Headlines – July 15, 2016



Obama’s Syria plan teams up American and Russian forces –
The Obama administration’s new proposal to Russia on Syria is more extensive than previously known. It would open the way for deep cooperation between U.S. and Russian military and intelligence agencies and coordinated air attacks by American and Russian planes on Syrian rebels deemed to be terrorists, according to the text of the proposal I obtained.


U.S. Air Force Reserve eyes future B-21 stealth bomber mission –
The U.S. Air Force Reserve is nudging its way into the heavy bomber mission and has its sights firmly set on the Northrop Grumman B-21 stealth bomber.
Textron demonstrates shadow-launched missile –
Textron and Thales have successfully launched a Fury missile from an RQ-7 Shadow UAV.
U.S. arms sales approvals on track to reach nearly $40 billion –
The U.S. government is on track to approve nearly $40 billion in foreign military sales in the 2016 fiscal year that ends Oct. 1, down from $46.6 billion last year, a top Pentagon official said July 13.
Fighter makers cast wary, or optimistic, eye on Canada –
Some 28 years after accepting its last CF-18 from McDonnell Douglas, Canada still has no firm plan for replacing the battle-worn Hornet, even as its loveless relationship with the Lockheed Martin F-35 endures.
BAE unveils General Purpose Frigate concepts –
BAE Systems Naval Ships has lifted the lid on its initial thinking regarding the U.K.’s projected General Purpose Frigate program, revealing two export-derived concept designs positioned to address different points on the cost/capability curve.
Finland buys L-3 helicopter sensors –
L-3 has been awarded a contract to supply sensors for Finnish Border Guard helicopters.
Sikorsky signs teaming deal with PGZ for Polish helo competition –
Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky has reached a deal with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa to team on the S-70i offering for the Polish armed forces, the company announced July 11. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.


Lockheed Martin looks to upgrade 500 in-service F-16s –
Lockheed Martin expects to upgrade 500 in-service F-16s to a new, AESA radar equipped, ‘F-16V’ format within seven years, after bagging orders for over 300 upgrades to date from South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.
The future of Boeing Defense, according to its new CEO –
Leanne Caret, the new chief executive of Boeing’s $30 billion defense unit, wants people to quit agonizing over contracts the firm has lost, stop calling current competitions “must-wins,” and start focusing on growing business.
BAE Systems pursues computer that builds objects through chemical reactions –
Forget 3D printing. BAE Systems is working with a U.K. scientist on an advanced computer it hopes may one day be able to grow aircraft molecule-by-molecule.
Sources: Reworked KC-46 boom refuels F-16, C-17 –
The KC-46A Pegasus tanker has successfully refueled an F-16 and C-17, an important step as Boeing attempts to fix an issue with the refueling boom that earlier this year caused a major program delay.
Raytheon piles on cyber, EW protections –
Raytheon keeps pushing cyber at its air show appearances, clearly convinced that the Pentad’s commitment to building cyber protection in every weapon system from airplanes, to missiles to, well, everything.
Raytheon exec sees hope yet for SDBII in U.K. inventory –
Raytheon Missiles Systems boss Taylor Lawrence believes there could still be a role for the company’s Small Diameter Bomb II in the British Royal Air Force’s inventory despite the U.K. Ministry of Defence selecting MBDA’s Spear strike missile to equip its upcoming F-35B fleet.
VIDEO: Cyber tactics: State of defense information security –
Dave Wajsgras, president of the Intelligence, Information and Services business at Raytheon, explains the company’s approach to cybersecurity and what’s next for information security in the defense market.
Meet the new UH-60M Black Hawk’s third pilot: ‘Mike’ –
Pilots accustomed to legacy versions of the Army’s UH-60M Black Hawk chopper sometimes have to be reminded that the aircraft is not flying itself, pilots and maintainers said July 13.
Typhoon fighter savings could pay to upgrade jet –
Around £500 million expected to be saved in a new deal between BAE Systems and the British Ministry of Defence to support Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters could be reinvested in upgrading the jet.
F-35B completes initial phase of land-based ski-jump trials –
The initial phase of land-based ski-jump testing for the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing variant of the Lockheed Martin Joint Strikes Fighter has been successfully completed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., in the United States, laying a key foundation for first-of-class flight trials with the UK’s future Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
RAF Sentinel chief makes plea to keep full fleet –
The Royal Air Force’s force commander for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance has made an impassioned plea for his full fleet of Raytheon Sentinel R1s to be retained past September, despite the current planning to retire one-fifth of the fleet.
Hollande promises budget boost for French military –
France will boost 2017 defense spending by €600 million ($666 million) compared to this year’s military budget, President François Hollande said July 13.
GE pushes military engines technology –
GE Aviation’s win of a $1 billion contract to develop a sixth-generation variable-cycle fighter engine is seen as a crucial next step in the future of its $3.7 billion military engines business.
Defense spending emerges as French election topic –
François Fillon, a former prime minister, said July 13 he would commit France to spending two percent of its gross domestic product on defense and also retain the airborne and submarine-launched nuclear weapons if he won the presidential election next year.
Italian firm sees quality of products overcoming India blacklist threat –
The CEO of Italy’s Leonardo-Finmeccanica has said the quality of his firm’s products may be enough to persuade India to drop plans to blacklist it from future tenders.
U.K. Eurofighters test multi-role armaments –
As it seeks to turn the Eurofighter into a truly multi-role aircraft, BAE Systems is in the middle of testing a host of new armaments for the aircraft and plans to adopt the new MBDA Spear standoff weapon, officials said at the Farnborough International Airshow July 13.
Saab bets on faster development, production cycles –
Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe is betting on reactivity at the development and production level to keep the company’s Gripen C/D and Gripen E fighters attractive to foreign buyers.
BAE Systems launches boats at air show –
Unwilling to wait for the next naval show, BAE Systems has taken the unusual decision to launch two new boats at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Norway joins countries considering buying U.S. P-8 spy plane –
The P-8A Poseidon may soon be flying for Norway, a senior U.S. Navy official said July 12.
Falco Evo drone receives two launch customers –
Italy’s Leonardo-Finmeccanica has been awarded two launch orders for its Falco Evo MALE drone, which is a larger version of its existing Falco UAV.
Marines’ new King Stallion won’t have to borrow spare parts –
Speaking at the Farnborough International Airshow on Tuesday, Rear Adm. Dean Peters said the King Stallion, built by the Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky and set to hit the Marine Corps fleet in 2019, would come with native health usage and monitoring systems and enhanced logistics tracking capability that would allow the aircraft to tell the crew when a part was failing or needed maintenance well ahead of a crisis point.


