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June 20, 2014

Headlines June 20, 2014


Obama sends advisers to Baghdad; Aides say U.S. could strike inside Syria –

President Obama announced June 19 that he plans to send about 300 US military advisers to Iraq to assist the government in its fight against extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who have taken over vast swaths of the country’s Sunni-dominated west and north. 

Marine vet Kyle Carpenter receives highest award for valor –

He never asked for this. And by rights, he wasn’t supposed to be here. 



Northrop poised to win Navy deal for up to $3.9 billion –

Northrop Grumman is in line to get a five-year U.S. Navy contract valued at as much as $3.86 billion to build new surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, according to a Defense Department document.  

Pentagon picks 12 for $3 billion technical services contract –

Twelve contractors have been selected for a Department of Defense technical services contract valued at up to $3 billion.  

CAE, Caverton to establish flight training center in Lagos –

Montreal’s CAE and Nigeria-based Caverton Helicopters have signed an agreement that paves the way for the Canadian company to set up and operate sub-Saharan Africa’s first full-flight training and simulation center in Lagos by mid-2015.  

U.K. awards Typhoon-Brimstone study contract –

The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded BAE Systems a GBP5 million ($8.5 million) study contract to evaluate integrating the MBDA Brimstone missile system onto the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

Nexter, Avibras to promote new artillery system –

Nexter Systems has paired up with the Avibras Group to market the French companies’ truck-mounted Caesar 155mm artillery system to the Brazilian army, the new partners announced Wednesday at Eurosatory.  

Finmeccanica revamps structure, opens due diligence for AnsaldoBreda –

Italian defence conglomerate Finmeccanica said June 19 it has opened the data room of its loss-making train unit AnsaldoBreda to potential bidders, without naming them, and also announced a revamp of its corporate structure. 

BAE, Goriziane strike deal on support of Italian Bv206 vehicles –

BAE Systems and the Goriziane Group have firmed up a memorandum of agreement to jointly provide support and services for Italian military users of the Bv206 and Bv206S all-terrain vehicles.  

Defense Ministry revamps equipment procurement strategy –

The Defense Ministry adopted a new strategy June 19 to reform the procurement process for defense equipment, replacing a 44-year-old policy that focused on domestic development. 

Northrop Grumman, Diamond team up for spy plane –

Northrop Grumman and Diamond Aircraft are collaborating to deliver intelligence-gathering aircraft to Canadian and international markets. 

BAE gets $20.5 million to repair destroyer –

BAE Systems has been awarded $20.5 million to repair and upgrade the Decatur, a guided missile destroyer that has long operated out of San Diego. 

Circuit maker pays $10 million to settle U.S. export control charges –

California-based Intersil Corp. has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10 million to settle 339 alleged violations of U.S. export control laws that potentially harmed U.S. national security, the State Department said June 18. 

Elbit completes upgrade of FYROM helicopters –

Elbit Systems has completed the modernization of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia air force, it has been revealed.  

UK’s Watchkeeper fleet to be completed by end of year –

The British Army will park nearly half of its fleet of Thales UK Watchkeeper tactical UAVs to await replenishment of front-line stocks in the event of attrition, according to company executives at Eurosatory.  

Lockheed buys California firm that makes thin film coatings –

Lockheed Martin June 18 said it is acquiring Deposition Sciences Inc., a California-based company that provides thin film coatings, for an undisclosed amount from its parent company, Advanced Lighting Technologies Inc.

5th-To-4th gen fighter comms competition eyed in fiscal 2015 –

The U.S. Air Force is planning to request proposals from industry to finally provide needed communications connectivity between fifth- and fourth-generation fighters.

France to train own cadre of cyber defense experts –

Unable to compete with private firms as it looks to hire cybersecurity experts, France’s Ministry of Defense will set up a course to train its own experts to protect the French military. 

Xtera wins undersea cable contract –

Xtera Communications has won a turnkey contract to build a 1,500-kilometer undersea cable fiber optic cable in the U.S. Southern Command region. The cable will enable connectivity to the Defense Information System Network.  

U.S. Air Force to test WindTracer for air cargo drops –

Lockheed Martin is reconfiguring its WindTracer Doppler lidar wake vortex detection system for potential use by the U.S. Air Force. 

United Technologies, Canada reach deal on delayed helicopters –

United Technologies Corp. June 18 said its Sikorsky Aircraft unit would record sales of $850 million and a charge of $440 million in the second quarter after signing a revamped agreement with Canada for 28 maritime patrol helicopters. 

New imaging, surveillance, protection systems unveiled –

French firm Lheritier unveiled a high-powered, active-imaging, day-night camera at Eurosatory that it says is the first portable camera to allow facial identification in darkness at 150 meters.  

Delays to India’s LUH procurement ‘leading to capability gap, crashes’ –

Recurring delays to the Indian Army’s acquisition of 197 light utility helicopters to replace its fleet of 1960s-era French platforms have created a crisis in sustaining its formations in the Himalayas, according to a retired army official.  

GD unveils upgraded Piranha –

General Dynamics European Land Systems’ latest upgrade of the Piranha 3 armored personnel carrier is market ready and being bid to a number of potential customers, according to a leading company executive.  

Franco-Russian Atom APC collaboration ‘remains suspended’ –

Renault Trucks Defence has contradicted reports that Franco-Russian collaboration on the development of the Atom armoured personnel carrier has recommenced.  

Finmeccanica says will not incorporate loss-making unit –

Italian aerospace and defense group Finmeccanica said June 18 it will not incorporate its train-making AnsaldoBreda unit, denying media reports following the appointment of a new chief executive. 

New Zealand government approves Steyr replacement program –

The New Zealand Defence Force has received government approval to acquire up to 8,800 new rifles to replace the in-service Steyr 5.56 mm weapon, Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman announced June 17. 



Joint basing works, but does it save money? –

The Army and Air Force got hitched in the South Sound four years ago; now officials are trying to figure out if the marriage that is Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., can help them save money.  

33,000 more jobs open to female soldiers –

The Army is opening about 33,000 more jobs to women, according to a newly released memo signed by Army Secretary John McHugh.  

SecAF defends A-10 retirement strategy –

The U.S. Air Force’s top civilian defended the strategy to retire the A-10 aircraft, as House lawmakers gear up for a key vote that may determine the fate of the Cold War-era gunship.  

C-130Js record a first with landing at Latvian base –

U.S. Army Europe-led Exercise Saber Strike 2014 comes to a close this week, with at least one “first” on its record.  

Research sought on illnesses linked to deployment –

In June 2011, Army MSgt. Rob Bowman began feeling “off,” experiencing night sweats and registering a low-grade fever. 

GAO: DOD should revise furlough savings estimates –

The Defense Department should update its estimates for how much money furloughs of employees save in case DOD has to do it again, according to a June 17 report by the Government Accountability Office.  

DOD recovers, identifies 17 service members killed in 1952 crash –

The Defense Department has recovered the remains of 17 service members killed in a cargo plane crash almost 62 years ago. 



Cost of scramble to solve VA’s waiting-time crisis: $54 billion yearly –

Like a waiter bringing the check after a high-spirited meal in a fine restaurant, the Congressional Budget Office has dampened some good vibes among lawmakers who rushed to solve the access-to-care crisis for veterans. 



Mountaintop blasted to build huge telescope –

The top of a 10,000-foot mountain in Chile has been blown up to make way for the world’s largest optical and infrared telescope.

Rosetta: Ice quarry coming into view –

Take your seats because the show is about to begin. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe is edging ever closer to the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for what is expected to be one of the most daring space encounters in history.



Minister: German defense budget will rise –

Germany plans to increase its defense budget in the coming years, however it is still expected to fall short of NATO spending guidelines. 

Russia again beefing up forces on Ukraine border, NATO says –

Thousands of Russian troops are back near the Ukrainian border marking an escalation in tensions only weeks after Moscow began pulling back troops from the area, NATO’s top official said June 19.  

Ukraine rebels speak of heavy losses in battle against government troops –

Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists were locked in fierce fighting in the east of Ukraine June 19 and a rebel commander acknowledged big losses among separatists heavily outgunned by government forces.  

Russian Navy accepts first in new class of nuclear attack submarine –

Russian television has reported that the Russian Federation Navy has accepted its first Project 855 Yasen-class nuclear-powered attack submarine into this week.  

NATO approves new military cyber warfare training center in Estonia –

Estonian Defence Forces Commander Major General Riho Terras announced June 11 that the country’s bid to create a NATO military cyber training centre has been approved by NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Gen. Jean Paul Palomeros. 

Deal likely to bring more U.S. military assets to Australia –

The U.S. military is expected to significantly increase the number of troops, ships and watercraft rotating through Australia as a result of the beefed-up Force Posture Agreement announced last week.  

Indian Coast Guard commissions two more patrol boats –

The Indian Coast Guard has inducted the next two hulls in its Aadesh-class patrol ship program.



The new great power triangle tilt: China, Russia vs. U.S. –

The careful diplomatic stagecraft behind President Barack Obama’s recent European visit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and to rally the Western alliance against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine was all but swept aside by strong new currents in geopolitics. 

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



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Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

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Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

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Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

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Lockheed Martin, StemRad studying first-responder radiation shield for potential deep-space application

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