December 2, 2022

War on ISIS Boosts Defense Industry

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The war on ISIS is already benefiting the defense industry, specifically the makers of munitions and unmanned aircraft, reports Fortune. US military operations targeting ISIS cost $600 million since mid-June, with the US now spending more than $7.5 million a day on the conflict. An analyst commented, “The drone builders are going to have a field day.” This includes General Atomics, maker of the Predator and Reaper UAV, and Northrop Grumman and its RQ-4 Global Hawk. Lockheed Martin, producer of the Hellfire missile, stands to reap the biggest short term windfall.

Navy pilots are touting the capabilities of the E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft as the jet is deployed into the fleet, reports Aviation Week. “I finally feel like I have overwhelming advantage in the tactical arena,” said a USS Ronald Reagan air group commander. The veteran pilot said flying the aircraft is like handling a heavy Super Hornet and he enthused over, “the way it ‘talks’ with other airplanes. It’s incredible how much better we are with airborne electronic attack.”

NAVAIR engineers recently installed new software for the Navy’s UCLASS system’s control station at a NAS Pax River lab, according to NAVAIR News. This month, the UCLASS team integrated the latest iteration of Common Control System (CCS) software into the next-generation unmanned effort, laying the groundwork for potential use across multiple domains – airborne, land and subsurface.

A Navy investigation into the January MH-53E Sea Dragon crash off the Virginia coast that killed three was caused by a loss of spatial awareness and disorientation due to dense smoke from a fire in the upper port wall, reports Navy Times.

National Defense comments on the future of unmanned aerial systems and the technical and bureaucratic challenges they face after the Navy’s UCLASS program was indefinitely delayed. The $1 billion program is the last major new start, fully open US military UAS competition planned for the foreseeable future.

DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson, looks to Congress for cybersecurity help by passing the provisions of cyber legislation for which there is bipartisan support, before lawmakers go on hiatus, reports The Hill. Secretary Johnson says existing statutory authorities are unclear and do not adequately reflect DHS’s role and responsibility for protecting the “.gov” network.

The DoD has asked the Congress for permission to move $1.9 billion from the Overseas Contingency Operations supplemental wartime funding account, into specific procurement accounts, with more than half of that amount going to aircraft purchases, reports IHS Jane’s 360. The Pentagon is asking lawmakers for permission to buy 12 AH-64Es and eight F-35s with its supplemental budget.

NavSec Ray Mabus said more women should be serving in the Navy and Marine Corps, and plans to take action to boost their presence in those military branches, reports Reuters.

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