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January 31, 2014

Headlines – January 31, 2014

Business:

Northrop profit, sales top view; eyes higher EPS in 2014 -

Northrop Grumman, maker of surveillance drones and other military equipment, Jan. 30 reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings despite a drop in revenues and said share buybacks would drive earnings per share higher in 2014. 

Raytheon fourth-quarter earnings beat estimates, foreign sales strong -

U.S. arms maker Raytheon reported higher-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter Jan. 30, although revenues fell short of estimates with U.S. military spending in decline. 

Lockheed, Army demo capabilities of unmanned vehicle convoys -

The ability of fully autonomous convoys made up of differing vehicles to operate in urban areas has been demonstrated by Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army. 

Boeing profits surge but tougher 2014 awaits -

U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Jan. 29 reported a big jump in quarterly earnings, but signaled a leaner 2014 profit outlook after last year’s boom. 

Schumer headlines Lockheed rally for U.S. Air Force helicopter program -

With the fate of the U.S. Air Force’s Combat Rescue Helicopter effort still hanging in the 2015 budget balance, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has emerged as one of the program’s most powerful champions. 

Lockheed Martin to help develop Israeli cyber security companies -

Lockheed Martin and EMC Israel announced Jan. 27 they would launch a new technology incubator organisation to help develop cyber security products in association with Israel’s Ben Gurion University. 

German defense producer, industrial plant constructor team up -

Rheinmetall of Düsseldorf and Ferrostaal of Essen have created a joint venture to plan and build industrial facilities. Each company holds 50 percent of Rheinmetall International Engineering. 

Brazilian P-3AM upgrade to complete in ‘coming months’ -

Airbus Defence and Space is to deliver back to the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira) “in the coming months” the last of nine Lockheed Martin P-3AM Orion maritime patrol aircraft it has been upgrading, an official told IHS Jane’s in late January.

 

Defense:

White House pushing against proposed Pentagon carrier cut -

According to sources familiar with the back and forth, administration officials asked the Pentagon Jan. 29 evening to leave carriers alone and look for savings in other parts of the Defense budget.  

SSBN replacement program receives first tester report -

The Navy’s program to replace its current force of Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines received its first analysis by the Pentagon’s test directorate, which is analyzing the Navy’s Early Operational Assessment conducted last year. 

U.S. Army aviation plan emphasizes multirole capability -

With the ink still fresh on the Army’s aviation restructuring, questions are already surfacing about the assumptions behind a proposal to retire the Bell OH-58D and TH-67 fleets in the next five years.

306-ship Navy in the balance in LCS fight -

While the Littoral Combat Ship would fill three distinctive Navy needs — countering submarines, mines and fast small boats — it plays a far larger role for lawmakers and some Navy officials and experts that isn’t laid out in its military specifications. 

Navy’s laser gun nears critical test -

A laser gun that looks like a telescope will go to sea later this year aboard a Navy warship. Over a 12-month trial deployment in potentially hostile waters, sailors will attempt to prove whether laser beams can serve as legitimate weapons against approaching small aircraft or high-speed boats.

Exclusive: Nuke cheating scandal puts promotions for Air Force brass on ice -

The widening cheating scandal roiling the Air Force’s nuclear force has put all of the promotions for its senior officers on hold, including at least one colonel who had been nominated to become a general officer, Foreign Policy has learned. 

U.S. Air Force, Boeing confident tanker program still on schedule -

U.S. Air Force and Boeing officials Jan. 29 expressed confidence that a $52 billion air refueling program would deliver its first 18 planes by August 2017 as scheduled, despite a Pentagon report warning that testing of the new aircraft could be delayed by at least six to 12 months.

 

Veterans:

Corporate jobs initiative meets 100,000 vet hiring goal -

A coalition of companies that vowed in 2011 to hired 100,000 veterans within a decade has made its goal seven years early, announcing today that 117,439 former service members have since been provided jobs.

Online complaints system will police colleges over GI Bill benefits -

Federal officials Jan. 30 launched an online complaints system designed to root out colleges taking advantage of student veterans and their military education benefits. 

Veterans group says military suicide rate is ‘out of control’ -

Suicide prevention is the No. 1 legislative priority this year for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, says Paul Rieckhoff, the group’s founder and CEO.

 

Space:

$350 million NASA project completed, then mothballed because of lack of need -

NASA is supposed to build machines that launch into space, not structures that stay grounded on Earth and send spending into the stratosphere. 

Sole camera from NASA moon missions to be auctioned -

NASA’s only camera to have made it to the moon and back as part of the Apollo manned missions will be auctioned in Vienna on March 21, organizers said Jan. 30.

 

International:

Turkey extends deadline for U.S., European missile bidders -

U.S. and European bidders still interested in winning Turkey’s air defense contract now have until April 30 to submit their proposals, following a three-month extension instituted by Turkey. 

U.S. says Russia tested missile, despite treaty -

The United States informed its NATO allies this month that Russia had tested a new ground-launched cruise missile, raising concerns about Moscow’s compliance with a landmark arms control accord. 

NATO transformation chief: Without good training ‘no need’ for new platforms -

The general in charge of NATO’s training and strategic planning recognizes the budgetary problems afflicting member states, but believes the organization must focus on training and interoperability to remain effective after the drawdown in Afghanistan, he said during a roundtable with reporters Jan. 29. 

Swiss to vote in May on Gripen fighter deal -

Switzerland’s plan to buy 22 fighter jets from Sweden will be put to the Swiss public in a referendum on May 18, the Alpine country’s government announced Jan. 29.

 

Viewpoint:

Shooting the Pentagon in the foot -

Since the defense budget peaked in 2010, Congress has been quick to approve proposed cuts to the military’s top line. But Congress has been just as swift to oppose specific proposals made once those vague budget cuts trickle down to become real-world, tangible consequences.  

The Army’s combat vehicle mood swings -

What is it with the U.S. Army and its inability to manage major acquisition programs? The history of Army acquisition over the last twenty plus years is littered with failed attempts to define, develop and build new armored fighting vehicles and tanks. Does anybody remember the Future Combat System, the system of systems which promised to deploy a set of lightly-armored vehicles that would rely on superior situational awareness and mobility rather than armor for survival?




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