WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Missile Defense
Agency, citing growing missile threats from North Korea and
Iran, said on Wednesday the United States was carrying out
increasingly realistic tests of its missile defenses while also
beefing up cybersecurity.
MDA Director Navy Vice Admiral James Syring said North Korea
has fielded hundreds of missiles that could reach U.S. forces
based in South Korea and Japan, while Iran was stepping up work
on more sophisticated missiles.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department has launched a major review of missile defense programs and capabilities, after military commanders called the current strategy “unsustainable” given tough budget pressures and rising threats around the world.
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described the review in a Feb. 4 memo to top officers in the U.S. Army and Navy, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force plans to release a draft request for proposals next month in its bid to end U.S. reliance on Russian rocket engines, and could award initial study contracts by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, Air Force officials said Tuesday.
They told U.S. lawmakers the Air Force planned to focus the closely watched competition on launch services rather than development of a new American engine, since any engine must be closely integrated with the rocket it fuels.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department has set up a new panel to study electronic warfare needs across the U.S. military and make recommendations to ensure the United States retains its competitive edge, a top Pentagon official said on Tuesday.
Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall and Admiral James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will chair the panel, Deputy Secretary Robert Work told a conference hosted by McAleese & Associates and Credit Suisse.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon is concerned that congressional funding for lists of “unfunded priorities” submitted by the U.S. military services will drain money out of other higher-priority programs, a top official said on Tuesday.
Congress uses the unfunded lists as it shapes the yearly budget plan submitted by the Pentagon, often using them to promote specific programs. Big arms makers count on the lists to help underpin their lobbying efforts.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is rapidly increasing production of the engines that power its Falcon 9 rocket and expects to meet its target of 13 launches and two test flights this year, President Gwynne Shotwell told Reuters.
SpaceX, the technology upstart founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, is stepping up hiring of engineers and other workers to help boost production, including many from other sectors such as the automotive industry and the military, company officials said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators are asking Defense Secretary Ash Carter to jumpstart a Pentagon initiative to develop a new U.S. rocket engine that could replace the Russian-built RD-180 motor, which powers a key rocket used to lift satellites into space.
Senators James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, and Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said they were concerned that the Defense Department and the Air Force were not complying with a law that seeks development of a U.S. alternate engine by 2019.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday said it could clinch a deal this year to build a high-throughput communications satellite for top technology companies such as Google Inc (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
Jim Simpson, vice president of business development and chief strategist for Boeing Network and Space Systems, told Reuters the big technology firms were keen to expand Internet access around the world to help them grow.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is in talks with the U.S. Air Force about cutting the cost of future missile warning satellites by up to 25 percent, and it could lower the tab on the next batch of Global Positioning System III (GPS-III) satellites by 40 percent.
Lockheed said on Monday that the Air Force could decide by June on a proposal to replace the current unique spacecraft planned for the fifth and sixth Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellites with an updated and cheaper version of the A2100 satellite “bus” used for the GPS satellites.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Space Exploration Technologies expects the U.S. Air Force to certify it to compete to launch national security satellites by June, President Gwynne Shotwell told Reuters on Friday.
Shotwell said the company’s relationship with the Air Force was better than ever after the two sides in January settled a lawsuit filed by SpaceX.