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SMDR for Mon., July 3, Vol. 17, Issue 14

House Panel Calls For New Space-Based Sensors To Aid Missile Defense

A key congressional panel is pushing the Department of Defense to begin developing a new fleet of space-based sensors to improve the ability of warfighters to track hostile ballistic missiles.In its portion of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill, unveiled June 20, the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel calls for the Missile…

Rep. Rogers Blasts Air Force For Opposing Proposed Space Corps

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC) strategic forces panel sharply criticized Air Force leaders June 22 for resisting his proposal to create a separate space corps within the Air Force Department.“I have to say I’ve been shocked by the response from the Air Force leadership,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said at his…

Second New SM-3 Interceptor Test Fails

A new Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile intercept test conducted off the coast of Hawaii failed, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said on June 21.The June 21 test, called Standard Missile-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development Flight Test Maritime-2 (SFTM-2), was a partnership between the MDA and the Japan Ministry of Defense. It involved the…

HII Wins Contract To Incorporate SPY-6 AMDR Radar On DDG-51 Destroyer

The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] an unspecified fixed-price-incentive-firm target contract modification on June 27 to incorporate Flight III baseline on to the future DDG-125 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.Flight III will incorporate the SPY-6 air and missile defense radar (AMDR), upgrade the electric power and cooling capacity, and other associated changes. The SPY-6 is a…

HASC Votes To Keep Proposal For New Space Corps

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has rejected an attempt to derail its proposal to create a space corps in the Air Force Department.During a late-night debate June 28 on its fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill, the committee defeated, by voice vote, an amendment by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) that would have replaced the space…

Raytheon Restarts SM-2 Production For International Customers

Raytheon [RTN] is restarting its Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) production line after four international customers pooled $650 million in funds for a bundle purchase in foreign military sales (FMS), the company said on June 21.The Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and South Korea are purchasing over 280 SM-2 Block IIIA and IIIB missiles with deliveries set to start in…

Lockheed Martin Invests In Nanosatellite Firm

Lockheed Martin [LMT] on June 29 said its venture unit has made an equity investment in Terran Orbital, expanding its access to a technology innovator in the area of nanosatellites for customers in the commercial and government sectors.Terms of the investment, which includes cash and in-kind investments for an equity stake in Terran, were not disclosed.Lockheed Martin…

Air Force’s Aging Nuclear Cruise Missile Has Become Hard to Maintain, General Says

The U.S. Air Force’s aging, nuclear-armed, air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) is experiencing “significant reliability challenges,” underscoring the need to develop a replacement, a key general said June 20.All elements of the ALCM vehicle, including the engine, have reliability problems, forcing maintainers and operators to go to great lengths to keep the decades-old missile in service,…

Senators Question Nixing Of NASA’s Satellite Servicing Mission

Three members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) have expressed skepticism over NASA’s decision to scrap its Restore-L satellite-servicing mission.Restore-L was slated to launch in 2020 to refuel the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat-7 Earth-imaging satellite. In December, NASA awarded a $127 million contract to Space Systems Loral (SSL) of Palo Alto, Calif., to build the mission's spacecraft bus.But…

Lockheed Martin Finishes Building Second GPS III Satellite

Lockheed Martin [LMT] has finished assembling the second Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite for the U.S. Air Force and plans to begin environmental testing of the navigation spacecraft in summer 2017, the company announced June 26.The testing, which will take place at a company plant near Denver, is designed to ensure the satellite can withstand…