Rapid Fire March 21, 2013: Towards US Budget Agreement?
- The US Senate passed HR 933 with a 73-26 roll call to fund DoD and the rest of the federal government until September 30, after considering a final batch of amendments. The bill goes back to the House today, and it looks like a done deal. Update: indeed, as the house clears the Senate’s amendments with a 318-109 roll call. This bakes in the sequester for the rest of the fiscal year, pending a presidential signature that will no doubt be expedited.
- The FY14 US President Budget coming next month will offer to postpone cuts to the 2019-23 FYDP, said acquisition chief Frank Kendall at an NDIA event.
“[T]he Indian Air Force (IAF) loses the equivalent of one fighter squadron (16-18 fighters) in crashes every two years […] with the declining number of squadrons – now down to 32-33 squadrons against a minimum operational requirement of 42 squadrons – even the induction of new aircraft like the Rafale fighter will not make up the numbers.”
- An analysis of the Chinese PLA’s top 10 exercises in 2012 by India’s IDSA confirms the importance granted by China to their navy; a concern for securing energy supplies; a wariness of US alliances in the neighborhood; and a keen interest in the Arctic.
- South Korea thought the Spike-NLOS missile could solve their problems. It still might, but this is why equipment gets tested for all kinds of weather. Something for Serbia and the UAE to contemplate, as they prepare their own ALAS missile offering.
- France’s forthcoming new Livre Blanc should redefine that country’s defense strategy and is expected by French armed forces with trepidation. Introduction of the Loi de programmation militaire (LPM), a law which will spell out 5-year budgetary execution of the whitepaper, has been postponed [in French] from the summer to the fall. That’s another quarter of anguish for the French military: they know cuts are coming, but not how deep they will be, nor where they will be inflicted.
- More than 300 members of the Portuguese military demonstrated in front of the Prime Minister’s residence, decrying what they say is “not only an economic, financial and social crisis, but also a national security one.” They are facing significant budget and manpower cuts. SIC Noticias [in Portuguese].
- Lockheed Martin is seeking commercial partners for a desalination membrane based on graphene. Water supplies remain critical for military forces, especially ships, and play a major role is disaster/ stabilization operations.
- Major General H.R. McMaster, Commanding General, US Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, talked about the future of ground maneuver warfare at the CSIS think tank. He mentioned the advantages and limitations of Bradleys and some of the expectations for the GCV. Among them, it should be able to carry a squad of 9 (not 11 cut down to 6). Also, Army doctrine documents are required beach reading this spring. Video below: