Headlines – April 20, 2016



New rules allow more civilian casualties in air war against ISIL –
The Pentagon has approved airstrikes that risk more civilian casualties in order to destroy Islamic State targets as part of its increasingly aggressive fight against the militant group in Iraq and Syria, according to interviews with military officials and data.


Former CNO Greenert named to BAE board –
Retired Adm. Jon Greenert, a former chief of naval operations, has been named to the board of directors of BAE Systems Inc, the company announced April 19.
Vencore to support DARPA cybersecurity –
Vencore Labs has been awarded a $7.7 million DARPA cybersecurity contract.
Lockheed wins Navy sonar contract –
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $20.5 million contract modification for Navy sonar.
Lockheed LM-100J taking form in Marietta –
Construction of first the commercial derivative of the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules in 24 years has begun in Marietta, Georgia, where fabricators are now assembling the first LM-100J wing.
DSA 2016: Destini Shipbuilding reveals design of new MMEA patrol craft –
Malaysian shipbuilder Destini Shipbuilding & Engineering has unveiled the design for a 44 m coastal patrol vessel platform that it is currently building for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Authority.
Aurora flies sub-scale X-Plane demonstrator –
Aurora Flight Sciences has flown a subscale prototype of its LightningStrike aircraft, less than two months after being down selected by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as the sole company to continue to its vertical take-off and landing X-Plane experimental technology demonstrator program.
DSA 2016: BAE Systems pitches Beowulf amphibious vehicle to Asian customers –
BAE Systems held the Asian launch of its BvS10 Beowulf articulated, amphibious off-road tracked vehicle on 19 April at the Defence Services Asia exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, stating that the region is regarded as a key market for the newly developed platform.
DSA 2016: China details CH-901 UAV and loitering munition –
China’s Poly Defense has provided details about its CH-901 man-portable tube launched unmanned aerial vehicle and loitering munition, similar in concept to the US AeroVironment Switchblade.
P&W upgrade to keep B-52 aloft into 2040, beyond –
The U.S. Army has successfully carried out a dual engagement flight test of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.
Watch the world’s biggest jet engine fire up –
General Electric Aviation has put together an engine it boasts is so gigantic that Shaquille O’Neill could comfortably fit inside it with Kobe Bryant on his shoulders.


The Navy just deployed a carrier strike group — without the carrier –
The destroyers Spruance, Momsen and Decatur deployed as part of a surface action group and will be on the prowl in the Pacific.
Pentagon wants to sell Cold War missiles to space exploration company –
The Pentagon would like to see unused missiles sold and potentially sent into space because they cost too much money to build, an Air Force officer has claimed.
Lawmakers push for a bigger military pay raise and 27,000 more troops –
House lawmakers want a 2.1 percent military pay raise for next year and a force expansion totaling 27,000 troops beyond the Pentagon’s request, according to their first draft of the annual defense authorization bill released April 19.
House subpanel pushes ‘unconventional warfare’ in defense bill –
A House subcommittee is pushing cyber and unconventional warfare in its portion of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
UPDATED: HASC proposes $20.6 billion in shipbuilding, 4-year carrier builds, possible LPD-29 –
The House Armed Services authorizes $20.6 billion in spending for Navy shipbuilding programs, prohibits the inactivation of cruisers as part of the Navy’s proposed phased modernization plan, and calls for the Navy to build aircraft carriers in four-year periods instead of five, according to its version of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, released April 19.
HASC strat forces will push weather sats to NRO; fences JPSOC dough –
In a move that may spark sustained conflict between the worlds of black and white space, the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee wants to transfer the building of weather of satellites to the National Reconnaissance Office after years of bumbling and indecision by the Air Force, NASA and NOAA.
House sea power markup restores ship, aircraft cuts –
The House Armed Services Committee has been a bastion of the more-more-more club, rejecting Administration reductions to defense programs, opposing mandated sequestration cuts and urging higher levels of arms spending.
HASC marks of draft NDAA support Army commission findings –
As House Armed Services Subcommittee marks of the fiscal 2017 defense policy bill rolled out on Capitol Hill April 19, support for the recommendations of the National Commission on the Future of the Army is evident throughout the proposed legislation.
The Pentagon threatened Congress: We’ll close bases without you –
The Pentagon is threatening to start closing down unneeded military bases unilaterally if Congress continues to refuse to launch a new Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
DOD acquisition chief worried technology development will stall –
Budget shortfalls could prevent the Pentagon from taking critical technology development to the next level, the Defense Department’s top acquisition official warned April 19.
First light F-35 helmet test a success –
The first test of a new, lightweight F-35 helmet was successful, according to the program office, a promising sign that the Pentagon can qualify and implement all three fixes to the jet’s escape system by the end of the year.
House legislation orders F-22 restart study –
Almost five years after Lockheed Martin shut down production of its F-22 stealth fighter jet, House legislation released April 19 would direct the Air Force to look into restarting the assembly line.
U.S. Navy awards CH-53K LRIP 1 long-lead contract –
The U.S. Navy has contracted Sikorsky to deliver long-lead items in support of low-rate initial production Lot 1 of the CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps.


GAO: Appointment problems continue to plague VA –
The Government Accountability Office has found that veterans continue to wait prolonged periods for medical care, contradicting assertions from top Veterans Affairs officials that most patients are waiting less than a week to see a doctor.
Senate approves new Veterans Affairs watchdog –
The Senate approved Michael Missal’s nomination by a voice vote Tuesday evening. He was nominated by President Obama in October.
VA health care reforms are underway, leaders tell panel –
A blue ribbon panel crafting recommendations to Congress on the Veterans Affairs health system heard April 18 from the department’s top leaders, who said reforms underway at the department will improve many aspects of patient care by year’s end.
Veterans still can face long waits for care — if they get it at all –
Veterans newly enrolling for health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs and requesting an appointment commonly wait for months before they first see a medical provider and the department’s way of measuring those waits understates them, a House committee was told April 19.


Saturn’s moon has grown a tentacle –
The latest image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows a sinuous feature that snakes northward from Enceladus’ south pole like a giant tentacle.