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December 15, 1999

Dec. 15, 1999 -- The Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $72 million contract to build 12 P-3C anti-surface warfare kits and to install eight previously procured kits into the long-range support aircraft, the Defense Department announced yesterday. Lockheed's Tactical Defense Systems, headquartered in Eagan, MN, will carry out the work. The award is a modification to an existing contract.

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Dec. 15, 1999 -- The Air Force has told Congress the Airborne Laser program is on track and a prototype version of the missile-killing platform is ready for extensive modifications.

According to a Dec. 14 statement from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland AFB, NM, Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters has "certified the ABL program continues to meet or exceed every technical and programmatic milestone and remains on-cost and on-schedule." Peters made the certification in a report delivered to Congress last week.

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December 14, 1999

Dec. 14, 1999 -- The General Accounting Office has told Congress the Air Force's depot maintenance activity lost $623 million between 1994 and 1998 even though the service raised labor costs 39 percent. The activity handles all repairs and overhauls for Air Force missiles, electronics and aircraft.

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Dec. 14, 1999 -- Workers at an Army logistics management site in St. Louis, MO, have asked a federal court to block the service's plans to outsource its wholesale tactical logistics systems, claiming in a complaint the Army has violated federal law and their union contract, Defense Alert has learned.

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December 13, 1999

Dec. 13, 1999 -- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) today asked Army Secretary Louis Caldera a series of questions about the service's plans for fixing -- if possible -- its fleet of faulty High Mobility Trailers.

"If the Army does figure out how to fix the problems," Harkin writes, "it apparently will have to modify both the trailers and the trucks that pull them, and the public will have to pay."

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Dec. 13, 1999 -- A penetrating warhead developed by a European consortium lost out to an American candidate in a recent competition because the requirements were watered down by the Air Force, Britain's top defense acquisition official suggests in a letter sent last week to Jacques Gansler, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

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Dec. 13, 1999 -- The Pentagon last week awarded $120 million worth of contracts to two companies picked by the Navy to develop a replacement for current aircraft carrier catapult systems.

Northrop Grumman of Sunnyvale, CA, and General Atomics of San Diego were awarded the contracts for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System on Dec. 10, according to a Defense Department announcement. Northrop's contract is for $61.8 million, while General Atomics will receive $59.9 million.

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December 10, 1999

Dec. 10, 1999 -- Raytheon yesterday cancelled a contract with Teledyne Continental Motors to build the engine for the Tactical Tomahawk cruise missile, saying Teledyne was unable to meet performance goals in time. At the same time, Raytheon said it would switch the contract to Williams International.

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Dec. 10, 1999 -- The British defense ministry yesterday awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation the second installment of a three-phase contract to study how to recover damaged data from military communications systems following an information warfare attack.

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Dec. 10, 1999 -- Following a weeks-long dispute, Pentagon and Air Force officials have agreed on how much fatigue testing will be required for the F-22 before a December 2000 low-rate initial production (LRIP) review of the air superiority fighter is conducted by the Defense Acquisition Board, Bob Rearden, Lockheed Martin F-22 general manager and vice president, told reporters today.

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Dec. 10, 1999 -- Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lester Lyles today called for the creation of a joint program office to oversee the management of the nation's high-energy laser programs. Besides the actual technology development associated with directed energy weapons, an efficient management structure is crucial to providing the systems to the warfighter as quickly as possible, Lyles said.

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Dec. 10, 1999 -- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced that it is "fully prepared" for the Year 2000 computer date change.

"NATO will be able to conduct all its critical missions, including peace-keeping related to the Balkans

in the days and weeks thereafter, unhampered by any Y2K technical failures or malfunctions," the alliance said in a statement released today.

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December 09, 1999

Dec. 9, 1999 -- Gen. Anthony Zinni, the commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command, said today that while Iraq receives the lion's share of public attention, Iran remains the United States' "longest term threat and greatest problem" in the Gulf region. Speaking at an industry breakfast this morning, Zinni said the Iranian military has been "brilliant" in mixing high- and low-tech weapons to build an asymmetric force "that could give us some trouble."

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December 08, 1999

Dec. 8, 1999 -- The Boeing Company announced yesterday it has sold its McDonnell Douglas Technical Services (MDTSC) subsidiary, a move the defense-contracting giant says is in line with its "strategic vision to focus company resources on core competencies."

According to a Dec. 7 statement, Boeing sold MDTSC to Banc One Equity Capital, the private equity investment arm of Bank One Corp.

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A bipartisan group of 58 senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary William Cohen this week asking that the Defense Department delay enforcing a mandate to reduce the numbers of personnel in the Army National Guard at least until the Army can review its requirements.

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December 07, 1999

Dec. 7, 1999 -- Northrop Grumman announced yesterday that its Logicon Advanced Technology subsidiary has been awarded a five-year, $21 million contract to operate Army battle simulation centers.

The contract, which is a follow-on award, covers battle simulation centers for the XVIII Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, NC, and subordinate divisions, as well as facilities at Ft. Polk, LA, according to a Dec. 6 company statement. The simulation centers are used to train active and reserve units.

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Dec. 7, 1999 -- Carey Smith, a former president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Canada, has been named vice president for international business development for the company's naval electronics and surveillance systems group, Lockheed Martin announced today.

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Dec. 7, 1999 -- Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA, and Camp Lejeune, NC, will be among the first in the Corps to receive "smart cards," pocket-sized electronic tokens that safely store critical personal information, according to an administration message Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Jones issued yesterday. The Marine Corps will begin handing out smart cards starting next month and all Marines should be carrying one by the end of fiscal year 2001, Jones said.

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December 06, 1999

Dec. 6, 1999 -- President Bill Clinton late last week signed the fiscal year 2000 Intelligence Authorization Act into law despite previously expressing disagreement with some of its provisions. Passed by voice vote in the Senate on Nov. 19 and in the House on Nov. 5, the conference bill includes significant increases in funding for modernizing intelligence agencies, but also highlights several areas where more work is needed to bring U.S. intelligence capabilities into the 21st century.

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December 03, 1999

Dec. 3, 1999 -- At a ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa's defense ministry today signed a contract to buy Hawk trainer aircraft and Gripen fighter aircraft.

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