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Marc Selinger

Marc Selinger
Airborne Laser achieves full power in ground test 

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Airborne Laser (ABL) program met a key goal earlier this month by firing its chemical kill laser at full power during a ground test, the agency announced Dec. 9.

During the Dec. 6 test, the Northrop Grumman-built chemical laser exceeded the 10-second duration level needed to destroy ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight, MDA said. The precise duration of the firing was not disclosed for security reasons, the agency said.

E-10A program proposes delay to absorb budget cut 

The U.S. Air Force has proposed slowing the E-10A Multi-sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A) program by several years as part of a restructuring spurred by a late-2004 funding cut, according to a program official.

HH-60G's flying costs are soaring, U.S. Air Force says 

The cost of flying the aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is rising about 16 percent a year, outpacing the growth rate for all other U.S. Air Force aircraft, according to service officials.

Only about four or five other Air Force aircraft have growth rates above 10 percent, underscoring the severity of the Pave Hawk's problem, said Air Force Lt. Col. Tim Healy, who is involved in writing requirements for the Combat Search and Rescue-X (CSAR-X) aircraft, the Pave Hawk's planned replacement.

U.S. Air Force exploring upgrading or replacing HC-130 tankers 

The U.S. Air Force has begun looking at possibly upgrading or replacing its aging HC-130 tankers, service officials said Dec. 5.

U.S. Navy eyes 'growth plan' for Super Hornet's AESA radar 

Raytheon's APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar is slated to undergo a series of improvements after it becomes operational on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet late next year, a U.S. Navy official said Dec. 5.

Joint STARS program eyes tapping unused radar capabilities 

Northrop Grumman plans to tap unused radar capabilities of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft as part of a recently awarded U.S. Air Force contract, according to a company official.

NG's directed energy efforts get new leader 

Northrop Grumman's directed energy efforts are getting a new leader.

With Art Stephenson, vice president of directed energy systems (DES) at Northrop Grumman Space Technology, being tapped to head a new space exploration organization in the company's Integrated Systems sector, he will be succeeded on an acting basis by Ron Smith, who has led Northrop Grumman's "Six Sigma" efforts to reduce variability in processes, according to an internal company memo.

Lawmaker to lobby DOD to save Airborne Laser 

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), a leading proponent of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Airborne Laser (ABL), plans to reiterate his support for the potentially endangered program in talks with senior Pentagon leaders, according to a spokesman for the congressman.

DOD rejects canceling Air Force variant of JSF, expert says 

The Pentagon has rejected a proposal to cancel one of three variants of the tri-service F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a defense expert said Dec. 1.

South Korea in early stages of considering buying Joint STARS 

South Korea is in the early stages of considering buying the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS), an industry official said Nov. 30.

Dave Nagy, vice president of the Joint STARS program for prime contractor Northrop Grumman, said that South Korean defense planning documents contain a requirement for a Joint STARS-type capability and that Northrop Grumman has had preliminary talks with South Korea about a potential sale.

DOD's new transportation chief seeks multi-mission tanker 

The new head of U.S. Transportation Command said Nov. 30 that he needs new tanker aircraft with the flexibility to carry cargo or passengers as well as fuel.

Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz, who took the command's reins in September, said the Air Force should buy new multi-mission tankers "without delay" to replace aging Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. Some industry officials have been predicting that cargo capacity might emerge as a key requirement, which would give the budget-constrained Air Force more bang for its tanker buck.

U.S. Army probing PAC-2 test failure 

The U.S. Army is trying to determine why a Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) interceptor destroyed itself during a recent flight-test.

Low collateral damage weapons draw high-level USAF interest 

U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne has expressed interest in technology that the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is developing to minimize unintended damage caused by detonating warheads, according to service officials.

DOD nears decision on fate of SBIRS-High 

The Pentagon is expected to decide next month whether the Air Force's Space Based Infrared System-High (SBIRS-High) program will be restructured or canceled due to cost overruns.

The Defense Department plans to conduct a high-level review of the program Dec. 1, according to the Air Force. By Dec. 13, Pentagon acquisition chief Ken Krieg is due to determine whether the program will continue in its current form.

THAAD program kicks off new flight-test effort 

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program kicked off a new flight-test program Nov. 22 by successfully launching an interceptor missile from White Sands Missile Range, N.M., according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

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