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Mar 12, 2015

Study to show need for more Boeing electronic attack jets- US Navy

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) – A U.S. Navy study on the
Pentagon’s joint electronic warfare needs will highlight the
case for more Boeing Co EA-18G attack jets to bolster the
effectiveness of carrier strike groups, a top admiral said on
Thursday.

Rear Admiral Mike Manazir, director of air warfare for the
Navy’s chief of naval operations, said Congress needs to fund
some purchases in the fiscal 2016 budget to ensure the
aircraft’s availability for future orders if the report’s
findings are validated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and
certified by top Pentagon leaders.

Mar 12, 2015

Orbital ATK to finish rocket explosion probe by end March: CEO

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Orbital ATK expects to complete an investigation into the Oct. 28 explosion of its Antares rocket by the end of March, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday.

Orbital CEO David Thompson, speaking after an event hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association, said the investigation was nearly complete, but he declined to give details. The explosion destroyed a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station.

Mar 12, 2015

Takeover of UTC’s Sikorsky helicopter unit seen less likely, for now

March 12 (Reuters) – United Technologies Corp’s
Sikorsky helicopter unit could be acquired by another big
defense company, but the potential for a big tax bill means the
maker of Black Hawk helicopters will more likely be spun off
into a standalone company, analysts said.

UTC shares were up 1.9 percent on Thursday as company
executives were scheduled to discuss alternatives for Sikorsky,
including a split-off, at an investor day.

Mar 11, 2015

U.S. Air Force eyes 2018 to launch new GPS satellite competition

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force on
Wednesday said it hopes to kick off a competition for the next
batch of U.S. Global Positioning System satellites beginning in
2018, with an eye to getting higher-power satellites with
greater anti-jamming capabilities.

Air Force officials are due to meet with Pentagon chief arms
buyer Frank Kendall on Wednesday to map out an acquisition
strategy for the new program, David Madden, executive director
of the Air Force’s Space and Missiles Systems Center (SMC) told
a breakfast meeting hosted by the nonprofit Mitchell Institute.

Mar 10, 2015

US Navy chief aims to finish list of ‘unfunded priorities’ soon

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – U.S. Chief of Naval
Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert said he expects to complete
work this week on a list of “unfunded priorities” for Congress
that may include some Boeing Co F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
fighter jets.

The Navy’s top uniformed officer told Reuters he expected to
finalize the annual wish list for U.S. lawmakers this week so it
can be reviewed by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus; the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Mar 10, 2015

Boeing says optimistic about extending fighter line

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co said on Tuesday it was optimistic about extending production of its F/A-18E/F and EA-18G fighter jets beyond 2017 given possible foreign orders and U.S. Navy officials’ recent statements about the need for more planes.

Dan Gillian, who runs both fighter programs for Boeing, told Reuters the company expected Denmark to announce the outcome of its fighter competition in June or July, and that a Middle East order could come as early as the second quarter.

Mar 6, 2015

U.S. Air Force eyes Textron plane, others for future air support

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force is looking at Textron Inc’s Scorpion and other aircraft to address future needs for low-end air support missions given its plans to retire the aging fleet of A-10 Warthog planes in coming years, a top general said Friday.

Later versions of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet would be the primary warplane used for close air support in future conflicts with higher-end adversaries, General Herbert Carlisle, who heads Air Combat Command, told reporters.

Mar 5, 2015

Pentagon to focus more on hack-proofing weapons

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cyber attacks on U.S. weapons programs and manufacturers are a “pervasive” problem that requires greater attention, the top U.S. arms buyer said Thursday, saying that he would add cybersecurity to the Pentagon’s guidelines for buying weapons.

“It’s about the security of our weapons systems themselves and everything that touches them. It’s a pervasive problem and I think we have to pay a lot more attention to it,” Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall told Reuters after a speech to the American Society of Naval Engineers in Washington.

Mar 5, 2015

U.S. considering possible Middle East missile defense: general

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military is considering sending its THAAD missile defense system to the Middle East, a senior U.S. Army general said on Wednesday, citing what he called an urgent need to respond to foes with missile systems and the will to use them.

General Vincent Brooks, head of U.S. Army Pacific Command, said no decisions had been made about deploying a U.S.-owned Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in the Middle East or South Korea, another region where he saw an urgent need given the threat posed by North Korea.

Mar 4, 2015

U.S. Air Force launches push to recruit more women and minorities

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday kicked off a drive to attract and retain more women and minorities, including a push to increase the number of female officers and pilots.

Air Force Secretary Deborah James announced nine measures that she said were critical to ensuring the Air Force’s success, such as a web-based mentoring system, longer deferrals for deployments after pregnancy, and a 30-percent target for the percentage of females in the officer applicant pool, up from 25 percent.