Headlines – January 31, 2018



Trump, in State of the Union, seeks full military funding. But how? –
President Donald Trump, in his first State of the Union, asked Congress to “fully fund” the U.S. military, but he will have to navigate the Capitol Hill cross-currents that bedeviled the last administration.
Pentagon is planning for war with China and Russia — can it handle both? –
The Pentagon is in the opening stages of “redesigning the force” around the challenges of Russia and China, the department’s No. 2 uniformed official said Jan. 30 — while warning that America may not be able to afford preparing for two unique problem sets.
Trump warns of looming threats, promises to boost military might in State of the Union address –
President Donald Trump again promised to rebuild America’s military might in the face of growing foreign threats in his State of the Union address Jan. 30, and lauded battlefield successes in Afghanistan in the Middle East under his administration’s new policies.


Japan base welcomes 1st deployed F-35A, but industry hiccups delay fighter’s supplies –
Japan has deployed the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to a Japanese base for the first time, with the arrival of an aircraft to an air base in the northern part of the country late last week.
Airbus accuses Leonardo of playing dirty –
It’s Groundhog Day in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims where Leonardo has filed another lawsuit against the U.S. Army as the service moves to buy more Lakota helicopters from Airbus for its training fleet.
Future Vertical Lift poised to get Army out of the acquisition dark ages –
The Army has an ambitious plan to develop, build and acquire a new family of vertical lift aircraft expected to come online in the 2030s. But naysayers often point to the service’s muddied track record in acquiring new weapons systems, particularly new helicopters.
BAE Systems to help ammo survive GPS-denied environments –
BAE Systems has received an $8 million contract to develop precision guidance kits for artillery shells that allow the rounds to operate in a GPS-denied environment, according to a Jan. 30 company statement.
Canada auditor general prepares new fighter jet report –
Canada’s auditor general, Michael Ferguson, is reviewing the country’s fighter jet programs in preparation for a future fighter jet competition in 2019. Ferguson and his team have reportedly been reviewing internal government records for several months, although it is unclear which programs are under investigation.
Raytheon lands $570 million deal to upgrade Canada’s naval defense system –
Raytheon Canada Limited has received a contact from the Canadian government worth CN$704 million (U.S. $570 million) to maintain and upgrade the Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems operated by the Royal Canadian Navy.
Raytheon exec looks to grab emerging $8 billion missile market, targeting Boeing biz –
Raytheon is bullish on the next generation of surface-to-surface missiles coming into the fleet, an award that is expected to drop sometime this summer.
Leonardo promises double-digit profits, end to helicopter glitch –
Italian defense group Leonardo has promised double-digit profitability within five years, thanks to 6 percent annual growth in new orders and 5-6 percent revenue growth.
‘Furious’ program could lead to combat robots for French Army –
The Direction Générale de l’Armement has awarded a contract to Safran Electronics & Defense and its partner Effidence for a study, dubbed “Furious,” on future robots for the French Army’s combat units, the procurement office said.
Air Force’s struggling tanker program is facing questions about its ability to withstand electromagnetic pulses –
A report from the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation has cautioned that while the KC-46’s most important systems could operate under EMP conditions, its operational capabilities in such a scenario have not been fully tested.


House passes stand-alone defense spending bill –
The House voted Jan. 30 to approve a stand-alone defense appropriations bill, but it is likely to fail in the Senate.
Pentagon chief management officer nominee clears committee –
The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the nomination of John H. Gibson II to become the Defense Department’s chief management officer Jan. 30. It was a voice vote.
GPS tracking company reviews privacy settings amid fitness app security concerns –
The company that published a global heat map detailing sensitive military installations will simplify its privacy settings and review its app’s features to ensure it cannot be compromised by actors with bad intent, the company announced late Jan. 29.
Ex-Navy commander pleads guilty in ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery case –
A former U.S. Navy commander has pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy in the latest fallout from a corruption case that spanned a decade and involved dozens of Navy officials.
Air Force Predator crash blamed on crew error, datalink failure –
An MQ-1B Predator crashed in U.S. Central Command’s area of operations due to a datalink failure and a distracted crew, according to a report released this month.


Trump exaggerates VA accountability law’s impact in State of the Union address –
In his first State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Donald Trump boasted that his administration has begun cleaning up the Department of Veterans Affairs by getting rid of problematic workers thanks to new accountability legislation passed by Congress last summer.
VA reopens ID card applications after a two-month pause –
The Department of Veterans Affairs is once again accepting applications for new Veteran ID cards after a series of technical problems that forced a two-month halt to the program.
Despite threat of a years-long wait, veterans slow to embrace new option on disability appeals –
A new program designed to help clear the Department of Veterans Affairs’ massive backlog of disability claims appeals has so far received little interest from veterans, despite promises it could trim years off their wait times.
More than 133,000 vets may qualify for this tax refund windfall –
More than 133,000 veterans may qualify for a refund of federal taxes they paid on disability severance pay dating back to 1991 — taxes that shouldn’t have been collected in the first place.