Headlines – January 29, 2020

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50 service members diagnosed with TBI following Iran ballistic missile attack-
Fifty service members have now been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, or TBI following a Jan. 8 ballistic missile attack by Iran that struck two Iraqi bases housing coalition troops, the Pentagon announced Jan. 28.
 
Flight recorder of crashed plane in Afghanistan recovered alongside crew’s remains-
American forces on Jan. 28 recovered what is believed to be the flight data recorder from a Bombardier E-11A aircraft that crashed in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, a day earlier, U.S. Forces–Afghanistan said in a release.
 
Trump will seek 20 percent budget boost for nukes, says Inhofe-
U.S. President Donald Trump has settled an internal battle over whether to seek $20 billion for the federal agency that maintains America’s weapons, or less money, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., confirmed Jan. 28.
 
 

Business

Germany walks away from $2.5 billion purchase of U.S. Navy’s Triton spy drones-
The German government has canceled plans to buy Northrop Grumman-made Triton drones to the tune of $2.5 billion, opting instead for manned planes carrying eavesdropping sensors.
 
Lockheed has best year ever, and expects a better 2020-
Lockheed Martin booked nearly $60 billion in 2019 sales, the best year on record for the world’s largest defense contractor. And its executives are predicting even higher sales this year.
 
Air Force moves forward with F-15EX fighter jet buy-
The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with plans to purchase a new F-15 Eagle fighter jet, initiating its first fourth-generation fighter program in more than 20 years.
 
Raytheon nabs contract for missile warning ground system-
Raytheon has won the Air Force’s $197 million contract to develop and build a new ground-based data processing system for missile warning, the company said today, which will allow operators in future to use data not just from the Air Force’s own infrared satellites but from any sensor based in space, on land or at sea.
 
Pentagon seeks a way to shoot down Putin’s ‘invincible’ hypersonic missiles-
Vladimir Putin calls Russia’s Avangard hypersonic missile “invincible.” The U.S. military is looking to prove him wrong.
 
 

Defense

U.S. Defense Department launches Gremlins drone from a mothership for the first time-
The U.S. Defense Department is one step closer to having swarming drones that it can launch from military planes and recover in midair, having successfully conducted the first flight of the Gremlins aircraft in November.
 
U.S. cuts number of Black Hawks to Afghanistan by two-thirds-
The U.S. military is reducing the number of UH-60 Black Hawks it plans to provide Afghan forces from 159 to just 53 — a two-thirds cut in the quantity of rotary wing assets American forces had intended to provide, according to a Defense Department report.
 
U.S. troops in South Korea are combat ready despite lack of major training events-
American troops on the Korean Peninsula are properly prepared to fight alongside South Korean forces if North Korea were to attack, even with large-scale training exercises halted since 2018, senior Pentagon officials said Jan. 28.
 
Pentagon should explore renting refuelers amid KC-46 delays, general says-
The head of U.S. Transportation Command says the Pentagon should seriously explore an air refueling leasing program with the defense industry while the Air Force works with Boeing to fix its newest tanker, the KC-46 Pegasus.
 
Pentagon to test hypersonic missiles at five times the speed of sound-
The Pentagon plans a “very aggressive” expansion of its hypersonic weapons efforts this year, with at least four initial flight tests of prototypes for glide bombs that can fly five times the speed of sound and maneuver en route, officials said.
 
U.S. Air Force plans first steps for space acquisition reform-
A space architecture enterprise summit in mid-February will bring together stakeholders such as the Space Development Agency, Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, and the Space Rapid Capabilities Office to determine how each group fits into the DOD’s new military space vision, according to a top Air Force space adviser.
 
 

Veterans

VA disputes science panel’s findings on proposed Agent Orange diseases; decision not expected until late 2020-
Under pressure from Congress to determine whether to add four diseases to the list of Agent Orange-related conditions, Department of Veterans Affairs officials have disputed a scientific panel’s findings and said they will wait for additional research to conclude before making what could be a $15.2 billion decision.
 
Plenty of plans on preventing veterans’ suicide, but no agreement on what comes first-
Lawmakers are considering a host of bills to deal with the ongoing problem of veterans suicide, but still haven’t reached a clear consensus on which ones will get top priority or even enough support to become law.
 
 
 

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