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 »
Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair, announced he's pulling out of the running to regain the chairman's post. Dean "announced in a pre-recorded video to a conference of state Democratic chairs that he would step aside to allow for a new face to lead the party as it seeks to rebuild."
"Once again, businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has come through for the National Park Service. This time, he's pledged funding needed to modernize the Washington Monument's elevator-- but the monument will remain closed until 2019 while repairs and improvements are underway. Rubenstein's donation of between $2-3 million, announced Friday, will correct those ongoing elevator issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17."
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."
Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.
"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.