Rapid Fire Nov. 16, 2012: Doctors Order DoD Diet
- The Stimson Center released a report [PDF] which concludes that the “strategic agility” needed by the US could be achieved while spending significantly less. You have heard their recommendations before: don’t get drawn in land wars, reduce nuclear stockpiles, develop new tech and special forces, get allies to contribute more to global security. The think tank does not see Russia or China through rose-tinted glasses, but it estimates that their capabilities remain far from Western levels and that they have more to gain from continued economic integration. A reduction or cancellation of future F-35 deliveries is seen as an acceptable tradeoff in case of continued development problems, but development of the F-22 should be sustained.
- Senator Coburn [R-OK] dubs the Pentagon the “Department of Everything” in a report [PDF] that enumerates extraneous areas in the budget that have little to do with defense and could easily be cut. Most of the report lists science projects of dubious value, at least to the military.
- The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is gathering information on industry capabilities to deliver additional Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS) satellites. PTSS is a space sensor program that started in FY2011 to contribute to Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). They might help with characterization and discrimination challenges facing ground-based radars.
- European NATO members are setting up an online marketplace dubbed eQuip to sell surplus military equipment according to Reuters, though it is a little odd that the official who provided that information to the media insisted on remaining anonymous.
- BAE Systems Ship Repair will acquire for $69M Marine Hydraulics International, Inc. (MHI), a shipyard in Virginia employing 400 people. Alabama Live.
- Israel is deploying a 5th Iron Dome anti-rocket battery tomorrow. Jerusalem Post.
- Negotiations between the US and Afghanistan have started about the size, nature and conditions for the presence of American troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Similar talks ultimately fell apart with Iraq last year. Washington Times.
- An F-22 crashed yesterday afternoon at Tyndall AFB, FL. The pilot ejected safely. The USAF statement has few other details.
- An anonymous officer from an African air force delegation at this week’s air show in China wraps it up: “When you come and see these aircraft you relate them to what you have seen before. [...] That is why some people don’t want to send their planes here. You come back in five years and it’s called a J-something.”
Or a Z-something. The Z-10 attack helicopter made its first public flight earlier this week at the show. Pratt & Whitney Canada was in June 2012 for illegally exporting software that ended up in this helo. Video below: