Rapid Fire: 2011-02-24
- As Libya erupts in civil war, articles examine European arms exports over the past few years. Notably, previous German sales of jamming equipment may now be hindering communication and evacuation efforts for foreign nationals. If the regime falls, it’s likely that some contracts, such as maintaining their new ATR-42MP maritime patrol/ search and rescue aircraft, would be kept by any government. Others, such as Libya’s buy of Russian SU-35S fighters and continued implementation of its EUR 300 million border control system contract with Finmeccanica, could prove to have sandier foundations.
- Congressional Budget Office projects that increasing operations and support costs will drive US defense budget growth over the next 20 years. This continues a long-standing trend, but is also evidence of poor planning. Since the budget won’t be growing, what it really means is that the personnel and procurement budgets will be reduced to pay for O&M costs, unless whole platforms & capabilities are removed (vid. the current British experience).
- On which topic, Britain’s Tornado GR4 strike aircraft fleet looks like it might exit service almost immediately, as the UK MoD looks to find more savings.
- At the same time, Britain plans to keep all four of its current Vanguard-class SSBNs, says Defense Secretary Liam Fox.
- Engineers are critical to any fleet, but a recent Australian report says RAN engineering is at a crisis point. “Tactically excellent but technically bankrupt” is not sustainable.
- UN peacekeeping forces face a shortfall of 56 military helicopters out of a required 137 to perform their missions, according to a UN official.
- Switzerland approves its 2011 armament program. Biggest expense in the $450 million? Upgrading its stocks to include new AIM-120C7 AMRAAM medium range air-air missiles, alongside the old AIM-120Bs.
- Jordan’s King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau receives its UAV choice for the RJAF’s reconnaissance squadron: Schiebel’s popular S-100 Camcopter helicopter UAV, equipped with L-3 Wescam’s MX-10 surveillance turret.
- The global aerospace and defense industry revenues are expected to reach $399 billion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts.
- Lockheed Martin sells its PAE business, a provider of military base support services, to Lindsay Goldberg for an undisclosed sum.
Categories: Australia & S. Pacific, Bases & Infrastructure, Britain/U.K., Budgets, Daily Rapid Fire, Europe - Other, Fighters & Attack, Finmeccanica, Helicopters & Rotary, Industry & Trends, L3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Mergers & Acquisitions, Middle East - Other, Missiles - Air-Air, Official Reports, Other Corporation, Rosoboronexport, Sensors & Guidance, Submarines, Support & Maintenance, UAVs, USA