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Iran holds missile drill with two new warships

Iran holds missile drill with two new warships

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Navy began a short-range missile drill in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and inaugurated its largest military vessel, state TV reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic. The two-day missile drill was being held in the gulf’s southeastern waters, and two new Iranian-made warships joined the exercise: the missile-launching Zereh, or “armor,” and the country’s largest military ship, the Makran — a logistics vessel with a helicopter pad named for a coastal region in southern Iran. President...

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Nasser Karimi
Jan 13
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British military looks to the ‘Eurotank’ as it weighs its hardware options

British military looks to the ‘Eurotank’ as it weighs its hardware options

LONDON and COLOGNE, Germany — The British Ministry of Defence has opened discussions with France and Germany about signing up as an observer on their next-generation Main Ground Combat System program, according to government and industry officials in the U.K. and Germany. Details of exactly what access the British will get to the program remain unclear, as a possible pact wouldn’t be signed until later this year. “Observer status is being granted to the U.K. for the Franco-German Main Ground Combat System program,” an MoD official in London said. An industry team involving and Rheinmetall...

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Andrew Chuter
Jan 11
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US greenlights $4 billion attack helicopter sale to Kuwait

US greenlights $4 billion attack helicopter sale to Kuwait

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared a to Kuwait worth an estimated $4 billion, according to a Dec. 29 post by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The agency has notified Congress, which will weigh in. If lawmakers clear the potential deal, negotiations will begin between the country and the supplier, during which the price and quantity are subject to change. Kuwait wants to buy eight new AH-64Es and plans to remanufacture the 16 AH-64 Delta models it purchased in 2005 into the E-model configuration. The purchase would include new and remanufactured T700-GE-701D engines,...

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Jen Judson
Dec 29
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Congress gives more power to DoD’s industrial base official

Congress gives more power to DoD’s industrial base official

WASHINGTON — The decision by Congress to raise the industrial base job in the Pentagon hierarchy will help prioritize key issues for the department, but questions remain about the structure of the office, according to analysts. As part of the 2021 , the position of deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy will be changed to assistant secretary of defense. The new role makes it the 61st job at the department to , a reflection of importance Congress is now putting on a role that has historically stayed under the radar. The industrial policy job was an assistant secretary of...

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Aaron Mehta
Dec 28
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Congress races to pass $2.3T spending deal, with $696B for Pentagon

Congress races to pass $2.3T spending deal, with $696B for Pentagon

WASHINGTON ― Congress is rocketing to pass a massive by Monday at 11:59 p.m. that includes pandemic relief and federal spending, with $696 billion for the Pentagon. The full-year Pentagon spending bill released Monday morning as part of the mega package represents a $2.6 billion increase over the 2020-enacted level but $2.1 billion less than President Donald Trump’s 2021 budget request. It shakes out to $627.3 billion in base funding and $68.7 billion in wartime overseas contingency operations funding. The deal includes $1.4 trillion in regular federal government spending for 2021 and $900...

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Joe Gould
Dec 21
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The military is scrambling to understand the aviation crash risk from a new 5G sale

The military is scrambling to understand the aviation crash risk from a new 5G sale

WASHINGTON — As part of a broader move to boost the 5G industry in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 8 began auctioning a portion of C-band electromagnetic spectrum, a move the committee’s chairman, Ajit Pai, as “a big day for American consumers and U.S. leadership in 5G.” But, in the weeks leading up to the auction, more than a dozen commercial aviation groups warned the sale could, as one study put it, lead to with the potential for “multiple fatalities.” At the core of the concerns are radar altimeters, a critical piece of aviation technology used by...

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Aaron Mehta
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Dec 21
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Trump’s massive Navy buildup bets on savings that wont materialize, experts say

Trump’s massive Navy buildup bets on savings that wont materialize, experts say

WASHINGTON — If the Trump administration had its way, it would , and to pay for a major increase in shipbuilding, according to documents released by the Department of Defense and the White House this week. However, major questions remain about the plan to grow the Navy’s strength, not the least of which is whether the incoming administration of will follow through or scrap the strategy. The fiscal 2022 planning framework, released late Thursday alongside the 30-year shipbuilding plan, proposes a $759 billion top line for national defense, including $721.9 billion for the Pentagon, a 2.3...

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Aaron Mehta
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Dec 11
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Newt Gingrich and loyalists tapped for Defense Policy Board as Henry Kissinger is ousted

Newt Gingrich and loyalists tapped for Defense Policy Board as Henry Kissinger is ousted

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration continued efforts to replace Pentagon advisers with loyalists as it tapped former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and others Monday to replace ousted members of the Defense Policy Board, an independent outside body. Weeks after former Secretaries of State and were removed in a sudden purge of longstanding experts, Gingrich and nine others have been named as intended replacements, the Pentagon announced. The administration made with the Defense Business Board last month. “These incoming members bring extensive defense and national security affairs experience...

