Headlines – April 7, 2017

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News

Military brass warn Congress of budget gridlock’s impact –
The U.S. military’s top brass warned lawmakers April 5 it will mean lost lives, halted training and sidelined equipment if Congress punts on spending legislation for this year and forces the military to operate for the next five months under fiscal 2016 levels.
 
Navy grounds all T-45 training jets after instructors refuse to fly –
The Navy has grounded all its T-45 training jets for two days in the wake of a report that instructor pilots in the Navy’s training squadrons are refusing to fly the jet because of a dangerous rise in problems with the cockpit oxygen system.
 
 

Business

BAE Systems completes Amphibious Combat Vehicle shipboard testing –
BAE Systems completed crucial shipboard testing of its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle prototype with partner Italian company Iveco Defense Vehicles in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Italy last week.
 

Commonality key for Orbital ATK’s bid to win Air Force launch vehicle program –
To win the Air Force’s upcoming launch services contract, Orbital ATK will strip cost from its Next Generation Launch system by reusing components and materials from its other active rocket lines, a company official told Defense News April 5.
 
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics offers performance guarantee for new helos –
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has offered performance-based logistics, or PBL, support, under which the Indian company will ensure an integrated package of performance and logistics support for the homemade advanced light helicopter, Dhruv.
 
Surveillance at sea: Raytheon’s air and missile defense radar –
As global threats proliferate, Raytheon’s Air and Missile Defense Radar – AN/SPY-6(V) – significantly enhances ships’ ability to detect air and surface targets as well as the ever-proliferating ballistic missile threats.
 
Thales positions Spy’Ranger UAV for army reconnaissance requirements in Asia-Pacific region –
Riding on its success with the French Army after being selected for the Système de Mini Drone de Reconnaissance (SMDR) requirement, Thales is now positioning the man-portable Spy’Ranger unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for surveillance and reconnaissance requirements of armed forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
 
Raytheon awarded Reaper drone sensor contract –
Raytheon has been awarded a $12.6 million contract to develop targeting software for MQ-1 and MQ-9 unmanned aircraft.
 
Plan to build drone facility in Wyoming canceled –
A plan to build a drone manufacturing facility at a municipal airport in northern Wyoming has been canceled.
 
Cubic awarded Navy data link contract –
Cubic has been awarded a Navy contract, valued at more than $20 million, for data links.
 
Boeing awarded $2.2 billion for new P-8A Poseidon submarine hunters –
Boeing has been awarded a $2.2 billion multinational contract for at least 17 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, according to a Boeing news release.
 
Spain to spend $4 billion on new combat vehicles suited for hybrid warfare –
Spain plans to acquire 348 Piranha 5 eight-wheel drive armored fighting vehicles from General Dynamics European Land Systems in a first phase of purchase.
 
 

Defense

Dana W. White tapped for Pentagon press position –
Dana W. White, a consultant, former staffer for Sen. John McCain and public affairs specialist for Northrop Grumman, has been tapped by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis for a top public affairs role.
 
Top U.S. general: ‘No defense’ against Russian cruise missiles –
U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told lawmakers that the U.S. and its allies have “no defense” against recently deployed Russian cruise missiles, according to AFP.
 
Defense spending up, but new program pipeline thin, report finds –
Pentagon contracts increased in 2016, but the defense industry is facing a lack of new programs that could stretch for a decade and force changes to how they do business, a new report has concluded.
 
Trump gives military new freedom. But with that comes danger –
President Trump has let the military know that the buck stops with them, not him.
 
Advocates see more work ahead for integrating women in combat, military roles –
Former Marine Corps Capt. Greg Jacob says when women entered his company, everyone’s training scores went up.
 
U.S. Army considers adopting an interim battle rifle in 7.62 NATO –
According to multiple sources, what started out as a directed requirement for a 7.62 NATO Designated Marksmanship Rifle for issue to Infantry Rifle Squads has grown in scope to increase the Basis of Issue to all personnel in Brigade Combat Teams and perhaps beyond.
 
Generals ‘foot stomp’ concerns about readiness and military funding –
Marine Corps generals told lawmakers April 5 that inconsistent funding hits operations, equipment and planning at all levels — but none more so than aviation.
 
Drones, 3-D printing and other new tech will transform logistics –
Logistical support for forward-deployed Marines will be revolutionized in the coming years by new technologies like 3-D printing, unmanned aircraft and “smart” logistics gear that can be networked to solve problems faster, a top Marine said.
 
Marines testing polymer solutions to cut ammo weight –
The top equipment official for the Marine Corps recently said he believes that polymer is the answer to cutting ammunition weight for infantry squads.
 
U.S. Air Force general has eyes on sci-fi tech, fixing pilot shortage –
A U.S. Air Force general is interested in retrofitting tankers with technology that will alter the radar image of the plane, making it appear to be “either in a different location” or “reduced [in size] or disappears altogether: Now you see me, now you don’t.”
 
AMC commander: KC-46 technology will help with maintainer shortage –
The predictive maintenance capabilities of the KC-46 Pegasus will help the Air Force “get over the hump” of its maintainer shortage, according to the head of Air Mobility Command.
 
 

Veterans

Navy vets see sinister move behind effort to deny them Agent Orange benefits –
The Department of Veterans Affairs opposes a bill that would extend disability benefits to Navy veterans from the Vietnam War who served at sea and claim they were exposed to Agent Orange because the evidence of exposure is uncertain and the cost could reach nearly $1 billion, a top VA official said April 5.
 
Face of Battle’ exhibit, highlighting troops deployed since 9/11, opens April 7 in Washington –
A new exhibit called “The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now” opens this week in Washington, D.C.
 
Facing budget woes, could the Armed Forces Retirement Home be managed like a military base? –
Most service members’ connection to the finances of the Armed Forces Retirement Home begins and ends with a 50-cent-a-month deduction from their paycheck.
 
Texas university bans disabled veteran’s service dog –
The University of North Texas sent Tawan Throngkumpola, a student and disabled military veteran, a notice saying his service dog Cali was not allowed on campus anymore, NewsFix reported.
 
Congress passes extension of VA Choice Card program –
House lawmakers easily passed an extension of the controversial Veterans Affairs Choice Card program April 5, a move department officials say will keep them from denying needed medical care to thousands of veterans in coming months.

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