In the news...

June 25, 2014

Headlines June 25, 2014

News:

$50 billion price tag proves a stumbling block in VA bill -

House and Senate negotiators met June 24 to try to hammer out a compromise bill to gain a handle on the reports of problems piling up at the VA, but they immediately began stumbling over the potential $50 billion-a-year price tag.

Poor care at VA hospitals cost 1,000 vets their lives report says -

The problems at Veterans Affairs extend far beyond long wait lists, with a report June 24 showing the department is plagued with poor care that has cost up to 1,000 veterans their lives and left taxpayers on the hook for nearly $1 billion in malpractice settlements since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Business:

Lockheed wins $1.9 billion deal for U.S. missile-warning satellites -

The U.S. Air Force said June 24 it had awarded Lockheed Martin a contract valued at $1.9 billion to complete work on two more missile-warning satellites as part of the Space-Based Infrared Systems system.  

NDIA official: DOD’s red tape could become ‘most dangerous enemy’ to U.S. -

The processes that govern – and often stymie – how the U.S. military buys weapons could be the biggest threat to America, a former Pentagon official said June 24. 

Defense procurement: Congress continues to search for answers -

Even in this day of deeply divided government, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that there are fundamental flaws in how the Pentagon buys weapons systems. Beyond that, there is little consensus on what can be done about it.   

AirTanker cuts refueling deal with Thomas Cook -

The British consortium which provides Airbus A330 inflight refueling tankers for the Royal Air Force has leased one of the aircraft for holiday flight duties with Thomas Cook Airlines.  

Pentagon eyes remedies as spending ‘bow wave’ looms -

U.S. weapons makers must focus on affordability and be more upfront about the cost of new, cutting-edge technologies given a large “bow wave” of increased spending facing the Pentagon in the 2020s, Comptroller Robert Hale told Reuters June 24.  

NavWeek: Done deeds -

In its recent denial of industry protests over the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter design contracts, the U.S. Government Accountability Office Comptroller General showed a pretty keen interest in past-contract performance. Contractors may be wise to take note. 

DRDO chief says India is ready to become major exporter -

India is ready to export locally developed defence equipment at competitive prices to friendly countries and is in the process of devising the means to do so, the head of the country’s premier weapons agency said June 22.  

Turkey aims to focus on ‘smart systems’ -

Turkey’s new procurement chief has said the country should prioritize what he calls “smart systems” when planning future purchases.  

Avibras, Nexter to jointly develop self-propelled howitzer -

Brazil’s Avibras and France’s Nexter signed a memorandum of understanding in June to develop the Camion Equipe d’un Systeme d’Artillerie 155 mm self-propelled howitzer so that it complies with future Brazilian Army mobility requirements.  

Russia to reduce Ukrainian defense imports 95 percent by 2015 -

Russia is on track to reduce its imports of Ukrainian defense technology and hardware by 95 percent by the end of 2015, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said June 24. 

Rostec announces 2013 revenues of U.S. $30 billion -

Russian Technologies (Rostec), the state-owned holding group for Russia’s defense industry, had consolidated revenues of RUB1.04 trillion ($30 billion) and made a profit of RUB40 billion in 2013, according to financial results released by the company June 20. 

 

Defense:

Army’s new plan: Active and Guard brigade team-ups -

To make up for lost time and money, the Army has ramped up its combat training center rotations this year.  

Army receives additional manpack radios -

The Army has received additional AN/PRC-155 manpack radios under a supplementary contract with General Dynamics C4 Systems and Rockwell Collins.  

Navy SEAL died in parachute accident -

The Navy released the name of a 31-year-old Navy SEAL killed June 23 in a parachute accident in El Centro.  

Carrier Nimitz heads into 16-mo. overhaul in 2015 -

The fleet’s longest-serving flattop is slated for a much-needed break from the deployment cycle next year, when it enters a16-month maintenance period, Naval Air Forces Pacific said June 24. 

U.S. Navy’s Joint High-Speed Vessel demonstrates transport capabilities in Caribbean -

One month into its maiden deployment to Latin America, the U.S. Navy’s first Joint High-Speed Vessel is supporting a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored training event in the Caribbean designed to help regional navies improve capabilities for disaster response and also for countering maritime threats, such as illicit trafficking, the navy told IHS Jane’s June 20.  

U.S. prepares for awkward military engagement with China in Hawaii -

The U.S. Navy has dispatched numerous ships to Hawaii as it prepares for Rim of the Pacific 2014, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It will involve 49 surface ships and six submarines from 23 countries this year, but the inclusion of one – China – will get an inordinate amount of attention. 

F-35As grounded at Eglin after June 23 fire -

Flights of F-35A fighters are grounded June 24 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., one day after a “significant fire” damaged one of the aircraft during takeoff. 

 

Space:

Private mission to Mars set to beat NASA -

A New York firm has revealed ambitious plans to send a spacecraft to Mars to bring back dust form the atmosphere in 2018.

Massive balloons will take you to the edge of space -

Next year, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is expected to begin taking paying customers to space for around $250,000 a ticket.




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President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




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