Headlines – March 23, 2018



After 15 years, Iraq vets in Congress worry lawmakers learned little from the war –
Fifteen years after the start of the Iraq war, Sen. Tammy Duckworth is worried that Congress didn’t learn anything from the controversial conflict.
Trump replacing McMaster with John Bolton as national security adviser –
Charging ahead with the dramatic remaking of his White House, President Donald Trump said March 22 he would replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster with the former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, a foreign policy hawk entering a White House facing key decisions on Iran and North Korea.


Boeing starts work on stealthy next-gen Super Hornet –
Boeing is about to kick off an exhaustive effort to transition the U.S. Navy’s carrier airwing to the “Block III” Super Hornet, a next-generation version of the strike fighter complete with enhanced stealth coating, extended range, and a more powerful computer.
Saab ready to offer radar tech for new Seoul fighter, if it lands maritime patrol aircraft deal –
In an attempt to snatch up a maritime patrol aircraft deal in South Korea, Swedish defense contractor Saab has opened the possibility of transferring its advanced radar technology for the KF-X, Seoul’s indigenous fighter jet development program, a Saab representative revealed.
UK hires team to stop destroyers from breaking down at sea –
An industry team led by BAE Systems has secured a £160 million (U.S. $224 million) deal with the British Ministry of Defence to help fix long-running propulsion problems that have blighted the reliability of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer fleet.
France ups weapon study funds for future jet, tank, aircraft carrier –
France is steering a new course in defense spending by increasing funding for concept and feasibility studies for future weapons to €2.8 billion (U.S. $3.4 billion), analysts have said.
Rolls-Royce awarded $31 million contract for Osprey engines –
Rolls-Royce was awarded a $31 million modified contract to build 14 engines for the V-22 Osprey program. Twelve of the engines, the AE 1107C, are for the Navy and two for the Marine Corps, the U.S. Defense Department announced March 20.
Australia awards Rheinmetall $77.2 million contract for artillery ammunition –
The Australian government has awarded Rheinmetall of Germany a a contract worth roughly $77 million to supply ammunition, fuses and propelling charges. The order is part of the Land 17 Phase 1C.2 Future Artillery Ammunition project and includes options for additional five-year periods. The first lots will be shipped this year, with a second delivery scheduled for 2019. In addition, Australia will also receive war reserve stocks of the ammunition.
South Korean KUS-FS MALE UAV continues flight trials as development draws to a conclusion –
South Korea has performed further flight trials of its indigenously developed Korean Unmanned System-FS medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, ahead of the planned conclusion of development later this year.
Indonesian Navy Rover-class tanker lists after failed replenishment operation –
An Indonesian Navy tanker has been taken out of service after a failed replenishment operation Incident likely to renew attention on the country’s naval replenishment capabilities.
U.S. Marine Corps to upgrade Hornets with new AESA radar –
The U.S. Marine Corps is to replace the radars of its Boeing F/A-18 legacy Hornets with a new active electronically scanned array system.
Singapore denies Leopard 2A7 acquisition, but questions remain over anomalies –
Singapore’s Ministry of Defence has refuted speculation that the country has acquired the A7 variant of the German-built Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leopard 2 main battle tank that stemmed from a recent entry in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Arms Transfer Database.


U.S. Army’s all-in-one NVG will merge sighting, shooting, battlefield awareness –
For most of modern military history, soldiers who needed to track battlefield movement or simply navigate to an objective while on foot would spend much of their time staring down at a paper map or GPS device screen, much like a distracted phone gazer bumping into people at the mall, but with deadlier consequences.
Congress provides $3.3 billion boost for missile defense in fiscal 2018 spending bill –
Congress is providing for $3.3 billion more for missile defense programs in its fiscal 2018 spending bill above the Missile Defense Agency’s original request of $9.5 billion, according to the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill.
Omnibus spending bill would add an extra 143 aircraft for the military –
Congress seems to have come to an agreement on spending for fiscal year 2018, and military aircraft procurement is slated to receive a major bump, funding an additional 143 aircraft above the services’ requests.
Pentagon’s new arms-research chief eyes space-based ray guns –
“Directed energy is more than just big lasers, Griffin said. “That’s important. High-powered microwave approaches can affect an electronics kill. The same with the neutral particle beam systems we explored briefly in the 1990s” for use in space-based anti-missile systems. Such weapons can be “useful in a variety of environments” and have the “advantage of being non-attributable,” meaning that it can be hard to pin an attack with a particle weapon on any particular culprit since it leaves no evidence behind of who or even what did the damage.
Saudi Arms buyers won a $3.5 billion discount from Pentagon –
President Donald Trump says the Saudis are a “big purchaser” of American arms. A $3.5 billion discount they won from the Pentagon last year in buying an anti-missile system for $15 billion shows they’re also adept at tapping into the Pentagon’s generosity.
Need to destroy a bunch of drones? New technologies target them and take them out –
Two separate technologies were used together to knock dozens of drones out of the sky during a recent Army exercise.
U.S. Army successfully demos laser weapon on Stryker in Europe –
The U.S. Army successfully demonstrated a laser weapon integrated onto a Stryker combat vehicle in Europe over the weekend, but the service acknowledges range limitations there are holding back exercising its full capability and training.
Navy boosts pilot bonuses to battle glaring retention woes –
Still faced with low retention among aviators, Navy officials are sweetening the pot financially for the second year in a row, announcing new incentives and bonus pay for aviators who opt for a career track.
Congress readies boost to Navy shipbuilding in fiscal 2018 spending bill –
Congress is preparing to vote on a major spending bill that would fund 14 new ships, give the Navy more than $3 billion more than it asked for in its budget request.
Navy end strength not on pace to run a 355-ship fleet –
Recent challenges to Navy recruiting and retention have left the sea service 11,000 sailors short of its required manpower level in the short term, and about 50,000 sailors short of the estimated force needed to crew a 355-ship fleet.
Air Force ramps up retraining opportunities as it rebuilds maintenance ranks –
The Air Force has dramatically increased the number of retraining opportunities for mid-career airmen to switch into key maintenance jobs as it seeks to rebuild those depleted career fields.
Laser weapon for KC-135 ‘still in the infancy stage’ –
The U.S. Air Force is on a path to adopt high-powered lasers on fighter jets and special operations gunships, but it’s still on the fence about how to mount such weaponry on its tanker fleet, service officials said March. 19.
Marines consider forward-firing rockets for MV-22 Osprey fleet –
The Marine Corps is considering a new plan to arm the MV-22 Osprey fleet and is now thinking of putting rockets, missiles or other forward-firing weapons on the tilt-rotor aircraft.
Hive-like ‘drone pack’ could resupply far-flung Marines with a push of a button –
Rather than convoys of heavy, vulnerable trucks or people-filled helicopters dropping off supplies to units in remote locations, a “drone pack” could continually resupply on demand to Marines with the push of a button.
Norway could agree to additional U.S. Marine presence by summer –
Norway’s defense minister hopes to make a decision by summer about expanding the U.S. Marine Corps’ presence in his country.
U.S. Marine Corps ‘modernizing’ against Russia, China –
Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, a top U.S. Marine Corps commander, told a US Senate subcommittee on March 20 that his service is busy “modernizing” against a military threat from Russia and China now that Congress has authorized higher defense funding.


Public opinion wanted on plans for new Desert Storm War Memorial –
The National Desert Storm War Memorial Association, in cooperation with the National Park Service, is looking for comments from the public on a potential design of a memorial for Operation Desert Storm.
Dedication ceremony set for monument honoring Vietnam helicopter pilots, crews –
Those who wish to honor the helicopter pilots and crew members killed in Vietnam can do so on April 18 at Arlington National Cemetery.
98-year-old WWII, First Army veteran receives French Legion of Honor –
In honor of the 100th birthday of First Army, 98-year-old World War II veteran Jack Baker was honored in a public event March 21 in Olive Hill, Ky.
Lawmakers nearly passed three major VA reform bills this week. Now that plan is dead –
House appropriators released their omnibus budget bill March 21 without a proposed package of veterans reforms included, a missed opportunity that has lawmakers and veterans groups worried whether the ideas will ever move forward.