Daily Rapid Fire: 2011-09-22 | UTC; Defense Industrial Base; Resolution to Discontinue
- The 1st USAF CHIRP (Common Hosted Infrared Payload) launches aboard SES SA’s Orbital Star 2.4 variant satellite, riding an Ariane 5 rocket from the spaceport in French Guiana. It wasn’t easy, but this is the 1st time the USAF has hosted a military satellite payload on a commercial satellite, and their 1st wide field-of-view infrared staring payload. CHIRP will power on in 30 days, and begin experiments.
- The USA’s 1st JHSV fast transport catamaran, USNS Spearhead, has been christened at Austal’s Mobile, AL yard.
- Alenia North America delivers C-27A tactical transports #12-14 to the Afghan Air force, from the 20-plane program.
- Pakistan has begun fielding Chinese Type 022/ Azmat Class Fast Attack Catamaran missile boats.
- Russia has reportedly given the go-ahead for full production of the SU-34 Fullback long-range strike fighter.
- Elbit Systems lands a contract for perimeter security systems at Haifa port, networked back to the Security Center. Israel has one of the world’s most advanced maritime surveillance systems – mostly based on shore.
- It’s done: United Technologies buys Goodrich for $16.5B ($18.4B counting net debt assumed). Meanwhile the Virginian-Pilot reports that General Dynamics plans to acquire the Metro Machine Corp. ship-repair facility in Norfolk.
- The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)’s Report on Security Clearance Determinations [PDF] states that 2.17M government employees held a confidential/secret clearance as of October 1st, 2010, and 666K were at the Top Secret level. Add private contractors and others gets you to 4.2M people, which the Federation of American Scientists notes is quite higher than previous estimates published by the GAO. Of course getting a clearance is different from keeping it.
- Barry Watts and Todd Harrison at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) look at how to sustain the US defense industrial base [PDF]. Step 5 – Acceptance: the US defense industry does not function like a free market. In order to maintain vital sectors of the industry, it is likely the government cannot rely just on private decisions and need to come up with its own strategy. This will involve defining what is and is not vital.
- The US House of Representatives did vote on a Continuing Resolution yesterday. It did not vote for it though: keeping the federal government funded through Nov. 18 failed 195-230. This stopgap measure will be looked at again tomorrow. Next week Congress will be on recess. Politico, The Hill, Bloomberg.
- In his list of recommendations [PDF] for the committee on deficit reduction, US Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) seeks $1.4T in savings over 10 years. In his recipe: cut the workforce by 10% through attrition, freeze civilian pay until 2015, and cut the contractor workforce by 15%. Many of these come from Tom Coburn (R-OK)’s Back in Black plan from last July.
- Video of the day: 1st hearing from the House Armed Services Committee panel on defense industry challenges, embedded below, worries about small business market access, barriers to entry and deterrents to even bother selling to DoD:
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