Headlines – March 4, 2016

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News

U.S. just sent a carrier strike group to confront China –
The U.S. Navy has dispatched a small armada to the South China Sea.
 
 

Business

GAO: Navy pays shipbuilders to fix construction defects –
The U.S. Navy’s use of fixed-price incentive contracts came under fire today with the release of a new report claiming the service is paying shipbuilders a profit to correct construction mistakes made by the builders.
 
Hesco acquired by Belgian Fence Company –
The company whose stone-filled barriers became almost synonymous with providing protection to British troops and others at bases during the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan has been purchased by a Belgian security fence specialist.
 
Navy awards BAE next-gen electronic warfare contract –
A BAE Systems-led team has been awarded an $11 million Navy contract to develop next-generation electronic warfare systems.
 
Is there a market for supersonic airlines? NASA thinks so –
Since the dawn of the Jet Age, airline travel has evolved radically save one aspect: We still fly at around 500 mph. The Boeing 707, usually credited with starting it all in 1957, cruised at 600 mph with an altitude ceiling of 41,000 feet-almost identical to airplanes currently in production.
 
Israeli Air Force deploying ‘David’s Sling’ missile defense system –
The David’s Sling missile defense system is being delivered to the Israel Air Force ahead of the system’s full deployment.
 
Can Ukraine’s biggest plane maker beat Lockheed Martin –
Ukraine has lost Crimea, and much of its eastern border region as well, to invading troops from Russia. But could this beleaguered country soon book a win in the airplane market? Several recent news items suggest that it could — and that it could do this at Lockheed Martin’s expense.
 
Navy: Affordability, commonality needed to address near, long-term shipbuilding challenges –
The Navy is in the midst of a massive shipbuilding spree, with 65 ships across eight shipyards under contract or in construction today — but maintaining that pace in the short-term and trying to replicate or even accelerate it for the next generation of surface combatants presents the Navy and industry with some serious challenges, officials said.
 
 

Defense

Military beginning to recruit women for combat jobs –
The military services are already beginning to recruit women for combat jobs, including as Navy SEALs, and could see them serving in previously male-only Army and Marine Corps infantry units by this fall, according to new plans endorsed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and obtained by The Associated Press.
 
House GOP budget may punt defense hike –
House Republicans are mulling a budget plan that punts a major defense hike to the next administration.
 
Army, Navy prioritize aircraft modernization, procurement in wishlists –
The Army and Navy have prioritized aircraft modernization and procurement in their wish list of resources not covered by the Obama administration’s budget request, according to reports.
 
House Appropriations leaders push back on Army aviation cuts –
The House Appropriations Committee leadership questioned the Army’s decision to cut 35 percent of its planned aviation modernization funding from its fiscal year 2017 budget request and strongly urged the service to reconsider at an Army budget hearing March 3.
 
Latest DOD plan to close U.S. bases gets mild response in Congress –
Defense officials repeated their plea to Congress March 3 for another base closing round, and once again received partial empathy for their cost concerns but no real path forward on the controversial proposal.
 
Northrop bonus for mysterious bomber weighed toward contract end –
Most of Northrop Grumman’s bonus fee to develop the next U.S. bomber would be earned in the later stages of the $23.5 billion development phase, providing an incentive to control costs to taxpayers and stay on schedule, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said.
 
McCain slams Air Force chief Welsh on A-10 effectiveness –
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, lit into Air Force leadership on Thursday, saying the service was ignoring the facts about the effectiveness of the A-10 “Warthog.”
 
The U.S. Air Force is willing to spend $738 million to solve one of Americas biggest rocket problems –
For the last decade, Russian-made engines have been propelling U.S. national security satellites into space.
 
New external DDG-1000 mast reduces ship’s stealth from original design –
A newly revealed configuration of sensors set for next-generation destroyer Zumwalt (DDG-1000) could make the ship less stealthy than originally intended, several naval experts told USNI News March 3.
 
Navy could throw Boeing’s fighter jet business a life preserver –
A new order for Super Hornet fighters could keep Boeing’s St. Louis production line afloat.
 
Pentagon chief says 40 LCS ships ‘enough’ for U.S. Navy –
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter March 3 defended the Pentagon’s decision to buy just 40 Littoral Combat Ships instead of the 52 originally planned, saying the money saved would allow the Navy to buy more missiles and undersea technology.
 
 

Veterans

VA asks for more funding amid controversy –
Top officials from the Veterans Administration on the hot seat; they’re asking for more tax money while defending one of the government’s most embattled agencies.
 
 

Space

Pluto’s mountains have snow –
This is according to NASA’s New Horizons team who have discovered a chain of exotic snow-capped mountains stretching across the dark expanse on Pluto.
 
This really is a galaxy far, far away –
Scientists pushed the Hubble Space Telescope to its limits to confirm the galaxy is 13.4 billion light years away, the most distant and oldest object known in the universe.

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