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March 24, 2014

Headlines March 24, 2014

Business:

Lockheed Martin F-35’s software delayed, GAO says -

Delays in testing critical software for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet are threatening to delay the Pentagon’s most expensive weapon and boost development costs, according to congressional investigators. 

Boeing U.S. tanker program seen $1 billion over budget -

The U.S. Air Force on Friday estimated that Boeing’s development of a new refueling plane will cost nearly $1.1 billion more than initially planned, but the terms of the government’s contract mean Boeing must cover the added costs.

U.S. reassures Taiwan on funding for F-16 radar upgrade -

The same week that the U.S. Air Force said it had figured out a way to get its counterparts in Taiwan new radars for its 146 F-16 fighter jets, sources at Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense are accusing US officials of lying to them and avoiding questions on the impact that the cancellation of the upgrades on the US side will have on Taiwan.

In defense industry, a souring mood on acquisition reform -

When Trey Obering was deputy director of the Defense Department’s missile defense agency in 2002, he was asked to fix one of the most troubled acquisition programs in recent history. The airborne laser — a modified Boeing 747 jet that carried a megawatt laser to shoot down ballistic missiles — was handed over by the Air Force to MDA after eight years of nonachievement. 

South Korea to award tanker, fighter contracts by end of year -

The Republic of Korea Air Force expects to make a selection and sign a contract on its new tanker before the end of the year, according to one of the service’s top generals.

Satellite industry frets about future military business -

The Pentagon spends about a billion dollars a year on satellite communications services from commercial vendors, which supply about 80 percent of the military’s demand. 

Threatened sanctions on Russia could put pressure on U.S. allies -

For U.S. allies who would likely face U.S. pressure to follow suit if sanctions are imposed, Russia is a critically important supplier. 

M-346 rollout marks Israeli-Italian mega deal -

Alenia Aermacchi has rolled out its first M-346 jet trainer for Israel, part of a reciprocal deal covering satellites and early warning aircraft for Italy. The deal has boosted ties between the countries and may now see Tel Aviv sending its F-35 joint strike fighters to Italy for maintenance.

Bombardier sees $3.4 billion Russia plane orders stalled -

Bombardier’s plans to build planes in Russia and the sale of $3.4 billion of aircraft will be delayed as Canada joins the U.S. in imposing sanctions against the country after it moved to annex Crimea, Chief Executive Officer Pierre Beaudoin said.

Bombardier considers refinancing 2016 Euro bonds to cut costs -

Bombardier, the world’s third-largest plane maker, may refinance 785 million euro of bonds due in 2016 with U.S. dollar-denominated debt to lower borrowing costs and extend maturities.

 

Defense:

Army’s delay of black box for Chinook too late for 22 SEALs -

The Army talked about but never followed through on any plan to install voice and flight data recorders on one of its main war machines, the CH-47D Chinook helicopter — such as the one that was shot down in Afghanistan in 2011, killing all 30 U.S. service members onboard, including 22 members of SEAL Team 6. 

The wait remains for vehicle meant to replace Humvees -

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Pentagon’s long-awaited replacement for the workhorse Humvee, is at least four years away from full production, Army records show. 

Global Hawk to deploy to Japan for first time -

The RQ-4 Global Hawk, the massive surveillance drone once targeted for extinction and now considered by the Air Force as the answer for future intelligence needs, is expanding its reach into the Pacific this year with its first deployment to Japan.

 

Veterans:

Extraordinary collection of 5,000 World War I photographs salvaged -

A dustman with a passion for history has compiled one of the Britain’s best collections of First World War photographs after spending decades fishing out pictures from rubbish dumps and bins. Bob Smethurst spent 36 years working in refuse and began saving the remarkable images from landfill because he could not bear to see them destroyed. 

After 50 years, finally at rest -

A burial service was held at Arlington National Cemetery March 21, for seven service members who died in a plane crash near Bu Prang, Vietnam on Oct. 24, 1964. The remains of Army SSgt. Lawrence Woods were recovered in 2010 and recently identified by Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. 

 

Space:

Has NASA found a new Earth? -

The hunt for alien life has been given a boost after scientists discovered a habitable planet almost the same size as Earth. Astronomer Thomas Barclay from NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California made the discovery using data collected by the Kepler space telescope.

A stellar view! NASA reveals the clearest panorama of the Milky Way ever made -

It is hard to comprehend the size our galaxy, but now NASA has created an incredible panoramic view of the Milky Way that you can tour by clicking a button. The star-studded panorama is made up of over two million infrared images taken over the last decade by the space agency’s Spitzer Space Telescope. 

NASA seeks bids for $6 million ‘asteroid capture’ program -

NASA said March 22 that it would offer $6 million to public entities or private companies to develop a plan for its program to capture a 500-ton asteroid to put into orbit around the Moon, where it could be used as a step toward a manned space mission to Mars.

 

International:

Iran building giant fake U.S. Navy aircraft carrier -

Iran appears to be getting ready to blow up an American aircraft carrier — of its own making. Intelligence analysts have found evidence that the Middle Eastern nation has been building a giant mock carrier in the style of the Navy’s Nimitz-class ships, the New York Timesreported. Satellite images of Iran’s Gachin shipyard show its construction near Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf last summer. 

Britain should station 3,000 troops in Germany -

Britain must send a strong signal to Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine by reversing the cost-cutting decision to remove all troops from Germany. 

Finns, Swedes weigh NATO membership -

Heightened regional tensions, which have grown in the wake of the disputed legality of Crimea’s referendum to join the Russian Federation, have rekindled debate over whether non-aligned Sweden and Finland can protect their sovereignty outside of NATO.

Western leaders call for NATO show of force amid Russian buildup -

Western leaders March 23 called for a repositioning of NATO forces in light of a buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border that the alliance’s military leader called very sizable and very ready.

U.K. may arm Reapers with Brimstone -

The Royal Air Force is closing on a decision of whether to deploy Dual Mode Brimstone missiles on its remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper aircraft following a series of test firings in the U.S., including a hit on a small truck traveling at 70 mph.

For first time, German Army officer to be USAREUR chief of staff -

The U.S. military plans to appoint a German officer to be the next chief of staff of U.S. Army-Europe, Stars and Stripes has learned. 

Philippines to sign aircraft contracts worth about $526 million -

The Philippines will award aircraft contracts to South Korean and Canadian companies worth $525.62 million, a senior defense official said March 21, boosting its capability as tension simmers in the South China Sea.




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Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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