* With a brand-new administration in place, Afghanistan signed its Bilateral Security Agreement with the US as well as the NATO Status of Forces Agreement.
* Boeing is relocating most of its defense services work from Washington state to Oklahoma City and St. Louis, which the company say will affect about 2,000 employees in a gradual transition over the next 3 years.
* The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) warned [Leader Post] Canada’s prime minister that budget cuts are having sizable effects on readiness and leading to layoffs among smaller suppliers.
* Russia is reviving [AIN] its Ilyushin Il-112 project to derive tactical airlifters from the Il-114 airliner. That plan had been abandoned years ago in favor of the cheaper Antonov An-140T, but that’s Made in Ukraine.
* India’s DRDO has developed [Times of India] CO filters for submarines. A good example of successful localization, as opposed to the reach-for-everything approach that has dropped India on its face more than once.
* South Africa’s Sunday Times alleges that President Zuma and the ANC took bribes from Thales, based on transcripts of testimonies from hearings in a dispute between the company and Ajay Sooklal, a former consultant of theirs. The presidency’s answer [BusinessDay] is that the allegations are “nothing new” and already on the Seriti’s commission’s plate. Thales was embroiled in a kickback scandal in Taiwan for more than 2 decades.
* After feeble attempts at stonewalling reports that its readiness was falling short, Germany’s ministry of defense is now openly admitting its shortcomings. Pressure is building up on defense minister Ursula von der Leyen. Deutche Welle | AP | Der Spiegel [in German].
Better Refueling Booms
* IAI says they successfully tested a fly-by-wire refueling boom for their K-767 MMTT tanker conversion. Their MMTT adapts selected used aircraft to dramatically lower purchase costs. Clients like Colombia and Brazil don’t need the boom, but it will give IAI the ability to compete in countries with planes that use dorsal refueling – like South Korea and Poland.
Robert O. Work on Asia/Pacific
* In today’s video Robert O. Work, the Pentagon’s #2 for the past 5 months, talks at the Council on Foreign Relations about the use of military power, especially in Asia/Pacific: