US Defense Industry Hampered by Lawyerese
- Reuters reports that titanium originating from China was found in some US aircraft and may also have been used in SM-3 missiles, in violation of the Berry Amendment. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) raised years ago the issue [PDF] that documentation compliance down to the nuts and bolts level is impractical at best. The case for tightly controlling components subject to tampering is solid. Prohibiting the use of fungible commodity materials based on country of origin in a globalized economy makes much less sense.
- Exelis and L-3 are expanding their export push as US demand for night vision goggles collapsed, but France’s Photonis, unimpeded by crippling ITAR regulations, got a head start.
The Benefits and Limitations of Additive Manufacturing
- 3D printing is making inroads in defense and aerospace projects as it is proving useful to manufacture small, complex items. Still, it’s not always the most cost-effective option, especially at high volumes.
- NATO: AWACS to fly surveillance missions over Romania and Poland.
- RIA Novosti: Russian Paratroopers Hold Massive Drills as Crimea Vote Nears.
- Ukrainian member of parliament Pavlo Rizanenko: “We gave up nuclear weapons because of [the 1994 Budapest Memorandum]. Now there’s a strong sentiment in Ukraine that we made a big mistake.”
- Moldova is worried they might be Russia’s next target for re-annexation. They are making a token but symbolic contribution to NATO’s mission in Kosovo.
- Turkey distancing from missile deal with China. They have been trying to walk that back for months while preserving pricing leverage over Western contenders.
- State-owned Roketsan successfully tested an MIZRAK-U anti-tank missile fired from a helicopter (video). Last month the company announced a joint production deal with Azerbaijan, and they intend to pitch [in Turkish] their Cirit guided rockets to European prospects after last year’s sale to the UAE.
Managing the British Defense Estate
- The British MoD announced that a group led by Capita is the preferred bidder to become the private partner of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), whose purpose is to manage the ministry’s real property. They are the country’s 3rd largest land owner. A 10-year contract worth about £400M ($664M) is at stake, with an imminent award after consultations with trade unions. Among changes under consideration: leasing facilities [PDF] at the Portsmouth Naval Base. The Financial Times has more.
South China Sea, East China Sea Security
- Japan, U.S. differ on China in talks on ‘grey zone’ military threats.
- The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) held a discussion about maritime security concerns in Southeast Asia, in the video below: