Posts byDefense News

NATO’s New Surveillance Drone Begins Test Flights Over the Mediterranean

The first of five new NATO surveillance drones began test flights over the Mediterranean Sea this month, nudging the alliance toward a new capability meant to relieve the demand for U.S. equipment. The flights took off from Sigonella air base in Sicily, Italy, the future headquarters of the Northrop Grumman-made Global Hawks of the Alliance
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US Air Force Launches Contest to Replace the B-52 Bomber’s Engine

General Electric, Rolls-Royce, and Pratt & Whitney will compete for the chance to outfit the U.S. Air Force’s B-52 bomber fleet with new engines, with a contract award projected for June 2021. The Air Force released a request for proposals for the B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program to the three companies on May 19. The engine makers are
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Virgin Orbit Gets Thumbs-Up for Space Force Launches from Guam

VOX Space has received approval to launch payloads into orbit from Guam, the company announced May 7, and its first launch there will place experimental cubesats on orbit for various government agencies. The Virgin Orbit subsidiary said it signed an agreement with the Department of the Air Force that will allow it to conduct launch
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The Space Force’s Next Missile Warning Satellite is One Step Closer to a 2021 Launch

With thermal vacuum testing having begun April 16, the next space-based missile warning satellite has reached a major milestone, the Space and Missile Systems Center announced April 24. The Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, satellites use infrared surveillance to provide global missile warning capabilities for the U.S. military. The system currently consists of four satellites
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Boeing to Reopen the KC-46 and P-8 Production Lines

Boeing will restart production of the P-8 and KC-46 on Monday after a three-week pause in operations spurred by the spread of the novel coronavirus in Washington state. The company temporarily shut down operations in the Puget Sound region on March 25. Boeing’s sites in Washington focus primarily on the development and production of commercial airliners and militarized variants
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With the Commercial Aviation Industry in a Nosedive, the Defense Department Offers Airlines a Lifeline

As the coronavirus pandemic roils the commercial airline industry, U.S. Transportation Command is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact to the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a program where U.S. airlines like United and Delta can fly transport missions on behalf of the Defense Department in an emergency. The White House has not officially activated the
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NASA Employees Urged to Work From Home Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine has urged all space agency employees who can work from home to do so due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, with workers at three space centers testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Last week, an employee at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the
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Could a Commercial Drone Replace the MQ-9 Reaper?

The Air Force is looking for a replacement to the stalwart MQ-9 Reaper and intends to explore options ranging from commercial drones built by emerging tech firms to high-end unmanned aircraft, the service’s top acquisition official said Tuesday. Will Roper, the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the service is working on a
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US Navy Selects L3 Harris to Deliver Iver4 UUV for Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures

The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit has selected L3Harris Technologies, a recent partner of Air Electro, to provide the Navy with an underwater drone for use in expeditionary undersea missions, according to a Jan. 14 news release from the company. As part of the contract, L3Harris will deliver for testing an Iver4-900 PW unmanned undersea vehicle,
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Leido’s Acquires Dynetics and Sets Itself Up for Future Technologies

WASHINGTON — The announcement late Tuesday (Dec 17) that services giant Leidos will procure defense technology firm Dynetics for $1.65 billion gives Leidos a boost in a number of future technologies sought by the Pentagon, and it could help it stand out among competitors. Leidos, ranked as the 21st largest defense contractor in the world
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The US Air Force’s X-37B Spaceplane Lands After Spending Two Years in Space

WASHINGTON — In the early morning hours of Oct. 27, the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a record-breaking 780 days in orbit. What was the Boeing-made plane doing in space for the two years it spent circling Earth? On that point, the Air Force is characteristically elusive, describing the
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Spacecom Is Now a Reality

The Pentagon has a new combatant command. With a twirl of the pen, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper signed into creation U.S. Space Command, the 11th war-fighting command for the Defense Department. “This is a landmark day, one that recognizes the centrality of space to America’s national security and defense,” President Donald Trump said during the
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Naval Operations Chief Considers the Future of Aircraft Carrier Use

WASHINGTON — The new chief of naval operations, Adm. Michael Gilday, was confirmed quickly by the Senate last week, but lawmakers made clear that the cost and growing vulnerability of aircraft carriers to ever-faster and evasive missiles will be among the issues he’s expected to tackle when he officially takes the reins. The Navy’s main force projection tool,
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