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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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Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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