Ohio Replacement Program (SSBN-X): At trade association forum, senator and representative both stressed the importance of replacing the boomers. They also, coincidentally, come from states with the major East Coast sub bases.
Procurer-in-chief Frank Kendall said that cyber attacks on U.S. weapons programs are pervasive and that future procurement will pay much more attention to maintaining secure systems.
More and more it seems that the Navy many need to hedge its bets on the F-35, keeping the F/A-18 production lines open (scheduled to be done current orders in 2017) in order to retain adequate protection for its other aircraft. It also is not lost on the Navy that it can purchase three or four Super Hornets for the cost of an F-35, which matters in times of sequestration.
The Navy is using underwater drones to suss out the salinity, temperature, currents and melting patterns in what are likely to become shipping lanes in the Arctic.
A competent review of the Russian Borei class boomer included the total cost estimate of the first of the new SSBNs: $713 million, including the research and design. It isn’t an SSBN-X, but it appears to be effective in its deterrent role for a third the cost of an Ohio-class U.S. boomer.
| Now that the U.S. has green-lighted UAV sales to additional allies, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. and Spanish engineering firm SENER are partnering to bring the Predator B to Iberia. More »
| France will soon have a second built-for-Russia Mistral class helicopter carrier on its hands. The first, the Vladivostok, is biding its time while France waits for a period during which Russia does not appear to be acting war-like against European allies. The second, the Sevastopol, should
start sea trials later this month. More »
| India will restart its reconnaissance/surveillance helicopter (RSH) procurement process, after having botched the first two attempts. Previous finalist Airbus Helicopters (AS550 C3 Fennec) will compete again, along with other finalist Kamov (Ka-226T2 Sergei). And Bell Helicopter will re-enter the fray. Bell had been a part of the first competition back in 2003. It will be fielding its Bell 407GT, the militarized version of its 407GX. More »
| The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center finished a three-day test of the Increment 2 ground control system for SBIRS. The Increment 2 system features a single control center to operate all three types of satellite, and includes a backup system. More »
| The Navy tells Congress that it will move up work on the JFK, but not to launch the ship any sooner. To do so would create an impractical overlap of an extra carrier for a couple year prior to the retirement of CVN-68. Instead, they will delay the completion of the ship, waiting until the last minute to purchase and install the electronics, which presumably will be somewhat improved by the period just before launch in the summer of 2022. More »
| Australia tests new wing kits called the JDAM ER (standing for extended range), tripling range from 24 miles to 72 miles. They were launched out of F/A-18s. The RAAF will purchase the kits later in 2015 pending additional certification tests. More »