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Headlines – May 19, 2021

News

F-15QA bound for Qatar declares emergency upon landing, leaves runway in Illinois; Air Force pilots eject safely-
An F-15QA Eagle multirole fighter jet destined for Qatar declared an emergency upon landing and then left the runway at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Illinois May 18, an Air Force official told Air Force Times.
 
No major Taliban attacks so far amid Afghanistan withdrawal, but force protection measures will continue-
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has been largely peaceful since its start on May 1, but American forces remain ready to respond should the Taliban attack, State Department and Pentagon officials said May 18.
 
 

Business

Aerospace industrial base can’t handle the future: Mitchell Institute-
The U.S. aerospace industrial base cannot meet emerging the Air Force’s or the wider military’s needs for rapid innovation to stay ahead of peer competitors, the Mitchell Institute says.
 
If Pentagon drops JEDI, then what?-
DOD says the contract’s enterprise capabilities are still needed. But there are new cloud technologies that could fill the bill.
 
These five firms could build a new armed overwatch plane for U.S. Air Force special operators-
U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command has tapped five companies to compete in its armed overwatch program for a new attack aircraft, awarding $19.2 million in contracts among the vendors.
 
Emirati shipbuilder receives record $1B order for Navy ships-
The United Arab Emirates has awarded a 3.5 billion durham (U.S. $952.7 million) contract to Abu Dhabi Ship Building to produce four Falaj 3-class offshore patrol vessels, the largest-ever order for the company.
 
Former Pentagon chief Mark Esper joins Epirus board-
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is joining the board of directors at Epirus, the company announced May 18, the latest move by the former Raytheon executive to reenter the world he left to join the Trump administration four years ago.
 
How a military vehicle contractor plans to make a USPS truck that lasts ‘almost forever’-
On its face, the work of U.S. mail carriers working across the country and members of the military serving overseas may not have much visible overlap, but according to the contractor selected to build the next generation of postal vehicles, their similarities make all the difference when designing the next generation of mail truck.
 
Germany arrests businessman over dual-use exports to Russia-
A businessman suspected of helping Russia purchase sophisticated machinery in breach of arms export rules has been detained in Germany, prosecutors said May 18.
 
BAE Systems awarded $164 million Navy design contract for vertical launch system-
BAE Systems, Inc. has won a U.S. Navy competition to serve as the design agent for the mechanical portion of the Mk41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), the company said in a May 18 release.
 
Army tries out Humvee-mounted howitzer-
The Army is checking out two sizes of a unique low-recoil howitzer system: a 155mm gun on a 6×6 truck, Brutus, and a 105mm on a 4×4 Humvee, Hawkeye. That’s an extraordinarily small vehicle to mount an artillery piece, and reducing recoil is the key to making it work.
 
Teledyne-FLIR merger creates tactical drone powerhouse-
Teledyne $8.2 billion acquisition of FLIR wrapped up on May 14 and on May 17 the merged teams started work to ensure all the new company’s drones can work with one another — and boy, the combined Teledyne-FLIR builds a lot of drones.
 
BAE Systems tests Battle Management System in ACVs, as company mulls future upgrades and variants-
The amphibious combat vehicle’s open architecture design is already allowing builder BAE Systems to experiment with adding in new combat capabilities, even as the company continues to ponder potential variants it could offer down the road.
 
 

Defense

Pentagon pushes back on report of anti-extremism social media surveillance program-
The Defense Department is not planning to troll troops’ social media accounts for extremist activity, the Pentagon’s top spokesman told reporters on May 18, contrary to a May 16 report about a pilot program to that effect.
 
Afghanistan withdrawal pace increases with five bases handed over-
The military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is speeding up, with five facilities now handed over to the Afghan government and about 115 C-17 loads of material flown out of the country, though a new report states Taliban violence remains high.
 
Special operators deploying to U.S. tech hubs-
U.S. Special Operations Forces are used to deploying to warzones like Afghanistan and other austere and dangerous regions of the world. Now, some are being sent to innovation hubs in the United States.
 
Army uses 1950s TV technology to modernize night-vision goggles-
In a dark demonstration room on the 12th floor of an office building within sight of the Pentagon, a small group of tech-hungry defense journalists recently took turns with a blue gun and the Army’s latest binocular night-vision goggles.
 
Navy to seek eight ships in next budget, cutting a destroyer-
The U.S. Navy will request funding for eight new vessels in the next fiscal year budget, down from the 12 originally sought in a Trump administration blueprint meant to build a vastly larger fleet of ships and submarines, according to budget data and officials.
 
Air Force to focus 2022 construction funds on Europe, Pacific and nukes-
The Air Force plans to funnel next year’s military construction dollars toward bolstering its facilities across Europe and the Indo-Pacific, as well as preparing to bring on a new generation of nuclear weapons, officials told lawmakers May 18.
 
 

Veterans

VA to automatically review thousands of ‘Blue Water’ Navy claims-
The Department of Veterans Affairs is reviewing thousands of rejected claims from Vietnam War veterans who were denied benefits but may now be entitled to retroactive compensation.
 
 
 

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