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September 20, 2013

Headlines September 20, 2013

News:

Air Force general wants simpler weapons quicker –

The three-star general who heads the secretive U.S. Special Operations Command is pressing arms makers to speed up the development of new weapons and move toward greater standardization of aircraft and sensors.

 

Business:

Lockheed Martin girds for combat jet choices as Dutch back JSF –

Lockheed Martin is setting its sights on Denmark as the next prospective European buyer of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as the world’s largest defense company seeks to replicate the sales success of its F-16.

General Dynamics wins Saudi tank order –

General Dynamics has won a $187.5 million contract to upgrade 44 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 40 M1A2 model Abrams tanks for Saudi Arabia, the Pentaon announced Sept. 18.

Embraer’s herculean task: Brazilian jet takes on Lockheed –

For decades Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA has kept its head down, shying away from larger aircraft in competition with industry giants that its executives called the “big dogs.”

Fitch affirms Raytheon’s ratings at ‘A-/F2’ … outlook stable –

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Raytheon’s ratings at ‘A-‘ and ‘F2.’ The rating outlook is stable.

Mood’s cuts Finmeccanica credit rating to ‘junk’ –

Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service cut Italian defense and aerospace group Finmeccanica to ‘junk,’ saying the company was improving at a slower than expected pace, and after extensive delays in planned sales worth $1.35 billion.

 

Defense:

SECAF nominee: Commanders should be held accountable for sexual assault –

The nominee for Secretary of the Air Force said Sept. 19 that commanders should be evaluated on how well they have dealt with sexual assaults when they come up for promotion. “Command is an honor and a privilege in this country, it’s not an entitlement, and those who do not live up to our values simply need to be removed from that command,” Deborah Lee James told lawmakers during her confirmation hearing.

Air Force sees speed as part of the A2/AD solution –

For much of the past decade, the buzzword A2/AD — anti-access/area-denial — has been closely linked with stealth technology. But with many nations slowly developing their own stealth capabilities, the Air Force is looking for new advantages it can create to counter a foe’s A2/AD threats.

 

Veterans:

Lawmakers to VA: Stop stonewalling us –

A key House committee is accusing the Veterans Affairs Department of interfering with congressional investigations, oversight and legislation by refusing to provide timely answers to questions or meet deadlines for providing views on pending bills.

VA starts looking for new health chief –

The Veterans Affairs Department will soon launch a search for a new under secretary for health. Dr. Robert Petzel, the current health chief who has spent 40 years working for VA, has announced he will retire in 2014 but will stay on the job until his successor is confirmed by Congress.

 

Space:

NASA says there is NO life on Mars –

After a year roaming the surface of Mars, NASA has failed to find any evidence that its atmosphere is supporting life, it was revealed Sept. 20. The Curiosity rover currently scanning the Red Planet has not detected any methane, a gas that is produced by living things.

 

International:

Australia: War footing: Minister eyes next hotspot –

Australia’s new Defence Minister David Johnston says he wants the military to be battle-ready for future conflicts in the unstable Middle East and south Asia, even including the possibility of fresh trouble in Afghanistan.

Russian war games on Baltic border spark security fears –

Baltic officials said regional security had been weakened as Russia led military exercises on their doorstep involving almost 12,000 troops.

Kentucky nerve gas arms show destroying weapons not easy –

Weapons armed with the same nerve gas used on Syrian citizens last month sit in grass-topped bunkers at an Army depot in Kentucky, 20 years after the U.S. government promised to destroy them.




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