Headlines – December 23, 2015



SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket, lands booster back on land –
It may not top the Eagle’s 1969 moon landing, but SpaceX’s confirmation Dec. 21 night that it successfully landed a Falcon 9 rocket booster at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station could be remembered as a historic turning point in rocketry.


Lockheed Martin delivers 45 F-35s in 2015 –
Lockheed Martin delivered 45 F-35 fighter jets to U.S. and international armed forces in 2015, meeting the production goal for the year, the joint program office announced Dec. 21.
BAE Systems expands F-35 production facility –
BAE Systems has begun work on a major extension of its Samlesbury facility in Lancashire as it prepares for a significant ramp-up in production of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the company announced Dec. 21.
Lockheed files federal complaint over Humvee replacement deal –
Lockheed Martin has filed a complaint in Federal Claims Court over the U.S. Army’s selection of Oshkosh Corp. to build 17,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.
India cleared purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system –
The Defense Acquisition Council has approved the purchase of five units of the advanced missile defense system.
General Atomics plans 150kW laser tests; Eye on AC-130, Avenger –
General Atomics, whose MQ-1 Predator changed the world, is to start testing another potentially revolutionary weapon next month: a 150-kilowatt class laser.
NATO’s AGS Global Hawk completes first flight –
NATO’s first Alliance Ground Surveillance aircraft, a derivative of Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, completed its first flight over the weekend, marking a major milestone for the international program.
Raytheon readies for AMRAAM-ER tests –
Raytheon has confirmed to IHS Jane’s that it has completed construction of its first new long-range AMRAAM-ER surface-to-air missile, and has a second in build, as the project moves towards test firings planned for the first half of 2016.
Finland kicks-off F/A-18 replacement process –
Finland has notified five manufacturers of its intention to seek bids for its HX fighter-replacement programme, which will see it replace its 61-strong Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fleet.
Cubic announces purchase of GATR, TeraLogics –
Cubic Corporation has beefed up its C4ISR and PED portfolios by buying GATR Technologies, Inc., and TeraLogics, LLC, Cubic announced Dec. 21.
Northrop prepares for LRS-B growth in Palmdale –
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems president Tom Vice remembers spending 16h days more than 26 years ago inside a once tightly-secured factory in Palmdale, California, as a flight controls engineer preparing the flying-wing B-2 for first flight July 17, 1989.
Inertial navigation market to reach $8.9 billion –
The global inertial navigation market will reach $8.9 million by 2020, according to a forecast by research firm MarketsandMarkets. This reflects a compound annual growth rate of 13.81 percent.
Canada close to deciding CF-18 withdrawal plan –
Canada could decide an end date for airstrikes in Iraq and Syria within weeks, and the country’s new defense minister is also assessing other Royal Canadian Air Force roles there.
Hitches persist in Indian plans to lease second Russian SSN –
Indian Navy plans to lease a second Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine for 10 years are floundering over cost and technology transfer issues, official sources have indicated.
Vietnam to get fifth Kilo submarine from Russia in early 2016 –
Another one of Hanoi’s Kilo-class subs is expected to arrive soon.
Boeing raises protest of ‘irreparably flawed’ bomber selection –
Boeing and Lockheed Martin have reaffirmed their objection to the U.S. Air Force’s October award of the next-generation bomber development contract to Northrop Grumman, dismissing the lengthy source-selection process as “irreparably flawed.”
Lithuania requests more Javelin anti-tank missiles –
Lithuania has requested to buy more Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin anti-tank guided missiles from the United States, it was revealed Dec. 18.
David’s Sling system shows ability to destroy rockets, missiles –
With hit-to-kill precision, the joint U.S.-Israel David’s Sling Weapon System demonstrated Dec. 21 its ability to destroy salvos of heavy long-range rockets and short-range ballistic missiles during a series of developmental tests.
Brazilian marines buy 23 AAV7A1 amphibious tractors –
The Brazilian Navy’s Marine Corps is to receive 23 Assault Amphibious Vehicles upgraded to the Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard standard.
India’s auditing agency punches holes in Russian Sukhoi –
Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow Dec. 24-25, India’s autonomous auditing agency Comptroller and Auditor General says the Russian-made Su-30MKIaircraft with the Indian Air Force suffer from poor serviceability, which is just around 55 percent to 60 percent against the prescribed norm of 75 percent.


Pentagon eyeing more prepositioning of gear –
The Pentagon is looking to expand the prepositioning of gear around the world over the next year as it attempts to counter a proliferation of challenges worldwide and a smaller-than-expected budget.
Port visits resume for nuclear-armed Navy subs –
Nuclear-armed U.S. submarines that went more than a decade without calling on foreign ports in part because of post-Sept. 11 security concerns are once again visiting other countries, a shift intended to underscore their global presence and lift sailor morale.


New VA phone system being tested in pilot project –
The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System announced its participation in a pilot project for its telephone call center.