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Headlines — June 17

News

2 US veterans, a Marine and a soldier, reported missing in Ukraine
The U.S. State Department says it is looking into reports that Russian or Russian-backed separatist forces in Ukraine captured at least two American citizens.

US military ground raid in Syria captures top ISIS leader
A U.S. defense official said there were no injuries to U.S. military personnel or aircraft involved in the raid.

US sending Ukraine new $1 billion arms package amid grinding Donbas fight
The U.S. will send Ukraine another $1 billion in weapons to fight Russia, including Harpoon anti-ship launchers for the first time, and more ammunition for high-tech, medium-range rocket launchers, the Biden administration announced June 15.

Putin still aims to conquer Ukraine despite early losses, Pentagon official says
Russian President Vladimir Putin still desires to take over Ukraine completely as his armed forces make progress in the eastern part of the country, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said June 14.

 

 

Business

Half-autonomous ships and space systems top European Defence Fund’s 2023 wish list
The European Commission is looking for companies to develop new technology worth nearly $1 billion starting in 2023, with a semi-autonomous naval vessel and space-based early warning capabilities topping the list of demands.

Pratt & Whitney wins $4.4 billion contract for F-35 engines
The Defense Department awarded Pratt & Whitney a bridge contract worth nearly $4.4 billion to provide at least 250 engines for the F-35 fighter.

Sweden commits to buying more Archer 155mm howitzers
Sweden has committed to buying more Archer 155mm mobile howitzers from BAE Systems, having signed a letter of intent at the Paris-based defense exhibition Eurosatory this week.

 

 

 

Defense

Defense spending plan for next year will see a significant hike, lawmakers say
Rep. Adam Smith said he’ll push for smart spending instead of mere budget boosts, but an increase over the White House plan appears inevitable.

Lawmakers order Army to create separate fitness standard for combat specialties
The new standard would be above and beyond what the Army already evaluates in its current fitness test.

Space Force envisions digital future for testing and training
While the other military services have shifted some of their training and testing to virtual, or synthetic, environments, they also have robust ground-based training ranges for live exercises. But the Space Force can’t “carve out a piece of real estate” on orbit for a permanent range, Bratton said. And while some testing and training will likely be performed in space, the associated range would be temporal and the activities that could be conducted would be limited.

 

 

 

Veterans

VA weighs limiting access to outside doctors to curb rising costs
The Department of Veterans Affairs may alter the rules for its community health care program, a system designed to help veterans see doctors outside of the VA system if they don’t have easy access to a VA medical facility, to stop that program’s growing spending from devouring its overall health care budget, according to VA Secretary Denis McDonough.

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