Headlines – June 10, 2016

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Air Force probing crash of Reaper drone in Nevada desert –
The U.S. Air Force is investigating the crash of an unmanned drone aircraft during a training mission this week in the Nevada desert north of Las Vegas.
 
F-16s that crashed over Georgia high-tech, but built in 1993 –
The pilots at the controls of the two F-16 jets that collided over Georgia this week are seasoned combat veterans — and so are the jets they were flying. The planes were built in 1993 and have flown hundreds of combat missions, including the fiery 2003 attack on Baghdad dubbed “Shock and Awe,” according to commanders of the South Carolina National Guard.
 
Official: U.S. moving to expand strikes in Afghanistan –
The U.S. is close to a decision to expand the military’s authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban as the violence in Afghanistan escalates, a senior U.S. defense official said June 9.
 
 

Business

Defense lobbyists brief Trump –
A trade association representing leading aerospace manufacturers said it briefed its priorities to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump June 9.
 
Behold the flying car from France –
American leathernecks can expect Vaylon, a French startup company, to pitch a stealthy flying car to the U.S. Marine Corps, with France helping to fund work on the paragliding dune buggy.
 
Air Force receives secure receivers –
Rockwell Collins has delivered an additional 1,400 Remote Secure Receivers to the Air Force.
 
Navy awards Exelis $12.3 million contract for jammer support –
Exelis has been awarded a $12.3 million Navy contract to support jamming systems.
 
Hanwha marketing tactical ballistic missile –
South Korea has joined the small club of countries that offer tactical ballistic missiles for sale. Hanwha is promoting a weapon that may have completed development in a secretive program launched to give South Korea a long-range means of striking North Korean artillery. The unnamed missile must be one that served as a target in a test of the MSAM surface-to-air system.
 
BAE looks beyond the Typhoon to F-35 program, drones –
After more than a decade in which building Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters has been the backbone of BAE Systems PLC’s combat aircraft production, the defense company is shifting its focus to the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and what may come next.
 
Boeing Defense CEO not banking on fighters –
Boeing Defense, Space & Security will prioritize operational performance and profit growth, and it will focus on being a leader in six major market segments -none of which are fighter jets-as part of the business unit’s “new start,” the unit’s new chief executive told Aviation Week.
 
Safran rolls out FELIN-based soldier ensemble for international customers –
Safran has developed a modular and scalable version of the Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégrés soldier ensemble aimed at international customers, with the company in discussion with 10 countries in North Africa, the Middle East — including the United Arab Emirates — and Asia.
 
Airbus raises $2.69 billion from Dassault Aviation stake sale –
Airbus Group SE June 10 said it raised $2.69 billion through the sale of its remaining 23.6 percent stake in French Rafale combat jet maker Dassault Aviation SA.
 
 

Defense

Senate drops plan to boost military pay raise, end strength –
A Senate plan to boost next year’s military pay raise and increase the end strength of each of the armed services failed June 9 over ongoing funding fights between lawmakers.
 
11 GOP vote against McCain’s $18 billion NDAA add –
If you want to know just how fractured the Republican Party is, even in the relatively staid Senate, just look at the June 9 bipartisan vote knocking down Sen. John McCain’s amendment to add $18 billion in defense spending to the National Defense Authorization Act.
 
Draft defense bill seeks to scuttle Pentagon egg, sperm storage benefit –
A single line in the Senate’s 1,166-page proposed defense policy bill could derail the Pentagon’s plan to give troops the option of freezing their sperm or eggs for future use.
 
Senate rejects $18 billion hikes for defense, non-defense –
Measures to raise defense and non-defense spending authorization by $18 billion each failed to pass in successive Senate votes June 9, leaving the annual defense policy bill just where it was, at $602 billion.
 
Senators seek halt to U.S. bomb sales for Saudi war –
Two senators on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee are pressing ahead with their fight to limit American bomb sales to Saudi Arabia in protest for Riyadh’s conduct of its military intervention in Yemen’s civil war.
 
Boost in Afghan visas blocked in Senate –
Lawmakers tried to include in the National Defense Authorization Act a deal to increase the number of visas for Afghans who served as interpreters to U.S. officials and increase Guantánamo Bay restrictions.
 
GOP senator blasts ‘culture wars’ in defense bill –
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., blasted the idea of requiring women to register for the selective service as part of an annual defense bill, saying lawmakers jump “blindly into culture war fights.”
 
Air Force remote sensing lab to share space-based data –
Air Force officials say a new remote sensing lab will allow partners in industry and academia to make richer use of infrared and other space-based data now being collected for missile defense purposes.
 
First world problems: Defense acquisition and the competition for ideas –
Perhaps the poster child acquisition project to highlight the challenges faced by the Pentagon is the much-maligned F-35 program. Despite 15 years of development (seven years behind schedule) and more than $163 billion of cost overruns, full combat readiness of this 5th-generation aircraft was just postponed again to 2018.
 
Army green lights mid-tier network capability, airborne radio RFP due out soon –
The U.S. Army determined it has the need for the mid-tier network capability and is preparing to make a production decision for the radio that goes with the network later this summer, the service confirmed.
 
HIMARS demonstration shows readiness for summer deployment –
Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment conducted a live fire exercise June 9 launching rockets on their High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to mark them ready for deployment later this summer. The exercise was also a chance for the soldiers to show off their skills to family members.
 
U.S. Navy prepares for West Coast transition of Poseidon –
The U.S. Navy is to shortly begin transitioning its West Coast maritime patrol squadrons over to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon as it looks to phase out of service the lion’s-share of its Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion fleet before the end of the decade, a service official told reporters June 9.
 
 

Veterans

VA fires Phoenix execs after 2 years of investigations –
The long, complex saga of the Phoenix VA scandal took another twist on June 7 when the Department of Veterans Affairs fired three executives tied to the patient-wait time controversy that has enveloped the agency for the past two years.
 
Latest VA reform pitch would put medical facilities under a nonprofit –
A Washington state lawmaker has proposed placing all Veterans Affairs Department medical facilities under a nonprofit entity and giving all new veterans access to private health care.
 
Ex-VA official to be sentenced for selling confidential info –
A former director of two Veterans Affairs medical centers in Ohio who admitted to providing confidential information to companies seeking work with the VA is scheduled to be sentenced.

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