Two major defense corporations are competing to build a series of satellite communications mechanisms that would allow an American president to remain in contact with military commanders even after a nuclear attack, according to Military.com.
Raytheon was asked last year by the Air Force to compete with Boeing, whose design has faced multiple changes and delays, according to the website.
Military.com reported that the Raytheon system, based on technology that was developed for the Army and Navy, had cleared a design review in June and is set to be part of a satellite test in October.
In response to requests from the Air Force, Boeing adjusted a number of design features, including adding a system that would allow officials to speak to one another using a series of satellites and terminals. The system is to be based on the ground and installed in airplanes. However, the Air Force reportedly does not want to add the terminals to its bomber aircraft, a move that the GAO warned would cause the system to “not meet its full range of planned communications capabilities.”
The bomber fleet has been threatened recently by sequestration cuts, reportedly leaving the Air Force with two options: retire old bombers and sustain funding for new planes or maintain a larger fleet of aging bombers.
The program’s costs have gone up 48 percent from the original estimates, partly because of the lengthy delays that the program has faced, according to the website.
Military.com reported that the Air Force intends for the competition to help control costs and ensure that the system is ready by 2015.
What We're Following See More »
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."
Sen. Susan Collins, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, "said on Wednesday she's open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump's tax returns for potential connections to Russia." She said the committee is also open to subpoenaing Trump himself. "This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," she said of Russia's interference. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area."
"Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months." Meanwhile, NPR has launched a "Trump Ethics Monitor" to track the resolution of ten ethics-related promises that the president has made.