V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor: The Japanese defense budget will again break the record, but increase only 2.2 percent to ¥5.09 trillion. Programs funded include the V-22 Osprey, with this year's expenditures covering the purchase of a dozen. More »
The Missile Defense Agency is lessening its ambitions for the number of ships that will be equipped with ballistic missile defense to 39 from 48. Between the Navy buying fewer, more expensive ships and opting not to staff ships in drydock with BMD-qualified crews, the number 39 seemed more realistic, if further away from the commanders’ request of 70.
Irving Shipbuilding in Nova Scotia started in on the MNCS Harry DeWolf, the ship that will give its name to the new class [Canadian French] of offshore patrol ships geared to the Arctic environment. The ship is scheduled to sail in 2018 and to eventually be joined by 20 others.
Raytheon will get $33 million to make more AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar devices. With options, the contract could be worth as much as $98 million.
China sent warships for the first time to the Bering Sea just as President Obama is visiting Alaska. The Pentagon properly pointed out that it’s a free seaway, although the symbolism of the precedent’s timing wasn’t lost on many.
Pictures reportedly shot over Syria show at least four Russian aviation assets not previously seen in the conflict. If the pictures turn out to be real, it would suggest Russian direct involvement (which they denying at the moment) or an arms transfer to Syria, which would be less likely. If a deal has been made between Syria and Russia, it would appear to involve Flankers, Fulcrums, Fullbacks and Pchela-1T drones.
| The on-again, off-again Air Force comparison test between the F-35 and the A-10 for close air support is back on again, according to the Washington Times. The F-35 doesn't carry - and isn't anticipated to carry - the sorts of weapons that have proven useful in the typical CAS mission. It has but a few seconds of canon ammunition and its weapons bay was once compared to a purse after the F-35C variant further infringed on internal storage. A test between the platforms would likely hinge on the scenario imagined by the Air Force brass, so a cynic might expect a profusion of bogeys best handled by stealth fighters. More »
| KBR is taking full advantage of the indemnification clause the U.S. Government signed for much of its work in Iraq, leading to the recent judgement indicating the U.S. is on the hook for about $30 million in legal expenses for various nether dealings in the theater. The Project on Government Oversight points out that there are many more contracts from this period where the U.S. took on general liabilities.
| France has reportedly returned Russia's $900 million for failing to deliver the two Mistral class helicopter carriers it had manufactured. Interestingly, the Sputnik News report indicates that Russia feels it has a right to grant or withhold permission to France to resell the craft to a third nation. This could conceivably be the case were Russia contributing significant design work or classified specifications. More »
| t should go without saying that yesterday's Oshkosh award of the JLTV program may well be contested. The Army has yet to debrief Lockheed or AM General, a key step in the process toward a proper GAO protest. More »