Headlines – July 24, 2019

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U.S. Central Command now says it ‘engaged’ 2 Iranian drones, not 1-
The U.S. military says that when it destroyed an Iranian drone last week over the Strait of Hormuz, it also took aim at a second drone.
 
Esper confirmed as new defense secretary, ending Pentagon leadership uncertainty-
The Senate on July 23 overwhelmingly approved Mark Esper to be the country’s 27th defense secretary, ending a wait of more than 200 days for a permanent Pentagon leader.
 
Britain wins early European support for Hormuz naval mission-
France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, three senior EU diplomats said on July 23.
 
 

Business

Lockheed Martin confident other customers will buy Turkey’s F-35s-
Lockheed Martin is confident new customers will step forward to buy the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters intended for Turkey, company executives said during a Tuesday conference call with analysts.
 
Has Lockheed replaced Boeing as Trump’s favorite defense firm?-
With Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg focused on fixing the 737 MAX, President Trump now appears to have a new favorite defense CEO: Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson.
 
F-35 canopy: New glue, new supplier may boost readiness-
The government office that runs the F-35 program says the plane should meet the mandated readiness rate of 80 percent by 2020 if the problems with the plane’s canopies and spare parts shortages can be fixed.
 
Canada’s final solicitation for its next-gen fighter is out. Who will bid for the contract?-
Canada on July 23 issued a final solicitation for its much-hyped fighter competition, which will replace its fleet of aging CF-18s with 88 new jets.
 
How many sixth-gen fighter projects is too many? Britain’s defense secretary weighs in-
Europe can afford to develop two different sixth-generation combat jets concurrently, but the nations involved in the programs are coordinating to “maximise interoperability,” according to a British Ministry of Defence report to Parliament about the country’s Tempest effort.
 
Bulgaria’s president walks away from $1.26 billion deal for F-16 jets-
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev vetoed a $1.26 billion deal to buy eight new Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets on July 23, according to a Reuters report.
 
Bulgaria seeks armored-vehicle offers from four producers in $840M deal-
The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence has announced it will seek offers for the supply of 150 armored vehicles from four Europe-based manufacturers: Germany’s ARTEC, Finnish Patria, France’s Nexter Group, and Swiss-based General Dynamics Land System – MOWAG.
 
French A400M can almost drop enough paratroopers-
The French A400M military transport aircraft has recently reached a milestone towards reaching full paratrooper deployment capability in 2021 when it dropped 50 paratroopers from a side door in a single stick.
 
Arizona State University to design WMD detector for DARPA-
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has contracted Arizona State University to develop a deployable device to determine if a person has been exposed to weapons of mass destruction or their precursors.
 
Lockheed contracted for weapons system changes on Navy’s future frigate-
Lockheed Martin has been contracted to design a version of the AEGIS Weapons System for the U.S. Navy’s future Guided Missile Frigate program.
 
 

Defense

Turkey hints at pulling access to Incirlik, Kurecik if US acts over Russian weapons purchase-
If Washington slaps sanctions on Turkey over its acquisition of a Russian air defense system, U.S. use of two strategically vital bases could be at risk, the country’s foreign minister suggested.
 
Sending the MEF to war: Why East Coast Marines are focusing on MEF-level warfighting-
Top brass within the ranks of East Coast-based Marines have been looking for the past few years beyond the Marine Expeditionary Unit and toward what it will take to put an entire Marine Expeditionary Force into a fight in Europe.
 
No telling how long U.S. troops will stay on southern border: NORTHCOM commander-
The general in charge of U.S. troops on the southern border said July 22 there is no telling how long they will have to remain in support of the law enforcement effort against illegal immigration.
 
Airman takes first flight on HH-60W combat search-and-rescue helicopter-
The U.S. Air Force has conducted a first test flight of the HH-60W combat rescue helicopter, meant to replace its current HH-60G Pave Hawk fleet.
 
Former SecAF explains how secret X-37 space plane throws off enemies-
The U.S. Air Force’s former top civilian recently gave a glimpse into the mission of an experimental space plane that has puzzled space geeks, enthusiasts, experts and even some officials because of its clandestine use.
 
 

Veterans

Lawmakers, lawsuit want VA to reconsider delays for ‘blue water’ veterans claims-
Lawmakers are urging Veterans Affairs officials to move ahead with some elderly “blue water” veterans’ disability benefits claims now instead of waiting until next year, saying in some cases the assistance cannot afford another delay.

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