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September 18, 2013

Headlines September 18, 2013

News:

F-35 tires wear out too soon, Pentagon finds -

Tires that wear out too soon are adding to the trouble’s facing Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system.

 

Business:

Lockheed payments held by U.S. increase to $195 million -

The U.S. Defense Department has withheld $195 million in payments from Lockheed Martin because of flaws in the company’s system of tracking costs and schedules for F-35 jet contracts.

Boeing stock rises as bigger 787 prepares for takeoff -

As Boeing prepares to fly the first of its bigger 787 Dreamliners, Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney is plotting production of the marquee jet at a faster pace as he gains confidence it has overcome a troubled past.

Affordability is biggest research, development focus for arms industry executives -

The single biggest driver for research and development in the U.S. arms industry is not a hot area like unmanned weapons, cyberspace or surveillance but the need to make systems affordable, executives and defense officials say.

 

Defense:

DOD needs ISR fleet for contested environments -

The Pentagon needs to move away from Predator and Reaper unmanned systems and establish a fleet of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that can handle contested environments, a top Air Force general said Sept. 17.

F-35 costs drop as technical challenges lessen, officials say -

The F-35 is no longer a trillion-dollar program and costs are likely to continue to drop, officials for the Joint Strike Fighter program said Sept. 17.

ACC chief: A-10 fleet a likely target of budget cuts -

The A-10 will likely see its last flight sooner than planned if sequestration continues, the chief of Air Combat Command said Sept. 17. The Air Force will be forced to look at cutting single-mission aircraft under continuing budget cuts because more savings will be realized by ending the full weapon system, including infrastructure and training, as opposed to cutting just squadrons.

 

Veterans:

Vet charity officials must resign, pay hefty restitution -

Leaders of the charity Help Hospitalized Veterans will pay back to the charity $2.5 million in restitution and $1 million in legal fees under a settlement reached with the California attorney general.

 

Space:

A blue dot in a cosmic ocean -

This incredible photo shows radio signals glowing blue from the spacecraft Voyager 1 nearly 12 billion miles away. Scientists can’t actually see the spacecraft but they can detect its radio light. They used the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) a network of powerful radio telescopes to pick up the signal which looks like a blue speck.

Iran to send Persian cat into space as it ramps up plans for first human astronaut by 2018 -

As Iran steps up its space program with plans to send a human into space by 2018, the country has been using animals as test astronauts and may now turn to the distinctive, and locally named, Persian cat.

 

Technology:

Could we live in underground caves on Mars? -

Martian bases could be built on the red planet by robots excavating underground caves, a group of German architects has claimed.

 

International:

Dutch government says it will purchase 37 F-35 fighter planes -

The Netherlands said it will buy 37 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes and may order more if funds become available, a decision that should end years of political wrangling over ballooning costs and delays.




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Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

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