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February 27, 2001

Feb. 27, 2001 -- Northrop Grumman announced today that it has received a $300 million contract to provide its Multirole Electronically Scanned Array radar to Australia as part of the country's airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) program, called Project Wedgetail.

The contract was awarded by Boeing, which last December won a deal worth more than $1 billion for Project Wedgetail. Boeing will develop and provide four 737 AEW&C aircraft, and the contract contains options for three more, according to a Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector statement.

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Feb. 27, 2001 -- Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday the current sanctions regime against Iraqi president Saddam Hussein may be excessive and affecting the Iraqi people more than weakening the regime's power or war making ability.

Consequently, Powell said, he is not opposed to restructuring the sanctions "in a more sensible way" along the lines suggested by Middle Eastern leaders who want to refocus the ban on limiting "weapons of mass destruction, not the Iraqi people."

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Feb. 27, 2001 -- Two influential senators today introduced legislation proposing two new rounds of base closures in 2003 and 2005.

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Feb. 27, 2001 -- In a letter sent today to Senate and House Democrats, the Council for a Livable World criticized those lawmakers who are advocating military budget increases beyond the level proposed by President Bush.

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February 26, 2001

Feb. 26, 2001 -- Poor management and accounting of military blood supplies could impact the Pentagon's ability to fight unless changes are made soon, according to a new report.

If the United States engages in a major theater war over the next few years, the Defense Department's blood supply will be composed primarily of untested or expired red blood cells, the DOD inspector general contends.

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Feb. 27, 2001 -- Air Force and Defense Department officials are grappling over whether the Air Force should replace an ozone-depleting fire suppression agent in its fleet of F-16s with a controversial substitute chemical that would not harm the ozone layer.

Opponents and proponents of the substitute chemical, trifluoroiodomethane (CF3I), are interpreting toxicity, cost and performance data differently, vigorously arguing their positions in documents obtained by InsideDefense.com.

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Feb. 26, 2001 -- Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) is expecting to make headway this week on the $6.7 billion defense supplemental appropriations bill he introduced Feb. 13 when House appropriators begin meeting to organize for the 107th Congress.

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February 23, 2001

Feb. 23, 2001 -- The Defense Science Board is at work on several new studies, including an analysis of chemical warfare defense issues and a look at precision weapons targeting, according to terms of reference obtained by InsideDefense.com.

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February 22, 2001

Feb. 22, 2001 -- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice today named National Defense University professor Robert Joseph as special assistant to the president and senior director for proliferation strategy, counterproliferation and homeland defense, according to a White House announcement.

Rice also named Jendayi Frazer as senior director for African affairs and John Maisto as senior director for western hemisphere affairs.

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Feb. 22, 2001 -- The Navy yesterday awarded two companies separate contracts for satellite communications improvements, according to a Defense Department announcement. The total value of the two awards could exceed $272 million.

Science Applications International Corp. was awarded a $27.5 million deal with options that could raise its value to $145 million, while VisiCom Services, a division of Titan Systems Corp., won a $24 million contract that could be worth $127.6 million in the end, according to DOD.

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Feb. 22, 2001 -- President Bush said today he is pleased that Russian President Vladimir Putin recently delivered a missile defense proposal to NATO officials, saying the move indicates Russia's leaders "recognize that there are new threats in the post-Cold War era, threats that require theater-based anti-ballistic missile systems."

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February 21, 2001

Feb. 21, 2001 -- Lawmakers can increase the prominence and funding given to electronic warfare efforts through plus-ups to the Defense Department's fiscal year 2002 budget request, but the request itself will probably be very similar to the FY-01 budget submission, according to a new report to Congress.

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Feb. 21, 2001 -- In a report released today, a panel established by Congress warns of increasing maintenance and morale problems within the United States' nuclear weapons development community.

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February 20, 2001

Feb. 20, 2001 -- The Defense Department will not release details on its spending request this month when President Bush sends Congress his fiscal year 2002 budget, a DOD spokeswoman told InsideDefense.com.

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Feb. 20, 2001 -- Israel has signed a letter of offer and acceptance for the purchase of nine AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, Boeing said yesterday.

The Boeing-built Apaches and related support and equipment are expected to cost about $500 million, the company said in a statement.

Israel signed up for eight AH-64Ds last year (DefenseAlert, Sept. 26, 2000). Other international Apache Longbow customers include The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

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February 16, 2001

Feb. 16, 2001 -- The Air Force today used an unmanned aircraft and an Army missile to hit a tank target during a first-of-its-kind test, according to service sources.

In the "weaponization" test, a ground-based laser marked the stationary target for the Predator, which then fired a Hellfire missile at it. Sources say the missile, which was not carrying a live warhead, struck its intended target.

During the next test, scheduled for later this month, Predator will launch a live missile at a target, service sources say.

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February 15, 2001

Feb. 15, 2001 -- In response to a flood of protests, the Bush administration has suspended until July 19 a federal acquisition final rule intended to ensure the government does not contract with lawbreakers, according to a document signed Jan. 31 by General Services Administration senior procurement executive David Drabkin.

The document was obtained by sister publication Inside EPA.

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Feb. 15, 2001 -- The Defense Information Systems Agency today announced it has selected three small businesses to work on a new global information satellite network. The three contracts for the Defense Information Systems Network Satellite Transmission Services-Global (DSTS-G) could be worth a total of $2.2 billion if all options are exercised.

Taken together, the three contracts would amount to the largest small-business set-aside in Defense Department history.

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Feb. 15, 2001 -- The head of Northrop Grumman said today he was still confident his company would gain government approval to merge with Litton Industries by the end of March.

"We're still within the window," Northrop Grumman Chairman, President and CEO Kent Kresa said at an aerospace conference in New York. "We're driving very hard to get this thing to close in the first quarter . . . and that's my story and I'm sticking to it."

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Feb. 15, 2001 -- House International Relations Committee member Howard Berman (D-CA) said today he plans to introduce legislation in the next two weeks that would return licensing control of commercial satellites to the Commerce Department.

"There is nothing quite as stupid as controlling something that is widely available on the world market," Berman said during a panel discussion of defense industry globalization issues sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' "Defense Reform 2001" conference in Washington, DC.

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