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SMDR for Mon., July 17, Vol. 17, Issue 15

NASA Defends Plan To End Role In DSCOVR Satellite

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot the week of June 25 defended his agency’s proposal to end its participation in the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), saying that 20 other spacecraft on orbit provide the same or better information.“We’d rather put our research and analysis efforts around those spacecraft instead of DSCOVR,” Lightfoot testified before the Senate…

Navy Posts RFI With Details Of New FFG(X) Guided Missile Frigate

The U.S. Navy posted a Request for Information (RFI) on July 10 with details what capabilities it is seeking in its future frigate program, the Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)).Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said in the posting to FedBizOpps that it envisions a competition for the FFG(X) to consider existing parent designs for a Small Surface Combatant…

Secretary Mattis Urges Congress To Nix Proposed Space Corps

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is urging Congress to reject a House proposal to set up a space corps in the Air Force Department, saying that the provision in the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill could harm the Defense Department’s ability to coordinate its space activities.“At a time when we are trying to integrate the…

Latest New START Release Breaks Down ICBM, SLBM, Bomber Types

The State Department on July 3 released additional details about the types of ballistic missiles, launchers, and bombers being counted under the latest New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) aggregate data.The treaty requires each country by February 2018 to cap its nuclear arsenal at 700 deployed ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles SLBMs), and heavy bombers;…

Pence Says Space Council Will Promote Human Spaceflight, National Security

Vice President Mike Pence touted the newly revived National Space Council during a July 6 visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, saying the group will help reenergize U.S. space efforts.For "nearly 25 years, our government’s commitment seems to have not matched the spirit of the American people," Pence asserted in a speech. "But…

U.S. Deploys Patriot To Lithuania During NATO Exercise

The United States military deployed a Raytheon [RTN] Patriot air and missile defense system to Lithuania for the first time during a NATO exercise, the Lithuanian defense ministry said July 11.The Patriot is set to operate in a single pool with Lithuanian and other NATO ally air defense systems during Exercise Tobruq Legacy 2017, an international ground-based…

State Dept. Approves $3.9 Billion Deal With Romania; Other Deals

The State Department has approved several new foreign military sales (FMS) with Australia, the Netherlands, and a possible $3.9 billion deal with Romania for seven Patriot air defense systems.Congress was notified of the potential deal on July 10 for the 7 Patriot Configuration-3+ Modernized Fire Units, which would consist of 7 AN/MPQ-65 radar sets, 7…

Efforts To Tie Nuclear Modernization Spending To Posture Review Largely Fail In House

Efforts to slow modernization of the nuclear triad until the Defense Department completes a comprehensive study of the programs’ total cost largely failed to make it into the House version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on July 13.An amendment to the law that would limit spending on the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) weapon and…