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CNA Recommends Afghan Force Structure Changes to Confront Continued Taliban Threat

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* CNA’s Center for Strategic Studies assessed [PDF] for the US Congress the state of the Afghan National Security Forces and recommends that the ANSF change their composition to provide more support, relative to over-abundant infantry units. The research organization expects the Taliban threat to continue for years before a political solution to end the war is likely to emerge. US Contractors * Boeing is very pleased that its hydrogen fueled Phantom Eye High Altitude, Long Endurance UAV was upgraded to “experimental” status by the US Air Force 412th Operations Group. Phantom Eye has far less payload capacity than options like NGC’s Q-4 Global Hawks, but it also costs far less. * Boeing is likely less pleased that Turkey is demanding $183M in services and spare parts as compensation for late delivery of 737-700 AEW&C aircraft. * Aviation Week’s Joe Anselmo remembers fondly straight, sometimes harsh talk from the late L-3 Communications co-founder Frank Lanza. Keeping Up with Acquisition Trends * The Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association will host a training seminar on April 8 in Fort Belvoir, VA, about Better Buying Power 2.0 and recent DFARS 5000 regulatory changes. Colombian Shake-Up Confused by Media Malpractice * Colombia’s defense minister […]

* CNA’s Center for Strategic Studies assessed [PDF] for the US Congress the state of the Afghan National Security Forces and recommends that the ANSF change their composition to provide more support, relative to over-abundant infantry units. The research organization expects the Taliban threat to continue for years before a political solution to end the war is likely to emerge.

US Contractors

* Boeing is very pleased that its hydrogen fueled Phantom Eye High Altitude, Long Endurance UAV was upgraded to “experimental” status by the US Air Force 412th Operations Group. Phantom Eye has far less payload capacity than options like NGC’s Q-4 Global Hawks, but it also costs far less.

* Boeing is likely less pleased that Turkey is demanding $183M in services and spare parts as compensation for late delivery of 737-700 AEW&C aircraft.

* Aviation Week’s Joe Anselmo remembers fondly straight, sometimes harsh talk from the late L-3 Communications co-founder Frank Lanza.

Keeping Up with Acquisition Trends

* The Defense Acquisition University Alumni Association will host a training seminar on April 8 in Fort Belvoir, VA, about Better Buying Power 2.0 and recent DFARS 5000 regulatory changes.

Colombian Shake-Up Confused by Media Malpractice

* Colombia’s defense minister Juan Carlos Pinzón sacked armed forces chief Leonardo Barrero after the Semana magazine revealed [in Spanish] phone conversations where Barrero was heard talking disparagingly about prosecturors investigating “false positive” extrajudicial killings. 4 other generals were sacked for separate allegations [in Spanish] of corruption. Unfortunately, as Pulzo notes [in Spanish], several press outlets mixed up the two cases and associated Barrero’s name to what is clearly a separate corruption case in which nothing hints of his involvement. Barrero publicly apologized [in Spanish] for his statements.

Russian UAVs, Subs

* Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu recently announced the allocation of 320 billion rubles (about $9B) to the acquisition of UAVs between now and 2020. The Russians say they already operate about 500 UAVs used for reconnaissance and communications, some of them bought from Israel, but homegrown UCAVs are in the works at Sukhoi and Sokol. However big budgets do not automatically translate to a defense industry that can absorb the money and spit back the required gear.

* Russia intends to add new submarines to its Black Sea fleet and Mediterranean task force with deliveries expected to start next year.

Too Late for Sochi

* The US Navy is looking into how the USS Taylor frigate ran aground while mooring in Turkey last week. What, no Twitter update, where’s your Internet of Things? The FFG-50 ship was in the Black Sea while on Sochi security duty, and is scheduled for decommissioning in 2015. Video below:

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