Rapid Fire: 2011-09-27 | Design for Reliability; Green Energy; US Senate Stopgap Deal
- Job cuts: 540 layoffs coming at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, as part of corporate plans to reduce their workforce ahead of budget squeezes. Meanwhile the BBC has new details about BAE’s cuts in the UK.
- Michael Gilmore, Director of Operational Test & Evaluation within the US DOD, listed key issues in reliability growth [PDF]. He writes: “most programs fail to get on their planned growth curves” because they take a reactive approach to reliability management. Among programs that took a “Design for Reliability” (DfR) proactive approach: Raytheon’s SDB-II, GDLS’ Stryker NBCRV, and BAE+GDLS’ GCV.
- USA moving to activate UAV drone bases in Djibouti, Ethiopia, the Seychelles, and “the Arabian Peninsula.” They’re also trying to learn from past mistakes.
- Boeing and AAR Aircraft Component Services – Amsterdam announce a letter of intent to cooperate on support for Dutch CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift and AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, as part of a larger MRO initiative.
- USAF receives its 1st HC-130J Combat King II combat search and rescue aircraft.
- Raytheon will integrate their Griffin mini-missile with former subsidiary HawkerBeechcraft’s AT-6B counterinsurgency plane. Raytheon may be offering the aircraft to Australia, for the Air 5428 [FAC] Pilot Training System program.
- Russia to sell China 140-150 Saturn AL-31F turbofan engines, which can be used in China’s SU-27 derivative and J-10 fighters. The Russians are reportedly trying to include clauses that force all engines to be deployed in aircraft, not sent for copying. Good luck with that.
- While the US Air Force and Navy test biofuels, some lawmakers are becoming more skeptical and question whether defense “green energy” projects are worth the money, remain viable under budget pressure, or really contribute to energy security.
- The US GAO, while reviewing DOD’s enterprise architectures, came to a count of 2,324 systems. As in, “a lot.”
- Barely functional? The US Senate came to an agreement last night that should avoid a government shutdown. The House will look at the Senate’s measure on Thursday. Now Congress can shift its focus beyond the next 6 weeks. Politico has the HASC Republican Staff memo on what worst-case DoD funding scenarios would look like. It is unlikely that the Super Committee won’t reach a deal, but given the behavioral pattern shown in Congress this year between the debt ceiling and the continuing resolution, expect drama until the 11th hour.
- Meanwhile Senator John McCain (R-AZ, Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee) is not happy about how appropriations work (or don’t).