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Sen. Richard Shelby

All Armored Brigades To Get Active Protection Systems: Gen. Milley

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


“Once the US companies come on line,” Gen. Milley said, “the intent is to outfit the entire heavy force — the Bradleys, the tanks, any future combat vehicles — with active protective systems.”

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Key SAC-D, SASC Senators Push More LCS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Eight senators sent a letter Friday to Defense Secretary James Mattis, urging him to request all three Littoral Combat Ships originally planned for the 2018 budget. While eight percent of the Senate may seem small, the bipartisan co-signers — four Republicans, four Democrats — include five members of the appropriating and authorizing and  committees for… Keep reading →

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It’s ‘War’ Twixt Appropriators & Authorizers Over RD-180s: Sen. Durbin

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: The Senate battle over Russian rockets keeps rocking. Senators Dick Durbin and Richard Shelby sent most of this morning’s defense appropriations hearing defending the Pentagon’s plan to keep using the cheap and technologically reliable but politically toxic RD-180 until an American-made replacement is ready, sometime around 2020-2021. Durbin and Shelby denounced the effort… Keep reading →

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Shelby, Air Force Press Case To Keep RD-180; McCain Not So Much

Posted by Colin Clark on


CAPITOL HILL: The war ground on today between San. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and his colleague Sen. Richard Shelby on the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. Shelby, knowing he had a policy friend in Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, asked her about the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine essential to US satellite launches… Keep reading →

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McCain Intros Bill To Stop RD-180 Use; Pentagon Urges Caution

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain continued his crusade to stop the Pentagon from using Russia’s highly reliable and cheap RD-180 rocket engines to launch American military satellites during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today. The Arizona senator and the House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, introduced a bill today designed to overturn language in… Keep reading →

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McCain Loses To Appropriators, Threatens Russian RD-180 Ban

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, believes fervently in the importance of the authorizing committees, those bodies charged with making congressional policy and placing restrictions on weapons program spending. Today, McCain lost a battle against the appropriators, that small group of powerful legislative leaders who decide how much money the executive branch… Keep reading →

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McCain Warns Shelby Off On RD-180; Writes SecDef

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain has fired another salvo at the United Launch Alliance over its use of Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines, telling Defense Secretary Ash Carter he wants an audit of ULA’s “business systems” and he wants that and more information by Dec. 21. This latest kerfuffle arose after ULA’s decided to refrain from bidding for the Air Force’s… Keep reading →

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Syria, Sequester, & Mists Of Unreality At Senate Appropriations Mark-Up

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Syria and sequestration dominated today’s Senate Appropriations Committee’s mark-up of the $594 billion defense spending bill for fiscal year 2014, but there was little actual progress on either. Appropriators are historically the most hard-nosed legislators; they’re the committees that have to match congressional rhetoric with actual money. But today, the appropriators approved a… Keep reading →

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Raytheon Gets $636M For Missile Defense – But Where Are The Lasers?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


“Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle” is arguably the most awesome name on record for a Pentagon program. Technologically, the Raytheon-built EKV is pretty impressive, able to hit an incoming missile head-on at over 15,000 miles per hour. Some background: The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle is the business end of the missile defense system now based in Alaska and… Keep reading →

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