Daily Rapid Fire Morning 2011-05-31: Azerbaijan’s Satellite
- President Medvedev is longing for the good old days when poor contract performance earned a Siberian home, Russia is prosecuting people for a catastrophically failed GLONASS GPS launch… and now Russia’s chief military prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky tells Rossiiskaya Gazeta that around 20% of Russia’s military spending is stolen every year by corrupt officials, dishonest generals and crooked contractors. One more reminder that their military modernization will be a tough slog.
- The Russian Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg begins construction of new Steregushchy-class corvette. The Russian Navy has publicly announced that they expect to buy at least 30 of these ships, for all 4 major fleets. The challenge will be delivering them before some of those fleets rust out.
- South Korea is getting ROVER 5 devices for its forward air controllers, to share data with fighters overhead; US JTAC counterparts see them as a way of crossing the language barrier.
- Not content with auctioning off the B-2’s radar frequency and costing the US government $1 billion, the FCC’s latest move to approve Lightsquared for 1525 – 1559 MHz L-Band satellite broadband is now confirmed to cause “complete loss” of civilian GPS receiver functionality within its coverage. Above 1536 MHz seems to be the worst. No word on M-code impact, if any.
- Meanwhile, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) is “considering measures” against North Korea, after its episode of jamming GPS signals in March 2011.
- Saab is seeking to offset its recent defeat in the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft Competition by offering India its Saab 2000 MPA for India’s mid-tier maritime patrol competition. A potential purchase will add another dimension to India’s strategy of procuring aircraft with the ability to patrol and act at extended ranges.
- The Indian Navy receive an additional five MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters. The deal forms part of $1.5 billion contract signed by Russia and India for the retrofitting and delivery of the Admiral Gorshkov carrier.
- Azerbaijan to purchase its first communications satellite. The $120 million AzerSat will be funded by the United States and built by Orbital Sciences Corp. Launch is planned for 2012.
- Bulgaria’s Prime Minister indicates that the country may team up with Turkey, Romania and Croatia to jointly-purchase modern jet fighters. Boyko Borisov also confirmed that Bulgaria will allocate 300 million leva ($221 million) to the defense budget. This is a significant increase on last year’s budget allocation.
- According to the Financial Times [registration required], the UK Serious Fraud Office launches an investigation into alleged bribery of Saudi officials by EADS subsidiary GPT Special Project Management. The investigation is focused on a $3.3 billion contract to provide the Saudi National Guard with communications and intranet services.