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July 18, 2014

Headlines July 18, 2014

News:

Senate panel OKs Pentagon spending bill, but its fate is uncertain -

A U.S. Senate panel July 17 approved nearly $550 billion in military spending, while also proposing to keep alive weapon systems the Pentagon wanted to retire. But senior members made clear it may never see the Senate floor.

 

Business:

Pratt, Norway get jump on global engine sustainment contest -

Pratt and Whitney signed a depot activation contract agreement Thursday with Aerospace Industrial Maintenance Norway for sustainment of its F135 engine, used to power the F-35 joint strike fighter.

Textron AirLand targets National Guard for potential sales -

Textron AirLand continues to search for a customer for its Scorpion light attack airplane, but it will have the chance to prove the aircraft’s capabilities to the Air National Guard in August.

Raytheon GPS passes Air Force jamming test -

The Air Force has successfully tested its next-generation GPS system in a jamming environment.

Arms makers embrace partnerships in pursuit of foreign sales -

Traditionally companies which have guarded their secrets closely, arms makers are opening up to partnerships and technology sharing to meet the demands of overseas buyers they need to offset budget cuts at home.

Egyptian order rises to 20 C-295M air transports -

Egypt has ordered eight more Airbus C295 transports in a deal which will take its fleet to 20 and makes it the biggest customer for the market-leading tactical airlifter.

Airbus revs up for A400M production -

Airbus Defense and Space is preparing for a massive increase in production of A400M strategic and tactical military airlifter. Two A400M’s were delivered to the French military last year and one was sent to Turkey. This year the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence is poised to receive the first of 22 ordered A400Ms in September, Airbus officials told Military.com.

Aerospace firms place long-term bets on 3D printing -

The prospect of huge time savings, less waste and more design options have drawn aerospace firms to invest in additive layer manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, though it may be years before parts made this way are common in planes and weapons.

Modi’s Offer to Defense Companies Not Enough for Lockheed -

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to increase the ownership stake for foreign defense companies to 49 percent isn’t sufficient to lure high-technology investments from Lockheed Martin or Boeing.

Tata/AgustaWestland JV decision deferred again by India -

India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board has again deferred judgment on a bid by Indian Rotorcraft Limited – a joint venture between AgustaWestland and Tata – to manufacture upgraded AW119 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters in India.

Brazil set to issue RfP for 105 mm gun system -

Brazilian Army is scheduled to issue by August a request for proposals to purchase a 105 mm turreted gun system intended to arm the service’s future 8×8 armoured reconnaissance vehicle, known locally as VBR (Viatura Blindada de Reconhecimento).

 

Defense:

Air Force command nominee is first woman, non-pilot -

The White House has picked the first female general to head the Air Force in the Pacific, which will make her the first non-pilot to command air power in such a large theater of operation.

Top Marine Corps general slams Obama’s handling of Iraq -

Four-star Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, used a speaking engagement at the Brookings Institute July 15 to deliver stinging rebuke of the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq.

U.S., China to take part in unprecedented joint ground force exercise -

The Pentagon said July 17 that U.S. and Chinese military forces have agreed to participate in an unprecedented land training exercise together in Australia later this year.

DOD: New counterterror account needed for helicopters, ISR -

The Pentagon could use a new $5 billion counterterrorism fund, strongly opposed by the U.S. Congress, to purchase new intelligence gear and aircraft for American and partner militaries, a Defense Department official said.

Senate panel wants Pentagon to craft ‘stable requirements’ for UCLASS -

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Defense supports the U.S. Navy request for $403 million to continue the development of the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike aircraft – with conditions.

With ‘incredible ambivalence,’ SAC OKs $500 million for Syrian rebels -

After bitter debate, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 21 to 9 to approve the administration’s request for $500 million in training and weapons for “vetted” Syrian rebel fighters.

Senate bill proposes $61.6M in cuts to Pentagon IT programs -

U.S. senators want to slash the Pentagon’s information technology spending plan by tens of millions, calling on the military to trim duplicative programs.  

Lasers could become cost effective missile defense weapons -

The U.S. military invests more money than any other country to maintain technological superiority, but its expensive high-tech defenses are increasingly countered by the proliferation of relatively cheap but effective weapons like cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft. 

 

Veterans:

Acting VA secretary: It will take years before department changes -

For anyone still under the impression that the embattled Veterans Affairs Department will be able to turn itself around quickly, think again.

 

Space:

Watch the Curiosity rover blasting rocks -

It is the nearest there has ever been to a nightclub on another planet. NASA has revealed video footage showing its Curiosity rover firing lasers on the red planet.

Could the man in the moon give humans a lunar base? -

The man in the moon may hold the key to living on the lunar surface, NASA has said. It has studied the large lunar pits on the moon’s surface , which led to the popular belief the moon has a ‘face.’

 

Technology:

The ‘virtual reality’ helmet that lets fighter pilots see in the dark -

It is a helmet any Top Gun would be proud to wear – and the most advanced fighter jet system ever created.

 

International:

U.S. general warns against ban on Russian arms firm -

A day after President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on several Russian arms firms over the Ukraine conflict, a top U.S. general warned that a congressional bid to bar dealings with Moscow’s main weapons exporter could be “catastrophic” for American forces.




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Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

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