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February 12, 2014

Headlines – February 12, 2014

News:

House votes to cancel cuts to military benefits –

Acting to appease furious veterans’ groups, the House passed a bill Feb. 11 to undo about $6 billion worth of cuts to military retirement benefits.

 

Business:

Singapore air show to focus on F-16s, F-35s –

F-16 upgrade programs and F-35 deals in the region are expected to dominate the Singapore Airshow this week, as Lockheed Martin squares off with BAE Systems to be prime contractor for Singapore’s F-16 upgrade effort. 

China pushing Into SE Asia’s defense market –

At this year’s Singapore Air Show, Chinese aviation companies AVIC and CATIC are pushing into the export defense market for Southeast Asia. 

Lockheed chief sees commercial demand for cyber technology –

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, sees an expanding market for its cybersecurity products and services among companies in industries from energy to banking, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marillyn Hewson said. 

Boeing will pursue F-16 upgrades, executive says –

Boeing is ready to throw its hat in the ring and compete for upcoming Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter upgrades, company executives said Feb. 10 ahead of the start of the Singapore Air Show. 

U.K. to approve bulk F-35B buy in 2017 –

Financial approval for the U.K.’s main procurement of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)/Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) is expected in the next three years, a government minister disclosed on 5 February. 

U.K. speeds up Sea King replacement –

A planned gap in the British Royal Navy’s air surveillance capability is being reduced by about 18 months after the Defence Ministry agreed to speed up a program to replace Sea King Mark 7 airborne early warning helicopters due to go out of service in 2016. 

Boeing delivers early-warning aircraft to Turkey –

Boeing delivered the AEW&C, which is based on the 737-700 passenger jet, to Turkey’s Konya air base, where the early warning aircraft will be stationed. Two more aircraft are scheduled for delivery this year, with the fourth arriving in 2015. Australia and South Korea also operate AEW&C aircraft. 

Defexpo 2014: India, U.S. clear path for Javelin to compete for ATGW requirement –

India’s Ministry of Defence is in advanced negotiations with the US government to allow the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin-designed Javelin anti-tank guided missile system to compete for an urgent Indian Army requirement. 

17 firms vie to supply tank, vehicles to Poland –

Seventeen foreign and Polish defense companies have applied to participate in the technical dialogues to supply new light tanks and tracked infantry fighting vehicles to Poland’s Army. 

ST Engineering parades new defense products, deals at air show –

Singapore-based ST Engineering exhibited a variety of new systems and equipment at the Singapore Airshow in what was the largest exhibition space at the show — 2,000 square meters. 

Tiltrotor debut for Singapore –

With foreign interest in the V-22 Osprey rapidly gathering pace, the U.S. has decided to show off the type’s capabilities here at the Singapore air show. 

IAI unveils larger, more powerful UAV at Singapore Airshow –

A heavy fuel version of Israel Aerospace Industry’s big-selling Heron UAV literally had the wraps taken off on the opening day of the Singapore Airshow Feb. 11. 

Singapore Airshow: Rafael launches Iron Beam –

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has unveiled its Iron Beam high-energy laser system designed to defeat rockets, mortars, and unmanned aerial vehicles at short ranges. 

Singapore Airshow: Vietnam in talks over Camcopter S-100 purchase –

Schiebel is in talks with the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) to supply its Camcopter S-100 rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle, company officials confirmed at the Singapore Airshow. 

Boeing eyes P-8 exports –

“Four or five nations” are showing strong interest in the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and antisubmarine warfare aircraft, according to Chris Raymond, Boeing Defense, Space & Security vice president for business development and strategy. 

U.K. F-35 order seen next month, US orders seen down – sources –

Britain is still expected to order 14 F-35 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin although the $5 billion deal may not be finalized until next month, several sources familiar with the matter said Feb. 11. 

Army to continue radio procurement amid IG audit –

The Defense Department’s top acquisitions review panel in February 2004, assigned the Army to oversee the Joint Tactical Radio System. Exactly 10 years later, the department’s inspector general announced it would begin a comprehensive audit of the program, which remains bogged down in low-rate production.

Trade group defends contractors’ role in clearance investigations –

Government investigators looking into the security clearance vetting system should focus on procedures and processes, not whether federal agencies ought to do all of the work in-house, the head of a service contractor trade group said Feb. 10. 

Lockheed inks deal to produce energy from ocean waves in Australia –

Top U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin Corp Feb. 11 said it had signed an agreement with a unit of Ocean Power Technologies Inc to harness the motion of ocean waves to generate electricity off the coast of Victoria, Australia.

 

Defense:

DOD to complete development on UAV sense-and-avoid systems by fiscal 2017 –

The U.S. Department of Defense expects to overcome one of the most significant technical obstacles to using unmanned aerial vehicles in national air space-development of reliable sense-and-avoid systems-over the next two to three years, according to a new report to Congress. 

ONR team working on technologies for future ultra heavy-lift amphibious connector –

The Navy’s Office of Naval Research, together with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and an unidentified international partner, is working to develop technology for a possible future landing craft. 

Pentagon questions niche vessels as littoral ship debated –

The Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian said the U.S. Navy needs more ships with the protection and firepower to survive an advanced adversary, not just “niche platforms,” weeks after she ordered cuts in the $34 billion Littoral Combat Ship program.

 

Veterans:

Progress stalls on cutting VA claims backlog –

Veterans Benefits Administration officials on Monday announced the claims backlog — the number of cases pending for more than four months — rose by about 1,000 cases last week, to a total of just over 398,000. 

Marco Rubio, Jeff Miller tackle veterans affairs reform –

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014.

 

Space:

Virgin Galactic helps build new space age in Mojave Desert –

The Mojave Desert is where the Right Stuff was born. It’s where Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier with the X-1 rocket plane in 1947. It’s where other test pilots earned their astronaut wings in the X-15 during the 1960s.

 

Technology:

Expect special forces ‘Iron Man’ suits by 2018 –

Officially, it’s called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit. Unofficially, it’s called the “Iron Man” suit. Regardless, Adm. William McRaven, the man in charge of U.S. Special Operations Command, expects America’s special operators to be outfitted with the advanced gear by 2018.

 

International:

Official: U.S. will step up training for Iraq forces –

The United States is planning to step up training for Iraq forces as it battles a resurgent al Qaeda in the country, a U.S. official said Tuesday at a congressional hearing.   

Pakistan sells trainer aircraft to Iraq, seeks further contracts –

Pakistan on Feb. 10 signed deals to supply basic trainer aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force and help train its personnel, sparking hopes it can secure further deals as the Middle Eastern country tries to rebuild its air arm. 

France eyes King Air, upgrades for C-130 –

The French Air Force is eyeing the King Air for ISR missions, while France’s special operations forces are keen to fit mission packages to their Hercules airlifters, a U.S. source said. 

Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 wins Italian navy contract –

The Italian Navy has selected the CAMCOPTER S-100 unmanned air system to provide support for its fleet, making it the first European Navy that has S-100 in operational use, Schiebel announced in a Feb. 11 release.

Russia’s Kalashnikov eyes production increase –

Russian small-arms manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern is planning to double its annual production to 150,000 weapons per year and increase its revenues fourfold to 24 billion rubles (US $690 million) by 2020, said Alexei Krivoruchko, the company’s chief executive and co-owner.




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