Headlines – March 22, 2021

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India, U.S. to expand military engagement, defense ties-
Top defense officials from India and the United States pledged March 20 to expand their military engagement, underscoring the strengthening defense ties between two countries concerned over China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
 
Green Berets are sent to quell ISIS surge in Mozambique-
American special forces soldiers have arrived in Mozambique to train beleaguered local troops who are battling to stop militants aligned with Islamic State establishing a “caliphate” in southern Africa.
 
HASC cites ‘enormous concern’ about F-35; readiness chair suggests buy cutback-
The House Armed Services Committee has “enormous concern” about the F-35 fighter’s sustainment, and suggested Congress may cut back on purchases of the jet to let the sustainment enterprise catch up, Readiness subcommittee chair Rep. John Garamendi, R-Calif., said March 19.
 
 

Business

Pentagon, Intel partner to make more U.S. microchips for military-
The Pentagon’s top research arm and Silicon Valley giant Intel will work together to increase domestic production of secure microchips used widely in defense systems.
 
U.S. Navy inks a deal for a tenth Block V Virginia-class submarine-
The U.S. Navy sealed the deal on a 10th ship in its latest iteration of the Virginia-class attack submarine, issuing a $2.4 billion adjustment on a contract initially awarded in December 2019.
 
Proposed U.S. submarine-hunting plane prompts hand-wringing in Germany-
The U.S. government has cleared the sale of five P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to Germany, but Berlin is nowhere near ready to make a decision on the $1.8 billion purchase.
 
U.S. Navy, armaments consortium forge partnership to solve energetics tech challenges-
Amid fears about the strained industrial base for energetics, a key part of munitions and other conventional weapons, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division has forged an agreement with the National Armaments Consortium to accelerate tech breakthroughs over the next six to 10 years.
 
 

Defense

Battle heats up over Pentagon spending plans-
Jockeying over defense funding is heating up amid expectations President Biden will request an essentially flat Pentagon budget for next year.
 
Army delivers first canisters to its new hypersonic missile battery but won’t say where it’s based-
The prototype outfit will now begin training with two inert canisters that are identical to the ones that will soon hold live missiles.
 
Navy wants triple-packed hypersonic missile modules on its stealthy Zumwalt destroyers-
The modules are too large for the ship’s existing vertical launch cells, so they would likely take the place of its all but abandoned deck guns.
 
Marine Corps to procure 18 MQ-9 Reapers to ‘close kill chain,’ general says-
The Marine Corps plans to procure a total of 18 MQ-9A extended range Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles to operate in support of distributed maritime operations and expeditionary base operations, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.
 
 

Veterans

Lawmaker wants to strip benefits from veterans involved in January’s attack on Congress-
A Marine-turned-congressman wants federal officials to deny veterans benefits to any current or former military members involved with the attack on the U.S. Capitol building earlier this year, saying they “no longer deserve” the payouts.
 
All veterans, their spouses, caregivers eligible to get COVID vaccine through VA under newly-passed bill-
All veterans, their spouses and caregivers will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine through the Department of Veterans Affairs once doses are made available, under legislation finalized by Congress on March 19.
 
VA to launch full review of electronic medical records overhaul amid concerns over project’s progress-
Veterans Affairs officials on March 19 announced a full review of the department’s $16 billion electronic medical records overhaul amid growing concerns from lawmakers about the size and scope of the project.
 
 
 

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