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January 27, 2014

Headlines – January 27, 2014

Business:

Lockheed falls 4 percent as profit plunges amid U.S. budget cuts –

Lockheed Martin, the U.S. government’s largest contractor, fell the most in more than two years after its fourth-quarter profit plunged 14 percent. 

Boeing, General Dynamics reach $400 million A-12 settlement with U.S. Navy –

Boeing and General Dynamics on Jan. 23 each agreed to give the U.S. Navy $200 million in aircraft and services to settle an epic, 23-year legal dispute over cancellation of the $4.8 billion A-12 stealth aircraft in 1991. 

Flood of U.S. CEO changes signals culture shift –

With several senior U.S. defense industry leaders announcing their departures in the first half of January, a generational shift is occurring right as companies hunker down for the ongoing defense spending down cycle. 

Britain may order 14 F-35 jets as early as next week –

Britain may announce an order for 14 Lockheed Martin-built F-35 super-stealth jets as early as next week, three sources familiar with the talks told Reuters. 

Airbus Defence and Space to build ground stations for French Musis satellite –

France has awarded a contract worth up to a total of €300 million (US $406.7 million) to Airbus Defence and Space division to build and maintain the ground stations for the Musis military spy satellite, the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office said Jan. 23. 

Fraud charges may scuttle Indian helo –

The Indian Ministry of Defence has ordered state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. to accelerate development of its indigenous Light Utility Helicopter program because fraud charges may derail the procurement of 197 helos from overseas, said an MoD source.

 

Defense:

New drone base sought as U.S. draws down in Afghanistan –

The intelligence community is working on contingency plans for where to base its drone force if the U.S. military pulls out entirely from Afghanistan at the end of 2014. 

Delta Force commando who saved ‘numerous lives’ in Benghazi siege honored –

An Army Delta Force commando who infiltrated Benghazi to rescue U.S. diplomats, spies and security officers during a 2012 terrorist attack “was critical to the success of saving numerous lives,” according to a citation awarding him the military’s second-highest honor. 

Pentagon: U.S. not capable of detecting foreign nuke threats –

American intelligence and security agencies are not currently capable of detecting when foreign nations are building nuclear weapons or ramping up their existing programs, according to a newly released Pentagon report that faults a range of U.S. agencies. 

Army opening 33,000 positions previously off-limits to women –

Female U.S. Army recruits will have 33,000 positions open to them that were once off limits, the Department of Defense said Jan. 23. The change in policy will open up slots in combat units below the brigade level.

Boeing surveillance plane found not effective for mission –

Flaws in the $35 billion program included the plane’s radar performance, sensor integration and data transfer, Michael Gilmore, chief of the Pentagon testing office, wrote in his annual report on major weapons, which has yet to be released. He said the new P-8A Poseidon exhibited “all of the major deficiencies” identified in earlier exercises when subjected to more stressful realistic combat testing from September 2012 to March 2013.

 

Space:

Jade Rabbit runs into trouble –

China’s Jade Rabbit Moon rover is experiencing mechanical problems and may not be able to finish its mission. The six-wheeled Yutu vehicle began operating last month after making the first soft landing on the moon by a space probe in 37 years.

 

International:

United Kingdom: F-35 fighter ‘hit by software and reliability problems’ –

Britain’s new £70 million F-35 fighter is struggling with “unacceptable” software problems and is less reliable than hoped a new report has warned. The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester has warned the new stealth fighter being bought by the British and the U.S. militaries is facing more delays and remains vulnerable to fires. 

Comrades in arms: Britain and Russia to sign defense deal –

Britain could buy weapons from its former Cold War foe for the first time under a landmark defense treaty, the Telegraph can reveal. Defense chiefs are preparing to sign a deal that would see British defence companies working jointly on projects with the Russian arms industry.

Oversight lacking for Afghan training funds –

Program managers for a program to develop a judicial system in Afghanistan can’t account for all of the funds devoted to the project, a top U.S. watchdog warned, putting millions of tax dollars at risk.




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