February 9, 2018

Headlines – February 9, 2018


Senate reaches budget deal with huge defense boost –
Senate leaders have reached a two-year deal that would set defense spending at $700 billion for 2018 and $716 billion for 2019.


Oshkosh lands Army’s next-gen Medium Tactical Vehicles contract, worth billions –
The U.S. Army awarded Oshkosh Defense a $476.2 million contract to build a next-generation variant of its Family of Tactical Wheeled Vehicles on Feb. 7. The deal could generate up to $30 billion for Oshkosh over the entire program.
Chinese firm shows off two drones in a first for Singapore Airshow –
Chinese companies have set their sights on the Asia-Pacific region as a potential market for their burgeoning line of armed unmanned aircraft, with the appearance of two such platforms at the Singapore Airshow for the first time.
U.S. firms dominate Asia’s largest airshow as Trump looks to boost arms exports –
The world’s largest economy boasted the largest international presence at this year’s Singapore Airshow as President Donald Trump makes a push to increase his country’s global arms exports.
Honda Aircraft announces largest single order to date of 16 Hondajets –
Honda Aircraft, which delivered its first light business jet in late 2015, has announced its single largest order to date – 16 Hondajets for European air taxi company Wijet. The deal is estimated to be worth up to $80 million, a milestone for the relative newcomer to the business jet market.
Focus on non-passenger variants for future 747 sales –
Boeing’s is now focusing on the non-airliner 747-8 variants as the decline in demand for very large airliners means an end for the passenger version.
Win for German armored vehicle maker could leave British firms out in the cold –
Artec plans to assemble the main element of its Boxer vehicle at Pearson Engineering’s factory in northeast England — that is if the British Ministry of Defence hands the German company a deal to supply several hundred of the eight-wheel drive armored personnel carriers to the British Army.
Airbus hopes to mitigate fiscal harm in A400M program row –
Airbus expects to limit future financial damage from the A400M program, helped by an agreement due later this year on a revised schedule for delivery and capabilities for the military airlifter, the company said in a Feb. 7 statement.
Turkey may create a Golden Cage — its version of Israel’s Iron Dome –
Turkey’s top defense procurement panel has discussed and reviewed a total of 55 programs worth a total of $9.4 billion with a view to adding new indigenous projects to the existing portfolio, a government body announced.
Czech military eyes $490 million howitzer buy from NATO member –
The Czech Republic’s defense minister says the country may acquire new self-propelled howitzers made by a NATO member state.
Meet MRZR X — the Polaris equipment transport ground robot –
Polaris rolled out its ground robot — the MRZR X, currently in the running for the U.S. Army’s competition for an unmanned equipment transport vehicle — at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference this week.
Indian government in a muddle over deal for French fighter jets –
India’s much-delayed acquisition of Dassault Rafale combat aircraft from France has erupted into a major controversy this week, with the country’s defense minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, refusing to reveal the total cost of the deal.
Did U.S. Army consider all competition on its $4 billion radio program? –
The Government Accountability Office has denied a protest about an impending soldier radio contract that could be worth nearly $4 billion.
Nexter foresees future tank prototype contract, talks AI and robot aspirations –
Nexter hopes to sign a contract around 2020 for a technology demonstrator for a future heavy tank for the French and Germany armies, said Stéphane Mayer, chairman and CEO of the French land weapons company.
Political deal rethinks German defense, puts armed drones buy on hold –
German government negotiators have approved a new defense and security direction for the country, coupling boosts in military expenditures with equal increases in foreign assistance.
U.S. looks to increase weapons exports to Vietnam, decrease Russian influence –
The U.S. State Department wants to see Vietnam distance itself from Russian arms deals and buy more weapons from the United States, but experts say the cost and complication of American-made technologies could make that transition hard fought.
BMC charged with developing tank engine — but it plans to surpass expectations –
BMC, a privately owned Turkish armored vehicles manufacturer, has set out to design, develop and produce an indigenous engine for the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous, new-generation tank in the making.
Super Bowl commercial that spoke to the defense tech community –
What connects technology to humanity? Curiosity.


Mattis: If given a budget, ‘we will spend the money wisely’ –
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made a rare television appearance before the White House press corps Feb. 7 to speak directly to the public — and perhaps, more importantly, to Capitol Hill — to convince them that anything short of a regular budget would do irreparable harm to an already cash-strapped military.
Two-year budget deal would raise caps, give Pentagon $700 billion in 2018 –
Senators struck a budget deal Feb. 7 that would provide steep increases in U.S. defense spending over the next two years — up more than 15 percent in 2018 alone, the largest boost in more than a decade and a half.
Budget caps leave Army with a choice: maintain or modernize, but not both –
The U.S. Army will once again have to shelve modernization efforts if Congress fails to break free of crippling budget caps, said the head of the service’s resourcing branch.
Hearings for Fitz, McCain COs scheduled for next month –
The Navy will present its argument early next month for why the captains of two warships involved in fatal collisions last summer should be held liable for the deaths of 17 sailors who were crushed and drowned in the disasters.
U.S. Navy’s $1 million fix-it team –
Data and system integration is a buzzword that’s popular in speeches by military leaders and common in defense contractor sales pitches. But quantifying the importance of that integration can be a slippery task.
With nuclear mission in rear-view, options abound for B-1B –
Recently, the B-52 Stratofortress replaced the B-1B in the Pacific. The move marked a significant shift to bring back the B-52H — which provided a continuous bomber presence in the region from 2006 to 2016 — to put a nuclear-capable bomber in theater at a time when relations between the U.S. and North Korea are largely unpredictable. The B-1, by comparison, is all about variety now — the missions it can perform, and the bombs it can drop.
Watch as a B-52 takes out a Taliban training camp in Afghanistan –
Earlier in the week, the Air Force released video of a B-52’s airstrike against a Taliban drug lab; now, here’s what the Air Force says is a B-52 airstrike against a Taliban training camp.
Passing Combat Endurance Test is no longer required for infantry officers –
In a slight change to the grueling initial stage of the 13-week Infantry Officer Course, Marines will no longer be required to pass the Combat Endurance Test to move on.
Marines pushing quadcopters and ‘video game war fighting’ for every squad –
The Marine Corps wants every squad to be equipped with new quadcopter tactical drones as it pushes high-tech, realistic video games for training.
Marine Corps expo debuts electric assault vehicle, replacement for Humvees –
A menacing vehicle with a cobra-like front and a lightweight camouflage frame — equipped to seize an airfield and do reconnaissance missions — made its debut Feb. 7 during a military expo showcasing new warfighting technology on the base.
New test lab brings sea control ashore for landing force –
Tucked inside a pair of shipping containers parked not far from Camp Pendleton’s training beaches is a test-bed where a command staff can practice landing Marines ashore – all without stepping aboard ship.


Remains of airman missing since World War II recovered in France –
An airman whose plane was shot down during World War II is finally coming home.
See what changes could be coming to TAP –
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill want service members to get more training for civilian life before transitioning out of the military.
Feud over service dog ends after American Airlines settles lawsuit with Army veteran –
American Airlines has settled a 2016 lawsuit filed by an Army veteran who complained that the company had mistreated her because of her service dog.

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