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Joe Gould
Dec 14
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The Pentagon failed its audit again, but sees progress

The Pentagon failed its audit again, but sees progress

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Defense failed to achieve a clean audit, but officials are urging patience for what is expected to be a long-term effort. The results of the Pentagon’s third-ever audit added another clean organization to its list, which represents a clear win, according to Thomas Harker, the . But he also stressed that it would be years before the Pentagon can truly say it has passed its audit cleanly. “We have been clear that this is a journey that will require a sustained effort over several years,” Harker said, pointing to the fact it took the Department of Homeland...

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Aaron Mehta
Nov 17
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Sudan to host Russian military base

Sudan to host Russian military base

MOSCOW — Russia will establish a naval logistic center and repair yard in Sudan under a new agreement signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Nov. 6 but just made public this week. According to the agreement’s text, the naval logistics center will host up to 300 people. This figure includes both naval service members and civilian personnel. The base can host up to four naval vessels, including nuclear-powered ones. The Sudanese government will provide Russia with the necessary port infrastructure and a piece of land free of charge. Russia will be allowed to transfer “any kind of...

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Alexander Bratersky
Nov 13
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US Navy destroyer shoots down an ICBM in milestone test

US Navy destroyer shoots down an ICBM in milestone test

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy has shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean with an SM-3 Block IIA missile in a milestone test that demonstrated a potential scheme to defend Hawaii, the announced Tuesday morning. The test, which comes on the heels of the revealing of a larger in October that could potentially strike the U.S. East Coast, is the first time the United States has shot down an ICBM with anything other than a ground-based interceptor, an MDA official said. Just before 1 a.m. Eastern Time, MDA oversaw a test where a missile was fired from Ronald Reagan...

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David B. Larter
Nov 17
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The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents reveal

The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents reveal

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s upcoming recommendation for a future Navy is expected to call for a significant increase in the , with officials discussing a fleet as large as 530 hulls, according to documents obtained by Defense News. Supporting documents to the forthcoming Future Navy Force Study reviewed by Defense News show the with but fewer aircraft carriers and large surface combatants. Instead, the fleet would include more small surface combatants, unmanned ships and submarines and an expanded logistics force. Two groups commissioned by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to design what a...

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Aaron Mehta
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Sep 24
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Finland gets the green light to buy F-35, F-18 and billions of dollars in weapons

Finland gets the green light to buy F-35, F-18 and billions of dollars in weapons

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department on Oct. 9 approved the sale of the F/A-18EF Super Hornet and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Finland, paving the way for the nation to purchase American jets should either Boeing or Lockheed Martin win its . The two U.S. offerings are facing off in a that also includes France’s Dassault Rafale, the British-made Eurofighter Typhoon and the Swedish Saab Gripen E/F. The F-35 package, worth $12.5 billion, includes 64 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing jets, 66 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, and the aircraft’s associated communications and electronic...

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Valerie Insinna
Oct 9
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Pentagon wins brief waiver from government’s Huawei ban

Pentagon wins brief waiver from government’s Huawei ban

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration is granting the Pentagon a temporary waiver of on contractors using Huawei and other Chinese-made telecommunications equipment, according to a memo obtained by Defense News. The move offers a weeks-long reprieve, until Sept. 30, for firms doing business with the Department of Defense. The firms are among those still reeling from the economic effects of the and who lobbied for more time to comply with new far-reaching regulations. The original provision was to take effect Aug. 13. The administration had been finalizing regulations that would prohibit...

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Joe Gould
Aug 14
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Congress has secretly blocked US arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years

Congress has secretly blocked US arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years

WASHINGTON — Four key members of Congress, either individually or collectively, have quietly frozen all major U.S. arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years in a move to pressure Ankara to abandon its air defense system, Defense News has learned. The legislative action, which has not been previously reported, is another sign of the deeply fractured relationship between the two NATO allies, a disruption that has already led to from the F-35 joint strike fighter program. While it is unclear exactly how many potential sales have been held back, at least two significant deals are in limbo: a...

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Valerie Insinna
Aug 12
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Serbia considers buying Chinese missiles despite US warning

Serbia considers buying Chinese missiles despite US warning

BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia is considering buying a modern Chinese air defense missile system, the Serbian president said Tuesday, as the United States warned that such deals with Beijing could jeopardize the Balkan country’s proclaimed European Union membership goals. Aleksandar Vucic said that “we were thinking, but we have not yet purchased” the FK-3 system — the export version of the Chinese last-generation, medium range HQ-22 anti-aircraft system. Serbia, which has been beefing up its military mainly with Russian aircraft and armored vehicles, last month received six Chinese CH-92A...

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Dusan Stojanovic
Aug 11
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Libya is turning into a battle lab for air warfare

Libya is turning into a battle lab for air warfare

ROME — During Libya’s proxy war this year, the skies over the North African country have filled with Turkish and Chinese drones as well as Russian MiG 29s and Sukhoi 24s, and Emirati Mirage 2000s — reportedly — with Turkish F-16s and Egyptian Rafales waiting in the wings. Russian air defense systems have taken down drones while fighters, civilians and air bases have been bombed by jets as C-130s and Turkish A400M aircraft keep up deliveries of new weaponry and fighters into the country. In short, Libya has been transformed this year into something of an air warfare laboratory, begging the...

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Tom Kington
Aug 6
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Chile approved for $634M worth of F-16 upgrades

Chile approved for $634M worth of F-16 upgrades

Updated at 6:35 PM EST to include information on the number of planes being upgraded. WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared Chile to purchase modernization upgrades for its F-16 fleet, with a potential $634 million price tag. Chile currently operates 44 F-16s. That includes 10 Block 50 models purchased in the early 2000s, as well as 36 older models bought second-hand from the Netherlands. Reports that Chile would look to upgrade their existing F-16 fleet in 2017, but final details had not been made public. Analysts have that Chile may look to buy a small number of new F-16s to...

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Aaron Mehta
Jul 23
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Russia conducted anti-satellite test in space, says US Space Command

Russia conducted anti-satellite test in space, says US Space Command

WASHINGTON — U.S. Space Command says that Russia tested an anti-satellite weapon on orbit July 15, continuing a series of aggressive actions that nation has taken in space. According to a July 23 SPACECOM statement, Russian inspector satellite Cosmos 2543 released another object into space in proximity to another Russian satellite, an action inconsistent with its stated purpose. U.S. officials have suggested in the past that such an object could be used as a high-speed projectile weapon to attack other satellites. "The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is...

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Nathan Strout
Jul 23
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Four companies win contracts to build the Air Force’s Skyborg drone

Four companies win contracts to build the Air Force’s Skyborg drone

WASHINGTON — Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics and Kratos will move forward in the Air Force program known as . Each company Thursday was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract worth up to $400 million, but no seed money was immediately allocated as the firms will have to compete against each other for future orders. Through the Skyborg program, the Air Force wants to field a family of unmanned aerial systems that use artificial intelligence to adapt to battlefield conditions. The Skyborg drone should be cheap enough where the loss of aircraft in combat could be...

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Valerie Insinna
Jul 23
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Progressive effort to cut defense fails twice in Congress

Progressive effort to cut defense fails twice in Congress

WASHINGTON ― Congress went two-for-two swatting down , rejecting a proposal Wednesday from Sen. Bernie Sanders to redirect the money toward domestic needs. The Senate voted 23-77 against an amendment to its version of the $740.5 billion . Progressives floated the plan to use defense dollars (excluding salaries and health care of military personnel) to address the pandemic’s economic fallout. The amendment’s sponsors argued the social spending would better align with people’s needs and views, and that national security should be redefined in the wake of the global pandemic. They said the...

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Joe Gould
Jul 22
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Defund Pentagon effort holds message for Biden

Defund Pentagon effort holds message for Biden

WASHINGTON ― Legislation from progressive Democrats to slash authorized defense spending by 10 percent is expected to fail in the Senate this week, with uncertain prospects in the House. But their hope is to advance an internal debate over defense spending, should Democrats take back the White House or the upper chamber. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and House Progressive Caucus co-chair , D-Wis., are offering amendments that would cut each chamber’s $740.5 billion by about $74 billion. In recent days, advocates published in support, and on Sunday the Congressional Progressive Caucus the cut...

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Joe Gould
Jul 20
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Lord hopes to loosen weapon export restrictions in next six months

Lord hopes to loosen weapon export restrictions in next six months

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s top weapons acquisition official on Thursday called for another review of what defense technology is , in an attempt to ensure the United States remains a defense technology provider of choice for other nations. Speaking at an event hosted by the Reagan Foundation, Ellen Lord said she has in recent months become “passionate” about . “In the next six months, I very much hope to open the envelope, particularly on some of the weapons technology that we can export,” Lord said. “I am concerned that sometimes we are losing international competitions, because we have —...

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Aaron Mehta
Jul 16
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US gives the green light to Japan’s $23B F-35 buy

US gives the green light to Japan’s $23B F-35 buy

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday approved a planned purchase by Japan , moving the country one step closer to becoming of the Lockheed Martin-produced jet. The approved package includes 63 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft and 42 F-35 short takeoff and landing variants, essentially green-lighting the procurement plans spelled out by Japan in 2018. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale, which is worth about $23 billion, although that number could change during negotiations between the country and Lockheed Martin. Those...

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Valerie Insinna
Jul 9
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Stop buying Turkey’s F-35 parts, lawmakers tell DoD

Stop buying Turkey’s F-35 parts, lawmakers tell DoD

WASHINGTON ― A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Pentagon to more quickly stop buying F-35 fighter jet components from . Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., complained in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on July 6 that the Pentagon’s plans to buy parts from Turkey into 2022 undercuts U.S. pressure on the country over its purchase of the Russian . The U.S. formally Turkey from the multinational program in 2019 over the S-400 deal, and it ended training on the jet for Turkish pilots. Furthermore, the 2020...

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Joe Gould
Jul 7
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