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February 28, 2014

Headlines – February 28, 2014

News:

Expanded veterans benefits bill fails over GOP’s budget-busting objections -

Democrats’ plans to expand education and health benefits for veterans died in the Senate Feb. 27 after Republicans blocked the bill for not having a funding source and thus busting the budget all sides agreed to just two months ago.

 

Business:

Rolls-Royce unveils engine for future Boeing, Airbus planes -

Rolls-Royce, the world’s number two commercial jet engine maker, will pursue geared turbofan technology championed by rival Pratt & Whitney as it seeks to power future Boeing and Airbus Group aircraft.

Airbus CEO says Turkish delay in taking A400M threatens ramp-up -

Airbus Group NV Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders says he’s frustrated by Turkey’s failure to accept delivery of the third production A400M airlifter, even though two planes are flying successfully with French forces. 

GKN interested in Spirit Aero unit amid commercial jet expansion -

GKN Plc, a supplier of parts to Boeing Dreamliners and Airbus SAS A350 long-range jets, is interested in a facility Spirit Aerosystems Holdings has for sale as it seeks to grow commercial aerospace revenue. 

Boeing said to seek buyers for $1.1 billion of early 787s -

Boeing is struggling to find buyers for 11 of its earliest 787 Dreamliners valued at $1.1 billion after two airlines dropped orders for the holdover models from the jet’s troubled birth, people briefed on the plans said. 

Two Chinese companies express interest for Finmeccanica units -

China CNR Corporation and Insigma have expressed interest in buying Finmeccanica’s rail unit Ansaldo STS and loss-making train manufacturer Ansaldo Breda, the Chinese companies said in an emailed statement Feb. 28. 

James: U.S. Air Force expects long-range bomber RFP in fall -

The Air Force intends to issue a request for proposal on its new long-range strike bomber this fall, according to the service’s top civilian official. 

Bogdan warns of possible six-month F-35 slip after development ends -

F-35 activities planned to take place after the program’s development phase ends in 2016 could slip by up to six months, according to U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer for the stealthy fighter. 

Boeing winding up tests on FAB-T terminals; Air Force may push back down select -

Boeing has nearly wrapped up all the tests for the long-awaited Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminals (FAB-T) program, the company’s program manager said Feb. 26. 

Ingalls protesting U.S. Coast Guard cutter contract -

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) is protesting the US Coast Guard’s Feb. 11 award of design contracts for the Offshore Patrol Cutter program, reportedly citing questions about the grading criteria.

Poseidon enters into full-rate production -

The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $2.4 billion contract to begin full-rate production of the P-8A Poseidon maritime multi-mission aircraft, the company announced Feb. 25. 

Hyperspectral UAV sensor slated for flight test -

Raytheon will flight-test a new U.S. Air Force hyperspectral sensor pod. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center intends to issue a sole-source contract to Raytheon for testing the Airborne Cueing and Exploitation System Hyperspectral (ACES HY) UAV sensor.

India looking abroad for intermediate jet trainers -

Saddled with obsolete training aircraft, the Indian air force (IAF) has decided to snub the long-delayed, indigenous HJT-36 Sitara intermediate jet trainer (IJT) and purchase new trainers from abroad. 

Poland signs M-346 AJT contract -

Poland signed a contract for eight Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master jet trainer aircraft on 27 February for the country’s Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) program. 

Thales to support French aircraft, helo optronics -

Thales and the Defense Ministry’s technical support office announced Feb. 27 they have signed a six-year, €164 million (US $225 million) service contract, dubbed Amadeos, for the electronics company to maintain and service electro-optical equipment on fighter jets, patrol aircraft and helicopters.

 

Defense:

Newly commissioned Navy ship honors Flight 93 passengers, crew killed on 9/11 -

Reminders of Flight 93 are everywhere on the USS Somerset, the Navy’s newest ship. From a quilt bearing the names of the 40 passengers and crew to the many street signs from southwestern Pennsylvania’s Somerset County, the ship is a floating tribute to those who stormed the cockpit of the hijacked airliner on Sept. 11, 2011, thwarting an attack on Washington, D.C. The plane crashed in a field, killing all aboard. 

