Headlines – November 11, 2015



Defense authorization bill clears Congress again –
The 2016 defense authorization bill is headed to the White House – again.

Senate approves VA funding for fiscal 2016 –
Senate lawmakers advanced plans for a $166 billion Veterans Affairs Department budget for fiscal 2016, a potential next step not only for veterans program funding but also a broader budget deal for all federal spending.

Defense bill would close anti-IED office –
A defense bill expected to be approved by the Senate Tuesday would eliminate the Pentagon office in charge of stopping roadside bombs that have been the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Israel Aerospace Industries unveils dual-band radar system –
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. unveiled a new dual-band strategic defense radar that autonomously searches for, detects and tracks long-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and even satellites.

Kuwait buying Sniper pods –
Kuwait has received U.S. government approval to buy Sniper advanced targeting pods.

Experts: Bomber cost could upset F-35 plans –
The F-35 is going to eat up so much of the Air Force’s procurement budget going forward that the service will likely have to reduce the number of Joint Strike Fighters it buys to pay for other things, such as the Long Range Strike-Bomber, experts said Nov. 10.

Manufacturing institute to link with Q-C –
When the Obama administration announced the $70 million Defense Department grant last year, supporters of the effort described a hub-and-spoke arrangement in which benefits would flow back and forth between the institute, located on Goose Island a few miles north of the Chicago Loop, and various regions.

South Africa’s Denel forced into strategic shift — now paying off –
South African firm Denel Vehicle Systems has also bagged a $63 million contract to develop and produce N35 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles with UAE firm NIMR.

Indonesia may order F-16s, Lockheed Martin says –
A possible contract from Indonesia may extend F-16 manufacturing into 2018, says Lockheed Martin, as the company works on filling an Iraqi order that may be the last for the biggest-selling fighter in current production.

Bell could have FVL ready for U.S. Navy, Air Force by 2025 –
As the Pentagon considers the future of military vertical lift, Bell Helicopter is in talks with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force to design a next-generation tiltrotor solution that could be ready by 2025.

French Air Force showcases A400M as Airbus looks to secure sales –
The French Air Force is displaying one of its Airbus Defence and Space A400M Atlas airlifters at the Dubai Airshow 2015 for the first time, as the company looks to secure its first export customer for the type in 10 years.

New-generation Gripen enters final assembly –
Saab has lifted the joined fuselage section for its first Gripen NG prototype into final assembly, and says its program is on track to deliver advanced capability to Sweden and export customer Brazil.


U.S. Air Force might delay retiring A-10 attack plane –
The U.S. Air Force is rethinking its plans to retire the venerable A-10 attack plane in response to an uptick in the demand for combat aircraft across the Middle East and Africa, the Pentagon’s air combat chief said Nov. 10.

Experts: Fix top-heavy Pentagon –
According to expert testimony Nov. 10 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Defense Department is straining under a lumbering, outmoded and top-heavy command structure in dire need of an overhaul to compete with faster-moving adversaries and eliminate government waste.

2016 gear: New pistol, mini UAV, ear pro and more –
The biggest news out of Program Executive Office Soldier in the past year was the roll out of the improve Army Combat Uniform, featuring a more effective camo pattern — and less Velcro.

LRS-B faces challenging budget outlook –
Constrained U.S. Air Force budgets over the coming decade will likely pit the Joint Strike Fighter against the Long Range Strike Bomber, potentially making the bomber project vulnerable to congressional deficit hawks, a panel of experts said Nov. 10.

Two Norwegian F-35s arrive at Arizona air base for training –
An initial contingent of Norwegian F-35 fighters has arrived at an Arizona air base to be used in pilot training.

B-52 returns to Oklahoma base after repairs in Texas –
A B-52 bomber with mechanical trouble that made a safe emergency landing in Texas has been fixed and returned to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

Air Force buys electronic flight bags for cargo planes –
The Air Force’s Air Mobility Command is buying iPads for its aircraft.


Poll: Veterans oppose plans to ‘privatize’ VA –
Veterans like choice, but they don’t like privatization. Vets advocates script plan for new president’s first 100 days Military Times Veterans advocates have already scripted the first 100 days of the next president’s agenda, whoever he or she might be.

Vets advocates script plan for new president’s first 100 days –
Veterans advocates have already scripted the first 100 days of the next president’s agenda, whoever he or she might be.

VA secretary misstates the number of wait-time manipulation disciplinary actions – again –
Fact-checking McDonald’s figures on wait-time manipulation disciplinary actions — again. And WaPo found that McDonald got his figures wrong — again.

Clinton unveils plan for veterans, military personnel –
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Tuesday unveiled what will be her priorities on veterans and military personnel issues if elected, focusing on reforms to existing programs rather than the extensive overhauls and eliminations favored by her Republican rivals.

VA computer glitch still hurting thousands of war veterans –
The VA has known for months that 35,000 combat veterans, most of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been denied health care because of a computer error. It’s done little to fix the problem.


Mercury is being pummeled by meteoroids –
Over the past week, people across the world have been treated to “shooting stars” or grains of dust burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere as part of the Taurid meteor shower.

The glowing halo of a zombie star –
The remains of a fatal interaction between a dead star and its asteroid “supper” have been captured in an image for the first time.