Headlines – June 13, 2016



Obama approves broader role for U.S. forces in Afghanistan –
President Barack Obama has approved giving the U.S. military greater ability to accompany and enable Afghan forces battling a resilient Taliban insurgency, in a move to assist them more proactively on the battlefield, a U.S. official told Reuters.


Nexter, KMW partner to focus on land systems –
Nexter and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann have named their joint venture KNDS, standing for “KMW and Nexter Defense Systems,” the two companies announced June 10 in a joint statement.
Raytheon touts ‘landmark’ supply deal as cost-saver –
Tucson, Ariz.,-based Raytheon Missile Systems has signed what it calls a landmark agreement with California-based rocket motor maker Aerojet Rocketdyne to supply rocket motors for Raytheon’s tactical missiles through 2019.
BAE plans first powered flight tests of Storm Shadow missile on Typhoon –
BAE Systems expects to conduct the first powered flight tests of the Storm Shadow cruise missile on a Typhoon fighter as June 13 as part of key weapons capability enhancements for the jet-gain momentum, according to company officials.
Italian radar to equip U.S. Navy’s Fire Scout drones –
A new electronically scanned radar built by Italy’s Leonardo-Finmeccanica has been selected for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter UAV, the service has announced.
Nordic Group tasked with strengthening industry-military relations –
Nordic Defence Cooperation, the interstate military collaboration vehicle, has been tasked with identifying new avenues to strengthen the connection between industry and military procurements.
Elbit poised for next growth spurt –
As the founding head of Elbit’s Land Systems Division more than a decade ago, Bezhalel “Butzy” Machlis led integration of the firm’s acquisition of Israel’s Soltam Systems while spearheading one of the firm’s most lucrative programs, a digitized C4I net for the Israel Defense Forces.
Greece looks for new primary trainer aircraft –
The RfI, released June 10, is for 12 single-propeller aircraft with a side-by-side seating configuration, plus options for four more. Valued at $4.73 million, the requirement includes a flight simulator with one instructor and two trainee stations, a computer-based ground training system with 25 trainee stations, ancillary equipment, manuals, and system training services also.
GA-ASI readies wearable antennas for U.S. special forces –
The U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command is conducting an operational assessment of an improved, wearable communications antenna under development by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.


Senate to vote on NDAA, tackle DOD appropriations this week –
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the annual defense authorization bill this week amid parliamentary fights that stalled debate on most amendments. A vote to advance the bill passed June 10, 68-23.
Democrats, advocacy groups look to McCain to hold the line on LGBT protections in defense bill –
The Republican senator who once campaigned hardest against gays serving openly in the military is now the civil rights community’s greatest bulwark against undoing LGBT protections in this year’s defense policy bill.
Carter again hammers ‘micromanagement’ in NDAA –
As the Senate nears completion of its version of the National Defense Authorization Act, Defense Secretary Ash Carter continues to warn against “micromanagement” coming from the Hill.
Arresting gear on Ford-class carriers under scrutiny –
Citing cost and performance concerns, a Senate panel wants a full review of the new system designed to safely land planes on the Navy’s new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers.
Air Force F-16s, MQ-1 Predators likely to step up airstrikes in Afghanistan –
U.S. generals, who for months have been arguing in favor of employing more air power in Afghanistan to counter the Taliban’s advances, are finally getting their wish.
Army ditches plans for additional M4 carbine upgrades –
As the Army continues its in-progress upgrade of M4s to M4A1s, it has ditched plans for additional upgrades, referred to as the M4A1+ initiative.
U.S. Navy finds no ‘common thread’ in F-18 weapons mishaps –
The U.S. Navy’s F-18 fleet has experienced, on average, an aviation-related weapons mishap about once every other year since fiscal 2009, an Aviation Week analysis of U.S. Naval Safety Center data shows.
Aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford takes a 180-degree spin –
The carefully choreographed move resulted in the forward part of the ship, or bow, facing land when it returned to the pier. It took less than 90 minutes, and the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier now looks poised to attack downtown Newport News.
New Navy frigate designed with stepped-up weapons for “blue water” combat –
The Navy’s new Frigate, to be operational by 2023, will be armed with a wide range of new weapons to include long-range missiles, electronic warfare ability and anti-submarine technologies.
U.S. Marine Corps receives previously retired Hornets in new configuration –
The U.S. Marine Corps is receiving 30 previously retired Boeing F/A-18C Hornets in a new “C+” configuration. A capability gap created by the late arrival of the Lockheed Martin F-35B prompted the Marine Corps to bring the aircraft out of storage — they had been retired to the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona — and contract Boeing to modify two squadrons-worth of classic Hornets.


Wounded vets look to Congress to override ban on VA fertility help –
Congress approved the ban in 1992, responding to concerns that assisted reproduction would result in the destruction of some fertilized embryos.
PTSD not often used as defense tactic, professor says –
Defense lawyers seldom use PTSD as part of a strategy to have their client found not guilty of a crime, said a Harvard Medical School professor who testifies in cases involving the disorder.

Space & Technology

Elon Musk’s ‘cargo route’ to Mars revealed –
Earlier this year, SpaceX chief, Elon Musk, announced he was “planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018.”
U.S. Navy lab patents at-sea synthetic fuel production technology –
Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s material science and technology division have been awarded a U.S. patent for a method to produce fuel stocks for vehicles, aircraft, and ships while at sea or in remote locations, and hope to have a scaled-up second-generation demonstration operating by the end of this year, the lab said June 8.