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Daily News

May 25, 2001

May 25, 2001 -- The Senate yesterday confirmed by unanimous consent Thomas White to be secretary of the Army and James Roche to be secretary of the Air Force.

Roche is president of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector. He served in the Navy for 23 years, retiring as a captain in 1983. He has worked at Northrop Grumman since 1984. Before that, Roche was the Democratic staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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May 25, 2001 -- In a visit to Capitol Hill yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told lawmakers he might launch three new national security studies, pending the arrival at the Pentagon of a number of administration nominees who have not yet been confirmed by the Senate. The "possible future studies," according to a list Rumsfeld gave to Senate members, include one on metrics, another on intelligence, and a third study on environmental and base encroachment issues.

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May 24, 2001

May 24, 2001 -- The change in the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership in the wake of this morning's party switch by Sen. James Jeffords (R-VT) will likely not affect spending on most Pentagon weapons programs, according to a national security analyst.

Jeffords this morning announced that he was abandoning the Republican Party to become an Independent. As a result, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) is slated to become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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May 24, 2001 -- Lockheed Martin and Microsoft today announced they had made a pact to work together to pursue new business opportunities in the federal information technology market.

The agreement builds on existing relationships between the two companies on projects including the Air Force Integrated Space Command and Control (ISC2) program; the integrated warfare system for the Navy's next nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, CVN 77; the Global Command Support System-Air Force; and the Defense Messaging System, according to a statement released today.

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May 24, 2001 -- During the tremors caused by Sen. James Jeffords' (R-VT) earliest indication he intended to switch parties, a small caucus of Republican lawmakers led by Sen. John Warner (R-VA) gathered with Jeffords in two meetings yesterday to "share our views of what he was considering," the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee told reporters today.

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May 24, 2001 -- Greece has decided to delay consideration of contractor proposals for its main battle tank, according to a government statement released today.

The Greek government said it would extend the implementation of its 5-year defense procurement plan through 2008. "All procurement programs will proceed without reductions, however for certain programs delays will occur," the statement reads. Final proposals for the tank procurement are now expected to be submitted "in the next 2-3 months," the government said.

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May 23, 2001

May 23, 2001 -- Most defense stocks were not spared from today's downturn on the New York Stock Exchange, with some analysts attributing the decline in defense stocks to Sen. James Jeffords' (R-VT) pending party switch.

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May 23, 2001 -- The Senate last night confirmed former General Dynamics executive Gordon England to be the secretary of the Navy, by unanimous consent.

During his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, England was pressed by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) over his intentions to recuse himself from decisions involving General Dynamics. England told McCain that he would do so on a case-by-case basis, an answer McCain said was "not good enough."

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May 22, 2001

May 22, 2001 -- Lockheed Martin's Information Systems business unit has won a contract potentially worth more than $400 million to build and field the Army's next-generation laser-based training systems, the company announced today.

The Army's Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command awarded the contract to develop the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems XXI, or MILES XXI, according to a Lockheed statement.

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May 22, 2001 -- If President Bush fully implements the current defense modernization plan he inherited from the Clinton administration, it would require average annual procurement budgets of nearly $80 billion (in fiscal year 2002 dollars) over the next 15 years, according to Steven Kosiak, director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

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To China

May 22, 2001 -- House Armed Services military readiness subcommittee Chairman Curt Weldon (R-PA) yesterday demanded answers on exactly how the United States relaxed its computer export laws to allow the sale of high-performance computers to China.

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PHILADELPHIA, May 22, 2001 -- Senior naval officials laid out the plan to correct deficiencies in the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey yesterday and bring the aircraft into operational use -- itemizing a tentative plan approved late last week by Pentagon acquisition executive Pete Aldridge.

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May 22, 2001 -- Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), the House Armed Services Committee's ranking minority member, has asked the service chiefs to update Congress on each service's ability to conduct required operations, training and maintenance for the remainder of the fiscal year with the money they have on hand.

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May 21, 2001

May 21, 2001 -- The Army's transformation effort will likely face funding and technological maturity challenges, the General Accounting Office said in a report released today.

The service's transformation will require the defense budget to be increased, GAO states. "As such, the Army will be required to balance the demands of maintaining and modernizing its current inventory of weapon systems while developing and acquiring new systems for interim and future forces," the agency said.

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May 21, 2001 -- The Army today recorded three successful target intercepts using the Patriot Advanced Capability 2 (PAC-2) missile, the service announced. All three intercepts took place over the Gulf of Mexico and were carried out by Alabama National Guard units.

The three tests took place at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, and began at 9:30 a.m. "The first mission, using the Pac 2 missile, intercepted the MQM-107 drone target flying an inbound profile at low altitude," the Army said in a statement released this afternoon.

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May 21, 2001 -- Boeing has been awarded $136 million by NASA to study technology concepts that could eventually lead to a new generation of reusable launch vehicles, the company announced today. The award is part of $767 million in contracts the space agency gave out last week to 22 contractors.

SLI is a five-year, $4.8 billion, two-phased program to develop a reusable launch vehicle that will dramatically lower the cost of access to space while substantially increasing safety and reliability.

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May 18, 2001

May 18, 2001 -- Orbital Sciences' chairman and chief executive officer this week told investment analysts that his company expects better opportunities for business with the Pentagon than in the recent past.

"We'll probably pretty much hold our own or see slight growth in the civil government area but we expect to see better opportunities than probably we have in the last six to eight years in the military space and missile defense market segments," David Thompson told analysts during a May 15 conference call on the company's first quarter 2001 earnings.

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May 18, 2001 -- The Senate yesterday confirmed the nominations of Victoria Clarke to become assistant secretary of defense for public affairs and William Haynes II to become the Defense Department's general counsel.

Clarke was the general manager of the Washington, DC office of Hill and Knowlton. She was the spokeswoman for former President George Bush's 1992 presidential campaign and once served as an aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

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May 17, 2001

May 17, 2001 -- Defense contractor Lockheed Martin is not resting on the laurels of its recovery over the last 18 months from problems with some of its big-ticket Pentagon programs, the company's chairman and chief executive officer told investment analysts yesterday.

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May 17, 2001 -- Rep. Tom Allen (D-ME) is not letting yesterday's defeat of an amendment that would require the State Department to appoint a "special coordinator" for North Korea policy stop him from re-introducing it as stand-alone legislation, an Allen spokesman told InsideDefense.com today.

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