Rapid Fire July 26, 2012 – CBO to DoN: Get Real
The CBO(Congressional Budget Office) analyzed [PDF] the latest long-term shipbuilding plans of the US Navy and thinks that despite lowering the number of ships they intend to procure, the DoN is significantly underestimating how much their plan will cost. CBO’s estimate of $20 billion/year for new-ship construction is about 40% above the historical average funding, with peaks way above average in the 2023-2032 decade (even by the Navy’s own costing). CBO for instance challenges the Navy’s estimate that it will be able to buy the next-gen LCS under much better terms than the current generation, and likewise doesn’t buy that a successor to DDG-51 Flight III ships would deliver more technology for the same price.
The Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) do not seem to agree either on how much over initial estimates the B61 life extension (LEP) is going to cost, confirming earlier reports that lacked a named source.
Defense Industry Daily will wrap up collecting data for our 2012 contractor performance survey very soon: please contribute your knowledge to help us rank prime contractors.
US Navy Secretary Mabus posted a thin-skinned rebuttal to the critics of his use of biofuels. He wrote: “History and experts tell us that oil prices are more likely to rise, and because of advances in technology and economies of scale, the price of biofuel has already dropped.” Countering “a fabrication based on speculation” with equally speculative statements is not terribly convincing. The only thing that history really tells about the fluctuations of a fungible commodity is that they’re extremely hard to predict, and the fact of the matter is that biofuels remain way more expensive than oil-based fuel. If the Secretary is going to conjure the fuzzy predictions of unnamed experts to justify his decisions, he will likely confirm the opinion of those who think this is a pet project motivated by political considerations.
Bad news for stealth drones – and America’s whole TacAir strategy. EADS Cassidian is developing a passive radar that takes advantage of existing signals in the air from many existing sources, in order to detect incoming targets. They aren’t the first. This has uses beyond navigation, and since “stealth” is optimized for certain frequency bands, a radar that can use sources as varied as radio and TV signals…
Congressman Duncan Hunter [R-CA; HASC member] wrote to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno and to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate the DCGS-A vs. Palantir memo revisions. [08/02/12 update: the committee is indeed opening an investigation.]
“Japanese govt sucked dry for TWO YEARS by Trojan“. They, uh, mean a computer virus.