Even with Slowing Growth, China’s Defense Spending Still on Path to Match Western Europe’s
- IHS Jane’s projects global defense spending to reach $1.55T in 2014, the first (slight) increase in years. They expect China’s military budget to overtake the combination of France, Germany and the UK next year. This is consistent with earlier data from SIPRI charted by DID here. In the last couple of years the most aggressive growth has been seen in the Middle East.
- France’s defense exports bounced back [in French] to almost 6.3 billion euros ($8.5B) in 2013, after a slump of just 4.8 billion euros in 2012. 40% of the year’s bookings came from the Middle East. La Tribune points out [in French] that defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian went 6 times to the UAE, 6 times to Qatar and 4 times to Saudi Arabia, within less than 2 years.
UK Command & Control
- The UK’s Joint Force Command C4ISR will host an industry day on April 30 in London.
Raking In, Shamelessly
- According to USA Today more than 800 US Army soldiers are under investigation for alleged participation in a scheme meant to receive payments much beyond ceilings set for recruitment bonuses.
- The National Interest asks: what’s going on with military officers?
- Veterans Today magazine is still getting some fallout from their article that characterized the Wounded Warrior Project as “a legal scam” for its high salaries and disbursement to donation ratio. A follow up looked at salaries for a number of veterans organizations, which does make one go “hmmmm”. The American Legion comes off better than most.
- Raymond Shanahan from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD-SE) explains DoD’s strategy for identifying critical microelectronic functions and components that warrant supply chain risk management, in this recent NDIA presentation [PDF]. He notes that DoD has no current trusted supply chain for Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) devices, which unlike ASICs can be reprogrammed outside of the foundry. A challenge the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is currently tackling is how to identify that a component is logic-bearing, which makes it a potential target to malicious insertion and tempering, among likely risks.
Mass Market Affordable Innovation
- The latest Defense AT&L [PDF] looks at the dramatic cost savings that microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) could bring to munitions, on top of better ordnance health monitoring.
- The US Department of Transportation is convinced vehicle-to-vehicle communications have a lot of potential to improve safety. If such technology reaches critical mass, this may eventually benefit initiatives such as TARDEC’s work on autonomous convoys. More in the video below: