Daily Rapid Fire: 2011-09-20 | Developmental Test and Evaluation
- ST Kinetics announces a S$ 68 million (about $57 million) contract from Singapore’s MINDEF for its new Spider LSV wheeled scout/ special ops vehicles. Delivery will take place during 2013-14.
- BAE is partnering with Northrop Grumman for the USA’s T-X trainer competition, aiming to replace Northrop Grumman’s supersonic T-38 Talon with BAE’s sub-sonic Hawk LIFT Advanced Jet Trainer. They’ll compete against KAI and Lockheed’s T-50 Golden Eagle, and Finmeccanica’s M346 Master. Boeing is also reportedly considering an entry, but it can’t be the T-45 Goshawk Hawk variant used for final stage training of US Navy pilots.
- MBDA gets an order from the RAF to replenish its stock of Brimstone missiles, which have been depleted by fighting in Libya. Brimstones can be fired from fighter jets, unlike Lockheed’s Hellfire family of missiles. The USA’s JAGM program would field Brimstone’s only real competitor, and one of the designs is based in part on Brimstone technology.
- Rockwell Collins has finished the Global Air Traffic Management upgrades to the USA’s KC-135R refueling aircraft. The upgrade lets them operate in civil airspace around the world.
- The Hill is quoting USAF Secretary Michael Donley as saying that the OSD is about to give special guidance to the services on how to interact with Congress wrt coming defense cuts. Usual Defense Fiscal Guidance is sent by DoD to the services in April, and this year the services were scheduled to send their budget justification material back to OSD and OMB by September 3rd. Donley also made a long list of what not to cut. We are as surprised as you are.
- But Benjamin Friedman (Cato Institute) and Caitlin Talmadge (George Washington University) are asking: what defense cuts?
- The US GAO reviews again the DoD’s progress in implementing the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA) and recommends to assess the Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E) office’s resources and influence. GAO is concerned by staffing issues for systems engineers because of budget cuts and insourcing policy. The DT&E office was created in May 2009 and currently has 63 authorized people for a portfolio of 250 programs. It is headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Edward R. Greer since March 2010.
- US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is questioning NASA over its awarding of a no-bid government contract to an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC). The SBA Inspector General looked into ANC sole-source awards in 2009.
- Andrew Tilghman of the Military Times talks about military retirement costs in the video embedded below: