Headlines – September 16, 2016



Congress’ inaction is hindering veterans health care reform, VA secretary says –
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald told Senate lawmakers Sept. 14 that Congress’ inaction threatens to undermine the department’s reform efforts. During testimony before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, McDonald said that VA embraces 15 of 18 proposals set forth by a congressional advisory panel and wants to create a health care system that incorporates public facilities and private health networks to treat veterans.


Northrop Grumman awarded contract for 10 MQ-8C Fire Scouts –
Naval Air Systems Command awarded Northrop Grumman a $108.1 million contract for ten MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned rotary wing aircraft last week, according to a Pentagon contract announcement.
Airbus set to deliver C295W to Brazil –
Airbus plans to deliver the first C295W search and rescue aircraft to the Brazilian air force in the first quarter next year, the company tells FlightGlobal.


Air Force gets ball rolling on UH-1N Huey replacement –
The Air Force is taking the next steps toward finding a replacement for the UH-1N “Huey” used by the service’s nuclear forces.
B-2 bomber to receive new ejection seats, other upgrades –
The B-2 Spirit, America’s sole heavy stealth bomber, is getting upgraded ejection seats, the latest in a series of upgrades for the multi-role bomber to keep the aircraft flying into the 2050s.
Navy develops laser weapon prototypes for destroyers, cruisers — maybe carriers –
The Navy plans to arm its destroyers and other ships with high-tech, low-cost ship-board laser weapons engineered to quickly incinerate enemy drones, small boats, aircraft, ships and missiles, service officials told Scout Warrior.


House passes bill to make it easier to fire VA employees –
House Republicans on Sept. 14 passed a controversial Veterans Affairs reform bill that would make it easier to fire department workers despite concerns of prominent Democrats that the changes would do little to provide better services.
Lawmaker wants to force Congress to use VA health care –
An Ohio congressman wants to force all Capitol Hill lawmakers and their staff to receive health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure they have incentive to improve the system.
VA secretary says ideologues, corporations behind push for more private care –
The secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Sept. 14 pushed back against new recommendations on private health care and blasted “ideologues” and corporate interests for trying to privatize the veteran medical system.


Space agency starts to unfold atlas of 1 billion stars in 3D –
If space is the final frontier, it will help to have an accurate map, and the European Space Agency said Sept. 14 its mission to chart more than 1 billion stars in the Milky Way is on track for completion in a year’s time.
Jeff Bezos’ plan for the human race –
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of rocket company Blue Origin, says he wants to put millions of people in space — but that exploring the solar system is going to require off-planet nuclear reactors.


U.S. adds F-15 to $38 billion military aid package for Israel –
U.S. and Israeli diplomats announced the largest military assistance package in U.S. history Sept.14 in a $38 billion, 10-year package that will deliver an assortment of American-designed weapon systems, including Lockheed Martin F-35 and Boeing F-15 fighters to Tel Aviv.