Headlines – October 7, 2015


Defense authorization bill advances, but is still far from done –
The fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill is one step closer to congressional approval. But it’s still far away from becoming law.



Kendall: Let’s talk about balance in supplier base –
The Pentagon’s acquisition chief reiterated his concerns about consolidation among prime defense contractors Tuesday, saying he wanted to initiate a conversation about competitive balance among the DoD’s top suppliers.

Budget woes may cause U.S. Air Force to nix JSTARS recap –
Budget uncertainty may force the U.S. Air Force to cancel a planned recapitalization of its ground surveillance fleet, according to a top service official.

DOD warns defense primes of high supplier profit margins –
The Pentagon’s top acquisition office says first-tier subcontractors’ profit margins for production programs are about 7 percent higher on average than for the prime contractor, and this imbalance could be deterring major suppliers from bidding for new contracts as primes.

U.S. Air Force in ‘final closing phase’ of bomber contract –
The U.S. Air Force is in the final phase of discussion before awarding a contract for the next-generation bomber, and expects an announcement very soon.

Tomahawk demos new capabilities –
The U.S. Navy’s networked Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile has demonstrated new capabilities in a special test conducted with missile-maker Raytheon.

State Department OKs Spain buying MQ-9 Reaper drones –
For the first time, the U.S. State Department has cleared the sale of MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles to Spain’s military.

U.K. moves forward on unmanned helicopter –
Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland has completed the concept demonstration for a British unmanned helicopter.

Egypt, France in discussions over NH90 helo buy –
Negotiations were at an advanced stage as of Oct. 1 between France, helicopter consortium NHIndustries and Egypt for the sale of a significant number of NH90 medium helicopters. The order would be a follow-on to recent sales of French armament to the Arab country, especially corvettes, frigates and landing ships-all compatible with the NH90.

Kendall: ‘Most egregious’ parts of acquisition reform removed –
After months of concerns from the Pentagon about acquisition reform language in the National Defense Authorization Act, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer said today that the “most egregious” parts of the language were removed in conference between the Senate and House.

Navy, Raytheon test modular electronic warfare payload for MALD-J –
Raytheon and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have demonstrated a modular electronic warfare payload for the Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer.

Belarus sees rapidly growing defense sector –
Production at Belarus’ state-owned Belarusian State Military-Industrial Committee reached $201 million) for the first eight months of 2015, the group’s board announced Oct. 5, marking a 56 percent increase compared with the same period of 2014.

Harris supplies Air Guard radios –
Harris Corp. has been awarded a $13 million contract to supply the Air National Guard with vehicular tactical and public safety radio systems.

Pakistan continues arms export efforts –
Pakistan’s Defence Export Promotion Organization unveiled a new exhibition center showcasing defense products from the country’s public and private sectors in the presence of Defence Production Minister Tanveer Hussain, foreign diplomats and defense officials as part of efforts to increase exports.

U.S. to supply French-made APCs to African countries –
The U.S. military’s Africa Command has ordered ACMAT Bastion armoured personnel carriers for several African countries via the US company Mack Defense.

Turkey launches amphibious ship –
Turkey has launched a 140-meter-long amphibious ship at a high-profile ceremony.

Lasers could be coming to F-35 –
Lockheed Martin’s new modular fiber lasers now convert fully 40 percent of input energy to output, which means that — along with advances in manufacturing, targeting, and size-weight-power minimization – the company’s now talking about putting a laser weapon on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.



Top Pentagon weapon buyers say budget gridlock threatens hundreds of projects –
Pentagon officials say hundreds of acquisitions projects would be halted or cut in half this fiscal year if Congress doesn’t pass a proper budget.

Pentagon leaders bracing for budget uncertainty –
The military is having a case of fiscal déjà vu: Amid ongoing discord on Capitol Hill, the threats of a continuing resolution and a repeat round of sequestration is striking fear throughout the Pentagon.

Report: Ship availability may delay Fire Scout test schedule; inflation rates hurting Trident II D-5 –
The Defense Department released a Compendium of Annual Program Manager Assessments for 2015, on Monday which included short memos from various program managers discussing program status and risk to maintaining cost, schedule and performance.

U.S. Air Force revamping space command structure, general says –
The Air Force is attempting to revamp the way space missions are handled in an effort to streamline operations and lessen the stress on airmen, said Maj. Gen. Martin Whelan, the service’s director of future operations.

Interview: Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, U.S. Air Force Materiel Command –
As commander of U.S. Air Force Materiel Command, Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski has a lot on her plate. Headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, AFMC provides logistics support and acquisition management services for weapon systems across the Air Force. As AFMC chief, Pawlikowski oversees development and transition of technology to the war fighter.



Blumenthal calls for DOJ investigation of VA execs –
Sen. Richard Blumenthal is tired of tales of misconduct from the Department of Veterans Affairs, so he is asking the Department of Justice to do something about it.


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