Fox: Pentagon will plan for possible carrier cut in 2015 -

The Pentagon will take steps next year to retire an aircraft carrier in case Congress does not lift sequestration by 2016, a top defense official said Feb. 26.  

U.S. Army seeks to purchase 100 Lakota helicopters -

The U.S. Army will request money to buy 100 new UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopters beginning in the fiscal 2015 budget, Army and civilian officials say. The helicopters will eventually replace the training aircraft used at Fort Rucker, Ala., which the service plans on deactivating as part of a larger restructuring of its rotary aviation fleet.

 

Veterans:

GOP slams Dems for playing politics with veterans’ benefits -

Senate Republicans Feb. 27 attacked Democrats for playing politics with a $21 billion bill that would have expanded benefits for veterans — leading them to block an effort by Majority Leader Harry Reid to move the legislation to a full floor vote.

Top VA health official denies dumping patient records -

The Veterans Affairs Department’s top health official dismissed a report this week that VA health care system employees dumped thousands of medical appointment records in an effort to cover up overdue work. 

College kicks disabled vet, dog off campus -

Bill Smith, a 100 percent disabled retired Green Beret colonel, survived the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon, several deployments to war zones and ailments seen and unseen as a result. 

DOD, VA issue new concussion care guide -

The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have published new guidelines on post-concussion care — a detailed, step-by-step road map for returning to duty that embraces rest and nixes activities such as driving and video games.

 

Space:

Schoolboy, 4, over the moon with NASA’s help on his homework -

It was one small step for a NASA engineer but one giant leap for a four-year-old schoolboy from Yorkshire in England who wrote to the space agency asking for help with a science project.

 

Technology:

World’s largest aircraft unveiled, hailed a ‘game changer’ -

The world’s largest aircraft which can stay airborne for up to three weeks and will be vital in delivering several tonnes of humanitarian aid has been unveiled. The 300-foot ship is part plane, airship and helicopter, and there are plans to eventually use it to transport 50 tonnes of freight.

 

International:

Eurofighter deliveries help Britain up arms export table -

Britain rose up an arms export ranking to become the fourth biggest defense exporter in the world last year because of deliveries of Eurofighter jets to the Gulf. 

British troops less likely to get PTSD than Americans -

British combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are up to four times less likely to suffer PTSD than their American counterparts, but are more likely to drink to dangerous levels, a new study reports.




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Headlines September 2, 2014

News: Debris yields clues that pilot never ejected - When investigators were finally able to safely enter the crash site of an F-15C “Eagle” fighter jet on the afternoon of Aug. 27, they made a grim discovery that concluded more than 30 hours of searching – the pilot never managed to eject from the aircraft.  ...
 
 

News Briefs September 2, 2014

Pentagon: Iraq operations cost $560 million so far U.S. military operations in Iraq, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, have cost about $560 million since mid-June, the Pentagon said Aug. 29. Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the average daily cost has been $7.5 million. He said it began at a much lower...
 
 

National Guard identifies fallen F-15C aviator

BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. – Massachusetts National Guard officials identified the pilot of an F-15C Eagle jet that crashed in Virginia as Air Force Lt. Col. Morris “Moose” Fontenot Jr. The veteran aviator was killed Aug. 27 when his aircraft crashed in remote, mountainous terrain near Deerfield Valley. “We all continue to keep...
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 

F-15C crashes in mountains of Virginia

An Air Force jet based in Massachusetts crashed in the mountains of western Virginia Aug. 27, shaking the ground and frightening residents, and officials said the pilot’s status was unknown. No injuries were reported on the ground, but authorities were still trying to reach the crash site ó located through its heavy smoke coming from...
 




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