Influential Think Tank Warns of Robotic Proliferation
- Former Navy Undersecretary Bob Work joined the CNAS think tank last year. He’s now presenting a new report [PDF] making the case that it’s a matter of when rather than if before the emergence of a “new war-fighting regime in which guided munitions and battle networking has fully proliferated and unmanned and autonomous systems have become central to combat”.
UTC’s commercial sales offset MIL decline
- United Technologies closed its FY 2013 with sales up 9% to $62.6B, mostly thanks to acquisitions and strong commercial aerospace growth. The military segment on the other hand lost 8% overall, with sales at Sikorsky down 13% to $1.9B. Q4 earnings call [PDF].
And Who Will Pay Shipping Costs?
- Navistar is trying to convince the Pentagon not to dispose of MRAPs, but their argument is a textbook sunk cost fallacy.
- French Defense Minister Jean Yves le Drian announced that about 1.5 billion euros ($2B) over the next 5 years will be allocated to cyber defense, in light of the booming number of “significant computing incidents” targeting the ministry. Details on how the budget will be spent are still fuzzy, and that is a lot of money relative to what will be spent on conventional equipment. Zone Militaire has more [in French].
- From the German Institute for International and Security Affairs: Europe must balance the digital hegemon by tying data privacy to trade agreements.
Chinese Carriers and Info Games
- The cat-and-mouse (dis)information continues in China, with press reports first talking of a future force of 4 aircraft carriers, then getting deleted.
No SOFA to Rest in the Maldives
- The US was pursuing last year a Status of Forces Agreement with the Maldives, but new President Abdulla Yameen agrees with his predecessor that it is not going to happen.