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January 22, 2014

Headlines – January 22, 2014

News:

Virgin Galactic goes supersonic -

Not content with breaking its own previous altitude records, an incredible video of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo reveals the latest test flight also managed to smash through the sound barrier. The video, taken by cameras placed on carrier plane WhiteKnightTwo, show SpaceShipTwo reaching its maximum velocity of Mach 1.4, approximately 767mph at sea level. Any speeds faster than Mach 1 are considered supersonic.

 

Business:

Funding tight for Black Hawk, Apache engine program -

Without money to carry two vendors through separate programs to develop more powerful Boeing Apache and Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter engines, U.S. Army officials are simply hoping now to be able to carry both through the technology development phase of the Improved Turbine Engine Program.

Defense industry ponders where it goes from here -

The Pentagon was declared the big winner of the massive federal budget bill that Congress passed for fiscal year 2014. The spending bill approves $497 billion for the Defense Department, or about the same as in 2013. The Pentagon gets an additional $85.2 billion for war expenses — about $5 billion more than it requested. 

BlackBerry surges on continued Pentagon dominance -

BlackBerry Ltd. surged the most in a month after the U.S. Department of Defense said the company’s smartphones will account for 98 percent of devices in one of its new networks.

U.K. firms land vehicle support contracts -

A trio of British defense companies is in line for a deal to provide support and sustainment services for nearly half of the 2,000 protected mobility vehicles being brought permanently into the Army’s core equipment program, which had been purchased for the war in Afghanistan.

 

Defense:

Pilot error caused Okinawa helicopter crash that killed airman, Air Force says - 

Pilot error led to a Pave Hawk helicopter crash last year on Okinawa that killed a crew member and stoked Japanese concerns over military aircraft safety, according to investigative findings released Jan. 21 by the Air Force on two recent air mishaps.

U.S. Army studying replacing thousands of grunts with robots -

The postwar, sequestration-era US Army is working on becoming “a smaller, more lethal, deployable and agile force,” according to Gen. Robert Cone, head of the service’s Training and Doctrine Command. 

Hard decisions await new House Defense Appropriations chair -

The man at the center of the new defense spending bill never intended to be there. But the death of an iconic congressman left open a coveted spot in the Capitol Hill hierarchy. 

F-35 pilots will begin flying improved ‘Gen 3’ helmet -

F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet mounted display system that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which the Pentagon has identified as an F-35 program risk. The fixes the fighter program developed for the “Gen 3” helmet system persuaded the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office to stop funding an alternate helmet-mounted display.

 

Space:

Comet-chasing Rosetta sends first signal to Earth -

Anxiously waiting for a phone call home is a scenario that any parent will understand. This evening that call was coming from 500 million miles, after a decade away and two and half years without contact. And it was late.

Mystery deepens over ‘jelly doughnut’ Mars rock -

The mystery over a mysterious Martian rock that appeared in front of the Opportunity rover deepened Jan. 20. Last week researchers saw a rock mysteriously appear over the course of a few days in front of the rover.

 

International:

Testing of India’s Agni IV missile advances -

India’s flight test of its indigenous nuclear-capable Agni IV missile today could pave the way for user trials, according to the Ministry of Defence.

China begins naval drills in South China Sea -

Chinese naval vessels including an island landing ship began drills Jan. 20 in the South China Sea, where China and several other nations are locked in territorial disputes.

 

Viewpoint:

Pentagon has no defense against lawmakers when it comes to appropriations -

Congress is still playing games with the Defense Department budget, which at $605.7 billion is more than half the $1.1 trillion in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 that was passed last week.




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Headlines August 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Northrop Grumman image

Northrop Grumman developing XS-1 experimental spaceplane design for DARPA

Northrop Grumman image Northrop Grumman Corporation with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic is developing a preliminary design for DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane XS-1, shown here in an artist’s concept. In addit...
 

 

82 F-16Ds removed from flight status due to longeron cracks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Air Force officials recently removed 82 two-seat F-16D Fighting Falcons from flight status due to the discovery of canopy sill longeron cracks found between the front and rear pilot seats. The cracks were discovered following an immediate action time compliance technical order, or TCTO, to inspect all F-16D due to initial structural...
 
 

News Briefs August 18, 2014

New U.S. strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign. U.S. Central Command says a combination of bombers, fighter jets, attack planes and unmanned drones hit targets near Iraq’s largest dam...
 
 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News NATO would respond militarily to Crimea-style infiltration: general If Russia tries to infiltrate troops into a NATO country, even out of official military uniform as it did before it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, NATO will respond militarily, the alliance’s top commander said in an interview published Aug. 17. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/17/us-ukraine-crisis-breedlove-i...
 




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