Headlines – September 19, 2016



U.S. military commanders are ‘pissed off’ about the mission creep in Syria –
The deal for U.S. military cooperation with Russia would expand the current mission in Syria far beyond its exclusive focus on the Islamic State group.


Navy awards contract for frigate IT –
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $79.5 million Navy contract to provide an open architecture combat management system for frigates.
MBDA secures £30 million laser weapon contract for UK –
Britain’s defense secretary has confirmed that MBDA UK has secured a £30 million (US $40 million) deal to build a laser-directed energy weapon demonstrator.


Exclusive: Air Force mulls fly off for possible light attack aircraft buy –
The Air Force is considering a near-term buy of light attack aircraft to help relieve mounting operations costs, ameliorate a fighter pilot shortage and improve readiness, a top general told Defense News in an exclusive interview.
Air Force hopes to shrink inventory, but Congress will have say –
The U.S. Air Force plans to shrink its total air asset inventory by 235 planes over the next five years, a net drop largely driven by standing down legacy fighter aircraft as the F-35 joint strike fighter comes online. An analysis by analytics firm Avascent of the Air Force’s most recent budget submission, which covers fiscal years 2017 through 2021, showed that the Air Force plans to divest 232 T-38 trainers, 166 A-10 Warthogs and 160 F-16s over the next five years, while adding 185 F-35s.
Goldfein’s gambit: Former Air Force chiefs weigh in on his ambitious plans –
New Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s plans to overhaul the structure of squadrons, improve command and control, and strengthen how the service develops joint leaders are on the right track, former Air Force leaders say, but turning them into reality could be tricky.
Different by design: Clean sheet T-X designs stir up excitement, but face uphill battle –
Four competitors, two clean sheet designs and $11 billion at stake. The Air Force’s T-X trainer competition is heating up, and now that all four proposed aircraft have been made public, the field couldn’t be any more varied.
Strategic Capabilities Office focused on autonomy for USAF, Marines –
A largely hidden office until earlier this year, the Strategic Capabilities office is a small team within the Department of Defense that seeks to take existing technologies and exploit them to give U.S. war fighters an edge for near-term potential conflicts.
How the Air Force is scrambling to head off an exodus of fighter pilots –
The Air Force is scrambling to head off what could be a major exodus of fighter pilots for the private sector, which would exacerbate an already-serious shortfall of fighter jocks. And if the Air Force can’t hold on to its front-line pilots, that could have dangerous repercussions for the United States’ ability to fight and win wars.
Fifteen F-35 models grounded due to wiring issue –
The U.S. Air Force has ordered the grounding of 13 F-35A models, as well as a pair of Norwegian F-35As, following the discovery of damaged coolant wires.
Air Force grounds ‘combat ready’ F-35 over coolant line flaw –
The poor insulation is suspected on 57 aircraft, including 42 on Lockheed Martin Corp.’s production line. The issue is not a design flaw with the aircraft but instead caused by manufacturing quality glitches with one of two subcontractors which make the 18 lines through which the coolant flows, according to an Air Force statement and an interview with a service official, who asked not to be identified.
U.S. Air Force Secretary: Service may delay A-10 retirement –
Although the U.S. Air Force has been fighting for years to sunset the A-10 attack plane so it can move resources to newer fighters, Secretary Deborah Lee James tells Aviation Week the air arm may once again delay plans to retire the Thunderbolt II.
Big SPAR Army review may topple ITEP –
Critics say the Army could end up wasting billions by developing a better engine for its Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters even as the joint Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative gets underway to replace those aircraft. The critics are wrong, program officials assure us. But the critics still disagree. A new Army budget exercise may settle the dispute.
LCS Montgomery limps back to port only days after its commissioning –
The brand new littoral combat ship Montgomery suffered two engineering casualties at sea this week, only three days after its commissioning ceremony.


One of nation’s largest veterans organizations, American Legion celebrates 100 years –
The American Legion is hoping its upcoming 100th birthday will bring renewal to one of the nation’s largest and quickly graying veterans organizations.


FAA poised to take on role as traffic cop for space –
The Federal Aviation Administration appears poised to take on a new role some agency officials have coveted for years: serving as traffic cops in space.
Hubble captures best view of a disintegrating comet yet –
These images were snapped over the course of three days beginning on Jan. 26, 2016, when the 1,600-foot-long comet was 150 million miles from Sun, around the same distance as the orbit of Mars.