* Russia’s S-300 surface-to-air missile upgrade back in 2010 was so good, they opted to rebadge it the S-400. It has also gone under the names SA-21, Triumf and S-300PMU-3. It has been the object of much diplomatic hand-wringing as western nations have pleaded, begged, cajoled, threatened and otherwise attempted to prevent Russia from selling these to certain countries. China has apparently purchased six battalions of the systems, which means 48 launch vehicles. Interestingly, the battalions are reputedly priced at $500 million per, pricing them roughly on par with the U.S.’s Patriot, although the annual cost of ownership is likely to be much less.
* As China tries to stand up a carrier group, thousands of novel technologies need to be adopted by the PLA Navy. One more checkbox ticked off is the refueling pods, eight years in the making, blatantly copied from the Russian UPAZ-1A, they’ve now been tested and approved for use. The “ski jump” tip of China’s first carrier allows for a shorter run at the expense of significantly limiting a fighter’s gross weight, making a fully armed fighter launchable only with a partial fuel tank.
* A report indicates the Finnish Army is having difficulty keeping its NH90s in the air.
* The Inspector General concluded that the Navy and Marines spent $220 million in IT services that they awarded with no or limited competition. The report, issued just before the weekend, indicated that those awards did properly follow FAR requirements.
* A Californian firm will pay the U.S. back $2 million to settle charges that it inflated costs for remote control military aircraft.
* Flight simulator and training firm CAE will pay $19.8 million to acquire Bombardier’s training services unit. The deal is expected to close by end of year.
* Boeing’s KC-46 program, an airliner converted to a tanker, got off the ground.