Pentagon Needs to Route Around Congress to Rationalize Personnel, Infrastructure Spending

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* According to Politico the Department of Defense is trying to find ways to reduce its personnel and infrastructure spending that could fly under the congressional radar. Uphill Battle in Bahrain * BAE is still optimistic about supplying Bahrain with Eurofighters as their future fleet, but the country is also a close American client, and the Middle Eastern base for the 5th fleet. Winning the deal won’t be easy. Doing Less with Moins * Canada’s CDA Institute released a report [PDF] which doesn’t see any improvement in DND effectiveness or efficiency, assesses recent decisions and programs as unhelpful, and thinks 2013’s Defence Renewal initiative is missing the key ingredients it needs to be successful. Other than that, things are great. Fraud Allegations Often Hard to Prove * The US Navy reinstated Inchcape Shipping Services after the company agreed to pay for a 3rd-party audit to assess whether and for how much they overcharged the government. The New York Times reports that the Navy’s investigation efforts were found wanting by a judge on the Court of Federal Claims. * Leo Danielides, a former Northrop Grumman program manager on the Guardian anti-missile system, is suing the company on behalf of the government, […]

* According to Politico the Department of Defense is trying to find ways to reduce its personnel and infrastructure spending that could fly under the congressional radar.

Uphill Battle in Bahrain

* BAE is still optimistic about supplying Bahrain with Eurofighters as their future fleet, but the country is also a close American client, and the Middle Eastern base for the 5th fleet. Winning the deal won’t be easy.

Doing Less with Moins

* Canada’s CDA Institute released a report [PDF] which doesn’t see any improvement in DND effectiveness or efficiency, assesses recent decisions and programs as unhelpful, and thinks 2013’s Defence Renewal initiative is missing the key ingredients it needs to be successful. Other than that, things are great.

Fraud Allegations Often Hard to Prove

* The US Navy reinstated Inchcape Shipping Services after the company agreed to pay for a 3rd-party audit to assess whether and for how much they overcharged the government. The New York Times reports that the Navy’s investigation efforts were found wanting by a judge on the Court of Federal Claims.

* Leo Danielides, a former Northrop Grumman program manager on the Guardian anti-missile system, is suing the company on behalf of the government, alleging his former employer charged for work it didn’t intend to complete. The Federal government didn’t join the lawsuit for lack of a completed investigation.

Post-VVIP Aftermath

* AgustaWestland hasn’t been formally blacklisted by India’s MoD, but it has been ousted from a 14-helicopter Coast Guard competition, had the VVIP contract cancelled in favor of an alternative before arbitration per their contract, had projects like the Black Shark torpedo buy stalled, and was just denied a spot at DEFEXPO Mumbai. Given that India’s VVIP helicopter charges remain unproven, this certainly looks like AgustaWestland is being punished for legally insisting on their contract’s terms. Not a good sign.

* With an election coming up, India’s Ministry of Finance won’t give the armed forces $1.3 billion to cover the costs associated with rising fuel prices and serviceman salaries. The MoD will use its weapon purchasing budgets instead, freezing many programs. Even as the government races to fund VVIP helicopter conversions in time for the next election.

Maritime Logistics

* ThinkDefense looks at contracts for modified civilian vessels that can act as auxiliary motherships, and are much cheaper than $500 million options like the USN’s MLP, and “…perhaps [are the answer] to the perennial problem of balancing the high end yet scarce capabilities with the numerous low end demands is to ‘go large’.”

Dept. of ‘Strategic Corporals’

* The Royal Navy recognizes the tremendous mission contributions of radiotherapy radiographer reservist Lt. Cdr. Shah Esfahani. Good for him, and good for the commanders who gave him full opportunity to employ his talents beyond his job description. That’s the core difference between the elite militaries, and the also-rans.

Part-time Deterrence

* Hugh Chalmers from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) wrote a report [PDF] suggesting that a non-continuous fleet could still be a proper deterrent. (Incidentally, China would like to be competent enough to have that problem.) More in the video below:

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