Rapid Fire: 2011-02-24

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* As Libya erupts in civil war, articles examine European arms exports over the past few years. Notably, previous German sales of jamming equipment may now be hindering communication and evacuation efforts for foreign nationals. If the regime falls, it’s likely that some contracts, such as maintaining their new ATR-42MP maritime patrol/ search and rescue aircraft, would be kept by any government. Others, such as Libya’s buy of Russian SU-35S fighters and continued implementation of its EUR 300 million border control system contract with Finmeccanica, could prove to have sandier foundations. * Congressional Budget Office projects that increasing operations and support costs will drive US defense budget growth over the next 20 years. This continues a long-standing trend, but is also evidence of poor planning. Since the budget won’t be growing, what it really means is that the personnel and procurement budgets will be reduced to pay for O&M costs, unless whole platforms & capabilities are removed (vid. the current British experience). * On which topic, Britain’s Tornado GR4 strike aircraft fleet looks like it might exit service almost immediately, as the UK MoD looks to find more savings. * At the same time, Britain plans to keep all four […]

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