In the news...

July 7, 2014

Headlines July 7, 2014

News:

DOD grounds entire F-35 fleet; Plane might not make U.K. debut -

The European debut of the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighter is now in question after the Pentagon grounded the entire fleet late Thursday based on the initial findings of an investigation into a fire that broke out on one of the jets last month.  

Plan to deliver F-16s to Iraq on hold -

A plan to start delivering F-16s to Iraq in September is on hold until the security situation improves, a U.S. official said.

 

Business:

Global competition opens for F-35 sustainment deals -

The F-35 Joint Program Office has begun carrying out a game-changing plan for sustainment on a global scale, one that relies heavily on competition to help drive down costs.  

Investigators eye third-stage turbine as F-35 remains grounded -

Investigators have narrowed their focus to the third stage turbine of the F135 engine as the likely source of a fire that erupted as an F-35A fighter was preparing for takeoff at Eglin AFB, Fla., last month.

Defense forecast: So many ‘what-ifs’ -

Uncertainty remains the operative word in the defense sector. The chances that Congress will pass a defense appropriations bill by Sept. 30 appear to be slim to none. Policy decisions are on hold pending mid-term elections, but gridlock is likely to continue regardless of the outcome.

Saab deal raises prospects for domestic sub orders -

Saab’s $50.7 million acquisition of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AB from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions will help maintain Sweden’s submarine-building capabilities while expanding Saab’s underwater offerings.

U.S. Marine Corps moves forward with Diver Reconnaissance Vehicle project -

The U.S. Marine Corps is discussing with industry the likely acquisition of a two-man diver propulsion device with integrated navigation and hydrographic survey capabilities to support sub-surface amphibious reconnaissance missions.  

U.S. clears $250 million RAF C-17 logistics deal, $69 million support in Egypt -

The U.S. State Department has approved a $250 million C-17 Globemaster III sustainment deal with the United Kingdom, which would continue the Royal Air Force’s participation in the Boeing-run program.  

Contractors vulnerable to growing number of ‘false claims’ suits -

Under a recent court decision by the Fourth Circuit, a federal government contractor may suddenly find itself facing potentially massive liability based solely on the number of invoices submitted in previous years, even if every one of those invoices was entirely accurate.  

Long-awaited consolidation rolls forward with Nexter-KMW deal -

A plan to set up a 50-50 holding company that oversees France’s Nexter and Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann opens the door to a long awaited French-German consolidation in the troubled land weapons industry, analysts and industry sources said.  

German MoD externally reviews nine major procurement programs -

The German Ministry of Defence has contracted an independent commission to conduct a review of the country’s nine major defense programs.  

India reworks defense licensing categories -

India has made major changes in its defense production policy that will enable foreign manufacturers to set up production in India without going through the cumbersome process of seeking licensing.

France pushes India to move on Maitri SR-SAM programme -

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius expressed his concern to senior Indian leaders in New Delhi July 1 over recurring delays in implementing the bilateral Maitri program to jointly develop a short-range surface-to-air missile system.

Japan may return to centralized procurement -

Japan’s Ministry of Defense has hinted it may try to re-establish a centralized procurement agency to streamline purchasing and concentrate talent and resources so Japan can participate in the global arms trade.

BAE Systems to launch Striker II next-gen helmet at Farnborough -

BAE Systems is to launch its latest offering from the Striker family of helmet-mounted display systems at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014, IHS Jane’s was told in early July.

Maintenance contract awarded for RAF A400Ms -

A key element of the support package required by the Royal Air Force to operate its new A400M Atlas airlifter has fallen into place with a decision to award a maintenance contract on the aircraft.  

Mitsubishi Electric eyes F-35 missile deal with Europe’s MBDA: sources -

Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric (6503.T) has agreed to take the first step towards a partnership with European missile maker MBDA to develop a medium-range air-to-air missile for the F-35 stealth fighter, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Turkey’s disputed air defense contract awaits politics -

For a fourth time since September, Turkey’s procurement authorities extended a deadline for all three bidders in a disputed air defense contract to submit their renewed proposals, a move officials and analysts link to presidential elections.  

HHI launches South Korea’s fifth KSS 2 submarine -

The Republic of Korea Navy’s fifth KSS 2-class (Type 214) diesel-electric air-independent propulsion submarine has been launched at Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Ulsan shipyard, company representative Koo Young-jun confirmed to IHS Jane’s.  

Canada, Sikorsky amend Cyclone support terms -

Sikorsky hopes to recoup some of the financial losses from the troubled Canadian maritime helicopter program through a contract amendment that assures it more money to maintain the new fleet. 

 

Defense:

Army looking to dump NATO 9mm for a real pistol with power -

The M9 9mm pistol has been with the Army since the Cold War, but now it’s looking for something better. On July 29, the service will open its doors to gun makers to figure out how to make it happen.

International partners key to DOD’s new R&D strategy -

The U.S. Defense Department is set to roll out a new strategy this week that is designed to make sure researchers know about ongoing technological developments around the world, and can take advantage of spending by close allies to fill gaps in capabilities and cut costs. 

U.S. Navy’s cruiser problem -

The U.S. Navy and Congress are in a sort of faceoff over the fleet’s cruiser force. To extend their service lives, the Navy is asking to take half its cruisers – CGs in Navy-speak – out of service now and gradually bring them back starting in 2019. Congress, fearful that Pentagon budget-cutters will instead decide to cut costs and reduce the force, is insisting the ships be modernized now and kept running. 

Navy looks to advancements in ‘fog of war’ for missile defense -

The U.S. Navy is sea testing a carbon-fiber “fog” that officials hope will defeat the guidance systems of missiles aimed at its ships. 

 

Veterans:

VA failing to meet female veteran’s needs despite $1.3 billion investment since 2008 -

Already pilloried for long wait times for medical appointments, the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs has fallen short of another commitment: to attend to the needs of the rising ranks of female veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them of child-bearing age.

 

Technology:

The future of warfare: Self-healing aircraft, and ‘transformer’ plane that can split into three jets mid-air -

Warfare is set to get more advanced with 3D-printed drones, self-healing aircraft and a ‘transformer’ aircraft that can split apart, which could be in use within 30 years.

 

International:

China’s navy in frenzy to build new nuclear-powered attack subs -

China is investing heavily in advanced submarines, including both ballistics and cruise missile firing vessels and attack subs.




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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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