Headlines – October 14, 2015



Northrop Grumman boasts new military buggy has laser weapons –
It could be the ultimate off roader – and take soldiers into battle like never before.

The end of heavy metal –
Boeing has revealed the world’s lightest metal structure, which it claims is 99.99 percent hollow.

L-3 Communications acquires Nashville-based ForceX –
L-3 Communications has acquired ForceX, a Nashville-based company that specializes in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission-management software and geospatial application technology, the company announced Oct. 13.

Lockheed can expect contest for GPS satellites, Air Force says –
Lockheed Martin is likely to face competition from Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman for billions of dollars in contracts to build as many as 22 improved GPS satellites, according to a top U.S. Air Force procurement official.

Pentagon won’t waive Russian rocket engine ban for ULA –
The Pentagon late last week refused to waive a law banning the use of Russian rocket engines for military satellite launches, rejecting a plea from United Launch Alliance.

Lockheed nears deal to supply UAE with more rocket launchers –
Lockheed Martin is nearing a deal to supply the United Arab Emirates with more truck-mounted rocket launchers, an official said.

Germany suspends Eurofighter deliveries due to quality problems –
The German Air Force has temporarily suspended delivery of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets following the discovery of quality problems involving the connection between the vertical stabilizers and the body of the aircraft.

Navy awards $49 million ISR prototype contract –
The Navy has awarded a $49 million contract to three companies to develop ISR sensors.

Norway proposes F-35 funding increase for 2016 –
Building on its release of a Strategic Defence Review publication on 1 October, Norway has proposed a 9.8 percent real-term defense budget increase for 2016. This would see a near doubling of funding for the Lockheed Martin F-35, plus an authorization request for six more.

This missile can be fired from your rifle and hit targets 2,000 yards away –
According to a Raytheon release, the defense company successfully tested the Pike 40 mm precision-guided munition at a firing range in Texas. The Pike, according to the release, is a 40mm laser semi-guided missile that can be fired from your average 40mm grenade launcher. During the test, two Pike missiles hit their target areas more than 2,000 yards away from where they were fired.

KEYW wins $11 million Air Force radar contracts –
KEYW has sold its first KeyRadar product.

Sikorsky S-97 Raider reaching for top speeds by ‘summer 2016’ –
Sikorsky will conduct a significant amount of ground testing on its S-97 Raider before returning to flight trials, with just 2.2 hours of a 110-hour flight test program clocked since the maiden flight in May.

Industry hopes Army’s future vertical lift program takes off –
Helicopter manufacturing giants are deep in the midst of assembling parts, testing, simulating and heavily investing in a program meant to drive the Army’s effort to buy a new state-of-the-art family of helicopters in the 2030s.

Textron pitches upgrade to extend life of surplus Humvees –
With the U.S. Army soon facing a surplus of hundreds of thousands of Humvees, Textron Systems developed a set of upgrades that will extend the life of the iconic vehicles that it hopes will save lives as well.

General Dynamics Mission Systems shares coming comms enhancements –
As the Army moves ahead on the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical mobile communications network, General Dynamics Mission Systems President Chris Marzilli describes a range of technological evolutions that could substantially enhance war fighter communications in the coming years.



F-35s heavier helmet complicates ejection risks –
In the latest hurdle for the Pentagon’s F-35 joint strike fighter, testers this summer discovered that a lightweight pilot’s neck could snap during a low-speed ejection.

U.S. Army to test rifle that hits targets behind cover –
The U.S. Army is planning to test a smart rifle that can hit soldiers who are shielded by cover.

Army gears up for Ground Mobility Vehicle Program start in 2017 –
The Army is gearing up to start a Ground Mobility Vehicle Program in fiscal 2017, slower than some in industry expected, but more quickly than a traditional procurement program would likely move, according the head of Combat Support & Combat Service Support.

Multipurpose robot fights enemies, transports loads –

The HDT Micro-Utility Vehicle Robot is a remote-controlled, multipurpose tool designed for dismounted troops to clear terrain in nearly any ground environment, and it can do more than that.

Army drone wish list: Lighter, deadlier, survivable –
The Army is looking at upgrading its fleets of unmanned systems, and while acknowledging that the budget for such overhauls is limited, two of the services’ top unmanned systems officials made it clear they have a wish list.

Army’s annual foreign military sales top $20 billion –
The Army is doing big business abroad, raking in $20 billion in foreign military sales in fiscal 2015, according to the commander of Army Materiel Command.

Army acquisition czar Shyu: Long-term continuing resolution is ‘my biggest fear’ –
Heidi Shyu oversees procurement of all of the Army’s weapon systems. Over the three-plus years she’s led Army acquisitions, the former Raytheon executive has earned a reputation as a defender of the service’s science and technology seed corn at a time when the defense budget has repeatedly been subjected to drastic cuts that threaten modernization and technology development accounts.

Year-long CR could mean big cuts to major programs –
A year-long continuing resolution would spell major cuts to big programs like helicopters and vehicles, two U.S. Army leaders said Oct. 13.



Mystery of Mars pebbles is solved –
There is now even more evidence that Mars was once covered in oceans, lakes and rivers.

Is the biggest storm in the solar system blowing itself out? –
Astronomers have revealed that Jupiter’s “red spot” storm, the biggest in the solar system, is shrinking.