Headlines – June 22, 2016



Pentagon close to repealing transgender ban –
A Pentagon policy allowing transgender troops to serve openly is in the final stages of approval and is expected to be released within weeks, according to Defense Department sources.


For defense firms, Brexit could be Europe’s sequester –
A British departure from the European Union could slow arms purchases and collaboration across the continent.
Airbus DS closes in on European MALE RPAS contract –
Airbus Defence and Space is to sign a definition study contract for the European medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) remotely-piloted air system (RPAS) by mid-July, ahead of the commencement of development work on the project in September.
Airbus to test solution for A400M helicopter refueling –
Airbus Defence & Space believes it has found a solution to a problem that was late last year revealed as leaving its A400M tactical transport incapable of refueling helicopters in flight.
Three-stream engine moves to new phase –
The U.S. Air Force is poised to award General Electric and Pratt & Whitney contracts for adaptive cycle technology development that will pave the way toward an active procurement program for a sixth-generation fighter engine as well as the potential reengining of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
State Department ‘welcomes’ Boeing deal with Iran Air –
The State Department said June 21 it welcomes Boeing’s announcement of a deal with Iran Air, and that it involves the “type of permissible business activity envisioned” in the Iran nuclear deal.

HeliVert JV to be restructured –
Leonardo-Finmeccanica and Russian Helicopters have reached an agreement on restructuring their HeliVert joint venture, adding Rosneft to the ownership group, the companies announced June 17.

Norway reveals P-3 replacement plans –
Norway has revealed a proposed defense spending plan that allows for the acquisition of a new maritime patrol aircraft to replace its six-strong fleet of Lockheed P-3 Orions.

Northrop hiring personnel for B-21 At Melbourne, Fla., site –
Air Force director of Rapid Capabilities Office head Randall Walden, managing the largely classified B-21 bomber program, today discloses Northrop is hiring.
Elta Systems, Thales develop new SATCOM systems –
Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary Elta Systems revealed a new on-the-move satellite communications terminal at the Eurosatory 2016 exhibition in Paris, although it was not actually displayed.
No more An-124s on the way –
Russia confirms that their attacks on the Ukraine have derailed future An-124 production.
Raytheon pitches CHAMP derivative for air defense –
Raytheon’s high powered microwave demonstrator, which disabled electronics on small unmanned air vehicles during a 2013 demonstration, has sparked renewed interest among Department of Defense customers.
Serenity hostile fire detection system passes test –
Logos Technologies’ Serenity hostile fire detection system has passed a test.
BAE building LockNESS maritime defense system for Navy –
BAE Systems has been awarded a $3.9 million Navy contract for its Lock-on Naval Electro-optic/infrared Sensor System.


Marines turn to ‘Boneyard’ for fighter jets amid F-35 delays –
There will be no new planes for the U.S. Marine Corps as delays force old F/A-18 Hornets back into service.
U.S. lawmakers set to reconcile defense policy bills –
Lead staff for the Senate and House armed services committees are readying for what is likely a summer-long conference process to reconcile differing defense policy bills, where the toughest issues are said to be funding, military healthcare reform and acquisition reforms.
Defense panel directors discuss 2017 defense policy bill –
Staff directors for the House and Senate Armed Services Committees on Tuesday shed some insight on the upcoming conference between the two panels to hash out their different versions of the National Defense Authorization Act, before sending it back to both chambers for final passage.
Dems push for allowing base closures –
“We need to provide the Department of Defense flexibility to find savings and efficiencies wherever it can in order to support our warfighters,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “That is especially true now, as Congress continues to strain the military by funding it through short-term budget agreements. We should not be making the military cut training and supplies while at the same time refusing to let DOD save money that we know is not being used productively.”
DOD opens door for its employees to phase into retirement –
The Defense Department June 21 opened the door for allowing its civilian employees to phase into retirement, potentially jump-starting a government-wide program announced to much fanfare several years ago but little used since.
Air Force official: Releasing full B-21 contract value ‘too insightful’ for enemies –
The leader of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office doubled down June 21 on the service’s refusal to release the overall contract value of the forthcoming B-21 stealth bomber program.
F-35 software runs smoothly during Mountain Home deployment –
Software glitches have plagued the F-35 in recent months, but operators said they noticed a marked improvement during a June deployment where the aircraft did not experience any shutdowns.
U.S. Air Force details sixth-gen combat engine research plan –
As procurement plans begin for the next-generation fighter engine, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is launching a supporting initiative to gain maximum performance from all available avenues of adaptive engine technology, particularly the largely unexplored potential of the core.
Army vice says yes on anti-drone tech; maybe on missiles; no on Iron Man –
The Army is developing promising new technology, from long-range missiles to anti-drone defense, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Allyn told reporters today. The problem, of course, is paying for it — which, he said, puts pricey innovations like Iron Man-style powered armor out of reach.
U.S. Army may defer some modernization plans to buy Apaches, 11th CAB –
The U.S. Army in the coming years hopes to fund an 11th Combat Aviation Brigade and to add four AH-64 Apache attack helicopter battalions for the Army National Guard, potentially by deferring aviation modernization efforts, according to the army’s vice chief of staff.


Senators pushing new law for firing VA employees –
Senators were working against the clock June 21 on new legislation allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to quickly fire employees for bad conduct or poor performance after a current federal law was shot down.
Shulkin outlines progress at the VA –
While an ongoing battle over how the Department of Veterans Affairs best holds its employees accountable wages on Capitol Hill, VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin sought to show what reform progress has already been made.


Does Pluto have an ocean that holds alien life? –
New Horizons spied extensional faults on Pluto, suggesting an ocean once existed.
Russia’s plan to conquer the moon –
Moscow will send 12 cosmonauts to the lunar surface ahead of creating a permanent base by 2030.