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Daily News

June 02, 2000

June 2, 2000 -- The Pentagon yesterday awarded the Boeing Sikorsky Comanche Team a $3.2 billion contract for the helicopter program's engineering and manufacturing development phase.

The joint venture will receive $147.5 million as the first increment of the contract, according to a June 1 Defense Department statement.

The RAH-66 Comanche has long been the Army's No. 1 modernization priority, but funding the program has never been easy. Restructured several times, Comanche's first fielding date of 2007 is more than a decade past the original milestone.

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June 01, 2000

June 1, 2000 -- Israel's senior missile defense official said today his country wants to test the Arrow missile defense system at U.S. test ranges and against U.S. ballistic missile targets at some point in its development. Use of these assets is necessary, he said, to give program designers the ability to improve the system and test it in realistic scenarios reflective of the evolving missile threat that Israel faces.

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May 31, 2000

12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt'>May 31, 2000 -- The Navy has awarded Litton Avondale Industries a $477.7 million contract to build the fourth San Antonio-class amphibious assault ship, the company announced today.

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May 30, 2000

May 30, 2000 -- A senior Pentagon official has told House and Senate lawmakers an ongoing study of the utility of sea-based national missile defenses confirms an earlier analysis showing no technical reasons why the Navy could not assume a major role in NMD.

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May 26, 2000

May 26, 2000 -- Saudi Arabia has awarded Raytheon a $300 million contract for technical assistance, training and logistics support for the country's Patriot and Hawk air defense systems, the company announced today.

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May 26, 2000 -- The Air Force has awarded TRW a $284.7 million contract to set up and operate a networked, real-time distributed flight training system, the company announced yesterday.

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May 25, 2000

May 25, 2000 -- A Marine Corps judge advocate general's team investigating the causes of an April 8 V-22 Osprey crash today requested a 30-day extension to the 45-day deadline it has been operating under, a Marine Corps spokeswoman told InsideDefense.com.

The Marine Corps also announced today that Commandant Gen. James Jones has authorized low-rate initial production V-22s to resume flight operations. Flights had been suspended following last month's crash.

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May 25, 2000 -- Stepping forward to support the Army's plan to transition from a heavy, mechanized Cold War force to a lighter, quicker one and ensure it stays on track in succeeding budgets, House lawmakers today approved legislation designed to prohibit the use of dollars budgeted for the plan for other Army programs.

The House Appropriations Committee approved by voice vote a $288.6 billion fiscal year 2001 defense bill that adds $4 billion to the Clinton administration's request. The committee did not consider any amendments to the defense bill during today's mark-up.

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May 25, 2000 -- A senior House lawmaker yesterday called on the president to refrain from agreeing to cut strategic offensive weapons below 2,500 warheads at the U.S.-Russia summit early next month. Any rash agreements, House Armed Services military research and development subcommittee Chairman Curt Weldon (R-PA) warned, could have grave consequences for U.S. national security.

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May 24, 2000

May 24, 2000 -- The House Appropriations defense subcommittee wants to kill the Discoverer II satellite program because there is no firm requirement for the platform and development costs could shoot well past $1 billion, according to the panel's fiscal year 2001 defense-spending bill.

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May 24, 2000 -- Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) today foreshadowed what may be a bitter fight on the Senate floor over language in the Senate's fiscal year 2001 defense authorization bill that restricts the energy secretary from making any organizational changes to the newly created National Nuclear Security Administration. During a nomination hearing for Air Force Gen. John Gordon, Levin said the language "is an unprecedented restriction on an agency administrator," and pointed out that the language is not yet law.

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May 24, 2000 -- The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence says the military's human intelligence capabilities are "acceptable" and continuing to improve, but a number of hurdles must be cleared before the five-year old Defense HUMINT Service (DHS) becomes a fully established organization.

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May 24, 2000 -- Testing of a laser weapon designed for Israeli border protection against short-range rockets has been slowed because of a problem with a tacking system mirror, according to Army sources and documents.

A crucial test of the system against a live rocket will be delayed several weeks, these sources say.

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May 23, 2000

May 23, 2000 -- House and Senate leaders are considering several ways to reach agreement on the Clinton administration's $7.6 billion fiscal year 2000 Kosovo supplemental request, now that the Senate has split the money among three separate spending bills. The House added the money to its FY-01 military construction bill but the Senate used three bills -- military construction, agriculture and foreign operations -- as vehicles to attach the emergency funds that will go toward Kosovo operations, fighting the drug war in Colombia and repairing damages caused by Hurricane Mitch.

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May 22, 2000

May 22, 2000 -- Two new precision weapons have been certified for use on the F-16 Falcon, further enhancing the aircraft's ability to perform precision strike missions. prime contractor Lockheed Martin announced late last week.

The new weapons are the Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser and the GBU-27, a 2,000-pound "bunker buster."

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May 22, 2000 -- A plan suggested by the House and Senate that allows the Army to enter into multiyear contracts for two helicopters and an armored fighting vehicle will reap nearly $200 million in savings for the service, according to a May 12 estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.

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May 19, 2000

May 19, 2000 -- Concerned the National Security Agency will be unable to modernize its antiquated signals intelligence infrastructure without rigorous oversight from outside observers, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence wants the director of central intelligence to develop "a plan for review, approval, and continued monitoring of NSA's integrated modernization program," according to the panel's fiscal year 2001 intelligence authorization report.

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May 18, 2000

May 18, 2000 -- The House Armed Services Committee, concerned the Defense Department's attempt to bolster the ejection-seat industrial base is favoring one company over another, is refusing to provide the nearly $11 million requested by DOD in its fiscal year 2001 budget for an ejection-seat development effort.

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May 18, 2000 -- The Air Force's Electronic Systems Center has awarded a $26 million initial production order to Raytheon to build the first 11 Digital Airport Surveillance Radars, the company announced yesterday.

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May 18, 2000 -- The Pentagon should forget about any plans to split the Joint Strike Fighter production contract between competitors Boeing and Lockheed Martin and instead focus on choosing the best design for the potentially $300 billion program, the head of the Senate Appropriations Committee said today.

"It may be that there is an ability to subcontract (JSF work), but that will be the winner's decision, not the government's," Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) told InsideDefense.com.

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