SBIRS early warning satellite: Orbiting GEO-2 gets thumbs up; Overall program state and next steps in expanded background section; New SAR offers qualified good news, but GAO reports remind how far over budget SBIRS is; Budgets updated and graphed; DOT&E testing report gives thumbs up, but (classified) issues still exist; Article reformatted. More »
Brig. Gen. Roger W. Teague was nominated to replace Maj. Gen. McMurry as the US Air Force’s acquisition director for space programs.
Mexico Seeks Multipurpose Helos
Mexico is considering buying 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for about $680M, according to a US DSCA notification (i.e. not a contract yet).
Separately Sikorsky announced that it had successfully conducted the first flight demonstration of its optionally piloted Black Hawk.
The Case for ASW
US Navy Captain Charlie Williams (soon rear admiral lower half), Deputy for Weapons and Sensors, Surface Warfare Directorate (N96), makes the case for the importance of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and thinks the LCS will make a strong contribution in that area. But that mission module was canceled and restarted, which puts it a couple of years from initial delivery.
UK/Euro: Unmanned Options
The fine chaps at Think Defence offer a good recap of unmanned mine countermeasures developed in the UK, including some joint work with the French. The US Navy has been working on mine countermeasure modules for its LCS that include unmanned components, but reliability has been elusive so far. The main author at Think Defence has a fetish for containers, so here’s a video from the British Army showing a time lapse of big boxes moved around at their base in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
A recent demonstration by Portugal’s Navy of the homegrown AR4 Light Ray UAV is turning into an online meme as the man-launched drone promptly turned into a UUV, reportedly because of human error: Publico [in Portuguese].
Israel – India
Today’s video from Defense Update looks back at last February’s Defexpo exhibit in India, seen from an Israeli perspective: