News Briefs – May 3, 2017


Defense contractor BAE Systems expanding, adding 530 jobs

A defense contractor that makes tanks and other fighting vehicles for the U.S. military plans to expand a central Pennsylvania plant and add 530 jobs.
BAE Systems announced the plans May 1 at the company’s West Manchester Township operation in York County, Penn. Gov. Tom Wolf’s office says BAE is getting a $2 million business grant and more than $1 million in job-creation tax credits.
The company will start hiring the new workers next year and add them over three years. BAE Systems is also keeping more than 1,400 jobs in Pennsylvania.
Adam Zarfoss, the company’s vice president of Operations for Combat Vehicles, says the company has spent more than five decades designing, developing, manufacturing and supporting combat vehicles.
BAE, formerly BMY, has been in York County since the 1940s and at the current location since 1960. AP

New management takes over New Mexico-based national lab

The head of a new management team in charge of New Mexico-based Sandia National Laboratories says the mission of the sprawling weapons and research facility will continue to be national security along with the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.
Director Stephen Younger discussed the lab’s future during a news conference May 1 that marked the takeover of the lab by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, a subsidiary of Honeywell International.
The U.S. Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced the $2.6 billion management contract in December.
Lockheed Martin had operated Sandia, located in Albuquerque, for the past two decades and was among bidders that lost out to the Honeywell team.
Younger called it a rapidly changing time and said Sandia will remain flexible to respond to the nation’s needs. AP

Monument to honor U.S. helicopter crews from Vietnam War

A new monument at Arlington National Cemetery, near the U.S. capital, will honor American helicopter crews who flew during the Vietnam War.
The Military Times reports Congress has approved the monument, which will be near the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Spearheading the memorial campaign is retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bob Hesselbein, who flew AH-1 Cobra gunships in Vietnam. Hesselbein says Arlington has the greatest concentration of helicopter-crew casualties from the war.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin says the monument will create a “teachable moment” for people to understand the story of pilots and crew members. The U.S. relied heavily on helicopters to transport troops and provide support to ground forces near enemy soldiers in Vietnam.
The nonprofit Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association is paying for the monument. AP

SpaceX launches top-secret spy satellite for U.S. government

SpaceX has launched a top-secret spy satellite for the U.S. government.
The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket lifted off May 1 from its NASA-leased pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It hoisted a classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.
Several minutes into the flight, the first stage booster — its job done — aimed for a touchdown at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SpaceX strives to return most of its first-stage boosters for reuse.
This was the fourth SpaceX booster landing at Cape Canaveral; even more have landed on an ocean platform. Sonic booms, as usual, rattled the area around the launch site.
The company’s first recycled rocket flew last month.
The April 30 launch attempt was foiled at the last minute by a bad sensor. AP