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July 16, 2014

Headlines July 16, 2014

News:

F-35 cleared for flight  -

A Pentagon official told Defense News that the F-35 fighter fleet has been cleared by air worthiness authorities. A decision on attending the show has not been made but the official said DOD is “hopeful” it can make the trip.

 

Business:

BAE aims for half of $10 billion F-16 upgrade work -

After breaking Lockheed Martin’s monopoly on F-16 upgrade work with a contract in South Korea, BAE Systems is now aiming to capture more than half of what it believes is a $10 billion market in upgrades on the fighter over the next decade.

Mini-munitions drawing big attention -

Could small be the next big thing when it comes to air-launched weapons? Thales UK is betting it will be and has developed a mini precision-guided bomb to grab part of the market.

New Finmeccanica CEO hints at DRS sale -

Mauro Moretti, the recently appointed CEO at Italian defense group Finmeccanica, has hinted that he might consider selling US unit DRS as part of a major shake-up at the group.

CAE signs NATO AWACS simulator deal -

Simulation giant CAE has signed a contract to upgrade the simulators for NATO’s fleet of E-3A airborne warning and control system aircraft, the company announced July 15.

Qatar to buy Patriot missiles in $11 billion deal -

Qatar will buy U.S. Patriot missiles for the first time in a major arms deal worth $11 billion, officials said July 14, as Washington awaits a decision by the Gulf state on a lucrative fighter jet contract.

Major UAE merger likely in six months -

A merger between United Arab Emirates defense giants Mubadala Development, Tawazun and Emirates Advanced Investments could be completed within the next six months, according to sources close to discussions.

Raytheon sees foreign sales at 30 percent of total in 2014 -

Raytheon, maker of Patriot missiles and a range of other defense electronics, expects international sales to expand to 30 percent of its revenue in 2014, up from 27 percent last year, Chief Executive Tom Kennedy said in an interview.

Sikorsky says VXX will be low risk -

Sikorsky says the risks in developing a new Marine One helicopter to carry the U.S. president will be dramatically reduced by using its S-92.

Survey: U.S. defense industry fears losing competitive edge -

The export of China’s armed drones illustrates how a country can succeed in the international arms market even when its technology is not the world’s best.

5th-To-4th gen fighter comms effort still in early stages -

The U.S. Air Force’s plans for a forthcoming program to buy a communications system to connect fifth-generation fighters to their fourth-generation counterparts is only a first step, according to Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh.

Windstream wins DISA fiber contract -

Windstream has been awarded a $3 million contract to provide fiber services at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Blackjack production nod on hold -

Completion of initial operational test and evaluation and the subsequent full-rate production decision for the U.S. Navy’s RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft is on hold due to ship availability.

Pentagon’s No. 2 to meet with Navy to discuss UCLASS -

The Pentagon’s No. 2 official will meet with Navy officials to discuss requirements for the service’s carrier drone development program as the release date for the formal request for proposal slides to the right, Navy officials said.

AgustaWestland to start Wildcat DAFCS trials -

AgustaWestland is planning to begin flight trials of its AW159 Wildcat helicopter fitted with a digital automatic flight control system this month.

Brazil confirms Pantsir-S1 signature by end of year -

The Brazilian government has confirmed to IHS Jane’s that the contract for the acquisition of three Russian-designed Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft systems will be signed between October and December this year.

Hungarian Air Force to issue helo tender -

The Hungarian defense ministry is planning to issue a tender for a fleet of new modern helicopters later this year for its air arm.

Indian MoD says M777 buy in doubt over high cost, offset requirements -

The Indian Army’s procurement of 145 BAE Systems M777 155 mm ultra-light howitzers has been deferred yet again due to their high cost and reportedly unsatisfactory defrayment of the contract’s mandatory 30 percent offset obligation.

 

Defense:

Pentagon: ‘Growing evidence’ F-35 incident not systemic -

Pentagon officials are increasingly confident that a fire that heavily damaged an F-35A joint strike fighter June 23 was the result of an isolated issue and not a fleet-wide design flaw that will require redesign or replacement of parts.  

Navy cancelled new destroyer flight due to Ohio replacement submarine costs -

The looming hit to the shipbuilding budget from the Navy’s plan to build 12 new nuclear ballistic missile submarines resulted in the cancellation of a fourth flight of Arleigh Burke destroyers (DDG-51) as well as the controversial plan to layup 11 Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers (CG-47), the navy’s chief shipbuilder told a congressional panel in a recent hearing on cruiser and destroyer modification.   

Senate probe offers new details on Air Force acquisition blunder -

A Senate panel concluded that the Air Force wasted more than a billion dollars on a logistics information system largely because it failed to follow existing laws and regulations designed to prevent such flops.

Can a trademark restrict who wears flight suits? -

Whether former military pilots can dress like pilots and talk like pilots in public appearances are issues at the heart of a trademark dispute between two rival motivational speaking companies run by former fighter pilots.

 

Veterans:

VA’s anti-backlog efforts create new problems with care, claims -

The VA’s rush to cut a huge backlog of claims from disabled veterans has forced it to cut corners elsewhere, and yet the department is still botching about one out of every 10 claims decisions, top officials and whistleblowers testified to Congress July 14, signaling that the problems go far beyond the hospital wait times that have plagued it.

VA cites progress on backlog; Congress disagrees -

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has made “tremendous progress” in reducing a disability claims backlog that reached above 600,000 early last year. Members of Congress and the department’s assistant inspector general don’t believe it.

 

Space:

We’ll find alien life in 20 years -

One hundred million worlds in our galaxy are able to host alien life, according to a ‘conservative’ prediction by NASA.

Mars revealed in unprecedented detail -

From its largest volcano to its deepest canyon, the extreme terrain of Mars can now be explored in unprecedented detail from the comfort of your desk.

 

International:

Cameron announces £1.1 billion in new defense spending -

British Prime Minister David Cameron opened the Farnborough International Airshow July 14 with an announcement that the government will spend £1.1 billion ($1.8 billion) on defense equipment using unspent money from last year’s budget, but declined to commit a future government to retaining defense budget levels at 2 percent of gross domestic product.




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Headlines October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




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