Headlines – May 10, 2019

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News

Top U.S. diplomat makes secret Iraq trip amid Iran tensions –
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a lightning visit Tuesday to Baghdad aimed at showing support for the Iraqi government as the United States has been picking up intelligence that Iran is threatening American interests in the Middle East.
 
Images show construction on China’s third and largest aircraft carrier –
Construction of China’s first full-sized aircraft carrier is well under way, according to satellite images obtained and analyzed by a U.S. think tank.
 
Lead investigator in Green Beret murder case pleads guilty to stolen valor charges –
The lead investigator into allegations that an Army Green Beret major murdered an alleged Taliban bomb maker in Afghanistan has pleaded guilty to falsifying his military record and wearing the Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Purple Heart medal, none of which he had earned.
 
 

Business

Price drop: Lockheed pitches $80M F-35A to Pentagon –
Lockheed Martin is offering to come down more than 10% on the price of the least-expensive F-35 as it negotiates the largest sale yet of Joint Strike Fighters.
 
U.S., Canada talks underway to decide if the F-35 will be pulled from Canada’s fighter competition –
The U.S. is threatening to pull the F-35 from Canada’s fighter jet competition if the ally to the north doesn’t change requirements for the winning bidder to stipulate specific industrial benefits for domestic firms.
 
Navy plans to surge submarine spending to $5 billion by 2024 –
The U.S. Navy plans to boost spending for its next-generation nuclear missile submarine program by $2 billion in fiscal year 2021 and continue pushing toward $5 billion in 2024, according to the service’s latest annual report to Congress.
 
Pentagon review pits Boeing vs. Lockheed for Marine helicopters –
The Pentagon is assessing whether Boeing’s heavy-lift helicopter for the Army, the CH-47 Chinook, could replace Lockheed Martin’s troubled King Stallion chopper for some or all Marine Corps missions, according to officials.
 
 

Defense

B-52 bombers are off to rebuff Iran after threats to U.S. troops; DOD won’t say what those were –
The Pentagon is deploying a B-52 bomber task force alongside the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. Central Command area of operations amid threats of “heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations,” according to defense officials.
 
Marines experiment with ‘mini-carriers’ for their stealthy fighters –
The F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter is still a bit of a boot to the Marine Corps’ jet fleet, despite notching three deployments and conducting strike missions in the Middle East.
 
U.S. Air Force’s new trainer jet is attracting the Navy’s, Marine Corps’ interests –
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are monitoring the development of the Air Force’s T-X training jet, but it may be years before they can launch their own competitions to replace the T-45, officials said May 6.
 
E/A-18G Growler electronic attack plane is about to get even more lethal –
Boeing’s E/A-18G Growler could be getting a package of upgrades in the mid-2020s that will give it a suite of new tools to electronically attack its foes.
 
Among the Navy’s submarine maintenance woes, there may yet be hope –
Connecticut Democrat Rep. Joe Courtney was surprised when he saw the Los Angeles-class attack submarine Boise’s long-delayed overhaul on the Navy’s 2020 “unfunded priorities” list.
 
U.S. Navy is eyeing a big change to its new stealth destroyers –
The U.S. Navy is considering a significant change to its new stealth destroyers, one driven by the change of mission announced in last year’s budget documents, the head of the program said May 7 at the Sea-Air-Space conference.
 
When will U.S. Navy be able to autonomously seek, destroy mines? –
The U.S. Navy is racing to field unmanned systems, and while much work remains for distributed, unmanned sensors and missile shooters, one area of unmanned warfare is seeing success: hunting and destroying mines.
 
Head of U.S. surface fleet talks training, experimentation and giving the fleet time back –
Since taking command as the Navy’s top surface warfare officer in early 2018 in the wake of two deadly collision in the Pacific, Vice Adm. Richard Brown has been on a mission to ensure officers and crews know how to get the basics right.
 
Marine Corps counter-drone experiment ends this year –
A U.S. Marine Corps experiment that has deployed a counter-drone system on a Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicle to the Mideast is winding down, according to a Corps official.
 
How an electronic warfare update could help Navy –
The U.S. Navy wants to harden its aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and warships against an ever more hostile electronic warfare environment. And to do so, the service recently awarded Lockheed Martin an $184 million contract.
 
Navy walks thinning line on sub programs –
The Navy’s two most critical submarine programs share one big concern: the ability of an already squeezed defense industry to keep up.
 
First live missile firing conducted for Navy’s stealthy mega-destroyer –
Weapons testing is now in full swing for the Navy’s new Zumwalt class of giant guided-missile destroyers.
 
Marine Corps wants MUX to fly in 2026 –
The Marine Corps is still evaluating what it wants its proposed large unmanned vehicle to accomplish, but the service wants to issue an airframe request for information in fiscal year 2020.
 
A U.S. Marine F-35 squadron will deploy on a British aircraft carrier in 2021 –
A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter squadron will make history by deploying aboard the British Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier — the first deployment of its kind and one that could serve as a model for the new normal, a three-star general said.
 
Marines’ next ship-to-shore connector could be 3D printed –
The Marines are looking to solve a budget shortfall by trying something totally new.
 
Navy plans to surge submarine spending to $5 billion by 2024 –
The U.S. Navy plans to boost spending for its next-generation nuclear missile submarine program by $2 billion in fiscal year 2021 and continue pushing toward $5 billion in 2024, according to the service’s latest annual report to Congress.
 
Marine Corps has been looking at Israel’s Iron Dome to boost air defense –
As the Marine Corps faces down advancing military capabilities from Russia and China and contends with the proliferation of drone tech among small terror groups the force is rapidly on the hunt for air defense systems.
 
 

Veterans

Lawsuit filed over Bible display at New Hampshire VA hospital; uproar ensues –
A dispute over a Bible display at the Manchester Veterans Affairs hospital in New Hampshire is erupting into a full-fledged war, to include close-air support and vows from both sides to trample the enemy underfoot.
 
World War II vet, 95, dies during ‘Honor Flight’ trip –
A 95-year-old former soldier died last weekend aboard a so-called Honor Flight carrying World War II veterans home to San Diego after an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to Washington.