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Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 147 Gets Certification to Fly F-35Cs

The U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 147 has achieved certification to operate the F-35C Lightning II aircraft following the completion of qualification tests aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The safe-for-flight operations certification that VFA 147 “Argonauts” received Wednesday comes as the Navy expects to achieve initial operating capability status for the F-35C program by the end of February, the service said Wednesday.
 

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Report: HHS Obtains Authority to Operate AI, Blockchain-Based Acquisition Tool

The Department of Health and Human Services received a full “authority to operate” certification for its ReImagine HHS Accelerate initiative that seeks to improve the department’s acquisition procedures, Fedscoop.com reported Tuesday. The HHS tested the platform with static acquisition data sets to assess its capability to use automation, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology to develop microservices that cut acquisition times, create better-designed contracts and reduce costs.

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House Panel: 11 Federal Agencies Show Progress in Latest FITARA Scorecard

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has issued the seventh iteration of its Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act scorecard, which shows that 11 agencies saw improvement in their letter grades. Thirteen federal agencies maintained their scores, according to the biannual scorecard released by the House panel.
 

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USAF Conducts Critical Design Review for B-21 Weapon System; Heather Wilson Quoted

In late November, The U.S. Air Force evaluated the design of the B-21 bomber aircraft's weapon system to verify production readiness. The assessment reflected positive progress from the aircraft's engineering and manufacturing development phase that lasted almost three years, USAF said Monday.

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Air Force to Unveil Electronic Warfare Study in January

The U.S. Air Force plans to announce the latest findings of its year-long study that explored how the military can protect its equipment and data from emerging global threats on electromagnetic spectrum in January, Military.com reported Monday. Senior service officials will discuss the findings at the Weapons and Tactics Conference at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., according to Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson.

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NIST Discovers How to Expand 5G Use With ‘Smart’ Antennas, Narrow Beams

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a method to design “smart” antennas that use narrow beams and provide lower signal interference, delays and energy loss during transmissions. NIST said Monday, the method utilizes narrow beams to rapidly send signals in different directions and support 5G wireless devices and base stations. It also enables system designers and engineers to select appropriate antenna beamwidths and the antenna that best suits a specific application. 

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Senate Approves DHS Bill to Build Agency-Wide Data Access System

The Senate approved a bill that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to put all component agency data into one system for easier access to information. The DHS Data Framework Act proposed by Texas Rep. Will Hurd backs the development of a single data framework that collects all data related to homeland security, terrorist information, weapons of mass destruction and national intelligence to support DHS operations, a statement from Hurd’s office said Friday

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Patrick Shanahan: Pentagon to Advance Efforts in Missiles, Cyber, Space Areas in 2019

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said the Pentagon plans to focus its 2019 national strategy on cyber, missiles and space areas in order to maintain the country’s military advantage. Shanahan wrote in a Defense News article published Monday that the Department of Defense will leverage developments in missile defense systems, hypersonics and long-range precision fires in 2019 to protect U.S. and international assets from adversary missiles.

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Sen. Warner Proposes Cyber Doctrine, International Agreement to Expand US Cybersecurity

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, called on the White House and Congress to create a new U.S. cyber doctrine and establish an international agreement on standards regarding cyber attacks and security to deter threats, particularly Russia, CNET reported Friday. He said the federal government has been failing to protect critical infrastructures in the country and to prevent disinformation campaigns. 

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USAF Approves Production of B61-12 Nuclear Bomb

The U.S. Air Force approved the production of a new guided tail-kit assembly for the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb. The service branch said Friday, its Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center will conclude the TKA's manufacturing development phase and proceed with production under the Milestone C transition. AFNWC developed the TKA and will perform integration with the bomb built by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

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