July 18, 2018

Headlines – July 18, 2018


Revealed: Nnew structure for Pentagon’s tech, acquisition offices –
Here are the details of a major restructuring for the two Pentagon offices that determine how the Defense Department buys and develops weapon systems.
NSA, Cyber Command to coordinate actions to counter Russian election interference in 2018 amid absence of White House guidance –
The head of the nation’s largest electronic spy agency and the military’s cyberwarfare arm has directed the two organizations to coordinate actions to counter potential Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections.
UK prime minister moves to reassure industry as Brexit terms lose support –
British Prime Minister Theresa May put her Brexit troubles aside July 17 to open the Farnborough Airshow with a speech promising increased spending on research and technology and a possible deal to raise performance in the local aerospace sector.


Boeing gets $3.9 billion contract for new Air Force One –
Boeing to field two new 747s for White House by December 2024.
Netherlands signs deal for unarmed MQ-9 Reaper drones –
The Netherlands on July 17 inked a deal to purchase four MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 drones from General Atomics, marking the first sale of unmanned aerial systems since U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on a policy to loosen up arms sale restrictions.
U.S. Air Force looks to accelerate artificial intelligence contracts –
The Air Force is still not moving fast enough to recruit the software talent that it needs to harness emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, its acquisition head said July 17.
UK military eyes on-demand space launch from new spaceport –
The creation of a new spaceport in Scotland has the British military eyeing the ability to get national security payloads into space in as little as 72 hours.
Raytheon missile defense chief: Turkey Patriot decision ‘is all political’ –
Whether Turkey plays ball with the United States and opts for Patriot missiles over a Russian alternative will be decided by politics, not capability requirements, said Raytheon’s missile defense chief.
Airbus marks two milestones for Zephyr solar-powered drone –
To date the Zephyr family has racked up over 1000 flying hours and their experience far exceeds any rival operators.
From the Spider to the Grifo, Leonardo launches radar, comms systems –
Leonardo announced a host of new defense systems, including a communications intelligence system and a radar array.
U.S. Air Force awards Rolls-Royce with Global Hawk, Triton sustainment contract –
The U.S. Air Force has awarded Rolls-Royce a sustainment contract to maintain, repair and overhaul engines for the Air Force Global Hawk and U.S. Navy Triton fleets.
Following industry trend, Airbus dives into data –
The firm announced the program, SmartForce, at the 2018 Farnborough Airshow.
Typhoon seeks role as waypoint toward new Euro warplane –
After the unveiling of a new future fighter aircraft concept for the UK here, Eurofighter executives want to make sure their company’s Typhoon is part of the picture toward any European future combat air system.
U.S. Air Force wants more commercial companies working AI projects –
Defense leaders issue a new call to industry after a study finds just two of 100 top AI firms have Pentagon contracts.
If your weapons aren’t cyber-hardened, expect to lose Pentagon contracts –
The Pentagon intends to start assessing its weapons’ resistance to hacks, instead of leaving that to manufacturers.
Navy’s new EW jammer to be ready in 2022 –
The U.S. Navy hopes to start flying its Next Generation Jammer sometime next year, though the system won’t reach operational capability until 2022, said Navy Capt. Michael Orr, program manager for the service’s electronic attack systems.
Army, Navy buy Raytheon’s Coyote drone weapon –
The U.S. Army, witnessing the expanding use of commercial and light miltiary drones around the world, has bought Raytheon’s tube-launched Coyote drone to find, target and destroy them. The contract includes Raytheon’s KRFS radar. The Army is deploying the system.
Raytheon touts aircraft cyber protection; Jordan signs deal –
Cyber protection and attacks are rarely discussed, especially when it comes to fighters and bombers.
Joint Strike Missile shoots, maneuvers and scores in latest test –
A Joint Strike Missile, fired from an F-16 Fighting Falcon, successfully struck its target during a July 16 test at the Utah Test and Training Range. According to Norway’s Ministry of Defence, the missile changed its course in flight to avoid a decoy target before scoring the hit.
How is global defense industry performing? Three takeaways from a key report on revenue –
Deloitte has released a detailed snapshot of the worldwide defense industry and contracting environment. The report by the U.K.-based consulting firm analyzes 2017 results from the aerospace and defense industry, with three notable conclusions.
Lockheed awarded $450.7 million contract for Saudi patrol ships –
Lockheed Martin has received a $450.7 million modification to an existing contract for production of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships for Saudi Arabia.
Google DeepMind researchers join pledge not to work in lethal AI –
Thousands of AI researchers sign letter forgoing work on autonomous weapons.


Far fewer troops applying to be U.S. citizens this year, officials say –
The number of non-citizen U.S. troops applying for and being approved for naturalization went down significantly again in the first three months of 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) reported July 16.
Trump’s defense chief open to first talks with Russian counterpart — sources –
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is open to the possibility of the first talks since 2015 between the defense chiefs of the United States and Russia, a move that would deepen communication between Washington and Moscow, U.S. officials said.
Army engineers run airdrop tests of upgraded Airfield Damage Repair kit –
Building and repairing airfields, especially in remote areas that fuel distant operations, is key for keeping troops and gear flowing to the fight.
U.S. Army asks Congress to shift millions in fiscal 2018 dollars. What’s behind the request? –
The U.S. Army has sent to Congress a request to shift around roughly $378 million in fiscal 2018 funding to pay for major modernization efforts teed up for rapid development now and in the coming years.
This is what it looks like when a MK-48 torpedo breaks your keel –
Torpedos are every surface sailor’s worst nightmare.
LCS Anti-Submarine Warfare Mission Package Meets Two Test Milestones –
The littoral combat ship anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission package met two important testing milestones earlier this month, Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) announced this week.
U.S. Marines want a drone delivery system that can haul up to 500 pounds to remote troops –
While commercial drone delivery services max out most payloads at less than 40 pounds, the Marine Corps is asking for a much larger, more powerful autonomous drone delivery system capable of carrying as much as 500 pounds to Marines at least 10 km away.


VA gets a new top health official, but still searches for a permanent nominee –
The Department of Veterans Affairs this week will welcome another new temporary head for its health operations, but still has no clear path ahead for a permanent appointee for the post.
Senate plans path ahead for ‘blue water Navy’ benefits fix –
Senate lawmakers will start their work next month on legislation to extend disability benefits for nearly 90,000 veterans who worked around toxic chemicals during the Vietnam War but have been denied compensation for that exposure.
VA, union leaders spar over impact of new accountability law –
Veterans Affairs leaders say new accountability rules passed last summer are already beginning to reform the culture throughout the federal bureaucracy.

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Headlines – April 19, 2019

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