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Dec 11, 2014

Italy, Turkey to service F-35 jet, engine in Europe: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon has chosen Italy and Turkey to provide initial heavy maintenance of Lockheed Martin Corp’s new F-35 fighter jet and its engine in Europe starting in 2018, a move that will result in significant orders for companies there.

The decision announced on Thursday paves the way for billions of dollars of work by companies in those countries, and several others in coming years, as the new radar-evading warplane starts operating around the world.

Dec 10, 2014

Huntington Ingalls CEO maps out longer view of weapons sector

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Mike Petters, chief executive
of Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc, on Wednesday said
he remained committed to a longer-term view of the U.S.
shipbuilder’s business prospects, despite growing market
pressures to focus on short-term gains.

Petters told the Washington-based Atlantic Council think
tank that this longer-term focus had driven his company to
invest in potential new business areas in the energy sector, and
the creation of on-site health centers at its facilities.

Dec 10, 2014

Under pressure, Lockheed opens up about secret weapons unit

By Andrea Shalal

PALMDALE, Calif. (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon’s No. 1 weapons supplier, has rarely felt the need to blow its horn about its secrecy-shrouded crown jewel – until now.

“Skunk Works,” Lockheed’s business for developing weapons outside the company’s main chain of command, is starting to lift the veil in a sign of fierce pressure to win new orders and protect its brand as military budgets shrink.

Dec 10, 2014

U.S. spending bill adds $1.46 billion for military to buy 15 Boeing jets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A spending bill agreed by lawmakers from the U.S. House and Senate provides $554.2 billion in funding for the U.S. military in fiscal 2015, including $1.46 billion for 15 EA-18G electronic attack jets built by Boeing Co.

A summary of the $1.1 trillion “omnibus” bill released late Tuesday said the base appropriation for the Pentagon would be $490.2 billion, with $64 billion in additional war funding. The measure also includes $112 million in emergency funds to respond to the Ebola crisis.

Dec 10, 2014

U.S. needs longer-range, stealthy drones: think tank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military should invest more in longer-range, stealthy weapons, and especially unmanned vehicles, to leverage current advantages and stay ahead of rapid advances by China, Russia and other potential foes, a Washington think tank said Tuesday.

The report, released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, acknowledged U.S. budget pressures and said funding for new weapons could come from base closures, cuts in personnel benefits and reductions in current modernization programs – such as the shorter-range Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet – and even aircraft carriers.

Dec 5, 2014

Pentagon faults both Raytheon, Air Force for program cost growth

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s chief arms
buyer on Friday faulted both Raytheon Co and the U.S.
Air Force for sharp cost growth on a new ground station for
Global Positioning System satellites, citing problems with
program execution and changes in requirements.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Defense Undersecretary
Frank Kendall this week ordered a review of Raytheon’s GPS
Operational Control System after the contract’s value increased
by over 80 percent to $1.6 billion.

Dec 4, 2014

Exclusive: Pentagon to review Raytheon GPS ground system after cost spike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Thursday said it had ordered a review of Raytheon Co’s work on a new ground control system for Global Positioning System satellites after an Air Force-ordered restructuring drove the program’s cost significantly higher.

The current contract value is $1.6 billion, according to Air Force officials, which marks an increase of over 80 percent from the initial contract value of $886 million.

Dec 4, 2014

U.S. Transportation Command taking steps to defend against cyber attacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military command that transports troops and cargo is taking aggressive steps to defend its computer networks against destructive cyber attacks by other countries and criminals, its four-star commanding general said on Thursday.

Air Force General Paul Selva, who heads U.S. Transportation Command, said that while attacks aimed at scoping out their networks, or stealing data were more common, he worried “a lot” about attempts aimed at destroying or manipulating data.

Dec 4, 2014

Obama’s pick to head Pentagon not always on same page as president

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ashton Carter, a veteran Washington insider President Barack Obama is expected to name as his new defense secretary, built a reputation as a behind-the-scenes team player during many years in senior Pentagon posts.

But scrutiny of the 60-year-old former physicist’s views on issues ranging from North Korea to Iraq to defense spending also show an independent thinker whose opinions have not always aligned fully with those of the president.

Dec 3, 2014

35 engine inspection requirements eased to 13 hours -Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mandatory engine inspections are now required every 13 hours for Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jets, a significant easing of the three-hour requirement imposed after an engine failure in June temporarily grounded the entire fleet, a top Pentagon official said on Wednesday.

U.S. Rear Admiral Randy Mahr, the Pentagon’s F-35 deputy program manager, said that all of the F-35 jets used for testing were now flying the required “full envelope” of speed and other flight maneuvers.