Funding gap hangs over defense policy bill negotiations in Congress –
As top U.S. lawmakers fired the proverbial starting gun July 13 for House-Senate negotiations on a defense policy bill, they expressed confidence they would reach common ground, but the big sticking point is clear.
Armed Services leaders encouraged after first conference meeting –
The conferees reconciling the House and Senate versions of a defense policy bill had a productive first meeting July 13, the leaders of the Armed Services committees agreed.
Dems, Pentagon officials, advocates celebrate end of transgender ban –
The year-long implementation period for lifting the military’s ban on transgender troops will provide time to work through any issues yet to be addressed, the Pentagon’s personnel chief said July 13.
Secretive Pentagon office looking at commercial self-driving vehicles –
As companies like Tesla and Google are developing self-driving cars, a secretive Pentagon office is hoping to utilize this type of commercial technology for the Army and Marine Corps.
Enlisted women nearing first submarine patrol –
The first enlisted women to serve aboard a Navy submarine have arrived and are preparing to sail on the USS Michigan.
McCain blasts Ford carrier as ‘case study’ in acquisition gone wrong –
After the Navy acknowledged delivery of the new Ford-class carrier will be delayed by a couple of months to November due to problems discovered during testing, Sen. John McCain issued a scathing statement in which he expressed his exasperation at yet another setback for the ship, whose $2.3 billion in overruns have increased its overall cost to $13 billion.
Why U.S. Navy’s push to use biofuel isn’t making a whole lot of sense –
Whether a blend containing just 5 percent to 10 percent of biofuel can rightly be considered an alternative fuel is up to the Navy, which sets the terms absent any statutory requirements. The relative lack of guidelines can also lead to some seemingly contradictory outcomes.


Report: DOD, VA still years away from full health records sharing –
Military and Veterans Affairs officials are still years away from fully sharing patient health records, even after almost two decades of work and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office released July 13.
VA doubling back to resolve TBI claims denials –
Veterans Affairs officials aren’t saying how 24,000 veterans were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury by VA physicians considered unqualified to make such a determination, but July 13, told Congress the department is working to resolve related disability claims problems.


NASA’s Juno probe beams back its first images from Jupiter’s orbit –
Here they are: The first images from Juno’s orbit around Jupiter. After a stunning orbital entry on July 4 — the probe, which had been traveling at upward of 125,000 mph, managed to slow down and enter orbit within a second and a centimeter of its target — Juno’s instruments are back online.


Russia is building a nuclear space bomber –
Kremlin claims about a spacecraft that could fire weapons anywhere on Earth within two hours may have just kick-started a nuclear arms race in space.