbine and hypersonic engine technologies for use in a new aircraft propulsion system.
Beijing goes boldly into anti-satellite weapons frontier –
China is aggressively pursuing capabilities such as anti-satellite weapons that could diminish the U.S. military’s reconnaissance, navigation and communications in case of war in the South China Sea or on the Korean Peninsula.
Russia’s Flanker jet sales prosper with Myanmar buy –
Russia’s Sukhoi Su-27/30/35 Flanker family continues to rack up export successes in Asia, with Myanmar being the latest regional country to acquire the combat-proven jet.
Four Turkish firms bid for F-35, Air Force network-linking contract –
Turkey’s defense procurement agency has named four local bidders for a critical contract that aims to combine all information systems on the country’s planned F-35 Lightning II jets to the Turkish Air Force’s system network.
Bell makes progress on V-247 unmanned tiltrotor –
Bell Helicopter is continuing through the preliminary design review stage of its V-247 Vigilant unmanned tiltrotor, as it waits for its intended U.S. Marine Corps customer to deliver precise requirements for the program.
Support ship for Type 001A’s sea trials arrives in Dalian –
The arrival of the Chinese carrier trials support ship No 89 in Dalian, which has berthed next to the country’s second aircraft carrier (commonly referred to as Type 001A), has prompted speculation that the People’s Liberation Army Navy and the shipbuilder are preparing the carrier for sea trials in the near future.
Calm down everyone, there’s no plan to put an F-35 production line in India –
Rumors of an F-35 production line in India have been greatly exaggerated.
India, Russia fail to finalize S-400 air-defense deal –
India’s ongoing negotiations with Russia for the $5 billion-plus purchase of five S-400 Triumf long-range surface-to-air missile systems are in deadlock yet again.
Leonardo delivers upgraded ship to Royal Bahrain Navy –
Leonardo has delivered its first upgraded Al Manama naval ship to the Royal Bahrain Naval Forces.
France armed forces chief Florence Parly: Defense will make room for future tech –
France is determined to shake up its arms procurement office in a bid to speed up its buying of weapons and pursue new technology.
Unpredictable Pentagon spending causing vendors to leave marketplace; R&D stagnant –
Speaking Jan. 22 at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, a panel of experts responded to the findings of a report quantifying how defense spending cuts, enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011, has caused a dramatic number of defense industry suppliers to leave the market while chilling industry’s research and development activities.
Airbus Helicopters reports deliveries dip, upbeat on military refit versions –
Airbus Helicopters has reported a fall in 2017 deliveries, to 409 helicopters from 418 units shipped in the previous year, reflecting weakness in the civil oil and gas industry.
D13’s MESMER applies RF manipulation for C-UAS –
Department 13 is teaming with Raytheon to support its MESMER system, a counter unmanned aircraft system capability that can detect and stop or redirect a UAS.
Singapore reveals delivery date for first Airbus tanker –
Singapore will take delivery of its first Airbus Defence and Space A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport later this year, as the country’s Air Force celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Rheinmetall rolls out ‘safer’ active protection for tanks –
German arms maker Rheinmetall is rolling out a new Active Protection System it says should lay Army safety concerns about such systems to rest.
Orao to overhaul Klimov helicopter engines –
The Orao JSC engine production and overhaul company in Republika Srpska, one of the two constitutional and legal entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will soon become an authorized heavy maintenance facility for Klimov helicopter engines.
General Dynamics firm hires as it preps to build ballistic-missile subs –
General Dynamics’ Electric Boat says its workforce continues to grow as it prepares to build a new class of ballistic-missile submarines.
Shipyard boss seeks employee relations reset as Navy demand increases –
After a stormy chapter in labor relations, the leader of Bath Iron Works aims to collaborate more with workers as the shipbuilder completes production of a stealthy class of destroyers and competes for an entirely new class of smaller warships.


