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February 19, 2014

Headlines – February 19, 2014

News: 

‘Unfunded’ lists reveal fissures between HASC leaders –

The return of a budget tactic that was banned by former Defense Secretary Bob Gates shows just how politicized Pentagon spending issues have become. 

Senior HASC lawmaker Forbes presses Navy on UCLASS requirements –

A member of Congress, Rep. Randy Forbes, is so concerned about a new Navy program and its future importance that he has written Navy Secretary Ray Mabus about the requirements of the service’s promising drone known as UCLASS.

 

Business:

Deals drop as Pentagon contractors bear cruelest month –

Poet T.S. Eliot called April the cruelest month. Defense contractors would pick January.

Rolls-Royce builds on C-130 engine business –

With few new-engine opportunities available in the U.S., Rolls-Royce is focusing on maintaining and improving its C-130 engine base through the rest of the decade. 

L-3 repurposes planes for ISR –

L-3 Mission Integration is modifying Bombardier’s Q400 commercial aircraft for maritime and ISR missions. 

Broadband stealth may drive Taranis design –

BAE Systems’ Taranis unmanned combat air system demonstrator is designed to defeat new counter-stealth radars, and may use thrust vectoring as a primary means of flight control and an innovative high-precision, passive navigation and guidance system, an AW&ST analysis indicates. 

Three companies win design contract for new Coast Guard cutters –

The Coast Guard awarded three preliminary design contracts for the service’s new Offshore Patrol Cutter last week, the service announced. 

Pentagon F-16 upgrade hesitation roils market –

With the U.S. Air Force expected to drop plans to upgrade 300 late-model F-16s, the market for modernizing the Lockheed Martin fighter—already disrupted by BAE Systems’ win in South Korea—could become even more contentious. Boeing might join the fray and, along with BAE, is eyeing $8 billion in opportunities in Singapore and Taiwan. 

OIW wins out in Combatant Craft Medium competition –

Oregon Iron Works (OIW) has been selected to deliver the US Special Operations Command’s Combatant Craft Medium (CCM) Mk 1 special operations craft program. 

Defense companies facing array of new cyberthreats –

Waterholes, crypto-lockers and Shodan. These three terms are just a few of the new pitfalls out there for defense companies large and small that face a dizzying array of threats against their networks.

Experts: Clock is ticking for business with Iran –

Despite the relaxation of some sanctions against Iran, defense suppliers and companies will have limited opportunity to take advantage, experts said Feb. 17 at a forum here hosted by the Defense Services Marketing Council and Washington firm Patton Boggs. 

Alenia Aermacchi appoints new chairman –

Alenia Aermacchi, the aerospace wing of Italy’s Finmeccanica, announced on 18 February that Giancarlo Grasso has been appointed chairman.

Turkey demands $183 million in penalties from Boeing for AEW&C program delays –

The Turkish government has demanded $183 million worth of penalties from Boeing due to major delays in the delivery of spy planes to the NATO ally, officials said Feb. 18. 

First French AWACS aircraft passes through MLU –

The first of four French Air Force Boeing E-3F Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft has passed through its mid-life upgrade (MLU), with the remainder set to follow by the end of 2016, the company announced Feb. 17.

 

Defense:

DOD is stuck with a flawed $1.5 trillion fighter jet –

On CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, national security correspondent David Martin chronicled the seemingly never-ending list of problems with the Pentagon’s next-generation F-35 fight jet, from cost overruns of $160 billion to technical problems that have plagued the plane’s development. 

Security insiders: High time for Congress to cave on closing military bases –

It’s high time for Congress to agree to the Pentagon’s request to close military bases, a whopping 91 percent of National Journal’s National Security Insiders said. 

Navy F-35C prepares for ship trials, faces headwinds –

Naval aviators plan to fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from an aircraft carrier at sea this fall. Pilots who have operated the aircraft say they are cautiously optimistic about its future despite a string of technical setbacks.

 

Veterans:

Group hammers VA for veterans’ deaths –

The conservative advocacy group Concerned Veterans for America unveiled a new online campaign Tuesday that bluntly states: “American veterans are dying, it’s the VA’s fault.” 

Social Security to expedite veteran disability claims –

The Social Security Administration plans to streamline its review of disability claims for veterans starting next month, shaving weeks off the process by which it determines benefits, officials are set to announce Feb. 19.

 

International:

Pacifism thawing, Germany looks for bigger role in regional security –

A new era of security burden-sharing could be on the horizon for a war-weary U.S., with France taking an aggressive lead in Africa and Germany showing a willingness to take a more assertive role in global security matters. 

Terma files breach of contract lawsuit against Poland’s Armaments Inspectorate –

Terma A/S has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Poland’s Armaments Inspectorate in the lower Polish court relating to a $30 million deal secured by the Danish electronics warfare defense specialist in 2010. 

Swiss fighters grounded during hijacking as outside office hours –

No Swiss fighter jets were scrambled Monday when an Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot hijacked his own plane and forced it to land in Geneva, because it happened outside business hours, the Swiss airforce said. 

French to increase cargo-carrying capabilities of helo fleet –

France has recruited British defense contractor AmSafe Bridport to boost the cargo-lifting capabilities of its military transport helicopter fleets.

 

Viewpoint:

Army women: Better chopper pilots than the guys? –

Ten out of every 100 Army helicopter pilots are women — but they account for only 3 out of every 100 accidents. 

Bush-era lessons remain relevant for Obama, Hagel as they prepare Pentagon’s budget –

In his final meeting with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in December 2008, President George W. Bush encouraged them “to make his last defense budget very forward-leaning in terms of modernization, re-equipping our forces after the two wars and funding ‘unplanned contingencies,’?” former defense secretary Robert M. Gates wrote in his book “Duty.”




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