A new poll shows GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz gaining ground on frontrunner Donald Trump. Cruz pulled ahead of retired brain surgeon Ben Carson.
Outgoing Air Force Assistant Secretary William LaPlante expressed frustration regarding US access to space in his final public remarks before leaving his post. "I think the space launch situation is serious for the country," he said. "You can get competition, you can get two independent ways to get into space or you can get off the Russian engines -- I don't see how you do all three in the next four years."
Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday near the Syrian border could further strain Russia's relationship with NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the incident was a "stab in the back" by Turkey.
The Marine Corps has selected SAIC and BAE Systems to create 32 prototypes for its amphibious combat vehicle program. The overall program is for 204 vehicles and is worth $1.2 billion.
The UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review acknowledges the current threat environment, including potential aggression by Russia and dangers posed by the Islamic State group. The plan confirms the country's commitment to spending a minimum of 2% of GDP on defense.
Turkey has shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft near the country's border with Syria. NATO has responded by calling a meeting to discuss the incident. Russian reports say the aircraft was shot down with a ground-based weapon.
China is establishing a military base in Djibouti, the country's first in Africa. Experts say the expansion poses a challenge to US global military dominance. "US global leadership is predicated heavily on the US role in protecting and to an extent controlling sea lanes of communication," said J. Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council. "If China establishes itself as a fellow protector of the global commons, then it certainly increases its stature."
The UK plans to increase its carrier-based F-35 fleet as it increases its anti-terrorism budget by 30%. "We are going to step up the aircraft carrier punch of the United Kingdom. We are going to make sure that when these aircraft carriers are available they are going to have planes that can fly from them in force," said Finance Minister George Osborne. "By 2023, we will be able to have 24 of these jets, some of the most powerful in the world, the F-35, on the decks of these carriers."
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