Rapid Fire 2011-12-16: Last Minute Funding – Everything Must Go!
- The US Senate voted 86-13 for the FY12 defense bill which President Obama is now expected to sign. Congress is also on the verge of finding another midnight hour funding compromise to avoid a government shutdown, pending votes later today. Meanwhile Republicans and Democrats are putting stakes in the ground for or against rolling back the forthcoming sequester.
- Some senators worry about how more work at military depots may be moved to the private sector; others want the Pentagon to stop getting in a situation where it ends up paying millions of dollars in extra fees to shipping companies because of containers that are returned late.
- According to La Tribune [in French], the French defense sector looks about to go through a round of product portfolio shuffling, consolidation and privatization. Companies involved: Thales, DCNS, Nexter, but also potentially Safran, Renault Trucks Defense and Panhard.
- France is about to launch the Elisa project [in French]. It’s a constellation of 4 smaller satellites flying at 700km altitude, that aims to refine the collection of intelligence about opposing radars (SIGINT/ ESM) from space. The DGA is preparing for an operational effort called CERES, which aims to be up and running by 2020.
- SBIRS GEO-2 is done testing, and SBIRS GEO-1 has completed on-orbit checkout. They’re the USA’s new missile launch warning satellites.
- More reports that Taiwan is moving toward its own submarine program. The Taipei Times adds one expert’s recommendation that the money and time might be spent on fast-attack missile boats like the Chinese Type 022. Which makes industrial sense, but not military sense, since the Chinese PLAAF will control the air.
- US Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer dismisses his suit against BAE OASYS, which was allegedly triggered by corporate retaliation when he objected to selling thermal weapon scopes to Pakistan. The firm didn’t end up selling the scopes.
- The US GAO found that of the 40 former high-ranking Coast Guard officials who left the service from 2005 through 2009, 22 have been compensated by Coast Guard contractors.
- The Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) is going to test small fail robots to dispose of anti-personnel mines.
- Australia decommissions its H-3 Sea King helicopters. They’ll be replaced by the RAN’s 6 ordered MRH-90s (NH90 TTH).
- a preliminary report [PDF] on defense procurement procedures by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade