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Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Morning Coffee logoeconomic community. The opinions expressed here do not reflect opinions of the Leader’s owners or staff.

Traffic overwhelms student loan sites following President Joe Biden’s debt relief announcement, reports FCW. Traffic to the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid website, StudentAid.gov, was up more than 500% on Aug. 24 compared to the same day last year, a spokesperson for the department told Nextgov, who also said that the webpage the Biden administration set up on the site to provide further information about the debt relief plan was viewed more than 3.9 million times on its first day.

The Hill reports on every weapon the US has supplied to Ukraine with $13 billion The scope and power of the weapons has increased over time, with Ukrainian officials arguing that firepower is crucial to defend not only their country, but democracy worldwide. “Finally it is felt that the Western artillery — the weapons we received from our partners —  started working very powerfully,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last month. Last week the US approved nearly $3 billion more in arms and equipment to meet Kyiv’s medium- and long-term needs as it beats back Russia’s military.

The Ukrainian military renewed its requests to allies for the donation of advanced jet fighters, with a special focus on the American-made General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, in a series of social media posts Saturday on Ukraine’s Aviation Day, reports The Jerusalem Post. “It’s time we gave our Ukrainian top guns the tools to finish the job. Ukraine needs F-16s now,” said the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

Orders for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have steadily increased since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports 1945. Lockheed Martin plants are running at full production in Troy, AL, and Fort Worth, TX. The timing is fortuitous. The US has reduced its buy of F-35s in the upcoming fiscal year while the international demand is unprecedented.

Army program gives poor-performing recruits a second chance, reports Military Times. The new program gives lower-performing recruits up to 90 days of academic or fitness instruction to help them meet military standards. The program began in early August to address recruitment, which is expected to fall dramatically short of goals this year. Army officials have described the situation as dire, with some predicting the service may fall 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers short of its recruiting target on Oct. 1 , or as much as 18% to 25%.

Soldier indicted for selling 3D-printed automatic weapon converters, reports Army Times. Federal law enforcement in May came across a channel on an unspecified online messaging platform advertising 3D-printed AR-15 automatic sears and Glock automatic switches, which can turn the semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic ones. SPC Grant Lee Mosley, 25, a combat engineer at Fort Bliss, TX, confessed on Aug. 2 to manufacturing and selling illegal gun parts and was arrested that day.

 

 

The anticipated Monday morning Artemis I launch was scrubbed after an engine issue, reports CNN. The launch team discovered an issue with an engine bleed in one of the rocket’s four engines. The next launch opportunity is on Friday, but whether or not another attempt is made then depends on how testing goes. NASA plans for the Artemis I mission to go beyond the moon and return to Earth, with the aim to return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972.

Two Navy ships transit Taiwan Strait for the first time since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited, reports Military Times.  The  guided missile cruisers Antietam and Chancellorsville were conducting a routine transit on Sunday. The cruisers “transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State,” according to a statement from the US 7th Fleet.

Investors have cheered a breakthrough deal that promises US regulators access to Chinese companies’ accounting paperwork but say markets will need to see successful inspections and economic recovery before much more money can be expected to move to China, reports Reuters.

At 70 years old, the venerable B-52 Stratofortress is undergoing its largest modification program designed to keep it relevant to 2050 at least, reports Breaking Defense. It is an ambitious goal and not the only major upgrade planned. Mid-decade, the Air Force will begin outfitting the B-52 with the Raytheon AN/APG-79 radar used by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. At roughly the same time, it will embark on an ambitious engine replacement program, swapping the bomber’s aging Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines with a version of the Rolls-Royce F130.

China’s J-20 stealth fighter has been around in various stages of development for roughly a decade. And while we don’t know precisely how well it would perform in combat against US F-22 or F-35 stealth fighters or the Russian Su-57 or coming soon Su-75s, says 1945, the J-20 seems to have drawn inspiration from them all.

The US approves $1.95 billion sale of 40 Black Hawk helicopters to Australia, reports Military Times. They are intended to replace the Australian Defence Force’s troubled MRH90 Taipan utility helicopters. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which made the announcement amid high US-China tensions over Taiwan, said the sale to an important ally would offer “a more reliable and proven system that will allow Australia to maintain the appropriate level of readiness to conduct combined operations.”

The Motley Fool explains the best way to invest in the up an coming laser weaponry industry, with a breakdown of what laser weapons are and their value – for one thing, no need for bullets so no need to carry ammo anymore. Right now Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are leading the race for a chance to sell multiple weapons systems at $100 million to $200 million apiece. Kratos Defense & Security, BAE Systems, Boeing, and Raytheon are also on the hunt for a reliable, effective laser weapon.

The stock of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) decreased by -$7.51 on Friday to finish at $431.13, down -1.71 percent. Fosters Leader explains why that makes Lockheed Martin This Week’s Hot Stock.

A Navy F-35C has been photographed sporting a mosaic of panels with mirror-like finishes, reports The Drive, which has the photos by Fred Taleghani of FreddyB Aviation Photography. This is different than the ‘chrome’ coating on another F-35C and an Air Force F-22 Raptor, also reported by the authors  Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway.

Ahead of the shipyard ceremony for one ship, the Navy and industry advocate for another aircraft carrier ‘block buy’, reports Breaking Defense. As preparations here continue to lay the keel for the next Navy ship named the USS Enterprise, the Navy, its prime contractor HII and the industrial supply base have already begun crunching the numbers for a potential “block buy” for another two aircraft carriers. “We know it’s the most efficient way to build the ship,” CAPT Brian Metcalf, the program manager for the Gerald Ford-class program, said while standing in HII’s Newport News shipyard today. “And it’s actually the most efficient way to buy the ship.”

The Pentagon has finally published a plan dealing with treatment and prevention of traumatic brain injuries, reports Military Times. The  Department of Defense Warfighter Brain Health Initiative was published last week. Only the first step has been detailed, the determination of each service member’s baseline brain health, which will take about five years to acquire from current personnel. Meanwhile polices will be developed to prevent, identify, and treat brain damage caused not only by combat, but by repeated shakes and blasts during training.

There is a machine gun missing at a California Army post, reports Army Times. A M240B machine gun was last seen at Fort Irwin’s Forward Operating Base Santa Fe. The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division has opened an investigation. “Currently, there are no indications of any criminal activity,” Patrick Barnes, a spokesperson for Army CID, said in a statement to Army Times. “No additional details will be released at this time.”

A KC-46 was forced to land with its refueling boom out, stranding Hill staffers, reports Air Force Times. A KC-46A Pegasus tanker jet gave a group of congressional staffers an impromptu lesson in airborne emergencies during an introductory flight this week. Two of the Air Force’s new tankers took off Tuesday with a group of 16 staffers who work for New Hampshire’s congressional delegation. The guests were onboard for a firsthand look at the KC-46s that belong to the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing. When one of the airplanes demonstrated its ability to refuel other jets, the cable used to retract the fuel boom into the fuselage snapped. So, pilots diverted to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and landed the KC-46 with its boom still outstretched.

Fighting between US troops and Iran-backed militias draws scrutiny to Syria role, reports The Washington Post (paywall). The clashes have prompted new scrutiny of the Pentagon’s mission in Syria, as tit-for-tat strikes threaten to escalate tensions in the region. The US decision to target facilities in eastern Syria on Tuesday — which officials say had been used to launch attacks against US forces by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — threatens to heighten tensions with Iran as the two countries try to reach a deal to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Contracts:

Rockwell Collins, Inc., Collins Aerospace-Mission Aerospace, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been awarded a $176,979,374 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for High Frequency Global Communications System (HFGCS) – Scope Command Next Generation. This contract supports a ground radio equipment/network infrastructure and associated antenna subsystems in support of strategic military command and control communications. Work will be performed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland; Royal Air Force Croughton, England; Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Barrigada and Finegayan, Guam;, Lualualei and Wahiawa, Hawaii; Lajes, Portugal; Offutt AFB, Nebraska; Isabella and Salinas, Puerto Rico; Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy; and Yokota Air Base, Japan, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 30, 2028. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8102-22-D-0004).

W.F. Magann,* Portsmouth, Virginia, is awarded a $24,477,800 firm-fixed-price task order (N4008522F6117) under a multiple award construction contract for installation of flood-through valves within Dry Dock 8 caisson at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia. The work to be performed provides for installation of flood-through tube piping systems within the Dry Dock 8 caisson, replacement of the control console located on the interior operations deck; modification of the existing caisson electrical distribution system; replacement of the existing electrical capstan motors and controls along with replacement of the electrical panels, circuit breakers, and associated wiring. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by October 2024. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $24,477,800 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One proposal was received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N40085-18-D-1160).

Five Stones Research Corp. (5SRC),* Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded a competitive cost-plus-fixed-fee level-of-effort contract. The total value of this contract is $266,416,474. Under this new contract, the contractor will provide support that includes providing improved weapons systems cybersecurity through Cybersecurity Management; providing improved effectiveness of the current Department of Defense (DOD) Computer Network Defense Service Provider (CNDSP) construct in defending and protecting DOD networks; improving information cybersecurity integration into the system architecture, system life cycles, and accreditation documentation; ensuring compliance with all DOD cybersecurity policy, directives, and mandates; securing cloud-based information systems; evaluating proposed IT solutions; and identifying vulnerabilities and threat mitigations on information systems. The work will be performed in Fort Belvoir and Dahlgren, Virginia; Huntsville, Alabama; Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado; and Ft. Greely, Alaska. The performance period is from October 2022 to October 2027. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the SAM.gov website with seven proposals received. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,396,976 are being obligated at time of award. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0858-22-C-0008).

 

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