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March 17, 2014

Headlines – March 17, 2014

News:

As Ukraine crisis unfolds, DOD’s options are limited –

As the situation in Ukraine continues to worsen, the US and its allies in Europe find themselves with a limited set of options at the same time the Pentagon is trying to plan for potential fallout.

NATO websites hit in cyber attack linked to Crimea tension –

Hackers brought down several public NATO websites, the alliance said March 16, in what appeared to be the latest escalation in cyberspace over growing tensions over Crimea.

Inhofe: Putting F-22s, Aegis ships near Ukraine would not escalate conflict –

A senior Republican senator says his call to surround Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine-occupying forces with America’s most-advanced weapons would not amount to an escalation that could trigger a major conflict.

 

Business:

Fiscal 2014 DDG 51 destroyer contract awards announced –

The Navy has awarded two separate contract modifications to fund one fiscal 2014 DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer under a previously awarded fiscal 2013-2017 multiyear procurement contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and exercise the option for one DDG 51 ship with General Dynamics Bath Iron Works under a previously awarded MYP contract, Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman announced in a March 14 release.

Raytheon eyes early SM-3 IIA builds –

Raytheon is preparing to submit a bid to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to build the first batch of SM-3 Block IIA ballistic missile interceptors while gearing up for the first flight test next year.

Northrop Grumman delivers GPS antennas –

Northrop Grumman has delivered 32 JIB antennas for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth Global Positioning System III satellites.

Eurocopter to establish permanent Kenyan base –

Eurocopter Southern Africa Ltd. says it plans to establish a permanent base in Kenya to conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) on all Airbus helicopters in Africa and parts of the Middle East, as the company anticipates growing force modernization requirements in sub-Saharan Africa.

Gripen E not reliant on Swiss referendum –

The Swedish government is fully committed to the Saab Gripen E combat aircraft program, irrespective of the outcome of a Swiss national referendum on the planned procurement of the type, company officials said on 11 March. 

United Tech upbeat on sales to 2020 –

Diversified manufacturer United Technologies Corp. forecast sales may approach $100 billion by the end of the decade, up from roughly $64 billion expected for 2014, as the company grows at about twice the pace of the global economy.

 

Defense:

Pentagon: Russian reports of U.S. drone intercepted over Crimea are false –

U.S. defense officials say reports from Russia that an American MQ-5B drone was intercepted over Crimea and made an emergency landing there are false. Voice of Russia reported March 14 that “an American scout-attack drone was intercepted in the Crimean sky” and made an emergency landing after an electronic attack disrupted its computers. 

DOD’s extra $26 billion fund a ‘long shot’ –

The White House has yet to send the US Congress a line-by-line breakdown of its fiscal 2015$56 billion Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative — of which $26 billion is earmarked for the Pentagon. But Congress’ support for the spending plan tacked onto the new budget request seems unlikely. 

Air Force moves forward on Space Fence –

The Air Force is pressing ahead with funding and intense supportfrom Congress for the “Space Fence” system to track debris in low-Earth orbit, following delays and cutbacks driven by sequestration.

 

International:

Russian threat re-energizes Sweden’s push to join NATO, boost spending –

Sweden’s government is examining a proposal to boost military spending to defend its own territories and the strategic Baltic Sea area in the face of renewed Russian aggression in Ukraine. There is also a movement among high government officials to re-examine the long-running issue of joining NATO. 

United Kingdom to invest $498 milion to upgrade shipyard before successor construction –

The British government is to spend more than £300 million ( $498.5 million) improving the facilities at BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness shipyard ahead of the construction of a new generation of ballistic missile submarines for the Royal Navy.

Australia to buy U.S. Triton drones to secure Indian Ocean resources –

Australia has committed to purchasing the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft, its prime minister said on Thursday, continuing a trend amongst Asia-Pacific nations to protect commercial maritime interests amid rising regional tensions.

 

Viewpoint:

Obama Apache copter policy flies off the handle –

“Guns with us now, sir,” the crew chief shouted through the headset, pointing as the Apache attack helicopter swung in smoothly to our right. 

Three myths about defense budget –

The Pentagon’s fiscal year 2015 budget request has been savaged by Republicans and even some Democrats. Critics argue it’s “a skeleton defense budget,” that will “dramatically reduce the size of the Army to pre-World War II levels,” and all of this “will embolden America’s foes to take aggressive acts.” All of these critiques have one thing in common: they’re not true. Here’s why.

What does ‘small footprint’ really mean? –

There will be no more large-scale American counterinsurgency operations. At least, that’s what the Obama administration’s Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG) of 2012 anticipates. While it maintains an existing emphasis on countering irregular threats and conserving hard-won skill sets, the DSG articulates a desire to do so not through large-scale counterinsurgency, but by maintaining a persistent, forward presence around the world and leveraging that presence to deter potential adversaries, respond to crises, and build the capacity of partner nations to provide for their own security.




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