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March 28, 2014

Headlines March 28, 2014


Air Force’s X-37B space plane shatters orbital endurance record -

The U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane has broken its own all-time endurance record in orbit after more than 470 days of circling the Earth on a mystery mission for the American military. 

Soyuz spacecraft docks with space station after unexpected glitch -

Arriving fashionably late, a Russian spacecraft carrying three astronauts docked with the International Space Station March 27 250 miles over Brazil.



ANA’s $16.6 billion shopping spree boosts 787 Dreamliner -

ANA Holdings gave Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner a vote of confidence by ordering 14 more of the jets as part of a $16.6 billion shopping spree a year after regulators grounded the composite aircraft.

Bombardier extends credit facilities -

Bombardier extended its credit facilities by one year to May 2017 for its transportation unit and to June 2017 for its aerospace division, the company said March 27. 

Ex-Spirit Aero staff claim high health costs led to layoffs -

Former employees of Spirit Aerosystems Holdings, a major supplier to plane makers Boeing and Airubs, filed charges with federal agencies March 26 alleging that Spirit illegally used health care information to target those who were costing the company most for layoffs.

$23.9 billion in deals announced on last day of Dimdex -

The Qatari Armed Forces March 28 announced deals with U.S. weapons manufactures worth US $7.6 billion, including Apache helicopters, Javelin missiles and PAC 3 Patriot systems.

U.S. Air Force names companies eligible for $5.8 billion IT network orders -

The U.S. Air Force on Thursday named 12 companies that are eligible to receive orders under a contract valued at up to $5.8 billion for computer network operations and infrastructure.

SAIC wins anti-submarine sensor contract -

SAIC has won a $50 million prime contract for anti-submarine warfare sensors.

Facing a spectrum crunch, DOD solicits ideas from private sector -

The Pentagon worries that a dwindling supply of electromagnetic spectrum will cripple its high-tech weapon systems and global communications. The concern is shared by vendors that supply information technologies to the Defense Department.

DynCorp opens new London-based company -

DynCorp International has stepped up efforts to grow its global business with the opening of a new company based in London focused on taking a share of the military support services market here.

Seoul eyes secure satcom, KF-X tech In F-35 deal -

With Seoul’s March 24 announcement of its long-held intent to purchase the F-35A, South Korea is likely securing an offset deal that will include a new military communications satellite and technical assistance in the country’s plans to develop an indigenous stealthy KF-X fighter.

Upgrading the classic FFG for modern combat -

The Oliver Hazard Perry guided missile frigates are one of the most numerous warships classes built since World War II. The first ships entered service in the 1980s, but many still serve under the flags of other nations, all of whom are intensely interested in keeping these vintage ships as effective as possible.

FIDAE 2014: ScanEagle to compete for Brazilian maritime ISR program -

The Boeing/Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial system is to soon compete for a place within Brazil’s maritime situational awareness system, officials announced at FIDAE 2014. 

F-35 funds withheld from Pratt & Whitney over delays -

The Pentagon is withholding funds from United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt and Whitney unit because of persistent delays in delivering engines for the F-35, the head of the fighter program said.

Further delays predicted for F-35 program -

The general in charge of the F-35 told a U.S. House panel March 26 he sees more delays ahead — four to six months — for the often-troubled fighter jet program.

Siemens medical unit wins Pentagon deal worth up to $1.8 billion -

Siemens Medical Solutions, a unit of Germany’s Siemens AG, has won a contract valued at up to $1.8 billion to provide radiology systems, parts and other accessories to the U.S. military, the U.S. Defense Department said on Wednesday in its daily digest of major weapons contracts.

DIMDEX show opens with arrival of warships -

The naval parade began a day before the official opening of the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition, the Middle East’s largest naval exposition in 2014.

Commercial spy satellites gain power as resolutions sharpen -

Space-based sensors devoted to intelligence gathering are poised to receive a major upgrade driven by the perceived need to identify and monitor a growing range of potential threats. The unstated goal is to create a massive satellite network forming the equivalent of a single, unblinking eye in space.



Sailors leaving Navy over stress on social issues, Top Gun instructor says -

A Navy F-18 fighter pilot and former Top Gun instructor is publicly warning admirals that retention is beginning to suffer from the military’s relentless social conditioning programs. 

War funds needed at least until 2017, services say -

U.S. military operations in Afghanistan will end this year, but bills for the war will be coming in until at least 2017.

U.S. military seeking ‘cheap stealth’ on ocean floor -

Only hours after Visclosky grumbled about sunken ships sitting on the bottom of the ocean, the Pentagon said it’s moving closer to making that cold and forbidding place a base for U.S. military hardware. It’s planning to test the concept in the Western Pacific, conveniently close to China, starting next year. 

Why Navy really wants 22 more Growlers -

After several years of appearing to dislike the F-35C, or at least appearing lukewarm to buying it, the Navy today finally revealed why it wants to buy more F-18Gs from Boeing.

Navy considers JHSV for special operations missions -

The ongoing deployment of the Navy’s first Joint High Speed Vessel, or JHSV, is leading the service to think more broadly about the ship’s mission set and expand it from a purely transport vessel to one that can conduct special operations and humanitarian assistance missions, Navy leaders said.

