Rapid Fire March 5, 2012: Chinese Military Spending
- China is officially announcing that its 2012 budget is increasing by 11.2% to about $106B. It is broadly agreed that this significantly understates total military spending. After about 25 years of double-digit growth China is now clearly the second biggest defense spender behind the US, with a budget that more than doubled in the last 5 years alone. There is more to it than just new kit though: some of that money is spent on improving quality of life for sailors to ease recruitment and retention, as China is facing serious demographic constraints and deep socioeconomic shifts. Associated Press | Bloomberg.
- The US DoD Inspector General is reviewing the F-35’s quality assurance system, while the Air Force is looking at where to locate its training site. Meanwhile the UK is reportedly researching whether they should stick to F-35Cs or switch to F-35Bs.
- Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told Brazilians last week, about the LAS travails:
“Sometimes we strain people’s patience with our internal processes but that doesn’t change the reality that I think Embraer has a lot to offer.”
This came as the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations had stated that “this development is not considered conducive to strengthening relations between the two countries on defense affairs.”
- Norm Dicks (D-WA) won’t seek reelection after 18 terms in Congress. He is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee and the Defense subcommittee. Several people are interested in replacing him in these positions. He’s been known as a strong Boeing supporter (see KC-X competition for instance).
- Can an office within the US military buy something sitting on the shelf of another office? Absolutely, nothing in federal regulation prevents you from doing so. Just MIPR it.
- Harris Corporation is backtracking on cloud computing while contractors are in a holding pattern on cybersecurity information sharing.
- The French Army has had payroll trouble [in French] for the last 6 months, among other reasons because of a troublesome software rollout.
- AviationWeek asks: why do major acquisition programs fail?
- Think Defence offers a good review of military water supply issues and options.