Rapid Fire 2011-09-08: Senate Appropriations FY12 Budget
- How Israel speeds up its counterstrikes using UAVs – and spycraft, and back-end IT. Also serves as an overview of their entire aerospace ISR set.
- Elbit Systems’ UT-30 unmanned 30mm turret has completed acceptance testing on Brazil’s new VBTP Guarani wheeled armored vehicle.
- Patria will make protective armor plates for Finnish NH90-TTH utility helicopters.
- Raytheon’s MALD-J jammer missiles have finished a simulated electronic attack test, clearing the way for a USAF decision on production.
- The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends keeping the FY12 DoD base budget at the same $513B level enacted for FY11, coming $26B below the President’s $539B request and $17B below the $530B in the H.R. 2219 appropriations bill passed in the House last July. These numbers exclude $115+B in overseas contingency operations. Most other budgets in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s proposal remain about flat save the Department of State which would see a base cut of about 7% to $44.6B. Given 12 working days are left in Congress before the end of FY11, most observers agree Congress will have to resort to a Continuing Resolution for several weeks. House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) concurs.
- Speaking of which, armed with an emotional video, McKeon wants the Super Committee to “leave us alone.” Congressmen Dave Loebsack (D-IA and HASC member), Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Jim Renacci (R-OH) introduced legislation to guarantee the Deficit Committee’s independence and transparency. Probably too late to be made into law, but might weight on how things unfold.
- Meanwhile, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), the American Enterprise Institute (AIE), and the Heritage Foundation – a rather conservative bunch – are hosting today (Thursday) a “Defending Defense” conference that Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) plans to attend. But deputy assistant secretary of defense Brett Lambert said that, industrial base or not, contractors will have to deal with budget cuts.
- French MinDef still looking for 230 million euros (~$325M) or about 2/3rds of France’s over-budget costs occurred in Libya. Zone Militaire (in French).
- In the 1st video below, Military & Aerospace Electronics likes the fact Tactical High Energy Lasers (THEL) could fit on ships where machine guns are currently located, without littering the deck with bullet casings. The 2nd video below released by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) back in April shows laser effectiveness still requires a fair amount of cooperation from the target: