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NEWS IN BRIEF – USA

04 Apr 14. General Dynamics Corp said on Friday that the U.S. Army denied its protest about the terms of multibillion-dollar competition for a new armored vehicle. General Dynamics spokesman Pete Keating said the company would study the Army’s ruling and decide on the next steps to take. The company has 10 days to file a protest with the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress that rules on federal contract disputes. The company says it believes the Army’s rules for the competition are skewed to favor BAE System Plc’s tracked Bradley Fighting Vehicle, while putting General Dynamics wheeled Stryker vehicles at a disadvantage. (Source: Reuters)

04 Apr 14. President Obama Issues New Executive Order on South Sudan Sanctions. President Obama has signed a new Executive Order related to the situation in and in relation to South Sudan. The Executive Order does not target the country of South Sudan, but rather targets those responsible for the conflict there, which has been marked by widespread violence and atrocities, human rights abuses, recruitment and use of child soldiers, attacks on peacekeepers, and the obstruction of humanitarian operations. This Executive Order allows the United States to impose sanctions against any individual or entity that threatens the peace, stability, or security of South Sudan; commits human rights abuses against persons in South Sudan; expands or extends the conflict in South Sudan or obstructs reconciliation or peace talks or processes; or undermines democratic processes or institutions in South Sudan. (Source: glstrade.com)

02 Apr 14. Boeing Expands Airbus Rivalry to Tanker Market. Boeing Co. said Wednesday it will try to sell its new aerial refueling tanker to South Korea as its long-running battle with Airbus Group NV expands from commercial jets into specialized military aircraft. South Korea said this week it would invite bids by June for four tankers in a contract valued at around $1.3 billion that is expected to trigger offers from Boeing and Airbus, as well as others that might seek to convert some of the global glut in cargo jets into refueling planes. Airbus last month won a coveted six-plane tanker order from Singapore, which had been identified by Boeing and the Pentagon as a potential customer for the KC-46A Pegasus, which the U.S. plane maker aims to have in service with the U.S. Air Force in 2017. . (Source: glstrade.com/WSJ)

03 Apr 14. US Navy Unfunded List Requests Growlers, Poseidon Aircraft. Although titled an ‘unfunded priority list,’ the US Navy’s document giving Congress options to add to the 2015 budget is neither prioritized, nor a list of unfunded programs. Rather, it is largely a list of programs and endeavors that suffered cuts as the Pentagon strove to reduce spending across hundreds of areas, with funding amounts reflecting what it would take to get those areas back to previously-planned levels. Defense News obtained a copy of the list. There are some key exceptions, the single most expensive item, $2.14bn for 22 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, is a request for planes beyond current requirements. The second-largest cost item is to reprogram purchases of the P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft. The Navy wants $1.1bn to double the amount of planes purchased in 2015 from eight to 16, although the total number of aircraft bought through 2019 would not change. Most strikingly, there is no mention in the list of funding to refuel the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington, nor to keep its strike group or air wing operating. Debate has shifted back and forth over whether to include the carrier in the unfunded list, and Navy sources confirmed that the carrier was on the list in mid-March.
Internal changes to the lists have continued to virtually the last minute, vexing the military services. “The frustration of the services comes from the lack of communication and the back-and-forth decision-making from the Office of the Sec

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