Marine killed in jump incident, Corps suspends double-bag static line jumps –
A Marine was killed in a parachute incident that occurred Jan. 22 at the Multi-Mission Parachute Course in Coolidge, Ariz.
Another Marine Viper attack helicopter makes emergency landing –
A Marine AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in Okinawa Jan. 23.
Why the Pentagon isn’t happy with F-35 –
Efforts to improve the reliability of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 are “stagnant,” undercut by problems such as aircraft sitting idle over the last year awaiting spare parts from the contractor, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.
Not just a sidearm: Army’s new handgun marks first step to changing how soldiers fight –
Over the distant sound of machine gun fire on a neighboring range, an Army staff sergeant shows a huddle of soldiers the proper way to grip the Army’s new pistol.
Interview: Army secretary talks vision for modern war fighter –
U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper took the job nearly a year into Donald Trump’s presidency after several failed attempts to move two other nominees through the congressional confirmation process.
U.S. Navy denies Iranian drones chased away destroyer near Gulf of Oman –
Navy officials are pushing back against claims that a U.S. destroyer was chased away from an Iranian military combined exercise in the Gulf of Oman by naval forces.
Spending patch deal signals defense hike, hawks predict –
Pro-defense lawmakers read progress on ending a three-day-old government shutdown as momentum towards a long-term Pentagon budget boost, but there’s still a ways to go.
Pentagon deputy tapped for powerful new management role –
The chief management officer position would focus on business reform but include IT and data management responsibilities.
Congress wants a close eye on Navy progress –
The head of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on seapower and projection forces said last week that he wants Navy leadership to report to lawmakers every 90 days on the progress they are making in implementing reforms recommended in two reviews undertaken after warship collisions last summer killed 17 sailors.
A-10s deploy to Afghan fight as U.S. hopes to bomb the Taliban into submission –
A squadron of A-10C “Warthog” Thunderbolt IIs deployed to this sprawling airfield in southern Afghanistan last week and has already started flying missions as part of a U.S. and Afghan air campaign targeting Taliban drug facilities.
Modernizing infantry Marines: Big changes coming as grunts take on more special ops-style missions –
The Corps is on a major push to overhaul how its fundamental basic unit operates in battle — providing grunts with modernized equipment and new roles and responsibilities.


AMVETS says NFL censored its ad against flag protests –
AMVETS officials are decrying “corporate censorship” from the National Football League for their decision not to run an ad in their Super Bowl program which responds to league players’ decision to kneel for the national anthem in protest of national equality issues.
The obstacles facing VA in its fight to end veteran homelessness –
At a time when the Department of Veterans Affairs has its hands full combating the opiate epidemic among veterans; walking a tightrope on medical cannabis research; chipping away at its claims backlog; and ending veterans suicide, it’s struggling to find time and resources to end veteran homelessness.
Wreckage of possible World War II plane discovered –
A group of young locals exploring for aircraft wreckage in the hills of northeastern India discovered what are believed to be parts of a U.S. plane from World War II.
At 90, lesbian Air Force veteran finally gets her honorable discharge –
The notice came via FedEx to Airman 2nd Class Helen Grace James’ door Jan. 17, but she couldn’t open it.

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Headlines – January 18, 2019

News Space based interceptors, drones with lasers: the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review wish-list revealed – The long-delayed Missile Defense Review, which will be formally introduced by President Donald Trump at the Pentagon Jan. 17, will call for research and investments to ensure America’s security for the next several decade: laser technology, the F-35 as an...

News Briefs – January 18, 2019

Food pantry opens for employees at Coast Guard Academy A coalition of Coast Guard-related nonprofit groups has opened a pop-up food pantry at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to help Coast Guard and academy workers affected by the partial government shutdown. About 160 of the 260 government-funded nonessential employees at the New London, Conn.,-based academy...
Courtesy photograph

High Desert Hangar Stories: U-2s, Notre Dame and Rosamond Dry Lake

Courtesy photograph Peter Ustinov, as the king, had a rocket-powered golf cart for transportation. Many movies have been filmed up here in our High Desert home, but one that stands out and really takes the cake is one that only...