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July 14, 2014

Headlines July 14, 2014


U.S. no longer tech leader in military war gear –

The world’s fighting forces are not turning to the United States first anymore when it comes to war gear. Instead, companies in Europe and beyond are equipping armies with high-tech gear, embracing technology that has outpaced American efforts, which used to be first rate.



UAV firms seek easier exports –

For years, the United States has maintained a technological edge in the world of unmanned systems. But with more nations taking the plunge on indigenous drone capabilities, industry and experts alike are looking to the U.S. government to change a longstanding policy that restricts overseas sales.

F-35 makers chip in $170 million to shrink costs –

The F-35 Joint Program Office is trying anew to drive cost out of the plane, with industry partners agreeing to spend $170 million on internal research and development.

Multirole combat jets propagate across Sub-Saharan Africa –

Sub-Saharan African countries have ramped up acquisition of sophisticated multirole fighter aircraft and combat helicopters in a continental buying spree driven by efforts to confront evolving security threats, but also by national aspirations to assert regional power.

Lockheed, others turning back to air shows –

For the past five years, as defense spending peaked and then slowly began to march downward, major U.S. defense contractors, including one of the most conspicuous cutters, Lockheed Martin, had been downsizing at air shows – reducing the number of staff members, shrinking booths and chateaus, and keeping executives home.  

Boeing Defense head: Saab team-up offers ‘forward thinking approach‘ –

When Boeing and Saab unveil their co-design of a new trainer for the U.S. Air Force, it will look different from the Swedish firm’s Gripen fighter, the head of Boeing’s defense arm said July 13.

Excessive’ rubbing of engine blades caused F-35 failure: Pentagon –

The F-35 fighter jets was caused by “excessive” rubbing of fan blades in the plane’s Pratt and Whitney engine, but does not appear to be a fundamental design flaw, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said July 13.

Raytheon expects Boomerang system OK by year end –

Raytheon is undergoing developmental test on its Boomerang Air system and expects to get clearance from a U.S. military customer by the end of the year, opening up the potential for the helicopter-mounted weapons fire detection system for major sales.

Raytheon warhead production to resume, Winnefeld says –

Raytheon will resume production of warheads for the Pentagon’s ground-based missile defense system by July 31 after the first successful interception of a dummy incoming missile since 2008, according to the military’s No. 2 official.

Pentagon delays Navy’s carrier drone program –

The Pentagon has delayed the carrier-launched drone program amid ongoing reviews of the program’s requirements and has considered drafting a new, joint capabilities document for the Navy aircraft, defense officials told

Boeing sees F/A-18 fighter line continuing through 2017 –

Boeing said July 13 it was optimistic it could maintain production of its F/A-18 and EA-18G fighter jets in St. Louis through the end of 2017 – a year longer than expected – if Congress approved additional orders of a dozen more planes.

Israel readies first U.S. co-production order for Iron Dome –

Israel fielded its seventh Iron Dome intercepting battery under fire last week in an operational debut that destroyed five Gaza-launched rockets headed for the nation’s economic and cultural heart of Tel Aviv.

Bell Helicopter submits V-280 design for JMR-TD –

Bell Helicopter has submitted its offering to the US Army for the Joint Multirole Rotorcraft-Technology Demonstrator program, a company official said during a 10 July teleconference with reporters.

DCNS cuts deal with Egypt for four Gowind ships –

French shipbuilder DCNS has sold four Gowind warships to Egypt, with the first 2,500-ton corvette to be built in France and the remaining three in Alexandria through a technology transfer, a company spokesman said July 11.

Saab, Embraer sign F-X2 program management MoU –

Saab and Brazilian national defence and aerospace group Embraer have signed a memorandum of understanding which formally underpins their joint management of the production and delivery of Gripen NG multi-role fighter aircraft to meet the requirements of the Brazilian F-X2 program.

There’s going to be consolidation in defense, says BAE Systems chief –

Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems, was disappointed two years ago when the proposed GBP28bn merger of Britain’s largest manufacturing company with pan-European group EADS collapsed.

Airbus sells majority stake in Test and Services business –

Airbus Group (formerly EADS) has continued a strategy of divesting non-core assets with the sale of a majority stake in its France-based Test and Services (TandS) business to ACE Management and the Institut Regional de Developpement Industriel de Midi-Pyrenees.



Pentagon report finds litany of problems with effort to recover MIAs –

The Defense Department’s inspector general has drafted a stinging rebuke of the Pentagon’s struggling effort to recover the remains of missing service members from past wars, concluding the mission lacks the most elemental building blocks for success.  

Hagel hits road to pressure Congress on sequester –

On this week’s trip to Georgia, Florida and Alabama, Hagel hammered on the theme of budget cuts at every stop – and, at every stop, the Secretary carefully put the responsibility on Congress to roll back the automatic cuts known as sequestration.

U.S. Army general: Black Hawks better suited for Guard mission –

The U.S. Army’s plan to shift National Guard AH-64 Apaches into the active duty in exchange for UH-60 Black Hawks will allow governors to better respond to state disasters, the general in charge of training the service’s helicopter pilots said.

Army on hunt for new weapons, just as U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down –

It’s a time of transition for the U.S. military. Tens of thousands of troops at a time have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for years, but that is giving way to reductions in the size of the Army and Marine Corps and tough fights over where dwindling defense dollars will be spent. As retired Army Lt. Gen. David Barno suggested in a new piece for The Washington Post, the Army is “moving from 13 straight years of playing in the Super Bowl to an indefinite number of seasons scrimmaging with itself.”



VA faulted for delays in G.I. Bill student benefits –

Nearly 80,000 veterans eligible for the new G.I. Bill saw their college terms disrupted last year because the VA was late distributing $61 million in housing and book stipends, according to estimates released by the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General July 11.

Report cites VA struggles with benefits paid to veterans –

The federal department responsible for caring for America’s veterans, already mired in scandal over delays in health care, continues struggling with another major responsibility: paying compensation to those wounded or injured or who grew ill from service in uniform.



Air Force certifies SpaceX Falcon 9 flights –

In a move that could shake up the spaceflight business, Hawthorne rocket company SpaceX has passed a key milestone toward its goal to launch the U.S. government’s most sophisticated national security satellites.

NASA selects 13 systems to test for deep space missions –

From hovering spheres to hopping ‘hedgehogs,’ NASA has chosen 13 new technologies to test for deep space missions.



Interview: Philip Dunne –

Budget restrictions, a war in Afghanistan, capability gaps and a departmental transformation effort unprecedented in recent years could have made the post as Britain’s minister for defense equipment, support and technology unusually testing, as well as complex, during the almost two years since Philip Dunne was appointed.

Mexican Air Force modernizing, expanding Mi-17 fleet –

From mid-June to early July at least two Antonov An-124-100 transports ferried at least nine Mexican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Mexicana – FAM) Mi-17 Hip helicopters to a Russian Helicopters facility, where sources told IHS Jane’s they will go through a comprehensive modernization program with re-deliveries scheduled to begin in 2015.  

Chilean Army launches training aircraft replacement program –

The Chilean Army Aviation Brigade opened a tender to procure an unspecified number of basic training aircraft on 26 June and closed the tender on 1 July, but a winner has yet to be announced. 

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