Update: GE Aviation won up to $325 million in additional funds in January 2015 to work on an adaptive cycle engine under phase three of the Versatile affordable advanced turbine engines (VAATE) program that preceded ADVENT. More »
Military bases are often home to environmental disasters, and mitigation costs are significant enough today that it exerts a real and behavior-changing influence on the U.S. military. But the liabilities are not considered “strict liabilities” as federal Superfund sites are, which means generally that the military can be held liable only if it failed to abide by requirements of the day. Such was the case when a federal judge dismissed a case against the Army regarding Fort Detrick TCE pollution.
The Pentagon’s director of operational testing indicated that the Littoral Combat Ship’s mine detection packages fail to so far to meet the Navy’s minimum requirements. In addition to operator inexperience, the failure was chalked up in part to software and integration issues. The Navy was hoping for a green light by September 2015. He also indicated that changes announced last month to a later tranche of 20 future ships, to be built after the first 32, wouldn’t change the likelihood of loss if an LCS were to be so unfortunate as to actually get into a fight.
The ever-even-keeled Congressional Research Service published a report over the holidays giving the current status of China’s naval improvements, which are substantial. The quality of its ships and training increased dramatically, making a gross numbers analysis less informative. Its weaknesses remain lack of integration with other service branches, lack of experience and lack of long-range deployment sustainability.
The General Accountability Office found that the Office of Secretary of Defense and other very high level pentagon offices do not have a rational, iterative assessment process for determining their staffing needs and structures. The upshot: “DOD and the military services have undertaken reviews to reduce headquarters but these budget-driven efforts have not been the result of systematic determinations of personnel needs.” The GAO, an arm of Congress, made only two mentions of Sequestration, both in footnotes.
GE Aviation won up to $325 million in additional funds in January 2015 to work on an adaptive cycle engine under phase three of the Versatile affordable advanced turbine engines (VAATE) program that preceded ADVENT.
In part due to sanctions on Russia, Kalashnikov will produce the eponymous assault rifles in the U.S., according to TASS
Brazil hopes to reinstate a mid-air refueling capacity after having retired its KC-137s. Final contract negotiations have been delayed, with one of the 767 conversions being handled by IAI, and another two by domestic firm TAP.
This is a three year old video of the ADVENT program. It may be revolutionary for jet engines, but it would be nice if GE could up its game in green screen production values:
| The failure of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle begat a new program called the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), designed to be a more realistic version of the EFV. A Marines version designed for only light water use was called the MPC, which was iced in June 2013. That program was resurrected under increased capabilities pressures as the APC 1.1, which had its coming out party during an industry day in July 2014. A draft RFP was released in November, with hopes that a final RFP would be issued in spring 2015.
$105.7 million was requested for ACV 1.1 research, testing and evaluation.
The APC 1.1 has been examined by the Congressional Research Service, producing this report, which - in a nutshell - says that the program has a few issues, the primary one being the strategic lack of "connectors" allowing equipment onshore. Current options (LCAC, JHSV and LCU 1600) are relatively unprotected. More »
| Liberal versus Conservative politics are dominating the coverage of Canadian self examination of their defense procurement process. Conservatives came to power criticizing a broken and opaque process run by the Liberals, and now the Liberals are enjoying throwing similar barbs at the majority party. But in the fray, several interesting analyses have surfaced that the defense establishment is taking seriously.
As to the actual content of the report, much blame is placed at the cutting of procurement staff levels, which have been halved over the past 20 years. Also unpopular among the procurement officials are rafts of the new reporting requirements - reportedly up by about 50 percent - that are part of the Harper governments reforms.
Separately, the objectives of major defense procurement projects have also been called into question. More »
| Yesterday Leonard Glenn Francis pleaded guilty to various corruption charges, having been successfully lured to the U.S. in a San Diego hotel sting, and after finally losing the services of a bribed senior official in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, who had previously been tipping him off and helping thwart other investigators. Francis's firm Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. aggressively sought Navy business, bribed officials for secret ship movement information and for favorable contracting decisions and overcharged for services. Allegations have been made as well that Francis was effective in changing the schedules and destinations for certain Navy deployments.
Francis has been cooperating in recent weeks, according to the Washington Post. More »