Jan 15, 2014 18:00 UTC
Latest updates[?]: AAS: All Alternatives Scrapped. So, what will the Army do instead?
YRH-70 test, 2005
The US Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program aimed to replace around 375 Bell Textron OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, after the $14.6 billion RAH-66 Comanche program, was canceled in 2004. Instead, the Army would buy a larger number of less expensive platforms, with reduced capabilities. Bell Helicopter Textron initially won the ARH competition with a militarized version of its highly successful 407 single-engine commercial helicopter, but despite significant private investment after Army funding stopped in March 2007, spiraling costs killed the ARH-70 in October 2008.
What hasn’t changed is the battlefield need for on-call, front-line aerial surveillance and fire support. With its existing OH-58D stock wither wearing down, or shot down, the Army needs to do something. But what? The eventual answer: scrap the Kiowa fleet for a combination of attack helicopters and UAVs.
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Jan 15, 2014 15:20 UTC
- China has been repeatedly calling for the establishment of a “new type of major country relationship” with the US. The CSIS think tank explains [PDF] what that’s supposed to mean, and the risks such phraseology entails.
- The US House Armed Services Committee had a hearing yesterday on China’s maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas. Peter Dutton, a professor at the US Naval War College, offered a good primer [PDF] on these issues, and like the Obama administration he believes the US should accede to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to help open a path that “lies in the further advancement of the economic and security institutions, international law, and norms of acceptable behavior.” Hearing video.
- To show its military ramp-up can be a force of good in international waters, China is increasingly touting its anti-piracy efforts. That is a worthwhile development, but it is not quite making up for ongoing Chinese bullying of their neighbors.
- From Africa to the Caribbean, China has spent political capital and hard cash to thin down the list of countries officially recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign nation state. This presents a significant challenge for the island.
- Peter Layton, an associate professor at the US National Defense University, opines on Japan’s National Security Strategy, whose recent publication was primarily reactive to China’s rise:
In Japan’s case, the desire to cling to the status quo international order is understandable but may not be the best objective. Given a rising China, it may be more realistic to devise an NSS that attempts to deliberately construct a favourable new regional order. Embracing change may be difficult, but ultimately more sensible.”
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