Rapid Fire Nov. 30, 2012: US Senate Gets Closer to NDAA
If you throw pens at Leon Panetta’s desk, the small Iron Dome replica he received as a gift from Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak won’t shoot to intercept. Panetta hid his disappointment gracefully but he would not say whether the anti-rocket system (marketed at full size by Raytheon in the US) would end up on the FY14 budget request. Joint press conference transcript.
The US Senate has worked its way through a number of amendments to the FY13 NDAA, with hopes to wrap it up by tomorrow. Detainee matters continue to put Congress at odds with the Administration, which threatened to veto [PDF] the bill. Other familiar grounds for a fight include whether to continue funding MEADS, as well as the Navy’s insistence for the right to overspend on biofuels, just as the country is seeing domestic oil production reach levels not seen in two decades.
President Obama signed secret Policy Directive 20 last month to define how to deal with cyber-attacks. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the NSA that the agency (in consultation with the National Security Staff) denied. The nonprofit then appealed that decision and will likely receive another negative answer anytime soon. Who needs a cyber-security bill?
Turkey is reviving its TF2000 project to build 4 frigates, following a program for 8 corvettes. Hürriyet Daily News.
India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses notes that the Defence Offset Monitoring Wing (DOMW) created back in August still doesn’t have a functional website [DID: we can't even load it]. That comment, unfortunately, perennially applies to pretty much all of the Ministry’s online presence.
Boeing is asking for federal mediation with the SPEEA union as their latest round of work contract negotiations was fruitless. SPEEA encourages its members to “continue workplace actions, including refusing to work voluntary overtime and other ‘work-to-rule’ actions to bring pressure on Boeing corporate.”
While Israel is reportedly working on its own stealth UAV, the US Navy successfully launched Northrop Grumman’s X-47B UCAS using a steam catapult… on land. They plan carrier launches next year, which will put the “naval” in “naval aviation milestone” (putting the aircraft on deck by crane doesn’t count). Video below: