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January 24, 2014

Headlines – January 24, 2014

News:

General Dempsey’s ‘failures in leadership’ cited in Benghazi disaster -

Congress generally has given the Pentagon a pass on failing to come to the aid of Americans in Benghazi — that is until now. Six Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, led by Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, have issued a blistering criticism of Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who as Joint Chiefs chairman is the nation’s highest-ranking officer and chief military adviser to President Obama.

 

Business:

New report questions F-35 job creation claims -

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has been hailed as a job creator of the highest order, a program that has a home in almost every state. But a new report claims that the job creation aspect of the fifth-generation fighter has been greatly exaggerated.

Lockheed gets new missile order while first one is late -

Lockheed Martin this month received a new $449 million Air Force contract for radar-evading cruise missiles while initial deliveries of some of the same missiles are at least nine months behind schedule.

General Dynamics shares rise on buyback pledge -

General Dynamics Corp shares rose more than 5 percent Jan. 22 after the maker of Gulfstream business jets and Navy ships posted higher-than-expected quarterly results, and pledged to buy back 11.4 million shares in the first quarter.

Boeing, Raytheon must wait to find out winner of hotly contested FAB-T contract -

The Air Force may select the winner of a competition to build the Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminals in March, an executive at Raytheon said Jan. 22.

BAE chief: Typhoon sale talks with UAE have ended -

BAE Chief Executive Ian King has killed off hopes the company might return to the negotiating table with the United Arab Emirates over the sale of Typhoon jets.

Northrop Grumman boosts lobbying -

Defense firm Northrop Grumman nearly doubled its spending on lobbying in the fourth quarter to more than $7 million, according to new lobbying disclosure documents.

 

Defense:

Hagel vows to get to bottom of nuke missile ills -

It began with his brief mention last fall of “troubling lapses” in the nuclear force. Weeks later Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel turned up the heat a notch by paying a rare visit to a nuclear missile base. And Jan. 23 he dropped his bombshell: a demand for quick answers to what ails this most sensitive of military missions.

Marines developing plans for Middle East Quick Reaction Force -

Bahrain is home to the U.S.Navy’s 5th Fleet, and it may soon be home to a new group of Marines who will serve as as America’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in the Middle East.

 

Veterans:

Software glitch exposed thousands of veterans’ private information -

A software glitch with a Department of Veterans Affairs benefits portal allowed users to access one another’s private information, alarming some veterans groups and lawmakers, who see the incident as the latest manifestation of an ongoing security problem.

 

International:

Inside China: Stealth fighter revealed -

Chinese military forums on the Internet were abuzz recently over the posting of the first photo of China’s latest test flight of a prototype jet. The photo identified the aircraft as the next-generation heavy stealth fighter, the J-20 Dragon — the third J-20 prototype Beijing has revealed to the public since its debut in 2011.

French military to up defenses against cyberwar -

France will soon launch a €1.5 billion ($2 billion) plan to defend itself against cyberwar as a strategic priority, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Jan. 21.

United Kingdom retires ALARM missile -

The U.K. Ministry of Defence has confirmed the final retirement of the Air-Launched Anti-Radiation Missile (ALARM), a move which leaves the Royal Air Force without a dedicated defence suppression weapon.

U.K. deploys new GEOINT system -

Tranche 1 of Britain’s Field Deployable GEOINT, which provides geospatial intelligence, has reached initial operating capability, according to Lockheed Martin.

Germany evaluates new SIGINT airframes -

The German military is considering four variants for a new signals intelligence aircraft to replace the scrapped Eurohawk UAV project. The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support has come up with manned and unmanned solutions.

 

Viewpoint:

Playing the defense jobs card isn’t working anymore -

The history of Pentagon spending is rife with examples in which programs have been saved from the budget cutter’s axe because of the jobs associated with them.  From the revival of the B-1 bomber in the 1980s to the current effort to keep the M-1 tank line open, jobs in key states and districts have provided powerful leverage to contractors seeking to save or extend major procurement programs. But those days may be coming to an end.

No time for inaccuracy on JSF costs -

When a Rand Corp. report concluded in December that the Joint Strike Fighter program would cost more than the total of three separate ones, Lockheed Martin responded sharply, accusing the authors of overstating the figures by a factor of two. But the company could not provide a source for its own numbers.




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