News Briefs – January 27, 2016

About 700 immigrant children now staying at N.M. base

About 700 immigrant children from Central America are now staying at Holloman Air Force Base. N.M.
KOAT-TV reports that the children arrived in Alamogordo Jan. 24.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter directed Holloman Air Force Base to be the first of three temporary shelters to open in New Mexico, Colorado and Florida.
The children are being housed in a vacant building on base previously used by the 4th Space Surveillance Squadron.
The children are between the ages of 14 and 17 and are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Officials say they will likely not stay on the base more than a month. AP

Russian fighter jet crashes in Siberia, pilots survive

The Russian military says one of its fighter jets have crashed on a training mission in Siberia, and the two crew members have bailed out successfully.
The Defense Ministry says the MiG-31 went down Jan. 25 in the forest 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the city of Kansk in the Krasnoyarsk region in eastern Siberia. It said the crew ejected to safety and got in touch with the base.
The Soviet-built MiG-31 is a twin-engine, two-seat heavy interceptor designed to patrol Russia’s far-flung borders. The military has been modernizing its MiG-31 fleet built during the 1980s, fitting them with modern electronics and weapons control systems.
The Russian air force has sharply increased the number of training missions in recent years, taking advantage of an ambitious military modernization effort. AP

Russia says it has no plans to set up another base in Syria

The Russian military has no plans to set up another air base in Syria, the Defense Ministry said Jan. 25.
The ministry’s statement followed media reports claiming that Russia could be preparing to create another base in Qamishli in northeastern Syria near the border with Turkey.
The ministry’s spokesman, Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said that the military has no intention to set up any additional air base in Qamishli or advance airfields in Syria.
Russian warplanes have flown nearly 6,000 combat missions since Moscow launched its air campaign in Syria on Sept. 30. The Russian warplanes are based at Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia.
Konashenkov emphasized that Russian warplanes based at Hemeimeem can reach any location in Syria in half an hour, so there is no need for any additional base.
The Russian air blitz has helped Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army to launch offensives and seize some key areas from the opposition in recent weeks. AP

Lockheed Martin separating unit, combining it with Leidos

Lockheed Martin is separating its information systems and global solutions unit, combining it with the engineering company Leidos so that it can focus on its remaining aerospace and defense business.
The division has about $5 billion in sales and more than 16,000 employees globally.
Its shares dropped more than 3 percent in morning trading Jan. 26.
Lockheed Martin will receive a special one-time payment of $1.8 billion. The Bethesda, Md.,-based company’s shareholders will receive approximately 77 million Leidos shares with an estimated value of $3.2 billion.
Existing shareholders of Leidos Holdings Inc. will continue to hold the remaining outstanding shares.
Reston, Va.,-based Leidos is expected to pay its shareholders a special dividend of about $1 billion. The deal still needs approval from Leidos shareholders. It is expected to close in the second half of the year. AP

Czech airline to buy 16 Boeing 737 Max jets

Czech airline Travel Service says it has signed deals to buy 16 new Boeing 737 MAX jets.
Spokeswoman Vladimira Dufkova said Jan. 26 the contracts were signed earlier in January and the jets will be delivered in 2018-2021. Financial details were not given.
Including recently signed deals, Travel Service, which operates both regular flights under the name SmartWings and also provides charter flights, will acquire a total of 25 new Boeings.
The airline, the biggest in the Czech Republic, currently uses 35 jets in the winter season and 44 in the summer. A total of 5.7 million passengers flew with Travel Service last year.
Chinese CEFC China Energy Company has a 10 percent stake in the airline. AP

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