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SOCOM R&D. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) chairwoman of the House Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities panel, says she is “somewhat disappointed” that U.S. Special Operations Command’s fiscal year 2019 budget request would cut SOCOM’s research and development funding for the second year in a row. But Army Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, SOCOM’s commander,…

Navy Awards FFG(X) Conceptual Design Contracts

The U.S. Navy awarded five $15 million conceptual design (CD) contracts for the new guided missile frigate (FFG(X) program today: Austal USA, Huntington Ingalls Industreis [HII], Lockheed Martin [LMT], Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine, and General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works [GD].The CD awards are intended to reduce the program risk by allowing industry to mature designs more…

NPR’s New Nuke SLCM May Not Be Submarine-Launched

The Defense Department has not yet decided what platform would launch the new nuclear- armed sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) the administration is seeking in the recent nuclear posture review (NPR), the head of U.S. Strategic Command said on Friday.Air Force Gen. John Hyten said the Pentagon’s FY ’19 budget request has a tasking to look…

Army Could Curtail Some Overseas Missions To Patch Readiness Holes

To fulfill all of the Army’s global responsibilities, soldiers typically spend as much time deployed as they do at home between missions, inspiring service leaders to see which missions might be scrapped to give troops more down time and ultimately beef up readiness for when they do ship out.“We are deploying at a higher rate…

Leonardo Drops Lakota Lawsuit, Clearing Way For Airbus Army Sale

Following a loss in court on a related case and a scathing rebuke from a competing aircraft manufacturer, Leonardo Helicopters has decided to withdraw a lawsuit challenging the Army’s purchase of Airbus UH-72 Lakota helicopters in fiscal 2017.“In light of the Appellate Court ruling, Leonardo Helicopters has decided to discontinue any further legal action regarding…

Northrop, DARPA Launching Open Architecture Drone Swarm

Northrop Grumman [NOC] is launching an open-architecture swarm of small drones and is inviting third-party participants to test small-unit tactics with the platform designed to rapidly develop technologies through “swarm sprints.”The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Northrop Grumman to participate in the first phase of the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program as a…

Amid Heavy Operational Tempo, Lockheed Martin Awarded Extension For National Cyber Range

Lockheed Martin [LMT] has received a contract extension to continue supporting the Army’s National Cyber Range (NCR) because training demands nearly depleted the current contract ceiling.The Army’s Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO-STRI) in Orlando received authorization of the Justification & Approval for the contract extension on Feb. 8.“The contract will maintain sufficient…

Air Force Plans To Proceed With Purchasing Light-Attack Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force intends to rapidly buy a fleet of light-attack aircraft after it conducts a second round of experiments with such planes later this year, service Secretary Heather Wilson said Feb. 16.The Air Force recently updated its five-year spending plan to include a $2.4 billion “placeholder" to acquire the aircraft, Wilson told reporters…

White House Says 'Malicious Cyber Activity' Cost US $109 Billion In 2016

Cyber-attacks cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016 and are measured in things like lost revenue, data and intellectual property, court settlements, regulatory penalties and reputational damage, says a new report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors.The most costly attacks are associated with cyber theft of intellectual property…