Rapid Fire July 25, 2012: South China Sea Scenarios
The 656-ton Singaporean mini-corvette RSS Victory successfully fires a Barak-1 anti-aircraft missile during joint exercises with the USN in the South China Sea. It’s hardly the 1st time, and the inconvenient truth its that these ships are far better armed than the $550+ million, 3,000 ton “Littoral Combat Ships” the USA wants to deploy to Singapore.
“Although major conflict is unlikely – Beijing carefully avoids using force to assert its claims and other countries do not want to engage in armed conflict with an important economic partner and major military power – tensions continue to escalate while the prospects of resolution seem to be diminishing.”
- Russian test pilots make the 1st landing on India’s Vikramaditya carrier, during sea trials in the frigid Barents Sea. It’s just a touch-and-go, though, not a full trap.
- Boeing and Warner Robins ALC deliver the 5th upgraded C-130 AMP transport plane. The question is how much longer there will be a program to deliver to.
- The US Air Force is working on an RFP for the Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program. Earlier this year the RFP was expected for June, then intended to be released this week, but this has been postponed again to mid-August, with proposals to be sent 60 days later. An award would follow by Q3 FY2013 (DID’s reading, since the USAF’s presolicitation mentions FY2012 which will be over by the time the RFP is closed). Industry Day and draft RFP collaterals were published earlier this year (CCR required). A total of 112 helicopters would be procured over 13 years. There’s $60.6M in the FY13 Presidential Request for this program. Wish it better luck than CSAR-X (X for cancelled).
- The driver of a truck carrying NATO supplies to Afghanistan was killed by gunmen in Pakistan yesterday, within a couple of weeks of the GLOC reopening. About 400 hundred trucks have reportedly driven through the border so far. Not so smooth after all.
- Eventually Afghanistan will have to take care of its own security. Easier said than done, assesses the US GAO.
- The US Navy’s NGEN Intranet RFP continues to be finalized, with a 5th wave of questions and answers [PDF] released yesterday. It is a bit disconcerting to see pretty basic screen resolution or power supply questions being ironed out so far into the process. But then, given rapid obsolescence in the IT sector, this is meant to happen when RFPs take many months to reach completion.
- The Pentagon is proposing to amend again defense acquisition regulations applied to specialty metals. It depends on what the meaning of the word “produce” is. DoD is proposing to amend the definition of “produce” to eliminate the phrase “quenching and tempering” of armor steel plate, and to expand the application of the other listed technologies, currently restricted just to titanium and titanium alloys, to any specialty metal that could be formed by such
- The US DoD also amended DFARS – and this one is a final rule – to clarify data requests to Canadian Commercial Corporations. The changes with the previous state of the rule are highlighted in this MS Word document.