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Daily News

March 27, 2000

March 27, 2000 -- The conventional take-off and landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter being developed for the Air Force will probably never return to its long-promised price of $28 million per fighter, JSF Program Director Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Mike Hough told reporters today.

The rise in price is the result of the latest computation of the cost figures, Hough said, which created a new cost estimate for the fighter. The metrics used to determine JSF cost since 1995 changed, Hough said, and "all of a sudden a $28 million aircraft went to about $30 million."

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March 24, 2000

March 24, 2000 -- A Defense Science Board task force formed last January to look at the Defense Department's information assurance capabilities has been upgraded to a full DSB summer study, according to an industry source. The change means the group will go far beyond its original charter and will now recommend to Pentagon officials what changes need to be made if the United States military is to get its arms completely around the information assurance/information warfare problem.

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March 24, 2000 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen today ordered the formation of a working group of senior service leaders to draft an action plan to reduce the harassment of homosexual service members.

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March 24, 2000 -- A derivative of the turbine jet engine used for Navy Harpoon missiles will power production-model Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, Teledyne Continental Motors officials announced this week.

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March 23, 2000

March 23, 2000 -- President Bill Clinton's pick for the Pentagon's top legal position told a Senate committee Tuesday he does not expect Defense Secretary William Cohen will reexamine the department's policy covering gays in the military following the imminent release of a pair of DOD reports on gay harassment in the military.

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March 22, 2000

March 22, 2000 -- A small Florida company has beaten out two defense giants by winning a contract for the upgrade of Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicles.

According to military and industry officials, the company, Metric Systems, was told this week it won a deal worth $4.4 million initially, with up to $60 million worth of options to follow. An announcement has not yet been made, but both the winning and losing firms were informed of the decision early this week, according to an Army contract officer.

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March 22, 2000 -- Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-VA) said yesterday he would consider introducing a legislative package that would provide legal defense for former U.S. military personnel accused of war crimes in an international court. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague has examined charges that NATO aviators committed war crimes during the 78-day bombing campaign against Serbia last year.

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March 21, 2000

March 21, 2000 -- President Bill Clinton's nominee to be deputy secretary of defense told a Senate committee today that Congress' delay in approving a $2 billion supplemental package for Kosovo operations is setting off warning signs that the services may run out of operations and maintenance funds before the end of the fiscal year.

Until the supplemental is approved by Congress, the services are using money from their general operations accounts to help pay for their presence in Kosovo, Rudy DeLeon told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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March 21, 2000 -- The government of New Zealand decided yesterday to cancel an agreement to lease 28 F-16s from the United States, once again clouding the future of the fighters, which have been in long-term storage for several years.

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March 20, 2000

March 20, 2000 -- While Navy surface warfare officials work to finish a radar road map requested by Congress last year, the service is looking at the production capabilities of Lockheed Martin, one of the two contractors competing for Navy radar work, service and industry officials told InsideDefense.com late last week.

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March 17, 2000

March 17, 2000 -- The Boeing Company announced today that it has reached an agreement with the union that represents the defense contractor's engineers that may put an end to a 38-day strike. InsideDefense.com reported yesterday that the strike was affecting Boeing's work on the Joint Strike Fighter program, a multibillion-dollar effort the company is competing for against a team led by Lockheed Martin.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace will vote on the agreement on Sunday.

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March 17, 2000 -- The Defense Department yesterday formally announced 11 new advanced concept technology demonstrations for fiscal year 2000. The 11 ACTDs were chosen out of a pool of nearly 40 proposals, according to a Pentagon statement.

Inside the Navy earlier this week reported that Gen. Joseph Ralston, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had approved the 11 selections in early February.

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March 17, 2000 -- The Sense and Destroy Armor munition, being developed for the Army as an anti-tank and anti-armor weapon, achieved a 79 percent reliability rate during technical tests held March 7-11 at the Army's Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ, prime contractor Aerojet said today.

Last December, Inside the Army reported that the tests were critical to SADARM's future, which saw all of its procurement dollars cut from the Army's budget because of an overall budget crunch.

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March 16, 2000

March 16, 2000 -- Boeing officials do not expect a first flight of the company's Joint Strike Fighter demonstrator by spring as originally planned due to the impact of a labor strike by the company's engineers, a Boeing spokesman said yesterday. Boeing is competing against Lockheed Martin to build the tri-service fighter, a program potentially worth billions.

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March 16, 2000 -- Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Jones, who is growing increasingly worried about the service's ability to recruit and retain Marines, has ordered a two-day retention "stand-down" to focus on convincing as many Marines as possible to sign up for another tour of duty.

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March 16, 2000 -- If the Navy were given an extra $2.2 billion it could field a theater missile defense system capable of defeating unsophisticated missiles by fiscal year 2005, two years sooner than now planned, and could have a fully robust system at sea by FY-08, also two years early, according to a new "white paper" put together by the service's Theater Wide missile defense program office. InsideDefense.com obtained a copy of the paper.

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March 15, 2000

March 15, 2000 -- The labor strike against the Boeing Corporation, one of two competitors for the tri-service Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, may have already eaten into any cushion the program's schedule has and the Pentagon may be looking at a "day-for-day" delay the longer the strike continues, the Marine Corps' top acquisition officer told a House subcommittee yesterday.

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March 15, 2000 -- In a deal worth more than $400 million, the United Arab Emirates has selected a new derivative of General Electric's F110 fighter engine to propel its new fleet of F-16 Block 60 aircraft, GE announced yesterday.

The United Arab Emirates selected the F110-GE-132 engine, a higher-thrust derivative of GE's F110 fighter engine family, according to the company statement. The 132 evolved from the F110-GE-100 and F110-GE-129 engines, and GE claims it can produce 32,500 pounds of thrust.

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March 14, 2000

March 14, 2000 -- The Navy's surface ship radar road map, over a year in the making, is once again under review by senior Navy surface warfare officials after it was approved by the vice chief of naval operations earlier this month, according to service and industry officials. Vice Adm. Conrad Lautenbacher, the Navy's top resource and requirements officer, told a House subcommittee today that another review group has been set up to look at the issue.

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March 13, 2000

March 13, 2000 -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jay Johnson and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Jones late last week kicked off a year-long review of the service's joint amphibious warfighting doctrine. They expect to revise the doctrine to allow for more flexible command relationships, according to an internal memo Jones issued March 10. Johnson issued a similar memo the same day.

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