September 23, 2023

737 MAX Might Fly With Software Patch

737 MAX

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The FAA gave preliminary approval to design changes for Boeing’s 737 MAX that should prevent crashes like the two that killed more than 300 people in October 2018 and March 2019. The Washington Post reports the agency said it would require the installation of a software patch that introduces several new safeguards and require that key sensors on the planes be checked before they are flown.

Raytheon and Israeli-based Rafael will build a short-range anti-rocket system in the US, reports Defense News. Developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Iron Dome fires a Tamir interceptor at incoming threats. “This will be the first Iron Dome all-up-round facility outside of Israel,” said Sam Deneke, vice president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s land warfare and air defense business. All-up-round describes missiles shipped essentially completely assembled versus pieces shipping separately to be assembled at the destination.

Navy SEALs cut ties with museum over Colin Kaepernick video, reports Navy Times. RADM Collin Green, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, suspended support of the National Navy SEAL Museum, a nonprofit not overseen by the military, after videos surfaced online of dogs attacking a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey during a demonstration. “Each and every one of us serves to protect our fellow Americans – ALL Americans. Even the perception that our commitment to serving the men and women of this nation is applied unevenly is destructive,” Green emailed his forces. “We will revisit our relationship with the Museum when I am convinced that they have made the necessary changes to ensure this type of behavior does not happen again.”

VP Mike Pence ceremonially swears in GEN Charles “CQ” Brown as next Air Force chief of staff, Air Force Times has video. With his wife, Sharene, by his side and President Donald Trump looking on, Mr. Brown is sworn is as the first Black military service chief in the history of the United States.

All states and territories will have to shell out millions to cover 25% of their National Guard costs starting later this month, reports Politico, except Texas and Florida will be fully covered. Both are key states in the upcoming presidential election and struggling to contain the coronavirus surges. But other states are worse off by several metrics — including total COVID-19 cases and the percentage of people testing positive.

The Navy will remove the aft mast of the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) this week. The fire compromised the structural integrity of the aft mast, located above the ship’s superstructure, reports USNI. The removal will be facilitated using two cranes on floating barges alongside the ship.



Women in the Air Force now have the option of wearing pants with their semi-formal “mess dress” uniforms, reports Stars and Stripes. Before the change in policy, which was effective immediately, women were required to wear a floor-length skirt with the mess dress uniform, which is the Air Force equivalent to the civilian world’s black-tie tuxedo or evening gown. It is worn during official formal and semi-formal functions. The pants option came as a result of “overwhelming feedback from the field” and is “a step in the right direction in creating an inclusive culture,” the Air Force said in a statement.

An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from California on a test flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean, reports Air Force Times.  The missile blasted off at 12:21 am from Vandenberg Air Force Base and its three reentry vehicles traveled 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as part of a developmental test, the command said from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Marine Corps locates sunken amphibious assault vehicle with human remains on board, reports Marine Corps Times. The vehicle “rapidly” sank off the California coast Thursday during a training accident, with 15 Marines and one sailor on board. Seven Marines and the sailor have been presumed dead since Sunday.

A public challenge is opened to help create the artificial intelligence needed to turn the planet’s magnetic fields into readable maps, reports Defense One. Military concerns with the fragility of GPS have sparked research in a variety of arenas and the Air Force is adding a new one, using the earth’s magnetic fields as a secure way to detect location for aircraft and possibly other vehicles. Magnetic fields emanating from the earth’s surface vary in intensity. Working with MIT, the Air Force has posed a challenge to the open AI community to help with refined AI tools to improve the magnetic field navigation. The challenge closes August 28.

Next carrier’s cost creeps upward after the first one hits 13.3 billion, reports Bloomberg News. The service’s estimate for shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. to design and construct the USS John F. Kennedy has increased to $3.58 billion, up 7% from the $3.35 billion contract awarded in 2015. That underscores previous warnings that the fully outfitted carrier may exceed an $11.4 billion cost cap imposed by Congress. The contractor is falling short by a key measure of labor efficiency, the Navy said in the report obtained by Bloomberg News.

Trump suggests US troop levels in Afghanistan could be cut in half by Election Day, reports Military Times and called US involvement in the Middle East the single biggest mistake in the history of America. US military forces have already dropped by more than 3,000 personnel this year, bringing the American military footprint to about 8,500 troops, around the same level as when Trump took office in 2017.

MD Gov. Larry Hogan

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ends his year-long tenure as head of the National Governors Association this week, reports The Baltimore Sun. As chairman of the group, the Republican governor has acted as a de facto spokesman for the nation’s governors during the coronavirus pandemic, appearing regularly on cable TV shows.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has a new commanding officer for the third time since March, reports Stars and Stripes. The change comes four months after a leadership crisis, death of a sailor, and replacement of the commanding officer with Capt. Carlos Sardiello, who was replaced by Capt. Eric J. Anduze of Manati, Puerto Rico, who most recently served as executive officer of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

Video: Massive blast devastates Beirut’s port area, reports Task & Purpose. A huge explosion in port warehouses near central Beirut killed more than 50 people, injured over 2,750 and sent shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry, and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital. Officials expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday’s blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead. It was the most powerful explosion to hit Beirut in years.


General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. – Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, is awarded a $106,923,080, firm-fixed-price contract for the execution of the USS Bataan (LHD 5) fiscal 2020 selected restricted availability. This availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair of the USS Bataan (LHD 5). This contract includes options which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of this contract to $130,861,394. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia. This is a “long-term” non-docking availability and was solicited on a coast-wide (East and Gulf coasts) basis without limiting the place of performance to the vessel’s homeport. General Dynamics NASSCO – Norfolk will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair and modernization for USS Bataan (LHD 5). Work is expected to be completed by December 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy); and 2020 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $106,923,080 will be obligated upon contract award and funds in the amount of $1,816,383 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition via the Federal Business Opportunities website and one offer was received in response to Solicitation No. N00024-19-R-4467. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-20-C-4467).

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded an $11,916,585 modification (P00001) to contract W58RGZ-20-C-0024 to support the continued system operations and sustainment services and test and training services in support of the Saturn Arch Aerial Intelligence Systems Quick Reaction Capability Program. Work will be performed in Reston, Virginia; Bridgewater, Virginia; and Huntsville, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of March 16, 2024. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $11,916,585 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

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