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May 1, 2014

Headlines April 30, 2014

News:

House panel rejects benefits cuts in 2015 defense budget -

In the first official congressional action on the Pentagon’s proposed 2015 budget, House lawmakers have rejected proposed cuts in housing allowances and commissary funding, as well as an overhaul of the Tricare system that would increase out-of-pocket costs for some beneficiaries. 

New U.S. stealth jet can’t hide from Russian radar -

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter—the jet that the Pentagon is counting on to be the stealthy future of its tactical aircraft—is having all sorts of shortcomings. But the most serious may be that the JSF is not, in fact, stealthy in the eyes of a growing number of Russian and Chinese radars. Nor is it particularly good at jamming enemy radar. Which means the Defense Department is committing hundreds of billions of dollars to a fighter that will need the help of specialized jamming aircraft that protect non-stealthy—“radar-shiny,” as some insiders call them—aircraft today. 

 

Business:

ATK, Orbital to merge; first course of new last supper? -

In many respects, the merger announced April 30 between ATK and Orbital Sciences appears just a sensible move between two space and defense companies facing a declining demand for rockets and rocket engines.

U.K.’s Scout SV PMRS passes base design review milestone -

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has completed the Base Platform Critical Design Review for the Protected Mobility Recce Support variant of the Scout Specialist Vehicle program, General Dynamics UK announced April 28. 

U.S. Navy orders 10 new submarines for record $17.6 billion -

The U.S. Navy announced a record $17.645 billion contract April 27 to build 10 new SSN 774 Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines. The order assures prime contractor General Dynamics Electric Boat and chief subcontractor Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding of submarine orders through 2018.

Defense contractors fight for their slice -

Gone are the days of unity when giants like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman banded together in 2012 to fight automatic defense cuts in a campaign called Second to None. Now, with another round of sequestration ahead and an uncertain post-war era looming, contractors are back to skirmishing with one another over every last scrap of the defense budget.

Australian buy comes at key time for F-35 program -

When Australia announced it would purchase 58 F-35A joint strike fighters last week, it agreed to the single largest batch of F-35s acquired by an international partner to date — an important milestone for a program that appears headed to smaller domestic buys than planned. 

Reports: M&A activity in U.S. arms sector rises as revenues drop -

Mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. weapons industry are starting to edge up after a third year of declining revenues across the sector in 2013, according to two separate reports released April 27.

Consolidation of top Pentagon contractors only a matter of time -

A projected plunge in Pentagon spending — when sequestration-level budgets return in 2016 — eventually is going to hit the industry hard, to a point where top companies will not be able to continue making profits as they are today, said Linda Hudson, former CEO of Pentagon contractor BAE Systems. 

Maiden flight for MC-27J gunship -

The first fully configured Alenia Aermacchi MC-27J Spartan gunship has made its maiden flight from the company’s Turin Test Flight Centre, it was announced April 25. 

Airbus unveils IED jammers -

The new jammers combine signals intelligence with IED jamming. “This means that intelligence systems, which detect and evaluate hostile radio traffic, now combine the ability to produce targeted jamming signals for defined frequencies,” said an Airbus news release. “Previously, this required dedicated equipment which was not very mobile, and required a lot of power and space.” 

Lahoud: Civil aerospace sales continue to outstrip military side -

Sales in French civil aerospace in 2013 not only outweighed the military side, but airliner sales will continue to outpace revenue from fighter jets, UAVs and missiles, said Marwan Lahoud, chairman of a major French industry trade body. 

Brazilian Navy signs Exocet missile contract -

The Brazilian Navy has signed a BRL60 million ($27 million) contract with Brazilian Aerospace Avibras to develop a new version of the Exocet AM39 B2 air-to-surface missile produced by European missile house MBDA, officials announced in late April.

 

Defense:

Air Force, Congressional clash over future of A-10 erupts again -

The fate of the A-10 close-air support platform has been the most contentious issue between the Air Force and Congress over the last six months. If comments made April 29 are any indication, it’s a fight that isn’t going away. 

New bill calls for Pentagon unmanned systems office -

The Department of Defense would be required to establish an office to specifically manage unmanned systems if language proposed in a new Asia-Pacific Region Priority bill holds.

House markup cuts 1 LCS, supports 11 carriers -

The House Seapower subcommittee markup that was revealed April 29 offered at least one surprise — cutting the Navy’s request for three littoral combat ships to only two — but the bill supports the other new ship requests, including two destroyers and two submarines.

GOP defense bill pushes back against proposed nuclear-modernization delays -

House Armed Services Committee Republicans are pushing back against the Obama administration’s plans to delay selected efforts to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

House committee seeks to stall UCLASS program pending new Pentagon unmanned aviation study -

The House Armed Services Committee seeks to put on hold the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike aircraft program and directs the Pentagon to fund a study for a future carrier-borne unmanned strike aircraft, according to language in the HASC’s Seapower and Projections Forces Committee’s mark of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Bill.

HASC bill ‘fully’ supports military cyber activities -

A U.S. House Armed Services subcommittee April 29 released legislation that would require Pentagon officials to conduct several sweeping reviews of military intelligence programs.

Despite Pentagon spending cap, projects such as Growler jet get another chance at funding -

As Congress begins to wade through the Pentagon’s budget this week, deciding what stays and what goes, lawmakers will face a temptation that it has not seen in the past few years: robust wish lists, loaded with all sorts of shiny, new things they supposedly cannot afford to buy.

 

Veterans:

White House: Veterans health funding too low in House bill -

The Veterans Affairs spending bill on the House floor this week does not provide enough money for medical care, the White House said in a statement April 29.

Sources: Exchange eyes opening online store to all vets -

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials want to expand shopping privileges at the online exchange store to all honorably discharged veterans, sources said.

 

International:

Ukraine reassures Pakistan on defense orders -

Ukraine moved to reassure Pakistan that contracts for defense equipment will be honored despite the fallout stemming from its political instability and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.




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Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

B61 undergoes testing in AEDC wind tunnel

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers recently joined researchers with Sandia National Laboratories to perform a wind tunnel test on a full-scale mock-up B61. Pictured with the...
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 

Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $23.5 million LHA 8 affordability contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded an affordability design contract for $23.5 million for early industry involvement to reduce the construction and life-cycle cost for the amphibious assault ship LHA 8. “Ingalls Shipbuilding has been constructing large-deck amphibious ships for nearly 50 years, and this contract will build on our company...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 




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