Headlines — July 20


Navy exercise in Black Sea proceeds at a distance as Ukraine fights along its own shores
U.S. naval forces are taking part in a Black Sea exercise and visiting a Turkish city this week, bringing with them a message of NATO solidarity in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

US Himars help to hold off Russian advance, Ukraine says
U.S.-supplied long-range artillery has helped stabilize the front line with Russia in the east of the country, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces said, as his troops geared up for a counteroffensive to retake territory in the south.

Russia says peace in Ukraine will be on its terms, strikes multiple targets
A senior Russian security official said July 19 that peace in Ukraine when it came would be on Moscow’s terms as Russian forces struck targets across the country with missiles even as their ground offensive stuttered.




Lockheed, Pentagon strike deal for next three lots of F-35s
Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have reached a deal to deliver approximately 375 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters over the next three lots.

Raytheon hypersonic scramjet missile has another successful flight test, DARPA says
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency this week announced a second successful flight test of Raytheon Technologies’ Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Concept.

General Dynamics IT wins $908 million Air Force networks contract in Europe
General Dynamics Information Technology will provide network and data technology support to U.S. Air Forces in Europe after scoring a contract worth as much as $908 million.

Airbus, Boeing tout advanced aerial refueling capabilities at Farnborough
As a potential fight for the Air Force’s bridge tanker simmers, the two most likely competitors on July 19 touted their planes’ potential to carry out advanced aerial refueling operations.

‘The clutch isn’t engaged yet’: Lockheed posts slow sales amid supply chain woes
Lockheed Martin’s chief executive said July 19 the U.S. and its allies are “changing gears” toward increased defense spending that will boost the company’s future sales ? but it will take time.

BAE Systems, Embraer team up to pursue Saudi Arabia tactical airlift contract
BAE Systems, the largest defense contractor in Europe, is considering a move into the military air transport business via a strategic partnership with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer.

South Korea records successful maiden flight test of its KF-21 fighter jet
Korea Aerospace Industries and the country’s Air Force on July 19 confirmed the first successful test flight of Seoul’s indigenous 4.5th-generation fighter jet, the KF-21 “Boramae.”

US approves sales of $127 million of F-16 equipment to Belgium
The U.S. State Department has green-lighted the potential sale of F-16 sustainment and related equipment worth $127 million to Belgium, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on July 19.

Turkey nearing $4 billion in annual defense exports
Turkey’s defense and aerospace exports in the first half of 2022 reached a record high of almost $2 billion, up 48 percent from the same period in 2021, official statistics revealed on July 19.

Greece moves to join Lockheed’s F-35 program as Turkey F-16 bid stalls
Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos is visiting the United States this week as Athens continues its bid to join Lockheed Martin’s F-35 co-production program and lobby against a potential F-16 sale to Turkey.




Senate Armed Services releases full $847 billion defense bill
The Senate Armed Services Committee July 18 released the text of its annual defense policy bill, boosting the department’s procurement and research funds by billions over its budget request.

Army will be up to 28,000 troops understrength, vice chief tells Congress
In a stunning admission to a House Armed Services Committee panel Tuesday, the Army’s number two officer acknowledged that the service will be understrength by tens of thousands of soldiers at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Funding shortfalls could cause major readiness problems, leaders warn
Service leaders warned July 19 that underfunded readiness accounts could lead to insufficient training for troops, unfinished equipment maintenance and a host of other problems for military leaders.

Exercise puts American troops under South Korean command for first time
Hundreds of U.S. soldiers are under the South Korean army’s operational control for the first time during a brigade-level training exercise in the mountainous northeastern province of Gangwon.

New Navy fleet study calls for 373 ship battle force, details are classified
The Navy quietly slipped a new, classified assessment on the number of ships the service needs to meet its missions around the world to Congress earlier this month. The report calls for a battle force of 373 ships — 75 more than in the current fleet.

New aerial defense system helps Marines blast simulated cruise missiles
The system would protect far-flung Marines as they strike enemy ships with missiles.

After successful flight tests for Skyborg, XQ-58 ‘continuing to evolve’
A pair of XQ-58 Valkyrie drones completed a series of tests for the Air Force’s Skyborg program, an artificial intelligence-enabled autonomous system to control uncrewed aircraft in a future manned/unmanned aircraft teaming concept.



VA overhauls patient wait time website, but not policies on other medical options
The data is designed to help veterans see which VA facilities have nearby medical appointments.

Nominee for top VA benefits job withdraws, restarting search
Veterans Affairs officials on July 19 restarted their search for a new executive to lead the department’s benefits operations after the previous nominee withdrew from the confirmation process.

How a church allegedly scammed millions in VA money from vets
Rony Denis and his House of Prayer church were known to the military community long before they were raided last month by the FBI.

Roughly 150 patients harmed by flaw in the new VA medical records system, watchdog finds
A report published July 14 by the VA’s Office of Inspector General found that the Oracle Cerner Millennium electronic health records system used at the facility contained an overflow bucket for orders or referrals that didn’t match up with the system’s drop-down menu of file destinations.

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