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February 3, 2014

Headlines – February 3, 2014

News:

NATO chief doesn’t see Karzai signing security pact -

President Hamid Karzai is unlikely to sign a pact for U.S. and NATO forces to stay in Afghanistan after 2014 and will probably leave the choice for his successor, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Feb. 1.

 

Business:

Air Force looking for JSTARS recapitalization -

The Air Force hopes to develop a new JSTARS surveillance aircraft based on a business jet, one which could be operational as soon as 2022.

The end of the tank? The Army says it doesn’t need it, but industry wants to keep building it -

When an armored vehicle pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein in an iconic moment of the Iraq War, it triggered a wave of pride here at the BAE Systems plant where that rig was built. The Marines who rolled to glory in it even showed up to pay their regards to the factory workers. 

Merger prospects still murky after Murray-Ryan deal -

Since the U.S. Budget Control Act created the specter of sequestration in August 2011, very few deals have been struck to sell or merge defense companies. The refrain has been that budget uncertainty was leaving many risk averse and timid.

Market for service contracts shrinking, and so is number of competitors -

Facing a steep decline in government spending on support contractors, companies in this sector are rushing to consolidate and cut expense as price-based competitions become the norm in service contracts.

 

Defense:

Bypassing Congress on defense cuts -

The Pentagon has learned that if it can’t go through Congress to get what it wants, sometimes it’s best to try going around.

Pentagon to further study four possible East Coast missile defense sites -

The U.S. Defense Department said on Friday it would conduct environmental impact studies for four possible missile defense sites in the eastern United States but stressed it had not yet decided to proceed with construction. 

Scout mission compromised by funding cut -

U.S. Army leadership is betting that an 80 percent solution to its aerial scout needs will be good enough in the coming years, as it scraps its OH-58 Kiowa helicopter fleet in favor of a manned-unmanned mixture for peering over the next ridgeline. 

X-47B will pair with manned aircraft in testing later this year -

The U.S. Navy plans to take the Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator aircraft out to sea onboard an aircraft carrier this summer to test how well it operates together with manned aircraft around the ship and on the flight deck. 

Carrier Forrestal headed for scrap heap -

The decommisioned carrier Forrestal, the first of the Navy’s “supercarriers” and a technological marvel when it was launched in the 1950s, will begin its final journey on February 4th when it is towed out of Philadelphia for a trip to Brownsville, Texas, where the ship will be dismantled and recycled. 

Air Combat Command’s challenge: Buy new or modernize older aircraft -

After a tense budget battle last year, the Air Force is gearing up to defend what service officials have called a series of hard choices about what to keep and what to dump. With finances tight, the biggest fight is over whether to modernize older platforms or risk a capabilities gap while pushing that funding toward recapitalization programs. 

Platform, personnel cuts likely in fiscal 2015 Air Force budget -

This close to the March 4 submission of the fiscal 2015 budget request, getting specifics from service officials can be like pulling teeth. But a number of statements, both in public appearances and during interviews, provide a sense of direction for the Air Force’s plans. 

The F-22 is the air dominance cream of the crop: U.S. Air Force intends to keep it that way -

Though there are potential fifth generation challengers on the horizon, pilots and maintainers of the stealthy F-22 Raptor say they’ll own the competitive edge in air combat for years to come, not just because of the advanced technology embodied in their fighter but because of their comprehensive training.

 

Veterans:

What does a collection of 100,000 American war letters teach us? -

Over the course of 15 years Andrew Carroll has collected more than 100,000 letters by US soldiers from every war in America’s history. The project began as a personal quest to preserve wartime correspondence and all it reflects about war.

 

Space:

Plato planet-hunter in pole position -

A telescope to find thousands of planets beyond our Solar System is the hot favorite for selection as Europe’s next medium-class science mission. 

Urthecast’s U.K.-built cameras attached to outside of space station -

Two British-built Earth-observation cameras have been successfully installed on the outside of the International Space Station. The cameras will be operated by the Canadian Urthecast company, which intends to stream high-resolution video of the planet to web users.

 

International:

U.S. ready to assist Poland with indigenous missile defense system -

The United States wants to partner with Poland as the Eastern European nation pursues its own missile defense system separate from the American system already planned for the region. 

American tanks return to Europe after brief leave -

Less than a year after they left European soil, American tanks have returned to military bases in Germany where they had been a heavy presence since World War II. 

U.K., French leaders agree to cooperate on drone, missile, more -

Britain and France agreed Jan. 31 to invest £200 million (US $329 million) for two-year studies on a future combat drone, and signed up for work on an anti-ship missile and an anti-mine system, French government and industry sources said. 

Unfunded F-16 upgrades put jet’s combat value in doubt -

As officials in Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense were busying themselves for Chinese New Year celebrations last week, they received potentially devastating news for the Pacific nation’s air defense plans.

 

Viewpoint:

China’s deceptively weak (and dangerous) military -

While recent years have witnessed a tremendous Chinese propaganda effort aimed at convincing the world that the PRC is a serious military player that is owed respect, outsiders often forget that China does not even have a professional military. 

Century of violence: What World War I did to the Middle East -

World War I may have ended in 1918, but the violence it triggered in the Middle East still hasn’t come to an end. Arbitrary borders drawn by self-interested imperial powers have left a legacy that the region has not been able to overcome.




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Headlines July 25, 2014

News: VA reform bills stalled by partisan bickering - Plans for a comprehensive Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that appeared all but finished a month ago devolved into partisan bickering and funding fights July 24, casting doubt on the future of a deal.   Business: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed announce bids on Danish fighter competition; Saab withdraws -...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 




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