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August 1, 2014

Headlines August 1, 2014

News:

Military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds -

An independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress said July 31 that President Obama’s strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats.

Defense industry funds flow to contenders for key House chairmanships -

Four of the top five candidates for the chairmanships of the House Armed Services and Intelligence panels have raised considerably more money this election cycle than they did at a similar point in 2012. The same four have also raised much more money from the defense industry than before – in some cases, more than doubling their takes.

 

Business:

EU arms embargo against Russia begins Aug. 1 -

The European Union’s embargo on the import and export of arms and related material with Russia, which covers all items on the EU’s common military list, will come into force Aug. 1.

Whistleblower alerted L-3 to accounting misconduct -

An employee complaint exposed accounting misconduct at L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, prompting the aerospace and defense supplier to fire four people, revise two years of earnings statements and cut its earnings forecast.

New Zealand’s new NH90, A109E helicopter fleets -

Airbus Helicopters has finished retrofitting 4 NH90-TTH helicopters, bringing all eight of New Zealand’s machines up to final configuration standard.

Swiss IMESS soldier system ready for serial production -

Airbus Defence and Space has completed the development of the Swiss Army’s planned new future soldier system and is now ready to enter serial production, the company announced July 30.

Thales, Finmeccanica to collaborate on Anglo-French UCAV -

Thales and Finmeccanica – Selex ES will collaborate on the multifunction sensor suite and the communication sub-system of the Anglo-French unmanned combat air vehicle.

U.K. casts doubt on Harpoon future beyond 2018 -

The United Kingdom could remove the GWS60/Harpoon Block 1C anti-ship missile from Royal Navy service as early as 2018, the Ministry of Defence has disclosed.

Greek defence programs green lit -

Greece has approved over $1 billion worth of defense upgrade programs, with the Parliamentary Committee on Defence Procurement and Contracts signing off on a series of defense projects July 3.

Bombardier sees decision shortly on CSeries engine fix -

Bombardier will soon decide whether a fix to the engine failure that halted flight tests of its CSeries jetliner can allow the plane to take off again, CEO Pierre Beaudoin said.

 

Defense:

Sen. Reid wants to complete NDAA in September; says weekend work likely -

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid signaled July31 that the chamber will take up its version of a 2015 Pentagon policy bill in September.

UCLASS requirements shifted to preserve Navy’s next generation fighter -

The striking power and stealth of the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike concept was reduced to protect the role of the service’s next-generation of manned fighters, USNI News has learned.

Army announces rollout date for new camo -

Combat uniforms featuring the service’s newest camo pattern will be available for sale starting in the summer of 2015, the Army announced July 31.

Future of U.S. fast supply ships questioned -

While lawmakers routinely question the U.S. Navy about aircraft carriers, submarines, cruisers and other warships, it’s rare that the lowly combat logistics force comes into the congressional viewfinder.

Welsh warns of ‘alarmist’ reaction to F-35 fire -

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer cautioned against an “alarmist” reaction to last month’s F-35 engine fire that resulted in a temporary fleet-wide grounding of the fighter jet and delay of its international debut.

Pentagon: F-22 whistleblower inquiry to finish in Aug. -

More than two years after a Hampton-based F-22 pilot’s career stalled when he and a colleague spoke out about life-threatening problems with the Air Force’s newest fighter jet, Pentagon investigators say they’ll complete their investigation of his treatment in August.

 

Veterans:

$16.3B VA reform bill passes Senate 91-3; Obama expected to sign -

The Senate overwhelmingly gave final approval to a $16.3 billion Veterans Affairs reform bill on July 31, sending the measure to the White House and giving Congress a legislative victory before the start of its summer break.

How ‘Choice Card’ and $15 billion will help veterans get care -

Veterans reading only headlines, hearing only sound bites, might have a few misconceptions about how Congress and the VA plan to use non-VA healthcare providers to ensure more timely and convenient access to care.

IG: Services contribute to delays in processing VA claims -

Veterans wait months longer than necessary to have their veterans disability benefits processed because of delays in how military officials handle service medical records, according to an audit released Thursday by the Defense Department Inspector General.

First lady expands effort to end vet homelessness -

Michelle Obama said the statistic that the U.S. has more than 58,000 homeless veterans is “a stain on the soul of this nation,” as the federal government expands its initiative to provide stable and affordable housing for service members.

 

Space:

Mars 2020 rover will pave way for future manned missions -

NASA’s next Martian rover will attempt to make oxygen on the surface of the red planet when it lands there in 2021.

Strange supernova casts doubt on star explosion theories -

Light from a radioactive metal forged inside a supernova blast could prompt a rethink of how some star explosions occur.

 

International:

Chinese, Russian radars on track to see through U.S. stealth -

A growing trend in Russian and Chinese radar could make U.S. stealth fighters easier to see and – more importantly – easier to target for potential adversaries, a former senior U.S. Navy official told USNI News.

Iraq seeks armed reconnaissance helicopters -

The U.S. DSCA announces an official export request from Iraq for a 5-year continuation of contractor logistics support for its Bell 407 (T-407 and IA-407), OH-58, and Huey II helicopters.

Tejas FOC delayed again, Indian defence minister admits -

The December 2014 deadline for India’s long-delayed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft Mk I to secure its final operational clearance is being extended to March 2015, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament July 18.

BAE Systems wins IAF ammunition contract -

The Indian Air Force acquired 1.41 million rounds of 5.56 mm L15 NATO ammunition from BAE Systems for $744, 400 in late June for the Israeli Tavor-21 assault rifles used by its Garud special forces.

South Korean joint chiefs: Two engines For KF-X -

The South Korean armed forces have quashed an attempt by Korea Aerospace Industries to reduce the cost and technical challenge of the proposed KF-X fighter, with the joint chiefs of staff determining that the indigenous aircraft must have two engines.

 

Viewpoint:

Five terrible alternatives to the F-35 -

It appears that no bad idea ever truly dies in Washington. Whether it is high marginal tax rates, greater government regulation, or resurrecting terminated defense programs, there is always someone around to advocate for bad ideas.




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Headlines September 15, 2014

News: Navy identifies pilot presumed dead in crash - A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two fighter jets crashed in the far western Pacific Ocean has been identified.   Business: Boeing eyes 737-700 solution for new JSTARS - Boeing is officially planning a variant of its 737-700 commercial jetliner as a competitor for the Air Force’s...
 
 

News Briefs September 15, 2014

Australia contributing planes for anti-IS campaign Australia is preparing to contribute 600 troops and up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sept. 14. Abbott said Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Lockheed Martin conducts flight tests of aircraft laser turret for DARPA

AFRL photograph The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory has completed initial flight testing. T...
 

 

Lockheed Martin advances live, virtual, constructive training in flight test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jvXmOW8L3mU Lockheed Martin successfully tested a new solution for integrated live, virtual and constructive training during a flight demonstration at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas. During the flight test, a pilot flying in a live F-16 engaged in a synthetic training exercise with a pilot flying as wing...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover arrives at Martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity n...
 
 

Raytheon begins full rate production on TALON Laser Guided Rockets

Under a $117 million contract awarded to Raytheon, Raytheon Missile Systems has begun production of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. In 2013, the Armed Forces General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates awarded Tawazun a contract to procure the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. “Full rate production of the TALON LGR is a significant milestone for...
 




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