Asian Rebalance, With or Without the US
- India seems closer to ordering 15 US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan for a total of up to $1.65B, probably with local assembly to satisfy Indian requests for indigenous production. This will provide India longer reach for naval patrolling as well as search & rescue.
- The US House Armed Services Committee held a hearing about the implementation of the Obama administration’s rebalancing to Asia-Pacific. Defense acquisition chief Frank Kendall renewed his call for sustained research funding, pointing out how China is testing hypersonic technology that air defenses might not be able to counter. Video.
- The CSIS think tank was hosting this morning its annual Asiapalooza, to forecast what might happen in the Asia/Pacific region in 2014. They observed that Xi Jinping has consolidated power very rapidly, though it was apparent right from the start that Xi was playing a strong hand. The audience got to vote during the panel, and is expecting assertiveness “with or without charm” from China, as one of the moderators quipped.
Operational Testing Report
- Here is the FY13 report [PDF] from the Pentagon’s Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation. As always, program-centric highlights to follow in DID’s ongoing coverage. Looking at almost three decades of reliability assessment, the report concludes that “the reliability of DoD systems has not significantly improved over time”, whether under MIL-STD-785B in the 80s-90s, following commercial best practices in the ’00s, or under the current, more prescriptive policy.
“The reasons programs fail to reach reliability goals include inadequate requirements, unrealistic assumptions, lack of a design for reliability effort prior to Milestone B, and failure to employ a comprehensive reliability growth process.”
UK MoD Assessment
- Great Britain’s Ministry of Defence recently submitted to Parliament its mid-year report [PDF], showing flat to decreasing expenditure across resources, most markedly with administration civilian personnel costs.
- Hellmut Königshaus, Germany’s parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, presented his yearly report [PDF in German] noting that policy changes are leading to personnel dissatisfaction faster than they deliver any positive outcome.
Future Carrier Landing
- US NAVAIR provides today’s video discussing its progress with the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS):