- As expected, the Navy included twelve Super Hornets and eight F-35s as part of list of “unfunded priorities” prepared for Congress, according to Reuters. With the manufacturing line of the F/A-18 likely to remain open past the previously-anticipated 2017 cut-off, following a recently-released study.
- Navy commanders are pushing for improved firepower for the Virginia-class submarines through the addition of four vertical launch tubes, representing a 76% increase in strike capability.
- A five-year $430 million contract was announced Friday for robotic surgical systems and associated equipment. A $29 million IDIQ professional services contract was also announced in support of the Navy’s Public Private Venture Program.
- Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is set to receive $183 million in new construction projects, principally to facilitate the introduction of the F-35 and improved facilities for UAVs. Media reports have also outlined plans for a new $1 billion campus for the US Navy.
- The Army deployed the Patriot system to Poland for a week-long exercise, as part of the US’s hand-holding effort with NATO allies (Operation Atlantic Resolve).
- The Royal Canadian Air Force established a strategy for its future aircraft simulators over the next decade, with the procurement of flight trainers and simulators at the forefront of this, including a networked common synthetic environment.
- Turkish military and political leaders have agreed to accelerate the country’s meandering TF-X indigenous fighter program, after previous affirmations of their intention to continue with the project. Bids were solicited for the fighter’s engine in June of last year and an RFI for preliminary designs was released earlier this week by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM). The project seeks to replace the Turkish Air Force’s fleet of F-16s by 2030 with an entirely new model of fifth-generation fighter.
- The privatization of Israel Military Industries will definitely take place by the end of the year, according to the head of Israel’s Government Companies Authority. Up to 90% equity is being offered to foreign investors, with the sale slated for finalization by December. IMI produce the Merkava MBT and the Namer APC.
- India’s first Scorpene-class submarine – currently under construction in Mumbai – is reportedly afloat after several months of dry-dock construction. The first of six boats, this is a sign of progress for the much-delayed and costly program, although the induction of the first boat is now significantly behind schedule.
- DARPA’s smart bullets: