Rapid Fire 2011-12-21: Robot Dragons Battle Electric Windmills
- The Australian National Audit Office released its 4th review [PDF] of selected defense acquisition projects. It finds that sticking to the schedule has been more difficult than remaining within budget or delivering promised capability. “[T]he total time for the 28 Major Projects to achieve their Final Operational Capability date is expected to be almost one third longer than was originally planned.”
- The US State Department seems stalled in an investigation of sales of satellite tech by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) to China that the company says are “ITAR-free” (i.e. without export-restricted American components).
- The US GAO finds that the Navy and Marine Corps’s accounting still show significant discrepancies with Treasury accounts aka Fund Balance with Treasury (FBWT): “As of April 2011, there were more than $22 billion unmatched disbursements and collections affecting more than 10,000 lines of accounting.”
- US Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) Wastebook 2011 [PDF] first words: “Dear Taxpayer, Robot dragons, video games, Christmas trees, snow cone machines, and chocolate. This is not a Christmas wish list. These are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars this year.” At #3 is a $14M wind turbine project from the Air Force that didn’t quite work. Support, at least nominal, in unexpected places: the Office of Management and Budget. Coburn was one of the 13 Senators to vote against the FY12 defense bill and one of 32 to vote against the omnibus funding law that followed. Among Coburn’s objections: earmarks and bad accounting.
- Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) is developing the Container Unitized Bulk Equipment system (CUBE) to make fuel and water cheaper to deliver to the front lines, as well as switch to containers that are easier to retrieve and reuse once they’re empty.
- Will Boeing close its plant in Wichita, Kansas, and move KC-46A work elsewhere? Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo urges the company not to.
- The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)’s board elected David P. Hess, President of Pratt & Whitney, as its new chairman.
- The Australian Department of Defence reviewed [PDF] redaction functionality in Adobe Acrobat Pro and found that it worked as intended.
- US Secretary of State Clinton and Assistant Secretary Andrew Shapiro gave an update on landmine clearance and weapons destruction efforts in the video below, after releasing the 10th edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety: