Rapid Fire April 19, 2012: Space Export Control Policy
- The Pentagon released a report [PDF] on space export control policy after it reviewed, in cooperation with the Department of State, whether satellites and their components could be taken off the United States Munitions List (USML). They found that other countries have less restrictive rules and recommend loosening US legislation as well as giving more authority to the executive branch in such decisions. “Higher fences around fewer items” is how the Administration describes its policy. Early expressions of support or opposition in Congress seemed to follow party lines. Will this eventually make life easier for Thales Alenia?
- The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) loves directed-energy weapons [PDF]. Cost asymmetry – imposed by or to the enemy – has a lot to with it:
“For example, in future conflicts with capable enemies possessing large inventories of guided missiles, it may be operationally risky and cost-prohibitive for the U.S. military to continue to rely exclusively on a limited number of kinetic missile interceptors. Such a ‘missile competition’ could allow an adversary to impose costs on U.S. forces by compelling them to intercept each incoming missile with far more expensive kinetic munitions. [...] High-energy lasers and high-power microwave weapons, could provide U.S. forces with nearly unlimited magazines to counter incoming missiles at a negligible cost per shot.”
- Everything about sequestration, as seen by the Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee.
- SASC Chairman Carl Levin [D-MI] is warning Afghanistan not to count on sustained lavish military aid after US troops are withdrawn. Meanwhile Pakistan would like to receive Coalition Support Funds that they say are in arrears. In all likelihood that conversation will be tied to negotiations on withdrawal logistics.
- Meanwhile Great Britain will provide 70 million pounds a year (about $110M) to the $4B/year that allies are trying to round up for post-war Afghanistan.
- Spend Matters requested data from the UK Ministry of Defence which ended up hard-pressed to back up earlier claims that its business with small and medium suppliers was booming.
- India announced the successful launch of its Agni 5 missile, said to have a range of 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers).
- Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – collectively known as Benelux – are considering pooling and sharing [in French] a number of military resources.
- Ramón Aguirre, the President of Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI, the organization that handles the Spanish state’s industrial stakes) is expecting exports [in Spanish] to allow Navantia to keep going. In their sights: sales to Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico or Venezuela.
- Military Logistics Forum lists some of the options available to mitigate corrosion during maintenance and reset phases of military equipment.