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Daily News

August 24, 2020

The Army's most advanced Patriot interceptor appears to have misfired during a key test of the service's new air and missile defense system, requiring a back-up guided missile, an older Patriot variant, to chase and destroy a tactical ballistic missile target last week.

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The official in charge of the Army's Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team today said the service's plan to develop a Long Range Hypersonic Weapon prototype by 2023 is the quickest way to maintain combined arms overmatch, as it aims to engage in the fight with Russia and China.

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The Marine Corps has delayed by two months the full-rate production decision for its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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August 21, 2020

A Washington defense budget analyst is looking at the Pentagon's future spending plans and warning they could very well collide with political forces now building because of the COVID-19 pandemic and historic federal deficits.

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The Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System -- a project that has consumed $2.7 billion and more than a decade just to commence limited user testing -- won strong public backing from Army leaders this week, a turnaround from two years ago when the program was allegedly at risk of being dramatically curtailed or even terminated over schedule delays and cost.

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WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, NM -- While the Army prepares for delivery later this year of the first battery of the Israeli-made Iron Dome air defense system, the service is still considering whether it will be able to integrate the system with its Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.

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Three companies began work this month on prototyping capabilities for a new wargaming facility scheduled to come online in fiscal year 2023 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA, according to an officer overseeing the effort.

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August 20, 2020

The Army today said it intercepted cruise and ballistic missile targets during an assessment of the Integrated Battle Management System, raising service leaders' expectations that problems which plagued a similar test in 2016 are resolved.

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A government watchdog has found unplanned work and workforce problems are the two key factors causing the Navy to fall behind on aircraft carrier and submarine maintenance availabilities.

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Defense Department acquisition chief Ellen Lord today defended the Pentagon's request that Congress provide about $11 billion in emergency supplemental funding to mitigate the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on defense contractors and weapons programs.

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The vice commander of Space Force headquarters said today he expects in the next few weeks to reach an agreement with the Office of the Secretary of Defense about which Army and Navy space programs should transition to the new service, beginning in fiscal year 2021.

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The Defense Department's chief information officer is requiring the military services to program funds in their upcoming budget submissions to support new "DevSecOps" software development efforts, according to a new software report recently delivered to Congress.

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The Pentagon announced today the availability of new, U.S.-manufactured, small unmanned aircraft systems for a variety of government uses after the Defense Department and other federal agencies phased out their use of popular Chinese-made drones and components due to security concerns.

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August 19, 2020

If the U.S. military can ever master technology capable of a boost-phase intercept -- the ability to shoot down enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles immediately after launch -- it will likely be employed in a retaliatory strike because thwarting an initial salvo would come very close to an offensive operation, according to a senior Defense Department official.

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The Pentagon says that a waiver allowing some "low risk" Defense Department contractors to continue using Chinese telecommunications and security equipment could be extended past Sept. 30, as the items covered under the exemption represent nearly three-quarters of all DOD transactions.

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SpaceX has confirmed in a new court filing that it intends to maintain its lawsuit against the Air Force's 2018 Launch Services Agreement award, despite winning a contract earlier this month to launch 40% of Phase 2 national security spacelift missions.

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August 18, 2020

The Air Force Research Laboratory had to abort a July 29 flight test of Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie after an "anomaly" with the rocket-assisted take-off system -- the drone's second mishap in 10 months.

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The Missile Defense Agency last week took receipt of industry proposals for a Next Generation Interceptor and has begun source selection, a process expected to yield two winners and potentially a faster development and deployment schedule for the new guided missiles slated to protest the nation against North Korean -- and potentially Iranian -- intercontinental ballistic missile threats in the 2030s.

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The HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter program is working through technical deficiencies found during developmental testing, implementing more industry-standard software practices and planning to solicit proposals for a capability upgrades contract this coming fall.

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U.S. Special Operations Command purchased and fielded $815 million worth of military gear "without verifying that the equipment meets user needs," according to a Defense Department inspector general report on an audit spanning two years.

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