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June 13, 2014

Headlines June 13, 2014


NORAD scrambles fighters against Russian bombers –

Northern Command scrambled two F-22 Raptor and two F-15 Eagle fighters June 9 against a fleet of Russian bombers off the Alaska and northern California coasts, Pentagon officials said June 12.  

NORAD: Russian bombers flew within 50 miles of California –

The first encounter occurred at about 4:30 p.m., PDT, June 9, when four Russian Tu-95 Bear-H long-range bombers and a Il-76 refueling tanker entered the outer portion of the North American air defense identification zone near Alaska.



U.S. companies pulling contractors from Iraqi bases as security crumbles –

The crisis in Iraq has prompted U.S. contractors with personnel there to evacuate them from areas near Baghdad that are increasingly in the line of fire as insurgent fighters capture more territory with the apparent end goal of seizing the Iraqi capital.  

Company seeks partner to help lift funding for flying dune buggy –

Start-up firm Vaylon hopes to sign up a business partner soon to help fund development and production of a flying dune buggy, an innovative vehicle going through flight trials with the French special operations forces, Chairman Jerome Dauffy said.  

Boeing giving Pentagon $3.2 million in spare parts to settle case –

Boeing agreed to provide Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency with $3.2m in parts to settle case alleging company overcharged for spare parts, DLA Director Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek tells reporters.  

Trial begins for Blackwater guards in Iraq shootings –

Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards went on trial Wednesday in the killings of 14 Iraqis and the wounding of at least 18 others.  

Airbus DS looks to furnish Eurofighter Typhoon with maritime strike capability –

Airbus Defence and Space is looking to integrate three different anti-shipping missile types onto the Eurofighter Typhoon in an effort to equip the combat aircraft with a maritime attack capability, a senior company official disclosed June 9. 

Northrop Grumman receives funding for electronic warfare systems for U.S. Army, Navy –

Northrop Grumman has received funding to produce preproduction units of the APR-39D(V)2 radar warning receiver/electronic warfare management system.  

Puma’s Paris premiere –

The Puma armored infantry fighting vehicle will be displayed at the Eurosatory defense trade show in Paris for the first time June 16-20.  

CEO: Companies need to use more commercial tech in weapons –

Global defense companies need to import and adapt more commercial technology into military weapons and systems of the future, a former U.S. deputy defense secretary turned industry CEO said June 11.  

DigitalGlobe gains U.S. government license to sell sharper satellite imagery –

Satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe Inc said the U.S. government had approved its longstanding request to sell higher-resolution images, a move that could unlock $400 million in additional market opportunities for the company.  

Army awards $774 million ITES-2H extension –

The Army has extended its Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2 Hardware for another year, a modification worth $774 million.  

Finmeccanica new CEO inks helicopter, rail deals with China –

Italian state controlled defense group Finmeccanica said June 11 it had signed two agreements with China for possible deals in the helicopters and rail signaling sectors. 

German arms exports up sharply in 2013 –

German arms export licenses increased by around $1.49 billion to around 5.8 billion euros in 2013, according to information from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. 

Airbus DS to offer upgraded A330 MRTT Enhanced –

Airbus Defence and Space announced an improved variant of the A330-200 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft during the annual Trade Media Briefing, held at the company’s Getafe facility near Madrid June 10.  

AASM in debut firing from F-16 –

Sagem’s Armement Air-Sol Modulaire Hammer SBU-38 precision guided munition has been successfully launched from a Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the first launch of the PGM from a non-French made aircraft. 



Lockheed jet reliability still lags, Kendall says –

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 aircraft has not yet demonstrated sufficient reliability improvements, Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Frank Kendall, tells reporters after an F-35 management conference.  

Pentagon sees progress on F-35 jet; software still a concern –

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet is making steady progress but needs further work to accelerate software development, increase reliability and lower the cost of operating and maintaining the new warplanes, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said June 12.  

Defense Logistics Agency to shrink –

The organization that oversees the Pentagon’s vast supply chain and logistics empire is planning to shrink its yearly business as the U.S. military prepares to exit Afghanistan.  

The U.S. spent $3 million on boats for landlocked Afghanistan –

That works out to be more than $375,000 per boat. Similar boats in the United States are typically sold for about $50,000. 

Navy gets flak for plan for carrier-based drones –

A U.S. Navy plan for aircraft carrier-based drones has launched a dogfight in Washington over the role of the robotic planes in combat.  

CNAS: Key questions remain in unmanned systems realm –

“The winner of the robotics revolution will not be who develops this technology first or even who has the best technology, but who figures out how best to use it,” a CNAS fellow said, presenting a new report on robots in the battlefield.  

Boatbuilders target $48 million U.S. Navy small craft effort –

The U.S. Navy has taken delivery of the first of several hundred new High Speed Maneuverable Surface Target craft in a five-year procurement effort involving two Gulf Coast boatbuilders.  

Navy uses 3D modeling, laser scanning to develop Cougar family of vehicles for Marines –

Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City in Florida stood up an Expeditionary 3D Modeling and Laser Scanning Center in early 2014 to support warfare systems required by joint forces and the Department of the Navy for expeditionary maneuver warfare. 



$100 million in bonuses at VA as problems mounted –

Even as federal inspectors repeatedly warned that patient wait lists were having a detrimental impact on care, the troubled Veterans Affairs health system handed out $108.7 million in bonuses to executives and employees the past three years, an Asbury Park Press investigation found.  

Congress may be done fixing the VA for year –

The Senate’s passage Wednesday of legislation intended to stop veterans from dying waiting for health care is likely to be Congress’s last major reform bill for the year to address failings in veterans’ services or clean up the embattled Veterans Affairs Department.  

Acting VA secretary Gibson speaks up for agency’s employees –

While admitting systemic problems, the new head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said June 12 the vast majority of the employees at his beleaguered agency are not the issue. 



The lasting allure of the flying saucer –

NASA is launching a spacecraft that strongly resembles a flying saucer. For more than half a century the distinctive shape has exerted a powerful grip over the popular imagination. 

Extroverts could cause problems on a Mars mission –

As NASA focuses considerable effort on a mission to send humans to Mars in the coming decades, psychology researchers are looking at what types of personalities would work the best together on such a long trip.

This star is set to chow down on two of its own planets –

A star shining about 2,800 light-years from Earth will down on two of its planets millions of years from now. 

Smoke aboard ISS traced to water heater –

A galley water heater is being blamed for smoke aboard the International Space Station.

Mystery of moon’s far side may finally have been resolved –

For decades, scientists have been trying to understand why the Earth-facing side of the moon looks so different from the moon’s far side. Now, they may have an answer to that mystery.



Final U.K. military cuts announced to meet 2018 goals –

Twenty-four hours after the British government was heavily criticized by the National Audit Office for taking significant risks in cutting the size of the British Army, the Ministry of Defence announced the final round of cuts required to achieve its target.  

Finnish president urges increase in defense procurement –

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto has backed an increase in defense procurement for the country’s military, after agreeing that the country lacked the resources for a credible defense.  

Russia warns Sweden, Finland against NATO membership –

Finland and Sweden have both rejected claims, made by a senior Russian adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, that “Russophobia” is pushing the two non-aligned Nordic states “dangerously closer” to NATO.  

Czech Republic seeks command vehicles –

The Czech Ministry of Defence intends to launch a procurement program this year for 30 wheeled armored command and control vehicles for the Army of the Czech Republic, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said June 11.  

Estonia to buy Javelin ATGWs –

Estonia is seeking to purchase Javelin anti-tank guided weapons from the United States, a spokesperson for the Estonian MoD confirmed to IHS Jane’s June 10.

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