In the news...

March 6, 2013

Headlines: March 6, 2013

News

From Hollywood to Kansas, drones are flying under the radar

They hover over Hollywood film sets and professional sports events. They track wildfires in Colorado, survey Kansas farm crops and vineyards in California. They inspect miles of industrial pipeline and monitor wildlife, river temperatures and volcanic activity.

 

Business

General Dynamics unit, others issue layoff notices, blame U.S. budget cuts

General Dynamics NASSCO, a primary constructor of ships for the U.S. Navy, warned about 1,040 employees March 4 of indefinite layoffs that may come in late April due to uncertainty created by the automatic U.S. budget cuts that took effect last week.

Pentagon cuts hit accounts that pay Lockheed to Raytheon

The Pentagon has offered little guidance to contractors that may be hurt by $46 billion in defense-spending cutbacks over the next seven months, even as a budget document showed the effect on procurement accounts that pay companies from Lockheed Martin to Raytheon.

Meggitt says U.S. unit cleared of 787 fire blame

Aircraft parts supplier Meggitt said a product made by its U.S. unit had been cleared by regulators of causing a battery fire on Boeing’s troubled 787 Dreamliner jet.

Elbit Systems unit wins $50 million contract from BAE Systems

Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems said M7 Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems of America, will be working with BAE Systems to provide logistics support for the T-34, T-44 and T-6 aircraft.

 

Defense

New Pentagon super fighter will get pilots shot down, warns report

The U.S. Air Force version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has shortcomings that will get pilots shot down in combat, according to a leaked Pentagon report evaluating combat testing of the plane.

Military leaders welcome House GOP spending bill

The nation’s military leaders are welcoming a House Republican spending bill, saying it would ease some of the pain of budget cuts hitting the Pentagon.

Obama ready to destroy $36 billion of military assets

The Obama White House is resigned to losing up to $36 billion worth of military hardware when it pulls out of Afghanistan.  A total of 750,000 pieces of major military hardware are in the country and the cost of getting it out is seen as insurmountable.

Pentagon F-35 chief sees progress, but affordability still focus

A week after his drubbing of the top contractors on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter raised eyebrows at the Pentagon, the U.S. program chief sought to maintain pressure on industry, while citing progress on software development and production costs.

 

Events

Holding Pattern 

An F-86 Sabre sits forlorn in the field, in the shadow of its former glory. The old plane is in parts now, its wings detached and lying beside it. The canopy is missing, along with most of the interior parts of the cockpit, and the windshield is shattered – now bits of broken glass hang precariously from a spider web of cracks.

Returning to the skies, the oldest jet fighter in the world: British built Meteor to fly again 70 years after its maiden flight

Seventy years ago today Britain’s first front-line jet fighter took to the skies at the height of the Second World War. Almost 4,000 Meteors were built and they were exported to serve with countries around the world during a time when Britain truly ruled the skies.

 

International

China’s defense spending soars 10 percent as outgoing communist leader ‘Grandpa Wen’ warns of ‘social unrest’

China announced huge rises in military and domestic security expenditure today highlighting Beijing’s concern about growing social unrest and internal threats.

Russia launched massive nuclear drill, Pentagon alarmed

Russian nuclear forces conducted a major exercise last month that tested the transport of both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons near Europe, according to United States officials.

 

Viewpoint

Mission unaccomplished, in Libya and at home

By C. Boyden Gray

By appointing John F. Kerry to be the new secretary of state, President Obama attempted to tamp down the wildfire of criticism that had erupted over his debacle in Libya. Susan E. Rice, the current U.N. ambassador and the early favorite to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton in Foggy Bottom, had been a central player in causing the Libyan disaster and then attempting to cover it up. By choosing Mr. Kerry over Mrs. Rice, Mr. Obama attempted to stamp out the conflagration that was threatening to consume his second term in office.

 




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Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

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