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July 14, 2014

Headlines July 14, 2014

News:

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.

 

Business:

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 Military.com.

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.

 

Defense:

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.”

 

Veterans:

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.

 

Space:

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.

 

International:

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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Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year – In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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