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Daily News

January 24, 2000

Jan. 24, 2000 -- Jacques Gansler, the Pentagon's top acquisition and research official, has formed a Defense Science Board team to judge the well-being of the defense industry and recommend changes in Defense Department policies to strengthen the industry. Some of these changes may require new legislation, Gansler wrote in a Jan. 20 memorandum.

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Jan 24, 2000 -- The first 747-400 airframe destined to become an Airborne Laser system arrived in Wichita, KS, last Saturday, to begin 18 months of modifications by Team ABL.

Modifications, part of the ongoing $1.6 billion program definition and risk reduction phase of ABL development, will most noticeably add an ABL laser turret to the nose of the 747. Inside the Pentagon reported in December that Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre approved a $638.7 million cut to the program between fiscal years 2001 and 2005.

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January 21, 2000

Jan 21, 2000 -- Late yesterday the Navy announced two contract awards for the initial production of 54 multifunctional information distribution system (MIDS) low-volume terminals. The contracts total nearly $20 million, with options that could raise the worth of both contracts to $85.6 million.

MIDS is an international effort to develop and build a tactical information distribution system equal to the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, but in a low-volume, smaller unit. NATO partners involved in the program are Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

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Jan. 21, 2000 -- The Air Force yesterday launched the 11th of 14 upgraded Lockheed Martin-built communications satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida, the company announced.

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January 20, 2000

Jan. 20, 2000 -- Six months into fiscal year 2000, the Marine Corps is struggling to sign up active-duty Marines for another tour of duty. The reenlistment rate through mid-January is 12 percent behind the FY-99 rate and reenlistment requests are down 13 percent from FY-99, states a Jan. 14 memo issued by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Jones.

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Jan. 20, 2000 -- President Clinton told Congress yesterday he is extending beyond a Jan. 23 deadline a national emergency dealing with "grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process." Clinton first declared the emergency on Jan. 23, 1995.

In a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Clinton said terrorist groups continue to carry out activities that threaten the Middle East peace process and are hostile toward United States interests in the region.

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January 19, 2000

Jan. 19, 2000 -- Commanders of Marine Corps installations worldwide are in the midst of a threat reassessment that may lead to a change in the current Alpha status threat condition that Marine bases have been at since August 1998 when terrorists bombed several U.S. embassies in Africa. Alpha is the lowest of four threat conditions a U.S. military installation can operate under.

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Jan. 19, 2000 -- Defense contracting giant Boeing announced today that its net earnings in 1999 were $2.3 billion, up 106 percent from 1998. In the fourth quarter of the year, the company said net earnings were $662 million, a 42 percent increase over 1998.

In a statement, Boeing attributed its strong performance to the record delivery of 620 commercial jetliners as well as winning the Future Imagery Architecture and 737-based airborne early warning and control contracts.

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Jan. 19, 2000 -- The two infrared sensors that were supposed to carry a National Missile Defense interceptor missile to its target during a flight test last night are being singled out as the probable cause for the test's failure to destroy a ballistic missile target in the skies above the Pacific Ocean, a senior Defense Department official said today. The official said the interceptor missile was less than five seconds from striking the target when the IR sensors appear to have malfunctioned.

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January 18, 2000

Jan.18, 2000 -- Air Force accident investigators have determined that the July 1, 1999, crash of an F-16C out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, FL, was most likely caused by a bird striking the Falcon's canopy. The pilot, Maj. Samuel D'Angelo, was incapacitated by the collision and died when his fighter crashed about 40 seconds after the initial impact.

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Jan. 18, 2000 -- A senior Defense Department official last week acknowledged there were "anomalies" in last fall's test of the National Missile Defense kill vehicle, but he maintained the system destroyed the intended target and therefore successfully performed its mission.

At the same time, the official told reporters acknowledged that questions remain whether the kill vehicle could have located the correct target in time for an intercept had its sensors not first picked up a decoy balloon, which eventually led it to the mock warhead it was meant to destroy.

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Jan. 18, 2000 -- With the increasing reliance on precision weapons during military operations, U.S. intelligence officials need to pay as much attention to 'no strike' target lists as they do to the daily compendium of targets to be hit, Rear Adm. Lowell Jacoby, the Joint Staff's director for intelligence, said last week. Jacoby said the mistaken attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade is the "poster child" for what happens when accurate no-strike lists are not drawn up.

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Jan. 18, 2000 -- If a National Missile Defense intercept test goes off as scheduled tonight, it will take several days for technicians to analyze data and determine whether the test shot can be considered an integrated systems test, one of the key hurdles to getting the NMD system deployed.

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January 14, 2000

Jan. 14, 2000 -- The Commerce Department's Bureau of Export Administration published its new policy on export controls for sophisticated encryption products today in the Federal Register, promising to review the "workability" of the regulations over the next 120 days.

Industry representatives pushing to relax export controls on such products have claimed the new policy is a victory for U.S. businesses.

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Jan. 14, 2000 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen yesterday announced the stationing plan for 17 additional Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams using National Guard personnel.

The teams, formerly known as Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection (RAID) Teams, are part of the Defense Department overall efforts to support local, state, and federal civil authorities in the event of a WMD incident on U.S. soil. DOD said in a Jan. 13 statement that it expects to finish setting them up by July 2000.

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January 13, 2000

Jan. 13, 2000 -- A prototype vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aerial vehicle flew for the first time yesterday, Northrop Grumman announced. The company's El Segundo, CA-based Air Combat Systems business unit is developing the aircraft for the Navy's VTUAV competition.

Last September, the Navy released a request for proposals for the VTUAV program, which is designed to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to naval forces (Inside the Navy, Sept. 6, 1999).

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Jan. 13, 2000 -- The Air Force has awarded a $143.7 million contract to TRW to begin replacing the guidance systems on the service's most advanced land-based intercontinental ballistic missile fleet, TRW announced yesterday.

TRW, the prime integration contractor for the nation's ICBM force, will oversee the extension of the service life of the Minuteman III ICBMs' guidance systems beyond 2020.

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Jan. 13, 2000 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen has recommended the president nominate Army Under Secretary Bernard Rostker to replace outgoing Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Rudy de Leon, the Pentagon announced today.

De Leon has been nominated to become deputy defense secretary, a post being vacated by John Hamre, who is resigning and taking over the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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Jan. 13, 2000 -- The Marine Corps announced yesterday it is interested in buying a three-dimensional, long-range air search radar for a foreign customer. The radar would be part of a larger foreign military sales program, according to a notice posted in the Commerce Business Daily.

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Jan. 13, 2000 -- Next week's planned National Missile Defense intercept test represents an extremely complex challenge for the program at this stage in its development, the nation's senior missile defense official told InsideDefense.com yesterday. Accordingly, the success of the mission will not be judged solely by its ability to negate the target, but rather by the amount of data and insight it provides in preparation for this summer's deployment readiness review, the official said.

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