Headlines – May 13, 2016

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News

Senate Defense Bill would blow up DOD acquisition chief’s job –
Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain is seeking to erase the office of the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer and divide its duties between two positions, one of them a new chief technological innovator for the Defense Department.
 
 

Business

ManTech to support Missile Defense Agency counterintelligence –
ManTech International Corp. has been awarded a $32.1 million contract for counterintelligence work at the Missile Defense Agency.
 
America’s last fighter jet makers scramble to keep production alive –
The end is nearing for the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 lines unless more orders come in soon.
 
BAE Systems, Czech company team for CV90 contract –
BAE Systems and VOP CZ have partnered in a contract bid to replace the Czech Republic’s BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle with BAE’s CV90.
 
Lockheed Martin stands to get $3 billion order from Denmark –
Denmark’s government plans to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets with Lockheed Martin planes in an order worth 20 billion kroner ($3 billion).
 
GRSE to export light frigates to Philippines –
In a major win for the Indian warship building industry, India’s state-run Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd has emerged as the winner for Philippine Navy’s big-ticket modernization program.
 
U.S. Air Force abandons sole-source UH-60M Black Hawk plan –
The U.S. Air Force has decided against sole-sourcing a portion of its Bell UH-1N replacement requirement to Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky for the UH-60M Black Hawk, instead reverting back to an earlier plan for a “full and open competition” to replace all 62 Vietnam War-era Hueys.
 
Boeing backs extended-range Harpoon to stave off Kongsberg threat –
The U.S. Navy will wrap up developmental free flight testing of the datalink-equipped Boeing Harpoon Block II+ sea-skimming, anti-ship missile next week, ahead of fielding on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet sometime between June and August of 2017.
 
Raytheon gets Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile contract –
Raytheon Missile Systems has been awarded a $76 million U.S. Navy contract for long lead material procurement and Block I production requirements for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. The ESSM program provides enhanced ship defense and is part of an international effort to design, develop test and procure the weapons system.
 
Bell Helicopter announces half-billion dollar contract –
Bell Helicopter has announced a $461.1 million U.S. military contract to supply the U.S. Marine Corps with new utility and attack helicopters.
 
 

Defense

Lawmakers push for ISIS war measure in defense bill –
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is hoping to use an annual defense policy bill to force Congress to debate an authorization for the use of force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
 
Proposed 2017 HAC-D Bill boosts Navy shipbuilding, aviation funding –
The proposed fiscal year 2017 spending bill from the House Appropriations defense subcommittee calls for increases in the Navy’s aviation and shipbuilding spends over the service’s initial budget request.
 
Senate panel advances veterans reform plan – including GI Bill cuts –
The massive and controversial veterans omnibus bill is headed to the Senate floor after Senate Veterans Affairs Committee members unanimously backed the measure as a critical step forward in reforming VA operations.
 
SASC approves policy bill – without tapping war funding –
The Senate Armed Services Committee May 12 approved its version of the 2017 defense policy bill, which hews to the president’s budget request and rejects a plan in the House to raid the wartime account for $18 billion in base budget needs.
 
Senate plan on defense funding sets up showdown with House –
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Thursday that the Senate’s version of the annual defense policy bill does not use any war funds to authorize base budgetary needs, setting up a major conflict with the House that will have to be settled before the bill goes to the White House.
 
Senate defense authorization bill sets up congressional funding fight –
The Senate Armed Services Committee released its $602 billion draft of the annual defense authorization bill May 12 that goes along with White House funding plans for the military next year but sets up a budget showdown with House lawmakers later this summer.
 
Mystery mission: Air Force’s X-37B space plane nears 1 year in orbit –
The U.S. military’s uncrewed X-37B space plane is nearing one year in orbit on its latest secret mission.
 
Air Force officials weigh in on the F-35: ‘It’s the Burger King jet’ –
Although the F-35 Lightning II regularly makes headlines for all the wrong reasons, Air Force pilots at Edwards Air Force Base in California have begun weighing in on the jet’s capabilities, and it’s good news.
 
JLTV Will be U.S. Army’s interim light recon vehicle –
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle will serve as the interim light reconnaissance vehicle for the US Army, according to Maj. Gen. Bo Dyess, the Army Capabilities Integration Center’s deputy director.
 
Lawmaker pushes for review of Hornet oxygen problems –
Navy and Marine Corps strike fighter aviators face a dangerous loss of air flow while flying. They’re set to suffer more than 100 of these hazardous and potentially fatal incidents this year for the second time; one Navy F/A-18 Hornet squadron reported two in a week.
 
The Navy’s smallest ship is getting new missiles –
Some of the smallest surface combatants in the U.S. Navy will be getting new missiles with “over the horizon” capabilities. The effort is part of a program to give the troubled Littoral Combat Ship program a major firepower boost.
 
 

Veterans

Donald Trump adviser signals plan to change veterans’ health care –
GOP front-runner would likely push VA toward privatization, shift to an insurance model.
 
House passes wide-reaching veterans bill –
Veterans would receive protections against employment discrimination, more public housing opportunities and anonymity in lists of local tax scofflaws under legislation passed unanimously by the House May 11.
 
Wounded veterans press VA for fertility services –
The VA provides assessments and some treatment, such as surgeries and medications, to increase a veteran’s odds of creating a baby, but it does not provide in vitro fertilization and other advanced reproductive treatments for the 1,800 to 2,000 injured post-9/11 troops who need help to start a family.
 
Accurate veterans’ suicide data not expected for months –
The Veterans Affairs Department expects to have data this summer that could erase the questionable statistic that 22 veterans die by suicide each day.
 
 

Space

Soaring through the icy jets of a rotating comet –
As Comet 252P/Linear passed by Earth at the end of March, NASA’s Hubble telescope had a front row view.
 
Catching the remnants of Tycho’s supernova –
After a decade and a half of observation using the Chandra space telescope, NASA has released a move showing the evolution of a star that exploded 450 years ago.
 
What happens when a tiny fleck of paint hits the space station –
Objects as small as a fleck of paint can become a hazard once they reach orbital speeds of up to 22,000 mph.
 
Stunning new image reveals the ‘dark side’ of Saturn –
The image is a composite shot comprised of two separate images taken by the Cassini probe in July 2008.
 
 

Technology

Solar Impulse 2 touches down –
The solar powered aircraft flew 975 miles from Phoenix, Ariz., to Tulsa, Okla., completing the 11th leg of its 21,700-mile journey.
 
DARPA aims to bring cutting edge to the tactical edge –
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is in the business of high technology, with hundreds of projects that span areas of focus — cyber, biology, microsystems, along with many others. But one common goal among many of them: bring high-tech tools to the tactical edge and better enable troops in combat.
 
 

International

Moscow declares U.S. missile shield in Romania a direct threat –
Russia has reacted angrily to a NATO missile shield in Romania being switched on. A ceremony took place May 12 and President Putin’s spokesman said it was a “direct threat.”