What defense could learn about cyber from financial firms -

As the defense industry sorts out the complications of information sharing and improved cyber protection, it might turn to another sector thought by many experts to have the best security in the United States: financial firms.



Legion pushes VA to continue progress on claims -

The American Legion’s national commander is happy with work Veterans Affairs Department officials have done on their disability claims and veteran outreach goals.

‘Environmental poisoning’ of Iraq is claimed -

An advocacy group representing American military veterans and Iraqi civilians arrived here on Wednesday armed with a message for the United States government: Washington must do something for the thousands of people suffering from what the group called the “environmental poisoning” of Iraq during the war.

Computer security problems at VA more than doubles in past six years -

The Veterans Affairs Department has not fully developed and instituted a comprehensive program to secure its networks and computer systems despite reports of weaknesses over the past 16 years, as the number of VA computer security incidents more than tripled between 2007 and 2013, the Government Accountability Office reported March 25.



Comet lander checks in with Earth -

The Philae lander, which Europe hopes to put on the surface of a comet later this year, has been re-activated after three years in deep-space hibernation. The small probe is currently riding piggy-back on the Rosetta satellite. This was dispatched 10 years ago to rendezvous with the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and was itself awoken in January. 

Europe begins Mars site selection -

The European Space Agency has published the “long list” of eight sites it is considering as a destination for the ExoMars rover. The 300-kilo vehicle will be put on the surface of the Red Planet in January 2019 to search for evidence of past or present life.

‘Mars yard’ to test European rover -

Airbus has built a giant sand pit in Stevenage, England, to mimic the surface of Mars. The indoor terrain, about the size of a basketball court, will be used to test systems on the rover that Europe will send to the Red Planet in 2018.

Scientists nickname planet-like object ‘Biden’ -

Astronomers have nicknamed a newly discovered planet-like object on the edge of the solar system after Vice President Joe Biden.

Astronomers amazed to find tiny asteroid has Saturn-like rings -

It is not just Saturn and the giant gas planets of the solar system that bear rings. For the first time, rings have been found around an asteroid, a study published March 26 shows.



U.K., France ink deal to produce helo anti-surface missile -

Britain and France have signed a £500 million ($827.2 million) deal with MBDA to demonstrate and produce a helicopter-mounted anti-surface missile. 

Europe begins to rethink cuts to military spending -

President Obama spent March 26 in Brussels talking up the importance of the security relationship between Europe and the United States, but it is considered unlikely that Russia’s seizure of Crimea will prompt increased European military spending at a time of economic anemia and budget cuts. 

China’s navy takes great leap forward -

China’s navy is growing, analysts said. And it’s not only the number of ships increasing. Modernization of its fleets is going hand in hand with new types of vessels including the stated goal of building indigenous aircraft carriers.  

Military cuts render NATO less formidable as deterrent to Russia -

President Obama and European leaders pledged March 26 to bolster the NATO alliance and vowed that Russia would not be allowed to run roughshod over its neighbors. But the military reality on the ground in Europe tells a different story.

Ukraine’s loss of Crimea has NATO examining its core mission -

Last fall, nearly 6,000 NATO troops, mostly in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, trained to repel an invasion by a fictional country that bore an uncanny resemblance to Russia. 

Majority of Finns support Swedish military alliance -

Nearly 54 percent of Finns would support a formal, treaty-centered, bilateral military alliance with Sweden, according to an opinion poll conducted March 17-20 by the Helsinki-based research organization Taloustutkimus for the Finnish public broadcasting corporation YLE.

French buy of special forces vehicles seen as safe despite budget cutting -

A French order for a fresh batch of light special forces vehicles would cost some €40 million ($55.3 million), seen as a relatively small amount and vital for equipping the elite units, an industry executive said March 26.

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Headlines March 27, 2015

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News Briefs March 27, 2015

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Headlines March 25, 2015

News: Obama says more troops will stay in Afghanistan next year - President Obama March 24 formally abandoned his pledge to bring U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan down to 5,000 by the end of this year, saying the current force of about 10,000 will remain there into 2016.   Business: U.S. special ops to sole-source 2,000...


News Briefs March 25, 2015

Pentagon notifying U.S. troops named by alleged IS hackers The Pentagon said March 23 it is notifying 100 U.S. military members that their names and addresses were posted on the Internet by a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division. The group said it was posting the information, including photos of the individuals, to...

Headlines March 23, 2015

News: House aides preview major Pentagon reforms - Reform of the Pentagon’s weapons buying habits will lead Rep. Mac Thornberry’s agenda as head of the House Armed Services Committee say committee aides, a long-term plan the Texas Republican will formally outline March 23 at a Washington think tank.   Business: Lockheed fixing software glitch with GPS...

News Briefs March 23, 2015

Arizona Veterans Courts push counseling, not jail for veterans Arizona military veterans who land in court for minor offenses are also landing second chances. Judges and prosecutors across the state have been holding Veterans Courts to make sure defendants who may have physical and mental battle wounds get rehabilitation instead of jail time. The Arizona...


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