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July 21, 2014

Headlines July 21, 2014


IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate –

Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.



The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales –

Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that he is accustomed to dashing from one influential gathering to another. He has just flown into London from Paris after spending the afternoon rubbing shoulders with French establishment at a garden party hosted by Francois Hollande.

Aircraft manufacturers seek evolution over revolution –

The latest round of the biennial dogfight between Airbus and Boeing over who can land the most airliner sales at the Farnborough air show has been won by the European plane maker, announcing $75.3 billion of orders for 496 jets.

Airbus to launch upgraded A330 to rival Dreamliner –

Airbus has confirmed it will launch a revamped version of its long-serving A330 airliner as it looks to introduce a direct competitor to take on rival Boeing’s 787. 

Air Force examines anomalies as Musk’s SpaceX seeks work –

The Air Force is examining several anomalies that occurred during Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s three civilian space flights as part of its review of billionaire Elon Musk’s quest to launch military satellites. 

Experts: Don’t bet on revival of second F-35 engine –

The revival of the Pentagon’s storied F-35 alternative engine program is unlikely despite a U.S. Senate panel raising that possibility, experts say.

BAE ‘bullish’ Army will buy missile guidance kits –

The U.S. subsidiary of British defense giant BAE Systems Plc is confident the Army will begin buying its kits to convert unguided rockets on helicopters into “smart” heat-seeking missiles, a company official said.

U.S. doubles down on foreign military sales –

The United States military-industrial complex, battered by budget cuts and drops in domestic procurement, made it clear at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow that it is targeting the world market as never before.

U.S. firms urge new export policy for drones, change near –

The U.S. government is nearing release of a revamped policy for exports of unmanned aerial vehicles and technology amid growing pressure by U.S. manufacturers who say the current cumbersome rules are giving firms in other countries a competitive edge. 

New Finmeccanica CEO eyes shake-ups –

Finmeccanica returned to the Farnborough International Airshow this year with its hard-to-miss white bubble pavilion, but in his first air show appearance, new CEO Mauro Moretti promised that just about everything else at the Italian group is due for a radical shake-up.

Costly fighters, cash-poor customers set fighter trends –

Two factors are likely to dominate the fighter market that is accessible to Western-aligned manufacturers over the next decade. The first could be termed “F-35 versus the world.” The Joint Strike Fighter business plan, as shown in official briefing documents, envisages the close of production for all other U.S. and European fighters before 2020. Although there are U.S. studies starting up that point to follow-on fighters, and Japan, South Korea and Turkey have aspirations to build new aircraft, none is likely to have a great impact on the market before 2024.  

Turkey to formalize fast missile boat race –

Turkey’s procurement authorities are preparing to issue a request for proposals for up to 10 fast missile boats, formalizing the planned competition. 

Cobham, Tata agree aerial refueling manufacturing deal –

Tata Advanced Systems, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata, has entered a collaboration agreement with U.K. defense and aerospace group Cobham to manufacture aerial refueling equipment in India.

India’s 20-year late LCA faces fresh delays –

India’s Light Combat Aircraft Mark-1, already 20 years late, likely will miss its final operational clearance deadline set for the end of 2014, an Indian Air Force source said. 

New Zealand approves replenishment tanker replacement –

The New Zealand government has given approval for the New Zealand Defence Force to seek a replacement for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s fleet replenishment tanker HMNZS Endeavour.

Civil firms looking to military space –

Some of the biggest names and deepest pockets in Silicon Valley are looking to space as their next big investment opportunity, and while the targets of their investment are primarily commercial, the Pentagon’s in-house tech think tank is also drawing these entrepreneurs into its own orbit in an ambitious new space launch project.  

Croatia seeks PzH 2000 purchase –

Croatia’s plans to purchase PzH 2000 155 mm tracked self-propelled artillery systems received a substantial boost July 14 when the Defence Committee of the Croatian Parliament moved to support their acquisition. 

South Korea opts for twin-engine fighter development –

The South Korean military has chosen to equip its future fighter jet with two engines instead of one amid lingering worries over the economic and technical merits of the twin-engine aircraft development. 



Congress plans to boost Tomahawk missile fleet –

All four Congressional defense committees have aligned to support an increase in Tomahawk missile production in 2015 and beyond.

U.S. military stepping up space cooperation with Japan, Australia –

The U.S. military plans to strengthen its alliance in the space realm with allies such as Japan and Australia in order to help it cover the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean, a senior Defense Department official said July 17. 



Pentagon research indicated social media can be used to control people like robots –

Millions of people use social media every day, and the Pentagon wants to know how the information they see might be used to control their behavior as if they were robots.



White House warned about ‘antiquated’ VA scheduling system five years ago –

Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson assured Congress last week that the VA is working hard to replace its ‘”antiquated” scheduling system, but the Obama administration first received clear notice more than five years ago about the need for an overhaul to reduce patient wait times.



Comet chasing probe reveals space rocks strange shape –

A space probe aiming to become the first to land on a comet has taken images that appear to show its target could actually be two separate lumps of rock and ice, scientists said July 17.



Chinese ship arrives at giant U.S.-led naval exercise off the coast of Hawaii –

A giant U.S.-led naval exercise with 22 nations from around the world got an unexpected visitor July 20 – a Chinese spy ship perched in international waters.



How NASA sold us the moon 45 years ago, but fails to market human spaceflight today –

Last week the world marked the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the most audacious and globally significant accomplishment in human history. Sadly, after the Apollo program concluded in 1972, humans were stuck in low Earth orbit for decades and since the final space shuttle mission three years ago, our nation has lost the our ability to return humans to space.

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Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...


Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...


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