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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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May 17, 2000

May 17, 2000 -- The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has created an airlift fund to protect the C-17 program against raids for money to pay for tactical fighter programs, Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) said today.

The subcommittee marked up a $287.6 billion fiscal year 2001 spending bill this morning. The bill includes $3 billion above President Clinton's FY-01 defense request and $1 billion less than the House appropriators' mark.

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May 16, 2000

May 16, 2000 -- Adm. Vernon Clark, President Clinton's nominee to be the next chief of naval operations, said today he will launch a new force-level study to determine exactly how large the Navy fleet should be if he is confirmed for the job. "I don't think we have enough ships," Clark told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing.

Clark, the commander-in-chief of U.S. Atlantic Fleet, will become the 27th chief of naval operations if the Senate confirms him.

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May 16, 2000 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen has picked Maj. Gen. Robert Noonan to replace outgoing Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, the Pentagon announced today.

Cohen also announced several other key Army appointments, including a new deputy chief of staff for personnel, a new director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers, and a new three-star commander of the Eighth U.S. Army in Korea.

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May 16, 2000 -- The Meteor air-to-air missile, developed by Matra BAE Dynamics in London, has been selected as the missile of choice for the Royal Air Force's Eurofighters, beating out an upgraded version of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile offered by the Lexington, MA-based Raytheon.

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May 16, 2000 -- A five-man Air Force team will arrive in Sierra Leone tomorrow to inspect the country's main airport to see if it could handle more U.S. military air flights into the civil war-torn country, Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said today. Bacon said the team would be on the ground at the airport outside of Freetown for about two days.

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May 16, 2000 -- Irked by media reports that not all of the military services are fully supportive of the Joint Strike Fighter program, Defense Secretary William Cohen told reporters today that JSF is just as important to the Navy and the Air Force as it is to the Marine Corps.

"This aircraft is important, not only to the Marine Corps; it is also equally important to the Air Force, which will depend for a very large number of the Joint Strike Fighter to fill its inventory in future years," Cohen said. "It is also equally important to the Navy."

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May 15, 2000

May 15, 2000 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen today described the political situations in Russia and China as long-term, major challenges the Defense Department will have to monitor as department officials decide how to structure U.S. forces in the future.

"Western thought" has not swept through Russia and China like it has throughout much of the world, leaving a variety of uncertainties, Cohen said in Washington, DC, at a conference sponsored by the Economic Strategy Institute.

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May 12, 2000

May 12, 2000 -- Senate appropriators have selected the Army to lead the military's efforts to use biometric technologies for information security applications, a nomination that comes with a $5 million funding boost in fiscal year 2000.

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May 11, 2000

May 11, 2000 -- The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence says the director of the National Security Agency needs greater control over the signals intelligence budget in order to overhaul the nation's troubled SIGINT infrastructure.

In its newly released fiscal year 2001 intelligence authorization report, the committee says it plans to work with NSA chief Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden "to improve his ability to provide centralized direction across the SIGINT infrastructure as he implements his modernization strategy."

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May 11, 2000 -- Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Jacques Gansler this week signed a memorandum of understanding that will govern the continued development of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System. Germany, France, Italy and Spain are partners with the United States on the MIDS program, and their armaments directors are expected to sign the MOU soon, according to a Pentagon statement.

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May 11, 2000 -- Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander in Kosovo, told InsideDefense.com today that a Senate amendment aimed at pulling United States troops out of Kosovo will damage U.S. credibility in diplomatic and military circles around the world.

"If we are going to be accepted as responsible and reliable partners around the world, we have to follow through on the obligations we have undertaken," Clark said.

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May 10, 2000

May 10, 2000 -- The Greek and U.S. governments have signed a letter of offer and acceptance providing for the sale of 50 new F-16 fighters, prime contractor Lockheed Martin announced today. The total contract value is expected to be approximately $2.1 billion, with deliveries expected to begin in mid-2002.

Deliveries will conclude in 2004. This sale will bring to 130 the number of F-16s flown by Greece, as that nation has made two prior purchases of 40 Falcons each. The country retains an option for an additional 10 F-16s as part of this agreement.

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May 10, 2000 -- The Army and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have chosen the four contractors that will spend the next two years developing competing concepts for the Future Combat System, an effort that will total $65.6 million in industry and government funds, the Pentagon announced yesterday.

The FCS has become a top Army priority over the past year as the service has begun a massive transformation spearheaded by Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki. The FCS will serve as the main battle platform for the Army's Objective Force once it is fielded beginning in 2012.

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May 10, 2000 -- The Senate Armed Services Committee's just-completed version of the fiscal year 2001 defense authorization bill includes a variety of provisions intended to improve Defense Department management and operations, including a measure that establishes a preference for using performance-based contracts for the acquisition of support services.

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May 10, 2000 -- The Army's controversial School of the Americas will be replaced by the Western Hemisphere Institute for Professional Education and Training if a plan approved this week by the Senate Armed Services Committee is signed into law.

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May 09, 2000

May 9, 2000 -- The Navy has asked its senior scientific advisory board to examine quality-of-life issues for future sailors and Marines and recommend a strategy for the development of a next-generation maritime command and control capability.

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May 9, 2000 -- The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved a measure that cuts off all funds for U.S. peacekeeping forces in Kosovo by July 1, 2000 unless the president seeks and receives congressional approval to keep troops in the region. The amendment, offered by Ranking Member Robert Byrd (D-WV), was attached to the fiscal year 2000 defense supplemental appropriations bill the committee considered as part of the FY-01 military construction bill.

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