* As they had pre-announced yesterday, the Pentagon made their preparations for potential sequestration and furlough notifications official. There’s just 4 days left where Congress will be in session before this kicks in. DoD comptroller Bob Hale provides a little bit of comic relief: “When I walk down the hall, people still wave, but with fewer fingers.” Among senior DoD officials, Hale was probably most forthcoming last year with specifics on how adjusting to sequestration might happen.
* Stars & Stripes has a helpful Q&A on the coming furloughs.
* US NAVAIR’s PMA-209 Air Combat Electronics (PDF org chart) will hold an industry day on March 14 in Lexington Park, MD to present their acquisition forecasts for the coming two years. Feb. 22 update: cancelled, new date not known yet.
* The idea of putting in place a network of sensors in aircraft to monitor corrosion is more than a decade old and has been maturing since then. The US Navy’s Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement (NACRA) and Luna Innovations, Inc. have been working on a mix of wired and wireless corrosion sensors in a testbed UH-1N last year, which the Air Force will now test in H-60s. See also these papers from Analatom and BAE/UK MoD/NATO [PDFs]. This is well worth pursuing both for safety concerns and because of how much corrosion contributes to operations and maintenance costs, which themselves amount to much more than initial R&D and procurement.
* Alenia Aermacchi North America appointed [PDF] Benjamin R. Stone as its new President and CEO. The company also issued a statement [PDF] objecting to the way Defense News reported last week the departure of former CEO Alan Calegari. But if the departure is mutually agreed as the company insists, why the 8-day delay in the reply?
* The chief of India’s DRDO, V K Saraswat, said they have the capability to build the sort of helicopter India ordered from AgustaWestland in a deal now threatened with cancellation. But he pointed out that it would be [economically] meaningless to seek to set up production lines in India for low-volume projects (this one contract is for just 12 helos).
* Meanwhile, (interim?) Finmeccanica CEO Alessandro Pansa met earlier today with the investigation team sent by India to Italy, reports Reuters Italia. Italy’s finance minister Vittorio Grilli faces grilling of his own as press reports allege that his ex-wife Lisa Lowenstein was contracted by Finmeccanica as a favor. He denies ever having asked such favors, but with a general election taking place in a few days, this keeps Finmeccanica on the front page in Italy.
* A former US Army Staff Sergeant pleaded guilty in a bribery scheme involving $27K and a laptop in bribes meant to influence contracts while he was deployed to Iraq 6 years ago. That’s about a millionth of the fraud and waste that the Commission on Wartime Contracting estimated occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan.